The Upside Finishes Up Top


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 10 hours 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

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 7 hours 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 2 days 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 2 days 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!

[removed] 1 days ago
This comment has been deleted
Anonymous 1 days 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.