By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekend Estimates by Conjured Klady
The Conjuring is a big horror win for Warner Bros, their best horror launch ever. I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if the “final” number is a couple million lower, but nonetheless, a strong launch.
Despicable Me 2 remains solid and should pass Man of Steel as the #2 movie of the summer domestically next Saturday. Worldwide, too.
Turbo‘s opening is right down there in the “bomb” group for DreamWorks Animation. As I’ve noted before, I think it’s reading too young for the bigger animation audience and it certainly doesn’t have the benefit of being a sequel, which the two biggest animated hits of the summer have. As with Epic, birthing a new animated franchise isn’t easy… and Epic had a 50% better domestic opening.
Grown Ups 2 continues apace, slightly ahead of the original. And critics wept. I’m not sure how this film doubles its domestic gross from here, as the first film did after its second weekend. But we shall see.
RED 2 is running about 15% behind its first incarnation… though it’s probably 30% better as a movie. But as we all know, opening weekend has nothing to do with the movie itself. It’s a novelty idea and the novelty is clearly not as compelling the second time around. But they did everything that you are supposed to do with a sequel. More Malkovich, which people were wanting in the first film. More shooting by Mirren. Check. Add cool Korean action star (Byung-hun Lee) and Oscar-winners Sir Tony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta Jones. No sale.
Pacific Rim isn’t finding its legs. It may find its way to $100m domestic, but that’s no lock. And it’s not enough. The good news is that it’s already over $100m internationally with a lot of big territories to go (including the misleading China, out of which it’s hard to get your money and impossible to get 50% of your gross). Regardless, it has a long way to go before it gets a whiff of breakeven.
Speaking of survival by foreign, Man of Steel is out of the woods thanks to foreign ($350m int), World War Z still has a shot ($270m int), Star Trek Into Darkness shouldn’t lose money ($224m int), and even After Earth, which will still lose, is in a lot better shape after scoring $176m internationally. (It’s not a summer movie, but the most interesting story of the year in this regard is Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, which grossed $56m here, but a whopping $170m internationally, making it not only profitable, but a bit of a cash cow, more profitable than any of the movies mentioned in this paragraph.)
RIPD is what it is. Mediocre and disappointing was a theme in the reviews and so with the box office too.
In less-wide releases, The Way Way Back is chugging along, expanding to 304 screens this weekend, but not catching on like wildfire. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain will pass $30m this week with Lionsgate working that Tyler Perry tip. Fruitvale Station is the per-screen champ for the weekend across all categories with $21k on each of 34 screens. Nic Refn’s controversially epic Only God Forgives did okay.
Before Midnight is the clear muscle of this season in the arthouse category, now up to $7.4 million, which is behind only the SummitsGate films, which are indie, but not arthouse. Personally, I think Sony Classics could up the gross significantly with some spending for the film going into August. But next weekend’s release of Blue Jasmine will probably be in the way of that happening.
Other indie hits this summer include The Bling Ring ($5.6m), Frances Ha ($3.9m), Much Ado About Nothing ($3.7m), doc leader 20 Feet From Stardom ($2.4m), The East ($2.2m), The Iceman ($1.9m), Fill The Void ($1.6m), Love Is All You Need ($1.5m), and Stories We Tell ($1.5m). Girl Most Likely and Only God Forgives could join that $1.5m+ club.