October 27th, 2016
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back opened in first place internationally with $31.5 million in 31 markets. Its biggest market was China, where it earned $5.56 million, including previews. The film’s second biggest market was in the U.K. where it earned $3.28 million in 519 theaters. This is lower than it opened here, given the relative size of the two markets, and much lower than the $5.75 million the first film opened with. Granted, that film opened in the U.K. right around Christmas, but overall Never Go Back is underperforming. This is really bad news for Paramount Pictures, as they’ve had a bad year with a number of high-profile, high-cost movies failing to break even and really can’t afford another misstep.
October 19th, 2016
Inferno started its international run in first place with $49.75 million on 12,293 screens in 64 markets. However, its individual markets are a bit of a mess. On the low end, the film only managed second place in the U.K. with $3.62 million on 591 screens, while it also had to settle for second place in Australia with $1.73 million on 266. Given the size of those two markets, this is like opening with just under $20 million here. On the other hand, the film earned first place in Italy ($5.07 million on 679 screens); Russia ($4.81 million on 2,032); and Germany ($4.09 million on 768). Those markets suggest a $40 million to $50 million opening here. Sadly, I think the lower end is more likely here.
October 18th, 2016
The weekend box office was not good. The Accountant did beat expectations with $24.71 million, but the other wide releases missed expectations. As a result, the box office fell 6% from last weekend to $97 million. The weekend box office should never be below $100 million, outside of a few dead zones during the year. We’ve been below that mark too frequently this year. Worse still, this is 18% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2016 still has a substantial lead over 2015 at $8.78 billion to $8.43 billion. However, we are nearing the $325 million mark where we have reason to panic. Remember, The Force Awakens earned $650 million during 2015 and Rogue One is only expected to earn half that much this year. We need to maintain a lead that large, or else 2016 will likely lose in the year-over-year comparison in the end.
October 13th, 2016
Three wide releases are coming out this week, which is one more than expected. The Accountant is clearly the biggest of the three, but its reviews are falling into the danger zone. Kevin Hart: What Now? is hoping to be the biggest stand-up comedy movie since Eddie Murphy’s Raw. Finally there’s Max Steel, which I didn’t think was going to open truly wide. Then again, its theater count is 2,034, so it is opening barely wide. This weekend last year, Goosebumps led the way with $23.62 million. I really thought The Accountant would top that, but I no longer think that will be likely. Worse still, there were five films that earned more than $10 million last year, but there will only be three of them this week. 2016’s slump will continue.
October 12th, 2016
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children remained the top draw internationally with $42.5 million in 75 markets for totals of $94.0 million internationally and $145.2 million worldwide. The film took top spot in Russia with an opening weekend of $6.63 million on 1,185 screens. It also earned first place in France with $5.5 million. Its biggest market overall is South Korea, where it as pulled in $14.38 million, including $4.94 million on 899 screens this past weekend.
October 11th, 2016
Over the weekend was Columbus Day, or as it is known in more and more places, Indigenous People’s Day. It’s also Thanksgiving Day up here in Canada and it would make more sense for Americans to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving than Columbus Day. Canadian Thanksgiving is where you give thanks to all the Canadians that make your life better. For example, both Ryan Gosling and Ryan Reynolds are Canadian. Anyhoo... The weekend box office numbers were not buoyed by the semi-holiday on Monday as none of the new releases matched expectations. The Girl on the Train led the way by a wide margin with $24.54 million compared to $15.14 million for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Neither The Birth of a Nation nor Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life made it into the top five. The overall box office fell 9.5% from last weekend dropping to $103 million. That was 13% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2016 has earned $8.64 billion, putting it 4.4% / $370 million ahead of 2015. A couple of more weeks like this and we will have reason to hit the panic button.
October 6th, 2016
October begins with a trio of wide releases, led by The Girl on the Train. The film’s reviews are mixed, which is not ideal, but also not fatal. The Birth of a Nation was looking to become an Awards Season player, but its reviews are not quite at that level. Finally there’s Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. There are still no reviews and the buzz is as quiet as you can get for a wide release. This weekend last year, the only wide release was Pan and it bombed hard. However, The Martian remained on top with $37.01 million over the weekend. There’s almost no way The Girl on the Train will match that and last year had better depth as well. 2016’s slump will continue.
October 5th, 2016
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children debuted in first place internationally with $37.4 million in 59 markets. The film’s biggest market was South Korea, where it earned second place with $4.43 million on 810 screens over the weekend for a total of $5.30 million. It also earned $4.43 million in 558 theaters in the U.K., which was also enough for second place in that market. The film had nearly identical results in both Mexico ($3.61 million) and in Australia ($3.07 million). The film cost $110 million to make, so it will need to make about $250 million internationally to have any real chance of breaking even in the short term. It is too soon to tell if that will happen. We will need to see more results from other markets, and more importantly, we will need to see the film’s legs as well.
October 4th, 2016
The overall box office was about as strong as expected, as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children beat expectations by the same amount as Deepwater Horizon missed expectations. This helped the overall box office grow 10% from last weekend to $114 million. However, this is still 24% lower than this weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2016 still has a lead over 2015, but that lead has shrunk to 4.9% or $390 million at $8.50 billion to $8.10 billion. If 2016’s lead falls below $325 million, then we will need to panic. Remember, last year ended with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which earned $650 million before the end of the year. Rogue One isn’t expected to earn half of that, so 2016 is going to need a $325 million lead or it will need better depth in order to come out ahead. I would prefer the former.
September 30th, 2016
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children earned $1.2 million during its Thursday previews, which is just ahead of the $1.1 million earned by The Maze Runner back in 2014. Unfortunately, there’s a question whether we should treat this as a young adult book adaptation, or whether we should treat it as a more gonzo Tim Burton offering. If we go that route, there are no really good comparisons. Dark Shadows earned $550,000, but that was just over four years ago when midnight screenings weren’t standard and far fewer people went overall. Regardless, this is a better start than expected and an opening weekend of $30 million is more likely than it was before.
September 29th, 2016
Three wide releases come out this week: Deepwater Horizon, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and Masterminds. Deepwater Horizon’s reviews are better than expected and that should help it at the box office. Miss Peregrine’s reviews are on the razor’s edge of the overall positive level. Meanwhile, there are not enough reviews to really judge Masterminds, but the early signs don’t look good. This weekend last year was the first weekend of October. The Martian nearly broke the record for biggest October weekend. There’s a chance all three wide releases this week won’t match The Martian’s opening weekend. Add in last year’s depth and there’s almost no chance 2016 will come out ahead on the year-over-year comparison.
September 23rd, 2016
Three wide releases are coming out next week. Of the three, Masterminds is by far the weakest and has no real shot at first place. In fact, if it opens above fifth place, I will be surprised. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the widest, but the early reviews for Deepwater Horizon are excellent and I think that will give it the edge at the box office. Because of this, it is the target film in this week's Box Office Prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Deepwater Horizon.
We have copies of The Purge: The Election as prizes. While the film hit VOD this past Tuesday, we have copies on Blu-ray Combo Pack as prizes.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a copy of The Purge: The Election on Blu-ray Combo Pack.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win win a copy of The Purge: The Election on Blu-ray Combo Pack.
Finally, we will be choosing an entrant from the group of people who haven't won, or haven't won recently, and they will also win The Purge: The Election on Blu-ray Combo Pack.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
September 1st, 2016
August continued to pad 2016’s lead over 2015 in the year-over-year comparison. It managed this feat almost entirely due to Suicide Squad, which is on pace to hit $300 million. The next best film was Sausage Party, which might make $100 million, if it gets a push over the top. September won’t be as strong as that. This is no surprise, as the month is one of the biggest dumping grounds on the calendar. That said, studios have been working to make the end of the month a lot more productive and there are a few potential hits. The biggest of these is The Magnificent Seven, which is expected to crack $100 million, maybe even $150 million. Meanwhile, Sully and Storks both have a limited chance at $100 million. Last September, the biggest release of the month was Hotel Transylvania 2 with pulled in $169.70 million. I don’t think The Magnificent Seven will match that, so we might need a surprise $100 million hit for 2016 to come out on top.