Box Office: Burton Prevails, but ‘Miss Peregrine’ and ‘Deepwater Horizon’ Still Fail

(SEPTEMBER 30 – OCTOBER 2, 2016 estimates)

  1. “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” (Opening) – $28,500,000
  2. “Deepwater Horizon” (Opening) – $20,600,000
  3. “The Magnificent Seven” (Week 2) – $15,700,000
  4. “Storks” (Week 2) – $13,800,000
  5. “Sully” (Week 4) – $8,400,000
  6. “Masterminds” (Opening) – $6,600,000
  7. “Queen of Katwe” (Week 2) – $2,608,000
  8. “Don’t Breathe” (Week 6) – $2,375,000
  9. “Bridget Jones’s Baby” (Week 3) – $2,330,000
  10. “Snowden” (Week 3) – $2,029,390

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  • Tim Burton had his first number one opening in six years with “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.” The fantasy film managed to rule the box office for its opening weekend, marking Burton’s sixth number one opener. Still, this is under the disappointing opening for “Dark Shadows,” Burton’s 2012 film. That film ended up with $79 million total. With better reviews, “Miss Peregrine” could get closer to $80 – $90 million. Still, against a $110 million production budget, one can’t officially call Burton’s latest a success. Yet, the film made more overseas than domestically in its first weekend. Its worldwide total stands at $65 million. There is a possibility that foreign receipts could push the film to profitability.
  • deepwater-horizon-trailer-mark-wahlbergMark Whalberg and Peter Berg’s latest collaboration carried the same $110 million production budget as “Miss Peregrine’s,” but with diminishing results. “Deepwater Horizon” opened at number two with $20 million. This is far below the $37 million their latest collaboration, “Lone Survivor” made in its first wide weekend. Overseas, the disaster film didn’t fare much better. It’s worldwide opening currently stands at $33 million. Even with solid reviews, the film shouldn’t make it far past $60 million domestic. If there was one theme this weekend, its that it is hard to spend $110 million on a movie that isn’t a sure thing.
  • The movie star western “The Magnificent Seven” didn’t quite hold its post. The film dropped 54% in its second weekend. Its domestic total stands at $61 million, while its worldwide total is $108 million. This pushes it over its $90 million production budget, but doesn’t account for its large marketing expenditures. A domestic total of $100 million seems further out of reach for the film. However, this doesn’t exactly qualify it as a failure. The film should do continued, solid business over the next few weeks to inch it into profitability.
  • With no new family offerings this week, “Storks” saw the smallest decline in the top 10. The animated film eased 35% in its second weekend. This brings its domestic total to $38 million and worldwide total to $77 million. This is still far behind similar mid-level animated releases, such as “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” and even the infamous flop “Turbo.” Unlike those films, “Storks” carries a comparably benign $70 million price tag. If the film holds over the coming weeks due to the lack of family competition, it could push itself over this line.
  • Clint Eastwood’s “Sully” forged past the $100 million mark this weekend. The drama, starring Tom Hanks, only lost 38% of business this weekend for a weekend total of $8.4 million. It’s domestic total currently stands at $105 million, bringing the film’s worldwide total to $151 million. That’s a strong number for a film that cost a mere $60 million to produce. This also puts it currently at Clint Eastwood’s third highest domestic grossing film (behind “American Sniper” and “Gran Torino”). Passing “Gran Torino’s” $148 million total might be a tall order to ask of the film, however.
  • Coming out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Relativity can’t find a break. Their long delayed project, “Masterminds,” bombed at $6 million opening weekend. Despite starring high level talent such as Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, the film was unceremoniously dumped into theaters with little fanfare. Middling reviews will kill any chance the film has of legs. When all is said and done, a $15 million domestic total seems fitting.
  • Disney expanded the inspirational “Queen of Katwe” to 1,242 theaters this weekend. Unfortunately, the underdog tale of a Ugandan chess prodigy failed to connect with a wider audience despite strong reviews. The film only earned $2.6 million in its first wide release weekend. This results in a poor per theater average of $2,100. The $15 million budgeted film has only grossed $3 million to date. Word of mouth might keep it in the conversation for a week or two, but it will be hard for the film to make over $10 million domestic.
  • The horror hit “Don’t Breathe” continued its marvel of a run. The $9.9 million budgeted film eased only 37% in its sixth weekend in theaters. Its domestic total currently stands at $84 million, while its worldwide total looms at a staggering $129 million. The film only further underlines that audiences are interested in original content, rather than movie stars or big budget explosions. Create a modest, original film, and audiences will show up.
  • The British rom-com “Bridget Jones’s Baby” failed yet again to pack people into theaters. The film just managed to pass the $20 million domestic mark this weekend, after losing half of its business. Still, it’s not all doom and gloom for the misbegotten third film in the Bridget Jones saga. It’s worldwide total stands at a very robust $120 million. This is far above its $35 million budget. As good as that seems, it is still a marked decrease from the worldwide totals of the first two films ($281 million and $262 million respectively).
  • Oliver Stone’s “Snowden” still has not shown virility in enticing moviegoers. The film lost another 50% of business in its third weekend. Without much of a foreign gross to speak of, the $40 million budgeted film has to rely on domestic receipts. However, domestically it has stalled at $18 million. It should inch across $20 million, but that will be the last barrier it breaks.

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  • The Indian film “M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story” had a strong limited opening in its first weekend. The film opened in only 256 theaters, giving it a solid, if not unspectacular, per theater average of $4,688. Its opening weekend of $1.2 million was right in line with similar release “Bang Bang” in 2014, which opened with $1.27 million onto $2.54 million. While the longevity of this film won’t last, it did have a strong worldwide total of $15.7 million.
  • dressmaker_katewinsletKate Winslet’s newest film “The Dressmaker” did not see great performance in its second weekend. The film opened in 123 new theaters for a total of 159 theaters, only to gross $357K. This leads to a per theater average of $2,250. Further expansion will not reap solid results for the Australian film. This results in a pitiful $622K domestic total. On the sunny side, the film was a hit in Australia, which brings its worldwide total to $22.3 million.
  • The strongest per theater average of the week belongs to “Denial,” which saw an opening weekend of $102K from 5 theaters. This is good enough for a strong per theater average of $20,420. It will be interesting to see if the film can mount a successful expansion off of this number. Dramas such as this seem to live or die by their reviews and Oscar potential. “Denial” is strong, but hasn’t received rapturous reviews or solid Oscar prospects.
  • Cannes Jury Prize winner “American Honey” saw solid, but not remarkable results in its opening weekend. The film premiered in four theaters to a total of $75K. That is good enough for a $18,843 per theater average. The nearly three hour opus has a shot at expanding. However, with that run time it will have a tougher time connecting with the youth market. Looking back on 2013’s “Spring Breakers,” that film opened to $264K in three theaters for an $87,667 per theater average. The film went on to gross $14 million. “American Honey,” with a much weaker start, will have a tough time coming close to that.