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Weekend Estimates: Home has Best Dreamworks Animation Debut in Six Years

March 29th, 2015

Home poster

DreamWorks Animation has been having a tough time of it recently. Aside from How to Train Your Dragon 2, their last three films, Penguins of Madagascar, Mr. Peabody & Sherman and Turbo were all financial failures, and, as an animation house, they are stuck with a business model that demands putting $100 million–$200 million into each film and hoping for a $500 million-plus global hit. That’s made doubly-difficult when you’re operating as a standalone entity and can’t fall back on the wider resources of the studio during hard times.

The opening weekend for Home, projected at $54 million, according to distributor Fox, is therefore very welcome news indeed. It marks the best opening by a non-sequel for the production house since Monsters vs. Aliens opened with $59.3 million on this weekend in 2009, and the third-best non-sequel debut in their history behind that film and Kung Fun Panda’s $60 million start in 2008.

DreamWorks and Fox will both be hoping for good legs for Home, although $200 million may prove to be a bit of a stretch given middling reviews for the film. Even $150 million would be well above average for the studio recently. More importantly, early signs on the international market are also good and that all-important $500 million global total seems achievable.

Back on this weekend’s chart, Get Hard is also posting a solid opening, with a projected $34.6 million. That’s Will Ferrell’s best opening since The Other Guys and Kevin Hart’s second-best after last year’s Ride Along. With Insurgent earning another $22 million this weekend and Cinderella bringing in a further $17.5 million, the top of the chart has a very healthy look to it, and overall box office is up about 10% from this weekend last year when Noah debuted with $43.7 million.

Also doing nicely this weekend, horror flick It Follows will earn around $4 million from 1,218 theaters. The continued strong performance of the film in theaters has caused Radius to postpone the VOD release of the film.

The best theater average of the weekend, by a large margin, will be for While We’re Young. The Noah Baumbach comedy with Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts will pick up around $240,000 in just four theaters as it follows a release strategy that has worked well in the past for distributor A24: Spring Breakers made $263,002 from three theaters in limited debut two years ago, and The Bling Ring earned $212,97 from five theaters when it opened later that year.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash,

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Home, Cinderella, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, Get Hard, It Follows, While We're Young, Noah Baumbach, Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts