Box Office Report: New Releases at Box Office Hampered by Snow or Quality?

Box Office Report: New Releases at Box Office Hampered by Snow or Quality?

Jan 25, 2016

Here's your estimated 3-day box office returns (new releases bolded):

1. The Revenant - $16.0 million ($119.1 million total)

2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens - $14.2 million ($879.2 million total)

3. Ride Along 2 - $12.9 million ($59.1 million total)

4. Dirty Grandpa - $11.5 million ($11.5 million total)

5. The Boy - $11.2 million ($11.2 million total)

6. The 5th Wave - $10.7 million ($10.7 million total)

7. 13 Hours - $9.7 million ($33.4 million total)

8. Daddy’s Home - $5.2 million ($138.7 million total)

9. Norm of the North - $4.1 million ($14.2 million total)

10. The Big Short - $3.5 million ($56.7 million total)

The Big Stories

As the story goes, if you keep New Yorkers indoors the box office becomes a disappointment. This is what we hear when there is a snowstorm pretty much anywhere around a major market. It couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that there isn’t much new to see and a good many people have already made it out to see what good stuff is out there. Granted, good movies or not, nobody in New York was likely headed anywhere this weekend. But it was probably this weekend’s new movies that kept most of the rest of the 49 states at home.


A Dirty, Dirty Grandpa

Screenings were not held for most critics. In Chicago, critics were even uninvited from the promotional screening that was scheduled on Tuesday. The show went on for others. Those critics who did manage to review it came in with adjectives usually reserved for terrorists. At Rotten Tomatoes the film sits at a destined to be top ten low of the year at 7%. That is still higher than Norm of the North, another Lionsgate film from last week that actually went from an unprecedented 3% to 0%. What is it about Lionsgate films that open during Sundance? Last year it was Mortdecai. This year it is Dirty Grandpa.

Since Robert DeNiro got more comfortable in the comedy arena, a good many of his films have had decent openings. With the exception of The Big Wedding (another Lionsgate film) all of his comedies since 1999’s Analyze This have opened to at least $10 million or more. Dirty Grandpa fits right into this league with $11.5 million. That is slightly more than the been there, done that of Analyze That (the sequel opened to $11 million and finished with less than a third of the original’s $106 million), the lowest of DeNiro’s comedic openings in that realm. The Intern was a solid hit last fall making $75 million but that demographic was made mostly of women. Now, unless they are in it solely for a shirtless Zac Efron, this is unlikely to maintain any steam whatsoever. The opening was even less than Efron’s starring turn in the forgotten Charlie St. Cloud which started with $12.3 million that opened in July 2010. Nor could it beat DeNiro and Efron in New Year’s Eve, the December 2011 ensemble that started with $13 million.


Horror For Girls And Boys

It is a good thing that Neighbors 2 is on the horizon for Chloe Grace Moretz. She can at least then point to that being a hit. A terrific young actress ever since her breakouts in (500) Days of Summer and Kick-Ass, but she just hasn’t found the right starring vehicle to embrace her talents. The remake of the great Let the Right One In, aka Let Me In, died on the table with just $12.1 million total. Kick-Ass 2 did not move the needle with only $28 million. 2013’s remake of Carrie opened strong but finished with little more than $35. It took teenage end-of-summer weepie, If I Stay to make it past $50 million. Back to fantasy with her and The 5th Wave is not looking strong with a $10.7 million start, her lowest of any film since Let Me In. It was the only film to screen for press this week (though as late as Wednesday) but that still only translated to a 19%, which is the third lowest score of her career save for her brief one-segment turn in Movie 43 and limited release of Hick.

Fairing slightly better was STX’s The Boy. The Freshman studio also did not want critics getting near their little creepy doll film. Even WB’s Annabelle got the benefit of the doubt and it started with $37.1 million. The Boy started with just $11.2 million, less than even The Forest from just two weeks ago. The Boy’s Rotten Tomatoes score was higher than The 5th Wave and Dirty Grandpa combined at 29%. It is January after all and this is what we expect from this period. Snow or not. So far the best-reviewed wide release of 2016 is a Michael Bay film.


Tales of the Top Ten

Bay’s 13 Hours in its second week could not muster up enough firepower to best the three newbies. It’s hopes of reaching $60 million appear very much in doubt now too as it sits with just $32 and will continue to drop. A much bigger decline was seen by Ride Along 2. With a fall of 63% it looks as it will fall well short of $100 million as predicted here last week and may be a disappointment for Universal to kick off their year. Finishing up last week’s new releases, Lionsgate’s Norm of the North sits at just $14 million and looks to barely reach $20 million total. Another animated film in January bites the dust. That is until Kung Fu Panda 3 opens next weekend.

Back to #1 is impending Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio and The Revenant with a tally of $119 million. It has just passed The Wolf of Wall Street for 8th best all-time on the Leo list in the U.S. Next week it will pass Shutter Island’s $128 million and may overtake The Departed as well at $132.3 million. $165 million is the magic number for third all-time. As for other Oscar players, Adam McKay’s The Big Short hung on for 10th and looks to finish its run around $60+ million and maybe more as some are now calling it the frontrunner for Best Picture after its win at the Producer’s Guild this weekend. Not bad at all. McKay’s usual muse, Will Ferrell, is up to $138 million with Daddy’s Home which is just $10 million away from passing Talladega Nights as Ferrell’s second all-time live-action starring role behind just Elf.

Finally we come to the biggest film of all-time. At least here in the U.S. Star Wars: The Force Awakens will not be bullied from the top for too long. Though the numbers are slowing down across the board, $900 million is in its reach but the billion dollar watch starts to get more interesting from here. Far more frontloaded than Avatar was, Star Wars is now not even close to what Cameron’s films were making in the later weeks. $34.9 million compared to Force’s $13.3. And week seven produced $31.2 million for Avatar while Star Wars could be under $10 for the first time. No one is going to cry too hard if it fails to reach a billion here in the States. Perhaps Episodes 8 or 9 will be the one. But $2 billion is also within its grasps worldwide. It stands at $1.9 billion now and is the 11th highest-grossing film of all-time adjusted for inflation. Snow White is next at $948.3 million. Hitting that would be impressive. Most impressive.

Erik Childress can be heard each week on the WGN Radio Podcast evaluating box office with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles

Categories: News, Features, Box office
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