February 26, 2017

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 2.26.17


OPENINGS:  GET OUT (QC/Blumhouse/Universal) had a remarkable Saturday performance for a horror movie, rising 17% in a genre that usually drops sharply on its 2d day of release.  That’s better than the 13% bump for Day 2 of Split, and also better than the 14% increase for Insidious, one of the leggiest of recent horror thrillers with a nearly 4x multiple of its opening weekend.  Get Out‘s weekend totaled $30.5M, and since even with worldwide marketing it will only cost about $65M, its profitability is a sure thing.  The question that’s open for now is how its mix of genre thrills and cutting social satire will play overseas.

The weekend’s other openings were disasters.  ROCK DOG (Summit/Lionsgate) barked at $3.7M, whie COLLIDE (IM/Open Road) crawled to $1.5M, and all the studios want people to know is that those losses won’t rebound badly on the companies for one bookkeeping reason or another–although it’s safe to say that anything that went out of pocket will stay that way.

HOLDOVERS:  THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (Warners Animation) had a 42% drop to $19M for a running total of $133M, on track to be at least 30% lower than The LEGO Movie.  The bigger concern is overseas, where Batman is at $93M in most of the world (China and Japan are among the regions still to come) after a $12.9M weekend, putting it a long way from even coming close to LEGO Movie‘s $211.4M international total.

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 (Summit/Lionsgate) dropped 45% to $9M for $74.4M in the US, and it should be able to double the $43M take of the first John Wick at least.  Overseas, it’s at $51.1M after a $13.1M weekend, with Italy, Spain and Australia still to open, and it might also double the first film’s $45.7M.  These aren’t huge numbers, but they should be enough to keep the moderately-budgeted franchise going.

THE GREAT WALL (Legendary/Universal) fell 53% on its 2d US weekend to $8.7M, and it still has hopes of reaching $50M here.  The rest of the world besides China is also less than thrilling, with $94.6M after a $14.6M weekend, and Japan the only market yet to open.  The bulk of its box office by far comes from China, where it earned $171M, and that means the nation will also be the source of the lion’s share of ancillary revenue, and the value of that will determine the film’s ultimate success or failure.

The bottom fell out of FIFTY SHADES DARKER (Universal), which plunged 62% in its 3rd weekend to $7.2M, putting it on track for perhaps $120M, about 30% less than Fifty Shades of Grey.  Overseas, Darker is at $224.7M after a $19.8M weekend in 59 markets, with Japan (a $3.6M market for Grey) yet to open, and it’s likely to end up at least 35% below Grey‘s $404.8M total.  A similar drop for next year’s final installment would leave little room for profit.

FIST FIGHT (Village Roadshow/RatPac/New Line/Warners) dropped 48% to $6.4M, and won’t get much past $35M in the US.  That looks good compared to A CURE FOR WELLNESS (Regency/20th), down a catastrophic 68% to $1.4M, and heading for perhaps $10M in the US, with a $9.1M overseas total that won’t help.

Despite the arrival of Get Out, SPLIT (Blumhouse/Universal) held well, down a moderate 43% to $4.1M, and heading for $140M in the US.  It also has $90.4M overseas after a $17.3M weekend in 57 territories, with markets like Brazil, Russia and Japan still to come.

The Oscar nominees, several of which increased their theatre count for the final awards push, were paced once again by HIDDEN FIGURES (20th), down 19% to $5.9M, and now at $152.8M in the US, plus $30M overseas after a $5.7M weekend in 41 markets.  LA LA LAND (Summit/Lionsgate) didn’t dip at all, and is at $140.9M in the US after a $4.6M weekend, plus an amazing $228.1M overseas after a $14.4M weekend.  LION (Weinstein) continues to benefit from Oscar-driven word of mouth, down 9% to $3.8M with a running US total of $42.8M, plus $45.9M overseas.  MOONLIGHT (A24) is at a lower box office level, but climbed an impressive 42% over Oscar weekend (which assumes an extremely strong Sunday) to over $750K that brings its total to $22.3M.

Finally, mention must be made of RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER (Screen Gems/Sony).  A flop in the US with $26.5M, it earned an incredible $94.3M in its China opening weekend, making it virtually certain that the country will outgross the rest of the world combined (its non-China international total is $117.7M).  Unlike other China successes like The Great Wall, Warcraft and the most recent XXX, Resident Evil was produced and marketed with a moderate $125M in costs, which could make this the first genuine China-driven English-language hit.  Expect every studio to try and duplicate its special sauce.

LIMITED RELEASE:  BITTER HARVEST (Roadside) opened at 127 theatres with a blah $1600 per-theatre average.  A UNITED KINGDOM (Focus/Universal) expanded to 145 and averaged an OK $3800.  Oscar-nominated THE RED TURTLE (Sony Classics) widened to 115 but only averaged $1000.  ELLE (Sony Classics) tried to capitalize on Isabelle Huppert’s nomination with an expansion to 147, but fared badly with a $600 average.  In smaller nominee runs, LAND OF MINE (Sony Classics) averaged $1900 at 8 theatres, and MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI (GKids) averaged $14K at 2.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The stripped-down, R-rated Wolverine movie LOGAN (TSG/20th) will rule the multiplexes, with counterprogramming from 2 directions:  BEFORE I FELL (Open Road) aims at YA females, while THE SHACK (Lionsgate) targets the Christian audience.  Limited releases include TABLE 19 (Fox Searchlight) and THE LAST WORD (Bleecker Street).

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."