March 14, 2015

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Cinderella” On Its Way To A Fairy Tale Weekend


CINDERELLA (Disney) had an enchanted Friday, according to preliminary numbers at Deadline, with $23M (that includes $2.3M from Thursday night), and since its target audience is all about weekend matinees, it should be at $70M and perhaps even $75M by Sunday.  That would be better than the $69.4M opening for Maleficent, which had a summer premiere and Angelina Jolie in the lead in its favor (not to mention a considerably higher production budget than Cinderella‘s reported $95M).  In short, even with tremendous worldwide marketing costs that will push the total tab to $225M+, this will be yet another highly profitable enterprise for Disney, and DreamWorks will have to hope it burns out quickly, before that studio’s Home opens in 2 weeks.

As has been the case throughout 2015, a huge hit obscures a flop opening alongside it.  This weekend, that’s RUN ALL NIGHT (Warners), which earned only $3.9M on Friday, and may reach $10-11M for the weekend.  That would put it below Liam Neeson’s recent flop A Walk Among the Tombstones, which opened to $12.8M (after a $4.8M Friday) and ended at $23.7M in the US.  It suggests that other than his exploits in the Taken franchise, Neeson’s days as an action star may be drawing to a close.  Night wasn’t terribly expensive, but it will still need foreign overperformance (which Tombstone didn’t get, pulling in $26.9M outside the US) to hit breakeven.

The beneficiary of weak male-oriented movies like Chappie, Focus and now Run All Night continues to be KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (MARV/20th), which dipped just 27% from last Friday to $1.6M and should have a $6M weekend, pushing it to $107M in the US.

The numbers are misleading for THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (Fox Searchlight), because although it had a soft Friday-to-Friday drop of 40% to $1.6M, it increased its theatre count by 25%, which means its per-theatre drop will be closer to 45-50%, not a great hold for a film that appeals to an older audience.  It should have a $6M weekend, but could be running out of steam, and may not be able to match the first Marigold‘s $46.4M US total.

FOCUS (RatPac Dune/Warners) continues to drop, down 45% from last Friday to $1.6M, and is on its way to a $5-6M weekend and a US total around $55M.  The bottom fell out of CHAPPIE (MRC/Columbia/Sony), down 66% from its opening day to $1.5M, and unlikely to get past $35M in the US after a $5M weekend.  That hold was actually worse than the 62% Friday-to-Friday drop of the reviled UNFINISHED BUSINESS (Regency/20th), although that flop’s numbers are even more pathetic, with less than $700K on Friday and a probable $2M weekend.

The strong trio of THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER (Nickelodeon/Par), MCFARLAND USA (Disney), and THE DUFF (CBS/Lionsgate) continued to hold well, respectively down 31% (to $950K), 34% (to $950K) and 40% (to $900K), and heading for weekends of $4.5M/$3.5M and $3M.

In limited release, the acclaimed indie horror thriller IT FOLLOWS (Radius/Weinstein) had a sharp start, with a $10K per-theatre average in 4 NY/LA theatres, but in LA, at least, that number was boosted by in-theatre Q&As that featured fanboy god Edgar Wright, so its weekend multiple may be subpar.


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."