March 30, 2014

EARLY WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Ark Gets Bigger for “Noah”


Proving, once again, that opening night exit polls are all but meaningless, preliminary numbers at Deadline have NOAH (Paramount/Regency) rising as much as 20% from Friday to Saturday despite a “C” grade that supposedly predicted poisonous word of mouth.  In fact, for a non-family release, a 20% Saturday bump is excellent–by way of comparison, Ride Along, which rode strong word of mouth to more than triple its opening weekend, rose 16% on its first Saturday.  Noah will still have to cope with next week’s arrival of Captain America 2, which may drain all oxygen from the box office, but for now it seems headed to a great $45M start in the US.

The appeal of religious-themed films extended to the second weekend of GOD’S NOT DEAD (Freestyle), which with the addition of 50% more theatres may hold even with last weekend’s $9.2M debut.  In the more secular realm, DIVERGENT (Summit/Lionsgate) also had a strong Saturday and may drop by less than 50% from its opening weekend to $28M, a fine result.  MUPPETS MOST WANTED (Disney) may only drop by 30% from its opening weekend to $12M, although that’s not enough to change its prognosis.  MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN (DreamWorks Animation/20th) remains on target for a $10M weekend.

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (Fox Searchlight) could earn $9M in just 977 theatres for the weekend, putting its US total close to $25M.


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."