Sunday, November 15, 2015

Spectre And The Peanuts Movie Lead Again On a Miserable Weekend At The Box Office

There's really not a ton to talk about when it comes to this weekends box office, which had Spectre winning again. That being said, this will be a slightly abbreviated version of this column, simply because even the underwhelming new movies leave very little to talk about or analyze. So, yeah, 007 won again, with a surprisingly smaller than expected 50% dip, for a $35 million second weekend. for a ten day domestic haul of $130 million. That's way better than the 60% drop of Quantum of Solace slightly better than the 53% dip of Skyfall three years ago and about on par with the 49% drop of Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation from this summer.

If Spectre doesn't absolutely collapse when Katniss Everdeens last movie opens up this coming weekend, it has a good shot at barely grossing $200 million domestically, though I'll go a little lower and say it ends its domestic run with $185-190 million. Just as Spectre held onto the first place from last weekend, The Peanuts Movie also held onto the second spot from last weekend, with Charlie Brown bringing in another $24.2 million for the weekend, a 45% drop from last weekend. That's a larger second weekend dip than most comparable early November animated family films, including Big Hero 6 (38%), MegaMind (37%) and Wreck-It Ralph (33%).

It's likely The Peanuts Movie, which, unlike most American computer animated movies, is based on pre-existing source material, likely had a fanbase that came out on opening weekend to see it, and also likely burned off some demand with the large numbers it generated on Veteran's Day in the middle of the week. The Peanuts Movie has now grossed $82.2 million and will likely come in just under or over $130 million in the US by the end of its run.

Love The Coopers came in just behind The Peanuts Movie in third place, with a meh $8.4 million haul. Among Christmas movies, that puts it just ahead of the opening weekend of The Nativity Story ($7.8 million) and the 20 year old Whitney Houston-Denzel Washington headlined feature The Preacher's Wife ($7.6 million). Thanks to the Thanksgiving holidays, this one will likely stick around for a little bit, and its tiny $17 million budget means it'll probably be profitable in the long run, though it's obvious that it's not going to make a large financial dent in the marketplace. Poor Olivia Wilde. Hope that new Martin Scorsese HBO show Vinyl works out for her.

In fourth place was The Martian, once again demonstrating incredible resilience, losing only 23% this weekend for a $7 million seventh weekend haul, The Martian crossed $200 million this past Wednesday and now has gathered up a huge $207.7 million domestic gross. Rounding out the top 5 was The 33 with a $5.8 million opening. That's an unremarkable, though not atrocious start for a movie lacking huge stars (Antonio Banderas was pretty much it in terms of big names) and a smaller 2,452 theater count, though its meek opening means that it won't stick around for long considering how many new releases are coming in the next week and a half.

Bollywood feature Prem Ratan Dhan Payo opened to $2.25 million this weekend, enough to crack into the top ten in ninth place in only 286 theaters, marking yet another feature from India finding considerable success in America this year. On the other hand, My All-American flopped big time, making only $1.3 million in 1,479 theaters. Considering how I've seen the damn trailer for this one on every movie I've been to in the past month, I'm just glad that I'll never have to hear Aaron Eckhart intone about "rising to the challenge" ever again, unless My All-American somehow spawns a follow-up entitled 2 My 2 All-American.

In the realm of arthouse movies, a number of films expanded their theater counts to great results. Spotlight brought in another $1.39 million in only 60 theaters for a tremendous $23,307 per theater average. Brooklyn went into 23 locations to an excellent $471,000 second weekend for a fantastic $20,500 per theater average. Trumbo also brought its theater count up to 20 locations for a $141,000 second weekend and a $7,097 per theater average. Suffragette, meanwhile, went into 496 theaters and barely cracked a seven digit weekend haul with a $1 million gross and a $2,016 per theater average. Room also continued to show stamina, gathering up another $578,000 for the weekend in 133 theaters for a $,4,347 per heater average.

And then there was By The Sea, which commanded only $124,000 over its opening weekend from 10 theaters for a meek $12,400 per theater average. It's unlikely this performance warrants further theater count expansion, especially considering the movies negative reviews and the large amount of arthouse films expanding into wide release over the Thanksgiving holidays (namely Spotlight, Brooklyn and maybe Room?)

The Top 12 this weekend grossed only $96 million, an anemic gross that's far lower than the grosses of this same weekend in years past. Much of that can be attributed to the dismal new release; the combined opening weekends of this weekends three new wide releases comes just under $16 million, while in the past two years Universal has sued this weekend to launch comedy sequels (The Best Man Holiday in 2013 and Dumb And Dumber To in 2014) that each has opening weekend grosses that were more than twice that $16 million sum. Luckily, new Hunger Games, Seth Rogen, PIXAR and Rocky films should get the 2015 box office back on its feet in the next two weeks.

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