June 21, 2015

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 6/21/15


OPENINGS:  INSIDE OUT (Pixar/Disney) had the largest opening for an animated non-sequel ever at $91.1M.  (Disney is claiming a slightly more abstract record as well, the largest opening for a film that isn’t based on any preexisting source material–excluding The Hunger Games, for example, because it began as a book–but the animation record will do nicely enough)  Note that Inside Out, like some of the other titles this weekend, is projecting an extremely strong Sunday because of Father’s Day, so that number could come down a bit tomorrow, but it’s still a massive total.  Added to it is $41M earned in just 37 territories (less than half the world) outside the US.  Inside Out won’t face any real competition until Minions on July 10, and by the time it’s done, the Joy in Disney’s internal control room should be promoted to outright Glee.

DOPE (Open Road) was a Sundance phenomenon, big enough that the distribution deal made at the festival required it to be sold as a mainstream release, with a reported $15M minimum to be spent on marketing.  That led to a 2002-theatre opening, and what looks to be a result not unlike Chris Rock’s Top Five, another festival darling that had its own spin on African-American comedy and didn’t manage to connect solidly with either that audience or the crowd that follows critical acclaim.  Top Five opened to $6.9M last Christmas (at only 979 theatres), and Dope has a $6M start.  Word of mouth will have to kick in strongly for it to justify the $22M deal (for rights and marketing) made at Sundance.

Speaking of MINIONS (Illumination/Universal), while its opening here is still almost 3 weeks away, it’s gotten a head start in 4 markets with a $12.3M opening.

HOLDOVERS:  JURASSIC WORLD (Legendary/Universal) held its #1 perch at the box office with a studio-projected 51% drop to $102M.  That’s very slightly over the 50% drop for the original Avengers, which had a $103.1M 2d weekend.  However, Jurassic has been performing much more strongly on weekdays than Avengers did (the blessing of opening in mid-June instead of early May, when school-age audiences are on vacation), so the 10-day Jurassic total is $25M above Avengers, $398.2M vs $373.1M.  On Monday, Jurassic will become the fastest movie ever to hit $400M in the US.  It remains a blockbuster internationally, too, with a $160.5M weekend in 66 markets (but not Japan) for a $583.1M total.  It will pass $1B this week, and has plenty of track ahead, for a global total that could challenge Avengers’ $1.52B total for the largest non-James Cameron haul in history.

Considering the gigantic numbers at the top of the chart, holdovers remained remarkably steady, albeit at far lower levels.  SPY (20th) fell just 33% to $10.5M, still on its way to a $95M US total.  Spy has also taken in $74M overseas, not quite at the $119.3M Bridesmaids level, but already above the $70.3M for The HeatSAN ANDREAS (Rat Pac-Dune/Village Roadshow/New Line/Warners) held even better, down 24% to $8.2M, with $150M in its sights for the US.  It’s crossed $414.2M worldwide after an $18.8M weekend, and still has to open in Japan, so it should get to $500M+–which is still just “good” for an action spectacle.

PITCH PERFECT 2 (Gold Circle) was probably hurt by the arrival of Inside Out, because while it’s technically not a family movie, it has strong appeal to the young female audience.  It fell a relatively heavy 48% to $3.3M, although with $177.5M in the US to date ($272M worldwide), no one needs to weep for it.

LOVE AND MERCY (Lionsgate/Roadside) continued to expand, increasing its run by about 30% to 792 theatres, but rising just 1% at the box office, with a $1.7M weekend and $2100 per-theatre average.  That puts it at $7.2M so far, not bad for an indie, but with the marketing costs that accompany national release piling up.

LIMITED RELEASE:  ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL (Fox Searchlight) is struggling, with a $5200 average after expanding to 68 theatres.  By way of comparison, Far From the Madding Crowd had a $7800 average when it was at 99 theatres.  Expectations (if any) were more modest for I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS (Bleecker Street), and in that context, its $2300 average after an expansion to 247 theatres is a pleasant surprise.  Dreams has crossed $4M, and is proving to be a fair summer sleeper.  TESTAMENT OF YOUTH (Sony Classics) had a had a blah $2700 average at 72.  Newcomers were led by THE OVERNIGHT (Orchard), with a $21K average at 3 NY/LA theatres, although there’s an asterisk for some in-house celebrity Q&As over the weekend.   INFINITELY POLAR BEAR (Sony Classics) had a soft start with a $9400 average at 5 NY/LA houses, and EDEN (Broad Green) had a $6700 average at 3.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The ribald talking teddy bear of TED 2 (MRC/Universal) is likely to–well, let’s not say what it’s likely to do to the heroic dog of MAX (Warners), but Max won’t like it.  The major limited release is the Kate Winslet historical comedy drama (directed by Alan Rickman) A LITTLE CHAOS (Focus/Universal).


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."