IF Wins The Weekend Box Office, But It Doesn't Quite Hit Expectations

 Jon Stewart (Robot), Big Red, Sam Rockwell (Super Dog), Emily Blunt (Unicorn), Maya Rudolph (Ally Aligator), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Blossom), Keegan-Michael Key (Slime Ball), Blake Lively (OctoCat) and Matt Damon (Flower), Richard Jenkins (Art Teacher), Bill Hader (Banana), Apple, Amy Schumer (Gummy Bear) and Louis Gossett Jr. star in IF.
Jon Stewart (Robot), Big Red, Sam Rockwell (Super Dog), Emily Blunt (Unicorn), Maya Rudolph (Ally Aligator), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Blossom), Keegan-Michael Key (Slime Ball), Blake Lively (OctoCat) and Matt Damon (Flower), Richard Jenkins (Art Teacher), Bill Hader (Banana), Apple, Amy Schumer (Gummy Bear) and Louis Gossett Jr. star in IF.
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There were some high hopes set for John Krasinski's IF this weekend, with box office prognosticators thinking the film could draw younger audiences to theaters for some early summer big screen fun... but the imagination-fueled new feature didn't quite live up to expectations. It's the new number one movie domestically, pushing Wes Ball's Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes to second place following the franchise title's strong debut last weekend, but ticket sales didn't end up hitting the bar that experts predicted it would clear.

Check out the full Top 10 in the chart below and join me after for analysis.

Weekend Box Office May 17-19, 2024 IF movie
Weekend Box Office May 17-19, 2024 IF movie

IF Falls Short Of Hitting Box Office Goals In Its Opening Weekend

In the middle of last week, trades like Variety published estimations that IF would earn something in the realm of $40 million in its first three days in theaters (potentially as much as $45 million)... but it didn't take long for those numbers to reveal themselves as overly optimistic. By Saturday morning, following a slower-than-expected Friday, predictions dropped down to $30.5 million, and while the film has bounced back from that pessimism to make an estimated $35 million (per The Numbers), the title is not instantly shaping up as a box office success story.

As you may have predicted, the bugaboo is a big budget. Following the success of the Quiet Place movies (low/mid-cost features that made blockbuster money), Paramount Pictures placed a substantial bet on John Krasinski by giving him a $110 million budget to execute his vision for IF, and its not immediately on pace to be considered one of 2024's box office wins. Factoring in marketing and publicity costs, the new release has a long road to travel before its going to be considered profitable, and the studio didn't exactly pick an opening weekend that is well-suited for releases that are hoping to grow long legs.

So what went wrong? One could say that pre-release buzz didn't do any favors here. John Krasinski earned near universal acclaim for both A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place Part II, but the filmmaker's latest has gotten a considerably more divisive response. CinemaBlend's Riley Utley gave IF a positive review, but she also concedes that the in-world rules that drive the plot don't quite work.

It can be noted that results from CinemaScore have revealed audiences as being much more forgiving. Surveys have returned an "A" grade for the family friendly film with an all-star cast including Ryan Reynolds, Sam Rockwell, Awkwafina, Emily Blunt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Hader, Fiona Shaw, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Louis Gossett Jr. and Steve Carell.

Sam Rockwell (Super Dog), Cello, Akwafina (Bubble), Matt Damon (Flower), Keegan-Michael Key (Slime Ball) and  Jon Stewart (Robot) star in support group in IF.
Sam Rockwell (Super Dog), Cello, Akwafina (Bubble), Matt Damon (Flower), Keegan-Michael Key (Slime Ball) and Jon Stewart (Robot) star in support group in IF.

Presently, things don't look great for IF, but there is a path for success based on precedent from last year. A lot of people wrote off Peter Sohn's Elemental as a new box office disappointment from Pixar after the animated release debuted in second place and only made $29.6 million... but it stuck around. By the end of its 15 week domestic run, the film made $154.4 million, and that paired quite nicely with $330.4 million made overseas.

The big problem for IF is the competition that is set to arrive in theaters this Friday. George Miller's Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is going to steal away the attention of adults who might be drawn to see it, and Mark Dindal's The Garfield Movie is set to be the big screen attraction for kids during Memorial Day weekend. If the film drops to fourth or fifth place next Sunday, it might be in real trouble.

Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes Has A Solid Second Weekend, Crosses $100 Million Domestically

With three new wide releases hitting theaters this past Friday (more on the other two in a bit), there was question about how Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes would weather the storm... and it turns out that the answer is "pretty well." Landing in second place behind IF, the film added another $26 million to its domestic ticket sales, which calculates as a 55 percent drop from last weekend. That number also pushes the blockbuster into nine figure territory, as it's now made $101.2 million in the United States and Canada.

The business that it has been doing is right in line with the performance of Matt Reeves' War For The Planet Of The Apes from back in 2017, which is encouraging for the future of the Planet Of The Apes franchise. By the end of its big screen run globally, the finale of the Caesar Trilogy made $489.6 million worldwide. To date, Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes has made $237.5 million

The movie is quickly climbing up the ranks of 2024's biggest blockbusters. It has now earned more domestically than Reinaldo Marcus Green' Bob Marley: One Love ($96.9 million), which means it is now the fifth biggest movie of the year in the region (it only needs to make $11 million more to surpass Gil Kenan's Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire for fourth place). On the worldwide chart, it has already outgrossed the most recent Ghostbusters movie and is sitting in eighth place.

We haven't gotten official word yet if Wes Ball will have the opportunity to execute his new Planet Of The Apes trilogy, but there are reasons to be hopeful at this juncture that the franchise will continue.

The Strangers: Part 1 And Back To Black Don't Put On Much Of A Show In Their Respective Debuts

Part of the reason why Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes was able to do as much business as it did since Friday is because there wasn't a whole lot of demonstrated interest in the weekend's two new wide releases not titled IF: Renny Harlin's The Strangers: Chapter 1 and Sam Taylor-Johnson's Back To Black.

The former is called "Chapter 1" because it is part of a full Strangers trilogy that has already been shot, but we'll now wait and see if distribution plans are adjusted for the sequels, because the launch title didn't exactly manage to impress. The Strangers: Chapter 1 was the recipient of a critical drubbing this past Thursday, and a "C" grade from CinemaScore surveys suggest that average movie-goers didn't love it any more than the professionals. It managed to make $12 million in its opening weekend, but don't be surprised when its ticket sales plummet during the Memorial Day weekend.

As bad as things were for 2024's latest horror release in the last three days, things went even worse for the new Amy Winehouse biopic. Back To Black got an early release internationally, which allowed bad buzz to circulate for more than a month, and the end result is the movie flopping domestically. Playing in 2,010 locations this past weekend, the movie made only $2.9 million and debuted in sixth place.

Next weekend should feature a number of interesting box office developments given the holiday and arrival of aforementioned new titles, so be sure to head back here to CinemaBlend next Sunday to see what kind of shakeup the Top 10 experiences. And for a look ahead at all of the films set to arrive in theaters in the coming weeks and months, check out our 2024 Movie Release Calendar.