Daily Box Office Analysis

By David Mumpower

June 24, 2015

Turn that frown upside down!

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The domestic box office continues to sizzle, with a pair of films earning more than $90 and $100 million respectively a week after one of them broke the opening weekend domestic AND global records. What’s surprising in all this is how competitive a Pixar film is with a dinosaur ultra-blockbuster.

On Tuesday, Jurassic World once again finished in place in North America, earning $13,130,460. This comes on the heels of arguably the greatest Monday and Tuesday daily performances ever last week. The latest Jurassic flick fell 46% week over week, which may sound like a lot but it’s not. For a movie of this scale, a week-to-week hold with less than 60% depreciation is great. Anything under 50% qualifies as amazing.

I could write multiple columns detailing all the many feats of Jurassic World thus far, but let’s focus on the most amazing ones. It’s now the fastest film to $300, $350 and $400 million, and it beat The Avengers to its most recent milestone by four days. In other words, every weekday for Jurassic World is free revenue when comparing it to the pace of the third biggest movie of all-time in North America.

After two weeks, The Avengers had grossed $402 million. It required 16 days to surpass $427.5 million, which is what Jurassic World has garnered in 12 days. If you’re not impressed by that, consider that the alpha of movie box office, Avatar, didn’t reach $427.5 million until its 24th day. So, Jurassic World’s pace is exactly twice as fast as Avatar thus far, and Avatar was holiday-inflated. While it’s still too early to start tracking Jurassic World’s chances to become the biggest domestic film ever, I’m still going to mention it occasionally because it’s fun. And if you’re wondering, the number two movie of all-time, Titanic, needed 73 days to cross $427.5 million. Box office is quite a bit different than it was in 1997.

Given the above, talking about another film would ordinarily seem irrelevant, but it’s not at all. Inside Out, the latest Pixar masterpiece, earned $13,038,808 yesterday, meaning it missed finishing in first place by less than a hundred thousand dollars. To put this in perspective, The Avengers was the number one film in North America for its first three weeks in theaters. Jurassic World’s run lasted only seven days before Inside Out emerged victorious last Friday. It almost won again yesterday, and it’s reasonable to expect the animated title to claim one of the next two days of box office. It has an advantage over Jurassic World now that kids are out of school, although both films unmistakably cater to the young crowd.


For its part, Inside Out has grossed $114 million in five days, which leaves it far short of Toy Story 3’s $141 million during the same timeframe. Relative to Pixar’s other three most recent releases, however, it’s a scalding pace. Monsters University was only at $105.3 million, while Brave was at $84.2 million. Bringing up the rear (in so many ways) is Cars 2, with $80.2 million. Currently, Inside Out is attempting to become the third Pixar film to earn $300+ million domestically, and while it’s too early to make that determination, the fact that it’s so far ahead of Monsters U. is a great sign. That film finished with $268.5 million, so being $10 million ahead at this juncture is enough to make me believe Inside Out will get there.

With two monolithic releases dominating the landscape, everything else in the top ten is trying to scratch out whatever meager scraps remain. A pair of unqualified winners, Spy! and San Andreas, earn third and fourth place with $1.7 and $1.2 million respectively. The Melissa McCarthy comedy has a running tally of $78 million after 19 days and should capitalize upon summer weekday revenue inflation to reach the $100 million milestone. San Andreas is at $134.9 million, which just goes to show that Hollywood can still win with a project before principal photography begins. The concept plus the star are the reason this one has sold so well.

The other top five title, Dope, is on an entirely different scale and should be judged as such. This slight comedy represents the latest Open Road Films acquisition to perform very well relative to its miniature purchase price. Its $851,310 brings its five-day take to $7,739,570. That may seem laughable compared to the other titles here, but this kind of frugal investment represents box office arbitrage for savvy film moguls.

Combined box office revenue for the top ten on Tuesday was $32.4 million. That sounds great until you remember that $26.1 million of it comes from two films. This is as feast or famine as I can ever recall, probably because we’ve never had a phenomenon like a $90 million release and a $200 million release competing in theaters at the same time before. Note that the entire top ten experienced box office growth from Monday, which is the expected behavior for weekdays. Films do well on Monday, peak on Tuesday, fall back a bit on Wednesday, suffer the worst day on Thursday, and then the weekend comes. By Monday, the cycle is ready to continue anew.



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