We skipped the box-office report these last two weeks, but it’s been fairly uneventful. But some highlights included the surprise success of “Home,” a much-needed hit for the ailing DreamWorks Animation studios, the underwhelming showing of the “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” (only down -4.3% from the first film, but you make sequels in order to make more money, not less), and the flop of Sean Penn‘s “The Gunman” (opening up to barely $5 million). Meanwhile, in limited release, Noah Baumbach’s “While We’re Young” scored the highest per screen average of 2015, which is a nice start for A24 Pictures.
Fast-forwarding to present day though, it’s been a furious weekend for “Furious 7.” As expected, Universal’s biggest franchise beast utterly destroyed the competition and set big records to boot. Its massive $143 million opening weekend haul ranks ninth in all-time opening grosses domestically, just behind “Spider-Man 3” and “The Hunger Games.” The series also did serious gangbusters overseas, taking in another $240 million internationally making for a $384 million worldwide opening weekend. Some pundits are suggesting the seventh ‘Furious’ film could hit $1 billion in the long run, but we’ll have to see what the drop-offs are next weekend. But considering the movie hasn’t even opened in China, Russia or Japan yet, it could indeed skyrocket towards that mark. “Furious 7” also broke the record for the highest grossing opening ever in April, besting previous record holder “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” by almost $50 million. Eat your heart out, Marvel. The underserved Hispanic audience apparently came out in droves too. And diversity was a big part of the film’s box-office success: 71 percent of the audience were people of color according to Uni’s exit poll info (the number of women and men was about evenly spilt).
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Dreamworks Animation has struggled in recent years, there’s talk the studio is on the way out, but in two weeks, their animated surprise “Home” has grossed almost $100 million in two weeks. Worldwide it’s closing in on $200 million, but at a $135 million cost, the movie’s got to do better than that if it hopes to get the studio out of its financial straits. The pairing of Will Ferell and Kevin Hart, what many assumed was an unstoppable comedy pair, underwhelmed with their week-one gross of “Get Hard.” And the movie fell -61.8% in its second week. The movie is only at $57 million domestically so far and it doesn’t look like it will connect at all overseas.
Disney‘s live-action “Cinderella” has been a huge hit and as it zeroes in on $200 million at home, it’s no wonder the studio is green lighting live-action versions of their animated classics left, right and center. The film has almost grossed $400 million worldwide as well, so don’t expect Disney to change course any time soon. “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” fell 53.6% in its third week, but the film has cracked the $100 million mark and if its modest rate continues, the sequel could eventually outgross the $150 million domestic haul of the original.
The box-office story of the year may prove to be the story of RadiusTWC’s indie horror “It Follows.” After much back and forth, the movie, which had a superb opening weekend in limited release, decided to go wide in its third week. It was a gamble, but it paid off: “It Follows” cracked the box-office top five and took in $3.8 million from 1,200 screens. Having moved up to 1,655 screens in week four, the movie demonstrated a strong hold, only falling -35.3%. Made for a modest sum, the movie has already grossed $8.5 million and is really the year’s indie success story so far. There wasn’t much competition in new releases this week, every studio wisely trying to steer clear of “Furious 7.” The Weinstein Company however tried to counterprogram with “Woman In Gold” which did respectable business; $2.4 million from 258 screens, though that’s a fairly low $7,767 per screen average.
“It Follows” would have had the best hold of the weekend if it wasn’t for “Do You Believe?,” Pure Flix‘s under-the-radar religious film that has quietly grossed almost $10 million in three weeks. 2014 showed the faith demographic would come out in droves if the movies served them, and the trend continues this year. After eight weeks in release, “Kingsman: The Secret Service” is still in the top 10 and dropping less than 43%. One might think its domestic gross might be more than $122 million after eight weeks of release, but worldwide the movie is closing in on $400 million. Translation: a sequel is basically up for grabs if director Matthew Vaughn and co. want one. But lightning doesn’t strike twice and not all sequels are financially sound business. The original ‘Exotic Marigold Hotel’ grossed $136 million worldwide and nearly $50 million domestically — huge numbers for a small feel-good dramedy aimed at a senior crowd. But “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” which should bow out of the top 10 by next week, won’t be repeating those numbers. The movie barely hit $30 million in North America, and given it’s on its way out, it’s unlikely the movie will hold on with much strength. Given its budget ($10 million), the picture will likely still end up a success, but it’s not the runaway smash of the original.
In limited release, the biggest story was still once again A24’s “While We’re Young” which expanded to 34 theaters and grossed $493K for a $14,500 per screen average. Maybe going wider next week? In box-office milestones, “Fifty Shades Of Grey” has grossed $400 million overseas making for a stunning $566 million worldwide gross. $600 mil shouldn’t be a problem.
1. Furious 7 — $143,623,000
2. Home (2015) — $27,400,000 ($95,621,000)
3. Get Hard — $12,925,000 ($57,004,000)
4. Cinderella — $10,289,000 ($167,251,000)
5. The Divergent Series: Insurgent — $10,000,000 ($103,385,000)
6. It Follows — $2,465,000 ($8,541,000)
7. Woman in Gold — $2,004,000 ($2,100,000)
8. Kingsman: The Secret Service — $1,700,000 ($122,260,000)
9. Do You Believe? — $1,500,000 ($9,811,000)
10. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel — $1,000,000 ($30,059,000)