March 19, 2017

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 03.19.2017


OPENINGS:  According to published reports, Emma Watson’s deal on BEAUTY & THE BEAST (Disney) starts at a $3M base, but rises to $15M if the film reaches around $750M worldwide.  It seems like Watson can safely buy any Lamborghini that’s caught her eye, because Beauty is a global blockbuster.  In the US, Disney’s $170M weekend estimate may actually be conservative:  the film dipped 2% on Saturday (frontloaded for a giant family film, playing more like a sequel), and should hold very well on Sunday, where Disney is estimating a 31% drop, but movies like Toy Story 3, Despicable Me 2, and Finding Dory went down 14-24%.  Overseas, it’s at $180M and hasn’t yet opened in territories like France, Australia, and especially Japan, where Finding Dory earned $66M.  A $1B worldwide total is certainly within reach.

A very mild bit of counterprograming came from the ultra-low-budget bloodbath THE BELKO EXPERIMENT (BH Tilt/Orion/Universal), which is testing the Blumhouse low-rent model with a $4.1M opening that may not get it to $10M in theatres.

HOLDOVERS:  KONG: SKULL ISLAND (Legendary/Tencent/Warners) had a fair 53% drop to $28.9M in its 2d weekend, much better than Godzilla‘s 67% plunge (although it assumes a very strong Sunday, so we’ll see if that number holds up).  It’s still performing at a lower level than that other monster (Godzilla‘s 2d weekend was $30.9M), and seems to be heading for a $175M US total.  Overseas, it had a $38.5M weekend for a $149.2M total, with China and Japan yet to open.  Those 2 territories will probably be the difference between breakeven and a modest profit (Godzilla earned $107.5M in the 2 of them combined), depending on how they perform, but in any case this is a wildly expensive franchise play for Warners that seems to be B level at best.

LOGAN (TSG/20th) declined 54% in the US to $17.5M, and should reach $215M.  Overseas, it’s at $340M after a $31.5M weekend ,with Japan still on the horizon (not a particularly big X-Men market).  If it reaches $600M worldwide, it will be the #3 title in the franchise, behind Deadpool‘s $783.1M and Days of Future Past‘s $747.9M, although considerably less expensive than the latter.

GET OUT (Blumhouse/QC/Universal) continued to enjoy championship holds, down 36% in its 4th weekend to $13.2M.  It will pass Split‘s $136.9M by next week to become Blumhouse’s #1 movie ever in the US–which, yes, means that Blumhouse has had the 2 biggest films of its history within the same 3 months.  Get Out has just started its international campaign with $2.9M in 9 markets.

THE SHACK (Lionsgate) was down 39% to $6.1M, still on track for $55M in the US, but falling faster than Miracles Can Happen, which slipped 25% in its 3rd weekend.

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (Warners Animation) didn’t feel much pain from the arrival of Beauty, down 38% to $4.7M, and on its way to $175M in the US.  However, things aren’t nearly as bright overseas, where it’s at $120M after a $2.4M weekend in 57 markets.  That compares to a $211.4M international total for The LEGO Movie, and while LEGO Batman will be moderately profitable, it’s another problematic franchise for Warners.

LIMITED RELEASE:  T2: TRAINSPOTTING (TriStar/Sony) had a solid start with a $36K per-theatre average at 5.  Terrence Malick’s SONG TO SONG (Broad Green) was less tuneful, averaging $13.5K at 4, which is even lower than the $15K opening weekend average for his Knight Of Cups, a film that didn’t reach $600K in the US.  THE SENSE OF AN ENDING (CBS) expanded blandly to 282 with a $1700 average.  THE LAST WORD (Bleecker Street) was also lagging with an expansion to 94 that generated a $2K average.  PERSONAL SHOPPER (IFC) widened to 35 with a $4500 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  A grab-bag of offerings that includes the big-budget outer space horror movie LIFE (Columbia/Sony), R-rated comedy CHIPS (Warners) and kiddie reboot POWER RANGERS (Lionsgate).  The major limited release is WILSON (Fox Searchlight), which didn’t cause much of a stir when it premiered at Sundance.

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."