June 12, 2016

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 6/12/16


OPENINGS:  The only new arrival this weekend certain of profitability is THE CONJURING 2 (New Line/RatPac/Warners).  It’s already earned $40.4M in the US (just lightly behind the first Conjuring‘s $41.9M opening) and $50M in 44 overseas markets, and although horror movies and sequels are usually frontloaded, even in a worst cast scenario it will top $200M against worldwide costs of around $100M, making further installments of the franchise a near-inevitability.

WARCRAFT (Legendary/Universal) is in a more interesting and complicated situation.  Its worldwide costs are at least $275M, and it’s nowhere in the US after a $24.4M opening weekend, with no more than a $75M ultimate US total to be expected.  In China, it had a historically huge start, earning $156M over a 5-day holiday opening.  However, by China’s Sunday it was already rapidly running out of steam, down to $11.2M, which suggests a $250M China total–of which Legendary, despite being China-owned, will apparently receive only 25% because Warcraft is considered a US import.  In the rest of the world, it’s at $105.7M after a $29.8M weekend in 51 markets.  In the end, Warcraft may get to $500M worldwide when all is said and done, but because China receipts would constitute half of that number, the studios may only receive a total of $175M or so, which would still make the film a financial loser.  The moral may be that a big-budget action movie can earn the bulk of its revenue overseas and come out ahead, but it can’t afford to utterly bomb in the US, especially when that leaves it relying on China.

NOW YOU SEE ME 2 (Summit/Lionsgate) opened in the US with a reported $23M (it’s counting on a very low Sunday drop, so that number may fall tomorrow), which would be down an OK 22% from the first Now You See Me‘s $29.4M start.  That suggests a $95M US total, and $275M worldwide (it’s at $22.8M after opening in 30 markets, although with much of its action set in China, it may overperform there).  With $200M+ in total costs (considerably higher than its sleeper predecessor), it may or may not reach profit, and is in a hazy area as far as franchise strength.

HOLDOVERS:  None of last week’s openings held well.  TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS (Nickelodeon/Movie Media Group/Alibaba/Paramount) fell 58% to $14.1M, a bit worse than the 57% drop for the initial TMNT reboot, but running at slightly over half that movie’s total.  It’s only going to reach $90M or so in the US, and has a muted $55.3M overseas after a $13.3M weekend in 44 territories (not yet including China or much of Europe).  It will have to do awfully well in the rest of the world to make its way to profitability on $250M+ in worldwide costs.

ME BEFORE YOU (MGM/New Line/RatPac/Warners) didn’t get much from word of mouth, falling 51% to $9.2M in the US for a $36.8M total.  An ultimate $60M in the US will barely pay for the expensive Warners marketing campaign, and with $18.4M overseas (a $5.1M weekend in only 17 markets), it’s in so-so shape.

POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING (Perfect World/Universal) had no traction at all, plunging 64% to $1.7M and a hopeless $8.4M total.  It hasn’t yet opened overseas, but there’s little likelihood of that bailing it out.

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE (TSG/20th) fell 57% to $10M in the US, putting it at $136.4M and unlikely to hit $160M.  It’s about 28% below the parallel total of Days of Future Past.  Overseas, it had a $25M weekend ($14.4M of it from China), and is now playing just about everywhere but Japan, not a big market for the franchise, with a $342M international total.  It’s likely to end up around $550M worldwide, almost $200M below the $747.9 for Days of Future Past, and with $300M+ in total costs, that will make for a franchise that’s still profitable but heading in the wrong direction.

THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE (Rovio/Columbia/Sony) had its last clear weekend before Finding Dory arrives next week, and it held well, down 34% to $6.7M.  That still puts it at a merely OK US total of $98.2M, with a probable ceiling of $115M.  Overseas, it earned $10.4M for a $213.9M total.  It’s still hoping to reach the worldwide Hotel Transylvania total of $358.4M.

ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS (Disney) can only hope to minimize its massive losses, which may well top $100M.  It fell 51% to $5.4M in the US for a $62.4M total, and overseas it’s at $151M after a $14.6M weekend.  CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (Marvel/Disney) is near the end of its run with $396.9M in the US (down 45% to $4.3M for the weekend) and $745.5M overseas ($1.2M for the weekend), putting its worldwide total at $1.14B.  It might match the $409M that Iron Man 3 earned in the US, but not that installment’s $1.22B worldwide total.

LOVE & FRIENDSHIP (Amazon/Roadside) and THE LOBSTER (A24) each averaged around $1800 per theatre for the weekend, respectively at 826 and 560, which probably means they don’t have much room to expand further.  Both held very well, down 29% and 32%, and at $9.5M and $5.2M, they’re both moderate successes in indie terms, with Love now the biggest hit of Whit Stillman’s career.

LIMITED RELEASE:  It was another quiet summer weekend at the arthouses.  DEPALMA (A24) had an OK $10.2K average at 3 theatres, and THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS (Orchard) was almost identical with a $10K average at 3.  Despite the presences of Colin Firth, Jude Law and Nicole Kidman, GENIUS (Roadside) bombed with a $400 average at 16.  MAGGIE’S PLAN (Sony Classics) showed little promise with an expansion to 311 theatres that averaged $2200.

NEXT WEEKEND:  FINDING DORY (Pixar/Disney), arriving 13 years after the beloved Finding Nemo, is expected to blast past that movie’s $70.3M opening.  CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE (New Line/Warners/Universal) combines Dwayne Johnson an Kevin Hart for the first comedy to hit multiplexes in a month.


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."