Don’t look now, but La Llorona is with us. She cries for her lost children as she stalks through movie theaters, desperately grasping and clawing for the only thing that can assuage her grief: box-office receipts.
What? No, no. Got that mixed up for a minute there. La Llorona, the legendary Latin-American bogeywoman, wants to nab your children, not your cash. No, it’s the makers of The Curse of La Llorona that covet your discretionary income. And over this Easter weekend, they got plenty of it.
Despite some rather lackluster reviews, The Curse of La Llorona killed at the multiplex, banking $26.5 million in North America en route to a No. 1 finish. Granted, La Llorona’s take doesn’t look all that impressive when stacked up against, say, Captain Marvel’s $153.4 million debut. Even when you look at the other movies in The Conjuring Extended Universe (of which La Llorona is technically a part), it’s the low ghost on the terror totem pole. Still, it beat the studio’s own expectations and cruised to victory. La Llorona may be crying, but the only tears its creators are shedding are those of happiness.
La Llorona ended Shazam!’s two-week run at No. 1. The DC/Warner Bros. superhero fluttered back to earth this weekend, landing at No. 2 with $17.3 million.
In third place we find Breakthrough, which had something of a breakthrough itself. The Christian drama finished third with $11.1 million over the traditional three-day weekend. Add in the cash it collected since opening on Wednesday, and this little Christian flick has already earned a big $14.6 million—pretty impressive for a faith-based film.
The movie’s success suggests that 2019 may be a pretty solid (if not spectacular) year for faith-friendly movies. While we’ve yet to see a runaway hit like last year’s I Can Only Imagine (which earned $83.5 million), both Breakthrough and Unplanned ($17.3 million) have surpassed industry expectations, and they’ll both be adding to their bottom line in the weeks to come. And remember, even Imagine started out with a modest $17.1 during its opening frame.
It’s unlikely that either will pass Captain Marvel anytime soon, of course. The year’s biggest blockbuster (so far) earned another $9.1 million to finish fourth. It’s taken in more than $400 million stateside, becoming only the 34th film in history to do so. Add in its global receipts, and Marvel’s namesake superhero movie has earned more than $1 billion.
Given that the Mouse House technically owns both Captain Marvel and Breakthrough (through its newly purchased adjunct Fox), perhaps Disney shouldn’t worry about the performance of Penguins. The nature film, like its namesake bird, never really took flight. It landed in 12th place with $2.3 million. Lucky for Disney that the cast works for fish.
The holdover comedy Little closed out the top five with $8.5 million.