When it comes to estimating what a film will do on its opening weekend it’s mainly a guessing game. Sometimes a film will do what you predict it will do; sometimes it does even better; and then a lot of the time, it does even worse. You never know; and anyone who claims they know for sure is really just speculating like everybody else.
But then once in a while, it’s too obvious. Take for example one of this weekend’s major openings – “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” (“PPZ”). Who didn’t see that the film was going to tank big time? It had everything going against it.
Even though it’s based on a popular book, it’s still a dumb idea. Take a satire of a Jane Austin novel and put in zombies in it because…why? Zombies are all hip and cool now? Is there a logical reason to even put these two extremes together? Second, the trailers for the film made it look even worse than anyone could have imagined. And third, who is the film for? Young women who would have been attracted to the Jane Austin aspect of the film stayed away from it because of all the horror film elements and zombies. Horror film fans stayed away for all the Jane Austin stuff.
And then on top of that. it was rated PG-13. Who wants to see a movie about zombies rated a tame PG-13? You could argue it worked for “World War Z” which was rated PG-13, but that film was more of a globe-trotting action movie than a straight out horror film. Any 15 minutes of “The Walking Dead” is scarier and more explicit than all of “PPZ,” so who’s going to bother watching it?
Well, guess what? The film tanked this weekend, coming in 5th place, making some $5.2 million, which means it’ll be out of most theaters by the coming weekend. Like I said – sometimes it’s too obvious.
And this being Super Bowl weekend, box office
numbers are lower than usual – especially today, Sunday, which may account for why, even though “Kung Pu Panda” was No. 1 again this weekend, it took a big drop of about 49% from last weekend, making $21 million, for $69 million total so far (and another $129 million overseas as well).
The Coen brothers’ latest film, spoofing 1950’s Hollywood, titled “Hail Caesar,” came in second, with $11 million, which, for the average Coen brothers film, is not a bad opening, and actually better than most. With the exception of a few, like “True Grit” (their biggest b.o. hit to date, with $171 million domestic), and “No Country for Old Men,” most of the Coen brothers films have been box office flops, or just middling box office performers.
But because critics love them to death, and think everything they do is brilliant, and they’re well respected in the business, seen as hip and cool outsiders, they can always get their films made. I’ll bet that their next three films already have financing lined up.
And in other news, “Stars Wars: The Force Awakens” just keeps keeping on with over $900 million in the U.S. Though it’s not going to be the first film to make $1 billion domestically, it’ll come close. Perhaps the next “Star Wars” film in 2017 will do that.
“The Revenant” keeps going on as well, coming in third place, with almost $150 million so far, and over $326 million worldwide, easily making it, to date, director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s highest grossing film, both domestically and worldwide.
1) Kung Fu Panda 3 Fox $21,000,000 Total: $69,050,957
2) Hail, Caesar! Uni. $11,440,000
3) The Revenant Fox $7,100,000 Total: $149,703,403
4) Star Wars: The Force Awakens BV $6,890,000 Total: $905,961,469
5) The Choice LGF $6,085,000
6) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies SGem $5,200,000
7) The Finest Hours BV $4,715,000 Total: $18,380,660
8) Ride Along 2 Uni. $4,520,000 Total: $77,206,830
9) The Boy STX $4,098,000 Total: $26,895,684
10) Dirty Grandpa LGF $4,050,000 Total: $29,389,753
11) The 5th Wave Sony $3,692,000 Total: $25,657,200
12) 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Par. $2,850,000 Total: $47,742,592