August 20, 2017

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 8.20.2017


OPENINGS:  The $21.6M start for THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD (Summit/Lionsgate) was on target for the B-movie, which had a modest 2% Saturday dip.  It also earned $6.6M in early international release.  While it does nothing much to burnish Ryan Reynolds post-Deadpool, Hitman is on track for a modest profit on $90M or so in production/worldwide marketing costs.

What happened to LOGAN LUCKY (Fingerprint/Bleecker Street)?  Was its sluggish $8.1M start a result of Steven Soderbergh’s being mistaken in his belief that a mainstream comedy heist yarn could perform at a big-studio level even if its marketing was more compressed and targeted?  Or was this simply a bad test case because it was a movie that audiences didn’t find appealing?  (It’s notable that the film scored far better with critics, boasting a 93% Rotten Tomatoes score, than with the audience members who participated in exit polling.)  The only good box office news to be had was a decent 5% Saturday bump.  Even so, the film may never hit profit, despite production/marketing costs kept down to the $70M range.  It will be interesting to see if Soderbergh keeps trying this independent financial model, or retreats to studio safety (or retires again).

WIND RIVER (Weinstein) expanded to 694 theatres with an OK $4400 per-theatre average (midway between Hitman’s Assassin and Logan Lucky, both of which were in 4-5x as many theatres).  Its numbers are comparable to the $5700 average that Hell or High Water had when it was in 472 theatres, and that one stretched all the way to November and a $27M total in the US, so we’ll see what kind of legs Wind has.

HOLDOVERS:  ANNABELLE: CREATION (New Line/Warners) dropped 56% in its 2d weekend to $15.5M, and it’s running slightly ahead of the first Annabelle with $64M in its 1st 10 days compared to $61.6M for Annabelle.  With no competition for the next several weeks, Creation may match or even surpass Annabelle‘s $84.3M US total.  Creation is also strong overseas, where it’s at $96.7M after a $42M weekend in 56 markets.  As in the US, Creation may challenge Annabelle‘s $172.6M abroad, which would make this one of the most thriving franchises around.

DUNKIRK (Warners) held strong in its 5th weekend, down 38% to $6.7M, and heading for $180M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $227.2M after a $8.4M weekend in 61 territories.  With China, Japan and Italy still to open, it has a solid chance to get past $500M worldwide.

The market’s pair of badly-reviewed animated movies are both holding well in the absence of alternatives.  THE NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE (Open Road) dropped 39% to $5.2M in its 2d weekend, although it still may not get past $30M in the US.  THE EMOJI MOVIE (Columbia/Sony) dipped 33% in its 4th weekend to $4.4M, on its way to $80M in the US.  Internationally, it’s at $53.6M after a $11.5M weekend in 51 markets that don’t yet include Australia, Brazil, Italy, France, China or Japan., so it has plenty of runway left, although it still won’t get near The Angry Birds Movie‘s worldwide $349.8M.

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (Marvel/Columbia/Sony) had the strongest hold in the US Top 10 in its 7th weekend, down 29% to $4.3M, and likely to clear $325M before it’s done.  It’s at $410.8M internationally after a $5M weekend in 64 territories–and with China still to come.  Considering that Amazing Spider-Man 2 made $94.4M in China, Homecoming could reach into the $822-891M worldwide range of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man and Spider-Man 3.

GIRLS TRIP (Perfect World/Universal) declined 41% in its 5th weekend to $3.8M, and should finish around $110M in the US.  It will be a tougher sell overseas, where it’s at $10.6M so far.

THE DARK TOWER (MRC/Columbia/Sony) can be scored as an official flop.  It was already DOA in the US, where it won’t get much past $50M after a 52% drop to $3.7M in its 3rd weekend.  The hope was that it would recover overseas, but at this point it’s opened in 44 territories, and it’s at only $30.2M after a $7.5M weekend.  There are still some significant markets to open, but probably not enough of them.

THE GLASS CASTLE (Lionsgate) needed to hold better than a 46% drop to $2.6M in its 2d weekend.  With a $1700 weekend per-theatre average, its potential for expansion is limited.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Indie distributors seized the quiet late-summer period to launch or expand many releases, to varying results.  PATTI CAKE$ (Fox Searchlight) had a dim start, averaging $4700 at 14 theatres.  The very LA-themed GOOK (Goldwyn) opened in 2 local theatres and averaged $7800.  INGRID GOES WEST (Neon) had a fair expansion to 26, averaging $10K.  GOOD TIME (A24) averaged $8700 as it reached 20 theatres.  MENASHE (A24) averaged $2700 after an expansion to 86.  STEP (Fox Searchlight) collapsed after widening to 306 theatres, with a weekend average under $700.  BRIGSBY BEAR (Sony Classics) was even worse at 408 with an average under $400.  THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK (Roadside) averaged a meek $1300 at 66.  THE TRIP TO SPAIN (IFC, also available on VOD) averaged $3700 at 19.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The major studio drought continues.  The only wide openings are the low-budget martial arts story BIRTH OF THE DRAGON (Blumhouse/BH Tilt/Universal), the Christian-aimed ALL SAINTS (Columbia/Sony), and the animated LEAP (Weinstein), which has been all over that studio’s release schedule. Limited releases include BEACH RATS (Neon).


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."