January 7, 2018

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 1.7.2018


OPENINGS:  By horror movie standards, INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY (Blumhouse/Universal) didn’t collapse on Saturday (down 13%), and that propelled it to a very solid $29.3M weekend, which among horror product in that first-weekend-in-January slot puts it behind only The Devil Inside‘s $33.7M (by way of comparison, that one fell 30% on its Saturday).  Last Key also earned $20.1M in 33 international markets.  All of which means that Blumhouse, which had a spectacular 2017, is off to a hot start again in the new year, with profit on this one a certainty.

MOLLY’S GAME (STX) jumped from limited release to 1608 theatres with a fair $7M.  Its future will very much depend on its success in awards season, starting with tonight’s Golden Globes.  It’s earned $5.4M overseas in a scattering of markets.

Although DARKEST HOUR (Focus/Universal) was already at the low end of wide release, it upped its theatre count by more than 80% to 1733 theatres, but emerged with a mild 16% weekend bump to $6.4M.  It’s on track to reach $40M in the US, which would put it with The Big Sick‘s $42.9M as one of 2017’s biggest indie releases, but it badly needs Gary Oldman to start winning awards, once again starting with tonight’s Globes.  Overseas, it’s at $7.4M in a few territories.

HOLDOVERS:  JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (Columbia/Sony) is turning into a powerhouse, down 28% from last week’s holiday weekend to $36M, with $300M in the US now in its grasp.  It’s also strong overseas, where it’s reached $275M after a $70M weekend in most of the world but with China opening next weekend.  The only surprise at this point is that a sequel hasn’t been officially announced, which is probably a function of the deals that have to be made for it to happen.

In the US, the 55% post-holiday drop (to $23.6M) for STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (Lucasfilim/Disney) isn’t as bad as it looks:  Force Awakens fell 53% on the same weekend, and Rogue One was down 56%, these big drops seemingly inevitable for blockbusters that open as big as as these do.  The remaining US box office question is whether it will be able to pass The Avengers‘ $623.4M to become the #5 film of all time.  Overseas, though, the news from China was just plain bad, a $28.7M opening weekend that’s below not just Force Awakens ($53.3M) but also Rogue One ($30M).  That will hold down Last Jedi‘s international total, which is currently at $632.7M after a $67.4M weekend.  Worldwide, Last Jedi should reach $1.3B, farther below Force Awakens‘ $2.1B than Disney would have liked.

Other than films that expanded their theatre count, THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (20th) had the best hold in the Top 10, down just 11% to $13.8M.  It now seems likely to reach $100M in the US, and it’s at $74.5M overseas after a $24M weekend in 74 territories.  Despite all this, Greatest Showman may still only reach breakeven on $225M in production/marketing costs, but that looked like a fantasy just a couple of weeks ago, so it’s nothing to scoff at.

PITCH PERFECT 3 (Gold Circle/Perfect World/Universal) dropped 39% from the holiday weekend to $10.2M, and may get to $105M in the US, down more than 40% from Pitch 2.  Overseas, it’s at $55M after an $18.1M weekend, and is also facing modest profit at best.

FERDINAND (Blue Sky/20th) dipped 32% to $7.7M in the US, still on track for $85M, but with direct competition arriving next weekend from Paddington 2.  It’s similarly modest overseas, where it’s at $112.8M after a $23.3M weekend in 69 markets.

COCO (Pixar/Disney) continued its climb toward $205M in the US with a 26% drop to $5.6M.  Internationally, it’s at $397M after a $19.9M weekend in 38 territories, and with some major countries like the UK and Japan still to open.

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD (Imperative/TriStar/Sony) hasn’t gotten the awards support it needed, and it’s still on track for a tepid $30M in the US after a 36% drop to $3.6M.  Early in its overseas run, it’s ta $7.5M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  The news was in expansions of awards contenders.  THE POST (DreamWorks/Reliance/Participant/20th) widened superbly to 36 theatres with a $47K per-theatre average, well ahead of Lady Bird‘s $32K average at 37.  I, TONYA (Neon) leaped to 242 theatres with a solid $10K average, almost exactly the same at Lady Bird‘s performance at 238.  HOSTILES (Entertainment Services) went to 46 theatres with a subdued $6700 average (and that studio estimate assumes an extraordinarily good Sunday hold).  Moving more slowly, PHANTOM THREAD (Focus/Universal) added just 2 theatres for a total of 6 and averaged $41K.  CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (Sony Classics) inched into 2 more theatres for a total of 117 and averaged $6500, considerably below the $11K that The Shape of Water averaged at 158).  HAPPY END (Sony Classics) doubled to 6 and averaged a sad $2300.  FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL (Sony Classics) held at 4 with a $6100 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The Martin Luther King holiday brings a trio from various genres:  the latest Liam Neeson thriller THE COMMUTER (Lionsgate), Taraji J. Henson’s action vehicle PROUD MARY (Screen Gems/Sony), and family sequel PADDINGTON 2 (Warners).  Limited releases include the Spanish-language CONDORITO (Lionsgate) and THE INSULT (Cohen). 

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."