- STXfilms’ “Playmobil: The Movie,” took in only an estimated $668,000 at the domestic box office.
- That figure is the third-lowest ever for a movie that’s released on over 2,000 screens.
- It’s just the latest box office bust for STX, which has had a handful of disappointing releases this year.
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It doesn’t look like things will be jolly at STXfilms this holiday season. “Playmobil: The Movie,” which at one time was to be the start of a franchise for the studio that would compete with Warner Bros.’ lucrative Lego franchise, had a non-existent opening in theaters this weekend.
The movie, based on the German toy line and budgeted around $40 million, brought in an estimated $668,000 at the domestic box office. That’s the third-worst opening ever for a movie that debuted on over 2,000 screens (it played on 2,337).
The only releases that have performed worse are 2008’s “Delgo” ($511,920) and 2012’s “The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure” ($443,901).
“Playmobil” only took in $167,000 on Friday, which made it apparent that its already awful $1 million industry projection for the weekend was not going to happen.
But that wasn’t the only sign that the movie was going to have a disastrous performance:
- It originally was supposed to be released by Open Road Films in the US with a release date of January 2019. When that company filed for bankruptcy, STXfilms bought the rights (it has no equity in the movie) and planned an April release. That was then moved to a late August release, and finally opened this weekend. That many release changes is never a good sign.
- Leading up to its release, the movie was not screened for most critics. Again, not a good sign.
- And it was reported that the theaters were offering a discounted price of $5 to see the movie.
This is yet another box office bomb for STXfilms in 2019. In May, it released “UglyDolls,” which only brought in $32.4 million worldwide in its run (budgeted at $45 million). Also in May, it released “Poms,” which had a lifetime box office of $16.4 million worldwide (made for around $10 million). And “21 Bridges,” which finally opened last month after ditched released dates in July and September, has only taken in around $25 million worldwide ($33 million budget).
There have been few bright spots for the company this year. January release “The Upside,” made for $20.3 million, brought in over $125 million at the worldwide box office. Then “Hustlers,” which found critical acclaim and box office success when it opened in September, earning over $150 million worldwide on a $20 million budget. The company is doing an award season campaign for the movie’s star, Jennifer Lopez.
But two big wins the whole year is nothing to be happy about. For a company that has always functioned as a mini-major to go up against the established studios, the performance by “Playmobil” is the latest example that STX needs to step up its game.
Box office highlights:
- Disney’s “Frozen II” won the domestic box office for a third consecutive weekend with a $34.7 million take. The movie is nearing $1 billion worldwide as its current global total is $919.7 million.
- Lionsgate/MRC’s “Knives Out” brought in $14.1 million over the weekend. The movie’s worldwide cume is a healthy $124 million.
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