July 17, 2016

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 7/17/16


OPENINGS:  GHOSTBUSTERS (Village Roadshow/Columbia/Sony) is reporting a $46M weekend (that number assumes the lowest Sunday drop in the Top 10, so it may come down a bit in finals), about 10% higher than the start for Independence Day: Resurgence and 20% higher than The Legend of Tarzan, all on similar $275M+ production/marketing budgets.  None of these numbers are great, but the particular problem for Ghostbusters is that its international appeal is unclear, especially because it may not be allowed to run in China (due to its supernatural subject matter).  It’s only in a few overseas markets so far, where it earned $19.1M, and with a US total unlikely to get much beyond $150M, that gradual release will be the key to its success or failure.  In any case, though, it’s clearly another summer non-blockbuster.

On a much smaller scale, THE INFILTRATOR (Broad Green), with a relatively small 1600-theatre footprint, took in $5.3M ($6.7M since its Wednesday opening), and won’t be around long.

ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE (Blue Sky/20th) will arrive in the US on Friday with over $127M in overseas earnings after a $53.5M weekend in 51 territories.  Ice Age, which won’t reach China until August, has been overwhelmingly an international franchise, and it has a long way to go to match the $690.1M that contributed 78% of the total box office for the last installment.

HOLDOVERS:  THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (Illlumination/Universal) held off Ghostbusters to keep its US box office crown with $50.6M.  That 52% drop is steeper than the 46% Weekend 2 decline for Finding Dory, but better than the 57% for Minions, and suggests a $325M US total.  Overseas, Pets is having a slow rollout, and is at $50.8M after a $4.4M weekend in 9 markets.

THE LEGEND OF TARZAN (Village Roadshow/RatPac/Warners) had a moderate 47% slide to $11.1M in the US, and continues on a path to $125M.  Overseas, it’s at $90.6M after a $22M weekend in 55 territories, with China arriving next week.  It’s still far from any chance of profit.

FINDING DORY (Pixar/Disney) is now the #1 animated film in US history at $445.5M (passing Shrek 2‘s 12-year old $441.2M mark), and with $11M for the weekend, may get to $475M.  Internationally, it’s in 45 markets, and with this weekend’s $36.5M, it’s at $276.2M.  It still hasn’t opened in major markets like the UK and Germany, and for now it’s unclear whether it can match Inside Out‘s $501M overseas total.

MIKE & DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES (TSG/20th) fell 55% to $7.5M, and is still hoping to reach $50M in the US, which would put it in need of some overseas help to hit profit with production/marketing costs over $100M.

THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR (Blumhouse/Universal) is now within $1M of becoming the highest-grossing installment of its franchise, and with $6.1M for this weekend (down 51%), it will end up passing that mark by a considerable margin.  Overseas release is just beginning with a $7.2M total.

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE (New Line/RatPac/Universal/Warners) is still the movie pleasing audiences best, down an impressively small 34% in its 5th weekend to $5.3M, with $117.5M to date.  It also has $63M overseas after a $10M weekend in 54 markets.  That’s most of the world, so the international number may not get above $100M, but this should still be a mildly profitable venture that could very well spawn a sequel.

NOW YOU SEE ME 2 (Summit/Lionsgate) isn’t notable for its $700K US weekend ($63.6M total) or even its $17.5M overseas weekend, but because it’s being propelled by its $203.7M international total and particularly its $92.7M in China to the next step:  a Chinese spin-off, featuring a local cast and setting.  It’s very possible that such a spin-off, especially since it won’t have the cost of a western cast, could be more profitable than the main franchise itself.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Woody Allen’s CAFE SOCIETY (Amazon/Lionsgate) had a strong if not quite first-tier opening for an Allen film, averaging $71K at 5 theatres in NY/LA, much better than $25K average for last year’s Irrational Man (at 7), but not as high as the $102K average for Blue Jasmine in 2013 (at 6).  It if can stay at that range and get to $20M or so, it should recoup Amazon’s very high $15M purchase price for US rights (plus marketing costs).  For what it’s worth, the screed HILLARY’S AMERICA (Quality) is claiming a $27.5K average in 3 very carefully chosen theatres in Dallas, Houston and Phoenix, with a plan to go to 1000+ theatres next weekend.  HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE (Orchard) expanded fairly well with a $3600 average at 155 theatres.  CAPTAIN FANTASTIC (Bleecker Street) widened to 36 with a $7700 average.  THE INNOCENTS (Music Box) averaged $2300 after nearly doubling its run to 69 theatres.  OUR LITTLE SISTER (Sony Classics) averaged $3800 at 9.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Apart from Ice Age: Collision Course, the event arrival is STAR TREK: BEYOND (Skydance/Paramount).  In addition, low-budget horror fans get LIGHTS OUT (Warners)ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: THE MOVIE (Fox Searchlight) will start with a wide-ish 250-theatre launch.


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."