May 18, 2014

Behind the Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 5/18/14


OPENINGS:  Considering its 17% Saturday drop, GODZILLA (Warners/Legendary) may ease down a bit from its $93.2M weekend estimate when final numbers are released on Monday.  (It’s assuming a 30% Sunday drop, equal to Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s and less than Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘s, even though those 2 movies fell only 6% from their opening Fridays to Saturday.)  That could cost it bragging rights against Amazing 2‘s $91.6M opening.  Still, the Godzilla opening was enormous, beating all expectations.  In addition to its US haul, Godzilla took in $103M overseas–and that didn’t include China or Japan, which won’t open until, respectively, June and July.  The monster seems to be heading to a $700M worldwide total, more than justifying its cost.  The one cloud on the monster’s horizon: X-Men: Days of Future Past is opening worldwide in just 5 days.

MILLION DOLLAR ARM (Disney) was fated to seem puny in comparison, but it didn’t even perform up to expectations with a $10.5M opening.  The only thing it has going for it is that it has the adult-skewing market to itself until Jersey Boys opens on June 20.

HOLDOVERS:  NEIGHBORS (Universal) held fairly well, down 47% from last weekend to $26M ($91.5M total).  It also took in $13.5M overseas, which was a rockier fall after $34.4M last weekend ($54.8M total)–it’s still playing in around half the world’s territories.  It should reach $140M in the US, and perhaps the same overseas.

There now seems to be a significant chance that THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (Sony) won’t equal the $752.2M worldwide total of the first Amazing.  In the US, Amazing 2 is behind its predecessor by 20% after another 53% drop to $16.8M and won’t get much higher than $200M, and overseas, it’s tailing off with a $31.5M weekend and $461M total.  The movie is now playing in all major territories, and could be headed to an overall $725M.  While profitable, that’s a huge disappointment for Sony, which thought the second, more expensive chapter of the rebooted franchise would move in the other direction.  It has to make the studio very nervous about the Spider-Man-less spin-offts that are in preparation.

A quartet of longrunning stalwarts continue to hold well.  THE OTHER WOMAN (20th) fell 34% to $6.3M (plus $8.2M overseas).  It should end up with $200M worldwide, a tidy success on a relatively moderate budget.  HEAVEN IS FOR REAL (TriStar/Sony) showed its first sign of mortality, falling a still-reasonable 41% to $4.4M and now looking like it will go over $90M in the US.  RIO 2 (20th/Blue Sky) slipped just 24% to $3.8M (plus $7.6M overseas), but its totals of $118.1M in the US and $322.4M overseas still have it running a bit below the first Rio‘s $484.6M worldwide total, another sequel that underperformed.  No such problem for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (Disney/Marvel), down 35% to $3.8M.  At $703.4M worldwide, it’s almost doubled the first Captain America.

Last weekend’s other openings didn’t hold well.  MOMS’ NIGHT OUT (TriStar/Sony) dropped 56% to $1.9M, and LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY’S RETURN (Clarius) fell 48% to $2M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  The only notable opening was THE IMMIGRANT (Weinstein), with an OK $15K average at 3 NY/LA theatres.  BELLE (Fox Searchlight) expanded to 173 theatres with a moderate $5500 average, and CHEF (Open Road) expanded to 72 with a $10K average.  LOCKE (A24), now at 121, had a $1800 average, while PALO ALTO (IFC) spread to 36 with a $3100 average, and IDA (Music Box) tripled its run to 21 with a $6200 average.

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."