May 14, 2016

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Captain America: Civil War” Towers Over “Money Monster,” “The Darkness”


If preliminary numbers at Deadline hold, the Weekend 2 drop for CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (Marvel/Disney) will be in line with comparable superhero epics.  Its second Friday looks like $19.5M, which would be down about 74% from last week’s opening day.  That compares to Friday-to-Friday drops of 75% for Avengers: Age of Ultron, 71% for Iron Man 3, and 68% for Captain America: Winter Soldier. Unsurprisingly, it’s much better than the 81% drop for Batman v Superman.  All of these movies are by nature frontloaded, so the drop will moderate over the course of the weekend, and Civil War should be down around 60-62% to $68-70M.  Again, this would be similar to the 59% drop for Ultron, 58% for Iron Man 3, and 57% for Winter Soldier, as well as much better than the 69% for BvS.  It’s perhaps a little surprising that (BvS aside), Civil War is tending to the lower end of the genre, considering that its word of mouth should be strong, but this may be the sign of an audience that’s already seen all the superhero tricks.  Civil War will be close to $300M in the US and over $900M worldwide by Sunday, likely to hit $400M/$1B milestones, so it’s not going to leave much on the table.  The movie that may need to worry about superhero fatigue is X-Men: Apocalypse, opening in just 2 weeks and trailing clouds of mediocre early reviews (58% on Rotten Tomatoes).

Civil War stomped over the rest of the Friday box office, but MONEY MONSTER (TriStar/LStar/Sony) is performing a bit better than anticipated, with a $5M opening day that, considering its older audience, should translate into a $15M weekend.  That’s far from great, especially considering the evidently large marketing push Sony has put into the thriller, and Money has a long way to go before it can recoup what’s probably a $125M+ investment in production and publicity.  Still, if it can make its way to $60M in the US, it might break even.

THE DARKNESS (Blumhouse/High Top/Focus/Universal) is more interesting as a distribution experiment than a low-budget horror movie.  It’s part of the push by Blumhouse to market genre items as cheaply as they’re produced, with a narrow focus on horror fans and mostly online advertising, which supposedly allows for profit with an opening as low as $4-5M.  That’s right where Darkness looks to end up after a $2.1M Friday, so if the model is accurate, it should come and go without hurting its investors.

The only holdover in the market still selling a considerable number of tickets is THE JUNGLE BOOK (Disney), down less than 30% from last Friday to $4M, with a $18M weekend ahead that will put it around $310M in the US.  It could get all the way to $350M here, and $900M+ worldwide.

Nothing else topped $1M on Friday, with MOTHER’S DAY (Open Road), as expected, taking a particularly large 50% hit from last Friday to $860K now that its eponymous holiday weekend is over.  ZOOTOPIA (Disney), on the other hand, continues to thrive, down just 16% from last Friday to $600K, with a $2.5M weekend ahead that will put it above $330M in the US.

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."