March 11, 2018

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 3.11.2018


OPENINGS:  In the world of family movies, the 33% Saturday bump for A WRINKLE IN TIME (Disney) was mediocre.  (By comparison, Peter Rabbit rose 97% on its 1st Saturday.)  That brought the weekend to a soft $33.3M.  Family movies sometimes enjoy lengthy runs and high multiples, and Wrinkle faces little direct competition in the next several weeks, but it’s not clear whether word of mouth will support that kind of run.  If Wrinkle only reaches $100M in the US, that will leave a tough road ahead for it to try to hit profit on $200M+ in production/marketing costs from its overseas release.  Disney’s international strategy is slow and gradual, with a $6.3M weekend to start in 6 territories, the majority of that amount from Russia.

STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT (Aviron) had an OK $10.5M start on low costs in the neighborhood of $20M, but breakeven is probably the best it can hope for.

THE HURRICANE HEIST (Entertainment Services) is claiming a $3.2M weekend, which is terrible anyway, but that number also assumes an extremely strong Sunday, so it may come down significantly in final numbers tomorrow.

GRINGO (Amazon/STX) had no traction at all with a $2.6M weekend, another example of the perils these days of trying to release mid-level genre movies in theatres.

THOROUGHBREDS (Focus/Universal) had one of those odd 549-theatre openings that aren’t really wide or platform, and whatever Focus was hoping to achieve didn’t happen, as the film managed a weak $1.2M.  The studio held Thoroughbreds on the shelf for over a year, since its debut at Sundance 2017, and one wonders why Focus didn’t wait a few more weeks for star Olivia Cooke to have her big moment as the female lead in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, which should increase her visibility.

TOMB RAIDER (MGM/Warners) doesn’t open here until next weekend, but it’s begun its international run in 9 Asian territories with an unexciting $14.1M.  It goes much wider next week.

HOLDOVERS:  For the 4th consecutive weekend, BLACK PANTHER (Marvel/Disney) wore the box office crown.  In the US, it declined 39% to $41M, and with a current total of $562M, the question is whether it can reach $659.4M, which would put it at #3 all-time behind only The Force Awakens and Avatar.  It’s at $1.08B worldwide, after a $100M international weekend that was dominated by a $66.5M opening in China, its final major market.  Panther may reach $1.3B before it’s done, which would put it behind only the two Avengers movies in the Marvel universe.  However, with all international territories now in play, 52% of its worldwide total is from the US, which is markedly different from the Avengers measures of 41% and 33%.

RED SPARROW (TSG/20th) fell 52% in its 2nd weekend to $8.2M, and may not get to $50M in the US.  It also isn’t hitting overseas, where it’s at $51.8M after a $15.7M weekend in 69 territories.  Japan, France and Russia are among the markets still to come, but with $175M in costs, red is also going to be the color of its ink.

GAME NIGHT (New Line/Warners) has settled into a comfortable groove, down just 24% in its 3rd weekend to $7.9M, and now on track for $60M+ in the US.  Things are less sunny overseas, however, where it’s at $24.7M after a $5.4M weekend in 50 markets, and success or failure will likely depend on the cost of Warners’ marketing campaign.

PETER RABBIT (Sony Animation/Columbia/Sony) wasn’t troubled by the arrival of A Wrinkle In Time, down a mere 32% in its 5th weekend to $6.8M, and heading for $110M in the US.  Its international campaign continues to be in no hurry, $26.2M after a $4.8M weekend in 13 territories.

DEATH WISH (MGM) fell 49% in its 2nd weekend to $6.6M, and might get to $40M in the US, in need of international help to recoup costs in the vicinity of $80M.

ANNIHILATION (Perfect World/Paramount) dropped 44% in its 3rd weekend to $3.2M, and won’t get much past $30M in the US.  Since Netflix owns the rest of the world (except China), its finances will be murky, but certainly not good.

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (Columbia/Sony) isn’t done yet, down 38% in its 12th weekend to $2.8M, and a week or so away from reaching $400M in the US.  Its worldwide total is $934.1M.

THE SHAPE OF WATER (Fox Searchlight) almost doubled its US theatre count to 1552 for its post-Oscar victory lap, and earned $2.4M before heading to homevideo on Tuesday, unlikely to reach $65M.  Overseas, things were more robust with an $11.3M weekend in 52 markets, giving it a running total of $87.4M, with China to come next weekend.

LIMITED RELEASE:  The first art-house hit of the year is THE DEATH OF STALIN (IFC), boasting a sweet $45K per-theatre average at 4.  A FANTASTIC WOMAN (Sony Classics) expanded to 166 off its Best Foreign Language Film win, and averaged $1700.  THE LEISURE SEEKER (Sony Classics) widened to 28 with a $4300 average.  LOVELESS (Sony Classics) expanded to 37 with a $1500 avearge.  FOXTROT (Sony Classics) had a $5K average at 6.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Apart from Tomb Raider, new releases include the gay teen dramedy LOVE, SIMON (20th), Christian-aimed I CAN ONLY IMAGINE (Roadside), and a barely-wide start for 7 DAYS IN ENTEBBE (Focus/Universal).  Art-houses will welcome FLOWER (The Orchard) and JOURNEY’S END (Good Deed).


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."


  1. dom

    strangers had a production budget of 5… a ten million opening is great. they are thrilled and will be making a lot off that movie. you don’t know how movie math works.

    and the greatest showman in spite of your declarations that the film was going to lose money is heading for 400 million. but in your weird version of math they will lose buckets of cash. lol

    • George

      5 milion budget + marketing costs at 20 mil is breakeven,The Greatest Showman had an 8 mil opening weekend against an 84 mil budget,nobody expected after that awful opening to reach 400 worldwide,after it started to gain momentum no one was saying that is still going to lose money so calm down Beyonce

    • Mitch Salem

      You seem to be determined to misunderstand our analysis, so we won’t continue this, but for the record, a $400M gross doesn’t mean that the studio gets anything like $400M in its pocket. When theaters pull out their percentages (more than half of ticket sales overseas, 75% in China), the number becomes more like $175M. And with costs of $200M+, even though the film will reach profit once ancillaries are included, it’s far from the smash hit you want to make it.

      If you want to believe that a $20M gross on a movie that cost $5M to produce and has $15-20M in marketing expenses is a thrilling business, more power to you.

  2. Russell

    How do you think “Tomb Raider” and “Love, Simon” will do? Will either of them be able to beat “Black Panther”?

  3. Russell

    How do you think “Tomb Raider” and “Love, Simon” will do? Will either of them be able to beat “Black Panther”??

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