March 27, 2016

Behind the US/Worldwide Box Office – 3/27/16


OPENINGS:  BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (DC/RatPac/Warners) weathered a 38% Saturday drop and is currently estimating a $170.1M weekend.  That would make it Warners’ #1 US opening ever, beating the final Harry Potter‘s $169.2M, but that includes an aggressive Easter Sunday estimate, so it may fall behind by tomorrow.  (Depending on how that plays out, BvS will be the #6 or #7 US opening ever.)  That record aside, this weekend gives Warners cause for a massive sigh of relief.  The 2.07 Friday-to-weekend multiple wasn’t great (Jurassic World was at 2.54, and The Avengers was 2.56), bespeaking the less than thrilled audience response.  That doesn’t bode well for its ultimate tally, but at this level of number, BvS will be huge anyway, not just providing a profit on the $400M+ investment, but opening the way to the many future DC spectacles.  Audiences turned out overseas as well, with $254M in an opening that covered virtually the entire world.  That’s the #4 international opening of all time, although it’s a bit misleading, because very few films have managed a true worldwide opening that includes China.  Jurassic World, one that did, opened with $316.1M.  The other studios have given Warners a great gift by remaining dormant next weekend, which should help cushion the probably large Weekend 2 decline (Weekend 2 drops for the Top 10 US openings range from 40% for The Force Awakens to 72% for Deathly Hallows 2), but whether BvS will exceed $350M in the US and $800M worldwide are still open questions.

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 (Gold Circle/Universal) was happy to pick up the BvS crumbs with a $18.1M weekend.  Its 12% Saturday drop indicated a fair amount of frontloading, considering its older audiene, but it should still make its way to $50M+, not comparable to the original Big Fat‘s $241.4M, but still profitable.

HOLDOVERS:  ZOOTOPIA (Disney) was buoyed by kids out of school and not very badly dinged by BvS, down 38% to $23.1M and a $240.5M US total that keeps it on track for $300M.  It’s also thriving internationally at $456.2M after a $42.5M weekend.  It’s close to $700M worldwide, and may have the gas to hit $800M.

ALLEGIANT (Summit/Lionsgate) would have suffered against BvS even if it had been a good movie, but since it’s not, it got clobbered, sinking by 67% to $9.5M and a $46.6M US total that may not get to $70M.  Its $9.5M overseas weekend, in 78 territories covering most of the world, and $71.8M international total are just as woeful.  Rumors are already abounding that the studio is slashing the budget for the final Divergent film, which will be an ignominious way to end the franchise.

MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN (Affirm/TriStar/Sony) was aimed at Easter weekend, and connected with its audience, slipping just 36% to $9.5M and a $34.1M US total.  It will be quite profitable against its moderate costs, although not the level of mainstream hit of Heaven Is For Real‘s $91.4M.

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE (Bad Robot/Paramount) fell 52% to $6M, still aiming for $70M in the US.  The surprise, though, is that DEADPOOL (20th) held strongly in the face of BvS, down just 38% to $5M for a $349.5M US total, still with a chance of outgrossing the new superheroes in town on a fraction of their budget.  Deadpool is also at $396.5M overseas, without the benefit of a China engagement.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Neither of the weekend’s arthouse music biographies was particularly tuneful, with a $16K per-theatre average at 3 for BORN TO BE BLUE (IFC) and a $10K average at 5 for I SAW THE LIGHT (Sony Classics)HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS (Roadside) expanded to a near-wide 488 theatre run with a mild $3500 average.  EYE IN THE SKY (Bleecker Street) widened more moderately to 123 theatres with a $8K average.  MARGUERITE (Cohen Media) had a $1600 average at 30, and KRISHA (A24) had a $1700 average at 22.  MIDNIGHT SPECIAL (Warners), which held at 5 theatres, had a discouraging 49% drop, although that still gave it a $19K average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  As noted, the major studios are taking the week off, with the only scheduled wide openings being the targeted releases GOD’S NOT DEAD 2 (Pure Flix) and MEET THE BLACKS (Freestyle).  Yet another musical bio hits theatres with the arrival of MILES AHEAD (Sony Classics).

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."