Weekend Wrap-Up

Transcendence Bombs; Marvel Is For Real

By John Hamann

April 20, 2014

They just saw the box office numbers come across, I think.

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Johnny Depp's Transcendence manages only fourth place and is an unmitigated disaster in terms of its domestic box office. The film's final domestic take will equal the amount it actually needed for opening weekend - and may even turn out to be less. Distributed in North America by Warner Bros., but financed by Alcon Entertainment and China’s DMG Entertainment, who is also distributing there, Transcendence got off to a slow start on Friday, earning only $4.8 million. Transcendence was a distant fourth on opening day, as it finished $3 million below Heaven Is for Real on Friday alone. Transcendence finished the weekend with only $11.1 million, Depp’s worst debut since The Rum Diaries, and significantly lower than other expensive domestic Depp troublemakers like The Tourist, which opened to $16.5 million. The Tourist finished with $67.6 million domestically, but did manage $210 million in overseas earnings.

The same domestic/overseas split could happen for Transcendence. It opened day and date in China, and will need to find huge success there to turn a profit. The last Pirates of the Caribbean movie earned $70 million in China, and even The Lone Ranger managed to earn $13 million there, so the producers of Transcendence will have to hope for a bundle in overseas earnings. So far, it has earned $17.4 million from international markets, with $11.4 million from China alone.

No matter what, keeping Transcendence afloat will be a tough task. Word-of-mouth on the movie borders on hostile as demonstrated by its C+ Cinemascore. Remember that anything lower than a B+ Cinemascore represents the equivalent of torches and pitchforks.

Fifth goes to A Haunted House 2, the sequel to the fourth biggest earner ever for Open Road Films, albeit at only $40 million. The original opened to $18.1 million, but the sequel wasn’t as lucky. A Haunted House 2 opened to a lower $9.1 million, but that’s still much more than its $4 million production budget. From Marlon Wayans, this sequel was tough not to greenlight considering the $60 million worldwide the original earned against a $2.5 million budget. Look for this one to disappear VERY quickly, given its 7% fresh rating at RottenTomatoes.

Sixth is Kevin Costner’s Draft Day. The football drama earned another $5.9 million this weekend, and fell 40% compared to the opening weekend take of $9.8 million. Draft Day cost about $25 million to make, and has a gross so far of $19.6 million.


Seventh is Divergent, the first film of Lionsgate’s manufactured franchise. Divergent earned another $5.7 million and held well, dropping 22%. The total now for the $85 million film is $134 million and will finish with less than $150 million domestic.

Oculus, last weekend’s #3 film, drops all the way to eighth in its second weekend. After opening to $12 million last weekend, the Relativity release dived to just $5.2 million in weekend two. That’s a drop of 57%, but remember, this film cost only $5 million to make. So far, Oculus has picked up $21.2 million.

Ninth and 10th spots are a duel between religious films Noah and God’s Not Dead. Noah took in $5 million this weekend and declined 34%. God’s Not Dead earned $4.8 million, and dropped 13%. The $125 million Noah has now earned $93.3 million domestically for Paramount (and $197 million overseas), and the $2 million God’s Not Dead has a cumulative total of $48.3 million.

Bears, the new nature documentary from Disney, finished in 11th place. It opened to $4.8 million this weekend from 1,720 venues. As is usual for these Disney nature films, it had a good reviews (88% fresh) and a solid Cinemascore (A). The debut was in line with other Disney nature docs, like African Cats and Oceans, which both opened to $6 million.

Overall, the box office continues its nine-weekend winning streak of $100 million plus top 12s. The top 12 took in $125.7 million this weekend, whereas last year, Oblivion led the top 12 to $100.3 million. Next weekend should be quiet, as The Other Woman looks to be the biggest earner of the new films, with Paul Walker’s Brick Mansions also debuting, as well as the horror flick The Quiet Ones.

Top Weekend Box Office for 4/18/14-4/20/14 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Captain America: the Winter Soldier DISNEY $26,612,000 - 36% $201,526,000
2 Rio 2 Fox $22,500,000 - 43% $75,363,100
3 Heaven Is For Real SONY $21,500,000 New $28,500,000
4 Transcendence WARNER BROS. $11,150,000 New $11,150,000
5 A Haunted House 2 Open Road $9,100,000 New $9,100,000
6 Draft Day Lionsgate $5,900,000 - 40% $19,540,000
7 Divergent Lionsgate $5,750,000 - 22% $133,910,000
8 Oculus Relativity $5,202,000 - 57% $21,191,391
9 Noah PARAMOUNT $5,000,000 - 34% $93,274,000
10 God's Not Dead Freestyle $4,801,218 - 13% $48,326,531
11 Bears Disneynature $4,774,000 New $4,774,000
12 The Grand Budapest Hotel FOX SEARCHLIGHT $3,425,000 - 16% $44,967,500
  Also Opening/Notables
  2 States Utv $1,000,000 New $1,000,000
  Fading Gigolo Millennium $198,399 New $198,399
  Make Your Move High Top Releasing $81,000 New $81,000
  13 Sins Radius/twc $9,261 New $9,261
  Only Lovers Left Alive Sony Classics $134,588 + 53% $264,760
  The Railway Man Weinstein Co. $176,092 + 185% $264,242
  Under the Skin A24 $467,373 + 51% $1,086,241
  Dom Hemingway FOX SEARCHLIGHT $142,000 + 103% $296,800
  The Raid 2 Sony Classics $410,880 - 57% $2,266,469
  Muppets Most Wanted DISNEY $1,068,000 - 53% $48,318,000
  Jodorowsky's Dune Sony Classics $44,013 + 4% $311,961
  Mr. Peabody & Sherman DreamWorks $800,000 - 57% $107,182,800
  Non-Stop UNIVERSAL $376,200 - 50% $90,144,060
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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