Panda 3 Tops Box Office; Finest Hours Not Seaworthy
By John Hamann
January 31, 2016
Fourth goes to our second opener, The Finest Hours, the old-fashioned rescue at sea story with Chris Pine and Casey Affleck. After seeing In the Heart of the Sea struggle so badly, Disney had to be concerned about how Hours would play out, and the two are remarkably similar. The Finest Hours opened to $10.3 million for Disney, whereas In the Heart of the Sea opened to $11.1 million about a month and a half ago.
If there is good news for Disney, it's that The Finest Hours cost $80 million to make, about $20 million less than the earlier Ron Howard feature. Still, it's going to be a long climb, so this will likely be a battle of write downs rather than box office supremacy. The good news is that Finest Hours did do better in the review department (59% fresh for Hours versus 43% fresh for Sea) and earned a better Cinemascore (A- versus B+), but at this point, nothing is really going to help. Overseas venues would need to generate at least $200 million, and with an expected $30 million finish in North America, that is just not going to happen.
Ride Along 2 manages to stay ahead of last weekend's pack, but not by much. After a nasty 65% drop last weekend, the sequel needed to recover this weekend, and it did somewhat. In its third frame, Ride Along 2 picked up another $8.3 million, and fell an improved 33%. After three weekends, the original Ride Along had picked up $92.7 million, whereas the sequel has found only $70.8 million over the same amount of time. Ride Along 2 cost $40 million to make, so it will need a worldwide gross of $120 million for a theatrical profit.
The Boy tucks in to sixth spot, and actually has an amazing hold for horror, but not because it's a good movie that everyone wants to see. Some couldn't get it to it last weekend, so in some markets, it's just like being new. As a result, it earned $7.9 million this weekend, falling 27% from the previous frame. Normally, a film like this would drop 55-60% in its second frame, but this one bucked the trend thanks to the weather. All of a sudden, this $10 million release from STX has a chance at being profitable, as it has a gross-to-date of $21.5 million.
A similar story is in place for Dirty Grandpa, as this should have been wiped off the face of the Earth but instead held up better than it had any right to. In its second frame, this truly awful film earned another $7.6 million, down 32%. Budget data for Grandpa hasn't been released, but a solid guess puts it between $30 and $40 million, likely to the lower end as it was filmed in Georgia and likely qualified for breaks on production costs. It will be lucky to match a $30 million budget figure, as it has $22.8 million so far, and is going to disappear quickly.