June 7, 2014

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: Faultless “Stars” Halts “Edge of Tomorrow”


THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (20th) ran away with Friday’s box office, demonstrating the hunger out there for movies that aren’t centered on special effects extravaganzas.  Based on preliminary numbers at Deadline and elsewhere, Fault took in a huge $23.5-25M for the day (including $8.2M from Thursday night), and even if it plummets on Saturday–a possibility given its typically front-loaded young-female target demo–a $50M weekend seems like a sure thing (although the studio, which was claiming a $25M projection just yesterday, is still playing it safe by predicting $48M).  Friday’s ticket sales were actually higher than the $22.8M opening day of Divergent, which was considered to have a much broader appeal due to its action component, and if Fault can widen its audience through its solidly favorable reviews and strong word of mouth, it could contend with Divergent‘s $54.6M opening weekend.  All this, and with a production budget of $12M that wouldn’t pay for the first 10 minutes of any of this summer’s bigger arrivals.

One of those big-budget behemoths is EDGE OF TOMORROW (Warners), and despite extremely positive reviews (89% on Rotten Tomatoes, even better than the 82% for Fault), it’s performing as expected with just $10.4M on Friday (including $1.2M from Thursday night).  It probably won’t get above $30M for the weekend, and could easily end up at $27-28M.  By way of comparison, that’s nowhere close to the $14.6M opening day and $37.3M weekend for Pacific Rim, which was considered a major disappointment in the US–and didn’t have Tom Cruise as its star.  Warners can be expected to play up Edge‘s overseas numbers as much as humanly possible, but even if Edge triples its US box office elsewhere in the world, as Pacific Rim did, that will still be a big loss on the $325M+ (including global marketing costs) spectacle.

MALEFICENT (Disney) fell close to 60% on its 2d Friday to around $10M.  It’ll gain some ground over the course of the weekend, but it’s still headed for a 55% drop to around $32M.  It seems unlikely to reach $200M in the US.

Last weekend’s other opening, A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST (Universal), fared worse, down around 65% from last Friday to $2.2M, with a $7M weekend and $45M US total likely.

The longer-running holdovers continued their slide, each down about 50% from last Friday.  X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST (20th) was at $4.5M, heading for a $15M weekend that will take it closer to the $200M mark in the US.  GODZILLA (Warners) fell to $1.7M, on the way to a $6M weekend and a US total that will only get to $200M if Warners pushes it there.  THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (Sony) is also clawing its way to $200M after a $525K Friday that might get it to $2M for the weekend.  BLENDED (Warners) was at $1.25M, for a $4M weekend and possibly $45M in the US.  Only NEIGHBORS (Universal) is holding up well, down 40% from last Friday to $1.5M, with another $5M coming its way this weekend and still with a chance of getting to $150M in the US.

CHEF (Open Road) doubled its run to almost 1300 theatres and increased its Friday take by about 35%, with an OK weekend of $2.5M ($2K average per theatre) 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."