November 8, 2015

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 11/8/15


OPENINGS:  SPECTRE (MGM/Columbia/Sony) had the #7 opening of the year at $73M… yet there are signs of trouble.  While Skyfall rose 11% on its 2d day of wide release, and Casino Royale gained 5%, Spectre fell by 5%, actually slightly worse than the lightly-regarded Quantum of Solace.  Since Spectre wasn’t more frontloaded than Skyfall, that suggests word of mouth is (deservedly) less than stellar, and probably means Spectre is headed to $250M in the US rather than Skyfall‘s $304M.  Overseas, apples-vs-apples comparisons don’t work, because Skyfall had a different release strategy, but Spectre, which is now in 76 markets covering most of the world (but not yet China) earned $117.8M for a $227M total.  Again, it appears like Spectre will underperform Skyfall‘s $804M international total (unless China changes the equation).  This all amounts to rich people’s problems, since Spectre will still probably reach at least $900M worldwide–although with a production/marketing cost of around $450M, every dollar helps–but it raises an interesting question as to the next step for the franchise.  As is now well known, Daniel Craig is contracted for another film but has indicated he’d rather step down, and the producers (and eventually the studio, which may not end up being Sony, since its own Bond deal is up) will have to decide whether to persuade him to stay with the franchise–or not.

THE PEANUTS MOVIE (20th) started strongly at $45M, not a spectacular result in the context of big animated openings, but a very strong one for a franchise seeking to attract a brand-new generation of fans while not alienating their parents.  Peanuts has two more clear weekends to itself before The Good Dinosaur arrives for Thanksgiving,and could near $150M in the US.  It’s just getting started overseas in 11 territories at $4.6M, but bombed badly in China with a $2.8M opening.

HOLDOVERS:  Despite all the new arrivals, THE MARTIAN (TSG/20th) is still an audience favorite, down just 21% from last weekend to $9.3M.  It’s at $197.1M in the US, where it’s passed Gladiator to become Ridley Scott’s biggest hit ever (not adjusted for inflation), and has $261.4M overseas after a $9.3M weekend, and with China still to come.  BRIDGE OF SPIES (DreamWorks/20th/Disney) and THE INTERN (Warners) also have staying power, respectively down 28% to $6.1M ($55M total) and down 25% to $1.8M ($71.4M total).  Bridge also has $17M after a $3.1M weekend in 25 markets, and The Intern is at $108.6M overseas after $2.8M in 63 markets.

Even with competition from Peanuts, GOOSEBUMPS (Columbia/Sony) held quite well, down 29% to $7M, for a $66.4M US total, plus $25.8M in what’s still an early overseas release.  HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 (Columbia Sony) felt the heat a bit more, down 39% to $3.6M, and now at $161.3M in the US plus $242.9M overseas.

BURNT (Weinstein) had an OK hold, for what it’s worth, losing 40% from last weekend.  But at $3M and a total of $10.2M, it’s still a hopeless case.  Not as  hopeless, however, as OUR BRAND IS CRISIS (Participant/Warners), down 54% from its anemic start to $1.5M and a $6M US total.

STEVE JOBS (Legendary/Universal) is essentially done with its theatrical run, out of 80% of its initial theatres and with an awful $16.7M US total (a bit over $800K this weekend).  Universal will have to decide whether it wants to spend the money for a major awards campaign strictly for ego and relationship reasons, with little chance of pushing to any profit even if by some miracle the film won the Best Picture Oscar.

LIMITED RELEASE:  SPOTLIGHT (Open Road) was the weekend’s winner with a 60K average at 5 theatres, and will now have to do what Steve Jobs didn’t–sell tickets outside its home bases.  BROOKLYN (Fox Searchlight), which opened on Wednesday, was also solid with a $36K average at 5, but there was limited interest in TRUMBO (Bleecker Street), averaging $15K at 5.  MISS YOU ALREADY (Lionsgate/Roadside) went nowhere with a quasi-wide release, averaging $1500 at 384.  SUFFRAGETTE (Focus/Universal) expanded to 222 with an OK $3500 average.  ROOM (A24) widened to 87 and averaged $6K.

NEXT WEEKEND:  No major release wanted to occupy the weekend between Spectre and the last Hunger Games, so it’s a meager group:  the inspirational THE 33 (Warners), family dramedy LOVE THE COOPERS (CBS/Lionsgate), and Christian-themed MY ALL AMERICAN (Clarius).  In addition, Angelina Jolie Pitt’s homage to arthouse cinema of the 1960s and 1970s BY THE SEA (Universal) begins its limited release.


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."