The Upside Finishes Up Top

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upside

Comedian Kevin Hart may not be hosting the Oscars this year. But he still found an upside in the midst of the controversy. Like, literally.

The Upside, a dramedy starring Hart and Bryan Cranston, broke Aquaman’s three-weekend hold on the box office, wheeling into first place with an estimated $19.6 million in North America.

Experts call The Upside’s unexpected win an upset. But really, Hart and January seem like they were made for each other. This marks the third time in four years, and the fourth time in six, that the comedian has appeared in a No. 1 film in January. Hart starred in last year’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which dominated the charts for almost the entire month; and he and Ice Cube combined for Ride Along 2, which scored a solitary No. 1 in January of 2016. Even a mighty superhero can’t compete with that sort of track record.

But while Aquaman might’ve sunk to second, it still has plenty of kick. The DC film stuffed another $17.3 million stateside into Davy Jones’ locker, bringing its total domestic haul to $287.9 million. But, as we’ve already documented, Aquaman’s been particularly mighty overseas. It has earned nearly that much again in China alone. Count up the rest of its planetary ticket stubs, and Aquaman has earned more than $1 billion, making it DC’s second-highest-grossing film ever, internationally speaking. (Only The Dark Knight Rises has done better.)

Another newcomer, the sweet, mostly kid-friendly A Dog’s Way Home, found its way to third place, wagging its tail as it went. It earned $11.3 million, which is a lot of money for a dog. The only downside is that the pooch might have to pay capital Gaines Burgers tax.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse spun a $9 million weekend into a fourth-place finish—besting fifth-place Escape Room ($8.9 million) by the width of a web. The animated flick has now earned upwards of $147.8 million, while Escape Room has not.

Oh, and the movie I reviewed this weekend, Replicas? Yeah, it landed with a big ol’ thud, finishing with $2.5 million for 12th place—the worst opening of Keanu Reeves’ career. (Whoa.). Moviegoers who skipped this one, I applaud you.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Obviously I have different movie tastes than the people on here seem to, lol.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

While the trailer for A Dog’s Way Home didn’t show the veterans or the cats, it did show the following:

Bella has a great friendship with her owner, Bella gets lost, Bella faces off against a mountain lion in the woods, Bella steals a steak from a birthday party, Bella saves someone from an avalanche, and the final scene in the trailer was her owner looking towards a hill and seeing Bella running down towards him. It felt like less of a trailer and more like a two minute summary of the movie.

I go to the cinema to see a good story told onscreen. I don’t need to go to the cinema to see pets cheering up veterans or to see cute cats. I can just look up that stuff on YouTube for free without paying $13.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Obviously I'm barking up the wrong tree here since you're not an animal lover in any way shape or form, but for those like me who are animal lovers it's definitely worth the time and money to go see A Dog's Way Home in the theater, where by the way matinee showings are only either $6.65 on Tuesday's or $7.15 other days, and at night time it's only 10 or 11 bucks, so apparently where you live theater prices are a lot more money than they are here in Bakersfield.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone needs to go see A Dog's Way Home now. It's a sweet, adorable, adventurous little dog movie that has even some sweet moments with veterans. Please don't let the nit-picky Plugged In review dissuade you from seeing it. I saw no indication whatsoever that the two guys who temporarily adopt Bella and Dutch were anything but best friend/roommates, definitely not lovers in a romantic way at all. And I just assumed since Bella's masters were living together that they had gotten married, even without showing a wedding ceremony. And the somewhat frightening images only made the movie more exciting, and made you care about Bella's journey home that much more. Please go see A Dog's Way Home. It really is something special.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Or, alternatively, one could just watch the trailer for the film, which completely spoiled the entire movie; I know cause I saw the trailer when I went to see Into the Spiderverse.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you actually saw the movie you would see the previews left a lot out, including the adorable scenes with "Big Kitty" and "Mother Cat". Not to mention all the wounded veterans in the movie which Bella helped to cheer up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If all you want to do is watch trailers, that's fine. But I prefer to actually watch an entire full-length movie instead. Trailers are only useful in deciding whether or not a movie looks good enough to actually go out there and see it in person. For instance all the times I saw Into the Spiderverse made me realize I would never in a million years want to see that movie, because the trailer itself looked stupid and annoyed me to no end. Just like the more recent trailer to The Lego Movie 2 which makes it seem even worse than the original was.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"The more recent trailer to the Lego Movie 2 which makes it seem even worse then the original was"

HOW DARE YOU MY GOOD SIR?!?!? The Lego Movie one of the greatest-if not the greatest-comedies of all time!
-David The Clown
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

@anonymous
You’re right. A trailers job should be to interest audiences into seeing a movie (like The Kid Who Would Be King did for me), but a trailer should also not show so much of its movie that audiences basically know what the whole plot is going in. If I see a trailer that spoils the movie’s story, I’m not interested in investing 2 hours in a movie when I know how it will end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I still don't get how the trailer for A Dog's Way Home gave away many of the more important elements of the story like the veterans and the cats, but whatever. All I know is that the trailer for it piqued my interest and I was pleasantly surprised at the amounts of stuff I saw in the movie that weren't in the trailer that made the movie even more worthwhile to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And I'm sorry but The Lego Movie has got to be one of the worst films I've ever seen in my life and the sequel seems even dumber. I know tons of people loved the original movie but I personally thought the animation looked stupid, the characters were dumb and annoying, and the whole thing felt really blah to me. I used to be a huge Lego fan growing up, having boxes of them that I used to play with for literally hours on end, but the movie recreating my favorite childhood toy just stunk in my opinion, plain and simple.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I shall pray for you sir.
*sits down and cries*
-David The Clown
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree with 'First Comment Guy.'  A Dog's Way Home gave away the ending of the movie! Although with that kind of animal movies the dog usually, 
A. Dies.
B. FInds it's way back to its owner.
Now I'm not saying it could be a bad movie, it just gave away the entire ending of the movie. Usually, a trailer should be showing teases of the film's beginning and middle. You're not going to show Thanos with the full infinity gauntlet in a trailer, that would give away that he finds all the stones. 
A Dog's Way Home may not be a bad movie, it might have a great storyline, great comical moments, and a great lead up to the ending. But if the movie trailer gives away the ending then the viewer of that trailer might not have any interest in going and seeing that movie. because you know how it ends.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just would like to say that the year of Marvel is coming (again)! With Captain Marvel in March, then Avengers: Endgame in April, and then Spider-Man: Far From Home in June, it doesn't look like movies like The Upside will be able to hold the crown for long!

Posted By A-Non-Mouse

P.S. 
I don't know why my comment below was deleted. And I think Spider Verse was one of the best movies of 2018! Not 19.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Funny you say that, because the new Spider-Man movie comes out in July, not June.

I’m totally stoked for Endgame and Far From Home, but I’m frankly not as excited for Captain Marvel as I’d like to be. Maybe it’s the trailers and the fact that Brie Larson looks bored in the lead role, but I’m personally more excited for the original Captain Marvel coming in April.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lol, I knew it was one of those. I just guessed which one it was.

Yeah, Captain Marvel's trailers are not that great, with the exception of the one released during the College Football National Championship. I bet the movie will be good, but I think Marvel is trying not to spoil it, and they're not showing some of the cool parts. That's my opinion though. I'm still more excited for Far From Home and Endgame though. 

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

The king is Wakanda and the king of Atlantis are both $1 billion dollar grossers! Long live the kings!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everybody, I have an important message to give to you all for the fate of cinema....

Please drop what you are doing right now and go see Into The Spider Verse if you haven't already. Take your kids, take your family, take your extended family, take your friends, your co-workers, your dogs, your cats, your church group, your sunday school group, your goldfish, your everybody and go see that movie. It is one of the best movies I have ever seen in my life and you will more than likely enjoy it greatly. It needs to make money so we can prove that we can have more experimental and action-oriented animated films in the mainstream.

Thanks you, and please do your part! Do it for Spider-Ham!

-Evan
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

I don’t know about that. After all, 2019 is only two weeks old, and Into the Spiderverse did come out last year, so calling Into the Spiderverse the best movie of 2019 isn’t very accurate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Into The Spiderverse was basically an animated Deadpool without the cussing lol
-David The Clown
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Not gonna lie, I laughed my head off when Spider-Man parodied the emo Peter scene from Spider-Man 3.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hahaha! I actually never saw the 3rd one. I've only seen Spiderman 2 and the first Amazing Spiderman. And I wasn't a fan of either. I don't care for super hero movies in general, but Spiderverse was an exception.
-David The Clown 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not a superhero fan much either, but I admit to loving the first 3 Spiderman movies, but not the horrible Homecoming one, and  really really loved Disney's Big Hero 6 and The Incredibles 2, but not the abysmal Incredibles 1, lol. I've also seen Superman Returns which I hated, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight which I also hated, Batman Forever which I thought was only good for Jim Carrey's role in it, and then Batman and Robin and Batman Returns which I sort of actually liked mostly for the Penguin and Alicia Silverstone though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Big Hero 6 was ok. I haven't seen the first Incredibles in years, and have yet to see the 2nd one.
I've never seen any of the Superman movies (my younger brothers say they are terrible)
I wasn't a fan of Batman Begins, but I did enjoy The Dark Knight. I thought Heath Ledger was fantastic.
Tim Burton's Batman was decent. And I only saw half of Batman Returns.
Logan is probably my favorite super-hero movie. I did also like Deadpool to some extent. Although I did skip though quite a bit of it.
-David The Clown