Weekend Box Office: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Shines with $48.2 Million; EDGE OF TOMORROW Falls Flat

     June 8, 2014

the fault in our stars box office

After a stellar launch, The Fault in Our Stars fell back to Earth a bit on Saturday.  In the grand tradition of front-loaded teen fare before it, the romantic drama leveled off as the weekend progressed.  Fox is now reporting estimated earnings of $48.2 million for the three-day weekend instead of the $55 million or higher that looked likely yesterday.  Meanwhile, the news did not get better for Edge of Tomorrow overnight.  The well-reviewed sci-fi pic earned an estimated $29.1 million from 3,490 locations, or a bit more than Non-Stop brought in its own debut… at the end of February.

 Title Friday Total
1.  The Fault in Our Stars $48,200,000 $48.2
2.  Maleficent $33,523,000 $127.3
3.  Edge of Tomorrow $29,105,000 $29.1
4.  X-Men: Days of Future Past $14,700,000 $189.1
5.  A Million Ways to Die in the West $7,200,000 $30.1
6.  Godzilla $5,950,000 $185
7.  Neighbors $5,200,000 $137.8
8.  Blended $4,050,000 $36.5
9.  Chef $2,600,000 $10.3
10.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 $1,900,000 $196.2

Full story after the jump.

the-fault-in-our-stars-posterAs we told you yesterday, The Fault in Our Stars got off to an incredible start.  The teen drama took in $26.8 million on Friday, including $8.2 million from Thursday previews.  That’s more than Maleficent earned on its opening day, which pointed to a weekend debut far in excess of Fox’s initial $30 million projection.  But while Maleficent went on to earn just under $70 million last weekend,  Fault had a different target demographic – one that does not favor Saturday matinees as heavily.  The teen romance fell by 52% after its opening day, leaving it short of the hyperbolic weekend projections (some as high as $60 million) that some saw in the stars.

To be clear, The Fault in Our Stars is still doing hyperbole-worth business this weekend.  Far from a shock, a Saturday dip was expected for this property, which was marketed so successfully to the young fans of John Green’s bestselling novel.  Next to the granddaddy of all teen novel adaptations – The Twilight SagaFault’s second-day drop was more gradual than Eclipse (down almost 65% after its Wednesday debut) but steeper than the other four Twilight titles, which fell between 40 and 44 percent on their first Saturdays.

The other obvious comp for The Fault in Our Stars is Divergent: another popular young adult novel turned feature film starring Shailene Woodley.  Earlier this year, Divergent opened with $54.6 million and went on to earn over $267 million worldwide.  That seemed like a bit of a disappointment, considering the level of expectation generated by the success of the similarly-themed Hunger Games franchise.  But because The Fault in Our Stars arrived in theatres without the genre baggage associated with Divergent, the fact that it came so close to that YA tentpole’s opening seems all the more impressive.  In fact, The Fault in Our Stars has now secured one of the biggest openings ever for a romantic adaptation: above Nicholas Spark’s Dear John but behind last summer’s Great Gatsby.  And, because the reported budget for the film was just $12 million, The Fault in Our Stars is already profitable, which takes the pressure off of next weekend.

edge-of-tomorrow-posterFrom The Fault in Our Stars to Warner Bros.’s Edge of Tomorrow, the weekend box office went from the sublime to just plain sad.  The sci-fi drama starring Tom Cruise was not expected to pull off a blockbuster opening, but it was projected to at least land in second place.  Last April, Cruise’s Oblivion opened with over $37 million.  That seemed like a reasonable target for Edge of Tomorrow, considering that that the film received much better reviews (89% on Rotten Tomatoes) than Oblivion and was opening in the summer.  Instead, estimates put the film in third place with under $30 million – just a bit more than After Earth managed at this time last year.  See what I mean about sad?

With a reported budget of $178 million, Edge of Tomorrow is also more expensive than M. Knight Shyamalan’s notorious flop.  The good news for Warner Bros. is that the film’s international prospects are far rosier.  Last weekend, Edge of Tomorrow earned just over $60 million from its initial overseas run.  This weekend’s expansion includes China, which has more than 6,000 screens running the film.  With a strong opening in that country, the future for Edge of Tomorrow might look very different.  Last summer, Pacific Rim was a disappointment in the US after opening with $37.2 million, but it wound up grossing over $411 million worldwide.  That was not quite enough to justify PR’s $190 million pricetag, but it was more than enough to prove that a big US opening no longer determines a film’s fate.  With that said, Edge of Tomorrow is unlikely to reach $400 million in global sales.  Though Tom Cruise is still a big draw overseas, he’s not as popular as giant robots.  At this point, Warner Bros. should aim for Oblivion’s $286 worldwide cume.

Maleficent was down 52% after its debut last weekend, bringing the film’s domestic total to over $127 million after ten days.  That’s a better hold than Snow White and the Huntsman, which declined by almost 60% in its sophomore frame.  That’s good news for Disney because, as of next Friday, family audiences will be lining up for How to Train Your Dragon 2.  The original was a surprise hit in 2010, opening with $43.7 million and grossing almost $500 million worldwide.  The sequel is expected to open with at least $70 million – the same level that Maleficent reached last weekend.  22 Jump Street is also hoping to significantly top its predecessor (2012’s 21 Jump Street) next weekend with a debut of over $60 million.  We haven’t seen a frame with two strong debuts in months, so here’s hoping both films continue to track well next week.


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