August 16, 2015

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 8/16/15


OPENINGS:  STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (Legendary/Universal) turned out to be somewhat frontloaded, with a 20% drop on its 2d day of release.  But no one will complain about its huge $56.1M weekend, the #6 August opening ever (and #2, behind only Signs, among non-franchise titles).  It should add plenty of gold to Universal’s 2015 pile of treasure, especially with its low-end budget and marketing costs.  Since Hollywood lives to imitate success, it will be interesting to see what films follow it over the next several years.  Compton hasn’t yet begun its international release, and its overseas appeal is an open question for now.

THE MAN FROM UNCLE (Rat Pac/Warners) is lucky everyone in the media used up their ammunition on Fantastic Four last week, because it’s another big-budget disaster (although not quite as expensive, with a reported $80M production budget compared to Four‘s $120M).  The $13.5M US opening was pathetic, and although it’s taking a slow boat to international release, its $12M start in 23 markets is unpromising.

HOLDOVERS:  MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION (Skydance/China Movie Channel/Alibaba/Paramount) barely felt the presence of UNCLE, sliding 40% to $17M in the US for a running total of $138.1M.  That puts it on target for a still-unremarkable $175M US total, respectable but far below Ghost Protocol‘s $209.4M.  Overseas, not unexpectedly, has been stronger, with $46.1M in 62 territories (but not yet China) for a $235.3M total that’s still a stretch away from Ghost Protocol‘s $485.3M.

FANTASTIC FOUR (20th) took the expected Weekend 2 plunge, down 69% to $8M and unlikely to get past $60M in the US.  Things were no better overseas, with a $16.2M weekend in 54 territories (but not China) for a $60.1M total.  The real action on the Fantastic Four front is happening in Fox conference rooms, where the studio will be trying to figure out what’s next for a franchise it desperately needed to work.

THE GIFT (STX) had a creditable 45% drop to $6.5M, and should reach $35M in the US, a tidy result for a brand-new studio testing its legs.  RICKI AND THE FLASH (TriStar/Sony) added 461 theatres (a 25% increase), making its 31% drop somewhat misleading, and it’s likely to end up with a mild $25M in the US.  SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE (Lionsgate) dropped just 29%, but with a $3M weekend, it still probably won’t see $20M in the US.

ANT-MAN (Marvel/Disney) and MINIONS (Illumination/Universal) are still holding well, down 30% each, respectively to $5.5M and $5.2M.  Ant-Man is headed for an OK $170M in the US, while Minions may reach $325M.  Overseas, Ant-Man has earned $178.9M, while Minions is at a huge $644.5M, and after a $15M weekend, it’s nosing toward the $1B worldwide mark.

With no other comedies arriving since its opening, VACATION (Warners) is holding moderately, down 41% to $5.3M, for a $46.9M total.  Things are brighter for TRAINWRECK (Universal), down 38% to $3.8M after 5 weeks of release, and $2.1M away from the $100M milestone.

LIMITED RELEASE:  MISTRESS AMERICA (Fox Searchlight) had a so-so start with a $23.5K per-theatre average at 4 NY/LA arthouses, below the openings for Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha ($34K average) and While We’re Young ($57K).  THE END OF THE TOUR (A24) expanded to 133 theatres and didn’t show much traction with a $3K average.  PHOENIX (IFC) widened to 53 with a $3800 average.  THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL (Sony Classics), now in 22 theatres, averaged $5100.

NEXT WEEKEND:  We’re now in the dog days of Hollywood summer, a solid month away from anything that looks like a major release.  Next week’s shipment of product includes HITMAN: AGENT 47 (20th), AMERICAN ULTRA (Lionsgate) and SINISTER 2 (Blumhouse/Gramercy/Focus/Universal).  Limited releases include GRANDMA (Sony Classics) and LEARNING TO DRIVE (Broad Green).

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."