July 6, 2014

Behind the Weekend US/Worldwide Box Office – 7/6/14


OPENINGS:  It was a sad lot of newcomers this holiday weekend.  TAMMY (Warners) is claiming a $21.2M weekend ($32.9M including Wed-Thurs), which will leave it struggling to get past $70M in the US.  (It also brought in $2.5M from a very small initial overseas release.)  DELIVER US FROM EVIL (Screen Gems/Sony) had a relatively strong Saturday, up 61%, but it’s still at just $9.5M for the weekend ($15M over 5 days), plus $2.5M from 16 foreign territories.  EARTH TO ECHO (Relativity) was worse with an $8.3M weekend ($13.5M over 5 days).  The attempt to duplicate the partisan success of 2016: Obama’s America was a disastrous failure, as AMERICA (Lionsgate) fell on Saturday from its relatively big July 4th, and will have only a $2.7M weekend ($4M with Wed-Thurs and last week’s small platform opening), barely ahead of what 2016 earned in its first wide day of release alone, and with zero chance of approaching its $33.4M total.  None of these movies will have much international appeal, and although Tammy will make much more in total than the others, it also has by far the most expensive marketing costs of the quartet.  It all made for a dismal 4th of July holiday.

HOLDOVERS:  Once again, TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (Paramount) is relying on an aggressive Sunday estimate (the lowest drop in the US Top 10 except for the family-oriented titles) to beef up its $36.4M weekend projection.  Last Monday, the studio swore that its $100M estimate was accurate (although many remain dubious), and we’ll see if the same happens tomorrow.  Even if the numbers hold, Transformers will have a 64% drop in its 2d weekend, worse than those for Captain America: The Winter Soldier (-57%) or The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (-61%), although better than the 67% plunge for Godzilla.  (Technically it’s also a sliver ahead of X-Men: Days of Future Past, but that was coming off a Memorial Day weekend opening, far stronger than July 4th, so comparisons are unfair.  Even worse, one determinedly contrarian blogger today tried to defend Transformers by comparing its decline to the incredibly front-loaded, single-demo Fault In Our Stars, a comparison that can fairly be called flat-out ridiculous–he might as well have compared it to Paranormal Activity 4.)  Transformers is now headed for $250M in the US, by far the least successful of the franchise here (down almost $70M from the first Transformers, and down $100M+ from the most recent).  Although Transformers will probably be the #1 title of the summer, it may not beat the $257-258M earned earlier in the year by Captain America or The LEGO Movie.  However, its worldwide total may still approach $1B (it’s currently at $575M, with most of Europe and Latin America to come, as well as Japan), largely because of China, where by next week it will be the most successful movie of all time, beating Avatar‘s $$221.9M record.  Transformers earned $50.9M in China this weekend, down less than 50% from last weekend’s $92M, and it could reach $300M+ there, far ahead of its US result.  The only asterisk–but it’s an important one–is the one we’ve noted before:  studios only retain 25% of Chinese ticket sales (compared to 55% in the US), so although the Chinese grosses are huge, the overall worldwide revenue to Paramount, while many, many millions, will be lower than before.

Nothing else was remotely close.  22 JUMP STREET (Columbia/Sony) had a $9.4M weekend here (plus $10M overseas), down 41% in the US.  It’s now at $158.9M here, plus $69.7M internationally, and is also due to open in World Cup territories.  HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (DreamWorks Animation/20th) fell 34% to $8.8M in the US, giving it an underwhelming $140M total (the first Dragon reached $217.6M in the US, and Dragon 2 won’t get close).  Dragon also took in $33.5M overseas for a $153.2M total, and much of Europe as well as China is still to come–but it still has a long way to go to hit the first Dragon‘s $277.3M international total. MALEFICENT (Disney) slipped just 27% to $6.1M in the US, now at $213.9M, and with a chance of beating X-Men’s likely $230M US total for what will probably turn out to be the title of #2 summer movie (behind Transformers).  Maleficent is also over $400M internationally, after a $17.3M weekend, and could top $675M worldwide.

The older-skewing JERSEY BOYS (Warners) and EDGE OF TOMORROW (Warners), both held well in the US this weekend, each down 33%, respectively to $5.2M for the weekend and a $36.7M US total and to $3.6M and a $90.9M total.  Both, however, remain major underperformers.  (Edge is much stronger overseas, with $248.6M after an $8.4M weekend, but it’s also hugely more expensive, and probably won’t get past $375M worldwide.)  THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (20th) remains on track for $120M in the US after a $2.5M weekend, and it’s topped $100M overseas after a $10M weekend.

CHEF (Open Road), incredibly went up (by 1% to $1.7M) in its 9th weekend of release, despite losing more than 10% of its theatres.  It’s now at $22M, and will get well above $25M before it’s done.

LIMITED RELEASE:  A quiet weekend for indies.  BEGIN AGAIN (Weinstein) had an OK expansion, with a $7500 average at 175 theatres.  SNOWPIERCER (Weinstein/Radius) was even more modest, averaging $4K at 250.  THIRD PERSON (Sony Pictures Classics) expanded to 34 theatres with a blah $3500 average.  YVES ST LAURENT (Weinstein) had a $4700 average at 10.  LIFE ITSELF (Magnolia), also available on VOD, averaged $6K at 7.

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."