August 31, 2014

Behind the Labor Day Weekend US/Worldwide Box Office – 8/31/14


OPENINGS:  AS ABOVE/SO BELOW (Universal) and THE NOVEMBER MAN (Relativity) are both quietly making their way to oblivion with $8.3 and $7.7M weekends (each may add $1.5-2M on Monday).  November Man, with its older audience, may hold up a bit better over the longish term, but neither picture is likely to get above $25M in the US, and even with low costs, there isn’t going to be any profit for their distributors.

HOLDOVERS:  GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (Marvel/Disney) added $16.3M to its US coffers this weekend (down a tiny 5% from last weekend, with a US total of $274.6M) and $19.7M overseas (total:  $273.1M).  It could still reach $300M+ here, and internationally it has openings in China, Japan and Italy ahead, which should put it at $650M+ worldwide before it’s done, higher than the worldwide totals for the first in the Iron Man, Captain America and Thor subfranchises.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (Nickelodeon/Paramount) is also thriving, down 30% from last weekend to $11.7M and a $162.4M total in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $112.1M after a $13M weekend, and has many more territories still to open.

IF I STAY (MGM/Warners) dropped 41%, not bad for a teen-targeted drama, to a $9.3M weekend and $29.8M to date, with $50M still a possibility.  (It’s also made $4.6M so far overseas.)  LET’S BE COPS (20th), the only comedy around, slipped just 24% to $8.2M and a $57.3M total (plus $9.8M overseas).  WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL (Affirm/TriStar/Sony) held well but not exceptionally given its target audience and the holiday weekend, down 33% to $5.7M and a $16.3M total.

THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY (DreamWorks/Disney) and–more surprisingly–THE GIVER (Weinstein) are looking very sharp.  Giver was down a mere 18% in its 3rd weekend to $5.2M and a $31.5M total, although it still won’t get much past $40M.  Hundred-Foot has been a favorite of its older audience, and it slipped just 14% in its 4th weekend to $4.6M and a $39.4M total, with hopes of reaching $50M.

LUCY (Universal) is on the downside of its US run, reducing 23% to $2.7M and a $117.8M total, but its big news was overseas, where it took in a tremendous $31.2M and has a $151.6M total with more territories to come.  It was outdone only by DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (20th), thanks to that movie hitting the promised land of China, where it opened with a huge $47M.  (Remember, though, that studios see a much lower percentage of China ticket sales than anywhere else in the world.)  Its $405.9M overseas total is now almost double the $205.2M it’s made in the US, and by next weekend the balance will be even more overseas-centric.

CHEF (Open Road) expanded back to 757 theatres for the weekend, and hit its $30M goal.

LIMITED RELEASE:  CANTINFLAS (Lionsgate) had a fair $2.6M start at 382 theatres, giving it a $6900 per-theatre average.  That’s fine for a release targeted specifically at the Latino audience, but nowhere near what Lionsgate did with Instructions Not Included last year, which aimed at the same audience and earned $7.8M.   THE LAST OF ROBIN HOOD (IDP) had an $11.5K average at 2 NY/LA arthouses.  CALVARY (Fox Searchlight) expanded its theatre count  by 1/3 to 322 but only increased 1% for the weekend, with a $1600 per-theatre average.  LOVE IS STRANGE (Sony Classics), now in 27 theatres, had an OK $9700 average.  THE TRIP TO ITALY (IFC) is doing nicely for a film also available on VOD, with a $6500 average at 66 theatres.

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."