Weekend Wrap-Up

Divergent Rises While Muppets Fall

By John Hamann

March 23, 2014

Tell Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Lawrence that they have to let me in the club!

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The problem now for Disney is legs and lack of international support. The rebooted Muppet Movie had an opening-to-total multiplier of only 3.0. I say "only" because The Muppets was supposed to be kids movie, where legs are almost guaranteed. For example, The Nut Job and its 11% fresh rating had an opening-to-total multiplier of 3.2, better than the 96% fresh Muppet reboot. Given small numbers through the opening, the multiplier for the sequel may grow, but likely not much. This one cost $50 million to make, with a lot more coming on the marketing side. That means Muppets Most Wanted needs $150 million worldwide, where the reboot went against the grain, earning more domestically ($88.6 million) than it did overseas ($76.5 million).

Finishing third is Mr. Peabody & Sherman, last weekend’s number one film. Even though The Muppets didn’t overwhelm, the animated Fox property still suffered, earning $11.7 million this weekend and dropping a large 46%. The $145 million animated feature now has a gross of $81 million, and while it will make it to $100 million, it will not meet its production budget stateside. With the huge $145 million budget, it needs to do big business overseas, and that is also going to be a stretch, as it currently sits with $85 million from international venues.

Fourth is 300: Rise of an Empire. The Warner Bros. sequel also got dumped this weekend, as after a weekend where it earned $19.2 million, this weekend it earns only $8.7 million, good for a drop of 55%. Like Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Rise of an Empire will make it to $100 million, but the cost here was $110 million, a number it might reach after everything is said and done. It has earned a somewhat disappointing $93.8 million stateside so far. The good news here is that overseas numbers are strong, with $195 million counted so far from overseas sales.


God’s Not Dead is fifth. The hadn’t-heard-of-it-before, faith-based release, starring Kevin Sorbo and Dean Cain (Kirk Cameron must be off coveting somewhere), earned $8.6 million from 780 screens, giving it an average of $10,979. It won’t need Noah’s flood next weekend to wipe it out of the top ten.

That puts Need for Speed down to sixth this weekend. After opening to $17.8 million last weekend, Need for Speed followed the expected trend this weekend, as college hoops or a fear of teen girls seem to have decimated the box office. Need for Speed could only find $7.8 million this frame, which means it lost 56% of its audience compared to last weekend. Thankfully for Disney, Need for Speed is sitting with $96 million earned from overseas venues, which will put the studio in a good position to pick up the $66 million production budget and marketing spend. Stateside, Need for Speed has earned $30.4 million.

Seventh goes to The Grand Budapest Hotel, which has been setting limited release records and is still out to only 304 venues. From that handful of screens, the Wes Anderson release scored, earning another $6.8 million. It earned $3.8 million last weekend from 66 screens, so it lifts its gross by 86% this weekend. It also had a sizzling venue average of $22,204 – the best in the top ten. Despite to being out to so few venues, The Grand Budapest Hotel has already earned $13 million stateside, and over $20 million from overseas theaters.

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