May 21, 2017

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 5.21.2017


OPENINGS:  ALIEN: COVENANT (TSG/20th) slumped almost as badly on its 2d day of release as the unpopular Prometheus (22% vs 25%), and the result was a lackluster $36M weekend in the US–and even that number includes an aggressive estimate for Sunday.  Worse yet, with Covenant now playing in every major international market except China and Japan, it managed just a $30.3M weekend, for a $81.9M total.  Even if the movie pops in China, it’s unlikely to get much past $300M worldwide, and that will make for a sliver of profit at best on $225M in production/marketing costs.  20th will have a tough call as to whether it’s worth keeping the franchise going.

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING (Warners) found some of its target audience with a $12M opening, and the YA soap may make its way to modest profit on $60M in costs if it has international appeal.  But of course a release like this is pocket change compared to Warners’ big guns for the summer.

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL (20th) was a franchise reboot that interested no one, and with a $7.2M start, it’s unlikely to break even despite low production and marketing costs.

HOLDOVERS:  The slim competition of the past 2 weeks has been good news for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 2 (Marvel/Disney), which declined a moderate 46% in its 3d weekend to $35.1M ($301.8M total), just slightly steeper than the 40% Weekend 3 drop for the first Guardians, and better than the holds for other Marvel sequels that opened in May (49% for Iron Man 2, 55% for Captain America: Civil War, 50% for Avengers: Age of Ultron).  If the Sunday estimate for Alien: Covenant turns out to be significantly off, Guardians 2 might even swipe the weekend away from the new opening.  Overseas, it’s at $430.8M after a $28M weekend, and it should end up around $850M+ worldwide, which would make it the #5 Marvel movie behind both Avengers, Iron Man 3 and Civil War.

The Weekend 2 drop was particularly ugly for SNATCHED (TSG/20th), because of its powerful Mothers Day last week, with a 61% plunge to $7.6M.  It may not get to $50M in the US, and is still early in its overseas release with $7.2M in 14 markets.

KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD (Village Roadshow/RatPac/Warners) had no good news.  In the US, it fell 55% to $6.9M, and will end up around a dreadful $40M.  Overseas, things are better, but not nearly enough, with a $66.2M total after a $27.7M weekend everywhere except Japan.

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (Universal) is tailing off, down 41% in the US to $3.2M (likely to finish around $225M), and with a $7.2M weekend in the rest of the world (where it will top $1B next week, $386.4M of it from China).  Compared to Furious 7, it will be about 35% behind in the US, and about 15% behind overseas.

THE BOSS BABY (DreamWorks Animation/20th) continued its slow slide, down 37% in the US to $2.8M, with a chance of reaching $175M.  Overseas, it’s at $301.8M after a $5.1M weekend.

BEAUTY & THE BEAST (Disney) fell 50% in the US to $2.4M, but it should have enough gas to reach $500M next week.  Internationally, it’s at $724M after a $5.2M weekend.  Its worldwide $1.22B total now makes it the #10 film of all time.

LIMITED RELEASE:  No major openings this weekend, but several expansions.  NORMAN (Sony Classics) jumped to 373 theatres with a blah $1700 per-theatre average.  THE LOVERS (A24) averaged $2900 at 105.  A QUIET PASSION (Music Box) had a $1600 average at 130.  PARIS CAN WAIT (Sony Classics) widened to 23 with a $8900 average.  THE WEDDING PLAN (Roadside) spread to 53 with a $3300 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  One of the most interesting wagers of the summer is PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES (Disney), the latest in a multi-billion dollar franchise–but the first entry in 6 years, a period that’s been particularly tough for star Johnny Depp.  In addition, BAYWATCH (Paramount) turns the TV show into an R-rated comedy.

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."