July 12, 2014

Behind the Friday Box Office – 7/11/14


OPENINGS:  DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (20th), with $27.7M on Friday and a likely $70M weekend, will probably have a significant US box office bump over its predecessor Rise ($176.8M, after a $54.8M opening), but it won’t necessarily be more profitable, since Dawn cost a reported $75M more to produce and probably somewhat more to market as well.  However, Dawn will leave the franchise in improved shape going forward, thanks to its wide acclaim.  With no mega-openings on the way until Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, it also has the chance for a longer hold than the summer’s previous blockbusters.

BEGIN AGAIN (Weinstein) didn’t succeed in enchanting wide audiences after an expansion to 939 theatres.  It’s probably headed for a $3M weekend (it earned $824K on Friday) and a $3K per-theatre average, roughly 15% of Dawn‘s average.

HOLDOVERS:  Although TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (Paramount) will cross $200M today (it should have a $16-17M weekend after $4.8M on Friday, down 55% from last Friday), it’s proving to be remarkably less successful than the other movies in the franchise.  In the US, the movie will be down more than 30% from Transformers 3, and more than $150M from Transformers 2.  (Inconveniently, this is also the first entry in the franchise to feature a major box office star who probably received a significant back-end deal.)  This weekend it expands into World Cup territories, and will need strong performances there if it’s to come anywhere close to the $1.1B worldwide mark of Transformers 3.

TAMMY (Warners) had a fairly good hold, down 37% from last Friday to $4M, although that’s somewhat misleading since it opened on a Wednesday.  It should hit $12M for the weekend, on its way to $75-80M, and probably a wash in terms of profitability due to the usual super-expensive Warners marketing campaign.  Working against it:  the arrival of R-rated comedy Sex Tape on Friday.

Last weekend’s other openings had similar holds to TammyEARTH TO ECHO (Relativity) was down 34% from last Friday to $1.8M, and DELIVER US FROM EVIL (Screen Gems/Sony) was down 38% to $1.6M.  Both are on their way to $5-6M weekends and $35M totals.

22 JUMP STREET (Columbia/Sony), down 19% from last Friday to $2.1M, and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (DreamWorks Animation/20th), down 37% to $1.8M, are still selling tickets, but are on the tail end of their runs.  22 Jump should end up with an excellent $185M in the US, with Dragon–which cost far more–at an underperforming $165M.  (Both movies also face direct competition next weekend, 22 Jump from Sex Tape, and Dragon from Disney.)

CHEF (Open Road) finally took a significant Friday hit, down 38% to $335K, but should still reach $25M before it’s done.

LIMITED RELEASE:  BOYHOOD (IFC), riding a tide of critical hosannas, should open to a superb $65K average at 5 NY/LA theatres.  The question will be whether the lengthy and decidedly non-plot-driven film can break past big-city arthouses.  LAND HO (Sony Pictures Classics) is having a much more modest start, probably heading for a weekend $8500 average at 4.  SNOWPIERCER (Weinstein/Radius), also available on VOD, expanded to 356 theatres, but will probably have only a $1750 average for the weekend.  The expansion for THIRD PERSON (Sony Pictures Classics) was even weaker, with a $1K per-theatre average likely at 227.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Several demos are being served by Hollywood next week, with thriller fans getting THE PURGE: ANARCHY (Universal), sequel to last year’s $64.5M low-budget surprise hit; raunchy laughs from SEX TAPE (Columbia/Sony); and PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE (Disney) for families.  I ORIGINS (Fox Searchlight) enters limited release, as so Zach Braff’s WISH I WAS HERE (Focus/Universal) and Michel Gondry’s MOOD INDIGO (Drafthouse).


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."