Friday Box Office: CHAPPIE is Soft in First Place; UNFINISHED BUSINESS is Just Soft

     March 7, 2015


Friday’s domestic box office was a good news/bad news scenario for Sony Pictures. The good news is that Chappie, the latest sci-fi feature from director Neill Blomkamp, easily took first place. The bad news is that it did so with a much lower total than originally projected. From 3,201 locations Chappie took in an estimated $4.5 million yesterday.  That puts the R-rated pic on track for $15 million or less through Sunday.  Not only is that well below the $20 million launch that the studio was expecting, but it will also mark the lowest first place opening the domestic box office has seen in more than a year.

Over Labor Day weekend in 2013 the concert movie One Direction: This is Us took top honors with just $15.8 million.  Since that time all number one debuts, even lackluster ones like last weekend’s Focus, have managed to open higher.  Even the Robocop reboot, which was no one’s idea of a hit, managed to earn $21.6 million in its third-place launch last February.  Of course, Chappie has suffered from negative word of mouth in the past week – not to mention terrible reviews.  All things considered, maybe hitting $15 million should be considered a win?

Meanwhile, there is no scenario in which Unfinished Business winds up a winner.  The Fox comedy took in an estimated $1.8 million from 2,777 locations on Friday. That is not much higher than many of this year’s most notable wide-release misses, including Mortdecai ($1.4 million), Blackhat ($1.3 million) and George Lucas’ animated flop Strange Magic ($1.3 million).  Unfortunately for Vince Vaughn, this Friday’s estimate also puts Unfinished Business well behind all of the actor’s recent box office misfires, including 2013’s Delivery Man ($2.7 million).

The movie that is showing up Unfinished Business in a big way is The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  The follow-up to Fox Searchlight’s surprise 2012 hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel opened in just 1,573 locations on Friday and took in an estimated $2.7 million.  That gives the sequel a per-screen average nearly three times higher than Unfinished Business, and puts it on track for at least $9 million through Sunday.

We’ll have full details on the weekend box office tomorrow.

 Title Friday Total
1.  Chappie $4,500,000 $4.5
2.  Focus $2,880,000 $27.4
3.  The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel $2,700,000 $2.7
4.  Kingsman: The Secret Service $2,225,000 $91.9
5.  Unfinished Business $1,800,000 $1.8


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