March 29, 2015

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 3/29/31


OPENINGS:  The news never seems to be 100% good for DreamWorks Animation.  In the US, HOME (DWA/20th) had a smashing start with $54M, the studio’s best non-sequel opening since Monsters vs Aliens in 2009, and a better launch than the $49.5M for last year’s How To Train Your Dragon 2.  But overseas, despite last week’s strong UK opening, business is unaccountably soft, with a $24M weekend in 64 territories that cover most of the world (although not China, France or Brazil, among others).  Blockbuster animated titles earn the bulk of their money internationally (for Big Hero 6, it was 66%, and for Frozen, it was 69%), but Home may end up underperforming in those lucrative territories.  Home should still be comfortably profitable on its roughly $250M production/marketing costs, but still may not deliver the home run its studio needed.

Although GET HARD (RatPac Dune/Warners) was well behind Home at $34.6M, it cost less than a third as much to produce, making this a very solid debut.  It’s the third-highest live-action premiere of Will Ferrell’s career (behind Talladega Nights and The Other Guys), and Kevin Hart’s biggest behind Ride Along, and it’s a reminder that while the star system has faded in other genres, it still flourishes in comedy.  Overseas, Get Hard is only in 9 territories, where it pulled in $4.6M.

IT FOLLOWS (Radius/Weinstein) is claiming a 25% Sunday decline, which would be a remarkable feat for a horror movie.  (By way of comparison, the Sunday drop for Woman In Black 2 was 52%, and The Lazaras Effect fell 53%.)  The studio will claim that given the good reviews for It Follows, its aggressive number is justified, but on balance, the thriller is unlikely to retain its already-mediocre $4M weekend estimate when final results are released on Monday.

HOLDOVERS:  INSURGENT (Summit/Lionsgate) dropped 58% to $22.1M, a steeper fall than the 53% that Divergent had.  Insurgent is already $8M behind Divergent in the US, and that margin may get wider, with Insurgent ending up at around $130M.  Apples-to-apples comparisons overseas aren’t possible, because Divergent had a later and more gradual release pattern, but Insurgent earned $29.9M this weekend in 81 territories that put it essentially worldwide (but not China, although that wasn’t a particularly strong market for Divergent), for a $93.7M total that might rise to $175M.  That would be up $35-40M from the international total for Divergent, but between the new film’s higher production cost and US shortfall, there wouldn’t be any additional profit for the studio this time around.

CINDERELLA (Disney) is continuing to fall rather steeply for its genre (obviously the arrival of Home didn’t help), with a 50% drop to $17.5M, giving it $150M in the US.  That Weekend 3 decline compares to 46% for Maleficent and Alice in Wonderland, and 48% for Oz The Great and Powerful.  The movie will still hope to find a $200M total at the US ball.  Overseas, it had a $38.7M weekend in 55 territories, for a $186.2M total, more than one-third of which is from China alone.  Although there’s plenty of road ahead, Cinderella doesn’t seem as though it will approach the international success of Maleficent ($517M) or Alice ($691.3M), although it should beat Oz‘s $258.4M.

Everything else was far behind, although KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (MARV/20th) is still holding quite well, down just 34% in its 7th weekend to $3.1M ($119.4M total), and at $209M overseas after a $20M opening in China.  THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (Fox Searchlight) stabilized, down 38% to $2.2M while losing 25% of its theatres, but with a $28.1M total, it won’t get hear the first Marigold‘s $46.4M.  Overseas, Second is at $38.8M after a $2.4M weekend in 30 markets.

Neither of last weekend’s other openings held well, with a 49% drop for DO YOU BELIEVE (Pure Flix) to $2.2M and a $7.1M total that won’t put it within a miracle of last year’s $60.8M for God’s Not Dead, and a 59% plunge for THE GUNMAN (Open Road) to $2.1M and a $8.8M total.

LIMITED RELEASE:  WHILE WE’RE YOUNG (A24), boosted in part by in-theatre Q&As, had a sharp NY/LA opening with a $61K average at 4 theatres.  WILD TALES (Sony Classics) expanded to 116 theatres with a $2600 average.  WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (Paladin) continued to be a solid sleeper, down just 16% while adding a handful of theatres to 146, giving it $2.2M to date.  DANNY COLLINS (Bleecker Street) expanded to 29 theatres with a $8K average.  KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER (Amplify) had a $3K average at 30 theatres.

NEXT WEEKEND:  No one is coming near FURIOUS 7 (Universal), which will have a summer-like opening, with the interest in how the franchise will deal with Paul Walker’s death turbo-charging an already enormous franchise.  THE WOMAN IN GOLD (Weinstein) will attempt to counterprogram to an older crowd at a few hundred theatres, and EFFIE GREY (Adopt) enters limited 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."