March 28, 2015

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Home” Is Where the Money Is; “Get Hard” Also Strong


HOME (DreamWorks Animation/20th) should soothe the embattled studio and its investors a bit.  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, Home earned $15M on Friday, almost double the $8M start for DWA’s Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and almost in a league with the $18.8M first day for How To Train Your Dragon 2.  That should guarantee Home a $45M+ weekend, and since Dragon 2, as a sequel, was quite frontloaded, the Home number could easily top $50M.  With no family competition until Paul Blart 2 in 3 weeks, and no animation for long after that, Home is poised for what should be a profitable run, even with $250M+ in production and worldwide marketing costs.

Teaming Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart amounts to a no-brainer, and even though most critics said that term described the result all too well, GET HARD (Warners) had a very solid $12M opening day.  That beats the $10.2M opening for Ferrell’s The Campaign and is only a bit off the $13.1M pace of The Other Guys and the $14.4M start for Hart’s Ride Along.  It should put Get Hard‘s weekend at around $33M, and with a moderate budget reported at $40M (but with the usual expensive Warners marketing campaign), it has a good chance of recouping its $150M+ total costs.

The very low-budget IT FOLLOWS (Radius/Weinstein) had its first week of wide release, widening to 1218 theatres.  It had an OK $1.3M Friday that should get it to a $3.5M weekend.  Although the studio has been trying to paint It Follows as some kind of grass-roots phenomenon, that result would put it at less than half the $7.9M weekend the original Paranormal Activity had when it was in just 160 theatres, a vast difference in per-theatre average.

INSURGENT (Summit/Lionsgate) led the holdovers, down 66% from last Friday to $7.2M.  That compares to a 64% drop for the 2d Friday of Divergent, and it should mean a $22.5M weekend, which would put it on track for $135-140M at the US box office, a shade less than Divergent, but likely to end up ahead at least modestly on a worldwide basis.

With Home in the market, CINDERELLA (Disney) took a 50% hit on its 3rd Friday, about the same decline that Oz The Great and Powerful had on the parallel day, but worse than the 43% drops for Alice In Wonderland and Maleficent.  It should have a $18M weekend, and it still might eke its way to $200M in the US, although that’s not a sure thing.

Everything else at the multiplex was below $1M on Friday, including a 42% drop to $700K for DO YOU BELIEVE? (Pure Flix) and a 63% drop to $650K for THE GUNMAN (Open Road).  Both should have weekends around $2.5M, and the same is true for THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (Fox Searchlight), which is running out of gas much faster than its predecessor and may end up in the neighborhood of $35M in the US (compared to $46.4M for the original).  KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (MARV/20th) is still holding strong, down only 32% from last Friday to $850K in its 7th weekend, and looking to get close to $120M in the US after a $3M weekend.

The weekend’s major limited release, Noah Baumbach’s WHILE WE’RE YOUNG (A24), is headed for a sturdy beginning at 4 NY/LA theatres with a weekend per-theatre average that could hit $50K.

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."