The highly-anticipated horror take on the Superman origin story, Brightburn, had trouble finding its footing at a crowded box office, finishing in fifth place with an estimated $7.5 million this weekend.
The James Gunn produced film (by director David Yarovesky) had a difficult time contending with a plethora of big budget studio hits such as Avengers: Endgame, Detective Pikachu, and this week’s Aladdin. Although those films are certainly not the intended audience for Brightburn, they do take up the majority of the screens at any given location.
More significantly, for those looking for R-rated action and thrills, John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum has ruled the box office and finished in second place this weekend with $24.3 million. John Wick also crossed the $100 million dollar mark domestically (and an additional $75 worldwide), improving on even the most generous box office forecasts. While horror fans and action junkies don’t always agree, Wick is eclipsing other R-rated fare, and may have had a substantial effect on ticket buyers passing on Brightburn.
As far as Brightburn’s critical reception, the film currently sits at 59% on Rotten Tomatoes, with a better audience score of 70% (calculated off of a very small sample size of 1,000 users). It doesn’t appear that reviews had a ton to due with the Brightburn’s ticket sales, as close to 60% positive reviews for any horror film is a high mark.
Next week doesn’t get any easier for the young, misguided superboy, as Godzilla 2 will eat up a large number of tickets and the Octavia Spencer thriller Ma has the potential to draw the traditional horror audience.
Come back next week to see how Godzilla 2 and Ma perform at the monster-sized summer box office.