June 14, 2015

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 6/14/15


OPENINGS:  JURASSIC WORLD (Legendary/Universal) took its place in the history books with the biggest worldwide opening of all time, its $511.8M ahead of the final Harry Potter‘s $483.2M.  That particular record relies a bit on overseas distribution scheduling, since not every American blockbuster is approved for a China opening the same weekend that it starts in the US.  (China contributed $100.8M to the movie’s total with a 5-day debut.)  Although #1 worldwide, Jurassic is in 2d place both in the US (its $204.6M behind the original Avengers at $207.4M) and internationally (its $307.2M behind Harry Potter‘s $314M), although a strong Sunday could push it over the top in both realms.  Whether or not that happens, this is a spectacular achievement.  It’s worth noting that before the year started, the assumption was that 2015 would belong to Disney, and certainly Pixar’s Inside Out and the arrival of Star Wars at Christmas may ultimately make that the case.  But Avengers 2 underperformed slightly, and Tomorrowland was a costly flop, making this resoundingly Universal’s year so far, shiny with the rarity of 3 franchises that all performed beyond expectations:  Furious 7, Pitch Perfect 2, and now Jurassic.  (With Minions, the spin-off from Despicable Me, yet to come.)  It’s the kind of year studios dream about.

LOVE AND MERCY (Lionsgate/Roadside) edged into semi-wide release by adding 92 theatres for a total of 573.  Despite that addition, it fell 17% from last weekend, for a merely OK $3K per-theatre average.

HOLDOVERS:  Every other film in release felt the breath of Jurassic World on its neck, but some held up better than others.  SPY (20th) had a 45% decline to $16M, a very reasonable drop although not as strong as the 37% for The Heat or the 32% for Identity Thief–the 2d weekends of both of those, however, were on holiday weekends.  Spy looks to be headed for $90M+ at the US box office.  Overseas, Spy added $13.5M from 64 markets, giving it a total of $80M, already higher than The Heat‘s international results, and double those of Identity Thief.

SAN ANDREAS (Rat Pac Dune/Village Roadshow/New Line/Warners) was much more in Jurassic‘s wheelhouse, and it fell 57% to $11M, on its way to $140M in the US.  It continues to be much stronger overseas, where it earned another $42.5M in 68 territories, putting its international total at $254M.  It should end up close to $500M worldwide.

Horror movies almost always plunge in their 2d weekend anyway, Jurassic or not, and INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3 (Blumhouse/Focus/Universal) took a 68% swoon to $7.3M, still on the path to $50M in the US.  The thriller also took in $6.7M in 45 overseas territories for a $26.3M total outside the US.

PITCH PERFECT 2 (Gold Circle/Universal) was almost unscathed by the arrival of the dinosaurs, down a tiny 21% in its 5th weekend of release to $6M, as it continues singing its way to $180M+ in the US.  Worldwide, Pitch 2 is at $92.2M after a $2M weekend.

ENTOURAGE (Rat Pac Dune/Warners) is heading to the exits, down 58% to $4.3M, and perhaps not even hitting $35M at the US box office.  Entourage is still in limited release overseas, where it has $6M to date.

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (Village Roadshow/Warners) and AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (Marvel/Disney) are still viable in the marketplace, respectively down 47% to $4.1M (heading toward a $150M US total) and down 43% to $3.6M (rounding the turn to $450M in the US).  Overseas, Max is at $195.1M after a $5.4M weekend (the critical China opening is still unscheduled), not enough to get it out of red ink given its enormous costs.  No such worries for Ultron, now at $1.36B worldwide after a $2M overseas weekend, although it won’t catch the first Avengers‘ $1.52B.

LIMITED RELEASE:  It was probably a mistake to launch ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL (Fox Searchlight) against the might of Jurassic World, a movie that, while in a completely different genre, sucked up all the weekend’s oxygen.  Me and Earl, despite strong reviews, managed just a $14K average at 15 theatres.  One bright spot is that the film’s word of mouth is (deservedly) strong:  the box office take climbed 9% on Saturday, even though teen-oriented films almost always drop on their 2d day.  I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS (Bleecker Street) smoothly expanded to 241 theatres, a 50% increase almost matched by its 45% higher weekend at $800K.  With nearly $3M so far, Dreams could prove to be a tidy hit for its new distributor.  WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE (GKids) widened to 55 theatres with a $5700 average.  TESTAMENT OF YOUTH (Sony Classics) added 12 theatres for a total of 16 and a soft $6900 average.  THE FAREWELL PARTY (Goldwyn), now at 13 theatres, averaged $2600.

NEXT WEEKEND:  2 very different comedies take the stage, with the family-oriented INSIDE OUT (Pixar/Disney) and the Sundance smash DOPE (Open Road).  Limited releases include 2 smaller Sundance titles, INFINITELY POLAR BEAR (Sony Classics) and THE OVERNIGHT (The Orchard).


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."