February 25, 2018

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 2.25.2018


OPENINGS:  It was no picnic opening against the historic 2nd weekend of Black Panther, and all of the new arrivals may have left some money on the table.  GAME NIGHT (New Line/Warners) fared best, and ran a healthy 25% Saturday bump into a $16.6M weekend, but that points toward a $45M US total, far away from its $120M in production/marketing costs.  The good news for Game Night is that it has the market for adult-aimed comedies to itself until April, which may encourage a leggy run.  The film also opened in 22 international territories with an unexciting $5.2M.

ANNIHILATION (Paramount) is claiming a weekend at $11M, but that number assumes the best Sunday hold in the Top 10, which for such a polarizing film may be a stretch.  Paramount only retained domestic and China rights, giving the rest of the world to Netflix, and it’s not clear how much of the production cost is still on its books.  However, even if Annihilation reaches $30M in the US, it won’t pay for the studio’s US marketing.

EVERY DAY (Orion/MGM) had a $3.1M opening and probably won’t get past $10M in the US.  Costs were low, but not that low.

HOLDOVERS:  BLACK PANTHER (Marvel/Disney) continued to blast past expectations, with a $108M weekend that puts it at #2 in US history (not adjusted for inflation), behind only The Force Awakens, which had the huge advantage of a Christmas week run.  Most notable is the 65% bump on Panther‘s 2nd Saturday, something that none of its fellow mega-openers have managed, and suggesting a huge second wave of interest and enthusiasm that may push Panther well past $600M in the US.  The only less thrilling news isn’t entirely unexpected:  while blockbusters in the modern era typically earn more than half their worldwide total overseas, as of now Black Panther is at $400M in the US and $304M internationally (the latter after a $83.8M weekend in 55 markets).  It’s critically important, of course, that the foreign number doesn’t include China or Japan, and just a limited release in Russia, so the final result may make up that ground, but that remains to be seen.  In any case, a worldwide total over $1B is now all but certain.

PETER RABBIT (Sony Animation/Columbia/Sony) held the family audience, down just 28% in its 2nd weekend to $12.5M, with the potential to knock on the door of $100M, although A Wrinkle In Time will come after its parents and children in 2 weeks.  Peter still has just a token run overseas.

FIFTY SHADES FREED (Perfect World/Universal) followed its franchise pattern with a swift Weekend 3 drop by 60% to $6.9M, probably on its way to $100M in the US.  It’s also running to form by being far bigger overseas, with $230.8M after a $22.3M weekend in 61 territories.  Its final worldwide result should be fairly close to the $381.8M for Fifty Shades Darker.

In their 10th weekends, JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (Columbia/Sony) and THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (20th) are still pleasing audiences, respectively down 29% to $5.7M and down 33% to $3.4M.  Their US destinations are $400M/$170M.  Overseas, Jumanji is at $532.7M after a $3M weekend, with Japan still to come, and Showman is at $200.5M after a $7.7M weekend.

THE 15:17 TO PARIS (Village Roadshow/Warners) held badly for a drama aimed at older audiences, down 53% in Weekend 3 to $3.6M, with a stop at $40M ahead, the same dim neighborhood as Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar ($37.3M) and Invictus ($37.5M).  It has $12.9M overseas.

Last weekend’s weak openings stayed weak.  EARLY MAN (StudioCanal/Lionsgate) dropped 47% to $1.7M and might get to $10M in the US, while SAMSON (Pure Flix) fell 51% to $950K and might reach $6M.  Neither has opened outside the US.

This was the last full weekend before the Oscars, and several Best Picture nominees stepped up their ad campaigns, with some increasing their theatre counts.  All are running out of steam, however, and the highest-grossing, 3 BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI (Fox Searchlight), THE POST (DreamWorks/Reliance/Participant/20th) and THE SHAPE OF WATER (Fox Searchlight) all clustered around $1.1-1.2M weekends.  Internationally, Billboards is at $71M after a $4.4M weekend in 49 markets, The Post is at $66.7M after a $6.3M weekend at 61, and Water is at $55.5M after $11.6M in 52.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Another local blockbuster of China’s New Year movie season arrived much reduced in the US, this time OPERATION RED SEA (Well Go), which averaged $11K at 45 US theatres while reaching $334M in China.  THE YOUNG KARL MARX (The Orchard) averaged $9500 at 3.  A FANTASTIC WOMAN (Sony Classics) expanded to 78 with a $2100 average.  THE PARTY (Roadside) widened to 30 with a $3400 average.  THE INSULT (Cohen) averaged $1500 at 50.  LOVELESS (Sony Classics) expanded to 12 with a $5500 average.  NOSTALGIA (Bleecker Street) averaged $1000 at 16.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Nothing seems to stand in the way of Black Panther notching another weekend win, with wide release competition limited to the Jennifer Lawrence vehicle RED SPARROW (20th) and a Bruce Willis remake of DEATH WISH (MGM).  Limited releases include FOXTROT (Sony Classics).

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."