Weekend Wrap-Up

No Breakouts, No Problem, Over MLK Weekend

By John Hamann

January 17, 2016

Ah! Our box office declined!

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The good news for Ride Along 2 comes from its Cinemascore. After the original earned a strong A score, I thought the sequel would dip like the box office has. However, the Cinemascore for the sequel came in at a B+, still a decent score that may push this one forward. By end of day Monday, the box office should be at almost $40 million (the original earned $48.6 million over four days), so given the Cinemascore, $100 million domestic should be in play for the sequel. If Ride Along 2 can earn a little more overseas than the original did (which it should), it should start the year solidly for Universal. The studio’s next release, Hail Caesar on February 4th, looks like a lot of fun, and the making of another hit for the studio of the year in 2015.

The Revenant gets ahead of The Force Awakens this weekend, as a couple of Golden Globe wins and a bucketload of Oscar nominations drove viewers to the Leonardo DiCaprio flick. The Revenant got started on Friday by earning $9.3 million, off only 35% compared to the previous Friday, or only 23% compared to last weekend’s "true" Friday, with Thursday preview amounts stripped out. Over the remainder of the weekend, the 20th Century Fox release pulled in an awesome $29.5 million, off an excellent 26% compared to last weekend’s take of $39.8 million.

This weekend’s result is very good news for Fox and for Arnon Milchan, who put up the additional funds to get The Revenant completed. Those costs pushed the budget from $90 million to $135 million, which means this film about a man struggling to survive in the wilderness would need to earn an additional $120 million worldwide in order to see a profit. Given the trending of the first two wide weekends and the award recognition it is seeing, we have further confirmation that Milchan is a visionary. I see The Revenant earning at least $150 million domestic, and wouldn’t be surprised if it approached $200 million. It will need another $200 million overseas, but given that Wolf of Wall Street, The Great Gatsby and Django Unchained all easily achieved that amount from international venues, The Revenant should have no problem. So far, domestically, The Revenant has earned $87.7 million and has picked up $25 million overseas.


Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in third place after four weekends at number one and $826 million in box office receipts. This weekend, the biggest domestic earner of all time added another $25.1 million and fell 41% compared to last weekend. The total rises to an awesome $851 million domestically. One billion is now out of reach, but it should make it to $900 million. Overseas, the total has hit $1.01 billion, for a worldwide gross of $1.87 billion.

13 Hours: The Secret Story of Benghazi is fourth this weekend, but despite the ranking, still does a good bit of business. The Michael Bay film started on Friday with $6 million – not enough to push it past Star Wars, but decent considering the top four consists of films targeted to the male demographic – and they all combined for more than $100 million. Instead of taking 13 Hours in a political direction, this is simply a war/action film and people responded. 13 Hours earned $16 million over three days from a muted 2,389 venues for Paramount. Bay must have found some serious restraint on 13 Hours, as it cost the studio only $50 million to make, or $160 million less than Transformers 3. How this plays overseas is a good question, but the domestic start is a good one.

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