December 7, 2014

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 12/7/14


OPENINGS:  Although it won’t arrive here until the end of the week, Ridley Scott’s EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS (20th) had a strong start in 10 overseas territories with $23M.  It will be gunning for the $261.4M foreign total of Noah earlier this year.

Other than that, the pitiful THE PYRAMID (20th) managed $1.35M at 589 theatres, and will now disappear from the consciousness of just about everyone.

HOLDOVERS:  The weekend belonged once again to THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART I (Lionsgate), down 62% from last weekend to $21.6M.  That’s slightly better than the 65% post-Thanksgiving dip for Catching Fire, although Mockingjay, at $257.7M in the US, can’t catch up with the $335.9M Catching Fire had at this point in its release.  Overseas, Mockingjay was on top as well with $31.6M, giving it $302.8M so far, with China still to come in 2015.  China, though, was not a giant territory for Catching Fire ($27.9M), and if Mockingjay behaves likewise, it may have a tough time reaching Catching Fire‘s $440.2M foreign total.

PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR (DreamWorks Animation/20th) had an uninspiring 56% drop from last weekend to $11.1M, although it compared fairly well with last year’s post-Thanksgiving 53% drop for FrozenPenguins has only earned $49.6M so far, and next weekend is the last one it will have with the family market to itself.  Overseas, Penguins took in $23.3M in 49 territories for a $93.8M total.  Although it still has some major markets yet to come, it won’t get anywhere near the $530.5M international box office of the last real Madagascar movie.

HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 (New Line/Warners) held quite well, down 44% to $8.6M.  But it started out so low that it only has $36.1M to date, with competition on the way from Top Five and The Interview.  It may not end up with more than half of the first Horrible Bosses‘ $117.5M. Overseas, Horrible 2 took in $7.9M in 49 territories for a $23.1M total.  Back in the US, DUMB AND DUMBER TO (Red Granite/Universal) dropped 50% to $4.2M for a far more handsome $78.1M total.

Long runners BIG HERO 6 (Disney), INTERSTELLAR (Paramount/Warners) and GONE GIRL (20th) continue to impress.  Big Hero 6 declined 57% to $8.1M in its 5th weekend, with $177.5M so far and a fair chance of reaching $200M.  It’s still in just 27 international markets, where it has $62.8M after a $4M weekend.  Interstellar fell 49% to $8M, also in Weekend 5, and has earned $158.7M in the US.  Its real accomplishment, though, is overseas, where it added another $22.8M for an amazing $434.4M.  It’s poised to pass Gravity, and has an outside shot of catching Inception‘s $533M, with $650M+ worldwide a near-certainty.  Christopher Nolan may be the last man in Hollywood to truly have a blank check to do anything, at any budget, he may desire.  Meanwhile, the 2d best hold in the Top 10 belonged to Gone Girl in its 10th weekend, down 39% to $1.5M, with $162.9M in the US and $173.4M overseas.

On the Oscar hopeful front, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING (Focus/Universal) dipped 47% to $2.7M, a $3200 average at 826 theatres.  (Last year, Philomena‘s post-Thanksgiving drop was 40%.)  BIRDMAN (Fox Searchlight) fell 39% to $1.2M, a $1600 average at 738 theatres.  NIGHTCRAWLER (Open Road) more than doubled its run to 1257 theatres but only increased its total by 27%, to $1.1M (an $860 average).

LIMITED RELEASE:  WILD (Fox Searchlight) had a solid $30K per-theatre average in its launch at 21 theatres, a larger than usual bow for a platform release.  FOXCATCHER (Sony Classics) held fairly well, down 44% from last weekend in 75 theatres (+3 from last week) for a $7700 average.  THE IMITATION GAME (Weinstein) doubled its run but is still at just 8 theatres, and its box office take was down 16% from last weekend despite the doubling, although nevertheless with a strong $50K average.  THE HOMESMAN (Roadside) tripled its theatres to 154 and more than doubled its revenues, with a decent $3300 average.  The various studios didn’t release their box office returns for 1-week Oscar qualifying runs of STILL ALICE (Sony Classics), BLACK OR WHITE (Relativity) or THE HUMBLING (Millenium), which were intended in large part for non-paying Guild members.





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."