July 15, 2017

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “War” Unspectacular, “Spider-Man” Drops, “Big Sick” Expands


Despite some of the best reviews of the year for any movie, big studio or indie, WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (TSG/20th) is off to a merely OK start.  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, it had a $21.1M opening day (including $5M from Thursday night), putting it 24% behind the $27.6M for Dawn in 2014, and a scant 8% above 2011’s Rise.  The likely weekend multiple is unclear, because on the one hand word of mouth should be positive, but on the other, this dark saga isn’t the stuff of family matinees.  A $55M weekend would put it $17.6M below Dawn, and a $200K sliver above Rise (and probably considerably more front-loaded than the latter).  With roughly $275M in production and marketing costs, a $550M worldwide total would be profitable, but wouldn’t end this version of the series on a high note.  (It will also be one of the titles hurt by China’s apparent decision to black out Hollywood openings for the rest of the summer in order to favor local films, pushing the War opening to sometime in the fall.)

Word of mouth didn’t build SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (Marvel/Columbia/Sony) beyond a standard Weekend 2 superhero hold.  It fell 73% from last Friday to $13.6M, similar to the 2d Friday drops for Captain America: Civil War (74%) and the Guardians of the Galaxy movies (both 71%), and not in a league with the 59% decline for Wonder Woman.  It’s likely to have a 60% drop from last weekend to $47M, and is headed toward a $300M US total, which would be above both of the Amazing Spider-Man results, but below all of the original trilogy.  Certainly a step in the right direction from the downward spiral of the Amazing movies, but with a rank midway among the 16 Marvel universe titles, perhaps not the grand slam that had been anticipated.

DESPICABLE ME 3 (Illumination/Universal) fell 46% from last Friday to $6.1M, and should have a $20M weekend, on track for a $225M total in the US, the lowest in the Despicable franchise, as it looks overseas for the bulk of its revenue.

BABY DRIVER (MRC/TriStar/Sony) continues to be the sleeper of the season, down 36% Friday-to-Friday to $2.5M, for a $8.5M weekend and a US total that might reach a very satisfying $90M+.

THE BIG SICK (Amazon/Lionsgate) had a fair expansion into wide release (2597 theatres) with a $2.5M Friday.  That should give it a $7M+ weekend, as it pushes for $30M or more in the US.  That still wouldn’t make it particularly profitable if the reported $20M in US marketing costs are accurate (on top of a $12M acquisition cost), but it will hope to run into the fall and be remembered in awards season.

WISH UPON (Broad Green) was a stiff, with a $2.3M Friday that will put it around $5M for the weekend as it heads to home media.

WONDER WOMAN (RatPac/Huahua/Tencent/DC/Warners) will soon be the #1 movie of the summer, on its way to topple Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (at $386.1M as of Thursday).  Friday added $2M to its account for a $7M weekend, and if it can hold on to its theatres, it even has an outside shot of cracking $400M by the end of summer.

A GHOST STORY (A24) had a modest expansion to 20 theatres, where it should average $7500 for the weekend.

LADY MACBETH (Roadside) opened at 5 NY/LA arthouses and should average a slim $13K.



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."