BOX OFFICE: Kevin Hart dries off “Aquaman,” “Upside” wins weekend

hart.jpgIt started life as a Weinstein Co. holiday season project, and premiered at Toronto in 2017.

And we all know what happened to the Weinstein Co., and the Weinstein who ran it.

But no matter. STX picked up “The Upside” in the “Harvey’s Going to Jail Fire Sale” and damned if this Kevin Hart/Bryan Cranston remake of “Les Intouchables” (“The Intouchables”), a French film based on a true story, didn’t win the box office on its opening weekend.

A decent Thursday “preview” night and big Friday are pointing towards a $19-20 million weekend for “The Upside.” 

Reviews weren’t dazzling, and perhaps we’re seeing the impact of Kevin Hart’s homophobic jokes/tweets, that Oscar host blowback and marathon of apologizing he’s been subjected to (with varying degrees of sincerity). So it isn’t a big opening number by Kevin Hart standards.

That’s enough to dethrone Warners’ “Aquaman,” after Jason Momoa and James Wan’s blockbuster has dominated weekends for a solid month. “Aquaman” won’t clear $16.

“A Dog’s Way Home,” a film from the author of “A Dog’s Purpose” and the upcoming “A Dog’s Journey,” the Nicholas Sparks of We Love Dogs weepers, that Sony smuggled into theaters, will clear $11 million for third place.

The other wide release is “Replicas,” and it didn’t do the trick for Keanu Reeves. A critically-trashed piece of trash sci-fi poppycock, it didn’t even make the top ten — $2.4 million.

“On the Basis of Sex” may not have Oscar buzz, but it is safely within the Top Ten on its first weekend of truly wide release — a $6 million weekend.

“Green Book” is on a lot more theaters this weekend, thanks to its Golden Globes wins — picture, supporting actor and screenplay.

It isn’t making a lot more money, nor is Annapurna’s wide release of “If Beale Street Could Talk.” Both are Oscar contenders, neither came close to cracking the top ten, this weekend. At least “Green Book” made a healthy return back in the fall when it first opened.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” closed the gap with “A Star is Born,” box office bucks-wise, with a decent week and wider release this weekend — another $3 million, putting it on the cusp of $200 million.


About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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