It was a hard weekend at the box office, with almost all major titles coming in on the low end of expectations. As we told you yesterday, the depressed box office is being blamed, in part, on a major snow storm that hit the East Coast on Saturday – shuttering theatres from Virginia to New York City.
But two-thirds of the country still had a chance to go to the movies. Too bad there wasn’t much besides The Revenant to tempt them. Overall receipts were down 28% from the same time last year, when American Sniper ruled with $64.6 million in its second wide frame. For comparisons sake, that represents over 65% of the total earned by all titles in this weekend’s top ten.
The Revenant claimed an estimated $16 million from 3,711 locations. That’s a decline of almost 50%, which is steeper than projected considering the film added locations this weekend. The Revenant’s awards season momentum was expected to carry it over $21 million in its third wide frame, but taking Saturday off the table for many East Coast audiences clearly had an effect.
Also falling farther than expected was Ride Along 2. Last weekend’s number one movie actually rebounded a bit on Saturday, but still ended up in third place after opening at number one over MLK Day weekend. The sequel was down 63% with an estimated $14.2 million, which brought its domestic total to $59.1 million after ten days. Two years ago the original Ride Along grossed $75.5 million over the same time period – and carried a production budget of $25 million in place of Ride Along 2’s $40 million.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens climbed back up to second place after falling to third last weekend and fifth on Friday’s chart. Like most movies, The Force came in a bit under projections in its sixth frame: taking in an estimated $14.2 million from a now-reduced 3,822 locations. Star Wars 7 is still in the running to hit $900 million before it leaves theatres, though it has slowed considerably in the last two weeks. In terms of all-time worldwide earnings, at $1.939 billion The Force remains in third place behind Titanic’s $2.186 billion.
If there was good news to be found this weekend it concerned the frame’s new releases, all of which wound up slightly above the low-end projections they were headed for only yesterday. First up was Dirty Grandpa, starring Zac Efron and Robert DeNiro. The R-rated comedy opened in fourth place with an estimated $11.5 million from 2,912 locations. That’s not significantly above its pre-release goal, but it’s pretty good considering Dirty Grandpa is currently rocking an 8% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Boy also exceeded its modest expectations with a fifth place debut of $11.2 million. The PG-13 thriller originally looked like it would fall below $10 million thanks to a so-so opening day and the effects of the East Coast blizzard.
Finally, the sci-fi thriller The 5th Wave managed to top $10 million in its first frame, which is actually a big accomplishment given its genre and the unusual level of competition it faced this weekend. Incidentally, this week in 2015 also brought three new titles to the box office. Two of those debuts (George Lucas’ Strange Magic and the infamous Mortdecai) failed to reach even $5 million – and that without a blizzard to blame. So my apologies to this year’s newbies if I was a bit negative yesterday. Poor reviews aside, none of them deserve to be confused with the likes of Mortdecai.
Next weekend has the potential to bring the 2016 box office back into the black thanks to Kung Fu Panda 3. Though the animated franchise lost some steam with its 2011 sequel, it has been almost two months since Alvin and the Chipmunks 4 opened – leaving a big hole to fill in the family market (sorry Norm of the North). Whether audiences are still interested in Kung Fu Panda remains to be seen, but at this point an opening of at least $40 million is expected. We’ll let you know what happens.
|2.||Star Wars: The Force Awakens||$14,257,000||$879.2|
|3.||Ride Along 2||$12,960,000||$59.1|
|6.||The 5th Wave||$10,700,000||$10.7|
|9.||Norm of the North||$4,100,000||$14.3|
|10.||The Big Short||$3,500,000||$56.7|