March 12, 2017

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 3.12.2017


OPENINGS:  KONG: SKULL ISLAND (Legendary/Tencent/Warners) is playing as a quasi-family movie, perhaps in response to the R-rated Logan and Get Out.  That gave it a much more muscular Saturday than similar big-budget monster movies, up 19% on Saturday where Godzilla fell 16% and Pacific Rim dropped 13%.  With that boost, Kong should hit its studio estimate of $61M for the US weekend, still about one-third below Godzilla‘s $93.2M, but helpful for a mega-production that may need to recoup $350M in production/marketing costs.  Of course, the potential downside to Kong‘s family audience is that it may vanish next weekend when Beauty & the Beast arrives, but it’s there for now.  Overseas, Kong is in all major markets except China and Japan (where it arrives in 2 weeks), and it’s at $81.6M, about 20% below Godzilla, which had a similar release pattern.  At the moment, it seems to be on track for $500M worldwide, which would make it a moderate success.

HOLDOVERS:  LOGAN (TSG/20th) fell 57% in its 2d US weekend, which is the same drop that Deadpool had, but that equivalence comes with an asterisk because Deadpool was coming off a holiday weekend.  X-Men: Apocalypse, which also opened over a holiday weekend, had a 65% drop, and the previous 2 standalone Wolverines fell 69% and 60%.  In that context, Logan‘s hold is OK, perhaps not as strong as the film’s general praise might have promised.  If it reaches $225M in the US, it will easily top the earlier Wolverines ($179.9M/$132.6M), although far below Deadpool‘s $363.1M.  Overseas, it’s playing in all major territories except Japan, and it’s at $285.6M after a $70.3M weekend.  It seems to be headed for $600M worldwide, which would put it above all films in the X-Men franchise except Deadpool and X-Men: Days of Future Past.

GET OUT (QC/Blumhouse/Universal) continues to hold spectacularly, down just 25% in its 3rd weekend to $21.1M, with a running total of $111.1M and a very good chance of getting to $150M+.  That kind of stability would be impressive for any wide release, but for the horror genre it’s phenomenal.  Its overseas run hasn’t yet started, and is something of a question mark, but in any case this is a wildly profitable piece of business for all concerned.

THE SHACK (Lionsgate) fell 38% to $10.1M, more or less on par with the 36% Weekend 2 drop for Heaven Is For Real, and 35% for Miracles From Heaven.  It should reach $50-60M, which was probably its target.  It’s had a negligible overseas release thus far.

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (Warners Animation), in its final pre-Beauty & the Beast weekend, dropped 33% to $7.8M, and might get to $175M in the US.  Its international number is currently $116.5M.

BEFORE I FELL (Open Road) held well in the often heavily-frontloaded female YA market, down just 34%, but that’s on a very low opening, so the weekend was at $3.1M, and its running total is only $9M.  It’s not going to get much past $15M in theatres, but might have a longer life on ancillary platforms.  Last weekend’s other semi-wide opening TABLE 19 (Fox Searchlight) won’t reach $5M after a 47% drop to $850K.

Awards season is over, but HIDDEN FIGURES (20th) is still selling plenty of tickets, down a tiny 28% to $2.8M, with a current $162.9M total.  It’s also at $43.2M overseas.  MOONLIGHT (A24) may have won the Oscar, but it can’t claim anything like that level of financial success, down 57% from its post-Oscar weekend to $1M and still groping to reach $30M in the US.

LIMITED RELEASE:  PERSONAL SHOPPER (IFC) had a fair start with a per-theatre average of $23K at 4 NY/LA arthouses, but that number had the benefit of in-theatre appearances by Kristen Stewart.  THE SENSE OF AN ENDING (CBS) had a much more modest debut with a $11K average at 4.  THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT (Paladin) opened at 216 theatres with a terrible $800 average.  A UNITED KINGDOM (Focus/Universal) continued its blah expansion, now at 317 with a $1600 average.  The documentary KEDI (Oscilloscope) widened to 114 and averaged $2800.  THE LAST WORD (Bleecker Street), now in 25 houses, averaged $3000.  LAND OF MINE (Sony Classics) doubled its run to 40 theatres and averaged $1500.  MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI (GKids) averaged $1100 at 52.

NEXT WEEKEND:  BEAUTY & THE BEAST (Disney) will engulf the global box office, and the only question is how much will be left for anyone else.  A bit of counterprogramming will come from the very low-budget horror movie THE BELKO EXPERIMENT (Blumhouse/Universal).  Limited releases include T2: TRAINSPOTTING (TriStar/Sony) and Terrence Malick’s REEL TO REEL (Broad Green).

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."