February 28, 2016

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 2/29/16


OPENINGS:  The really bad news for GODS OF EGYPT (Summit/Lionsgate) wasn’t the $14M US opening, although that was certainly pathetic enough.  No, the really bad news was that in 68 overseas territories covering most of the world (although not yet China, which opens in 2 weeks, nor France, Germany or the UK), it managed just $24.2M, making any hope of recovering the $250M or so in production/marketing costs a dim one.  Lionsgate will merely be brushed with this disaster, since it retained rights only in the US, while international distributors will likely feel a great deal of pain.

EDDIE THE EAGLE (MARV/20th) was very mild at $6.3M, not enough to pay for its US marketing costs, and will probably require an outsized success in its native UK to be able to hope for breakeven.

TRIPLE 9 (Open Road) made no mark with $6.1M, and although, like Eddie, it had a moderate production cost around $20M, it’s unlikely to recoup its wide-release marketing expenses.

Although ZOOTOPIA (Disney) is still a week away from US release, it’s continuing to show early strength overseas, where it added $30M this weekend in 31 overseas territories (less than half the world) for a $81.4M total to date.

HOLDOVERS:  DEADPOOL (20th) remained dominant in its 3rd weekend, down 44% to $31.5M in the US ($285.6M total), and with $40.2M overseas ($324.1M total).  It will certainly top $700M worldwide (better than Man of Steel‘s $668M, on a fraction of the cost), and could go higher, especially if it can land a slot for a China run.

KUNG FU PANDA 3 (DreamWorks Animation/20th) is moderate but steady in the US, down 28% to $9M for a $128.5M total.  It’s a much bigger hit overseas (true of the franchise in general), with $185.8M in just a few markets, having set the China animation record with $144.2M in that nation alone.

RISEN (Affirm/Columbia/Sony) had a 41% Weekend 2 drop to $7M ($22.7M total), only OK for the Christian genre, where the second weekend of Heaven Is For Real was down 36%, War Room declined 17%, and God’s Not Dead (which added some theatres) slipped just 5%.  RACE (Focus/Universal) was also mild with a 42% drop to $4.3M ($13.9M to date), another release that needed better word of mouth than it’s getting.  Considering the genre, THE WITCH (A24) had a much more impressive 2d weekend, down 43% to $5M ($16.6M total) where some horror movies fall 60% or more.  Witch is still in the running to become A24’s biggest release to date, pacing behind Ex Machina‘s $25.4M.

HOW TO BE SINGLE (RatPac/MGM/New Line/Warners) is still selling some tickets, down 37% to $5.2M for a $39.6M US total plus $34.7M overseas after a $6.1M weekend.  Although it had a moderate production budget, it’s still far from being able to recoup its marketing costs.

THE REVENANT (Regency/20th) was the only Oscar nominee to top $1M for the weekend, down a tiny 2% to $3.8M for a US total of $170.5M.  Overseas it’s at $233.5M after a $14.1M weekend.  Revenant is the big favorite for Best Actor and Director awards tonight, and a slightly less big favorite for Picture, and despite the tone of the film itself, financially it’s the feel-good story of the season.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (Lucasfilm/Disney) dropped out of the US Top 10 after 11 weeks of release, with $926M (and $2.05B worldwide) after a $3M weekend.

LIMITED RELEASE:  There were no significant openings for Oscar weekend.  THE MERMAID (Sony Acquisitions), despite being a historic blockbuster in China, showed little steam in the US, more than doubling its theatre count to 77 aquariums but still falling 32% with a $8800 per-theatre average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Deadpool will probably give up its crown, as a trio of diverse releases arrive:  action sequel LONDON HAS FALLEN (Gramercy/Focus/Universal), Tina Fey dramedy WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT (Paramount), and the US opening of Zootopia.  In addition, arthouses will host KNIGHT OF CUPS (Broad Green), the latest cinematic meditation from Terence Malick.


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."