March 26, 2017

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 03.26.2017


OPENINGS:  The news was good and bad for POWER RANGERS (Lionsgate).  Its US opening was very solid at $40.5M (even if that number turns out to be a bit overstated, with an ambitious Sunday estimate).  But it carries at least $200M in production/marketing costs, and to reach profit, it also needs to be strong overseas.  Its opening weekend lagged badly, with $18.7M in 62 markets.  There are a few major territories still to open, including France, Italy and especially Japan, but at this level, the planned franchise would be difficult to sustain.

Despite an expensive marketing campaign that included Super Bowl ads, LIFE (Skydance/Columbia/Sony) didn’t display many signs of same.  Its anemic $12.6M start in the US was matched by $16.1M in 56 overseas territories.  With something like $175M in worldwide costs, it seems doomed.

CHIPS (Village Roadshow/Warners) generated little interest with a $12.6M US opening.  That’s just about equal to the start for Warners’ recent Fist Fight, which is at $31.8M, and CHIPS will probably end up in the same place, and with little likely international appeal.

BOSS BABY (DreamWorks Animation/20th) doesn’t open in the US until Friday, but it’s gotten a promising early start in just 5 overseas markets with $16.3M.

The sports drama SLAMMA JAMMA (River Road) snuck into barely-wide release at 502 theatres with $1.7M.

HOLDOVERS:  BEAUTY & THE BEAST (Disney) is well on its way to $1B+ worldwide.  In the US, it declined 49% to $88.3M, not quite as soft as the 40% drop for The Jungle Book or the 46% for Alice In Wonderland, but better than the 51% for Maleficent and at a much higher level.  If it doesn’t reach $500M here, it should come close.  Things were even better overseas, where the weekend was at $119.2M–and the markets still to open include Japan, which could be enormous.  The current global total is $690.3M.

KONG:  SKULL ISLAND (Legendary/Warners) held well in the US, down 48% (much better than Godzilla‘s 61% 3rd weekend drop) to $14.4M, and still on track for a $160M total.  Even better, Kong got the China opening it needed with $72.1M (Godzilla‘s entire China run was $77.6M).  However, the rest of the world is much less enamored of the monster, with just $20.9M in the other 66 territories where it’s playing (that includes a $3.5M opening in Japan).  With $300M+ in costs, and considering the low 25% of box office that American studios are allowed to retain in China, that means that even if Kong can get to $600M worldwide, the profits are going to be thin, although probably enough to keep the franchise going.

LOGAN (TSG/20th) dropped 43% in its 4th weekend to $10.1M in the US, still on its way to $220M.  Overseas, it’s at $364M after a $12.1M weekend in 73 territories, with Japan still to come, and it should easily top $600M worldwide–on much lower production costs than Kong‘s, which makes the difference between a dance with breakeven and a healthy hit.

GET OUT (Blumhouse/QC/Universal) continues to amaze, down 35% in its 5th weekend to $8.7M.  At $147.5M, it’s now Blumhouse’s biggest success, and it’s not done yet.  It’s still in a slow international rollout with $7M in 10 markets so far.

THE SHACK (Lionsgate) is connecting with its base, down 37% in its 4th weekend to $3.8M, heading for $55-60M.

THE BELKO EXPERIMENT (BH Tilt/Orion/Universal) had a decent hold for low-budget horror, down 56% to $1.8M.  It now seems as though it’s going to get past the $10M marker where Blumhouse says it goes into profit.

LIMITED RELEASE:  WILSON (Fox Searchlight) is Searchlight’s 2d consecutive flop after Table 19, with an awful $1100 per-theatre average in its 310-theatre opening.  The rest of the indie news came from expansions, the most successful of which was T2: TRAINSPOTTING (TriStar/Sony), with a fair $6400 average at 59 theatres.  THE LAST WORD (Bleecker Street), now at 380, averaged $1400.  PERSONAL SHOPPER (IFC) widened to 107 with a $2100 average.  SONG TO SONG (Broad Green) moved into 80 with a $1800 average.  Cult movie RAW (Focus World/Universal) averaged $2700 at 27.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Apart from the US arrival of Boss Baby, the major opening is GHOST IN THE SHELL (DreamWorks/Paramount).  In addition, THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE (Focus/Universal) will begin a semi-wide release.

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."