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Movie Monday: ‘Civil War’ Wins Box-Office Battle

It wasn’t exactly a rout. But newcomer Civil Wardid claim the theatrical high ground and plant its flag on the box-office hilltop this weekend.

Civil War, a bloody R-rated drama that takes place in the not-so-distant future, earned a tidy $25.7 million in North America. That’s the highest opening ever for its studio, A24. But given the film cost A24 nearly twice that to make (not to mention promotional costs), Civil War still has a fight on its hands to find a profit. And given that the film is so U.S.-centric—it hasn’t even been released overseas yet—that’ll make the dollars even harder to come by.

Still, Civil War did topple two-time champ Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, and that’s no mean feat. (Just ask any of the monsters they’ve tangled with over the years.) Godzilla x Kong still earned nearly $15.5 million, according to early estimates. That pushes the film’s domestic total to $157.9 million. Add in its significant overseas earnings, and Godzilla x Kong has earned a near-kaiju-sized $436.5 million.

Another film with empire in the title—Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire—finished a distant third. The latest Ghostbusters sequel collected $5.8 million stateside to push its total earnings to nearly $97 million.

Meanwhile, the year’s two biggest blockbusters so far—Kung Fu Panda 4and Dune: Part Two—tangled for the final two spots in our top five countdown. The panda proved to be the stronger contender this weekend, finishing with $5.5 million. It has now earned $173.7 million this year domestically and $452.6 million worldwide—making it 2024’s second-biggest film in both categories.

But don’t weep for Dune. (No, really, don’t. The Fremen hate it when people cry.) Dune: Part Two might’ve finished fifth with a ho-hum $4.2 million. But during its seven-week run, Part Two has tallied a sandworm-sized $272.1 million, making it by far the biggest hit of 2024. And worldwide, it’s total haul is a spicy $683.9 million. That might make even a grumpy member of House Harkonnen smile.

Looking down the list a little, The Long Game putted in for a $1.4 million, eighth-place finish, behind Monkey Man ($4.1 million) and The First Omen ($3.8 million). And the re-release of Shrek 2 earned the ogre $1.35 million. Not that it really needed any more cash, mind you: Back in 2004, the green thing earned $935.3 million worldwide—making it the year’s highest-grossing film. Talk about piling on.

Paul Asay

Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

One Response

  1. I was meaning to mention this last week: In your “The First Omen” review, thank you for being thorough and lucid about the specific kinds of content the movie contains, especially with regard to specific parts of the body. I grew up in a Christian culture that was sometimes very prudish, and they would have spoken of such details—if at all—with unnecessary embarrassment or euphemism, but you did not.

    From reading that review, and the linked Variety article, I can see the message they want to send — “Forced birth is bad” — and that’s a good message, but the synopsis of the film makes it sound more like the baby (the monster, or the Antichrist, or what have you) is the problem, when it’s really not. That seems more like it sends the message that childbirth is a bad thing, even if that accidentally echoes the ways that many babies have been treated in history and in contemporary thought (babies whose mothers are not citizens, babies who are of mixed “races,” babies who are deemed to be ethnically ‘replacing’ those of another group).

    Likewise with your review of Irena’s Vow—”It has one of the clearest messages against abortion I’ve seen in a secular film in years.” It does? I haven’t seen the movie yet, but it talking about abortion per se (as opposed to eugenics against people who are already here) isn’t something I usually hear World War II films or films about the Nazi regime bring up.