August 2, 2015

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 8/2/15


OPENINGS:  MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION (Skydance/China Film Channel/Alibaba/Paramount) had a solid Saturday hold, down 3% from Friday, and the studio is projecting a $56M weekend in the US, well ahead of the $47.7M opening of Mission 3, the only other entry in the series to have a conventional Friday opening.  (However, in 2006 movies didn’t open on Thursday night, so the “Friday”-to-Saturday result was better for MI3, up 11% from opening day.)  As usual, that weekend number assumes an extremely strong Sunday, so it could dip a bit when finals are ann0unced tomorrow, but it’ll still be one of the best starts of Tom Cruise’s career, albeit one that probably has at least as much to do with the franchise as with his star power.  Over time, Rogue Nation is expected to considerably overperform internationally, and it had a fine beginning with $65M in 40 territories that don’t include such major markets as Germany, Japan, and of course China, where Rogue Nation will benefit from its Chinese investors and be allowed to keep more of its gross revenues than a Hollywood-only production can.

VACATION (New Line/Warners) was a bust, adding $14.9M to its $6.3M Wed-Thurs total for $21.2M in 5 days.  It’s unlikely to have strong word of mouth, meaning that it may not get past $50M at the US box office.  That doesn’t compare badly to its $30M production cost, but that calculation doesn’t include the typical high-intensity Warners marketing campaign, which will keep it well in the red.

HOLDOVERS:  ANT-MAN (Marvel/Disney) dropped 49% to $12.6M, giving it $132.1M in the US so far, and a chance of reaching $160M.  The hold was better than Weekend 3 for the first Thor (down 56%) and tied the original Captain America, although it was nowhere near the 40% that Weekend 3 of Guardians of the Galaxy notched.  It’s still headed for the bottom of the non-Incredible Hulk Marvel universe.  Overseas, Ant-Man is also low for a Marvel spectacle, now in 50 markets (not including China) where it earned $20M for the weekend for a $160M total.  It will be interesting to see whether Marvel considers this strong enough for a standalone sequel.

MINIONS (Illumination/Universal) fell 47% to $12.2M, giving it a $287.4M US total.  Its international weekend was $39.1M, giving it $567.3M–and that’s without China.  It’s poised to pass $1B, which would make it the biggest worldwide hit of the Despicable Me franchise (although still behind Despicable 2 in the US).

None of last weekend’s openings held well.  PIXELS (Columbia/Sony) lost 57% to $10.4M for a $45.6M US total, and its $19.8M weekend in most of the world (but not China, Japan, the UK or Australia) for a $56.5M overseas haul holds up very little hope that international results will bail it out.  SOUTHPAW (Wanda/Weinstein) was hoping to have a long, steady run through the rest of the summer, but its 55% Weekend 2 drop (to $7.5M, for a $31.6M US total) isn’t promising, and even that number is based on the studio’s projection of the strongest Sunday hold in the Top 10.  PAPER TOWNS (20th) collapsed by 64% to $4.6M, and with $23.8M earned so far, it may not pass $35M in the US.  Overseas, it took in $6M in 57 markets for a mild $25.7M total.

TRAINWRECK (Universal) is still solid, down 44% to $9.7M.  At $79.7M, it’s hoping to have enough gas to hit $100M.  INSIDE OUT (Pixel/Disney) now looks like a sure thing to maintain a lead over Minions as the summer’s top family film (in the US), down 39% to $4.5M and with a $329.6M US total.  However, Minions will dominate it overseas, as Inside, now in 51 territories (but not China, Germany or Italy), is at $272.7M after a $17.8M weekend.  JURASSIC WORLD (Legendary/Universal) fell 47% in the US to $3.8M and a $631.5M US total, while also taking in $4.4M overseas for a gigantic $928M total.  Jurassic hits Japan, its last major territory, this week.

MR. HOLMES (Miramax/Roadside) continues to perform nicely for a low-stakes, older-skewing drama.  It expanded to 901 theatres and dropped 12% for the weekend to $2.4M, giving it $10.4M so far and hopes of climbing to the $20M area.

LIMITED RELEASE:  IRRATIONAL MAN (Sony Classics) widened to 135 theatres with a modest $3800 per-theatre average, better than You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger ($2300 at 118) but below Magic In the Moonlight ($4500 at 170) among Woody Allen’s lower-tier recent openings.  Reaching $10M may be a struggle.  The strongest new arrival was THE END OF THE TOUR (A24) with a $32K average at 4 NY/LA stations.  THE BEST OF ENEMIES (Magnolia) averaged $18K at 3.  (Both those films were helped by in-theatre director Q&As over the weekend.)

NEXT WEEKEND:  FANTASTIC FOUR (20th) is one of the more intriguing openings of the late summer, a major franchise rebooted with Marvel’s rights but not its creative involvement.  Meryl Streep has her now-customary dimming summer opening with Jonathan Demme’s RICKI AND THE FLASH (TriStar/Sony)THE GIFT (STX) provides psychological horror from a new distributor.  THE SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE (Lionsgate) will attempt to pick up those children who’ve already seen Minions and Inside Out.  Major limited releases include a pair of Sundance titles, THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL (Sony Classics) and COP CAR (Focus/Universal), whose director Jon Watts has already been tapped to direct the new Spider-Man reboot.

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."