April 30, 2017

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 4.30.2017


OPENINGS:  GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (Marvel/Disney) won’t arrive on these shores until Thursday night, but it’s already in 37 international territories covering over half the world (although not yet China), and has deposited $101.2M in the Marvel account.  Next week’s US opening is expected to be in the $150M neighborhood.  To date, the only 4 Marvel productions to hit $1B worldwide have been the two Avengers, Captain America: Civil War (a quasi-Avengers title), and Iron Man 3, so Guardians 2 will be gunning to join that club. after the first Guardians topped out at $773.3M.

Back in the US, HOW TO BE A LATIN LOVER (Pantelion/Lionsgate) had an impressive $12M start at 1118 theatres.  It will be measured against star Eugenio Derbez’s Instructions Not Included, which ran a $7.8M opening (at 348 theatres) to a $44.5M US total in 2013  The question will be whether opening in 3x as many theatres will make the launch substantially more frontloaded, especially with the mega-competition coming next week.

BAAHUBALI 2 (Great India) was on fire with $10.1M in only 425 US theatres (apparently ticket prices were at an IMAX-ish premium level, although even with two-thirds as many tickets sold as normal prices would provide, it would be a remarkable total), and it will be interesting to see if larger distributors will start dipping their toes into the Indian-language market.  Naturally Baahubali 2 is even bigger in India, and according to Deadline it was at $42.8M there just through Saturday.

The one wide opening that followed the traditional model fared the worst, as THE CIRCLE (Europa/Image Nation Abu Dhabi/STX) mustered a weak $9.3M at 3163 theatres.  The (vaguely) sci-fi drama reportedly carried about $40M in production and US marketing costs, and barring strong results overseas, it’s unlikely to recoup.

Despite strong reviews, the indie SLEIGHT (WWE/Blumhouse/BH Tilt) didn’t show much promise in a quasi-wide release at 565 theatres with $1.7M.  That compares to the $4.1M start for Tilt’s The Belko Experiment at 1341 theatres.  Tilt prides itself on extremely low marketing costs, so we’ll see how their model works with a project that would normally spend some money and expand over the coming weeks.

HOLDOVERS:  There was no real news for THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (Universal), which continued down its divergent US and international paths, although notably frontloaded in both.  In the US, it fell another 50% to $19.4M, and will likely end up around $220-225M, below not just Furious 7, but also Fast & Furious 6.  Overseas, it remained much bigger with a $68.4M weekend and $867.6M to date ($361M of it from China, where it is now the #1 non-local film of all time), although even with the addition of Japan it fell 58% from last week’s haul.  Fate has topped $1B worldwide, and might reach $1.2B, down about 20% from Furious 7.

In the absence of new family titles, THE BOSS BABY (DreamWorks Animation/20th) and BEAUTY & THE BEAST (Disney) continued to thrive.  Boss Baby dipped 29% in the US to $9.1M, and will end up at $160M+, and it also took in $15.6M overseas for a total of $248.2M.  It should end up about 10% ahead of the $386M for DWAnimation’s Home on a worldwide basis.  Beauty declined 34% in the US to $6.4M, and should reach $490M+, while it’s at $662.4M overseas after a $17.2M weekend, making it the #13 worldwide grosser in history at $1.14B, with an outside shot of cracking the Top 10 by matching Iron Man 3‘s $1.21B.

GOING IN STYLE (RatPac/New Line/Warners) has found a comfortable if moderate space, down 27% in its 4th weekend to $3.6M, and likely to reach $45M in the US.  It’s also at $24.2M overseas after a $3M weekend in 42 markets.  That may not be enough to find breakeven on the production and (especially) marketing costs, but there shouldn’t be much of a loss.

SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (Columbia/Sony) went nowhere in the US, with a chance of reaching $45M after a 32% drop to $3.3M.  Overseas, it’s at $117.8M after $11.7M for the weekend, but that’s not enough to keep a franchise going.

GIFTED (Fox Searchlight) expanded again and is now in 2215 theatres with a $15.8M total after a 28% drop to $3.3M, and is still headed for a total in the low $20Ms.

THE LOST CITY OF Z (Amazon/Bleecker Street) is now in 866 theatres, and had a $1.7M weekend, down 18% despite the expansion and with a $2K per-theatre weekend average.

Last weekend’s flops didn’t get any prettier this time around, so quickly:  BORN IN CHINA (Disney) dropped 53% to $2.2M, THE PROMISE (Open Road) fell 66% to $1.4M, and FREE FIRE (A24) plunged 71% to $300K.

LIMITED RELEASE:  COLOSSAL (Neon) and THEIR FINEST (STX) had almost identical expansions and results, now respectively at 326 and 330 theatres, with $1500 per-theatre averages.  NORMAN (Sony Classics) widened to 47 with a $5K average.  A QUIET PASSION (Music Box), now at 40, averaged $2200.  ONE WEEK AND A DAY (Oscilloscope) opened with a quiet $3200 average at 3.

NEXT WEEKEND:  No one will challenge Guardians 2, although Harvey Weinstein has been running his counterprogramming playbook with the recent MPAA rating noise about 3 GENERATIONS (Weinstein).  Limited releases include THE DINNER (Orchard), THE LOVERS (A24) and CHUCK (IFC).

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."