January 17, 2016

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 1/17/16


OPENINGS:  RIDE ALONG 2 (Universal) is projecting a $39.5M 4-day weekend, 19% below the $48.6M opening of the first Ride Along exactly 2 years ago.  That would put its US trajectory at $100-110M, enough to make it a fine piece of business for all concerned, but any growth would have to come from overseas, where Ride 1 only earned $19.5M.  Ride 2 has barely started outside the US, with a $2.7M weekend in 11 relatively small markets.

13 HOURS (Paramount) is claiming $19M by Monday, although that number could inch down if Sunday and Monday aren’t as strong as the studio is predicting (and with NFL playoff games airing all day Sunday, the war movie faces major competition for its target eyeballs).  The $16M Fri-Sun studio estimate would give Michael Bay his worst opening since 2005’s The Island ($12.4M), although 13 Hours is a considerably less expensive production than Bay’s epic norm.

NORM OF THE NORTH (Splash/Lionsgate) is projecting that it will be the only wide release to go up instead of down on Monday, and is using that number to give itself a $8.8M 4-day weekend.  Even if that turns out to be true, it will be a fairly pitiful start for the low-budget animation.

HOLDOVERS:  THE REVENANT (Regency/RatPac/20th) triumphed in the Oscar nominations this week, and on a Fri-Sun basis it’s down a mere 26% from last weekend to $29.5M ($35M with Monday added).  That puts it at $93.2M in the US and with a clear path to $150M+, a remarkable accomplishment for a film that seemed uncommercial in many ways.  It’s also showing early strength overseas, with a $31.5M weekend in just 25 territories ($58.6M total), and that indicates that the very expensive period adventure will turn a profit.

Profits are no issue for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (Lucasfilm/Disney), starting to fade but still selling tickets with a 40% drop to $25.1M for the 3-day weekend ($31M with Monday).  That puts it at $856.9M in the US, and it should hit $900M, although perhaps not much more than that.  Overseas, Force has topped $1B after a $47.3M weekend in every major global territory.  It should have enough juice to hit $2B worldwide, but Avatar‘s $2.79B record appears safe, and Force may not be able to reach Titanic‘s $2.19B.  (Boo hoo.)

DADDY’S HOME (Red Granite/Paramount) is still solid, down 38% for the 3-day weekend to $9.3M ($11.4M with Monday) and a $131.3M US total, with $150M in its sights.  It also has $50.4M overseas after a $7.8M weekend in 39 territories.

THE FOREST (Gramercy/Focus/Universal) collapsed by 55% despite the holiday to $5.8M, putting it at $21.1M.

Somewhat oddly, THE BIG SHORT (Regency/Paramount) wasn’t able to hold onto hundreds of its theatres for the post-Oscar nomination weekend.  So its 16% drop to $5.2M ($6.3M with Monday) is actually better than it looks (its per-theatre average was up around 30%).  It’s at $51.6M, with a shot at hitting $75M by the Oscars.  Overseas, it has $18M after a $7M weekend in 38 markets.

SISTERS (Universal) declined 39% to $4.4M ($5.1M with Monday), for a robust $82.5M total that should get it to $90M before it’s done.  It also has $11.5M overseas after a $2.1M weekend in just 20 markets.

THE HATEFUL EIGHT (Weinstein) didn’t get anything like the Oscar attention it was hoping to receive, and it dropped 46% to $3.4M (perhaps a bit over $4M with Monday) for a sad $47.6M US total.  It was supposed to be the movie that saved the Weinsteins, and instead it’s going to require overseas help just to break even.  It currently has $35M after a $12.5M weekend in 23 international territories, far from a blockbuster pace.

The Oscar nominations brought a slew of expansions for films with hopes (sometimes unfulfilled) of being named in major categories.  BROOKLYN (Fox Searchlight), now in 687 theatres, added $1.7M for the weekend ($2M with Monday) for a $24.9M US total.  SPOTLIGHT (Open Road) went even wider to 985 theatres but wasn’t quite as popular as Brooklyn with a $1.6M weekend ($1.9M with Monday), although its total is still ahead at $30.9M.  CAROL (Weinstein) didn’t get the Best Picture nomination it craved, and despite an expansion to 790 theatres, it was slightly down from last weekend to $1.4M, for a $9.1M total.  THE DANISH GIRL (Focus/Universal) was also disappointed, and earned $650K in 479 theatres for a $8.7M total.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE LADY IN THE VAN (Sony Classics) failed to get its Best Actress nomination for Maggie Smith, and averaged an OK $18K in 4 NY/LA arthouses.  Other Oscar hopefuls expanded to still-modest theatre counts, led by ROOM (A24), now at 293 theatres, and with a $6.2M total after a 4-day $900K weekend.  ANOMALISA (Paramount) had a $7800 3-day weekend average ($9300 with Monday) after expansion to 37 theatres. For the Fri-Sun weekend, SON OF SAUL (Sony Classics) averaged $5400 at 21, 45 YEARS (IFC) averaged $7100 at 14, and MUSTANG (Cohen Media) averaged $1700 at 57.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Entries in several well-worn genres arrive:  post-apocalyptic YA adventure from THE FIFTH WAVE (Columbia/Sony), raunchy comedy from DIRTY GRANDPA (Lionsgate) and low-budget horror from THE BOY (STX). 

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."