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Weekend B.O. June 12-14 (The Big Hit and the Big Write-off)

Weekend B.O. June 12-14 (The Big Hit and the Big Write-off)

There are
two big stories this week regarding box office numbers. One is pretty obvious, and the other one was sort of under the radar; so we’ll start with that one first. It happened
earlier last week when Disney, in effect, admitted that there won’t be any “Tomorrowland” sequels in the foreseeable future and beyond. (So the both of you
who were holding your breaths for one, can breathe out now)

Actually, what happened was that the studio, rather sheepishly, announced that it was
taking a $140 million write-off on their big summer film, “Tomorrowland,” which was
designed to be the possible tentpole for a franchise of sequels and marketing
tie-ins. The film is big fat dud.

Though it
pales in comparison to the $200 million loss Disney took with “John Carter” and the $190
million loss it suffered with “The Lone Ranger,” still losing $140 million has to hurt. That’s a ton of money that actually could have been used to make
several movies that could have been quite profitable for the studio.

So what went
wrong? Well, as I said a few weeks ago, one major problem is that, no one had any
idea exactly what this film was supposed to be about. People like to know what
a film is about before they go see it, which is one major reason why sequels and
remakes are so prevalent.

Even the
trailers for “Tomorrowland” never made clear what the film was about. “Pirates of
the Caribbean” is easy. It’s about pirates with a weird, funny, mascara wearing
pirate as the main character. But “Tomorrowland”? I could hear people saying: “Well, I guess it’s a sci-fi film but what’s the deal with the girl in a wheat field?
And George Clooney is in it, but I have no idea who he’s supposed to be”. 

The
trailers sure didn’t help by making everything look muddier, and, on top of that, the reviews
weren’t stellar either, being mostly either negative to mixed, which, for a film as
expensive as “Tomorrowland” ($175-190 million), hurt the film even more.
Those “Transformers” films always get horrible reviews too, but least you know what
it’s about.

Don’t cry
for Disney though. It’s not like they’re going out of business; they still
have most of the Marvel films, the Pixar animated films, and there’s that little
film coming out in December called “Star Wars.” So please, no pity. But the failure of “Tomorrowland” will make it a little
bit harder for more studio backed original films. No one wants to take the risk.

And speaking
of risk-free, there’s “Jurassic World,” which blew away everyone’s exceptions. The
consensus was that the film would do $100 million this weekend, and, as I recall, I
predicted the film would do slightly better than that, with $125 million.

Well it
looks like everyone was wrong, since the film did much better than anyone
imagined. It opened on Friday with the largest domestic Friday opening for any film in
history, with $64.1 million; and that’s on top of the $18.5 million the film made
on Thursday midnight screenings.

The final result
was the second biggest opening ever for any film, with $204.6 million, beating
out “The Avengers: The Age of Ultron,” which had held the second place slot since the first weekend of May, and coming close to, but not beating out 2012’s “The Avengers,” which still holds the record for the biggest weekend opening ever, with $207
million.

No doubt one
of major reason for the huge numbers for “Jurassic World” is that it was released in the widest number of theaters ever, during opening weekend, for any film in Universal’s history. The studio
released the film last week in over 13,500 theaters worldwide, and it’s also playing
in the largest number of IMAX screens (with their higher ticket prices) worldwide
ever (445 internationally, 364 domestically). Because of that, the film has
already grossed some $212.8 million overseas, since opening last Wednesday.

As for last
week’s No. 1 film, “Spy” was, not surprisingly, a very distant second, with $16
million, just less than a 50% drop off from last week. But the film has also
grossed some $86 million overseas, so no one seems to be worried.

And, as expected, “Entourage” dropped a huge 57% from last weekend, coming in at 6th place, with just $4.3
million, which means it’s not long for this world.

1) Jurassic World     Uni.     $204,600,000
2) Spy     Fox     $16,000,000         Total: $56,937,000    
3) San Andreas     WB     $11,010,000     Total: $119,321,000    
4) Insidious Chapter 3     Focus     $7,300,000     Total: $37,371,000    
5) Pitch Perfect 2     Uni.     $6,000,000     Total:     $170,715,000    
6) Entourage     WB     $4,340,000         Total: $25,870,000    
7) Mad Max: Fury Road     WB     $4,130,000     Total:     $138,608,000    
8) Avengers: Age of Ultron     BV     $3,641,000     Total: $444,743,000    
9) Tomorrowland     BV     $3,417,000     Total: $83,607,000    
10) Love & Mercy     RAtt.     $1,765,000     Total: $4,774,000    
11) Aloha     Sony     $960,000     Total: $18,960,000    
12) I’ll See You In My Dreams     BST     $800,000     Total: $2,952,000 

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