Tim Burton's 'Dumbo' Can't Live Up To Disney Expectations With Disappointing Debut [Box Office]

Maybe it’s the fact that Disney live-action remakes don’t have the same “special” feeling they once had? Perhaps, it’s just that people weren’t interested in a live-action remake of a rather sad almost-80-year-old film featuring an elephant in a circus? Whatever the case, Disney’s new “Dumbo” debuted at the top of the box office, but didn’t quite soar like the Mouse House was expecting.

Pulling in $45 million domestically, “Dumbo” fell well below expectations and turned in one of the worst live-action remake performances for Disney yet. Now, let’s be clear, when we talk about disappointing opening weekends, understand that we are grading on a curve. You see, when a “normal” non-mega-studio turns in a live-action film with a reported $170 million budget, a $45 million opening weekend wouldn’t be such a terrible debut. But we’re talking about Disney here, and anything below “massive” is deemed as a sort of loss.

Now, to quantify how low this opening is, we have to compare “Dumbo” to its live-action remake brethren. Taking the sequel out of the equation (‘Alice 2’), the new Tim Burton-directed live-action remake turned in one of the worst debuts in this category, beating only “Pete’s Dragon” ($21.5M) and “101 Dalmations” ($33.5M). The latter of those films debuted in theaters 23 years ago and hardly qualifies in this category, but we’ll include it anyway. And as a further aside, we have to really consider if “Pete’s Dragon” fits in the live-action remakes of “classic” Disney films. But I digress.

READ MORE: Disney’s Live-Action ‘Dumbo’ Is Filled With Overwhelming Cuteness But Doesn’t Ever Soar [Review]

“Dumbo” fell well short of “Cinderella” ($67.9M) and it’s just silly to compare this new film to the likes of “Jungle Book,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and Burton’s own “Alice in Wonderland.” Needless to say, Disney’s “Dumbo” remake is not even the same class, financially, as the big films that came before it.

Overseas, the film did alright, opening day-and-date in most every territory, pulling in another $71 million. Overall, this would be a pretty decent opening for any other studio not named Disney.

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In light of this rather disappointing competition, Jordan Peele’sUs” continued to pull in great numbers, dropping only -52% in its second weekend for a $33.6 million frame. While it doesn’t have nearly the hold that “Get Out” did in its second weekend (there are way too many factors that we would have to go through to break this down, but the main reason for the lower drop is “Get Out’s” lower opening weekend), “Us” did far better than many blockbuster second-weekends, especially for horror films, in general. Peele’s second film now totals over $128 million in 10 days.

As for your weekly “Captain Marvel” update, the Brie Larson-led film earned another $20.5 million in its fourth weekend, with a new domestic total of $354 million. The film has entered the top 15 all-time in the superhero genre (domestically) and has a real shot at $400 million and the top 10. As for its worldwide gross, the film is this close to $1 billion, with a worldwide total of $990 million. Over the coming week, “Captain Marvel” will become 7th Marvel Studios film to reach this milestone.

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There weren’t any remarkable limited release openings with films like “The Chaperone,” “Diane,” “Slut in a Good Way,” and “The Brink” all opening under $10,000 per-theater. However, the big film in this category from last weekend, “Hotel Mumbai,” did open wide (just under 1,000 locations) and pulled in $3.2 million.

As for the highest-profile indie release of the weekend, “The Beach Bum,” from filmmaker Harmony Korine and star Matthew McConaughey, the film failed to light up the box office and earned only $1.8 million, which is barely enough to keep it in the top 10.

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And finally, the religious, anti-choice propaganda film “Unplanned” debuted at #5 with $6.1 million. While that’s a good opening for a film of that budget, that’s really all we’re going to say about it.

Next weekend will be very interesting, with “The Best of Enemies,” “Pet Sematary,” and “Shazam!” all debuting in what is already a pretty competitive box office. Obviously, “Shazam!” is expected to win the weekend, but the real question is how “Us,” “Captain Marvel,” and “Dumbo” will fair.

Here’s the domestic top 10 for March 29 to March 31:
1. Dumbo – $45M (Debut)
2. Us – $33.6M ($128M Overall)
3. Captain Marvel – $20.5M ($354M)
4. Five Feet Apart – $6.25M ($36M)
5. Unplanned – $6.11M (Debut)
6. Wonder Park – $5M ($38M)
7. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – $4.2M ($153M)
8. Hotel Mumbai – $3.2M ($3.3M)
9. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral – $2.7M ($70M)
10. The Beach Bum – $1.8M (Debut)