May 13, 2017

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: Easy Win For “Guardians”, Sword Stays In the Stone For “King Arthur,” “Snatched” Is MIA


Hollywood offered slim competition to the second weekend of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 2 (Marvel/Disney) and the latest comic book spectacular will easily win the weekend with what Deadline currently estimates will be $60M.  That’s a 59% drop from last weekend, steeper than the 55% for the first Guardians, even though Vol 2 will have some benefit from the generally higher box office on Mothers Day.  The 59% is on par, though, with the 2d weekend drops for other Marvel sequels that have opened on the first weekend in May:  Iron Man 2 (59%), Iron Man 3 (58%), Captain America: Civil War (60%), and Avengers: Age of Ultron (59%).  Their results suggest that Vol 2 could hit $350M in the US, although the competition starts getting tougher next weekend with Alien: Covenant.

The opener that will get the most out of Mothers Day is SNATCHED (TSG/20th), but it’s still headed for a mediocre $16M start.  That’s little more than half the $30.6M that Trainwreck had when it began its run, and word of mouth on Snatched is going to be far weaker, so it may not climb much higher than $50M in the US, with soft prospects overseas.  (Trainwreck earned only 22% of its worldwide total outside the US.)  With $125M+ in production/marketing costs, Snatched isn’t going to do much to help Amy Schumer’s brand as a new movie star.

Bodies are already being heaved under buses for the disaster that is KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD (RatPac/Village Roadshow/Warners), and that exercise won’t stop any time soon.  It’s an absolute worst-case scenario:  a hugely expensive project ($300M+ in production/marketing costs) that no one particularly wanted to see in the first place, which also turned out to be terrible.  With a $14.4M opening weekend ($1.15M of it from Thursday night), it’s unlikely to hit $50M in the US, and even if could duplicate The Fate of the Furious and earn 4x as much overseas (don’t bet on it), it would still end up in the red.  Director Guy Ritchie already has his next gig in place (Disney’s live-action Aladdin), but coming on the underwhelming heels of Pacific Rim and The Lost City of Z, it may be tough to get an action movie financed on the strength of  Charlie Hunnam name as the star.  King Arthur‘s utter failure also puts even more pressure on Warners’ Wonder Woman to deliver in 3 weeks, so expect television to be crammed with last-minute advertising for that one.

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."