August 16, 2014

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: Expendables, Cops, Giver All Behind Turtles & Guardians


There was plenty of new blood at the multiplex on Friday, but much of it was being spilled, as holdovers TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (Paramount/Nickelodeon) and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (Marvel/Disney) held back a trio of new releases.  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, both Turtles and Guardians were in the $7M range on Friday, which would be a drop of about 70% for Turtles from its opening day (which included Thursday night revenue), and a Friday-to-Friday drop of about 42% for Guardians.  The Turtles number should stabilize over the course of the weekend to a 60-65% drop from last week, while Guardians should have a much softer fall, putting both on target for $23-25M by Sunday.

THE EXPENDABLES 3 (Lionsgate) led the newcomers, but with an unimpressive $6M opening day (that includes $875K from Thursday night).  It was down more than 40% from the $10.5M opening day for Expendables 2, and the 3rd installment of the geriatric action franchise might only get to $17M for the weekend.  By the way, the many accounts that will be repeated over the course of the weekend about the harmful effects caused by illegal downloads of the movie (most of which took place overseas) can be considered an example of “dog ate my homework” box office analysis.

LET’S BE COPS (20th) had a solid start on Wednesday with $5.2M (which included $1.2M from Tuesday night), but it dropped 40% on Thursday, and only rebounced back to $5.3M on Friday, for a likely $14-15M weekend ($22-23M for the 1st 5 days).  By way of comparison, We’re the Millers, which had a successful August Wednesday opening last year, started with $6.8M, fell just 30% on Thursday, then rose to $8.5M on Friday.  Cops won’t have anything like Millers‘ staying power, although it benefits from a reported $18M production budget.

If there was a way to sell THE GIVER (Weinstein), the studio didn’t find it.  The very low-key dystopian YA fantasy had a $4.5-5M Friday (including $750K from Thursday night), and might get to $13M by Sunday, a far cry from the giant franchises it emulates.

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY (DreamWorks/Disney), with its older-skewing audience, had a good hold, dropping just 45% from last week’s opening day to $2M, which should become a weekend drop of under 40%.  IN THE STORM (Warners), on the other hand, plunged 70% from last Friday to also reach $2M.  Both movies should have weekends in the $7M range, with Journey on the high end and Storm on the low.  Journey has a lower production budget and a much smaller-scale marketing spend than Storm, but on the other hand Storm has more likely overseas appeal.  The 2 music-oriented films, STEP UP: ALL IN (Summit/Lionsgate) and GET ON UP (Universal) both lost 60-65% of last Friday’x box office, with the day’s take at $900K and $600K, well on their ways to oblivion.



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."