Heroic Box Office Report: Holdovers Soar; Newbies Crash & Burn

After a photo finish, Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out continued to defend all newcomers and came out on top at the U.S. box office in it’s third outing with 29.7 million. What’s more impressive was that the animated feature had actually been in second place the past couple weekends since it’s debut. Despite a massive 90.5 million dollar opening, it had settled for runner up position during the sophomore frame of the Jurassic World phenomenon. Having held it’s spot last weekend, the stellar reviewed movie continued to enjoy incredible word of mouth as it usurped the dinosaurs to be the top of the chart.

At the time it was perhaps not made note enough of how many records Inside Out broke in it’s first weekend. The fourth biggest opening weekend for an animated feature, Inside Out was the biggest opening weekend for a non-sequel in it’s genre.  As for Pixar titles, the toon debuted second to only Toy Story 3; with 246 million and counting, it should join both that film and Finding Nemo as the only movies in their catalog to pass the coveted 300 million dollar mark in the U.S.

After three consecutive weeks at number one since it’s jaw dropping debut, Jurassic World continued to feast on new competition this weekend.  Falling a respectable 46 percent, the dinopic ceded the weekend crown to Inside Out while it chomped another 29.2 million to bring it’s gargantuan total to over 556 million. The sequel/reboot has now surpassed The Dark Knight (not accounting for inflation and surcharged 3D ticket pricing) on the all time domestic grossers list. Assured to reach the 600 million dollar benchmark next, it should stomp past The Avengers (which clocked out at 623 million) to an eventual tally of around 650 million. The would put the movie only behind James Cameron’s Avatar and Titanic (the latter of which received a 3D re-release in 2012), respectively.

Overseas Jurassic World is catching up with The Avengers as well, and should end it’s run with north of 900 milliion from foreign territories alone. A worldwide gross of 1.6 billion should result, good enough for third place behind the above-mentioned Avatar and Titanic on the global charts as well.

With Jurassic World and Inside Out continuing to set records, the weekend was up five percent from last year.  It was a mixed bag for new releases, however.

Once one of the biggest packages in Hollywood, Arnold Schwarzenegger and The Terminator franchise found much resistance from audiences this holiday weekend. Depending on who you talk to, Terminator: Genisys made either a disturbing 27 million (42 million since Wednesday; including Tuesday night previews) or debuted at an embarrassing third place. For a little context, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines managed 72 million in 2003 over it’s July fourth weekend debut. That’s not accounting for inflation or the benefit from the addition of Imax and 3D surcharge pricing today’s releases have.  Atrocious reviews and a just okay cinemascore will do little to soften the blow of a terrible opening for the costly sequel/franchise reboot.

While the first film came out in 1984, it was 1991’s box office juggernaut sequel Terminator 2: Judgement Day, that has set the tone and expectations for the series ever since. And since series creator James Cameron’s departure following that film, the property has seen diminished returns. Much as a fourth incarnation (minus then Governor Schwarzenegger, albeit a brief cameo) failed to catch the third film’s grosses, Terminator Genysis will almost certainly end with an even lower final tally than that previous attempt.  In the weeks ahead, distributor Paramount and production company Skydance will attempt to spin stronger foreign grosses. But with a budget north of 150 million and a costly marketing campaign probably close to another 100 million, the less favorable foreign markets (in terms of splitting revenue with studios) may not be enough to get this endeavor out of the red.

At number four, Channing Tatum and Warner Bros suffered their second big set-back of the year, after Jupiter Ascending, with Magic Mike XXL and it’s 12.8 million debut this weekend (nearly 28 million since Wednesday). To be fair, this film was an inexpensive exercise for the studio. Three years ago the first Magic Mike (independently made on a shoestring budget of 7 million) opened to a stunning 39 million.  After The Vow and 21 Jump Street, it was the third in a string of a 100 million dollar breakout hits for then red-hot Tatum  Since then he’s struggled to become an action star with costly misfires such as White House Down and the previously mentioned Jupiter Ascending.  But many thought a sequel to the male stripper comedy would thrust him back to the top.

Meanwhile, the blockbuster opening of the first Magic Mike was only good enough for  second place three years ago against Seth McFarlane’s Ted. That film rode a wave of positive buzz and reviews to a huge 54 million dollar opening in 2012. After debuting to only a little more than half as much as that last week, Universal’s Ted 2 dropped a disastrous 68 percent in it’s second Friday to Sunday frame.  Falling from third place to fifth with 11 million, the critically maligned sequel has only mustered 58 million in ten days (or about what the first film made in it’s initial three days of release). At this rate, the movie will almost certainly not even hit 100 million at the U.S. box office.  Overseas markets, where the first film was also a huge hit, will now be crucial for the picture to make up it’s domestic shortcomings

Coming in at sixth place was Warner Bros family entry Max (not to be confused with their earlier summer release Mad Max: Fury Road), which dropped an okay 45 percent to  6.6 million.  With 25.3 million thus far, a theatrical release for this modestly priced endeavor was more about fleshing out a yearly slate and launching what will eventually be a library title.

At number seven this weekend, Paul Feig’s Spy starring Melissa McCarthy enjoyed yet another decent drop. Securing another 5.1 million, the Fox release is days away from entering the coveted 100 million dollar club.  While nowhere near the director and stars previous collaborations (Bridesmaids, The Heat), it will still be a marked improvement over McCarthy’s Tammy last year. Feig and McCarthy will both be looking to reach the 200 million dollar threshold with next summer’s all female Ghostbusters reboot.

Still hanging in at number eight, was Warner Bros. and New Line’s San Andreas, starring Dwayne Johnson. With another 2.8 million this past weekend, the disaster pic is at over 147 million. A final tally of around 155 million seems likely.

Busting into the top ten for the first time, indie darling Me And Earl And The Dying Girl earned 1.3 million on 870 screens. Look for Fox Searchlight to expand the well reviewed (Oscar hyped) pic over the coming weeks to impressive mainstream numbers.

After failing to make much noise in it’s first couple weekends, Open Road’s Dope dropped another troubling 60 percent in it’s third frame to just over a million. With less than 14 million overall, the movie should be available for streaming quite soon.

(Mystery Box Office Guy)

Heroic Staff

Heroic Staff

Heroic Special Activities Division Agent Trainee Program