Weekend Wrap-Up

Soft Openers Cool Box Office Momentum

By John Hamann

July 26, 2015

That's a mild thumbs up for a victorious second weekend.

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New opener Southpaw did surprisingly decent business this weekend. Clearly, some audiences were in the mood for a punchy drama and wanted to get away from the escapist fare that surrounds the summer box office. Southpaw earned a decent $16.5 million and garnered that amount from a subdued venue count of only 2,772 venues. At $5,952, it had the third best venue average of the top ten, and considering reviews were quite mixed (58% fresh), this has to be considered a success. The Jake Gyllenhaal flick cost $30 million to make, and with an A Cinemascore, it should be able to leg out a win. Add some overseas grosses to that total and a possible Oscar nomination for Gyllenhaal, all should be well for Weinstein with this one.

Paper Towns, the new teen-lit feature from novelist John Green, finds itself debuting in sixth but is a success regardless. After a huge Thursday with a $2 million gross from previews, the wheels came off, and Paper Towns finished the weekend with $12.5 million. Although it was never expected to be a Fault in Our Stars-type opener ($48 million), it did have something in common with TFiOS other than just the writer – the low production cost. Paper Towns cost only $12 million to make, so will be a slam dunk for Fox into the win column.

Former behemoths Inside Out and Jurassic World continue to slide down the list, with big worldwide grosses (and huge profits for Disney and Universal) already in place. Inside Out earned $7.4 million, dropping only 36%. That brings the domestic gross for the Pixar film up to $320.3 million. It’s going to need another couple of weekends to beat Finding Nemo’s original gross of $329 million, but it will get there. Overseas, Inside Out has surpassed the $225 million mark, and will grow significantly from there.

Jurassic World just never stops. The Universal reboot earned another $6.9 million, dropping an okay 40%. Today it gets ahead of Marvel’s Avengers, which sat as the third biggest domestic release of all-time for a few years with a domestic take of $623.36 million. Now Avengers finds itself in fourth, as Jurassic World has earned $623.8 million domestically. It won’t get to Avatar, and has already surpassed Titanic’s original gross of $600 million, but a pesky re-release in 3D will keep it as the second biggest ever - with an asterisk.


Sir Ian McKellan’s Mr. Holmes expands to 686 venues and has some success in the process. After earning $2.4 million from 361 venues last weekend, Roadside Attractions doubled down on screens this weekend, and the earnings followed. Mr. Holmes earned $2.8 million this frame, up 17%. This small film now has a domestic take of $6.4 million to go with the $3.5 million earned in the UK thus far. No budget data has been released, but I would be surprised to see a budget larger than $20 million.

Tenth goes to Terminator: Genisys, which earned only $2.4 million and fell 56%. The $155 million film has been the poster child for non-success at the box office this summer, as the domestic earnings are not going to get to $100 million. Thankfully, overseas audiences have pushed the overseas total past $200 million, but it is still not going to be nearly enough, as that budget calls for a worldwide take of $465 million. Domestically, Terminator: Genisys has earned $85.7 million.

Overall, the box office finished just ahead of where it was this time last year. This weekend, the top 12 cooked up $140.1 million, thanks to five films earning more than $15 million. A year ago, the top 12 earned $136.9 million thanks to Lucy, as the Luc Besson film debuted to $44 million. This weekend couldn’t keep up with 2013, though, as Wolverine’s $53 million debut led the top 12 to $158 million.

Next weekend brings Vacation and Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, two films that could find decent sized success at the box office. The Vacation reboot opens on Wednesday and is a bit of an enigma. The concept feels great, but so far I haven’t loved the marketing, outside of a red band trailer released months ago. Rogue Nation may suffer from having Tom Cruise up front, which is starting to feel a little unfair. I’ve watched Live Die Repeat (Edge of Tomorrow) numerous times since its home video release, and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol was extremely solid. Add to that extremely good reviews for Rogue Nation so far, and this should be a knock out of the park, but due to Cruise, it will likely struggle to earn $50 million over three days.

Top Weekend Box Office for 7/24/15-7/26/15 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Ant-Man Disney $24,765,000 - 57% $106,075,000
2 Pixels Sony $24,000,000 New $24,000,000
3 Minions Universal $22,058,050 - 55% $261,578,460
4 Trainwreck Universal $17,281,950 - 43% $61,526,975
5 Southpaw Weinstein Co. $16,500,000 New $16,500,000
6 Paper Towns Fox $12,500,000 New $12,500,000
7 Inside Out Disney $7,356,000 - 36% $320,335,000
8 Jurassic World Universal $6,850,550 - 40% $623,753,325
9 Mr. Holmes Roadside Attractions $2,800,000 + 15% $6,400,000
10 Terminator: Genisys Paramount $2,400,000 - 56% $85,666,000
11 Magic Mike XXL WARNER BROS. $1,865,000 - 58% $63,132,000
12 Bajrangi Bhaijaan Eros $1,750,000 - 33% $5,750,000
  Also Opening/Notables
  Vatican Tapes Lionsgate $850,000 New $850,000
  Samba Broad Green Pictures $24,101 New $24,101
  Irrational Man Sony Classics $260,902 + 49% $519,243
  The Stanford Prison Experiment IFC Films $55,000 + 47% $110,000
  The Gallows WARNER BROS. $1,185,000 - 70% $21,360,000
  Self/less Focus Features $314,000 - 86% $11,862,379
  Amy A24 $700,000 - 37% $5,516,392
  Cartel Land The Orchard $85,416 - 31% $467,879
  Ted 2 Universal $918,720 - 65% $79,575,210
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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