May 24, 2014

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “X-Men” Mutates Holiday Weekend, “Blended” Doesn’t Mix


X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST (20th) was fated to walk away with Memorial Day Weekend, and it’s starting off its run in high style, with a preliminary $36M (including $8.1M from Thursday night) reported at Deadline and elsewhere.  If that number holds, it would be the 3rd highest opening day of the year (behind $36.9M for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and $38.4M for Godzilla), even though the movie opened with a couple of small handicaps, having fewer Thursday night screenings than those two and no IMAX runs.  With the holiday making for a stronger Sunday than usual, Days is on track for at least $92M by Sunday and $105M by Monday, and strong word-of-mouth could raise those numbers to as much as $100M/$120M.

The awful opening for BLENDED (Warners) confirms that Adam Sandler is only a star these days if his movie has Grown-Ups in the title.  Opening day was even worse than expected at $4M, and it may earn just $12M by Sunday and $14M by Monday.  Warners is already busily spinning these numbers 2 ways:  first asserting that Blended is going to play like an animated movie, which could get it to $14M/$18M (doubtful) and then stressing that its production cost was just $45M (which doesn’t count another $100M+ in worldwide marketing costs).  Sprinkling perfume on garbage doesn’t yield lasting results, though, and Blended‘s odor will be difficult to hide.

GODZILLA (Warners) was expected to take a hit with the arrival of  X-Men, but its Friday-to-Friday drop of 77% (to $9M) was rather shocking.  Godzilla, too, will benefit from a strong Sunday, and that should keep its weekend erosion (through Sunday) to 65%, but considering the holiday weekend, that’s nothing to feel good about.  It could reach $32M by Sunday and $40M by Monday, and now seems headed for a US total around $225M.

Last weekend’s other opening MILLION DOLLAR ARM (Disney) is holding much better, albeit at a far lower level.  It fell 45% Friday-to-Friday for $2M, and could have $8M by Sunday and $10M by Monday.  It’s still looking at just $40M or so in the US all-in.

NEIGHBORS (Universal) fell over 50% from last Friday to $4M, and is headed to $13M by Sunday and $16M by Monday, with $140M as a likely US total.  THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (Sony), hobbled by yet another CG spectacle in the neighborhood, dropped 55% from last Friday to $2M, and may get to $8-9M by Sunday and $10-11M by Monday, unlikely to get beyond $205M in the US, which would be more than $50M below the first Amazing.

CHEF (Open Road) widened to almost 500 theatres, and may have an OK $4K per-theatre average for the weekend through Sunday and $5K through Monday.  That may put it on track for over $10M in the US, not a bad result for a low-budget indie, although it’ll be–sorry–eaten by marketing costs if the studio launches any kind of TV campaign.

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."