May 8, 2016

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 5/8/16


OPENINGS:  Word of mouth kicked in on Saturday for CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (Marvel/Disney), which fell a mild 19% from opening day, much better than the 38% drop for Batman v Superman and the 33% for The Avengers: Age Of Ultron (although not quite as good as the 10% for Iron Man 3, 14% for The Avengers or 15% for Jurassic World).  With a 26% decline projected for Sunday, its weekend estimate is $181.8M, putting it behind only the Avengers pair, Jurassic and The Force Awakens.  No direct competition is on the way until the end of May, so it has a solid road to beating Iron Man 3‘s $409M US total, and could possibly challenge Ultron‘s $459M.  Things are just as rosy overseas, where Civil War added China, Russia and a few more territories to last weekend’s openings and increased its weekend take by 10% to $220M, for a total to date of $496.6M.  Worldwide, Civil War should easily join the $1B club, the question being whether it can reach the $1.2B level of Iron Man 3 or even the $1.4-1.5B superhero gold standard of the Avengers mega-franchise.  In short, Civil War is everything Warners hoped Batman v Superman would be, the only more general concern being that Friday’s slightly muted start suggested that in the absence of a genuine event, the genre could find it increasingly difficult to generate supercharged levels of instant excitement.

NEIGHBORS 2: SORORITY RISING (Universal) doesn’t arrive in the US for 2 weeks, but has put its toe into overseas release, earning $9M in 16 territories.  The first Neighbors did extremely well overseas for an R-rated US comedy with a $120.5M total, so Sorority will be hoping to do at least as well.

HOLDOVERS:  Disney has set a record for the fastest studio to reach $3B worldwide this year, as it amazingly has 3 of the year’s top 5 releases (and that will become 3 of the top 4 by next week, when Civil War will pass Deadpool).  THE JUNGLE BOOK (Disney) contributed $21.9M for the weekend in the US, down 50%, which is a reasonable decline considering that Civil War took over the bulk of its premium-priced IMAX and 3D theatres.  Jungle Book is at $285M in the US, and will reach toward Batman v. Superman‘s $327.3M.  Overseas, Jungle Book brought in $24.1M for a $491.2M total with Japan still on the way.

MOTHER’S DAY (Open Road) was of course put in the release calendar with today in mind, and it’s forecasting a 59% increase from last Sunday, which would give it a 8% increase for the weekend to $9M.  We’ll see whether that number holds up, but even if it does, the movie’s total will be at $20.7M with a plunge almost inevitable next week, so $30M may still be its US ceiling.  It hasn’t yet opened overseas.

THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR (Perfect World/Universal) fell apart, down 63% in the US to $3.6M and a $40.4M total, with $50M unlikely.  It’s in somewhat better shape overseas, with $105.9M after a $4.2M weekend, but it still won’t come close to its $225M+ costs of production/marketing.

KEANU (New Line/RatPac/Warners) did nothing for the big-screen careers of Key & Peele, down an ugly 67% from last weekend to $3.1M and a $15.1M US total, which means it will lose money even on its modest budget.  BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT (MGM/New Line/Warners) fell 56% to $2.7M, now at $48.8M, and unlikely to get much past $55M.  RATCHET & CLANK (Gramercy/Focus/Universal) toppled by 70% to $1.5M and a terrible $7.1M US total.

Back in the wonderful world of Disney, ZOOTOPIA (Disney) hit a milestone.  With a 50% drop to $2.7M in the US, its running total is $327.6M, putting it ahead of BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (DC/RatPac/Warners), which is at $327.3M after a 73% weekend drop to $1M.  Zootopia was already comfortably ahead worldwide, $956.4M vs. $865.5M.  The only mild disappointment for Zootopia is that after a $5.7M weekend overseas, it may not have quite enough gas to reach the $1B worldwide promised land.

LIMITED RELEASE:  A BIGGER SPLASH (Fox Searchlight) made a moderate splash with a $22K per-theatre average at 5 NY/LA arthouses.  DHEEPAN (Sundance/IFC) started with an $11K average at 2 theatres in NY only.  SING STREET (Weinstein) expanded to 153 theatres with a not-so-tuneful $2800 average.  THE MEDDLER (Sony Classics) more than doubled its run for Mother’s Day to 53 theatres with an OK $5600 average.  THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY (IFC) similarly averaged $5500 with an expansion to 40 theatres.  THE FAMILY FANG (Starz), which is also available on VOD, averaged $2000 at 52.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The older-skewing MONEY MONSTER (Columbia/Sony) will aim for the edges of the Civil War audience, while THE DARKNESS (High Top) looks for horror fans.  There are several titles entering limited release, including HIGH-RISE (Magnolia), THE LOBSTER (A24), LOVE & FRIENDSHIP (Amazon/Roadside) and LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT (Broad Green).




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."