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Weekend Wrap-Up: Chappie Leads Worst Weekend of the Year

March 10th, 2015

Chappie poster

It was the worst weekend of the year so far with two of the three wide releases bombing compared to expectations. It was so bad, that the three wide releases combined were lower than the high end predictions for Chappie. Unfinished Business missed the Mendoza Line and will be quickly forgotten by the end of the month. Only The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has a future. Overall, the total box office was just under $90 million, which was 16% lower than last weekend. It was also 38% lower than the same weekend last year. The top five this year barely made more than the number one film from last year, 300: Rise of an Empire. The combined opening of the three new releases this year was dwarfed by the opening of Mr. Peabody and Sherman last year. Granted, 2015 is still ahead of 2014 in the year-to-date comparison, but the lead has shrunk to under 1% at $1.85 billion to $1.84 billion.

Neill Blomkamp's career got off to an amazing start with District 9, which was a critical and box office hit. Elysium wasn't able to match his feature-length debut, while Chappie is clearly a box office bomb. The film did finish in first place over the weekend, but with just $13.35 million on a nearly $50 million production budget. With weak reviews, it likely won't have strong legs. Unless the film is a much bigger hit internationally, the studio will take a loss on this one.

Focus fell to second place with $10.01 million over the weekend for a ten-day total of $34.56 million. The film is performing better internationally, so it might break even sometime on its home market run.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel opened in fourth place with $8.54 million, which is within a rounding error of predictions. Its reviews are 64% positive, which is good for this time of year. Its per theater average is strong enough that theater owners won't dump the film right away, but not so strong that one would expect significant expansion. On the positive side, it reportedly cost just $10 million to make and it is doing better internationally, so it will break even before the home market.

Kingsman: The Secret Service landed in fourth place with $8.31 million over the weekend for a total of $98.04 million. It will get to the century mark, likely on Thursday.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water added $6.66 million to its running tally, which now sits at $148.66 million. It will get to $150 million very early next weekend.

The final new release of the week was Unfinished Business, but the less said about this film the better. Its opening weekend haul was just $4.77 million in 2,777 theaters for an average of $1,719. Theater owners will be looking to drop the film as soon as they are contractually able to. Even if its per theater average was triple that, its reviews would have killed its legs.

The Lazarus Effect was the only sophomore film not in the top five with $5.08 million over the weekend for a total of $17.38 million after two. It fell 50%, which is actually better than expected for for a horror film.

There is one last film to talk about, as American Sniper has overtaken The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 for the biggest film released in 2014. However, obviously American Sniper has earned the vast majority of its box office since its wide expansion in 2015.


Filed under: Weekend Wrap-up, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Chappie, Unfinished Business, The Lazarus Effect, Focus, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, American Sniper, Neill Blomkamp