June 16, 2014

UPDATED: Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 6/15/14


MONDAY UPDATE:  Father’s Day was a holiday, all right… for some movies.  22 JUMP STREET vastly overestimated its appeal to dads, taking a sizable 30% hit on Sunday and falling an ugly $3M below its original weekend number to $57.1M.  HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 was also a bit weaker than expected, down 21% on Sunday and falling $500K from its estimate to $49.5M.  (Wall Street expressed its displeasure with the soft DRAGON 2 opening by selling DreamWorks Animation stock in sizable amounts today.)  THE FAULT IN OUR STARS was no dad’s choice at the multiplex, and its weekend was almost $1M below expectations, down to $14.8M.  On the other hand, EDGE OF TOMORROW was dead-on in thinking it would be just what fathers wanted, with a tiny 4% Sunday decline and a final weekend at $16.5M.  (Unfortunately, that was still just $300K better than expected, and won’t help EDGE reach profitability.)  Other Father’s Day favorites:  GODZILLA (up 5% from the original estimate), X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST (up 3%) and–proving not that all fathers have good taste–A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST (up 6%). 

Both of the weekend’s newcomers are counting on healthy Father’s Day results to justify their round-number estimates.

OPENINGS:  22 JUMP STREET (Sony/Columbia) sank a heavy 26% on Saturday, but is nevertheless hoping to fall just 14% on Sunday to reach its $60M weekend projection.  Last year’s R-rated comedy This Is The End fell 18% on Father’s Day, so that may be a bit over-optimistic.  But even if the final number is $1M or so lower, that’s still a terrific opening for a movie that will cost around $175M with worldwide marketing costs included, and the meta-joke of its end credits promise of many sequels to come should hold true.  The opening weekend is considerably higher than the ones for Neighbors ($49M) and Ted ($54.4M) among R-rated comedies, and only looks slim compared to the blockbuster Hangover 2 ($85.9M).  22 is also finding success overseas, with $7M in just 14 territories (21 Jump Street made only $63.1M in its entire overseas run).

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (DreamWorks Animation/20th) is predicting a 17% Sunday drop, ,and that seems fair given the holiday and its family-movie credentials, but yesterday’s 7% drop is cause for a bit of concern about its $50M weekend estimate.  (The original Dragon grew by 45% on its 2d day of release.)  Even if it hits that number, the result is somewhat disappointing, not very much higher than the $43.7M opening for the first Dragon, which was famously a slow-starter that played on for weeks.  Sequels don’t usually operate that way, and DreamWorks will have to hope that Dragon 2 benefits from the lack of any real competition in the market for the next month, until the July 18 arrival of Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue.  Overseas, Dragon 2 had a fair $24.8M start in 25 territories,, the only major one being Russia. Dragon is certainly a hit, but it may not be the giant one DreamWorks needed after 3 flops out of its last 4 releases.

HOLDOVERS:  MALEFICENT (Disney) held surprisingly well in the face of Dragon 2‘s arrival, down just 45% to $19M and a $163.5M US total.  It has a fair chance of reaching $200M before it’s done.  Overseas, it earned $37.2M in 53 markets (not yet including China or Japan) for a $272.9M total.  Its worldwide total of $436.4M is already within reach of Oz The Great and Powerful‘s $493.3M (that movie underperformed internationally), and should easily move ahead, perhaps as soon as next week when Maleficent has its China opening.  It could be headed for $600M+ worldwide.

EDGE OF TOMORROW (Warners) desperately needed a boost from its woeful opening, and didn’t get it.  In the US, despite a forecast that has it as the biggest beneficiary of Father’s Day families (down a tiny 10%), it’s still down 44% to $16.2M and a $56.6M total–it won’t get much beyond $85M in the US, which is next to nothing for an action epic with $325M+ in production/marketing costs.  (TV watchers in the US may have noticed a sudden Warners onslaught for the July 2 opening of Tammy, which may be in part the studio re-assigning its marketing dollars to the Melissa McCarthy comedy.)  Overseas, Edge took in $37.4M, down heavily from last weekend’s $82M.  (It dropped 60% in China alone.)  It has $181M overseas, and with only Japan left to open among major markets, it’s unlikely to get higher than $375M worldwide, a major money-loser.

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (20th) felt the ugly result of front-loading, down 67% from last weekend to $15.7M for a $81.7M total (plus $16.4M overseas from 37 territories, bringing that total to $39.3M).  Nevertheless, Fault is a giant success given its total production/marketing costs of $75-100M, with a possible worldwide total of $200M+.

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST (20th) held very well for a blockbuster in its 4th weekend, down just 37% to $9.5M.  It became the first summer opening to cross $200M at the US box office with $205.9M, and is now at $663.5M worldwide after a $18.2M weekend overseas .  It should ultimately top $700M, and may end up above The Amazing Spider-Man 2, currently at $700.3M worldwide but with much less gas left in its tank (under $1M in the US this weekend).

GODZILLA (Warners) is almost done in the US, down 49% to $3.2M ($191.3M so far), but it arrived in China this weekend for a $38M opening.  That’s a big number (much better than Edge of Tomorrow did last week at $25M), but not overwhelming, slightly below Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($38.8M), and farther away from X-Men: Days of Future Past ($39.4M), Pacific Rim ($45.3M) and Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($46.5M).  Godzilla is at $429.6M worldwide, and with just Japan left to open (although that should be a bonanza for this movie), it’s unlikely to get past $550M, which will make it less of a blockbuster than it first appeared to be.

22 Jump Street took air out of the market’s other comedies this weekend, as NEIGHBORS (Universal) dropped 53% to $2.5M ($143.1M in the US, plus $88.8M overseas), A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST (Universal) lost 58% to $3.1M ($38.9M in the US, plus $26.7M overseas), and BLENDED collapsed by 60% to $1.6M ($40.3M in the US, with foreign release still to come.)  Remarkably, THE OTHER WOMAN (20th), just about done in the US with a $82.7M total, is even more successful overseas–a rarity for a US comedy–with $97.5M.

The box office’s little engine that could is CHEF (Open Road), which had a sensational drop of just 13% this weekend, despite losing almost 20% of its theatres, for $2.3M and a total of $14.1M so far.  Word of mouth for the crowd-pleasing little comedy has clearly kicked in.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE ROVER (A24) had a mediocre start with just a $14K average in 5 NY/LA theatres.  The weekend’s expansions also weren’t much to speak of, as OBVIOUS CHILD (A24) had an $8K average at 18 theatres, and WORDS & PICTURES (Roadside) went much wider and had a $1800 average at 217 theatres.  However, the lack of excitement for new arrivals helped some of the more longrunning attractions.  IDA (Music Box), expanding its theatres by 15%, climbed 12% with a $2400 average.  THE GRAND SEDUCTION (EOne) slipped just 3% with a $2700 average.  THE IMMIGRANT (Weinstein) fell 14%, albeit with a wan $1200 average.

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."