April 30, 2016

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: All Lions & Tigers & Bears As “Jungle Book” Devours “Keanu,” “Mother’s Day”


With summer blockbuster season just days away, none of the studios brought their A game this weekend.  KEANU (New Line/Warners) isn’t going to do for Keegan Michael-Key and Jordan Peele what Trainwreck did for Comedy Central colleague Amy Schumer:  Trainwreck earned $10.7M on its opening day, and based on preliminary numbers at Deadline, Keanu won’t even manage that for the weekend after $3.4M on Friday.  It may get to $9M by Sunday, which probably means a US box office less than $30M, and with dim value overseas where Key & Peele are unknown commodities, Keanu won’t even earn back its modest budget of $15M once marketing costs are added to the ledger.

The law of diminishing returns:  Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve ($5M opening day, $13M weekend, $54.5M US total) was far below his Valentine’s Day ($14.5M/$56.3M/$110.5M), and now MOTHER’S DAY (Open Road) is faring even worse.  With $2.9M on Friday, it’s headed for a $8M weekend, and it will limp into next weekend’s actual Mother’s Day.  Its cable-friendly cast of Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Jason Sudeikis might give it some ancillary life, and it’ll need every bit of it, since it will struggle to get past $30M at the US box office on a $25M production budget plus marketing.

RATCHET & CLANK (Gramercy/Focus/Universal) had about as quiet an arrival as a movie opening in 2891 theatres can, and after a $1.4M Friday, it might not reach $6M this weekend or a $20M US total, and will vanish as softly as it entered.

All this left the weekend wide open for THE JUNGLE BOOK (Disney) to romp for its third consecutive weekend.  Jungle‘s $10.2M Friday was down just 38% from last week, and it should approach $40M for the weekend, which will put it at around $250M in the US by Sunday.  (It will also be over $400M overseas.)  Jungle will get hit by next week’s arrival of Captain America: Civil War, which will take away its IMAX and many of its 3D houses, but it will still comfortably top $300M in the US, with a solid chance of beating Alice In Wonderland‘s $334.2M as Disney’s #1 live-action rebooting of an animated classic.

Despite the weak competition, the bottom fell out of THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR (Perfect World/Universal), down 64% from last Friday to $2.6M and heading for a $9-10M weekend.  Huntsman was simply a movie no one wanted to see, and it might not hit $50M in the US or $150M worldwide.  With roughly $225M in production/marketing costs, it’s estimated to lose as much as $100M, marking the end of its would-be franchise.

BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT (MGM/New Line/Warners) fell 50% from last Friday to $1.5M for a likely $5M weekend and $55M US total, which will make it the least successful of the franchise.  THE BOSS (Universal) dropped more quietly, down 38% to $1.2M on Friday for a $4M weekend, but its $65M US total will still put it at the bottom of Melissa McCarthy’s star vehicles, $20M below Tammy.

Among the longer runs, ZOOTOPIA (Disney), continues to amaze, down 24% Friday-to-Friday to $1.3M for a $5M 9th weekend.  It’s going to end up passing BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (DC/RatPac/Warners), which fell 36% from last Friday to under $1M and a $3.5M weekend.  By Sunday, they should be less than $2M apart, with the momentum on Zootopia‘s side as they round the corner of $325M.  Zootopia is also ahead overseas $597M v. $534M, and will be far more profitable, with costs that are probably $150M lower and no back-end participants.

Some indies expanded sluggishly.  A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING (Lionsgate/Roadside) added 122 theatres for a total of 523, and will have a weekend per-theatre average under $2K.  GREEN ROOM (A24) spread from 30 theatres to 470, and will average perhaps $1500.  THE MEDDLER (Sony Classics) grew from 4 theatres to 24 with a mild $6K average.  New arrivals weren’t any stronger, as PAPA: HEMINGWAY IN CUBA (Yari) may only average $1000 in 381 theatrse for the weekend, and THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY (IFC) may average $8K at 8.

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."