Weekend Wrap-Up

Movies Sacked (and Sucked) as Super Bowl Dominates Weekend

By John Hamann

February 7, 2016

Oh, it's Super Bowl weekend! Even I don't want to watch movies!

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Normally, a domestic performance like this would spell serious trouble not only for the film itself, but also for the franchise; however, this is Kung Fu Panda. Made for an international audience, Panda 3 made more in China over three days ($57.8 million) than it did in the US over seven days ($53.3 million). This is good news for Fox and DreamWorks, as if they have an $120 million market in US, and a $165 million plus market in China, other markets around the world only need to bring in $150 million, which will be accomplished easily in this case. This weekend, Kung Fu Panda 3 earned another $53 million overseas, as it marches toward sure profitability and potentially more films in the franchise. Its international total is currently $129, giving it a worldwide gross of $198 million so far.

Our first opener is second in the form of Hail, Caesar!, and if you know box office and the Coen Brothers, you know this is likely not a good result for overall box office. The Coen Brothers are not known for lighting up the box office. Yes, they have had hits like True Grit, which opened to $24.8 million and legged out a gross beyond $170 million, but normally, their films open low and show legs when they are good. Hail, Caesar! is not one of the brightest lights in Coen repertoire, and the result shows in the box office. Hail, Caesar! earned $11.4 million from a muted venue count of 2,232 screens, and earned an average of $5,125.

This result puts the Hollywood throwback in the middle tier of Coen Brothers releases, back with Intolerable Cruelty ($12.5 million opening) and The Ladykillers ($12.6 million opening). Reviews were decent at 79% fresh, but lower than the Coen Brothers norm. The real problem for Hail, Caesar! is a really bad Cinemascore. Somehow, the score came in at a C-, a score usually held for Jason Blum horror movies, or sword and sorcery films from Uwe Boll. It means that somehow audiences thought Fifty Shades of Black was better than Hail, Caesar! However, The Ladykillers earned a C, and Intolerable Cruelty earned a C+. Caesar is being distributed by Universal and cost $22 million to make. Given the cast, this is going to do fine overseas, and I would be surprised if it didn’t finish as a profitable entry for the filmmakers and studio.


The Revenant is third this weekend, as the Oscar chaser continues its run with $7.1 million, a decline of 44%. The Revenant passed The Great Gatsby this weekend to become Leonardo DiCaprio’s fifth biggest film, and should catch Django Unchained and Catch Me If You Can before it finishes its domestic run. The overseas total continues to grow as well, as the worldwide take has surpassed $300 million. The Revenant needs a worldwide gross of at least $400 million to find theatrical profitability.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens remains a top five film as it enjoys its eighth weekend in release. The behemoth drops another 300 screens after shedding 800 last weekend but still holds decently in this frame. The Force Awakens added another $6.9 million, dropping a not bad 38%. The big wins for the JJ Abrams film include hitting $900 million at the domestic box office and $2 billion at the worldwide box office. It’s not going to reach the $2.2 billion earned by Titanic, but with a domestic gross at $906 million, who really cares?

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