June 17, 2017

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Cars 3″” Low On Gas, “All Eyez On Me” A Sleeper Hit


CARS 3 (Pixar/Disney) will have a strong Fathers Day, which in turn will make its weekend multiple look good, but it’s off to a disappointing start.  In preliminary numbers at Deadline, its opening day is pegged at $19.1M (including $2.8M from Thursday night), down 25% from the first day of 2011’s Cars 2 ($25.7M), and even down a bit from the original Cars ($19.7M), which doesn’t account for 11 years of inflation or for the fact that in 2006, “Friday” box office still meant Friday alone.  Thanks to the Sunday holiday, Cars 3 may reach $57M for the weekend, but that number could go down if Saturday falters.  In any case, it will be the lowest opening in the Cars franchise, compared to $60.1M for Cars and $66.1M for the sequel.  Cars is unusual, though, in that its biggest profits come not from overseas release but from merchandising, where it generates giant toy sales, so in a sense the movie is just a super-elaborate commercial for the toys.

The surprise of the weekend is ALL EYEZ ON ME (Morgan Creek/Lionsgate), which despite largely negative reviews generated $13M on opening day (including $3.1M from Thursday night), and could get to $33M+ by Sunday.  Straight Outta Compton had a 2.5x multiple for its opening weekend without the benefit of Fathers Day, so Eyez could reach $35M for the weekend, a strong start for a film with a moderate $40M production budget and limited marketing costs.  The limitation is that it will likely have to make the vast bulk of its money in the US–even Compton only earned 20% of its worldwide total from overseas.

All Eyez On Me beat WONDER WOMAN (RatPac/Wanda/Ten Cent/Warners) on Friday, but the superheroine adventure is still very solid, down 33% from last Friday to $10.6M, and likely to have a $37M weekend.  It’s now firmly in line to become the highest-grossing US release in the current DC movie universe, despite starting with the lowest opening weekend, with $350M within the realm of possibility.

No one expected THE MUMMY (Perfect World/Universal) to hold well, and it didn’t, plunging 68% from last Friday to $3.8M.  Fathers Day will improve its weekend lot as well, but it still may only hit $14M, and it’s unlikely to get beyond $80M in the US.  We’ll see how the international numbers hold up on Sunday, but its ability to hit profit seems like a toss-up at this point.

The very low-cost 47 METERS DOWN (Entertainment Studios) is giving a lift to its newcomer studio with $4.2M on opening day.  It could reach $11M for the weekend, and with some international success it could be a tidy piece of business.

The bomb of the weekend is ROUGH NIGHT (Columbia/Sony), with $3.4M on Friday and a weekend that may not get to $9M.  With worldwide production/marketing costs that will be in the $100M neighborhood, it’s another blow both to Sony (which is counting the days until Spider-Man: Homecoming opens) and to Scarlett Johansson, with her second consecutive failure after Ghost In the Shell.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES (Disney) had a surprisingly good hold from last week, down just 30% from last Friday to $2.1M, with a possible $8M weekend ahead.  Nevertheless, it’s still headed for $170M in the US.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE (DreamWorks Animation/20th) held up quite well in the face of Cars 3, down 40% from last Friday to $2.1M and a $8M weekend, but it’s still on track for a dim $80M in the US.

MEGAN LEAVEY (Bleecker Street) was a film that could reasonably have hoped for some good word of mouth, but it dropped 46% from last Friday to under $700K, and is probably facing a weekend under $3M and a US total under $15M.

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."