May 26, 2013



OPENINGS:  Saturday showed an 18% drop for FAST & FURIOUS 6 (Universal), but really the number was better than it looked, because “Friday” included $6.5M from Thursday night.  With that factored out, the movie held almost dead even on Saturday, and should be headed for a $120M+ 4-day weekend, easily the 4th best Memorial Day opener ever, and with a chance of slipping into 3rd place (currently $122.9M for X Men: The Last Stand).  The money is pouring in overseas, too, with $158M through Sunday (that includes around $20M from limited openings last weekend).  FF6 should smash past Fast Five‘s $626.1 worldwide franchise record.

THE HANGOVER PART III (Warners) didn’t fare as well.  It’s on the way to $64M over its first 5 days of release (it opened on Thursday) less than half of the $135M Hangover II earned in the same period 2 years ago.  It’s unlikely to get much beyond $120M in the US.  The last installment overperformed internationally by about 30% (the new one has just begun its overseas release), which would mean less than $300M worldwide this time, little profit for a picture that cost $225M+ with marketing.

EPIC (20th) had a mild start, with around $44M in store by Monday.  That’s not much compared to previous animated Memorial Day openings like the $61M for both Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda 2.  It’s not showing much early strength overseas, either, with a $23.1M weekend in 36 territories.

HOLDOVERS:  STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (Paramount) fell 46% from last Fri-Sun, although apples-to-apples comparisons are tough because of last week’s Thursday opening and this weekend’s holiday.  It should be at around $158M tomorrow, which would put it about $6M ahead of 2009’s Star Trek, but potentially due for a much steeper drop from this point on, what with no more holiday boost and next weekend’s competition from Will Smith’s After Earth.  The good news is that Darkness has already made over $100M overseas ($13.1M this weekend) with half the world (including China) still to open, on pace to easily beat Star Trek‘s $128M international total.  A 50/50 split of US/international boxoffice would be a step forward for this franchise, which made only 1/3 of its worldwide boxoffice outside the US last time around.

By Monday, IRON MAN 3 (Disney) should have about $372M in the US and $770M overseas, a $1.14B total.  It’s now the 5th biggest movie ever, and while there’s still gas in the tank, it may have trouble moving up on the list (the final Harry Potter has $1.34B worldwide).  THE GREAT GATSBY (Warners) should be at $118M in the US tomorrow, but it’s now playing in most of the world, and the $85.6M overseas total is cause for a bit of concern, considering that the movie’s cost (with marketing) approaches $300M.

MUD (Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate) will never get close to any of these blockbusters, but it had a better hold at the boxoffice this weekend than they can claim, down only 14% for the 3-day weekend, despite losing almost 25% of its theatres.

LIMITED RELEASE:  BEFORE MIDNIGHT (Sony Pictures Classics) counterprogrammed all the tentpoles very well, with an exceptional $70K average over the 4-day weekend in 5 theatres.  FRANCES HA (IFC) expanded promisingly, with a $12K average over 4 days in 60 theatres.  LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED (Sony Pictures Classics) will have around a $4500 average at 63 theatres.  WHAT MAISIE KNEW (Millenium) should have a $7K average at 27.  FILL THE VOID (Sony Pictures Classics) had a solid start, with a likely $25K average at 3.  The documentary WE STEAL SECRETS (Focus World) is heading for a $10K average at 4.


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."