October 18, 2014

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Fury” Rolls to Unthrilling Win


FURY (Columbia/Sony) was expected to dominate the multiplexes this weekend, and it will indeed have no trouble notching the win, but it’s not performing with particular strength.  Preliminary numbers at Deadline give it a $8-9M Friday ($1.2M of it from Thursday night), which suggests a weekend no higher than $25M.  That compares to $37.5M for the launch of Gone Girl 2 weeks ago, and even farther behind the $38.1M premere of Inglourious Basterds in 2009.  Despite its much more commercial war-movie subject, Fury won’t have a start all that much larger than star Brad Pitt’s $19.5M Moneyball, and it’s unlikely to have that film’s nearly 4x multiple.  Fury will probably end up doing fine, with what should be strong overseas appeal thanks to Pitt and its WWII setting, but it’s not looking like a breakout hit.

GONE GIRL (20th) itself had another great hold, down just 33% from last Friday to $5.4M, and heading for a $18M weekend that should have it at $107M by Sunday, with the chance of reaching $150M in the US alone.

THE BOOK OF LIFE (20th) opened with $5M, almost exactly the same as the $4.9M start for The Boxtrolls 3 weeks ago.  It should reach the same $17M weekend, although Life‘s specific appeal to Latino audiences may make for some variation in the numbers.

The Nicholas Sparks epic THE BEST OF ME (Relativity) had a $4-4.5M Friday, far behind the $9.1M opening day for The Lucky One and the $13.8M for Dear John.  Sparks’s movies, with their young female audiences, tend to be quite front-loaded, which means Best of Me may not get beyond $11M for the weekend.

Other holdovers:  ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY (Disney) dropped 40% from last Friday for a likely $11-12M weekend, THE JUDGE (Warners) was down 43% for $2.5M on Friday and perhaps a $7.5M weekend, DRACULA UNTOLD (Legendary/Universal) fell 68% to $2.8M and $8M for the weekend, and ANNABELLE (New Line/Warners) dropped 55% to $2.4M and a $7M weekend.

The splashy exclusive release of the weekend is BIRDMAN (Fox Searchlight), which is selling out in its 4 NY/LA engagements and could have a $90K 3-day per-theatre average.  Almost as impressive, though, given its comparative lack of star power and big studio push, is the possible $35K average for the low-budget indie DEAR WHITE PEOPLE (RSA), at 11 theatres, a number that suggests real sleeper potential.  ST VINCENT (Weinstein) expanded to 68 theaters with an OK $9K average possible for the weekend.

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."