Friday, April 19, 2024

Friday Box Office: “Avatar” Crossing $400 Mil Line, “Whitney Houston” Building, “Babylon” Babbling


Friday night box office:

Today, right now as you read this, “Avatar 2” is crossing the $400 million line domestically. In other day it will overtake “Black Panther 2” as it steams ahead on its blue path. These are not Best Picture movies, they are landmarks. They’re spectacles, and their outsized earnings are the reward. They will each get craft nominations galore, which they richly deserve.

Another very entertaining film is also bringing in audiences: “Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” The take after 8 days is just over $12 million. There seems to be a steadily building business here. The upbeat take on Whitney Houston’s life still has an incredibly strong 92 on Rotten Tomatoes audience meter. The fans love it!

In the mix: the very overhyped “The Whale” starring Brendan Fraser heading to $5 million today after 22 days in release. This is not a New Year’s Eve movie, it’s a big downer, so WARNING. Wait til tomorrow. You won’t want to have dinner after you’ve seen it.

“A Man Called Otto” starring Tom Hanks opened last night to $23,000 in four theaters. Also not a New Year’s Eve movie as Otto spends two hours trying to kill himself. Hanks is always spot on, but this isn’t a way to celebrate the changing of the calendar. Again, wait til tomorrow. Try “The Fabelmans,” “Banshees,” or “The Menu.”

And if you’ve got three hours, “Babylon” is still babbling on, but it won’t be for much longer. The gorgeous mess of a movie will see theater numbers cut on Thursday most certainly. So this is a good time to see it on the big screen.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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