While many predicted a better showing for Happy Death Day 2U, the film ended up in fifth place at the weekend box office with roughly $10 million in ticket sales ($13.5 since it was released on Wednesday). This total is $16 million less than the original film made in its opening 3-day weekend frame back in 2017.
Every movie studio ended up being disappointed this weekend, as it was the worst three-day President’s Day weekend for ticket sales since 2004. Chief among the underachievers was Alita: Battle Angel, whose lofty expectations never materialized (in first place with $36.5 million since Thursday), falling victim to the same inflated tracking numbers that sank The Lego Movie 2 last week (which finished second at the box office with $21.2 million). While the turnout for all films this weekend was low, there may need to be less emphasis put on tracking and social media awareness for upcoming films, as both measures have proven to be wildly inaccurate in 2019 and have so far created unrealistic expectations for new releases this year.
Happy Death Day 2U will certainly make money at the box office (with a lack of competition in coming weeks and an austere budget in the $9 million dollar range), but it will have a hard time matching the financial success of the original. International returns will also be a major factor for the film, and HDD2U brought in an additional $11.8 million worldwide. The last film performed better overseas than it did in the states, so while Universal and Blumhouse have to be somewhat disappointed with the film’s reception, it is guaranteed to turn a profit (even after promotional costs) when the local and international markets are tallied up.
Last weekend’s horror entry, The Prodigy, finished in ninth place with just over $3 million dollars, for a total of $11 so far. The total is nothing to right home about, but with a box office mired in a terrible slump, an ending total of anything over $15 million should be viewed as a success for Orion Pictures.
Check back next week for further bad news for studio executives and you can also check out our review of Happy Death Day 2U right here.