May 10, 2015

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 5/10/15


OPENINGS:  HOT PURSUIT (MGM/Warners) is looking for a very small Mother’s Day drop of 15% so that it can reach $13.3M for the weekend.  Even if it gets there, that’s a dull number, and Pursuit, which was probably intended by Reese Witherspoon (who also produced) as a box office corrective after her indie stint in Wild last year, may find itself not even matching Wild‘s $37.9M total.  Its overseas start was unpromising, with $1.4M in 21 markets.

PITCH PERFECT 2 (Gold Circle/Universal) doesn’t open here until Thursday night, but it’s off to a strong start overseas, with $8.8M in just a few foreign territories.

THE D TRAIN (IFC) received an atypical 1009-theatre opening from the usually very cautious IFC, which appears to have been overtaken by the sheer thrill of having a Jack Black comedy in its line-up.  This isn’t School of Rock, though, and the result was a disaster:  a per-screen average that didn’t even reach $500 and a $470K weekend total.

HOLDOVERS:  AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (Marvel/Disney) behaved like an ordinary blockbuster, falling 60% from its opening weekend to $77.2M, narrowly (by $1.6M) the #2 second weekend of all time.  The Avengers dropped only 50% in its own Weekend 2, suggesting that the current $60M spread between the movies will get considerably wider.  Overseas, Ultron is starting to tail off with a $68.3M weekend–but China is just around the corner, and that will make next week’s numbers huge again.  Currently the mega-franchise entry is at $562.4M overseas and $875M worldwide, but reaching the $1.5B global total of Avengers may be a stretch.

With the combination of Mother’s Day, Ultron‘s decrease and the lack of giant sports events on Saturday, all holdovers are claiming strong holds.  THE AGE OF ADALINE (Lionsgate) is reporting a mere 10% drop to $5.6M, and it could end up at a handsome $40M+.  FURIOUS 7 (Universal) dipped 21% to $5.3M (after a $19.8M weekend overseas, it’s now at $1.47B worldwide), and PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2 (MGM/Columbia/Sony) fell 12% to $5.2M, aiming at $70M in the US–a tidy sum, if far from the first Blart‘s $146.3M.  WOMAN IN GOLD (Weinstein) is actually reporting a 3% increase from last weekend to $1.7M, although it’s still unlikely to get much beyond $30M in the US.

EX MACHINA (A24) expanded once again, by 57% to 2004 theatres, and grew by 52% to $3.5M.  It now looks like it could get as high as $25M+, an excellent result for a cerebral thriller with no star power and little gore.

LIMITED RELEASE:  FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (Fox Searchlight) expanded to 99 theatres and continues to do OK business with a $7700 per-theatre average.  5 FLIGHTS UP (Focus Intl/Universal) had a decent $2700 average at 87 theatres despite also being available on VOD.  MAGGIE (Roadside), also on VOD, had a less impressive $1700 average at 79.  WELCOME TO ME (Alchemy), yet another VOD title, expanded to 133 theatres with a $1400 average.  IRIS (Magnolia), now in 33 theatres, had a $2600 average. SAINT LAURENT (Sony Classics) had a modest start with a $9K average at 4 NY/LA theatres.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Hollywood aims at distinctly different demos with MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (Warners) and the aforementioned Pitch Perfect 2.

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."