December 31, 2017

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 12.31.2017


OPENINGS:  ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD (Imperative/TriStar/Sony) opened on Monday to an indifferent public that didn’t care about Kevin Spacey being replaced with Christopher Plummer, and nothing has changed over the course of the holiday week.  Its first full weekend is estimated at $5.5M, which should become $7.5M with Monday included, and it’s going to end up at $25-30M in the US barring some awards attention, a flop on approximately $150M in production/marketing costs.  It’s only opened in 6 overseas territories, where it had a $1.4M weekend for a $1.7M total to date.

HOLDOVERS:  STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (Lucasfilm/Disney) had the steepest weekend-to-weekend drop in the Top 10, down 27% to $52.4M ($68M with Monday), and once final numbers are out, it’s possible that Jumanji will inch it out on Sunday (where Jedi is currently $179K ahead) or Monday.  On the other hand, that 27% drop looks good compared to the 40% Weekend 3 drop for Force Awakens (less good compared to the 23% drop for Rogue One, although its 3-day weekend included New Year’s Day).  In any case, after 17 days of US release, Last Jedi is at $517.1M, the highest-grossing film in the domestic market for 2017, and with $100M or so probably to come.  That $517M total puts it 30% behind the 17-day total of Force Awakens… which is better than the 32% drop between the original runs of the first Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back.  (And for those who care, almost exactly the same drop as between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.)  So although Disney would undoubtedly have liked Last Jedi to perform marginally better, there’s nothing to be concerned about here.  Worldwide, Last Jedi hit another milestone, with a $1.04B total after a $68M international weekend, putting the overseas total at $523.3M with China arriving on Friday.

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (Columbia/Sony) had a strong 2nd weekend, up 39% to $50.6M ($66M with Monday), and it’s headed to $250M+ in the US, which would make it the top non-Fast & The Furious title of Dwayne Johnson’s career.  Overseas, it’s at $153M after a $68M weekend, and the markets that haven’t opened yet include China, Japan, Italy and Brazil.  It has a solid route to $500M+ worldwide, and could go much higher if it catches fire in China.

PITCH PERFECT 3 (Gold Circle/Perfect World/Universal) was front-loaded (it also happens to be terrible), and it fell 11% to $17.8M in Weekend 2 ($23M with Monday).  It might get to $100M in the US, but that will be down roughly 45% from Pitch 2.  It’s not showing much overseas, either, with a $28.6M total after a $13.1M weekend in 34 territories.  There may be some profit here, but not enough to keep the franchise going beyond its scheduled end.

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (20th) is facing a good news/bad news situation.  The good is that it had the biggest weekend-to-weekend leap in the Top 10, up 73%.  The bad is that even with that jump, the weekend was $15.3M ($20M with Monday), and it’s still on track for just $80-85M in the US, way behind its $225M or so in costs.  Overseas, it’s at $35.2M after a $28.5M weekend in 58 markets, and it’s hard to see a route to profit at this point.

FERDINAND (Blue Sky/20th) is in a similar position, up 59% from last weekend, but still to a mild $11.7M ($16M with Monday), on its way to $80M or so in the US.  It’s not doing much overseas, either, where it’s at $71.9M after a $23.1M weekend in 64 territories.

COCO (Pixar/Disney) currently has an odd Sunday estimate, down what appears to be a crazy 65% from Saturday (Ferdinand, which attracts the same audience, is only figuring on a 26% Sunday drop).  So the weekend estimate of $6.6M should be taken with a grain of salt, and might be $1M or more higher.  The film appears to be en route to $200M or so in the US.  It’s also at $359M overseas, where it earned $21.4M this weekend in just 34 markets.

DARKEST HOUR (Focus/Universal) increased its theatre count by 17%, and had a solid 36% weekend-to-weekend rise to $5.3M ($7.5M with Monday).  It’s on pace for $25M+ in the US, and faces a crucial test next Sunday, when a Gary Oldman win in the Golden Globes would likely propel it to run through the rest of awards season.

DOWNSIZING (Annapurna/Paramount) and FATHER FIGURES (Alcon/Warners) are the two clear flops of the holiday season.  Downsizing fell 7% from last weekend to $4.6M ($6M with Monday) and may not reach $30M in the US on $150M in production/marketing costs.  Father Figures managed a 13% rise from last weekend, but that was only to $3.7M ($5M with Monday), and it may not get beyond $25M in the US.

THE SHAPE OF WATER (Fox Searchlight) is another awards contender that needs some awards, up 16% from last weekend to $3.5M ($5M with Monday), and likely to tail off at $25M without some statuettes.

WONDER (Participant/Walden/Lionsgate) was supposed to be long gone by now, but it jumped 64% from last weekend to $3.3M ($4.5M with Monday), and should get to a remarkable $130M in the US, which would make it the #4 movie of Julia Roberts’ career, behind only Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride and Ocean’s Eleven.  It’s also earned a not-inconsiderable $75.9M overseas.

LIMITED RELEASE:  MOLLY’S GAME (STX) opened on Monday in 271 theatres, and it’s having a fair first full weekend with a $8600 per-theatre average, in the ballpark of Lady Bird‘s $10.6K average at 238.  Its future will depend in large part on whether Jessica Chastain can get any traction in the Best Actress race.  PHANTOM THREAD (Focus/Universal) was another Monday opening, and it’s averaging a solid $55K at 4, also hoping for some awards help.  FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL (Sony Classics) opened mid-week and for the weekend it’s averaging a mild $9K at 4.  IN THE FADE (Magnolia) only averaged $3700 at 3.  Among notable holdovers, THE POST (DreamWorks/Reliance/Participant/20th) edged up 3% from last weekend with a $60K per-theatre average at 9 that’s fine but not spectacular considering the talent involved.  CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (Sony Classics) continues to be a very niche player at the box office, down 6% from last weekend with a $6100 average at 115.  I, TONYA (Neon) has more spark, up 60% from last weekend with a $13.5K average at 49.  HOSTILES (Entertainment Services) added 2 theatres for a total of 5, and averaged a dim $7100.  HAPPY END (Sony Classics) fell 33% from last weekend and averaged $5200 at 3.

NEXT WEEKEND:  As they often do, the studios are greeting the new year with low-budget horror, in this case INSIDIOUS:  THE LAST KEY (Blumhouse/Universal).


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."