Weekend Estimates: Almost Faultless Opening

The Fault in Our Stars poster

After a big win for Maleficent over A Million Ways to Die in the West last time around, this weekend we had another battle between female-friendly and male-friendly films, and once more the women have won by a large margin. The Fault in Our Stars is set to open with $48.2 million, according to Foxís Sunday morning estimate. That tops Noahís $43.7 million debut to make the film the biggest drama opener of the year so far. Edge of Tomorrow will be a distant third with $29.1 million, per Warner Bros., which is fairly disastrous for a film costing $178 million. However, in spite of the big difference in performance between the two films, The Fault in Our Stars does have one fairly surprising weakness compared to the sci-fi actioner.

While Edge of Tomorrow was essentially flat at the box office from Friday to Saturday, with around $10.5 million each day, The Fault in Our Stars fell a dizzying 52% on Saturday, to $12.6 million, after a $26.1 million opening day. That sort of drop is usually reserved for the final film of a big franchise (think Breaking Dawn Part 2, down 42% on its second day, or Deathly Hallows Part II, down 53%), or pop acts with an intense fan base (One Direction: This is Us was down 54% on its second day, for example). The good news is that the decline probably doesnít indicate bad word-of-mouth for the film, but rather the enthusiasm of the fans of the book. The bad news is that there might not be much cross-over appeal to people who havenít read it.

Edge of Tomorrow, meanwhile, has a mountain to climb, but might be helped by very good reviews. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 89% right now, which is excellent for a sci-fi action movie. The problem is that stellar reviews havenít been translating into legs at the box office recently. Witness the performance of X-Men: Days of Future Past, which is down another 55% this weekend to $14.7 millionóa remarkable fall from a $90 million opening just two weeks ago.

Not suffering quite so badly, but still down sharply from its impressive opening, Maleficent will earn about $33.5 million, off 52%. In general, the weekend is looking very soft for returning films, with most of them down 50% or more.

In limited release, Obvious Child leads the pack with an excellent $27,000 average in three theaters for A24. The Fault in Our Stars is averaging around $15,000, and Citizen Koch is the only other film reporting so far to hit the $10,000 club. It will make about $10,500 in a single theater before rolling out across the country over the next few weeks.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash bruce.nash@the-numbers.com


Date posted: 2014-06-08