January 24, 2016

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 1/24/16


OPENINGS:  The east coast blizzard seems to have had less effect on the weekend box office than one might have assumed, considering that all the newcomers went up from Friday to Saturday, even though they were in typically front-loaded genres.  Their studio estimates have them bunched within a narrow $825K range for the weekend, so some shuffling is possible when final numbers are released tomorrow.  For now, DIRTY GRANDPA (QED/Lionsgate) has the lead at $11.5M, with THE BOY (Huayi/STX) at $11.3M, and THE 5TH WAVE (LStar/Columbia/Sony) at $10.7M.  As we noted in our Friday night post, The Boy, which has the lowest production budget, may ultimately be the most profitable of the trio, although 5th Wave is showing some (needed) strength overseas with a $15.9M weekend in 55 markets, giving it $27.4M so far, and could end up with the highest worldwide total–albeit not likely to be enough to make the projected trilogy a safe bet.  Dirty Grandpa, despite its weekend lead, could be the biggest loser of the bunch unless it proves to have international appeal.

HOLDOVERS:  THE REVENANT (Regency/RatPac/20th) continues to thrive, down 50% from last weekend in the US to $16M, with a running total of $119.2M.  A $150M+ total seems assured, and Revenant is strong overseas as well, where it earned $33.8M this weekend for a $104.5M total so far.  Even for those of us who aren’t particularly fans of the film, the success of an unusual, demanding drama like this is good news.

For STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (Lucasfilm/Disney), the only remaining questions are what milestones it will manage to pass on its way out.  In the US, it declined 46% to $14.6M, giving it a $879.3M total and keeping it on track to be the first film to pass $900M in this market.  Overseas, it earned $23.3M for a $1.06B total.  At $1.94B, it seems likely to become the third filim ever to pass $2B, but it won’t catch Avatar even in unadjusted numbers, and Titanic‘s 2d place title may be safe as well.

RIDE ALONG 2 (Universal) can’t blame the blizzard for its dismal Weekend 2 showing, since it fell far more steeply than the other major holdovers, down 63% to $13M.  That compares to a 49% drop for the 2d weekend of the original Ride Along, and it indicates that with $59.1M to date, the sequel won’t get anywhere close to the first Ride‘s $134.9M total.  The bright spot is overseas, where Ride 2 already has $10.4M in just 19 markets after a $6.5M weekend, so it should do better than the first Ride‘s $19.5M overseas total, although perhaps not enough to keep the franchise going.

13 HOURS (Paramount) is playing every game it can to keep its numbers up.  It increased its theatre count by 20%, and it’s claiming the strongest Sunday hold in the Top 10 even though its core audience would seem to be the demo most likely to be watching the NFL playoff games.  All of those maneuvers gave the film a 40% projected drop to $9.8M and a $33.5M total, still not likely to get much past $55M in the US.

NORM OF THE NORTH (Splash/Lionsgate) held well with a 40% drop, but that still just gave it a $4.1M weekend and $14.3M US total.

The non-Revenant Oscar contenders were led by THE BIG SHORT (Regency/Paramount), which wasn’t able to fully capitalize on last night’s Producers Guild win because it lost 25% of its theatres.  Nevertheless, it slipped just 34% for a $3.5M weekend and $56.7M US total.  Overseas, it earned $10.1M in 51 territories for a $30.7M total.

BROOKLYN (Fox Searchlight) expanded its run to 962 theatres and was down only 7% for the weekend for a $1.7M weekend and $27.5M US total.  That still makes it Searchlight’s #2 2015 release, behind Second Best Marigold Hotel‘s $33.1M.  ROOM (A24) more than doubled its release to 862 theatres and had a $1.4M weekend, giving it a total just under $8M.  SPOTLIGHT (Open Road) just slightly increased its theatre count to 1030 theatres and lost 17% for the weekend to $1.4M and a $33M total.  CAROL (Weinstein), though, collapsed by 56% to $600K and a $10.6M total, and THE DANISH GIRL (Focus/Universal) fell 26% to $500K and a $9.7M total.

LIMITED RELEASE:  All the activity was in expansions of Oscar titles.  ANOMALISA (Paramount), now in 143 theatres, had an OK $2600 per-theatre weekend average.  45 YEARS (IFC) grew to 40 theatres with a $5500 average.  THE LADY IN THE VAN (Sony Classics) expanded to 30 theatres with a $6200 average.  SON OF SAUL (Sony Classics) went to 34 theatres with a $2900 average.  TRUMBO (Bleecker Street) more than doubled its count to 136 theatres but averaged just $650.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The big release is KUNG FU PANDA 3 (DreamWorks Animation/20th), with THE FINEST HOURS (Disney) and 50 SHADES OF BLACK (Open Road) counterprogramming from different directions.  Natalie Portman’s troubled western JANE’S GOT A GUN (Weinstein) arrives in quasi-wide 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."