April 5, 2015

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 4/5/15

OPENINGS:  Here are the records FURIOUS 7 (Universal) has racked up:  #4 worldwide opening at $384M (behind the final Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and The Avengers)–although that may be cheating a bit because it opened in a few territories on Wed-Thurs–#3 international opening at $240M (behind the last Harry Potter and the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean)–ditto–and #9 US opening at $143.6M, making it the biggest April opening ever.  Some of those standings may slip a bit when final numbers come in tomorrow (at the moment, it’s less than $800K ahead of the #10 US opening, Twilight: New Moon), but still:  not a bad few days of work.  With China, Japan and Russia still to open (those markets totaled over $120M for Fast & Furious 6), Furious 7 is on track to become the 20th film in history to top $1B worldwide, a wildly profitable return on an investment in the neighborhood of $325M.  Two points worth noting:  although the franchise is obviously thriving, it’ll be interesting to see how the next installment does without the super-charge of widespread interest in how this chapter would handle the real-life death of Paul Walker.  Also, as huge as this opening was, it may very well not even hit the top 3 of 2015, not with Avengers 2, the final Hunger Games and the new Star Wars still to open.

HOLDOVERS:  HOME (DreamWorks Animation/20th) will be hurt by the relatively low-grossing Easter Sunday holiday, and it’s down 47% from opening weekend to $27.4M, worse than the 45% Weekend 2 drop for Monsters vs.Aliens, and far from the 32-39% falls for previous DreamWorks April openings The Croods, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, and How To Train Your Dragon.  It’s earned $95.6M in the US, and may have trouble getting past $150M.  More troubling (and perplexing) is its soft business overseas, where it took in $20.2M this weekend in 67 territories that cover most of the world (although not yet China or Japan), giving it a $83.8M total.  That’s shaping up to look a lot more like Mr. Peabody‘s $161.4M overseas total than The Croods’ $400M, and it suggests that overall, Home may not be the financial shot in the arm that its studio needed.

GET HARD (RatPack Dune/Warners) headed straight into a buzzsaw with its 2d weekend directly against Furious 7, which is aimed at the same young male audience, and sure enough, Hard slumped by 62% to $12.9M, a painfully bad hold for Will Ferrell (even Land of the Lost fell only 52% in its 2d weekend).  With $57M earned so far, Get Hard is unlikely to reach $100M in the US.  It’s only barely opened overseas, with $10.3M to date.

CINDERELLA (Disney) dropped 40% to $10.3M in the US, putting it at $167.3M, and hitting $200M may be a stretch.  That would put it behind Alice In Wonderland, Oz the Great and Powerful and Maleficent (although in fairness, Cinderella cost significantly less to produce than those).  Overseas, the Disney spectacle earned $24.3M for a $230M total, with Japan still to come.  A $300M international total would put it ahead of Oz, although still behind the other 2.

INSURGENT (Summit/Lionsgate) fell 54% to $10M, worse than the 49% Weekend 3 drop for DivergentInsurgent is now at $103.4M, about $10M behind Divergent, and will probably end up at around $130M.  Overseas, the dystopian YA franchise earned $15.5M for a $120.2M total.  It will outgross Divergent‘s $138M international take, but not by much, and considering that this installment included 3D and IMAX ticket prices (and had higher costs than the first movie), the overall result is mildly disappointing.

IT FOLLOWS (Radius/Weinstein) had a misleadingly good drop of 35% to $2.5M, fueled by a widening release of roughly the same proportion.  Its per-theatre decrease was more than 50%, and with an $8.5M total, it may not be able to get past $15M.

THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (Fox Searchlight) lost one-third of its theatres and took an ugly 53% drop to $1M, on its way out with a $30.1M total that’s disappointingly below the $46.4M earned by its predecessor.

LIMITED RELEASE:  WOMAN IN GOLD (Weinstein) counterprogrammed the weekend’s action blockbuster with a modest 258-theatre opening, and is claiming a $2M weekend, giving it an OK $7800 average.  WHILE WE’RE YOUNG (A24) expanded to 34 theatres with a fair $14.5K average.  DANNY COLLINS (Bleecker Street) more than doubled to 83 theatres with a moderate $3900 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The studios are still giving Furious 7 a wide berth, even in its 2d weekend.  THE LONGEST RIDE (20th), the latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation, will go for his target female audience, and the critically-acclaimed small-scale sci-fi thriller EX MACHINA (A24) will hope to find a foothold among audiences looking for something different.

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."