August 6, 2017

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 8.6.2017


OPENINGS:  Not much changed between Friday’s results and weekend studio estimates.  THE DARK TOWER (MRC/Columbia/Sony) was unsurprisingly frontloaded between fans of the novels and bad word of mouth, and it dropped 13% on Saturday.  Sony is projecting a $19.5M weekend (the fact that the studio didn’t push the number past $20M indicates either honesty or surrender), which puts the original hopes of a mega-franchise precisely nowhere.  Dark Tower will need substantial overseas success just to break even on $150M+ in production/marketing costs, and early signs are unpromising, as it opened in 19 territories (including Russia) and took in just $8M.

KIDNAP (Aviron) and its $10.2M opening isn’t anything to shout about, but it could hit profit thanks to tiny acquisition costs for its brand-new studio and a small-scale marketing campaign.  Notably, it dropped just 2% on Saturday, suggesting that it could have longer legs than one might expect.

DETROIT (Annapurna) was steady on Saturday, but that still couldn’t get it past $7.3M for the weekend.  It’s hard to see a scenario where the film earns back its $100M+ in costs for production and worldwide marketing, and it will be interesting to see if the weekend’s other new distributor cuts its losses or continues to spend in search of a lengthy run that may position the film for an awards campaign.

HOLDOVERS:  The shaky newcomers were good news for the titles that already have good word of mouth.  DUNKIRK (Warners) dipped 34% in its 3rd weekend to $17.6M, and it seems likely to reach $175M+ in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $180.6M after a $25M weekend, and upcoming openings include China.  Christopher Nolan’s war epic should easily top $400M worldwide, and has a chance to hit $500M.

With no family competition around, THE EMOJI MOVIE (Columbia/Sony) had a decent Weekend 2 drop of 50% to $12.4M, keeping it on track for a $75M US total.  That puts it on a level with Captain Underpants, which fell 49% on its 2d weekend and ended up at $72.9M.  Emoji is still early in its run overseas, and currently has $12.7M.

GIRLS TRIP (Perfect World/Universal) fell 42% in its 3rd weekend to $11.4M, and should have no trouble passing $100M in the US.  As of now, it has $5.4M overseas in limited release.

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (Marvel/Columbia/Sony) has turned out to have excellent legs in the US, slipping 34% in its 5th weekend to $8.8M.  If it winds up at $310M, that will still be lower than the Sam Raimi Spider-Men, but up an impressive 50% from the US result for Amazing Spider-Man 2, its immediate predecessor.  Overseas, Homecoming is at $376M, and China is still to come.

ATOMIC BLONDE (Sierra/Focus/Universal) had no traction, down 55% to $8.2M, and little likelihood of getting much past $50M in the US.  It’s in dire need of international success, and the overseas run is still early with $11.7M so far.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (TSG/20th) dropped 43% to $6M in its 4th weekend, for a probable $145M US total.  Things are better overseas, where it hasn’t opened yet in China, Japan or Korea, and is at $147.8M after a $31.5M weekend.  However, barring a bonanza in China, War is still not going to get anywhere near Dawn‘s $710.6M worldwide or $502M overseas.

Milestones are nearing for a pair of longrunning hits:  WONDER WOMAN (RatPac/Huahua/Tencent/DC/Warners) should reach $400M in the US over the next day or two (it also has $393.9M overseas), and BABY DRIVER (MRC/TriStar/Sony) is a week away from hitting $100M in the US (plus $57.5M to date overseas).

LIMITED RELEASE:  WIND RIVER (Weinstein) had an unexpectedly strong showing in a 4-theatre NY/LA opening with a $41K per-theatre average.  This is a fairly mainstream thriller and not an esoteric art film, so it could hold well when it expands to 45 next weekend.  STEP (Fox Searchlight) opened at 29 theatres with a mild $5K average.  COLUMBUS (self-distributed via a new Sundance program) rode enthusiastic reviews to a $14K average at 2.  LANDLINE (Amazon/Magnolia) expanded to 141 with a $1700 average.  LADY MACBETH (Roadside), now in 131, averaged $1300.  THE MIDWIFE (Music Box) averaged $1900 at 43.  MENASHE (A24) is hitting its niche, averaging $8K at 10.  BRIGSBY BEAR (Sony Classics) averaged $2900 at 15.  One footnote:  while WOLF WARRIORS 2 (H Collective) is barely on the US radar with $1.1M to date in 31 theatres, it’s probably going to become the highest-grossing film in Chinese history (it earned $163M in its second weekend), passing the $527M record of The Mermaid–another blockbuster that barely registered in the US ($3.2M total).

NEXT WEEKEND:  ANNABELLE: CREATION (New Line/Warners) will hope to revive the box office with an opening near its predecessor’s $37.1M.  THE NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE (Open Road) follows the $19.4M opening of its own forebear.  THE GLASS CASTLE (Lionsgate) is more of an odd duck, a serious drama opening in around 1400 theatres.  Limited releases include GOOD TIME (A24), INGRID GOES WEST (Neon), and THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK (Roadside).


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."