October 11, 2015

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 10/11/15


OPENINGSPAN (RatPac-Dune/Warners) now owns a dubious place in box office history, as one of Hollywood’s biggest flops ever.  On a production/worldwide marketing cost that will exceed $300M, its $15.5M US opening makes John Carter ($30.2M), Battleship ($25.5M), The Lone Ranger ($29.2M), and this year’s Tomorrowland ($33M), Fantastic Four ($25.7M) and even Jupiter Ascending ($18.4M) all look comparatively healthy.  Nor is overseas likely to bail it out:  in territories covering about 40% of the world, Pan managed just $20.5M for the weekend, and even if it hits the lottery in China when it opens there later this month, it’s still likely to lose $100M+.

THE WALK (TriStar/Sony) cost much less than Pan to produce ($35M compared to $150M, although both carry expensive marketing campaigns), so the damage isn’t quite as bad, but the results are proportionally similar:  after a weak IMAX/3D opening last week, The Walk expanded to wide release with a miserable $3.7M, and it may not reach $20M in the US.  International is no help here, either, as The Walk is now playing in 60 territories that include most of the world (with the exception of Europe), and stumbled to a $5.2M weekend (a few previous openings bring its overseas total to $7.1M).  Robert Zemeckis’s film will be lucky to hit $100M worldwide, not even enough to pay for its marketing.

99 HOMES (Broad Green) attempted a semi-wide release, expanding to 691 theatres, and the results for the well-reviewed film weren’t pretty, with a $631K total that gave it a per-theatre average under $1000.  HE NAMED ME MALALA (Fox Searchlight) expanded to 446 and only did somewhat better, with a $685K total and $1500 average.

HOLDOVERS:  All the carnage around it was nothing but good for THE MARTIAN (20th), which declined just 32% from its opening to $37M.  That’s not quite the fantastic hold of Gravity (down 23% in Weekend 2), but it’ll do just fine.  The Martian is at $108.7M in the US after 10 days, and with no direct competition hitting in the next few weeks, it has a real chance to reach $200M.  It’s huge overseas as well, with a $58.1M weekend in most of the world (but not yet China, Japan, France or Spain) for a $119.1M total.  Worldwide, it could top $500M if China is strong.

Pan was supposed to give HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 (Columbia/Sony) some competition, but that didn’t happen, and Hotel 2 slipped 39% from last weekend to $20.3M, for a $116.8M US total.  That compares well to the first Hotel, which fell 36% in Weekend 3, for a then-total of $102.1M.  The sequel should get past the original’s $148.3M US total.  Overseas, Hotel 2 is still in just about half the world, and earned $22.7M for the weekend, giving it $90.9M so far.  It should easily pass the first Hotel‘s $210.1M international total.

Nancy Meyers’ fans are the definition of audiences who don’t rush out for a movie’s first weekend, and THE INTERN (RatPac-Dune/Warners) is thriving in its 3rd weekend, down just 26% to $8.7M, with $49.6M so far.  With a moderate $40M production budget, Intern should cross $70M in the US–not a blockbuster, but groundwork for a comfortable success, if it has some international appeal.

SICARIO (Lionsgate) had a solid hold, down 40% from its wide debut last week to $7.4M and a $26.7M total.  It should top $40M in the US with the possibility of some upside beyond that.  Overseas, it took in $6.4M for a $16.7M total.  The big question for Lionsgate is whether it will be able to keep Sicario in theatres long enough for it to have a chance to register in awards season.

Among longer runs, THE MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS (20th) slipped 33% to $5.3M in the US, on its way to a $80M total, and earned $16M overseas (with most of the world now open except Italy, Japan and China) for a $168.9M total.  It’s likely to finish with slightly less than the first Maze Runner‘s $340.8M worldwide total.  EVEREST (Walden/Universal) fell 46% to $3M in the US for a soft $38.2M total, although it’s been much stronger overseas, where it’s at $120.8M after a $8.1M weekend (and China still to come).  Barring a lengthy awards run, it’s probably a breakeven proposition for Universal.  BLACK MASS (RatPac-Dune/Warners) dropped 47% to $3.1M and a $57.6M US total, with no major international openings yet.

LIMITED RELEASE:  STEVE JOBS (Legendary/Universal) effortlessly topped the market, almost doubling the highest previous per-theatre average of the year (Sicario at $67.9K) with $130.3K at 4 NY/LA theatres.  It’s a great start, but not an unexpected one–the challenge will come in 2 weeks, when the audaciously structured, highly-stylized biography goes wide.  The Spanish-language LADRONES (Pantelion/Lionsgate) had a fair $1.3M start at 375 theatres, a $3600 average.  A few other specialty offerings expanded to moderate results:  GOODNIGHT MOMMY (IFC) with a $1600 average at 86, FREEHELD (Lionsgate) with a $1800 average at 51, and LABYRINTH OF LIES (Sony Classics) with a $3400 average at 16.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Halloween season is ushered in with product for audiences older–CRIMSON PEAK (Legendary/Universal)–and younger–GOOSEBUMPS (Columbia/Sony).  For those seeking something more sober, Steven Spielberg’s BRIDGE OF SPIES (DreamWorks/20th/Disney) arrives, hoping for awards consideration.  The religious WOODLAWN (Pure) also opens.  Several films with awards ambitions start in limited release:  ROOM (A24), TRUTH (Sony Classics), and BEASTS OF NO NATION (Netflix), the latter debuting simultaneously as a streaming presentation.

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."