June 25, 2017

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 6.25.2017


OPENINGS:  For a Wednesday opening, TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT (Huahua/Paramount) had a fairly good 27% Saturday bump in the US (by comparison, 2011’s Dark of the Moon went up just 5% on its parallel day), which pushed the weekend estimate a bit to $45.3M, giving the film $69.1M over 5 days.  That’s still far below the first 5 days of any other chapter in the franchise, which have been at $120.9M-$200.1M.  Even with a long holiday weekend ahead, Last Knight may not crack $150M in the US, which would be down around 40% from the lowest in the franchise to date, 2014’s Age of Extinction.  Naturally, things are brighter overseas, where Last Knight has already earned $196.2M in 41 markets that comprise more than 80% of its worldwide footprint.  But even there, $123.4M of that $196.2M (63%) is from China, where Paramount won’t see 75% of ticket revenues.  At this point, it seems like Last Knight is heading for $650-700M worldwide (around 40% of it from China), down 35-40% from Age of Extinction, and with costs of $375M+, not all that profitable.  Things are even more problematic for the studio because the idea of a rebooted and more budget-conscious Transformers in the future is a contradiction in terms, since the franchise has always been about spectacle and little more.

HOLDOVERS:  CARS 3 (Pixar/Disney) dropped 53% from last weekend to $25.2M, better than the 60% Weekend 2 drop for Cars 2, although that one’s numbers were larger (after 10 days, Cars 3 is at $99.9M, while Cars 2 was at $117.2M).  Cars 2 reached $191.5M in the US, and the third installment may get there too, unless Despicable Me 3 flattens it next week.  Cars 3 is still in gradual international release, with $41.4M after a $11.9M weekend in a limited number of markets.

WONDER WOMAN (RatPac/Wanda/Ten Cent/DC/Warners) will be the highest-grossing piece of the current DC movie universe by next week.  It dipped just 39% in its 4th weekend to $25.2M, and is $12M behind Batman v Superman, still on track for a $375M total.  Overseas, it’s at $334.5M after a $20.5M weekend, and with Japan still to open.

47 METERS DOWN (Entertainment Studios) had a very strong hold, down only 34% to $7.4M (The Shallows fell 48% on its 2d weekend), and should be able to push past $40M in the US, a nice result for a low-budget thriller.

THE MUMMY (Perfect World/Universal) is a different story.  In the US, it fell 60% to $5.8M, and probably won’t get past $80M.  Overseas, it’s at a much bigger $273.6M, but dwindling fast with a $16.5M weekend in all major markets except Japan.  With a worldwide total around $400M, it’s likely to end up in red ink, especially since 25% of that number will come from China.

ALL EYEZ ON ME (Morgan Creek/Summit/Lionsgate) showed itself to be hugely frontloaded last week, and that held in Weekend 2, where it plunged 78% to $5.9M.  It may not reach $50M in the US, and overseas prospects are extremely limited.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES (Disney) continued its odd late-run steadiness, down 42% to $5.2M, but still heading for $170-175M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $517.8M at the tail end of its run, after a $8.3M weekend, with its final major opening in Japan next week.  Even if that market is strong, Dead Men will be the lowest entry in the franchise worldwide since the 2003 original.

ROUGH NIGHT (Columbia/Sony) is the only comedy around, and it dropped a fair 41%.  Unfortunately, its numbers were so low that this still meant a $4.7M weekend, and a US total that may not get to $30M.

THE BOOK OF HENRY (Focus/Universal) seems to be benefiting from a word of mouth that’s at odds with its withering critical response.  Its per-theatre average (it widened by about 10% to 646) was down a reasonable 40% from last weekend, although it’s a long way from being a sleeper.

LIMITED RELEASE:  THE BIG SICK (Amazon/Lionsgate) passed its first test with flying colors, averaging $87K in 5 NY/LA theatres, but its real challenge will be its expansion into wide release.  THE BEGUILED (Focus/Universal) was a bit more subdued with a $60K average at 4.  THE BAD BATCH (Neon) was in a much lower league with a $3K average at 30.  BEATRIZ AT DINNER (Roadside) expanded just shy of wide release to 491 theatres, and averaged a fair $3700.  PARIS CAN WAIT (Sony Classics) was notable for its stability, down just 14% from last weekend while reducing its theatre count by 10%, albeit with a mild $1500 per-theatre average.  On a smaller scale, MAUDIE (Sony Classics) was even more impressive, increasing its theatre count by less than 20% (to 28), but rising 36% with a $3400 average.  THE EXCEPTION (A24) expanded to 48 theatres with a $2900 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  One thing Transformers has going for it is a lack of direct action blockbuster competition over the holiday weekend.  But it may need to look out for BABY DRIVER (Columbia/Sony), a smaller genre thriller receiving rapturous reviews.  The rest of the newcomers are comedies, the animated DESPICABLE ME 3 (Illumination/Universal) and the R-rated THE HOUSE (New Line/Warners).  Limited releases include 13 MINUTES (Sony Classics) and THE LITTLE HOURS (Gunpowder & Sky).

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."