Weekend Wrap-Up

Chappie Short Circuits, Unfinished Business Implodes

By John Hamann

March 8, 2015

He's really no Baymax.

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Fifth is The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, one of the films that has been propping up overall box office results in the first quarter. SpongeBob picked up another $7 million this weekend, dropping 35% in the process. Since opening to $55 million four weekends ago, the Nickelodeon character has been able to ring up $149 million at the domestic box office and another $100 million from overseas theaters. Paramount is reaping the benefits, as this one cost only $74 million to make.

Fifty Shades of Grey, another film propping up the overall box office, finishes sixth this weekend. As significant as the $85 million opening was, the weekend-to-weekend declines since then have been just as noteworthy. Fifty Shades lost 74% in the weekend following its debut and another 54% last weekend. This weekend, the Universal release earned $5.6 million and fell 47%. So far, the $40 million release has picked up $156.4 million stateside and over $370 million from overseas venues, which means it has surpassed the half-billion mark worldwide.

Seventh goes to McFarland, USA, as it holds nicely again this weekend. The Kevin Costner starrer earned another $5.3 million this weekend, dropping a reasonable 32% compared to last weekend, when it fell only 29%. Made for only $17 million, the Disney release has now picked up $29.4 million stateside, and could still see $50 million before its long distance run is over.

Eighth is The Lazarus Effect, last weekend’s new horror title. After opening to $10.2 million last weekend, the writing was on the wall for a big plunge this weekend. Thanks to some poor openers, the Olivia Wilde/Mark Duplass starrer actually holds better than expected, earning $5.1 million and falling 50%. The $3.3 million film has now earned $17.4 million.


Ninth is The Duff, the teen dramedy from CBS Films and Lionsgate. In its third frame, The Duff earned another $4.9 million, giving it a small drop compared to last weekend of 29%. Like McFarland, USA, The Duff has a small budget at $8.5 million, legs, and a decent total so far of $26.1 million.

Tenth is Unfinished Business, Vince Vaughn’s latest disaster, as this is his fifth consecutive miss. Unfinished Business earned only $4.8 million this weekend, the lowest opening for a Vince Vaughn film debuting on more than 1,000 screens. With only a 13% fresh rating and a B- Cinemascore, this is a disaster, as it carries a $35 million production budget. Following Delivery Man, The Internship, The Watch and The Dilemma, Vaughn is going to need something quick (True Detective) to revive a flagging career.

Finishing outside the top ten for the first time in seven weekends is American Sniper. The Bradley Cooper starrer earned another $4.5 million this weekend, falling 39%. The domestic total for Sniper has now reached $337.2 million, meaning that it has passed The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1’s $336.8 million to become the top grossing film released in 2014.

Overall, things are not great at the overall box office. After a strong start to 2015, things have lagged since Fifty Shades opened. Compared to last year, totals really take it on the chin this weekend. A year ago, 300: Rise of an Empire and Mr. Peabody and Sherman combined for $77 million, leading the top 12 to $131.2 million. This weekend, the top 12 was way off that amount, amassing only $79.4 million. Next weekend brings real hope, as the very well-reviewed Cinderella opens on more than 3,600 screens for Disney and is joined by Run All Night, another Liam Neeson action movie.

Top Weekend Box Office for 3/6/15-3/8/15 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Chappie Sony $13,300,000 New $13,300,000
2 Focus Paramount Classics $10,020,000 - 46% $34,573,000
3 The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel FOX SEARCHLIGHT $8,600,000 New $8,600,000
4 Kingsman: the Secret Service Fox $8,300,000 - 30% $98,027,000
5 The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water Paramount $7,000,000 - 35% $148,993,000
6 Fifty Shades of Grey Universal $5,603,000 - 47% $156,447,000
7 Mcfarland, Usa Disney $5,318,000 - 32% $29,426,000
8 The Lazarus Effect Relativity $5,100,000 - 50% $17,400,316
9 The Duff Lionsgate $4,850,000 - 29% $26,116,000
10 Unfinished Business Fox $4,800,000 New $4,800,000
11 American Sniper WARNER BROS. $4,510,000 - 39% $337,209,000
12 Still Alice Sony Classics $1,650,000 - 38% $14,723,000
  Also Opening/Notables
  Road Hard Filmbuff $112,909 New $112,909
  Merchants of Doubt Sony Classics $20,327 New $20,327
  An Honest Liar Abramorama $15,022 New $15,022
  A La Mala Lionsgate $850,000 - 39% $2,599,000
  Maps to the Stars $64,000 - 55% $264,128
  Deli Man Cohen Media $64,527 + 73% $120,159
  Wild Tales Sony Classics $144,960 + 32% $538,661
  Jupiter Ascending WARNER BROS. $1,155,000 - 46% $45,054,000
  What We Do In the Shadows Paladin/unison $329,140 + 25% $932,000
  Paddington Weinstein Co. $1,260,000 - 30% $72,059,000
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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