June 5, 2016

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 6/5/16


OPENINGS:  TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS (Nickelodeon/Movie Media Group/Alibaba/Paramount) opened 46% below the TMNT reboot 2 years ago at $35.3M.  That suggests a $100M US total, and with $250M+ in production/marketing costs, the bulk of that will have to be recovered overseas.  So far, it’s earned $34M in 40 territories, not an exciting start.  Its one hole card is China, where the participation by 2 local financiers appears to have bought it a favored opening date, as the last Hollywood movie to open (next month) before the government permits only Chinese films to open for several weeks, basically monopolizing the market for large-scale action adventure.  It’s unclear whether the Chinese connection will also give the studio a higher percentage of ticket sales than the normal 25% allotted to US producers.  Even if all of this goes Shadows‘s way, though, it’s still unlikely to see much profit.

ME BEFORE YOU (MGM/New Line/RatPac/Warners) had a decent $18.3M opening in the US, plus $7.7M in 16 overseas markets, including the UK, its most important territory.  The problem Me has is that it needs to earn back an expensive Warners marketing campaign beyond its moderate production budget, and a $50M US total may not get it where it needs to be.

POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING (Perfect World/Universal) had the best reviews of the weekend (76% on Rotten Tomatoes), but never connected with audiences.  Its $4.6M opening all but guarantees a loss against $20M in production costs and even a modest marketing effort.  Lonely Island may have to go the indie route to get another film made.

WARCRAFT (Legendary/Universal) is still days away from reaching the US, but it continues its run overseas, earning another $29.9M in 28 territories for a $70M total.  These are dull numbers, but Warcraft is hoping for a big opening in–you guessed it–China next weekend.  With both that arrival and its US opening dead ahead, its fate will be clear a week from now.

A pair of indies crossed into the lower end of wide release, with fair results.  LOVE & FRIENDSHIP (Amazon/Roadside) expanded to 819 theatres for a $2.2M weekend (a $2600 per-theatre average, compared to $6800 for Me Before You), and now has a $7M total, less than $300K away from becoming the biggest hit of Whit Stillman’s career.  THE LOBSTER (A24) may be the quiet story of the season, uncovering a US audience for surrealism with $1.6M in 560 theatres (a $2800 average) for a $3.6M total so far.

HOLDOVERS:  X-MEN: APOCALYPSE (TSG/20th) fell 66% from opening weekend to $22.3M for $116.5M thus far, not only $46M below the 10-day total of Days of Future Past, but falling more steeply than that installment’s 64% post-Memorial Day drop.  It’s headed for a mediocre $160M US total, and is also running 20-30% below the foreign box office on Days of Future Past, with $286M after a $84.4M weekend that was dominated by its $59M China opening.  It’s now playing almost everywhere in the world except Japan (where Future Past earned less than $10M), and will end up at $550-600M worldwide, a relatively small profit on $300M+ in costs that keeps X-Men as a B-level franchise that appears to be going in the wrong direction.

ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS (Disney) actually held better than X-Men, down 60% from opening weekend.  But it’s too little, too late, as that put Weekend 2 at a meager $10.7M, for a $50.8M 10-day total that’s down an incredible 76% from the first 10 days of Alice In Wonderland.  Things aren’t better overseas, where Looking Glass is now in 45 markets that over roughly three-quarters of the world (including China) and has a $125.5M total after a $30.9M weekend.  A writedown of $100M+ seems inevitable.

ZOOTOPIA (Disney) is near the end of its run, with a $800K weekend in the US and $3.6M overseas, but that was enough to put it over the magic $1B mark worldwide.

It now seems clear that CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (Marvel/Disney) won’t reach the $1.2B worldwide total of Iron Man 3, much less the $1.4B of Avengers: Age of Ultron.  It’s now at $1.13B after a $7.6M weekend in the US, plus $4.2M overseas.  For all its massive success, that makes it a mild disappointment in a year that Hollywood can only hope doesn’t mark a turning of the tide against franchises.

THE JUNGLE BOOK (Disney) had the best hold in the Top 10, down 40% from last weekend to $4.2M, putting its US total at $347.5M.  Overseas, it earned $3.7M, and with Japan and Korea still to come, its worldwide total is $895M.

THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE (Rovio/Columbia/Sony) continues to fly at moderate levels, down 48% to $9.8M in the US ($86.7M total), and at $196.8M overseas after a $16.7M weekend.  It’s still nosing toward the $358.7M worldwide total of the first Hotel Transylvania.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Indies are mostly letting Hollywood blockbuster season play out.  WEINER (IFC) expanded to 58 theatres and had a $3700 per-theatre average that looks better when one remembers that it’s also available on VOD.  MAGGIE’S PLAN (Sony Classics) widened to 34 theatres with an OK $4500 average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Warcraft finally arrives on US shores, where it will face off with two mid-level sequels, THE CONJURING 2 (New Line/RatPac/Warners) and NOW YOU SEE IT 2 (Summit/Lionsgate)GENIUS (Roadside) leads the limited releases.


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."