May 20, 2018

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 5.20.2018


OPENINGS:  Although unquestionably huge, and sure to be enormously profitable against roughly $250M in production/marketing costs, DEADPOOL 2 (20th) opened on the low end of expectations, about 5% below the first Deadpool at $125M.  The sequel has the very reasonable explanation that its forebear had the advantage of a Sunday that was part of a 3-day holiday weekend, but sequels are normally more frontloaded than their predecessors, and massive competition from Solo is just a week away, so D2 may fall further behind the first film’s $363.1M US total.  The overseas opening was $176.3M, covering all major markets except China (where, like the original Deadpool, it’s unlikely to be allowed a run for content reasons) and Japan (where Deadpool earned $18.9M).  These early numbers suggest an ultimate $750M worldwide, a tad below the original, and with somewhat more cost, but with plenty of room for additional Deadpools (and X-Forces) to come.

The geriatric sex-com BOOK CLUB (Endeavor Content/Paramount) was surprisingly frontloaded for a project aimed squarely at an older audience, taking in 38% of its $12.5M weekend total on Friday.  (By comparison, the first wide weekend of Victoria & Abdul earned only 28% of its total on the parallel day.)  That suggests a multiple that might be low for the sub-genre, and a US total under $40M.  Reportedly, Paramount paid only $10M for the US/UK/France rights, but that number doesn’t including marketing costs, which may bring Book Club to borderline profitability.

SHOW DOGS (Global Road) made a brief stop on its way to home viewing with a $6M weekend.

HOLDOVERS:  AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (Marvel/Disney) fell 54% to $28.7M in the face of Deadpool 2, and now seems likely to end its US run around $650M, the #2 Marvel title behind Black Panther, which is continuing to will-it-or-won’t-it toward $700M.  Internationally, though, Infinity War has hit $1.22B to date after an $84.4M weekend, almost double Black Panther‘s $645.8M total, and the biggest Marvel movie worldwide by a $300M (and growing) margin.  The remaining question is whether it can get to $2B worldwide, which at the moment seems like a bridge too far.

LIFE OF THE PARTY (New Line/Warners), like all the female-skewing titles in the market, was due for a bad weekend drop because of comparisons to Mother’s Day.  It was slammed by 57% to $7.7M, and may get to $45M in the US, about 30% below The Boss as Melissa McCarthy’s new lowest-grossing star vehicle.  It has $5.8M in minimal overseas release after a $1.3M weekend.

BREAKING IN (Universal) similarly plunged 63% to $6.5M, but at a $40M US total, it’s likely to be a lot closer to profit than Life Of the Party, because of its lower costs.  It’s barely in international release, where it has $1.7M.

OVERBOARD (MGM/Pantelion/Lionsgate) had another post-Mother’s Day hangover, down 52% to $4.7M, and aiming for $45M in the US, a decent total for an inexpensive production, but not the breakout hit that had been hoped.  It has $12.1M overseas to date.

A QUIET PLACE (Paramount) dipped 37% to $4M in its 7th weekend, on its way to $185M in the US, a mountain of profit.  It’s at $120.3M overseas after an $18.8M weekend dominated by $17.7M from China, where horror flicks are rarely allowed to open.

RAMPAGE (New Line/Warners) fell another 57% to $1.5M, likely to come to rest at $95M in the US.  Overseas is a different story, though, with $314.5M (almost half from China) after a $4.4M weekend.

LIMITED RELEASE:  RBG (Magnolia) has now gone wider than I Am Not Your Negro ever did, hitting 375 locations, where it averaged $3400, considerably better than the $2600 the earlier film averaged at its widest point of 313.  That suggests there’s still gas in its tank for further expansion, and with $3.9M to date, RBG can dream about stretching toward $10M.  By comparison, POPE FRANCIS: A MAN OF HIS WORD (Focus/Universal) premiered at 348 theatres and averaged just $1400.  A 70mm 50th anniversary engagement of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (MGM/Warners) had a robust $50K per-theatre average at 4.  FIRST REFORMED (A24) opened well at 4 theatres with a $25K average.  ON CHESIL BEACH (Bleecker Street) opened at 4 with a dim $2300 average.  DISOBEDIENCE (Bleecker Street) expanded to 247 theatres with a mild $2K average.  BEAST (Roadside) widened to 31 and averaged $3300.  LET THE SUNSHINE IN (IFC), now at 49 theatres (and also on VOD) averaged $1900.  THE SEAGULL (Sony Classics) averaged a quiet $5100 at 13.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The major studios are handing Memorial Day weekend to SOLO (Lucasfilm/Disney).  The indies aren’t interested either, with MARY SHELLEY (IFC) among the few limited releases.




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."