Civil War Fights Off Abigail And More To Stay Number One At The Weekend Box Office

 Wagner Moura and Kirsten Dunst in Civil War.
Wagner Moura and Kirsten Dunst in Civil War.

This weekend was a busy one at the box office. As spring is ready to turn into summer, studios are providing movie-goers with plenty to watch, as three new wide releases – Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett's Abigail, Takashi Katagiri's Spy x Family Code: White, and Guy Ritchie's The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare – arrived in theaters everywhere. Even with all of those new options presented, however, audiences mostly still flocked to the buzziest title of the month: Alex Garland's Civil War.

The Top 10 got a big shakeup from last week's box office report, so check out the numbers in the chart below and join me after for analysis.

Civil War Weekend Box Office April 19-21, 2024
Civil War Weekend Box Office April 19-21, 2024

With A Modest Weekend-To-Weekend Drop, Civil War Stays At Number One

Last weekend, Civil War set a new record for A24 as the indie distributor's best ever opening – propelled by high levels of hype to a three day domestic gross of $25.5 million. It was a great start for the release, and those good times are continuing to roll. While there were a number of new titles vying for attention, the powerful and critically acclaimed anti-war feature remains the number one movie in America – having added $11.1 million to its ticket sales in the last three days, according to The Numbers.

That figure represents a weekend-to-weekend drop of 56 percent, which is good, but not great ("great" is the 44 percent second weekend dip that Denis Villeneuve's Dune: Part Two pulled off in March). The release actually expanded its theater count, adding 91 new locations, and it made $2,832 on average at each of the near-4,000 cinemas.

To date, Civil War has made $44.9 million domestically and $3.3 million from foreign markets, bringing its global box office haul to $48.2 million. Per Deadline, the film cost about $50 million to make (not including publicity and marketing costs), so it's not exactly shaping up to go on the books as a ridiculously massive financial success, but given its positive word of mouth and the fact that its being equally appreciated by audiences across the political spectrum, it's a title that should end up being a long-term success and it only further cements A24's reputation for high quality titles.

Cailee Spaney with soldiers in Civil War
Cailee Spaney with soldiers in Civil War

In the context of Alex Garland's career, the new film is already his biggest box office success as a director. In two weeks, Civil War has already made more than both 2018's Annihilation (which made $43.1 million during its entire worldwide run) and 2015's Ex Machina ($38.3 million). If we include Garland's writing credits into the mix, the 2024 movie has also already outgrossed Pete Travis' Dredd ($41.5 million) and the 2007 and 2000 Danny Boyle films Sunshine ($32 million) and The Beach ($39.8 million).

Boyle's 28 Days Later... still sits ahead of it in the box office ranking of Garland's filmography, the movie having earned $83 million globally on the big screen in 2003, but Civil War has a good shot at eclipsing that feature in the month ahead.

The movie is presently the ninth biggest domestic hit of the year, having outgrossed SJ Clarkson's Madame Web, and it's a title that we're likely going to be hearing about for the rest of 2024 and through all of award season.

Abigail Has A Solid Weekend But Performs Below Expectations

It was a surprise to see Civil War win its second box office crown this weekend because it was thought that the release of Abigail was going to push it out of the top spot. Prognostication (via Variety) suggested that the title was going to make between $12 million and $15 million in its first three days, but it ended up coming up a bit short of that result – making $10.2 million.

It's off to a better start than most of the other wide release horror titles we've seen thus far in 2024 – including Jeff Wadlow's Imaginary ($9.9 million) and Arkasha Stevenson's The First Omen ($8.4 million) – but early results suggest it has made about $600,000 less than Bryce McGuire's Night Swim.

It's a surprise to see Abigail lightly underperform both because of how well horror has been doing on the big screen as of late and because of the positive response it received from critics (CinemaBlend's Mike Reyes gave it four stars in his review). It's possible that part of the problem was a matter of direct competition. The vampire ballerina movie and its fellow new release from this past Friday, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, are both titles that hoped to draw in adult audiences that enjoy bloody fun on the big screen, and split attention between the titles let Civil War emerge on top.

The Ministry Of Ungentlemanly Warfare And Spy x Family Code: White Round Out The Weekend Top 5

With Civil War and Abigail opening in the top two spots at the box office and Adam Wingard's Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire still drawing audiences, The Ministry Of Ungentlemanly Warfare and Spy x Family Code: White both had to settle this past weekend for being a part of the Top 5. Both titles are playing in over 2,000 locations, and while the new Guy Ritchie feature made $9 million to start its domestic run, the anime release from Crunchyroll brought in $4.9 million.

Opening in fourth place doesn't exactly read as setting the world on fire, but The Ministry Of Ungentlemanly Warfare is actually off to the best start for a Ritchie movie since 2020's The Gentlemen – which made $10.7 million in its first three days before going on to make $113.2 million worldwide. 2021's Wrath Of Man and neither of the filmmaker's 2023 releases (Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre or Guy Ritchie's The Covenant) managed to make much of a splash, but his latest feature is doing ok so far.

While The Ministry Of Ungentlemanly Warfare overperformed based on expectations, the ticket sales for Spy x Family Code: White were more tepid. Crunchyroll has had some big opening weekend successes in the last few years (Tetsuro Kodama's Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero memorably earning over $20 million in late August 2022), but this will not go down as one of them. Fortunately for the filmmakers, the title has been buoyed by international success and has made $44.9 million worldwide so far.

How will the titles in the Top 10 compete with the arrivals of Luca Guadagnino's Challengers starring Zendaya and Richard Ramsey's faith-based drama Unsung Hero this upcoming Friday? Be sure to head back here to CinemaBlend next Sunday to see how the box office battle unfolds – and check out our 2024 Movie Release Calendar to discover all of the titles set to be released between now and the end of the year.