Best Man Sequel Surprises, but Thor Still Number One
By John Hamann
November 17, 2013
The Best Man Holiday managed a weekend multiplier of 2.85, which is solid for a sequel. That multiplier pushed the weekend gross to a second place $30.6 million, which it earned from only 2,024 screens, which makes this debut even more impressive. The Universal release had a resulting venue average of $15,115, which is good news for exhibitors. Just a couple of weekends ago, Ender’s Game, which debuted to a similar $27 million, was released to a much higher 3,407 screens, and had a venue average of $7,930. The Best Man Holiday also cost only $17 million to make (or $93 million LESS than Ender’s Game), which means this one will see true profit before The Hunger Games sequel shows up next weekend. The Malcolm D. Lee film also garnered a rare A+ Cinemascore, which means that The Best Man Holiday could see similar legs to Think Like a Man, which took in an A Cinemascore, and had an opening-to-total multiplier of 2.72.
Thor: The Dark World was down in second on Friday by a couple of hundred thousand dollars, but was able to move back into the top spot after younger viewers took over cinemas on Saturday and Sunday. After a Friday gross of $10.5 million, The Dark World had a higher weekend multiplier of 3.7, and was able to take the weekend with a gross of $38.5 million, good for the number one spot. Compared to Thor’s opening weekend of $85.7 million, the second frame equals a drop of 55%. The original Thor dropped only 47% in May 2011, so why do we see the increased percentage drop?
First, we have the sequel effect, where fans of the original rush out to see the sequel on opening weekend because they are familiar with the product. Take Iron Man, for example. The original Iron Man dropped 48% from weekend one to weekend two, whereas the sequel fell 59% in its second frame. This is normal and really no cause for franchise alarm. The second reason for the big drop is that Veteran’s Day fell last Monday. More people were able to attend Thor: The Dark World last Sunday night, given the holiday Monday, where they couldn’t do the same this weekend. The second weekend take for Thor: The Dark World is, in my opinion, right where it should be. Sure, the original Thor had a second weekend of $34.7 million, very similar to this weekend’s take, but had only pulled in $119.5 million after two weekends. The Dark World, on the other hand, has already pulled in $147 million domestic and has also outgrossed the original overseas. The $170 million Thor: The Dark World is going to beat the original domestically and globally, which always points to a healthy franchise.
After finishing fourth last weekend, Last Vegas actually moves up a spot to third this weekend, as older viewers used their senior discounts to prop up the old guy film. After earning $11 million last weekend, Last Vegas holds well, earning $8.9 million and dropping a slim 20%. Last Vegas cost only $28 million to make, which means upstart distributor CBS Films has a hit on its hands. Last Vegas has already earned $47 million, and should continue to play as solid counter-programming against Catching Fire next weekend. If it does hold next weekend, Last Vegas could be CBS Films' top film ever by Sunday, as it could get by The Woman In Black, which earned $54 million over its run.