October 1, 2016

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Miss Peregrine,” “Deepwater Horizon” Slow, “Magnificent 7″” Drops


Both of the weekend’s major openings cost too much for the amount they’re currently earning.  MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN (TSG/20th) has production/marketing costs of $225M+, and preliminary numbers at Deadline have its opening day at roughly $9M (including $1.2M from Thursday night).  That suggests a $25-27M weekend, which would be an even slower pace than Tim Burton’s last big-budget extravaganza Dark Shadows, which took in $9.7M on opening day and had a $29.7M weekend (but cost more than Miss Peregrine) and a $79.7M US total.  Dark Shadows made 2/3 of its total revenue overseas and still didn’t turn a profit, and it appears that Miss Peregrine may be on the same path.

DEEPWATER HORIZON (Participant/Lionsgate) cost about the same as Miss Peregrine, and is in even more trouble.  Opening day was $7M (including a bit less than $1M from Thursday night), which means a $18-19M weekend is ahead.  That’s about half the first wide weekend for the last Peter Berg/Mark Wahlberg collaboration Lone Survivor ($37.8M), and that film had very little overseas appeal, earning more than 80% of its total in the US.  Deepwater also tells a specifically American story, and if it follows the same trajectory, the oil rig won’t be the only thing underwater.

Much less was expected of MASTERMINDS (Relativity), a relatively inexpensive comedy that sat on the shelf for a year while the studio struggled through bankruptcy.  Even so, a $2.1M Friday and $5M weekend is terrible, and will put more red ink on Relativity’s books.

The expansion of QUEEN OF KATWE (Disney) to a semi-wide release at 1242 theaters was a failure, with about $700K on Friday and a $2M weekend.  There had been awards season hopes for this project, but the film will probably be long forgotten by the time honors are being handed out.

With soft business from the newcomers, things were set up for THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (Village Roadshow/MGM/Columbia/Sony) to hold well, but word of mouth can’t have been strong.  The Friday-to-Friday drop was 62% to $4.9M, for a $17M weekend.  That would be a 50% weekend drop, worse than the 45% Weekend 2 drop for the last Denzel Washington/Antoine Fuqua collaboration The Equalizer.  That film made it to $101.5M in the US, but Magnificent may not crack $100M, which is a problem since it cost $35M more to produce than Equalizer, and as a western, the odds are against it matching Equalizer‘s $90.8M overseas total.  That may be the difference between moderate success and a miss.

STORKS (RatPac/Warners Animation) wasn’t hurt too badly by the arrival of Miss Peregrine, down 45% from last Friday to $3.2M, with a $13M weekend ahead.  But those are low numbers for a major release, and Storks may not reach $75M in the US.

SULLY (RatPac/Warners) declined just 39% from last Friday to $2.6M, and should earn over $8M on its 4th weekend.  It’s likely to end up around $125M in the US, which would make it Clint Eastwood’s #3 grosser as a director, below the huge American Sniper and the more moderate Gran Torino.

Neither of the weekend’s two high-profile limited releases is causing more than a ripple.  DENIAL (Bleecker Street) may average $20K for the weekend at 5 NY/LA theatres, and AMERICAN HONEY (A24) could average $15K at 4.

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."