May 11, 2014

Behind the Worldwide Box Office – 5/11/14


Note:  Most of the studios are pinning extremely aggressive Sunday estimates on the hope that their movie will be a popular Mothers Day destination, so look for a potentially larger than usual set of adjustments in final numbers tomorrow.

OPENINGS:  NEIGHBORS (Universal) is that rare Hollywood ideal of an easily-promotable, high-concept comedy that’s also genuinely good, and it crashed through all expectations with a reported $51.1M weekend in the US–and even though not all US comedies travel well overseas, Neighbors had a gangbusters $34.4M start in only 29 territories, suggesting that it could go over $250M worldwide.  With no comedies opening next week (and the very uncertain Blended the week after that), the movie should hold up pretty well even against Godzilla, with potential career highs for all concerned.

MOMS’ NIGHT OUT (TriStar/Sony), because of its storyline and religious theme, is claiming an especially giant Mothers Day, the only movie in the Top 10 that expects to go up on Sunday.  If that’s true, it would still only get to the reported $4.2M for the weekend, an unimpressive start even at 1044 theatres, and the final number could be a good deal lower.

LEGENDS OF OZ:  DOROTHY’S RETURN (Clarius) is anemic no matter what happens on Mothers Day, with a reported $3.7M at 2575 theatres.  It reportedly cost $80M to produce, which is enough to turn the yellow brick road red with ink.

HOLDOVERS:  China and its (so far) unquenchable enthusiasm for American CG spectacles (especially in Imax and 3D) will help THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (Sony), with an 8-day gross of $54M that’s already more than the first Amazing made in its entire run there.  But Amazing 2 will definitely underperform in the US, with a reported $37.2M weekend that puts it on a heading for $225M at best (compared to $262M for the first Amazing), and Godzilla and the new X-Men are just around the corner.  Amazing 2 has $403M overseas so far after a $69.5M weekend, and it will outperform the $490M international total of the first Amazing, but the global result is likely to be roughly the same as the first chapter’s $752.2M–a success but also a major disappointment for Sony, which desperately wanted Spider-Man to reach the elite Marvel echelon before it faces the challenges of the franchise’s third chapter.

THE OTHER WOMAN (20th) should benefit from Mothers Day, and fell just 36% to a $9.3M weekend.  It also took in a decent $13.1M overseas for a $66.5M total, with some European territories still to come.  HEAVEN IS FOR REAL (TriStar/Sony) is another Christian movie expecting a big Mothers Day, reporting a mere 19% weekend drop to $7M, pushing it past $75M so far.  CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (Disney/Marvel) fell 28% to $5.6M, and it will hit $700M worldwide this week.  RIO 2 (20th/Blue Sky) dropped 34% to $5.1M, plus $14M overseas.  It’s at $425M worldwide, about 15% below the first Rio‘s $484.6M, and at best it will match its predecessor, not what the studio had hoped.

LIMITED RELEASE:  CHEF (Open Road) had a celebrity-appearance-inflated $34K average in 6 NY/LA theatres, and will need to prove it can sell tickets without Jon Favreau’s personal presence.  PALO ALTO (Tribeca/IFC) also had celebrity boosts that got it to a $20K average at 4 in NY/LA.  The documentary FED UP (Radius/Weinstein) had an OK $7K average at 18.  FADING GIGOLO (Millenium) tripled its theatres to 340 with a mediocre $2300 average.  BELLE (Fox Searchlight) widened to 45 with a decent $10.5K average.  LOCKE (A24) expanded to 73 with a so-so $3300 average.  ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (Sony Classics) broadened to 92 with a $2100 average.  IDA (Music Box) tiptoed from 3 to 7 theatres with a robust $15K average.  THE RAILWAY MAN (Weinstein) and THE LUNCHBOX (Sony Classics) held well, down 10% and 5% respectively with $2500 and $1600 averages.


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."