In a near future, a hive-like alien race, called Mimics, have hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, shredding great cities to rubble and leaving millions of human casualties in their wake. The world’s armies have joined forces for a last stand offensive against the alien horde, with no second chances. Lt. Col. Bill Cage is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously demoted and then dropped—untrained and ill-equipped—into what amounts to little more than a suicide mission. Cage is killed within minutes, managing to take an Alpha down with him. But, impossibly, he wakes back at the beginning of the same hellish day, and is forced to fight and die again… and again. But with each pass, Cage becomes tougher, smarter, and able to engage the Mimics with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski, who has lain waste to more Mimics than anyone on Earth. As Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated battle becomes an opportunity to find the key to annihilating the alien invaders and saving the Earth.
||June 6th, 2014 (Wide) by Warner Bros.|
June 6th, 2014 (IMAX) by Warner Bros.
||October 7th, 2014 by Warner Home Video|
||PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material.|
(Rating bulletin 2317, 4/9/2014)
||Alien Invasion, War, Time Travel, Visual Effects|
|Source:||Based on Comic/Graphic Novel|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Science Fiction|
||Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Productions, Ratpac-Dune Entertainment|
This Thursday is Thanksgiving, which means this is Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and a ton of shopping. It also means the first installment of our Holiday Gift Guide. Over the next month, we will talk about TV on DVD releases, independent releases, foreign language releases, classics, etc. but this week we start with Major Movie Releases. These are first run releases, franchise box sets, etc. In some ways, this is better than last year, as there were a wider number of big releases that would make great gifts. However, in other ways it is much weaker. I can't think of a single big franchise box set that came out this year. There are some smaller ones, like the Halloween Box Set, but while the franchise has lasted ten installments and 30 years, how many can you really say are worth repeated viewing? Fortunately, there were plenty of great films to come out this year, starting with what is currently the biggest hit of the year.
Labor Day Weekend was dominated by holdovers. The two new releases were As Above, So Below and The November Man, which opened in fourth and sixth places respectively. Guardians of the Galaxy remained in first place over the weekend and climbed into first place for the year in the process, overtaking fellow Marvel Film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Overall, the box office fell 4% from last weekend down to $110 million. Compared to last year, the box office was down 11%, which is troubling. Year-to-date, 2014 is now behind 2013 by a 4.5% margin at $7.07 billion to $7.40 billion. This is the weakest post-Labor Day weekend running tally since 2008 and that's before you look at ticket price inflation. With ticket price inflation, you have to go back to 2005.
Transformers: Age of Extinction remained in first place with $95.8 million in 37 markets over the weekend for totals of $400.9 million internationally and $576.3 million worldwide. Its best market remains China, where it added $120.61 million for the full week giving it a total of $222.74 million after two. These numbers are important for two reasons. Firstly, revised totals in China put the film's opening there ahead of its debut in North America. Stunning. Secondly, the film is already ahead of Avatar's final figure in that market. Granted, it's barely above Avatar's pace, as that film pulled in $221.9 million after ten days of release, but that is still great news. It held up better than most films do in South Korea earning $8.05 million on 1,096 screens over the weekend for a total of $34.62 million. In Russia, the film added $7.04 million on 2,171 screens over the weekend for a total of $35.38 million after two. The last major market was Australia, where it pulled in $4.54 million on 623 screens over the weekend for a two-week total of $17.32 million.
Transformers: Age of Extinction earned top spot on the international chart with $201.3 million on 10,015 screens in 37 markets. This includes a record $99.81 million opening in China, which is basically a rounding error away from its North American debut. It also broke the record in Russia with $21.23 million on 2,171 screens. Its opening in South Korea was nearly identical with $15.88 million on 1,597 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $21.98 million. The final major market of the weekend was Australia, where it pulled in $8.30 million on 623 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $9.56 million. The film likely cost about $300 million to make and advertise, so it still needs work to break even, but this is an amazing start.
Maleficent rose to first place with $47.9 million in 54 markets for totals of $340.8 million internationally and $526.7 million worldwide. It became the first live-action film in Angelina Jolie's career to reach the $500 million mark. The film opened in first place in China with $22.01 million. Up next for the film is Japan and if it does well there, it could top Kung Fu Panda 2 as Angelina Jolie's biggest hit.
There are two wide releases coming out this week, but none of them are expected to be monster hits. Think Like a Man Too could eventually get to $100 million, while Jersey Boys might become a midlevel hit, but no more than that. There are a couple of holdovers that should be very big players at the box office, as both How to Train Your Dragon 2 and 22 Jump Street will earn close to $30 million over the next three days. On the other hand, this weekend last year there were two monster hits, Monster University and World War Z, as well as a holdover, Man of Steel, that will make more than either of the two new releases this year will make. 2014 is going to get crushed in the year-over-year comparison.
There were three films that were in a virtual tie for top spot on the international top ten. Godzilla squeaked out a win with $38.4 million in 62 markets for totals of $248.7 million internationally and $440.2 million worldwide after a month of release. This includes a $37.00 million opening weekend in China. Needless to say, it earned first place in that market. The film finishes its international run in Japan at the end of July and it should jump over $500 million worldwide when it does.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 missed lofty expectations and that allowed 22 Jump Street to earn first place. Both films opened well and their respective studios should be happy, while the overall box office rose by 15% compared to last weekend hitting $187 million. Unfortunately, this is still 8% lower than this weekend last year. Had How to Train Your Dragon 2 matched higher expectations, 2014 would have won on the year-over-year comparison. Year-to-date, 2014 has earned $4.64 billion, putting it 3.0% ahead of 2013's pace of $4.50 billion, so this weekend's loss isn't a big deal.
This weekend, there are two potential monster hits coming out. How to Train Your Dragon 2 and 22 Jump Street both look to improve upon the box office numbers their respective predecessors managed. Thanks to the sequel effect, they should both start fast. Additionally, both should have better legs than most sequels, thanks to their incredible reviews. The rest of the top five should all earn more than $10 million helping the overall box office. This weekend last year there were only three films to earn more than $10 million. One of them was Man of Steel, which earned more than $116 million by itself. No film this weekend will match that total, but the depth this year is much better. It should be strong enough for 2014 to win in the year-over-year comparison.
Edge of Tomorrow rose to first place with $82 million in 63 markets for a two-week total of $111 million. This includes a first-place, $25.68 million opening in China. It also opened in first place in South Korea with $10.52 million on 801 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $16.28 million. In Russia, the film opened on top spot with $7.41 million on 1,649, while in France it also earned first place, but with just $2.82 million on 585. It only managed second place in Australia with $2.88 million on 477 screens, while it could do no better than third place in Mexico with $2.88 million on 1,301 screens over the weekend for a total of $3.19 million. Its best holdover was in the U.K. where it added $2.08 million on 460 screens for a two-week total of $7.21 million.
As expected, The Fault in Our Stars won the box office race this past weekend, while its opening weekend was on the very high end of expectations. (It did so with a surprisingly strong opening Friday, but more on that later.) The other wide release of the week, Edge of Tomorrow, did about as well as expected, which is to say it really struggled compared to its production budget. Overall, the box took in $163 million, which is 2% lower than last weekend. On the other hand, it is 9% higher than the same weekend last year, which is the far more important number. Year-to-date, 2014 has pulled in $4.38 billion, putting it 3.3% ahead of last year's pace of $4.24 billion. This is still a good margin and hopefully it will last.
This weekend, there are two wide releases coming out, one of which is the obvious potential monster hit and the other being the obvious counter-programing. On paper, Edge of Tomorrow is the obvious potential monster hit. It is a Sci-fi action film with a production budget that is nearly $200 million. The Fault in Our Stars is the obvious counter-programing. It is about two teen cancer patients who fall in love, which couldn't be farther away from a popcorn flick. However, the buzz really suggests The Fault in Our Stars could win. In fact, it could break the record for biggest opening for a romantic drama. This weekend last year, The Purge won with $34.06 million, while no other film earned more than $20 million. This year, three films might top $30 million and the winner could pull in more than $40 million. I think 2014 will win this weekend in the year-over-year competition.
Maleficent opened on top of the international chart with $106.1 million in 47 markets, making it the latest movie to open with more than $100 million on the international chart. The film opened in a number of major markets, but individual results were mixed. The film opened in first place in Mexico with $14.05 million on 2,892 screens and in Russia with $13.06 million on 1,733 screens. In the U.K. it pulled in $11.04 million on 486 screens. It didn't crack $10 million, but did earn first place in Italy ($5.87 million on 650 screens); in Brazil ($5.63 million on 452); and in Germany ($4.87 million on 525 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $5.26 million); and Spain ($4.29 million on 625). It had to settle for second place in Australia with $3.76 million on 530 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $3.90 million. It only managed third place in France ($5.01 million on 550 screens) and in South Korea ($3.38 million on 631 screens over the weekend for a total opening of $3.81 million). The film has yet to open in China and Japan and given this start, it should reach $500 million worldwide before it is done.
It is too soon to tell how May will end, as this story will be published before the weekend estimates came out. (Maleficent had an excellent start on Friday, unlike A Million Ways to Die in the West.) Overall, it was a good month with at least three movies that are on track to hit $200 million, but there was no really big winner for the month. It was nice and balanced. Unfortunately, last May there was a monster hit, Iron Man 3, and 2014 could not compete with that, so it lost ground to 2013. June hopes to turn things around and there are some reasons to be optimistic. All four weeks there is at least one film opening that at least has a shot at $100 million. There are even two films that at least have a shot at $300 million. Transformers: Age of Extinction should win the monthly box office race while How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a long shot to win, but I wouldn't be completely surprised if it did. Additionally, 22 Jump Street, Edge of Tomorrow, The Fault in Our Stars, and Think Like a Man 2 are all contenders for the century club. Not all of them will get to that milestone, but all of them at least have a short. Last June, there were three films that reached $200 million, including Man of Steel, which nearly reached $300 million. It looks like June of 2014 will be about as strong as June of 2013, more or less. If all films reach their potential, it could win the year-over-year comparison. Unless there are some shocking bombs, it shouldn't struggle so much that 2014 loses its lead over 2013 entirely.