Home Is Where The Box Office Is
By John Hamann
March 29, 2015
Home’s chance at legs might be an uphill climb. Reviews were not kind to the animated feature, but scores did improve as the weekend approached. As of the time of this writing, Home sits with a 48% fresh rating, well back of its Pixar predecessors. "Top critics" liked it even less, with a 37% rating. Reviews weren’t unkind, though. They were more of a warning that Home does not push the envelope in any way, and that this one is likely best left to the 10-year-olds. The Cinemascore was solid at an A, but that is the same Cinemascore recorded for Turbo and Rise of the Guardians, two DreamWorks releases that struggled.
The good news is that Home is already off to a strong start in a couple of foreign markets where it debuted last weekend. Home picked up $9 million when it opened in England last weekend, and has already pulled together $26 million in overseas revenue. Given what we’ve seen so far, Home does not have the smell of disaster that Turbo did when it opened to $21 million, but it will be interesting to see how it performs over the next few weekends.
Finishing second is Get Hard, the offensive, homophobic, racially-insensitive COMEDY with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart, two gentlemen known for their highbrow releases. After getting started with a super $1.8 million Thursday preview amount, the Warner Bros. release kept it going into Friday, as Get Hard earned a first day gross of $12.9 million, only a few million away from first place Home. That’s the best first Friday for Will Ferrell since his last buddy-comedy, The Other Guys, where he starred with Mark Wahlberg. The tempest in a teacup controversy started by a screening at SXSW, where Get Hard was called out for being homophobic and racist, despite having a plot that involves Will Ferrell hiring a black man to help him avoid getting gang raped in prison (what were people expecting, Shawshank?). Warner Bros. advertised this one incessantly, and the move paid off. The $40 million comedy earned $34.6 million from 3,175 venues, but one has to wonder where the advertising budget ended up.
For Will Ferrell, this debut is his best since The Other Guys, which opened to a similar $35.7 million in summer 2010. That was his second-best live action debut behind only Talladega Nights, which found $47 million in 2006. For Kevin Hart, Get Hard doesn’t quite match the $41.5 million earned by the debut of Ride Along, but does reach the heights of his second biggest lead role in Think Like A Man, which opened with $33.6 million.
Critics weren’t enamored with Get Hard (shocking), as it earned a 32% fresh rating, but you should have your head examined if you were expecting better. The more important Cinemascore came in a B, which likely indicates an even further importance of the opening, as legs are likely fleeting.
Third spot goes to Insurgent, last weekend’s $52.3 million winner. A year ago, after Divergent opened to $54.6 million, it fell 53% in weekend two to $25.6 million, and Lionsgate would have been looking for a similar result for the sequel. Insurgent found $22.1 million in weekend two, which means it dropped 58%, likely a point or two higher than the studio would have liked. However, as Lionsgate made perfectly clear last weekend when the sequel failed to match the opening of the original, they don’t really care about the domestic success of Insurgent. They are busy concentrating on getting people out in Istanbul. After its second weekend, Divergent had earned $94.4 million. Insurgent has now pulled in $86.4 million domestically and had $47 million in overseas sales prior to the weekend, but cost $110 million to make.