April 2, 2017

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 04.02.2017


OPENINGS:  We’ll see how the numbers hold up in tomorrow’s finals, but for now at least THE BOSS BABY (DreamWorks Animation/20th) is the weekend winner with $49M, considerably better than expectations.  The only dour note on the success is that it was rather frontloaded for a family non-sequel, with a 28% Saturday bump.  That compares to 39% for Home, DreamWorks Animation’s 2015 March opening, which had a similar $52.1M first weekend.  Home ultimately had a 3.4x multiple on its opening weekend for a $177.4M US total, and Boss Baby will hope to end up in a similar place.  Overseas, Boss Baby is now in 34 markets (less than half the world) and earned $36.2M this weekend for a $59M total (Home had a different international release plan, so its numbers aren’t on point).  With around $275M in worldwide production/marketing costs, Boss Baby is likely to be moderately profitable.

GHOST IN THE SHELL (DreamWorks/Reliance/Paramount) had a weak US start with $19M, and it’s likely to struggle to get much past a $50M total here.  With $225M+ in costs, its fate will be determined overseas, and it had a merely OK start with $40.1M in 52 territories, although those didn’t include the critical China and Japan markets.  Considering the small portion of revenues that China allows US studios to retain, however, at best Ghost will be fighting to reach breakeven.

THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE (Focus/Universal) had a solid $3.3M opening in a barely-wide 541 theatres.  It seems to be aiming for the trajectory of Woman In Gold, another Holocaust-themed drama with a female lead that opened in April 2015 and earned $33.3M.  Wife is starting in roughly double the theatres as Woman, so its weekend total is higher, while its per-theatre average is lower.  Woman was popular enough to stay in 100+ theatres into July, and Wife will look for that kind of longevity.

SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (Columbia/Sony) got an early start on next week’s US release with a slim $15.1M in 32 overseas markets.

HOLDOVERS:  BEAUTY & THE BEAST (Disney) was nosed out of first place for the weekend, but even if the numbers stay that way tomorrow, there’s no need to feel bad for it.  Despite the direct competition, Beauty only dropped 47% for the weekend, and with $47.5M it reached $395.5M in the US.  It might run out of gas before reaching $500M, but it should end up in that neighborhood.  Things are even better overseas, where Beauty had a $66.5M weekend and is at $480.8M, with Japan still to open.  At this point, a $1B worldwide haul is all but a sure thing.

POWER RANGERS (Lionsgate) isn’t attracting audiences beyond the core fans, dropping 64% on its 2d weekend to $14.5M.  It should still get to $90M in the US, but has $200M+ in costs to earn back.  What has to scare its investors is that it’s only at $32.7M overseas after an $8.1M weekend in 70 markets, although Japan, France and Korea are among those still to open.  The idea of a viable franchise seems increasingly unlikely.

KONG: SKULL ISLAND (Legendary/Tencent/Warners) was down 40% in the US to $8.8M, on its way to $165M, about 20% below GodzillaKong is making its money overseas, where it earned another $34.6M in 67 markets for a $329.5M total (already over Godzilla’s $328.4M final).  That number isn’t quite as good as it sounds, since $124M of it comes from China, where Kong is treated as a US production even though the co-production entities are Chinese-owned.  Still, this should be a profitable enterprise for Warners.

LOGAN (TSG/20th) dropped 40% to $6.2M, heading for $225M in the US, and at $373.6M overseas following a $5.2M weekend in 63 territories.  GET OUT (Blumhouse/QC/Universal) fell only 34% in its 6th weekend to $5.8M, and if it can hold onto its theatres, it can still make a run for $175M.  Its overseas run is at $10.3M after a $2.3M weekend in 16 markets.

LIFE (Columbia/Sony) fell 55% from its anemic opening to $5.6M, and it may not get past $35M in the US.  There’s little hope of any help overseas, either, where it’s at $28.6M after a disastrous $6.3M weekend in 57 markets.  CHIPS (Village Roadshow/Warners) is the only comedy around, and that may have contributed to a moderate 48% drop to $4.1M, although it’s still unlikely to reach $25M in the US (it’s at $3.9M overseas after a dull but not unexpected $1.4M in 33 territories where the TV show has little meaning), which won’t pay for its marketing campaign.

LIMITED RELEASE:  CARRIE PILBY (Orchard) opened with a mild $2200 average at 6 theatres.  T2 TRAINSPOTTING (TriStar/Sony) continued its gradual expansion and is now at 140 theatres, where it averaged an OK $2900.  PERSONAL SHOPPER (IFC) widened to 150 with a $1100 average.  FRANTZ (Music Box) averaged $2300 at 37.  RAW (Focus World/Universal) averaged $1700 at 42.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Apart from the US opening of Smurfs: The Lost Village, the only other major studio release is the geriatric caper comedy GOING IN STYLE (Warners).  In addition, the Christian THE CASE FOR CHRIST (Pure Flix) will aim at the Easter season audience.  Limited releases include GIFTED (Fox Searchlight), THEIR FINEST (STX), GRADUATION (IFC) and COLOSSAL (Neon). 



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."