December 5, 2015

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Krampus” Comes To Town On Slow Post-Holiday Weekend


We’re in the 2-week void between Thanksgiving and the Awakening of the Force, and the low-budget KRAMPUS (Legendary/Universal) is the weekend’s only major studio arrival.  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, it’s performing a tad beyond expectations with $6.25M on Friday.  Given the quick burn-out for horror movies, that should mean a $13-15M weekend, nothing to get excited about but much better than the $9.7M earned by the action movie Homefront that opened wide on 2013’s post-Thanksgiving weekend.  The reviews for Krampus were surprisingly OK (65% on Rotten Tomatoes), suggesting that there’s a chance for it to have more traction than is customary for its genre.

The only other semi-wide opening was the Christian-themed THE LETTERS (Freestyle) at 886 theatres, which is confined to its core audience with $200K on Friday and a weekend that won’t hit $1M.

The weekend will be won by THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2 (Lionsgate), taking a 71% plunge from the day after Thanksgiving to $6.2M (about $500K below the first Mockingjay‘s result on the parallel day last year, which was a 73% Friday-to-Friday drop), and aiming at a $20M weekend.  That still leaves it on track for $300M in the US.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR (Pixar/Disney) is having a very mild second weekend.  Its $3.7M Friday is a typical 76% drop for an animated film on the parallel date (Frozen was down 75% in 2013, and Penguins of Madagascar was down 77% last year), which would give it a $17M weekend and $77M by Sunday.  Dinosaur is running about 50% ahead of the flop Penguins, which would only put it at a $125M total if it stays on that track, an all-time Pixar low by far (A Bug’s Life currently has that distinction at $162.8M).  It runs the risk of already being low on gas by the time the holiday kicks in, when it will have to compete with Alvin & the Chipmunks and to an extent with Star Wars.

CREED (MGM/New Line/Warners) is holding solidly, down 63% from the holiday weekend Friday to $4.3M, which should give it $14-15M for the weekend, putting it at around $63M by Sunday.  It should be able to crack $100M in the US, and perhaps more if it can get some attention from SAG or the Golden Globes when they announce their nominees next week.

SPECTRE (MGM/Columbia/Sony) is still on its slow road to $200M in the US, down 69% from last Friday to $1.6M, which should mean a $5-6M weekend.  THE PEANUTS MOVIE (Blue Sky/20th) is near the end of its run, down 77% from last Friday to less than $1M, on its way to a $4M weekend and a US total that won’t hit $150M.  THE NIGHT BEFORE (Columbia/Sony), the only comedy around, held quite well with a 56% Friday-to-Friday drop, but with its slow start, that still meant just a $1.4M Friday and a $4M weekend, still not likely to reach $50M in the US.

Both SPOTLIGHT (Open Road) and BROOKLYN (Fox Searchlight) added a few theatres to 980 and 906 respectively, and are in virtual lockstep, with $750-850K on Friday and $2.5-3M weekends.  Both are in the hunt for awards, and their ultimate success will depend on how that fares.

Spike Lee’s CHI-RAQ (Amazon/Roadside) is starting modestly at 305 theatres, where it’s heading for a quiet $4K per-theatre average for the weekend.  MACBETH (Weinstein) is off to a soft start, with a $10K weekend average at 5.  LEGEND (Universal) expanded to 61 theatres and is showing limited potential with a likely $4K weekend average.

CAROL (Weinstein) and THE DANISH GIRL (Focus/Universal) both remained at 4 theatres, with Carol once again considerably ahead, on track for a $35K average in its 3rd weekend, compared to $25K in the 2d for Danish.  So far, Carol is also getting much more attention from the awards-giving groups.

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."