August 7, 2016

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 8/7/16


OPENINGS:  The answer to the question of whether the Day 2 drop for SUICIDE SQUAD (RatPac/DC/Warners) would be as bad as the one for Batman v Superman turned out to be no–it was worse.  Suicide plunged 41% on Saturday, compared to BvS‘s 38%.  That’s the kind of drop usually associated with the hugely-frontloaded Twilight series, and certainly doesn’t suggest much audience satisfaction.  (In an alternate universe of comic book movies people actually like, Captain America: Civil War went down 19% on its 2d day, Guardians of the Galaxy was down 18%, and Deadpool slipped just 10%.)  Warners has claimed a $135.1M weekend (a number that assumes an extremely rosy Sunday, considering the free-fall on Saturday), and although even after adjustment, Suicide will easily remain the top August opening, far above Guardians‘s $94.3M, it’s worth noting that the studio picked its number carefully, because it puts Suicide–for the moment, anyway–above Deadpool‘s $132.4M opening weekend and also into the #2 slot for summer 2016, both laurels that may be lost with tomorrow’s finals.  If Suicide continues to follow a BvS trajectory, it will end up with around $275M in the US, far below Guardians‘s $333.2M and Deadpool‘s $363.1M.  Overseas, Suicide has $132M in 57 markets, essentially the same as Deadpool, although that film opened in 4 additional territories.  (Like Deadpool, Suicide apparently won’t be permitted a China run.)  However, terrible word of mouth caught up with BvS overseas, too, and the multiple from its opening weekend was much lower than Deadpool‘s.  Again, if Suicide Squad plays out the same way, it may not get much beyond $600M worldwide, which would probably be profitable on $325M+ in production/marketing costs, but another blow to Warners’s dreams of DC being a full-fledged rival to Marvel/Disney.

The weekend’s only other wide opening was NINE LIVES (Europa), which failed to reach a 10th with a lousy $6.5M start, and even if its studio’s claims about limited exposure through foreign pre-sales are true, money will be lost.

HOLDOVERS:  JASON BOURNE (Perfect World/Universal) was hit by both the arrival of Suicide Squad and its own lackluster word of mouth, and it plummeted 62% to $22.7M in its 2d weekend, the worst Weekend 2 drop in the history of the franchise (no other chapter had fallen more than 55% in Weekend 2).  It’s headed for $150M in the US, and things aren’t jumping overseas, either, where Bourne is at $91.9M after a $20.9M weekend in 50 markets.  China and other major markets are still to come, but the only reason profit is likely is because compared to other A-level summer products, Bourne was only moderately expensive to produce.

BAD MOMS (H Brothers/Tang/STX) was less directly competitive with Suicide Squad, and held much better, down just 40% to $14.2M.  That’s great compared to the 58% Weekend 2 drop for Melissa McCarthy’s The Boss last spring, and it’s even stronger than the 43% drop for last year’s TrainwreckBad Moms is on track for $75M+ in the US.  However, it’s not showing much overseas appeal in its early engagements, with $5.5M after a $2.9M weekend in 21 territories.

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (Illumination/Universal) also sidestepped the Suicide Squad audience and lost just 39% in its 5th weekend for $11.6M and a $319.6M US total.  (To no one’s surprise, a release date for the sequel has already been announced.)  Overseas, it’s at $182.6M after a $68.6M weekend in 41 markets that included $28.9M from China, with about one-third of the world yet to open.

Things didn’t improve for STAR TREK BEYOND (Skydance/Alibaba/Huahua/Paramount), down 59% to $10.2M for an anemic $127.9M US total that suggests it will end up with only two-thirds of Into Darkness‘s final tally.  Overseas, it’s at $66.5M.  GHOSTBUSTERS (Village Roadshow/Columbia/Sony) fell 53% to $4.8M for a sad $116.7M US total, plus an even worse $62.8M overseas after a $6.4M weekend.  There are a few major markets still to come, but red ink looks inevitable here.  ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE (Blue Sky/20th) will be profitable in the end, but it’s a startling drop for the franchise.  In the US, it fell 61% to $4.3M for an awful $53.5M total, and although things are much better overseas, a $234.6M total after a $11.5M weekend in 66 markets means it has no chance of getting close to the $715.9M international total for Continental Drift, even with China yet to open.

Things were a little sunnier on the low-budget front.  LIGHTS OUT (New Line/Warners) is holding quite well for a horror flick, down just 44% in its 3rd weekend to $6M and a $54.7M US total.  (A sequel is coming for this one, too.)  It’s also at $31M overseas after a $5.5M weekend in 42 territories.  NERVE (Lionsgate) isn’t quite as strong as its 48% drop indicates, because of its Wednesday opening, but with a $4.9M weekend, it should hit an OK $35M in the US.

LIMITED RELEASE:  The NY-centric LITTLE MEN (Magnolia) opened in just 2 NY arthouses, so its $16K per-theatre average may not travel.  INDIGNATION (Roadside) expanded to 55 theatres with a fair $8400 average.  DON’T THINK TWICE (Film Arcade), widened to 57 theatres and without the benefit of celebrity Q&As, saw its per-theatre number fall to a still-decent $6900.  GLEASON (Open Road), now in 69 theatres, averaged $1600.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The one thing Suicide Squad has going for it as it tries not to duplicate Batman v Superman‘s 69% Weekend 2 drop is a lack of direct competition.  SAUSAGE PARTY (Columbia/Sony) is R-rated animation from the Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg factory.  PETE’S DRAGON (Disney) is aimed at kids.  And Meryl Streep has her regular August opening to remind adults that they count, too (sort of), this year with FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS (Paramount).  Neo-western HELL OR HIGH WATER (Lionsgate) has a limited release.


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."