October 29, 2017

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 10.29.2017


OPENINGS:  JIGSAW (Lionsgate) had a better Saturday hold than Saw VI (down 21% instead of 32%), and that saved it from having the lowest opening weekend of the franchise.  However, its $16.3M start is still far below the $24.2M for the last installment Saw 3D, which killed off the series for 7 years.  Jigsaw probably won’t get past $35M in the US, and it’s faring even worse overseas, where it opened in 46 territories with a bloodless $9.5M.  The thriller was made cheaply enough that there may be some profit at the end of the day, but it’s hardly a promising start to a franchise reboot.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE (Reliance/DreamWorks/Universal) was dishonorably discharged with $3.7M, and a particularly bad data point was the 11% Saturday drop, despite the fact that as a serious drama, it’s an older-skewing piece that should have attracted audiences who don’t rush out on opening night.

SUBURBICON (Black Bear/Paramount) was an utter disaster at $2.8M.  Among other lows, it was Matt Damon’s worst wide-release opening since All the Pretty Horses in 2000.  Paramount took some big fall movie swings with this and mother!, and both went about as badly as one could imagine.  (Daddy’s Home 2 will have to make up for the losses.)

The real noise came from overseas, where THOR: RAGNORAK (Marvel/Disney) began its campaign a week before arriving in the US.  In 36 markets that covered about half the world, the latest superhero blockbuster earned $107.6M, a number that should be quickly eclipsed next week when it arrives in both the US and China, along with the rest of the world.

COCO (Pixar/Disney) was another pre-US opening, with $8.4M from Mexico alone (the opening was timed to the nation’s Day of the Dead holiday).

HOLDOVERS:  BOO 2! A MADEA HALLOWEEN (Lionsgate) dropped 53% to $10M, much worse than the 40% Weekend 2 drop for the first Boo.  The sequel is running 32% behind its predecessor, which puts it on track for $50M in the US, neck-and-neck with 2005’s Diary of A Mad Black Woman as the lowest-grossing Madea title (not adjusting for inflation).  A third Boo! installment seems unlikely.

There was bad news and good news for GEOSTORM (Skydance/RatPac/Warners).  In the US, it fell 59% to $5.7M, and it’s going to end up at a puny $35M or so.  But it had a $34.1M opening in China, which made for a $49.3M international weekend and a total of $113.4M overseas.  Even if it reaches $250M worldwide, it will still face red ink, because costs were at roughly that level and China only allows US studios to retain 25% of box office receipts.  Nevertheless, the overseas results will certainly limit the damage.

HAPPY DEATH DAY (Blumhouse/Universal) fell 46% in its 3rd weekend to $5.1M, headed for a tidy if not overwhelming $55-60M in the US.  It’s at $20.2M overseas.

Geostorm‘s China success was terrible news for BLADE RUNNER 2049 (Alcon/Sony/Warners), which also opened there this weekend but was only able to notch $7.6M.  The overseas total is $142M after a $16.6M weekend that included just about all major markets.  With another 46% drop in the US to $4M, it’s headed for $90M here and $265M worldwide, and that total isn’t going to come close to paying for the sci-fi epic’s huge costs.

ONLY THE BRAVE (Black Label/Columbia/Sony) didn’t get enough of the word of mouth it needed, down 43% from last weekend to $3.5M, and heading for $20M in the US, with very limited prospects overseas.

IT (RatPac/New Line/Warners) hasn’t been chased away by the new horror movies in the market, down a mere 29% in its 8th weekend to $2.5M, as it heads to $330M in the US.  It also has $342.9M overseas (and that’s without China).

The best hold in the Top 20, though, was with VICTORIA & ABDUL (Focus/Universal), which has locked in on its target audience with a 24% drop to $1.6M.  It will certainly pass $20M in the US (it also has $34.1M overseas), and qualifies as one of the few adult-oriented hits of the fall.

The opposite end of the holdover spectrum was THE SNOWMAN (Good Universe/Universal), which plunged 65% in its 2d weekend to $1.2M, and won’t reach $10M in the US.  The foreign total of $24.8M is better, but not by nearly enough.

LIMITED RELEASE:  LET THERE BE LIGHT (Atlas) is performing best of the recent Christian productions, with a $5100 per-theatre average at 373 theatres.  ALL I SEE IS YOU (Open Road) was barely marketed, and averaged an awful $479 at 283.  THE SQUARE (Magnolia) had a solid arthouse debut, averaging $19K at 4.  NOVITIATE (Sony Classics) started with a mild $$7500 at 3.  THE FLORIDA PROJECT (A24) faltered a bit in an expansion to 145 theatres, widening by 30% but dropping 11% for the weekend to a $3700 average.  LOVING VINCENT (Good Deed) averaged $2800 at 161.  GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (Fox Searchlight) expanded badly to 213 theatres with a $1500 average.  THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER (A24) held its own with an expansion to 33, with a $6700 average.  JANE (Abramorama/NatGeo) averaged $6100 at 25.  WONDERSTRUCK (Amazon/Roadside) widened to 42 with a wan $3000 average.  FACES PLACES (Cohen Media) averaged $1700 at 42.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Thor: Ragnorak will undoubtedly own the weekend, with some counterprogramming coming from A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS (STX), which will try to get a jump on Marvel with a Wednesday opening.  Limited releases include LADY BIRD (A24), LAST FLAG FLYING (Amazon/Lionsgate), and LBJ (Electric).

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."