Weekend Wrap-Up

After Earth Purged from Box Office, Internship Denied

By John Hamann

June 9, 2013

At least they dressed formally for their murderous evening.

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The Purge outgrossed its production budget from Thursday previews. Without the marketing costs, The Purge was in the black by early Friday night. By Sunday night, and guessing at an 80-20 split, with the 20 going to theatres, The Purge was likely seeing pure profit. Many films need to wait years to see a profit, and after home video and ancillaries, a studio might see revenue. Some, like After Earth, will never see a profit – and The Purge is completely in the black in only three days. If you are Universal, you are having a very good year, as Identity Thief cost $35 million and has earned $175 million worldwide; Fast & Furious 6 crossed the half-billion mark this weekend, and Oblivion, despite a sad domestic take, still earned $275 million around the globe. All that and the studio still has what could be their biggest hit of the summer still to come in Despicable Me 2, as the original did a quarter-billion at home and $300 million overseas.

Speaking of Universal, Fast & Furious 6 is number two as it held decently compared to last weekend, despite its already gargantuan gross. In its third weekend, Fast & Furious 6 earned another $19.8 million, dropping a not bad 44% compared to the previous frame. It crossed the $200 million domestic mark on Sunday; well ahead of the time it took Fast Five to reach the same mark. It is Universal’s 16th film ever to cross $200 million, and should be the top entry in the Fast and Furious franchise after next weekend (Fast Five finished with $209.8 million). Overseas, Fast & Furious 6 has brought in $381.7 million, making this a huge success for the studio despite the $160 million production budget, and likely another $150 million in worldwide marketing costs. On the domestic side, this one should top out with around $245 million.


Third spot goes to Now You See Me, which is starting to look more like blockbuster material than counter-programming. After pushing dirt in the face of After Earth last weekend, it does the same to The Internship this weekend, as Now You See Me finishes ahead of the comedy with a second weekend gross of $19.5 million. That gives it a percentage drop from opening weekend of only 34% - I say only as we need to keep in mind that percentage drops are always going to be higher in the new box office world where more films preview on Thursday, and inflate the normal opening weekend gross. The $75 million Lionsgate/Summit release has now earned $61.4 million domestically, and is just getting started overseas. The studio should be commended for taking what is basically an expensive, old-fashioned movie, and turning it into a potential $100 million hit.

Fourth is The Internship, the ill-fated comedy with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Few people wanted to see a two-hour ad for Google, as the formulaic comedy could only muster $18.1 million this weekend. This is just over half of the $33.9 million that Wedding Crashers opened to in July 2005, and continues a troubling trend for both Vaughn and Wilson. Vince Vaughn hasn’t had a hit since Couples Retreat ($109.2 million in 2009) and Wilson hasn’t done much on his own since Wedding Crashers. Reviews were bad and the marketing was worse, leaving Fox to question the $58 million production budget. It will make most of that back stateside, but will need some foreign help to see a profit.

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