April 9, 2016

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “The Boss” Is Kryptonite to “BvS,” “Hardcore Henry” & “Demolition” Implode


How much more humiliating can things get for Warners?  On Friday, according to preliminary numbers at Deadline, THE BOSS (Universal), which isn’t even a high-performing Melissa McCarthy vehicle, beat up both the studio’s superheroes with about $7.5M.  The Boss will likely have trouble sustaining itself over the weekend, but at about $20M+, it will very much be in the hunt for the #1 slot, despite being McCarthy’s lowest-opening star vehicle, running behind Tammy‘s $21.6M (and that one opened on the preceding Wednesday, with $11.7M earned before the weekend began).  In any case, The Boss had a low $29M production budget for a studio comedy, and should make its way to a mild profit at $75M in the US–and with the new Ghostbusters dead ahead for McCarthy, it won’t stay in anyone’s memory for long.

Harder to forget is BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (DC/RatPac/Warners), which had another terrible hold, down 60% from last Friday to $6M, and heading for a $21M weekend.  Even blockbusters that fall sharply in Weekend 2 usually stabilize in Weekend 3, with the final Harry Potter down 54% (after 72%), Fifty Shades of Grey down 53% (after 74%), Man of Steel down 50% (after 65%), X-Men: The Last Stand down 53% (after 67%), and The Dark Knight Rises down 43% (after 61%).  BvS is plunging like a Twilight movie (down 60-64% in their 3rd weekends) and now looks as though it will struggle just to reach $340M in the US, which will put it behind Deadpool‘s $355.1M.  If the early buzz on Captain America: Civil War is at all accurate, BvS will only be the #3 superhero movie of the season despite the mammoth expense and effort that went into it.  Warners (probably) won’t lose money on it, but the goal of creating a serious rival to Marvel’s genre machine is fading amid the studio’s increasingly desperate spin, which is now veering toward assuring all concerned that Justice League will be very different even with Zack Snyder again behind the camera.

The atrocious HARDCORE HENRY (STX) is getting, frankly, the opening it deserves, with a $2M Friday and a likely $5M weekend that isn’t even reaching its target gamer audience, let alone anyone else.  Its studio was taking its turn shouting that it had limited financial exposure on the flop after foreign pre-sales, but even if that’s more or less true, movie studios aren’t in business to have limited financial exposure on flops.

DEMOLITION (Fox Searchlight) had an oddly scaled opening in 854 theatres, and it’s suffering from reviews more scathing than its mostly respectful reception at the Toronto Film Festival would have suggested.  In short, it’s nowhere, looking at a $1M weekend that will quickly take it off the map.

Among holdovers, ZOOTOPIA (Disney) is still strong, down 40% from last Friday to $3.4M, and in line for a $13.5M weekend that will put it at $295M by Sunday.  A $300M US total is certain, and $325M may be doable if next week’s arrival of The Jungle Book doesn’t hurt it too badly.  MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 (Gold Circle/Universal) fell 45% to $1.8M from last Friday, and should have a $6M weekend, on its way to a $60M US total that, as with The Boss, should allow for some profit on a low budget.

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."