July 31, 2016

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 7/31/16


OPENINGS:  JASON BOURNE (Perfect World/Universal) is claiming a $60M US start, although as is par for the course, that number includes an aggressive Sunday estimate and could come down a bit on Monday.  In any case, it will be the #2 opening for the franchise, behind the $69.3M for 2007’s Bourne Ultimatum.  That film made it to $227.5M in the US, but Jason Bourne is likely to be more frontloaded, and should end up in the $180M range, which is fine although not exciting for a franchise chapter with around $250M in production/marketing costs.  Overseas, it earned $50.1M for the weekend in 49 territories, covering much of the world but not yet China (which arrives in late August), suggesting that overseas business will be larger than domestic, but not by an overwhelming margin.  (Note that the studio’s talking points about “franchise highs” overseas are relatively meaningless, since the international box office was a different place in 2007, and the intervening Bourne Legacy lacked Matt Damon’s star power.)

BAD MOMS (H Brothers/Tang/STX) had a fair $23.4M start, almost the same as the $23.6M for Melissa McCarthy’s The Boss earlier this year.  That one got to $63.1M, which is a likely target for Bad Moms as well, although it has little competition through much of August, which could help.  The comedy was produced for just $20M and hasn’t had a giant marketing campaign, so if it finds audiences overseas, it should see some profit.  For no, it’s in just 12 small markets with a $1.4M total.

NERVE (Lionsgate) added $9M to the $6.1M it had earned on Wed-Thurs for a $15.1M total, and will probably end up around $30M.  It’s a relatively low-cost piece of work, but that kind of total still isn’t going to generate any profit.

A pair of smaller titles expanded into semi-wide release.  Woody Allen’s CAFE SOCIETY (Amazon/Lionsgate), now at 565 theatres, brought in $2.3M for a $4K per-theatre average, virtually the same as the $3900 average To Rome With Love had when was at 806.  That probably means Cafe won’t match Rome‘s $16.7M in the US, although with Allen, the story isn’t over until overseas box office comes in.  (Rome did 77% of its business outside the US.)  Cafe Society, with its sumptuous period trappings, cost more than the usual Allen film, but no one should lose money when final returns are in.

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC (Bleecker Street) widened to 550 theatres with $1M or a mild $1800 per-theatre average, which doesn’t justify much more expansion.

HOLDOVERS:  STAR TREK BEYOND (Skydance/Alibaba/Huahua/Paramount) had no staying power, down 60% to $24M.  That’s much worse than the 43% Weekend 2 drop for the Star Trek reboot and the 47% for Into Darkness, and Beyond may not even reach $150M in the US, bad news for a franchise installment with $300M+ in costs.  The Enterprise is now in 40 overseas markets, and after a $13M weekend, it’s at just $54.8M.  It still has some major territories to come, including China, but the prospects of avoiding red ink seem slim.

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (Illumination/Universal) has plenty of gas left in its tank, down just 39% to $18.2M in its 4th weekend.  It’s at $296.2M in the US, and should reach $325M.  It’s still in the early stages of its overseas release, at $99M after a $29.5M weekend in 21 markets.

LIGHTS OUT (New Line/Warners) held well for low-budget horror, down 50% to $10.8M for a $42.9M total.  It may get to $60M, and at its level of cost, the sequel that’s already in the works makes economic sense.  It’s also at $20.8M overseas, after a $8.1M weekend in 38 markets.

ICE AGE:  COLLISION COURSE (Blue Sky/20th), dropped 51% from its weak opening to $10.5M.  It’s at $42.1M, and won’t get much past $60M in the US, which means that international is all it’s got, and things are looking bleak there as well.  Currently it’s at $211.6M after a $19.5M weekend in 61 markets that cover most of the world (but not yet China), a frightening total impressive considering that the last installment Continental Drift earned $715.2M overseas.

GHOSTBUSTERS (Village Roadshow/Columbia/Sony) fell 53% in its 3rd weekend to $9.8M, and it’s at a wan $106.2M in the US, unlikely to get much beyond $125M on production/marketing costs of $300M or so.  The $52.1M it’s taken in overseas isn’t much comfort, although it still has quite a bit of territory ahead.

LIMITED RELEASE:  DON’T THINK TWICE (Film Arcade) continues to rack up huge per-theatre numbers, averaging $30K with an expansion to 5 theatres, but once again that’s boosted by an unusually intense campaign of celebrity Q&As.  INDIGNATION (Roadside) opened with a moderate $22K average at 4 NY/LA arthouses, and EQUITY (Sony Classics) was just behind with a $20K average also at 4.  The documentary GLEASON (Open Road) had a fair start with a $14K average at 9.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The final would-be blockbuster of the summer is SUICIDE SQUAD (RatPac/DC/Warners), which will attempt to attempt to cleanse the world’s palate of Batman v Superman, and Warners is giving it a special push by starting Thursday screenings at an extra-early 6PM.  The only other wide opening is NINE LIVES (Europa), with Kevin Spacey as the voice of a cat.

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."