With tracking being fairly unreliable recently, 2015 has been full of major surprises at the box-office. Everyone knew Universal’s “Jurassic World” would be big, but even box-office pundits weren’t prepared for how huge the movie would be. Ditto for the studio’s “Straight Outta Compton” which was a “surprise” runaway hit even though many had pegged it for a huge success earlier in the year (the opposite happened to Warner Bros’. “Vacation” when it ran face first into extremely negative reviews). And much was the same with Sony’s animated sequel, “Hotel Transylvania 2.” Many assumed it would take the number one slot at the box-office this weekend, but no one was prepared for a record-breaking gross that nearly hit $50 million, making it the biggest September opening of all time. While Adam Sandler movies keep losing their potency at the box-office, apparently his voice-work hasn’t been affected. $47.5 million is huge, but perhaps not entirely unexpected: the original took in $42 million in 2012 (an increase of 11.7 %) and also was the former September-topping champion. Either way, expect a sequel announcement — and even spin-offs — any minute now. An A- CinemaScore means audiences (and parents with their kids) could be seeking this one out for the foreseeable future.
Nancy Meyers, Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro were no match for the animated tooner sequel, but their comedy “The Intern” did respectable opening weekend business that neared $20 million, also earning an A- CinemaScore, and Meyers’ second best opening ever after “What Women Want.” 20th Century Fox’s “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” continues to prove its worth in the YA sci-fi genre. At $51 million domestically so far, and $173 million worldwide, at this rate it should be able to match the $340 million the original grossed in 2014 (it’s already halfway there).
Universal’s “Everest” expanded in week two after its IMAX premium opening jumping +81.3% and adding 2,461 screens. But it only took in $13 million, which is even softer than less spectacle-minded dramas also arriving this month. For example, Warner Bros.’ “Black Mass” continues to do great business earning $42.6 million across two weeks and only seeing a slightly under 50% audience drop-off. Meanwhile, Universal’s found-footage horror “The Visit” from director M. Night Shyamalan has had a surprisingly good hold, dropping only -41.6% in its third week of release and as an inexpensive picture ($5 million), it has impressively cracked the $50 million mark already. Ditto for Screen Gems’ relationship thriller “The Perfect Guy” which continues to hold on well and has nearly hit $50 million.
In five weeks of release TriStar‘s faith-based drama “War Room” has made $55.9 million from a $3 million budget with no stars: surely one of the more profitable movies of 2015. Don’t expect these Christian-based pictures to go away any time soon. After a year of delays, Eli Roth’s “The Green Inferno” finally opened, taking in a solid $3.49 million from only 1,540 screens (everything else in the top five was in at least 3,000 screens). Lionsgate‘s thriller “Sicario” with Emily Blunt grossed $1.7 million from 59 screens, cracked the top 10, and earned itself a $30,000 per screen average which is still one of the year’s best.
Accused of whitewashing and pandering, and savaged by critics, Roadside Attractions’ “Stonewall,” directed by blow-em-up director Roland Emmerich was seriously dusted in the limited release sector. Earning $112,414 from 129 screens, that’s a pitifully low $871 per screen average which sounds terrible, but it’s only the fourth worst PSA of 2015 (#1 “The D Train,” #2 is “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” and #3 is “We Are Your Friends”). Elsewhere in limited release “Lost in Hong Kong” was very strong with a $19, 900 PSA, the Russell Brand doc “Unbranded” failed to really chart (a $2,724 PSA) and “99 Homes” ($16,404 PSA) and “Mississippi Grind” ($14,335 PSA) both did decent, but not spectacular business.
1. Hotel Transylvania 2 — $47,500,000
2. The Intern — $18,225,000
3. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials — $14,000,000 ($51,685,572)
4. Everest — $13,090,000 ($23,129,805)
5. Black Mass — $11,510,000 ($42,608,179)
6. The Visit — $6,750,000 ($52,260,580)
7. The Perfect Guy — $4,750,000 ($48,871,135)
8. War Room — $4,275,000 ($55,999,681)
9. The Green Inferno — $3,494,000
10. Sicario — $1,770,000 ($2,350,594)