May 15, 2016

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 5/15/16


OPENINGS:  MONEY MONSTER (TriStar/LStar/Sony) held up well over the course of the weekend, thanks to an older audience that doesn’t rush out on Friday nights, and tripled its opening day to a $15M weekend total.  Not that many years ago, that would have seemed like a crazy low number for a thriller starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts, but time moves on.  Money will still need to linger in theatres and perform overseas to pay for its moderate production cost but pricey marketing.

THE DARKNESS (Blumhouse/High Top/Focus/Universal) managed $5.2M for the weekend, considerably better than the $3.5M start for High Top’s first release The Green Inferno, and if the economics Blumhouse laid out for these low-budget horror movies is accurate, that should mean a modest profit, despite a US total that won’t get much over $10M.

SING STREET (Weinstein) expanded to a barely wide 525-theatre release and didn’t show much tunefulness with a $1200 per-theatre weekend average.

THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE (Columbia/Sony) doesn’t arrive in the US until Thursday night, but it’s already taken in $43M in 74 overseas territories (but not China).  Similarly, NEIGHBORS 2: SORORITY RISING (Universal) has started its international run, and has a $19.7M total after a $8.8M weekend in 34 markets.

HOLDOVERS:  CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (Marvel/Disney) had no trouble keeping its place at the top of the box office.  Its 2d US weekend fell 59.5% to $72.6M, almost exactly the same Weekend 2 drop as the 59.4% for Avengers: Age of Ultron and the 58.4% for Iron Man 3, and not far from the 56.4% of Captain America: Winter Soldier, which opened at a significantly lower level.  (It almost goes without saying that Civil War held far better than Batman v. Superman, which plunged 69.1% in Weekend 2.)  Civil War is now at $295.9M in the US, and should make its way to $425M if not more.  Overseas, Civil War earned $84.2M for a $645M total.  It’s at $940.9M worldwide, and will pass the $1B milestone next week, with a final $1.25B possible.

THE JUNGLE BOOK (Disney) continued the joy for the Mouse House, down just 28% in the US to $17.8M and a $311.8M total, with another $15.2M overseas for a $516.3M total, putting worldwide at $828.1M.  It should finish at $900M+.  ZOOTOPIA (Disney) isn’t done yet either, down a tiny 12% in the US to $2.8M for the weekend and a $331.8M total, with $970M worldwide after a $4.7M international frame.  It might still get to $1B worldwide.

The other holdovers were nowhere near the Disney trio.  As expected, MOTHER’S DAY (Open Road) fell apart after its holiday passed, down 71% to $3.3M and a US total that may not get beyond $35M.  It hasn’t yet opened overseas, and will need some strength there to hit profit.  THE HUNTSMEN: WINTER’S WAR (Perfect World/Universal) is just about done, down 35% to $2.6M in the US for a $44.5M total, and at $109.4M overseas after a $2M weekend.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE LOBSTER (A24), a very strange allegorical black comedy, may have an uphill climb getting past the arthouse audience, but it found a sweet spot there, with an excellent $47K per-theatre average at 4 NY/LA venues.  Whit Stillman’s Jane Austen adaptation LOVE & FRIENDSHIP (Amazon/Roadside) also started quite well (and may have more mainstream appeal) with a $33K average at 4.  THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY (IFC) expanded to 194 theatres with an OK $2800 average.  THE MEDDLER (Sony Classics) widened to 127 and averaged $3100.  A BIGGER SPLASH (Fox Searchlight) added 21 theatres for a total of 26 and averaged $7100.  The documentary DARK HORSE (Sony Classics) averaged a slow $2500 at 10.

NEXT WEEKEND:  In addition to the US arrivals of Neighbors 2 and The Angry Birds Movie, the Ryan Gosling/Russell Crowe action comedy THE NICE GUYS (Warners) opens.  Limited releases include MAGGIE’S PLAN (Sony Classics) and the documentary WEINER (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."