June 21, 2014

Behind the Friday Box Office – 6/20/14


OPENINGS:  THINK LIKE A MAN TOO (Screen Gems/Sony) had almost exactly the same start as the first Think, up $75K from that movie’s opening day at $12.2M.  Being a sequel, though, it will likely fail to reach Think‘s $33.6M opening weekend or $91.5M US total.  Despite a somewhat larger production cost this time around ($40M compared to $20M), Too will still be very profitable, and a third installment will almost certainly be on the way.

Launching the older-skewing musical biograpphy JERSEY BOYS (Warners) in the middle of summer movie season was a risk, and one that isn’t paying off for the studio or director Clint Eastwood, as the musical adaptation got indifferent reviews and performed similarly with a $4.6M opening day.  The hope will be for a long run, but with blockbusters continuing to pour into theatres every week, it’s going to be tough to hold onto a sizable number of screens.

THE ROVER (A24) expanded disastrously to 595 theatres with just $160K, and will likely average less than $1000 per theatre for the weekend.  Whatever Robert Pattinson’s fans want to see him in post-Twilight, it’s not a violent post-apocalyptic art film.

HOLDOVERS:  22 JUMP STREET (Columbia/Sony) fell 63% from last week’s opening day to $9.4M, heading for a likely $27M weekend.  That will still be larger than the $20M 2d weekend for 21 Jump Street, but the gap is narrowing, and 22 may not end up much higher than 21‘s $138.4M US total–probably not enough to cover the sequel’s increased production costs.  (However, there is the possibility of real upside overseas.)

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (DreamWorks Animation/20th) is suddenly shaping up as one of the most surprising box office disappointments of the summer season.  Despite having no competition aside from the longrunning Maleficent, Dragon 2 dropped an ugly 59% from its opening day to  $7.6M, heading for a weekend that may not reach $25M.  That will actually be down from the $29M weekend 2 of the first Dragon, and running out of gas much more quickly.  There seems to be little chance that Dragon 2 will even get near the first movie’s $216.6M US total.  This is awful news for DreamWorks Animation, which was in desperate need of a big hit.

MALEFICENT (Disney), meanwhile, was down just 31% from last Friday in its 4th week of release, at $4M. It should have $185M by the end of this weekend, and is well on its way to topping $200M in the US.  THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (20th) dropped another 51% to $3.1M, and will be at just about $100M by the end of the weekend.  EDGE OF TOMORROW (Warners), which of course is far more expensive than Fault, is struggling to reach the same level, although it’s definitely holding well, down a mere 34% from last Friday to $3M. Whether it crawls to $100M in the US or not, its fate is entirely a matter of its overseas performance.

The best hold among the current crop of releases was once again CHEF (Open Road), down a tiny 21% from last Friday to $480K.  It looks like it should climb above $20M before it’s done, a strong result for a small film.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THIRD PERSON (Sony Pictures Classics) is off to a tepid start, with a likely $8K weekend average in 5 NY/LA theatres.

NEXT WEEKEND:  TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (Paramount) has every chance of becoming the year’s biggest opener to date, with nothing else even trying to challenge it.  The last Transformers (which featured a different cast, although Michael Bay remains as director) opened to $97.9M on its way to a $352.4M haul in the US, and like that installment, Transformers 4 will hold its reign through the following holiday weekend.  A few (much) smaller productions will open in limited release:  the comedy-drama with music BEGIN AGAIN (Weinstein), international action spectacle SNOWPIERCER (Weinstein), and conservative doc AMERICA (Lionsgate).

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."