May 27, 2018

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 5.27.2018


OPENINGS:  With the addition of Saturday and overseas numbers, SOLO (Lucasfilm/Disney) is starting to shift from a disappointment to a potential disaster.  In the US, Solo fell 30% on Saturday (by comparison, last year’s Memorial Day opening Pirates of the Caribbean 5, a movie no one particularly loved, dropped only 14% on its Saturday, and 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past lost 18%), and is hoping for an $83.3M 3-day weekend and to nudge past $100M with Monday.  Even if it manages that, the history of Memorial Day weekend openings suggests that it would be a stretch for Solo to reach even $250M in the US, in which case only a failure to adjust for inflation would keep it from being the lowest-grossing Star Wars title ever (technically above The Empire Strikes Back from 38 years ago).  The news overseas is even worse, as Solo opened in all major markets except Japan to a dreadful $65M (only $10.1M from China).  It’s hard to see a path for Solo to find $500M worldwide, and with $450M in production/marketing costs, it will likely be the first Star Wars movie to lose money.  This will almost certainly be the last time Disney tries to release two Star Wars installments within a single 12-month period (Episode IX was already set for December 2019), and it may force a rethinking of the anthology strategy that’s currently supposed to include features built around marginal characters like Boba Fett.  The key takeaway, though, may be that not all franchises are the same, and Star Wars emphatically isn’t Marvel.

HOLDOVERS:  The low results for Solo didn’t particularly help DEADPOOL 2 (20th), which fell 66% in its 2nd weekend to $42.7M ($53M with Monday), much worse than the 57% drop for Weekend 2 of the first Deadpool, even with the cushion of a holiday Sunday.  In the US, it will hope to hit $300M, down about 20% from its predecessor.  Overseas, it earned $57M with Japan still to open for a $279.7M international total.  (It won’t be permitted a China release.)  It might find its way to $700M worldwide, down 10% or so from the original.

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (Marvel/Disney) fell 44% in its 5th weekend to $16.5M ($20M with Monday), on its way to $650M or so in the US, the #2 Marvel title behind Black Panther.  Overseas, though, it’s far bigger, with $1.28B after a $32.5M weekend.  Infinity War is at $1.9B worldwide, and the only suspense is whether it can climb to $2B and become the 4th film ever to hit that mark.

The advantage of skewing toward an older audience can be a longer, steadier box office ride, and that’s evident for both BOOK CLUB (Endeavor Content/Paramount) and LIFE OF THE PARTY (New Line/Warners)Book Club slipped a mere 30% in its 2nd weekend to $9.5M ($12M with Monday), and should pass $50M in the US, with no international release thus far.  Party was down 33% on its 3rd weekend to $5.1M ($7M with Monday), and may also hit $50M in the US, with $5.9M in early international release.

BREAKING IN (Universal) fell a bit more steeply by 41% to $4.1M ($5M with Monday) as it heads toward $45M in the US.  It’s just begin an international release at $2M.

SHOW DOGS (Global Road) dropped 49% to $3.1M in Weekend 2 ($4M with Monday), and probably won’t see $20M in the US.  It has $1.2M overseas.

OVERBOARD (MGM/Pantelion/Lionsgate) was down 35% in its 4th weekend to $3M ($4M with Monday) and probably won’t quite reach $50M in the US.  Its international release is so far at $12.1M.

A QUIET PLACE (Paramount) is nearing the end of its exceptional run, down 44% in its 8th weekend to $2.2M ($3M with Monday), heading toward $185M in the US.  It’s also a smash overseas, where it’s at $131.7M after a $4.7M weekend.

LIMITED RELEASE:  There wasn’t much in the way of new indie openings for the holiday weekend.  The Chinese-language HOW LONG WILL I LOVE U (WGUSA) had a 3-day $9200 average in 210 theatres.  In much smaller debuts, both HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES (A24) and MARY SHELLEY (IFC) opened in 2 theatres, with respective averages of $6600 and $6K.  The indie field continues to be led by RBG (Magnolia), with a $2700 average in 415 theatres and a nearly invisible 11% drop for the weekend.  The other world figure documentary in the market isn’t faring nearly as well, as POPE FRANCIS: A MAN OF HIS WORLD (Focus/Universal) averaged an ugly $750 at 385.  FIRST REFORMED (A24) expanded to 29 with a fair $9700 average.  BEAST (Roadside) averaged $1900 at 93.  THE SEAGULL (Sony Classics) widened to 29 with a sluggish $4K average.  LET THE SUNSHINE IN (IFC) averaged $1500 at 69.  ON CHESIL BEACH (Bleecker Street) averaged a wan $3500 at 25.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The only good news for Solo is that other studios feared it so much that they gave it a wide berth, and the only wide openings on the immediate horizon are the low-budget ADRIFT (STX), ACTION POINT (Paramount) and UPGRADE (BH Tilt/Universal).  Indie releases include the Sundance titles AMERICAN ANIMALS (The Orchard) and A KID LIKE JAKE (IFC).

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."