January 23, 2016

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: Holdovers Lead “Dirty Grandpa,” “The 5th Wave” On Snowy Weekend


This was never going to be much of a box office weekend, and the east coast snowstorms certainly won’t help.  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, all 3 of the newcomers are closely packed with $3.5-4M Fridays and probable $9.5-11M weekends, so word of mouth could put any of them ahead.

The early leader, despite murderous reviews (7% positive on Rotten Tomatoes) is DIRTY GRANDPA (QED/Lionsgate), at the top of the Friday range.  Even if it holds its advantage over the other openings, it would be lucky to hit a $30M US total, and isn’t likely to have much foreign appeal.  It marks another example of Robert DeNiro’s hit-or-miss taste in scripts, coming after his well-regarded, quite successful comic turn in last fall’s The Intern.

THE FIFTH WAVE (LStar/Columbia/Sony) was meant to kick off the latest dystopian YA franchise, but with a weekend that may not even hit $10M, that’s unlikely to happen.  (Perhaps it can move to TV, like the recent flop The Mortal Instruments, now Freeform’s Shadowhunters.)  The only positive it can hope for is that it may find more takers overseas.

THE BOY (Huayi/STX) may bring up the rear of the weekend’s openings, but it had the lowest budget and could end up in the best financial shape when all is said and done.

With no meaningful new competition, THE REVENANT (Regency/RatPac/20th) should take the weekend.  Its $4.5M Friday is down 50% from last week, and although the overall weekend may dip a bit more steeply than that (because last Sunday was part of a 3-day holiday weekend), it should still clear $14M, keeping it on track for $150M in the US.  With its solid overseas launch last week, the very expensive meditative adventure may allow its financial backers a deep sigh of relief.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (Lucasfilm/Disney) declined only around 43% from last Friday to $3.6M, and it should sell another $12.5M in tickets this weekend, putting $900M in sight.

Word of mouth was no friend to RIDE ALONG 2 (Universal), which plunged more than 65% from last week’s opening day to around $3.7M, on its way to a $12-13M weekend.  It now looks like it may only reach $85M in the US, an ugly drop from the first Ride‘s $134.9M.  Ride 2 may still be profitable at that level (depending on what Ice Cube and Kevin Hart’s deals provide), but a Ride Along 3 is looking less likely.

13 HOURS (Paramount) cushioned its Weekend 2 drop by increasing its theatre count by 20%.  So its Friday-to-Friday was down an OK 55% to $2.6M, but its per-theatre average fell more like 65% for the day.  With a $8.5M weekend, it could make its way to $50M in the US, needing overseas success to break even.

For what it’s worth, NORM OF THE NORTH (Splash/Lionsgate) had the best 2d Friday hold of last weekend’s bunch, down just 45%, but that still only meant a $900K day and likely $4M weekend, and perhaps a $25M US total.

Despite losing 25% of its theatres, THE BIG SHORT (Regency/Paramount) slipped just 38% from last Friday to $935K, demonstrating an audience connection, and could hit $3M for the weekend and a $62M US total, still with a chance of reaching $75M.

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."