March 15, 2014

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: Not Much “Need For Speed”; “Single Moms” Still Alone


It’s looking like a slow weekend at the box office, although the successive arrivals of Divergent, Noah and Captain America 2 over the next 3 weeks should keep it from becoming a trend.

Based on preliminary numbers at Deadline, NEED FOR SPEED (DreamWorks/Disney) probably won’t even reach $20M for the weekend.  Its reported $6.5M Friday (which includes $1.1M from Thursday night) is just a shade better than the recent Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (which didn’t have the benefit of 3D prices) and that movie’s $5.4M opening day only got it to a $15.4M weekend and $50M at the US box office.  Speed is yet another disappointment for DreamWorks, which will need major overperformance overseas to drive past all the red ink.

After an first day under $3.5M, SINGLE MOMS CLUB (Lionsgate) will be the lowest wide opening of Tyler Perry’s career, as his box office continues to slide for the 4th consecutive time.  Moms opened at about 10% fewer theatres than Perry’s norm, but that doesn’t justify the drop.  It will struggle to reach $10M for the weekend, and may not get beyond $25M overall.

VERONICA MARS (Warners) is hard to gauge because of its possible extreme frontloading from fans, but it had a promising start at just 291 theatres (which Warners had to rent out, because of the simultaneous VOD release) with $800K and a possible $2M+ weekend… plus whatever it’s pulling in on VOD, which Warners may or may not disclose.

The best news of the day was the expansion of THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (Fox Searchlight), holding strong as it widened to 66 theatres with a $13.5K average for the day.  That should mean a weekend average of $45K or so, which would compare well with Blue Jasmine, which had a $37K average when it reached 50 theatres, and with Black Swan, which averaged $37K at 90 theatres.  (Of course, the ultimate box office spread between those 2 movies was $33M vs. $107M, so there’s still no telling where Budapest will end up.)

Holdovers were led by MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN (DreamWorks Animation/20th), down about 30% from last Friday to $5M+, and heading for a solid $22M that should win the weekend.  300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (Warners/Legendary) was much more frontloaded, down 60% Friday-to-Friday to $5.5M+ and without Peabody‘s family matinee bump, likely to have an $18M weekend.  NON-STOP (Universal) was down about 35% Friday-to-Friday to $3M, on its way to a $10M weekend.

The long-running family hits are doing just fine, with THE LEGO MOVIE (Warners) down 20% to $2M on Friday, with an $8M weekend ahead (over $235M at the US box office), and FROZEN (Disney), despite its imminent homevideo release, also down about 20% to $500K on Friday and a $2M+ weekend (over $395M in the US).


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."