June 7, 2015

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 6/7/15


OPENINGS:  SPY (20th) came in at the low end of expectations with $30M–a number that may very well come down tomorrow when actuals are announced, since it assumes an aggressively strong Sunday hold.  Even at $30M, Spy is below the $39.1M start for The Heat and the $34.6M launch of Identity Thief, and although it’s above Bridesmaids’ $26.2M, that was a sleeper that stayed in theatres much longer than Spy will likely be able to.  The goal for Spy at this point will be to reach $100M.  Things are more promising overseas, where Spy expanded to 54 territories for a $25.6M weekend, which with earlier openings gives it an international total of $56.5M  That’s already better than the $39.5M overseas total for Identity Thief, and not far from the $70.3M number for The Heat, suggesting that Spy may end up playing more as an action movie than a comedy, with half or more of its box office earned outside the US.  Fox, of course, will take its revenues wherever it can find them.

INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3 (Blumhouse/Focus/Universal) was at around 57% of the opening for Chapter 2, with $23M compared to $40.3M.  That’s a big drop, but Chapter 3 still has (currently) the highest horror opening of the year, just ahead of the $22.6M start for Poltergeist, which was much more expensive to produce and market.  So a  Chapter 4 may very well be on the way.  The thriller also earned $11.4M in 42 overseas territories.

ENTOURAGE (RatPac Dune/Warners) catered to its fans on Tues/Wed when it earned $7.4M, and there wasn’t much juice left for the weekend, which was at a sluggish $10.4M.  Entourage wasn’t all that expensive to produce, but it carries the burden of Warners’ usual costly marketing campaign, which means it will need to find some international strength if it’s not to crash and burn, since its US total isn’t likely to get much above $40M.  So far, it has $3M in early returns from 6 territories.

HOLDOVERS:  SAN ANDREAS (Village Roadshow/Rat Pac Dune/New Line/Warners) had a fair 52% drop in Weekend 2 (to $26.4M), better than the 60% drops for 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow, and much better than the 67% plunge for Godzilla.  The problem for San Andreas is that Jurassic World is coming directly for its audience in just a few days, so it still may be hard-pressed to top $150M in the US.  San Andreas opened in China this week, where its 6-day gross is $51M, a good but not spectacular amount.  Its $97.8M international weekend ($188M thus far) in 68 markets should put its ultimate worldwide total around $500-550M, leaving plenty of room for profit on an investment that probably didn’t exceed $300M, very reasonable for a CG spectacle.

ALOHA (Regency/Columbia/Sony) foundered in its 2d weekend, down an awful 66% to $3.3M, and unlikely to get past $25M.  It’s a disaster, albeit not a hugely expensive one.  (Foreign release is just starting, with $1.6M in 6 territories.)

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (Village Roadshow/Warners) nosed past PITCH PERFECT 2 (Gold Circle/Universal) for the weekend, down 44% to $8M as compared to being down 48% to $7.7M.  However, more important than the fact that Pitch still has a higher US total ($161M vs $130.8M) is that Max cost $150M more to produce.  Max would have hoped to make that up overseas, but it’s now at $177M outside the US after an $11M weekend in 70 markets, and its $315M worldwide total isn’t enough to cover its enormous cost (a China opening is still unscheduled), while for Pitch Perfect 2, its $89M overseas revenue (after a $4.6M weekend in 46 territories) is all gravy.

TOMORROWLAND (Disney) sank another 51% to $7M, with $76.3M earned so far, and it’s getting no relief overseas, where it’s now opened worldwide with a tepid $13.8M weekend and $93.5M total.  It’s likely to face a nine-figure writedown.

…Which Disney will barely feel thanks to AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (Marvel/Disney), now at $1.35B after a weekend of $6.2M in the US (down 46%) and $7M overseas.  Its upcoming Japan opening probably won’t be enough to get it to the $1.5B of the original Avengers, and a total weighed more toward China (with its retention of 75% of ticket sales) will make it a bit less profitable than that, but few will weep for the franchise.

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (Fox Searchlight) lost about one-third of its theatres and fell by 50% to $700K for the weekend, on its way to around $12M in the US, an unexceptional amount for such a wide release.

LIMITED RELEASE:  LOVE AND MERCY (Lionsgate/Roadside) was just barely “limited” with a start at 483 theatres.  Its $2.2M weekend gave it an OK $4600 per-theatre average, below the movies at the top of the chart that are in almost 10x as many theatres.  I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS (Bleecker Street) expanded to 165 theatres with a modest $3400 average.  WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE (GKids) widened to 29 with a so-so $2500 average.  Playing at 4 NY/LA arthouses, TESTAMENT OF YOUTH (Sony Classics) was able to parlay its mostly rave reviews to only a $13K average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Dinosaurs will rule, as JURASSIC WORLD (Legendary/Universal) launches worldwide.  No one will try to compete with that, although ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL (Fox Searchlight) will open in a few theatres and try to get its word of mouth going for later expansion.

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."