It’s getting to those dog days of August, which means some serious filler from the studios that won’t dazzle anyone at the box office. That was certainly the case this weekend, when three new wide releases, “Sinister 2,” “Hitman: Agent 47” and “American Ultra” all crashed and burned, none of them grossing more than $10 million in their opening weekend and none debuting higher than the #3 position. Instead the “surprise” hit of the summer, as many are calling it even though it was poised to do great months ago, “Straight Outta Compton” easily took the number one position for the second week in a row. In case you missed it, Universal‘s reporting was off and ‘Compton’ actually earned $60 million in its debut last weekend making for the highest grossing R-rated August opening ever. ‘Compton’ fell 55.5% in week two, but added 268 theaters and still took in a very strong $26.7 million.
‘Compton’ has already surpassed the $100 million mark and has done so well that TMZ has already been erroneously reporting that a sequel with Snoop and Tupac is in the works (Universal has already denied this). Dropping only -31.9%, “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” is showing a terrific hold in its fourth week. In fact, since the August dregs are in such full effect, IMAX screens are empty so ‘Rogue Nation’ has gone back in to fill them. The movie has hit the $438 million mark and $157 million of that is from domestic grosses. At this trajectory, $200 million is doable and globally, it should be able to clear $600 million.
On 2700 screens, Focus Features‘ horror sequel “Sinister 2” did unremarkable business in its opening weekend with $10.6 million. That’s a pretty huge 40% drop from the original “Sinister” which opened in the fall of 2012 (to be fair, a much better release date). But it appears the appetite for Buhguul was sated long ago. On 3200 screens, 20th Century Fox’s shoot-em-up auctioneer “Hitman: Agent 47” performed even worse. Nobody really cared for the 2007 version starring Timothy Olyphant, and audiences were even more indifferent to the ’47’ edition: it fell 37% from the original’s opening weekend with $8.2 million. Both movies were poorly reviewed, and perhaps it underlines all too clearly how no one really asked for sequels or reboots of either franchise.
Things were even worse for Liongate‘s “American Ultra.” It didn’t receive positive reviews, but they were better than the mostly scathing “Sinister 2” and “Hitman: Agent 47” notices. The reviews didn’t seem to matter anyway, on 2,700 screens the film bombed and failed to gross more than $5.5 million in its debut. That’s certainly one of the worst wide release openings of 2015. Meanwhile, there’s an upside and downside to Warner Bros. “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” in week two. It showed a good hold dropping only 44.7%, but the movie hasn’t grossed more than $26 million in two weeks. Worldwide its only grossed $52 million and while it’s budget was never released, lets assume it has to be in the $80-100 million conservatively (plus another $50M in P&A), it’s probably safe to say this one is not getting a sequel or earning its money back.
Elsewhere at the box office, Marvel‘s “Ant-Man” has hit the $361 million mark which means it’s inching closer to some smaller Marvel milestones. It’s still the second lowest grossing Marvel film of all time domestically and globally, but it’s creeping up on the $370 million mark of “Captain America: The First Avenger.” It’ll likely hit that, but the next highest rung up (“Thor” at $449 million worldwide) is likely way out of reach. For Marvel, it will ultimately be a question of whether “Ant-Man” hits the $400 million mark or not and if it doesn’t, well… hey, they still made a “Captain America” sequel so anything’s possible, but it may prove that they have bigger fish to fry in the future.
In its third week of release, 20th Century Fox‘s “Fantastic Four” is still a disaster and hasn’t even cracked the $50 million mark. At $130 million total globally, it looks like the superhero movie isn’t going to be saved by international audiences either. And not even the myriad, overdone, EW behind-the-scenes reports will drive enough curiosity seekers to boost its box office totals. This one will be a write-off for Fox, and one of the lowest grossing superhero movies of all time. At the very least, “Fantastic Four” can take comfort in knowing it will pass the dreadful “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” worldwide gross of $132 million (though that movie was made on a much smaller budget of $57 million). Regardless, don’t expect another reboot, they already have too much invested in this new cast and series. What should be expected is ditching the director, keeping the players, and trying to softly reboot what they’ve created (and at least they’ll have the origin story out of the way).
Did I call this one or what? “Terminator Genisys finally opened in China and topped their box office and grossed $27.4 million. The movie has now crossed $350 million mark worldwide and thanks to China, the movie will probably hit the $400 million mark. That number would be higher than “Terminator Salvation” ($371 million), so you’re probably going to see a sequel after all (don’t call it until the fat lady is done).
In limited release, senior audiences came out in full force for Sony Pictures Classics‘ “Grandma” starring Lily Tomlin. No joke. Fondly received at Sundance and earning good reviews, the movie single-handedly won the specialty box office field. The indie earned $121,000 from four screens for a $30,250 per screen average. That’s roughly the fifth highest per screen average of 2015 if you discount wide release blockbusters (and you should). Other indie newcomers, Broad Green’s “Learning to Drive” and the Orchard‘s “Digging For Fire,” did decent business with the former earning a very respectable $16K per screen average. Considering ‘Fire’ had all the young hipster actors ($8K PSA) and ‘Drive’ had Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley, it was a small little victory for adult audiences at the arthouses this weekend.
1. Straight Outta Compton — $26,760,000 ($111,483,000)
2. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation — $11,700,000 ($157,763,000)
3. Sinister 2 — $10,633,000
4. Hitman: Agent 47 — $8,200,000
5. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. — $7,420,000 ($26,637,000)
6. American Ultra — $5,500,000
7. The Gift — $4,300,000 ($31,053,000)
8. Ant-Man — $4,088,000 ($164,524,000
9. Minions — $3,710,000 ($319,965,000)
10. Fantastic Four —$3,650,000 ($49,625,000)