March 6, 2016

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 3/6/16


OPENINGS:  The weekend belonged to ZOOTOPIA (Disney Animation/Disney), which broke its studio unit’s opening record and the March animation record with $73.7M, and also earned $63.4M internationally (including $24M from China) to give it a worldwide total, counting early foreign openings, of $232.5M, with plenty of road ahead, and only The Little Prince as competition until mid-April.  Other big March animations (The Lorax, Monsters vs. Aliens, The Croods) have tripled or quadrupled their starts, so Zootopia should end up with well over $200M and as much as $300M in the US.

LONDON HAS FALLEN (Millenium/Gramercy/Focus/Universal) toppled almost 30% from the opening of Olympus Has Fallen to a blah $21.7M.  Although it was moderately budgeted by the standards of big-time action spectacles, production/marketing costs will still come to $150M+, and it will need to be much more successful than Olympus‘s $62.1M overseas (unlikely after a lousy $12M weekend in 22 territories) to have a hope of reaching profit.

Tina Fey’s WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT (Paramount) has no hope after a wan $7.6M start.  Fey’s movie successes to date have come when she’s been packaged with another big name (Sisters and Baby Mama with Amy Poehler, Date Night with Steve Carell), and so far she’s been unable to prove herself as a box office draw on her own.  Whiskey, with its political overtones, was either going to be a breakthrough or a failure for her, and it’s the latter.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR (20th) is a low-budget horror entry that Fox snuck into 546 theatres for an unfrightening $1.2M weekend.

HOLDOVERS:  DEADPOOL (20th) fell 47% and out of 1st (and 2d) place, but it’s still selling plenty of tickets at $16.4M.  That puts it at $311.2M in the US, plus (after a $21.2M weekend) $362M internationally.  It’s still not clear whether the blockbuster will get an opening in China.

The box office could barely sustain one Gerard Butler action movie, let alone two, and last week’s GODS OF EGYPT (Summit/Lionsgate) went splat with a 65% plunge to $5M, putting it at a mere $22.8M in the US.  Things weren’t much better overseas, where it’s at $49.6M after a $15.7M weekend.  It opens in China next week, but at this point that doesn’t matter much, considering the would-be epic’s $250M+ total costs.

RISEN (Affirm/Columbia/Sony) will have competition for the Christian audience next week, and is already holding only moderately for its genre, down 43% to $3.9M for the weekend and a $28.7M US total.

KUNG FU PANDA 3 (DreamWorks Animation/20th) collapsed by 60% in the wake of Zootopia‘s arrival, down to $3.5M for the weekend.  That gives it $133.8M in the US and little chance of hitting $150M, plus $190M overseas (most of it from China) after a $3.1M weekend, with much of the world still to come.

Last weekend’s other openings had no staying power.  EDDIE THE EAGLE (MARV/20th) dropped 49% to $3.1M and a $10.9M US total, which looked good compared to TRIPLE 9 (Open Road), down 65% to $2.1M and $10.2M to date.

The Oscars come so long after its nominees have opened that wins only lead to a short burst at the box office.  THE REVENANT (Regency/20th), which was already the top draw of the nominees still in theatres, dipped by 16% despite its wins, for a $3.3M weekend and $176M US total, plus $253M overseas after a $12.5M weekend.  SPOTLIGHT (Open Road) increased its theatre count to 1227 and more than doubled last weekend’s take, but that was still just $1.8M for the weekend, giving it a $41.6M US total.  It also earned $4.8M overseas, where it has $30.3M to date.  It should be able to nose its way past Birdman‘s $42.3M US total.

LIMITED RELEASE:  KNIGHT OF CUPS (Broad Green), Terrence Malick’s latest rumination on the universe, had a dim $14K average at 4 NY/LA sites.

NEXT WEEKEND:  10 CLOVERFIELD LANE (Paramount), the mysterious spin-off of Bad Robot’s surprise hit, is the big arrival.  More niche-like business can be expected from the Sacha Baron Cohen vehicle THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY (Columbia/Sony), African-American rom-com THE PERFECT MATCH (Lionsgate), and Christian-aimed THE YOUNG MESSIAH (Focus/Universal).  Limited releases include EYE IN THE SKY (Bleecker Street) and HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS (Roadside).

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."