June 19, 2016

Behind the US/Worldwide Box Office – 6/19/16


OPENINGS:  FINDING DORY (Pixar/Disney) had a 17% Saturday drop, which is on the high side for an animated blockbuster (Inside Out fell 10% on its 2d day, Monsters University was down 6%, and Minions 16%).  That suggest that the overall multiple from opening weekend may not reach the heady heights that Pixar is used to.  But with the highest animated opening in history at $136.2M, even if it only triples that number (Inside Out ended up almost 4x its start), it will top $400M, so there’s nothing much to worry about.  Dory is opening gradually overseas, and earned $50M in 29 markets (including China, but not yet Europe) that reportedly cover around 1/3 of the world.

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE (New Line/RatPac/Universal/Warners) had a solid $34.5M weekend, slightly better (at least in studio estimates) than the $33.8M opening for Get Hard, which totaled $90.4M in the US, and slightly lower than the $35.2M start for Ride Along 2, which reached $90.9M.  So whether his co-star is Ice Cube, Will Ferrell or Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart’s audience seems to be extremely steady.  The downside here is that Central Intelligence was somewhat more expensive than the other 2 films (total worldwide costs will be around $150M), but that might even out if Johnson proves to be more of an international draw than Hart’s other partners.  So far, Central has taken in $6.8M in 24 markets, an OK if unspectacular launch, and it will also widen gradually.

HOLDOVERS:  The first Conjuring dropped just 47% in its 2d weekend, a remarkable hold for a horror movie, but THE CONJURING 2 (New Line/RatPac/Warners) had a steeper sequel drop of 62% to $15.6M.  Conjuring 2 is running $15M below its predecessor, but that gap will probably widen, considering that the sequel is falling faster.  Nevertheless, Conjuring 2 has a good chance of hitting $100M in the US, which is nothing to complain about for the genre.  Overseas, Conjuring 2 is even stronger, with $116.2M after a $41.9M weekend in 57 territories, and with several more markets to come, it should top the first Conjuring‘s $180.6M foreign total, putting the franchise in healthy shape.

NOW YOU SEE ME 2 (Summit/Lionsgate) fell 57% to $9.9M in its 2d weekend, but that studio estimate counts on a tremendous Father’s Day, with almost no drop from Saturday, so it may shift downward with final numbers tomorrow.  As it is, that drop is much worse than the 35% decline for Weekend 2 of the first Now You See Me, which means that the sequel, already 30% below the parallel total of the original, will underperform even more strongly over time, probably totaling only half of Now‘s $117.7M US total.  Nor does it seem likely that overseas will bail it out, with $49.7M so far after a $15.8M weekend in 54 territories.  It’s not going to get anywhere close to Now‘s $234M international total, and even though a third installment has been announced, that’s suddenly looking like a risky proposition.

It’s bad enough that WARCRAFT (Legendary/Universal) plunged 73% in its 2d US weekend to $6.5M, and now seems as though it won’t get past $50M here.  The much worse news is that it’s quickly running out of steam overseas, including in China, where it earned only $23.5M, down a horrible 85% from last week.  The moral is that even China knows a terrible movie when it sees one.  Overall, Warcraft earned $41.2M in 56 territories, for a $339.9M total, and even though there are a few markets yet to open (including Japan and South America), it now seems like Warcraft won’t hit $500M worldwide, the bare minimum it would have needed to break even, considering the percentage of its total from China, where studios are allowed to retain just a small portion of ticket sales.

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE (TSG/20th) dropped 48% in the US to $5.2M, and is still headed for a merely OK $160M.  Overseas, it’s at $364.1M after a $12.8M weekend.  Japan is the only major market left to open, and since the last X-Men earned under $10M there, the worldwide total will probably be around $550M, nearly a $200M drop from Days of Future Past, and with little profit on a $300M+ investment.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS (Nickelodeon/Movie Media Group/Alibaba/Paramount) is another franchise in decline.  In the US it’s at $71.9M after a 64% drop to $5.2M, and will wind up at less than half of its predecessor’s $191.2M.  Overseas, a $10.5M weekend in 50 markets put it at $70.8M.  China is still to come, but with a $250M+ cost, TMNT may be returning to its shell.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (Marvel/Disney) became the first movie of 2016 to hit $400M in the US, but it still may not reach the $409M of Iron Man 3, much less the $459M of Avengers: Age of Ultron, making it a mild disappointment for what is for all intents and purposes an Avengers movie.  Its $743.6M overseas total is also below Iron 3‘s $806.4M and Ultron‘s $946.4M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  There were no major openings this week.  GENIUS (Roadside) expanded to 113 theatres with an OK $2300 per-theatre average.  The documentary WEINER (IFC) hit the $1M mark after 5 weeks of release, a nice total for a film also available on VOD.  DEPALMA (A24) widened to 19 theatres and averaged $2K.  DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID (Cohen), now at 9 theatres, averaged $1900.  The two major performers of the season, LOVE & FRIENDSHIP (Amazon/Roadside) and THE LOBSTER (A24) have now dropped out of wide release, but performed admirably, currently at $11M and $6.3M respectively.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Finding Dory had no trouble recapturing the Finding Nemo audience 13 years later, but can INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE (20th) do the same after two decades and without Will Smith?  That’s the big box office question next week.  It won’t face much competition, as the only other wide releases are the Civil War drama FREE STATE OF JONES (STX) and small-scale thriller THE SHALLOWS (Columbia/Sony).  Arthouses will try to park up with the arrivals of SWISS ARMY MAN (A24), THE NEON DEMON (Broad Green) and HUNT FOR THE WILDER-PEOPLE (Orchard).

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."