August 22, 2013

WEDNESDAY BOX OFFICE: “Mortal Instruments” Very Mortal Indeed


Be sure to read Mitch Metcalf’s Weekend Box Office Predictions.

Momentum was lacking for THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES (Screen Gems/Sony), as the studio kept the movie from critics until the last possible instant and didn’t even have night-before screenings for audiences–one of the only films of the summer to wait till 12:01AM for its first showings.  When the terrible reviews (16% positive on Rotten Tomatoes) poured in, the die was cast, and Mortal Instruments had only a $3M opening day.  That’s better than the $2.5M earned by last spring’s YA bomb Beautiful Creatures (on a Thursday) but not by much–and Creatures only ended up with $19.5M in the US and $60.1M worldwide.  The Mortal opening day was well below the start for The Host, which kicked off with $5.3M (on a Friday) and only reached $26.6M in the US and $48.2M worldwide.

Mortal Instruments was a lot cheaper to produce than an A-list fantasy spectacle, but a $60M production budget still means $150M with worldwide marketing.  Luckily for Screen Gems, the bulk of that burden is on Constantin Film, the German studio that produced the movie, with Screen Gems only purchasing US rights.


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."