March 21, 2015

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: Demand For “Insurgent” Not So Urgent


Despite the addition of 3D and IMAX screens with their increased ticket prices, the opening day result for INSURGENT (Summit/Lionsgate) was below the start for last year’s Divergent, according to preliminary numbers at Deadline, with $21M compared to $22.8M.  That may mean a $48M opening weekend, below Divergent‘s $54.6M–or even less if, like most sequels, Insurgent is more frontloaded than its predecessor.  Franchise sequels tend to have healthy bumps overseas, so that may well make up the shortfall (which will be increased by the fact that Insurgent reportedly cost $25M more to produce than Divergent, and marketing costs may also be higher), but apples-to-apples comparisons won’t be possible for some time, since Divergent had a completely different international release pattern, opening gradually overseas after several weeks in the US, while Insurgent is opening across almost the entire world (notable exceptions being China and Japan) at once.  In any case, though, it’s unclear whether the studio will end up with any increased profit this time around for its additional investment.

The Week 2 hold for CINDERELLA (Disney) was in line with its genre.  It fell 58% from last Friday to $9.7M, the same as the 58% Friday-to-Friday drops for Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent, although Oz The Great and Powerful did a bit better with a 53% drop.  It’s headed for a 48% weekend drop to $35M, which will put it above $120M by Sunday and on the road to a potential $200M+ total in the US.

GUNMAN (Open Road) was the latest action flop of 2015 with a $1.8M opening day that will leave it struggling to get past $5M for the weekend.  Open Road has only US rights, so while its investment (and in this case its loss) is limited, it also won’t get the benefit of any broader success overseas.

The religious crowd didn’t show up for DO YOU BELIEVE? (Pure Flix), which was hoping to stir up something similar to last year’s start of God’s Not Dead on 2014’s parallel weekend, but its $1.2M opening day was less than half of that film’s $2.8M, and it will probably fail to reach $4M for the weekend, with little hope of touching Dead‘s $60.8M US total.

RUN ALL NIGHT (Warners) slumped by 64% on its 2d Friday to $1.4M, and will have around a $4.5M weekend on its way to oblivion.  THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (Fox Searchlight) didn’t add more theatres this time around, and its decline is clearer, down 43% to around $900K, and heading for a $3M weekend and $24M total by Sunday that makes it unlikely to get anywhere near the first Marigold‘s $46.4M US total.  FOCUS (RatPac Dune/Warners) and CHAPPIE (MRC/Columbia/Sony) will both be at $3M or less for the weekend, on their way to the home market.

With all the flat or worse action movies around, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (MARV/20th) continues to be the genre item of choice, down just 23% from last Friday to $1.3M, and heading for a $4.5M weekend that will put it near $115M in the US.

IT FOLLOWS (Radius/Weinstein) expanded to 32 theatres (and will reportedly reach 1000 next weekend) with a weekend per-theatre average likely to be a solid but hardly thrilling $9K.  By way of comparison, the original Paranormal Activity had a $16K average when it was at 33 theatres.  DANNY COLLINS (Bleecker Street) had a blah start at 5 NY/LA theatres with a weekend average around $11K ahead.

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."