April 16, 2017

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 4.16.2017


OPENINGS:  We’ll find out tomorrow if the studio’s $100.2M US weekend estimate for THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (Universal), which counts on an influx of post-church Easter Sunday Christians, will slip into double figures.  But even if the number holds, it’s down 32% from the Furious 7 opening.  If Universal’s hypothesis that this decline is due to the super-powered interest in Furious 7 sparked by Paul Walker’s death turns out to be wrong, the next installment in the franchise could fall below the “mega” level–in the US, at least.  But that won’t matter much as long as the franchise continues to be a monster internationally, a fact underscored by Fate‘s new global opening record of $532.5M, of which $432.5M (81% of the total) comes from overseas, itself an opening record.  That number comes with a few asterisks.  Its studio estimate puts it only $3.5M ahead of the old global recordholder The Force Awakens, so that may shift tomorrow.  More importantly, there are still relatively few mega-productions that manage a true “worldwide” opening, meaning especially that China opens simultaneously with the US.  (Fate still has 5 markets left to open, but only Japan counts as a major one, and even that contributed just $30.8M to Furious 7.)  Of the #2-4 global openings (Force Awakens, Jurassic World, and the last Harry Potter), only Jurassic included China, and the difference between that opening and Fate‘s is almost entirely attributable to their China numbers, $190M vs. $99.2M.  China, lest we forget, allows US studios to retain only 25 cents on every ticket dollar, so a success so massively China-centric (more than 10x the next-highest national opening) isn’t quite as good as it looks.  Nevertheless, this is still a giant franchise.

GIFTED (Fox Searchlight) made a dim effort to counterprogram Fate with an expansion into 1146 theatres, barely more than a quarter of the blockbuster’s footprint.  It yielded a minimal $3M weekend.

HOLDOVERS:  Family fare dominated the longer runs.  THE BOSS BABY (DreamWorks Animation/20th) dropped 41% to $15.5M in the US, still on track for a $150M total.  Overseas, it’s now at $171.1M, after a $36.8M weekend in 61 markets, and seems likely to hit $400M worldwide, around the same as 2015’s Home.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Disney) is now at $1.04B worldwide.  In the US, it lost 42% to $13.6M and a $454.6M total, and overseas, it earned $22M for a $588.4M total, with the big Japan market yet to open.

SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (Columbia/Sony) fell a bad 51% in the US to $6.5M, and may not even get to $40M.  Overseas, things weren’t much better, with a $16.4M weekend in 59 territories and a $70.3M total.  China is still ahead, but at this point breakeven would be good news.

GOING IN STYLE (Village Roadshow/RatPac/New Line/Warners) was hoping for a strong second weekend with its appeal to older audiences, but it didn’t happen, as the film dropped 47% to $6.4M, on its way to $35M and with low overseas prospects, where it’s at $11.7M after a $4.3M weekend.

GET OUT (Blumhouse/QC/Universal) continued to amaze at the US box office, down just 28% in its 8th weekend to $2.9M, and seemingly with enough gas left to reach $175M.  Things are less exciting overseas, where it had a $1M weekend for a $16M total.

POWER RANGERS (Lionsgate) is at $80.6M in the US after a 54% drop to $2.9M.  Although it still has China ahead, so far overseas is even worse, with $47.7M after a $2.7M weekend.

The disaster of GHOST IN THE SHELL (DreamWorks/Reliance/Paramount) continues.  In the US, it sank 67% to $2.4M and won’t reach $45M.  Overseas, it managed a $7.9M weekend in 54 markets including China and Japan and is at $115.1M.

Despite adding 212 theatres for Easter weekend, THE CASE FOR CHRIST (Pure Flix) lost 31% to $2.7M for a $8.4M total.

THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE (Focus/Universal) increased its theatre count by about one-third to 1057 theatres but fell 23% to $2.1M, and with $10.7M so far, it has little sleeper potential.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE LOST CITY OF Z (Bleecker Street/Amazon) had a solid start with a $28K per-theatre weekend average at 4 NY/LA arthouses.  NORMAN (Sony Classics) was a step behind with a $21K average at 5.  COLOSSAL (Neon) widened to 98 theatres and had a slim $4700 average.  THEIR FINEST (STX), now in 52 theatres, averaged $6900.  T2: TRAINSPOTTING (TriStar/Sony) more than doubled its run to 331 theatres with a disastrous $700 average.  TOMMY’S HONOUR (Roadside) debuted at 167 with a $1300 average.  The animated SPARK (Open Road) barely existed with a $300 average at 365

NEXT WEEKEND:  The studios are largely still shying away from the 2d weekend of Fate of the Furious.  The wide openings are low-budget thriller UNFORGETTABLE (Warners), Earth Day documentary MADE IN CHINA (Disney), and indies THE PROMISE (Open Road), FREE FIRE (A24), and PHOENIX FORGOTTEN (Cinelou).  In addition, Lost City of Z will expand into semi-wide 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."