Memorial Day weekend has historically been a slow one for the movie theater business, despite Disney’s efforts, but then Aladdin came along.
Last year its standalone “Star Wars” movie, “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” took in $103 million over the four-day holiday weekend. A major disappointment for a movie set in a galaxy far, far away. And before that, the studio had worse performers from the likes of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” (2017), “Alice Through the Looking Glass” (2016), and “Tomorrowland” (2015).
This year they slotted the live-action remake of “Aladdin” over the holiday and it seems Disney finally found itself a title that motivated people to take a break from pool parties and barbecues to go to the multiplex.
“Aladdin,” a remake of the beloved 1992 Disney animated movie, took in an estimated $86.1 million over the weekend domestically, and by Monday’s holiday will have a $105 million take. It was released on 4,476 screens, the widest ever for a Disney release over Memorial Day weekend.
The $105 million four-day gross is the sixth-best opening ever over the holiday weekend, passing 2011’s “The Hangover Part II” ($103.4 million).
It is also the third-best opening of the year, knocking off Universal’s “Us” ($71.1 million). Disney now holds the top three domestic openings of the year, as “Aladdin” joins “Captain Marvel” ($153.4 million) and “Avengers: Endgame” ($357.1 million).
Audiences are certainly feeling differently about the movie than critics. The critical score on Rotten Tomatoes is a rotten 58%, however, it has a 93% audience score with over 6,300 of those being verified audience members. “Verified” is the new audience feature Rotten Tomatoes launched last week, which highlights how many people out of the audience score bought tickets to see the movie.
With “Aladdin” at the top of the domestic box office, that makes four out of the last five weeks a Disney title has been the number one movie since April 26. Previous to this, “Avengers: Endgame” was tops for three-straight weekends. Last week’s win for “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” is the only movie to take the gold from the house Mickey built.
But staying at the top won’t be easy for “Aladdin” going forward. There’s a lot of competition next week with Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla: Kind of the Monsters,” Paramount’s Elton John biopic “Rocketman,” and Universal’s latest Blumhouse release “Ma.”