March 25, 2017

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Beauty” Still The Beast, “Power Rangers” Solid, “Life” Weak, “Chips” DOA


Despite a trio of new entries as competition, BEAUTY & THE BEAST (Disney) wasn’t expected to have any trouble staying in control of its 2d weekend, and it didn’t.  Preliminary numbers at Deadline have Friday at $21.2M, down 67% from opening day last week.  That’s only an OK hold, compared to the drops of 49% for The Jungle Book and 58% for both Maleficent and Alice In Wonderland on their 2d Fridays, and it suggests a weekend drop of 55% or so to $75M+.  That’s still huge, of course, somewhere in the tight range of #4-#6 2d weekends of all time, and Beauty may get to $450M in the US, with every chance of reaching $1B worldwide.

The mega-success of Beauty & the Beast made things tougher for POWER RANGERS (Lionsgate), with its somewhat overlapping audience, so a $15M Friday (including $3.6M from Thursday night) was a solid result.  However, the picture does appear to be front-loaded, considering that the Thursday number made up almost 25% of “Friday” (by comparison, Kong: Skull Island earned $3.7M on Thursday night and its total “Friday” was $20.3M).  On the other hand, the Rangers may fare well with the family matinee audience, so for now let’s say its weekend will be $37M+.  That could put it on the road to $100M or so in the US, which would be fine if Power Rangers didn’t have $200M+ in production/marketing costs.  That means it will need international help to find much profit.

LIFE (Columbia/Sony) is in considerably worse shape, with $4.5M on Friday ($800K from Thursday night) and $12M or so for the weekend.  It might only end up with $40M in the US on $175M in worldwide costs, and will require substantial success overseas just to reach breakeven.  (Making a movie that looked exactly like a rip-off of Alien for release just 2 months before the next real Alien installment may not have been the most well-considered idea.)

Its studio saw CHIPS (Village Roadshow/Warners) coming, and for once Warners tried to minimize its marketing costs.  But even if production/marketing comes to just $75M, an opening day of $2.5M ($500K from Thursday) and likely $6-7M weekend won’t get it anywhere close to escaping red ink, and with no major stars and a very specifically American subject, it’s going to be a tough sell overseas.

After Beauty, the holdovers were the major titles of the last several weeks.  KONG: SKULL ISLAND (Legendary/Warners) fell 50% on its 3rd Friday to $3.6M, on its way to a $14M weekend, and still on course for $160M in the US.  It’s continuing to hold better than Godzilla (down 62% on its parallel Friday), but its more important results this weekend will be the openings in China and Japan.  Very early numbers from China suggest an impressive weekend may be in store, which would be a big help not just for Kong but for the franchise Warners and Legendary are hoping to build.

LOGAN (TSG/20th) was down 40% on its 4th Friday to $2.8M, and it should have a $10M weekend and reach $200M in the US by Sunday, with some gas still in the tank.  The remarkable GET OUT (Blumhouse/Universal) dipped just 30% on its 5th Friday to $2.6M, and if it can hold onto its theatres, it might get as high as $175M in the US.  The 4th Friday for THE SHACK (Lionsgate) was down 35% to $1M, still hoping to reach $60M in the US.

THE BELKO EXPERIMENT (BH Tilt/Blumhouse/Orion/Universal) behaved like most low-rent horror movies, down 65% from last Friday to around $500K, and aiming for the $10M US mark that Blumhouse says would put the project into profit under its ultra-low financial model.

Several limited releases expanded, but none very impressively.  T2: TRAINSPOTTING (TriStar) moved into 59 theatres and may have a $6K weekend per-theatre average.  PERSONAL SHOPPER (IFC), now at 107, may average $2000.  SONG TO SONG (Broad Green) widened to 80 and is looking at a $1500 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."