July 19, 2015

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 7/19/15


OPENINGS:  ANT-MAN (Marvel/Disney) is claiming a very low 18% Sunday drop in order to reach a $58M weekend estimate, so that number may shrink on Monday.  Even at $58M, Ant-Man opened in the same range as Superman Returns ($52.5M), The Incredible Hulk ($55.4M) and The Green Lantern ($53.2M), all of which stopped their franchises–at least in that incarnation– in their tracks.  (And none of which had the benefit of including Thursday night results in their weekend.)  So this isn’t a big win for Marvel.  However, Ant-Man will do just fine, especially since it also earned $56.4M in only 37 overseas territories, not including such heavy hitters as China, Japan, Germany and Spain.  Marvel hadn’t announced an Ant-Man sequel in its current slate of Universe projects, and it may be that the character will be an ensemble player in the mega-franchise spectacles, rather than an ongoing lead.

TRAINWRECK (Universal) also pushed to hit a $30.2M weekend number (with a 23% Sunday drop), but even if it falls to $29M on Monday, it’s a great result for a comedy whose star’s mainstream appeal was unclear 3 days ago.  Trainwreck defied the conventional wisdom about female-driven films by rising 3% on Saturday (Pitch Perfect 2 fell 12% on its 2d day), suggesting strong word of mouth, which could carry the modestly budgeted Trainwreck to $100M+ in the US.

HOLDOVERS:  MINIONS (Illumination/Universal) fell a surprisingly heavy 57% in its 2d weekend (and that number may come down, since the studio estimate is at a suspiciously round $50.2M), which doesn’t change the fact that it’s a blockbuster, with $216.7M in the US so far.  However, the race between Minions and Inside Out (which fell only 42% in its 2d weekend) for biggest animated hit of the summer in the US may be closer than expected, especially considering that Minions is part of a pre-sold gigantic franchise.  Overseas, where the Despicable Me movies have been massive, Minions is still waiting to open in China, but it added $66.2M (from 56 territories) to its account anyway, giving it a $409M total.

INSIDE OUT (Pixar/Disney) is claiming a weekend win over JURASSIC WORLD (Legendary/Universal), $11.7M to $11.4M, but that could shift with final numbers.  Inside is now at $306.4M in the US, and overseas (where it’s in gradual release in 48 markets, with several major territories still to open), it added $21.3M for a $183.8M total.  Jurassic is now the #4 movie of all time worldwide (it will pass The Avengers for #3 next week), with a total of $1.51B.  Of that, $902.3M comes from international ticket sales after a $12.3M weekend, and Japan is still on the way.

The future is dim for TERMINATOR: GENISYS (Skydance/Paramount).  It fell 61% to $5.4M in the US for a $80.6M total, and although it’s doing better overseas (and hasn’t yet opened in China), its $196.8M total after a $22.2M weekend suggests that it’s not going to earn back its high costs.  MAGIC MIKE XXL (Warners) fell 53% to $4.5M and a $58.6M US total.

Last week’s other openings are nowhere.  THE GALLOWS (Blumhouse/Warners) slumped by 59% to $4M ($18M total), and SELF/LESS (Gramercy/Focus/Universal) plunged 58% to $2.3M ($10.4M total).

LIMITED RELEASE:  2 titles are at the high end of “limited.”  MR HOLMES (Miramax/Roadside) opened at 363 theatres with an OK $6900 per-theatre average, and AMY (A24) expanded to 435 with a $2500 average.  IRRATIONAL MAN (Sony Classics) opened with a $38K average at 5 NY/LA theatres, and while that’s a strong number, it’s low-end for Woody Allen, who only infrequently draws business beyond big-city arthouses.  The documentary CARTEL LAND (Orchard) widened to 59 theatres with a $2100 average. JIMMY’S HALL (Sony Classics) expanded to 43 with a $1400 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  We’re now past the peak of the summer season, and the openings to come aren’t quite sure things.  Next week brings PIXELS (Columbia/Sony), an Adam Sandler-led action comedy about aliens who send living videogame characters to conquer earth, as well as the YA drama PAPER TOWNS (20th) from the author of The Fault In Our Stars, and the more serious drama SOUTHPAW (Weinstein) with a reportedly award-level lead performance from Jake Gyllenhaal.

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."