July 10, 2016

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 7/10/16


OPENINGS:  THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (Illumination/Universal) quintupled the next-highest grosser of the weekend, with the biggest opening in US history for an animated non-sequel at $103.2M, easily passing last year’s $90.4M for Inside Out.  It remains to be seen if Pets can match Inside Out‘s nearly 4x multiple, but whatever happens from here, Pets is a huge moneymaker, especially considering its relatively modest $75M production cost, and it gives the Illumination unit a second thriving franchise to go along with Despicable Me/Minions.  Overseas, Pets is pursuing a gradual release strategy, and has $42.6M in only 9 markets.

MIKE & DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES (TSG/20th) had an unassuming start with $16.6M, a number that might come down in tomorrow’s finals, as it includes a strong Sunday.  It’s a shade below the $17.8M start for Let’s Be Cops, an August 2014 R-rated comedy opening that made it to $82.4M.  If Mike & Dave can similarly run to $75M, it’ll be a modest hit, but its July launch means that it faces much stiffer competition than a mid-August title.

ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE (Blue Sky/20th) is still 2 weeks away from the US, but it’s already earned $57.7M in 25 international markets, with $32.2M for the weekend.  That doesn’t include China, where it opens in August.

HOLDOVERS:  THE LEGEND OF TARZAN (Village Roadshow/RatPac/Warners) declined 47% from last week’s opening to $20.6M, a decent hold but one that leaves the extravaganza at $81.4M and on track to a $125M US total, far from its $300M in worldwide production/marketing costs.  It needs a very strong international boost to have any hope of breaking even, and so far it’s only at $54M overseas after a $27M weekend in 46 markets.  China is among those territories still to come, but it’s hard to see a path that doesn’t end in red ink.

THE BFG (Reliance/Disney) perished in its 2d weekend, down an ugly 60% to $7.6M and a $38.7M US total.  It was certainly hurt by the phenomenon of Pets, but it was already flopping, and now seems unlikely to get past $55M at the US box office, a disaster given its $275M+ in production/marketing costs.  It’s still early in its international release, with $11.9M to date, but there’s little chance the overseas box office will come close to bailing it out.

FINDING DORY (Pixar/Disney) took a 51% hit from the arrival of Pets, dropping its weekend to $20.4M, but that still put its US total at $422.6M, making it the #1 film of the year (topping stablemate Captain America: Civil War‘s $406.2M).  The next milestone will be the title of biggest US animated hit ever, as it approaches Shrek 2‘s non-inflation-adjusted $441.2M from 2004.  Dory also has $220.2M overseas after a $29.7M weekend in 40 markets.  Much of Europe is still to come, but that number does include China, suggesting that it may have trouble matching the $501M international total of Inside Out.

THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR (Blumhouse/Universal) fell 63% in its 2d weekend to $11.7M, better than the 65% drop for Anarchy, and much better than the 76% drop for the original PurgeElection Year is at $58.1M, on pace to become the highest-grosser of the franchise at around $80M, a genuine accomplishment in this year of collapsing franchises.

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE (New Line/RatPac/Universal/Warners) has a fair chance of becoming a franchise of its own, with the best hold of the weekend despite the arrival of Mike & Dave, down just 35% to $8.1M.  That puts its US total at $108.3M, and it should exceed $125M if it can hold onto its theatres, making it Kevin Hart’s #2 live-action hit behind the original Ride Along.

INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE (20th) continued downward, falling 54% to $7.7M in the US.  It’s at $91.5M, and won’t get much beyond $105M.  Overseas it earned $21.5M in 64 territories covering most of the world, with a $214.3M total.  It’s unlikely to break even on its $300M+ production/marketing costs.

THE SHALLOWS (Columbia/Sony) had a 45% drop to $4.8M, giving it a $45.8M US total.  It’s barely opened overseas, but $55M in the US should put it on track for a modest profit.

SWISS ARMY MAN (A24) fell 51% to under $700K for the weekend at 600 theatres, and it may not get past $5M, not enough to pay for a national marketing campaign.

LIMITED RELEASE:  The most impressive arrival was the Indian-language SULTAN (Yash Raj), which took in $2.2M at just 283 theatres, the 2d best per-theatre average in the Top 10 behind Pets.  Not surprisingly, it was even stronger in India, where it earned $25.5M in its 5-day opening.  Also in near-wide release, OUR KIND OF TRAITOR (Roadside) held strongly, down just 26% at 399 theatres. Its $1800 average wasn’t much to boast about, but there’s clearly an audience for its older-skewing intrigue.  On a smaller scale, CAPTAIN FANTASTIC (Bleecker Street) started well with a $25M average at 4 theatres, although that number was boosted by in-theatre Q&A sessions.  HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE (Orchard) expanded nicely to 72 theatres with a $6K average.  THE INNOCENTS (Music Box) had a $4K average after expansion to 34.  WIENER-DOG (IFC) averaged $1700 at 64.  OUR LITTLE SISTER (Sony Classics) opened at 3 with a mild $9K average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  THE INFILTRATOR (Broad Green) will try to get a jump on audiences with a Wednesday opening.  The only major Friday opening is the rebooted GHOSTBUSTERS (Columbia/Sony), an expensive bet for its studio.  The year’s Woody Allen film CAFE SOCIETY (Amazon/Lionsgate) arrives in NY/LA.


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."