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Weekend box office: 'Aladdin' soars past expectations, dominates worldwide

ALADDIN (Photo: Disney)

Weekend Box Office: May 24-26, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — "Aladdin" will finish the weekend atop the domestic box office charts with an impressive $86 million that is expected to swell to $105 million for the four-day weekend. That’s decidedly better than early forecasts that predicted a four-day total of $75 million. Overseas the film an additional $121 million for a worldwide total of $207 million.

The live-action remake has received mixed reviews from critics, but audiences have given the film a A grade according to CinemaScore. I was somewhat surprised by the movie in that it wasn’t nearly as unwatchable as the initial trailers suggested. Will Smith is good as the Genie, not Robin Williams good, but he at least goes out of his comfort zone and gives the performance his best. Unfortunately, there are stretches where the film simply plods along, whereas the animated version was able to keep its brisk pace from start to finish. A stronger performance from Mena Massoud as Aladdin would have helped. He’s simply the least interesting person on screen when joined by Smith, Naomi Scott (Jasmine), Marwan Kenzari (Jafar) and Nasim Pedrad (Dalia).

Sliding into second place is “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” with $24 million. The film has now earned $106 million domestically and has a worldwide total of $181 million. The first installment in the series finished with a worldwide total of $88 million. The second film finished with a worldwide total of $171 million. $181 million after only 10 days is insane.

Avengers: Endgame” added $16.8 to its domestic total. That pushes the film over $800 million in North America alone. The worldwide total is $2.67 billion. Surpassing “Avatar's” $2.78 billion for the highest grossing film of all-time (unadjusted for inflation) is looking less and less likely, but nothing is impossible for the Marvel.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu” slides back into fourth place with $13 million. The North America total now sits at $116 million. Overseas numbers lift the worldwide earnings to $350 million.

Sony’s horror/superhero hybrid “Brightburn” made $7.5 million in its first weekend. That’s significantly less than the predicted total of $13 million.

Despite critical acclaim and a strong B+ CinemaScore grade from audiences, the fantastic coming-of-age comedy “Booksmart” underperformed with $ 6.5 million. Again, that’s about half of what was initially expected. As someone who loves the film, I can only hope that the film finds the audience it deserves.