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Weekend Wrap-Up: Sniper Stable, While Next Door Survives

January 27th, 2015

American Sniper poster

As expected, American Sniper earned first place, but it did so with a much stronger sophomore stint. As for the new releases, The Boy Next Door matched expectations (nearly) perfectly but the other two missed the Mendoza Line. Overall, the box office was down 21% to $159 million; however, this is good for a post-holiday weekend. Compared to last year, the overall box office was 37% higher. This kind of year-over-year growth usually only happens when holidays are misaligned. Year-to-date, 2015 is ahead of 2014 by 4.1% at $856 million to $823 million. It is obviously too soon to celebrate, but after last year's losses, I'll take any reason to be optimistic.

American Sniper held on really well, despite opening to a January record and having to deal with the post-holiday weekend. It fell just 28% to $64.63 million over the weekend for a total of $200.40 million after a month of release. (This includes its limited release run.) It became the 13th film released in 2014 to get to the $200 million milestone and it is virtually guaranteed to become the third film released in 2014 to get to $300 million. It might even become the biggest hit of the year.

The Boy Next Door opened in a distant second place with $14.91 million, which is nearly identical to Friday's predictions and enough to be considered a midlevel hit. Granted, its reviews fell to just 12% positive, but it is January, so this isn't really unexpected.

Paddington came within a rounding error of expectations with $12.27 million over the weekend for a total of $39.94 million after ten days of release. Given its target audience and its reviews, it should have good legs and will become a midlevel hit here. It is performing better internationally and has made enough to break even, perhaps even enough to justify a sequel.

The Wedding Ringer matched expectations with $11.31 million over the weekend, but thanks to weaker than expected competition, it earned fourth place. After ten days of release, the film has pulled in $39.39 million and is on pace to reach $60 million. This is enough to be a solid midlevel hit, especially for January.

Taken 3 remained in the top five one more weekend with $7.41 million over the weekend for a total of $75.86 million after three weeks of release. It is on pace to reach $90 million, or at least get close, which is great for a January release.

Nearly all analysts thought one of the three new releases would bomb over the weekend and most were picking Mortdecai as their bomb. I went against the crowd and picked Strange Magic. It turns out they both bombed. Strange Magic did slightly better earning seventh place with $5.50 million. However, this was still below the Mendoza Line, so theater owners will be looking to drop it A.S.A.P. Furthermore, the reviews are only 17% positive, so I doubt the word-of-mouth will help.

Mortdecai only managed ninth place with $4.20 million in 2,648 theaters for a per theater average of $1,586. Add in the film's reviews, which rose to 11% positive ... Rose to 11% positive ... You don't get to read that phrase very often. Add in the film's reviews and its legs will be awful. It will be all but gone by the second weekend of February.

Looking in on the Sophomore class, Blackhat fell to 15th place with just $1.67 million over the weekend for a total of $7.10 million after two weeks of release. This is awful, there's no kind way to put that, but sadly not atypical for a January release. Worse still, the film cost $70 million to make, so the studio is going to take a beating on this one. I seriously doubt they will recover half of the film's P&A budget, so they will lost 100% of the production budget.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Paddington, Blackhat, The Boy Next Door, The Wedding Ringer, Taken 3, Mortdecai, American Sniper, Strange Magic