John Krasinski’s ‘IF’ Leads Weekend Box Office with $35 Million

John Krasinski’s ‘IF’ Leads Weekend Box Office with $35 Million
Cailey Fleming (L) and John Krasinski pose with the character "Blue" at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "IF" at the SVA Theatre in New York, on May 13, 2024. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Actor John Krasinski’s movie “IF” had the highest box-office sales for the weekend, with a $35 million North American debut.

Mr. Krasinski, known for his role in the comedic “Office” series, made the children’s movie “IF” based on his daughter’s imagination. The movie features a set of imaginary beings that only a child can see.

The movie was not liked by critics but loved by the general audience, with a 46 and 87 percent of approval respectively on the film ranking site Rotten Tomatoes. Viewers described the movie as “heartwarming, silly, and entertaining,” while site-approved critics said it was overly “loud” and “writ large” despite its “star-studded” voice cast.

NTD Photo
Ryan Reynolds (L), Cailey Fleming, the character Blue, voiced by Steve Carell, and the Blossom, voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, in a scene from “IF.” (Paramount Pictures via AP)

The movie stars Ryan Reynolds, Cailey Fleming, and an army of A-list voices, including Steve Carell, Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Louis Gossett Jr., Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Maya Rudolph.

Paramount debuted the film, which cost a reported $110 million to produce, in 4,041 locations in North America. Internationally, it earned an estimated $20 million from 56 markets, adding up to a $55 million global debut.

“Families came out in force and they loved the film,” said Chris Aronson, who heads Paramount’s domestic distribution.

Box office revenue this year was no match for 2023, with movies like “Barbie” having a debut of $162 million and the 3D children’s movie “Super Mario Bros.” opening with $146 million in 2023.

This year, after children’s “IF” with $35 million, came “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” with $26 million, “The Strangers—Chapter 1” with $12 million, and the comedy “The Fall Guy,” featuring Ryan Gosling, one of the “Barbie” protagonists, with $8.5 million.

The Fall Guy has a higher approval rating than the second most profitable “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes”—around 85 percent approval from both critics and the general audience for “The Fall Guy”—but only a fraction of the box office opening for 2023 movies.

While comedies and action films’ future performance usually shows in their opening nights, for the genre of “IF” total box office usually adds up with time, even with a lukewarm opening. Last June, Pixar’s “Elemental” was assumed dead on arrival when it opened with $29.5 million domestically. But it continued earning throughout the summer and ultimately made nearly $500 million globally.

“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” surpassed $100 million domestically and $237 million globally in ten days. It came in second place in its second weekend with $26 million (down 55 percent from its first weekend).

The Amy Winehouse biopic “Back to Black” opened in North America to an estimated $2.9 million from 2,010 screens.

The filmed-for-IMAX documentary “The Blue Angels” also made $1.3 million this weekend from 227 screens. It’s playing on the premium large format screens through May 22 before heading to Prime Video on May 23.

The summer, which for Hollywood begins the first weekend in May, is still getting started and could attract more viewers next weekend with the infusion of “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” and “The Garfield Movie.”

For 2024 so far, “Dune: Part Two” tops the list with $282 million in gross sales and an $82 million opening in March. Next comes “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” with $194 in total, and third is “Kung Fu Panda 4” with a similar number, according to the site Box Office Mojo. “The Fall Guy” comes in 13th place and “IF” in 18th.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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