Weekend Box Office (July 3 - 5, 2015)
THIS WEEKEND American moviegoers were still interested in theme park disaster movie fun with the dino-sequel Jurassic World which grabbed an estimated $30.9M in its fourth weekend. It was a close holdover race for the top spot but if estimates hold, the mega-hit will spend its fourth straight session at number one. Down 43%, the Universal smash pushed its cume to $558.2M and set another box office record becoming the fastest film in history to break the $550M domestic mark doing it in only 24 days. That was a full week earlier than the last record-holder The Avengers which needed 31 days.
Jurassic World also passed The Dark Knight to take the number four spot on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters. The international haul surged to $826.9M putting the global tally at an incredible $1.39 billion making it the number five movie of all-time worldwide.
Very close behind in second was the Pixar blockbuster Inside Out with an estimated $30.1M, off 43% as well. With Independence Day falling on a Saturday this year, it caused major shifts in daily play as Friday was the big day for films, Saturday seeing a drop due to outdoor holiday distractions, and Sunday expected to bounce back.
The Disney toon has grossed an estimated $246.2M to date and is heading well past the $300M mark from North America alone. Playing in less than half of the international marketplace, Inside Out has taken in $117.3M from overseas for a current global take of $363.5M.
Like many aging action franchises, Terminator Genisys saw weak American interest in its debut, but will rely on solid international sales to try to get it to reach breakeven. The PG-13 entry opened to an estimated $28.7M over the weekend period and $44.2M since its launch on Tuesday night with pre-shows. That marks the worst performance of any of the four Terminator sequels dating back to 1991. The last installment, 2009's Terminator Salvation bowed to a $51.9M four-day holiday gross and the prior chapter, 2003's Terminator 3, did $72.4M over its five-plus day opening over its Independence Day holiday.
Genisys, which cost $155M to produce, averaged $7,637 from 3,758 locations over the weekend. Reviews were negative while audiences gave a decent B+ grade from CinemaScore. Older men led the way as the audience breakdown was 62% male and 65% over 25 with Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to the series.
Overseas markets brought some good news with $74M this weekend pushing the cume to $85.5M and the global total to $129.6M. With major markets like Japan and Germany still to open, and China not yet setting a release date, the road ahead could be bright and the worldwide total should eventually break the $400M mark. Paramount is planning two more sequels.
The holiday weekend's other new sequel also failed to open as well as its predecessor, though a much lower cost will put profitability in sight. Channing Tatum's Magic Mike XXL debuted to an estimated $12M over the Friday-to-Sunday weekend period and $27.1M since its start on Tuesday night with 7pm pre-shows. The 5.5-day holiday opening fell well short of the $39.1M non-holiday three-day debut of the first Magic Mike from late June in 2012. Audiences were not as excited the second time around.
XXL played out very upfront with the Wednesday opening day delivering a solid $9.3M which ended up accounting for more than one third of the whole week's business. Friday did not see the kind of jumps that other films had and Saturday's 4th of July holiday brought a stronger fall than what competing films suffered. Over the weekend, the R-rated pic averaged a weak $3,589 from 3,355 locations.
The extreme gender split saw a 96% female crowd with 51% being over 35. The CinemaScore was a good A-. Adult women showed up right away, but then there was not much of an audience left after the first couple of days. Luckily a $15M production cost will prevent losses.
Taking a nosedive in its second weekend was the R-rated comedy Ted 2 which fell 67% to an estimated $11M. Universal has banked $58.3M to date and is heading for a $65-70M final which will be a far cry from the first film's $218.8M. Ted and Magic Mike both opened against each other on the same day three summers ago and now their sequels are both performing much worse.
The military dog film Max held up reasonably well with an estimated $7M, off 42%, for new total of $25.7M for Warner Bros. Fox's Spy dropped only 31% to an estimated $5.5M raising the total to $97.9M. Falling 45% in its sixth frame, San Andreas collected an estimated $3M giving Warner Bros. $149M to date.
Rounding out the top ten were hot indie comedies from Sundance which are now trying to find paying audiences in the summer. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl expanded nationwide and grossed an estimated $1.3M from 870 locations giving Fox Searchlight $4M overall. Open Road's Dope didn't platform but instead went wide upfront. It fell 61% in its third weekend to an estimated $1.1M for $14.1M to date.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $130.7M which was up 13% from last year when Transformers: Age of Extinction stayed at number one with $37.1M; but down 40% from 2013 when Despicable Me 2 opened in the top spot with $83.5M.
Compared to five-day holiday projections, Terminator Genisys opened very close to my $46M forecast while Magic Mike XXL debuted well below my $51M prediction.
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Watch the trailer for Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.
Be sure to check back on Monday for final studio figures and again on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Minions and The Gallows both open.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: July 5, 2015 at 1:50PM ET
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