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John Krasinski’s ‘IF’ hits a box office nerve with $35 million debut

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John Krasinski’s ‘IF’ hits a box office nerve with $35 million debut
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John Krasinski’s ‘IF’ hits a box office nerve with $35 million debut

2024-05-20 00:34 Last Updated At:00:51

John Krasinski’s imaginary friends movie “IF” claimed the top spot at the box office this weekend according to studio estimates Sunday. Its $35 million North American debut was also a bit lower than some projections.

Is that a disappointment? An ominous sign of the box office times? Or is the final story on “ IF " yet to be written? It's not just your imagination: In these bumpy early weeks of the 2024 summer box office season, in which nothing has been a runaway hit and every new movie has more and more pressure to succeed, “IF” hit a nerve.

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This image released by Amazon Prime shows a scene from the documentary "The Blue Angels." (Amazon Prime via AP)

John Krasinski’s imaginary friends movie “IF” claimed the top spot at the box office this weekend according to studio estimates Sunday. Its $35 million North American debut was also a bit lower than some projections.

Actor Marisa Abela attends the premiere of Focus Features' "Back to Black" at AMC Lincoln Square on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Actor Marisa Abela attends the premiere of Focus Features' "Back to Black" at AMC Lincoln Square on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

This image released by Focus Features shows Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse in a scene from "Back to Black." (Focus Features via AP)

This image released by Focus Features shows Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse in a scene from "Back to Black." (Focus Features via AP)

This image released by Focus Features shows Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse in a scene from "Back to Black." (Focus Features via AP)

This image released by Focus Features shows Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse in a scene from "Back to Black." (Focus Features via AP)

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Cailey Fleming, left, and Ryan Reynolds in a scene from "IF." (Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount Pictures via AP)

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Cailey Fleming, left, and Ryan Reynolds in a scene from "IF." (Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount Pictures via AP)

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Ryan Reynolds, from left, 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)

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Ryan Reynolds, from left, 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)

Emily Blunt, left, and John Krasinski pose with the character "Blue" at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "IF" at the SVA Theatre on Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Emily Blunt, left, and John Krasinski pose with the character "Blue" at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "IF" at the SVA Theatre on Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

John Krasinski, left, and Ryan Reynolds attend the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "IF" at the SVA Theatre on Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

John Krasinski, left, and Ryan Reynolds attend the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "IF" at the SVA Theatre on Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Ryan Reynolds poses with the character "Blue" at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "IF" at the SVA Theatre on Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Ryan Reynolds poses with the character "Blue" at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "IF" at the SVA Theatre on Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Cailey Fleming, left, and John Krasinski pose with the character "Blue" at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "IF" at the SVA Theatre on Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Cailey Fleming, left, and John Krasinski pose with the character "Blue" at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "IF" at the SVA Theatre on Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Starring 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, “IF” was an original idea from Krasinski, who wrote, directed and co-stars.

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.

There are several somewhat contradictory narratives swirling around its performance as well. With its PG-rating, “IF” was the first major family friendly film to open in theaters in weeks. And unlike a front-loaded superhero or horror movie, family pics are often running a marathon not a sprint. Last June, Pixar’s “Elemental” was assumed to be 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.

“IF” got middling reviews from critics (it's currently sitting at a “rotten” 49% on Rotten Tomatoes), but, as with “Elemental,” audiences gave it a solid A CinemaScore this weekend. The studio considers it a successful debut and is optimistic about its longevity as summer actually begins for school age children.

“I think it bodes well for moviegoing in general as we move into the summer movie season," Aronson said. "Kids are out of school starting this coming week and I couldn’t think of a better film to be in the marketplace than this one: It’s new, it’s fresh, its original, and it’s such a heartwarming film.”

“ Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes ” continues to be a bright spot. In just 10 days, it surpassed $100 million domestically and $237 million globally. It came in second place in its second weekend with $26 million (down 55%).

But there also hasn’t been a major movie moment akin to last year’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” “Barbie” or “Oppenheimer” in quite some time. Last year on this weekend “Fast X” opened to over $60 million.

“This is a very unusual summer. It got off to an unusual start without a Marvel movie," said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. “The box office has been in a holding pattern 20% down from last year.”

“IF” wasn’t the only new film to open this weekend either. Lionsgate’s horror “The Strangers—Chapter 1” overperformed with a $12 million debut from 2,856 locations. The innovative marketing campaign staged some viral moments by bringing the “strangers” to major events, from the Trump trial to Coachella.

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 flying to Prime Video on May 23.

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

Dergarabedian noted that Memorial Day weekend is a time when moviegoers play can play catch up with films they've missed and heard about. For a film like “IF," which picked up over the weekend with word of mouth buzz, that could bode well. Still, there is no sugar-coating the reality that the 2024 box office is not going to build on 2023.

"On almost every level this is a non-traditional summer in the lineup of films and the trajectory of the box office," Dergarbedian said. “But collectively these films should have a solid Memorial weekend.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “IF,” $35 million.

2. “Kingdom of hte Planet of the Apes,” $26 million.

3. “The Strangers—Chapter 1,” $12 million.

4. “The Fall Guy,” $8.5 million.

5. “Challengers,” $2.9 million.

6. “Back to Black,” $2.9 million.

7. “Tarot,” 2 million.

8. “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire,” $1.7 million.

9. “The Blue Angels,” $1.3 million.

10. “Unsung Hero,” $1.1 million.

This image released by Amazon Prime shows a scene from the documentary "The Blue Angels." (Amazon Prime via AP)

This image released by Amazon Prime shows a scene from the documentary "The Blue Angels." (Amazon Prime via AP)

Actor Marisa Abela attends the premiere of Focus Features' "Back to Black" at AMC Lincoln Square on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Actor Marisa Abela attends the premiere of Focus Features' "Back to Black" at AMC Lincoln Square on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

This image released by Focus Features shows Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse in a scene from "Back to Black." (Focus Features via AP)

This image released by Focus Features shows Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse in a scene from "Back to Black." (Focus Features via AP)

This image released by Focus Features shows Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse in a scene from "Back to Black." (Focus Features via AP)

This image released by Focus Features shows Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse in a scene from "Back to Black." (Focus Features via AP)

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Cailey Fleming, left, and Ryan Reynolds in a scene from "IF." (Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount Pictures via AP)

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Cailey Fleming, left, and Ryan Reynolds in a scene from "IF." (Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount Pictures via AP)

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Ryan Reynolds, from left, 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)

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Ryan Reynolds, from left, 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)

Emily Blunt, left, and John Krasinski pose with the character "Blue" at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "IF" at the SVA Theatre on Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Emily Blunt, left, and John Krasinski pose with the character "Blue" at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "IF" at the SVA Theatre on Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

John Krasinski, left, and Ryan Reynolds attend the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "IF" at the SVA Theatre on Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

John Krasinski, left, and Ryan Reynolds attend the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "IF" at the SVA Theatre on Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Ryan Reynolds poses with the character "Blue" at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "IF" at the SVA Theatre on Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Ryan Reynolds poses with the character "Blue" at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "IF" at the SVA Theatre on Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Cailey Fleming, left, and John Krasinski pose with the character "Blue" at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "IF" at the SVA Theatre on Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Cailey Fleming, left, and John Krasinski pose with the character "Blue" at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "IF" at the SVA Theatre on Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — Albania substitute Klaus Gjasula had the rare experience of scoring for both teams Wednesday in an intense 2-2 draw with Croatia that could make it difficult for each to survive the group stage at Euro 2024.

The Croatian players were particularly disappointed with the result in Hamburg after Gjasula's stoppage-time goal denied them a much-needed win after they lost 3-0 to Spain in their opening Group B match.

“My first minutes on the pitch were very, very difficult for me not only for the own goal but also other situations,” Gjasula said. “Then God wanted and gave me the opportunity to score. A very beautiful, historic day for me.”

In the first-ever competitive match between the two Balkan teams, Croatia tried to set the pace from the start, but it was Albania’s Qazim Laci who scored first, heading in a cross from the right flank in the 11th minute.

Andrej Kramaric equalized in the 74th minute before Gjasula's own goal made it 2-1 for Croatia just two minutes later.

At that point, Croatia looked in control but a late surge by Albania changed everything once again as Gjasula redeemed himself by scoring with a low shot in the 95th minute.

It was a thrilling end-to-match that leaves both Croatia and Albania in a precarious situation in the group. Albania lost to defending champion Italy 2-1 in its first match.

The third-place Albanians, who are ahead of Croatia on goal difference, celebrated the most after the match, while Luka Modric and his teammates — semifinalists at the 2022 World Cup — looked disappointed as they applauded the Croatian fans.

“We would have been a lot happier if we hadn’t conceded the last goal. The situation would have been totally different,” Kramaric said. “We turned the match, and we should have won. But that’s football."

The Volksparkstadion in Hamburg was split evenly between red-clad Albania fans and spectators in Croatia’s checkered shirt providing a loud and energetic atmosphere.

Fans in Croatia’s section set off flares repeatedly, despite warnings over the loudspeakers that it would result in disciplinary action.

Croatia struggled to create chances in the first half and could have faced a greater deficit but goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic blocked a shot from Kristjan Asllani and a header from Rey Manaj to keep it 1-0 at halftime.

The Croatians came out with more energy after the break and turned the match around in two minutes. Kramaric equalized with a shot just inside the post. And just moments later Gjasula was unlucky when Albania tried to clear the ball from the penalty area but it bounced off him and into the net for the fourth own goal of the tournament.

Albania coach Sylvinho said he was proud of his team's performance. Albania is playing only its second European Championship and was considered unlikely to advance out of the group.

“It was amazing. I will remember this game all my life,” he said.

Associated Press writer Llazar Semini in Tirana, Albania, contributed to this report.

AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

A young streaker, center right, embraces Albania's Elseid Hysaj after a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Jens Buettner/dpa via AP)

A young streaker, center right, embraces Albania's Elseid Hysaj after a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Jens Buettner/dpa via AP)

Albania's Berat Djimsiti, top, goes for a header with Croatia's Bruno Petkovic during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Albania's Berat Djimsiti, top, goes for a header with Croatia's Bruno Petkovic during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Albania's Klaus Gjasula, fourth from left, scores an own goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. ( Sina Schuldt/dpa via AP)

Albania's Klaus Gjasula, fourth from left, scores an own goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. ( Sina Schuldt/dpa via AP)

Croatia's Luka Modric, center, and his teammate stand on the pitch after a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Marcus Brandt/dpa via AP)

Croatia's Luka Modric, center, and his teammate stand on the pitch after a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Marcus Brandt/dpa via AP)

Croatia's Luka Modric waves during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Jens Buettner/dpa via AP)

Croatia's Luka Modric waves during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Jens Buettner/dpa via AP)

Albania's players celebrate after a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Sina Schuldt/dpa via AP)

Albania's players celebrate after a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Sina Schuldt/dpa via AP)

Albania's scorer Klaus Gjasula, third left, and his teammates celebrate their side's second goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Sina Schuldt/dpa via AP)

Albania's scorer Klaus Gjasula, third left, and his teammates celebrate their side's second goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Sina Schuldt/dpa via AP)

Albania's Klaus Gjasula, left, scores his side's second goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Albania's Klaus Gjasula, left, scores his side's second goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Albania's Kristjan Asllani, left, and Croatia's Luka Modric, right, talk after a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Sina Schuldt/dpa via AP)

Albania's Kristjan Asllani, left, and Croatia's Luka Modric, right, talk after a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Sina Schuldt/dpa via AP)

Albania's Qazim Laci, left, heads the ball past Croatia's Marcelo Brozovic to score the opening goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Albania's Qazim Laci, left, heads the ball past Croatia's Marcelo Brozovic to score the opening goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Croatia fans cheer during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Croatia fans cheer during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Croatia's scorer Andrej Kramaric, left, and his teammate Luka Sucic, right, celebrate their side's first goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Jens Buettner/dpa via AP)

Croatia's scorer Andrej Kramaric, left, and his teammate Luka Sucic, right, celebrate their side's first goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Jens Buettner/dpa via AP)

Croatia's Andrej Kramaric, right, celebrates with teammate Luka Sucic after scoring their side's first goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Croatia's Andrej Kramaric, right, celebrates with teammate Luka Sucic after scoring their side's first goal during a Group B match between Croatia and Albania at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

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