May 1, 2016

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 5/1/16


OPENINGS:  The biggest noise of the weekend by far was made outside the US, where CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (Marvel/Disney) began its global campaign, and earned $200.2M in 63 territories comprising about two-thirds of the international terrain (not including China and Russia, among others).  Disney has made it clear that that this is an Avengers movie in all but name, and that’s the way it’s playing, in line with the $201.2M opening for Avengers: Age of Ultron (which was in 44 markets that included Russia but not China), and far ahead of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which took 2 weeks to reach $207M (including China).  Civil War is expected to open in the $200M neighborhood when it reaches these shores on Thursday night, and should have a worldwide total well over $500M by next Sunday.

The US openings were comparative pocket change.  KEANU (New Line/RatPac/Warners) failed to move Key & Peele beyond cult status with a $9.4M opening, and it’s unlikely to earn back its $50M+ in production/marketing costs, especially since the stars have little recognition overseas.

MOTHER’S DAY (Open Road) was less than festive at $8.3M, although it’s worth noting that New Year’s Eve, the last Garry Marshall exercise in ensemble rom-com, was quite popular outside the US, earning $87.5M vs. $54.5M here.  If it can duplicate that kind of result this time, it might find a path out of red ink.

RATCHET & CLANK (Gramercy/Focus/Universal) was much quieter than its title at $4.8M, and will be available for home viewing very soon.  Gramercy was a distributor for hire on this one, but won’t even earn back its marketing costs.

HOLDOVERS:  THE JUNGLE BOOK (Disney) did to the newcomers what real jungle animals do to prey, more than quadrupling its nearest rival with a remarkable $42.4M 3rd weekend, down just 31% from last week.  It’s at $252.1M in the US, and although Civil War will dent it next week, it could very well become Disney’s highest-grossing live-action (or “live-action,” since most of it is CG) reboot of an animated classic, passing Alice In Wonderland‘s $334.2M.  It earned another $57.1M overseas for a $432.7M total, and should end up with $850M worldwide (which would keep it below Alice‘s $1B).  Disney has already announced a release date for the sequel, and Warners has enlisted Alfonso Cuaron to help out with its competing Jungle Book project, also known as “the other one.”

THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR (Perfect World/Universal) slumped by 52% in its 2d weekend despite the lack of meaningful new competition, down to $9.4M and a $34M total.  It may not get past $55M in the US, and things aren’t much better overseas, where it took in $7.4M for a $97.1M total.  The only question at this point is whether its losses will hit the nine-figure mark (probably yes).  Universal is going to need strong performances from Jason Bourne and Illumination’s animated Secret Lives of Pets to keep its 2016 from looking like a tailspin.

BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT (MGM/New Line/Warners) dipped 42% in Weekend 3 to $5.2M, giving it $44.7M to date.  That will probably leave it $10M below the last Barbershop movie from 2004.  It hasn’t opened yet overseas.

ZOOTOPIA (Disney) continues to amaze, down just 24% in its 9th weekend to $5M.  It’s earned $323.5M in the US, and in the next week or so it should pass those sad DC superheroes.  Overseas it’s already ahead, with $607.9M after a $8.3M weekend.  It may not quite have the stamina to reach $1B worldwide, but it should get close.

THE BOSS (Universal) held well, down 32% in its 4th weekend to $4.3M, but with $56.1M to date, it’s an underperformer for Melissa McCarthy that won’t come close to the $84.5M for Tammy, let alone the totals for Spy, Identity Thief or The Heat.  It’s still in early overseas release with $10.9M after a $1.5M weekend.

BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (DC/RatPac/Warners) is almost done, down 31% in the US to $3.8M ($325.1M total), and with a $2.8M weekend overseas ($537.8M total).  It’s headed for $875M worldwide, which is a sizable chunk of money, but puts it in the realm of titles like the 2d Harry Potter movie and Spectre, hardly the game-changer its studio was counting on it to be.  (DC/Warners’s problems aren’t over:  last week the director of the Flash movie exited the project.)

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY (IFC) had an unexciting start with a per-theatre average of $15K at 6 theatres.  PAPA: HEMINGWAY IN CUBA (Yari) opened at 325 theatres with a dull $1500 average.  Several mid-level titles expanded to little stir.  GREEN ROOM (A24), now at 470 theatres, had a weekend per-theatre average of $2K.  A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING (Roadside) spread to 523 with a $1800 average.  SING STREET (Weinstein) moved into 104 with a $3200 average.  THE MEDDLER (Sony Classics) made its way to 24 with a $7300 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Everyone is getting out of Civil War‘s way.  Even in the arthouses, the only arrival is the Wednesday opening of A BIGGER SPLASH (Fox Searchlight), which is unlikely to live up to its title.

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."