June 16, 2013



OPENINGS:  In some ways, the most important number of the weekend was the $71.6M that MAN OF STEEL (Warners) earned outside the US and Canada.  Although it’s lower than the $113.1M domestic weekend ($125.1 with Thursday Wal-Mart screenings included), it included less than half the world, only 24 territories, giving the new Superman a flying start internationally, which was no sure thing.  Obviously, the film needs to stand up beyond its opening 3-4 days, and next weekend, when it adds most of the remaining world, will be critical, but it appears to be strong enough to take over for Batman as a reigning DC Comics franchise.

As planned, THIS IS THE END (Sony) counterprogrammed Man of Steel for those who preferred an R-rated comedy this weekend.  The $20.5M weekend (on top of $12.3M on Wed-Thurs) sets the modestly-budgeted production up for profit, with no direct competition for 2 weeks.

It may have been a miscalculation to propel BEFORE MIDNIGHT (Sony Pictures Classics) into a 897-theatre release.  Sony Classics was trying to relive the trajectory of its smash hit Midnight In Paris 2 Junes ago, but this Midnight just doesn’t have the broad appeal that one did, and it had a wan $1700 per-theatre average (compared to $6200 for Midnight In Paris when it went to 944 theatres).

HOLDOVERS:  Thanks to Fathers Day, the numbers aren’t as bad as they’d otherwise be, but they’re still largely unimpressive.  THE PURGE (Universal) plummeted 75% from last weekend to $8.2M, and THE INTERNSHIP (20th) wasn’t far behind with a 60% drop to $7M.  Purge, of course, will still make plenty of profit due to its microscopic cost, which doesn’t apply to Internship.  NOW YOU SEE ME (Summit/Lionsgate) had the best hold of the longer runs, with a 46% slip to $10.3M (and $80M already alongside the rabbit in its hat), while EPIC (20th) and IRON MAN 3 (Disney) were down 50% on the tail end of their widely varying runs, the underperforming cartoon at $95.4M in the US ($212.7M worldwide), and the superhero at $399.6M ($1.2B worldwide).  THE GREAT GATSBY (Warners) is just about out of steam, with $1.6M this weekend in the US, $139.9M total, and $300.2M worldwide, admirable numbers for such a weird project.  AFTER EARTH (Sony) is looking as disastrous overseas as it’s been here, with $54.2M in the US after a $3.8M weekend, and only $102.8M worldwide.

A couple of international milestones:  with $417.3M overseas, FAST & FURIOUS 6 (Universal) has hit $636.9M worldwide, making it the highest-grossing entry in its franchise.  STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (Paramount) isn’t all the studio may have hoped in the US, running about $13M behind 2009’s Star Trek despite the addition of 3D/Imax ticket prices, but it’s hit $207.1M overseas, a hefty $73.7M above Star Trek.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE BLING RING (A24) behaved more like a teen movie than an art-house release, easily the weekend’s big limited opening but earning less than 3x its Friday number over the full weekend, ending up with a $42K per-theatre average at 5 NY/LA theatres.  THE EAST (Fox Searchlight) more than doubled its run to 115 theatres, and had an OK $2500 average, while THE KINGS OF SUMMER (CBS) was somewhat less impressive, expanding to 63 theatres with a $2300 average.  Widening to 23 theatres, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Lionsgate) was still down for the weekend, with a $7100 average.  FILL THE VOID (Sony Pictures Classics) added 5 theatres for 18 in total, with a $4800 average. MUD (Roadside Attractions) and FRANCES HA (IFC) both lost theatres and momentum, with respective averages of $1200 at 405 and $1500 at 213.

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."