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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New release The Choice is fifth, and marks a new low point for a Nicolas Sparks release. For the first time, a Nicolas Sparks entry failed to crack double digits, as his latest release earned only $6.1 million from 2,631 venues. This Sparks release is different, but the same – same in the fact that it earned a 6% fresh rating (0% from top critics) and got the same humorous comments from critics, like “the only Choice is to make sure the barf bag is nearby” or “endless love with the emphasis on endless.”

The difference this time around is that Sparks himself put the funds together to get this one made. The Choice is a co-production between The Safran Company and Nicolas Sparks Productions. It cost $10 million to produce and could make money given that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. These films generally do well internationally, too. Distributed by Lionsgate, The Choice earned a B+, just shy of the A that The Longest Ride earned. That one cost $35 million to make, and finished with a losing $63 million worldwide. A similar trend should happen here, albeit with a much lower budget.

Our final new release is sixth in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The genre mashup failed, as mixing old English romance with zombie action didn't attract the fanboys or the date crowd. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies earned only $5.2 million this weekend from 2,931 venues for Screen Gems. Reviews were better than they could have been at 41% fresh, but the Cinemascore sagged at a B-. Made for $28 million, this experiment shouldn’t end up being too costly for Sony and Screen Gems, and zombie fanboys can just go back to The Walking Dead.

The Finest Hours looks like a lone raft on the ocean right now, as it drops from $10.3 million to a sad sack $4.7 million. The Disney release cost $80 million to make, and will be lucky to get to $30 million domestic. The worse news is that it was able to pull only $1.8 million from about a dozen overseas sites last weekend, so there is no rescue boat coming to save it.


Ride Along 2 continues its bumpy ride at the box office. The Universal release earned another $4.5 million and drops 46% in the process. The $40 million film has now picked up $77.2 million domestically, so it still needs to push to get to profitability.

Co-openers Dirty Grandpa and The Boy are ninth and tenth this weekend, and really, they're only still around because options are limited. The Boy has found the greater success of the two. It earned $4.1 million, off 46%, and brings its total up to $26.9 million. It cost STX only $10 million to make, so it has a better chance of a profitable outcome. Dirty Grandpa earned another $4 million and fell 47%. The Lionsgate release has now picked up $29.4 million against a production cost estimated at $30 million.

Overall, the box office is down but is going to come back strong next weekend. The top 12 films could only muster $81.6 million, well back of last year when SpongeBob led the top 12 to $136.8 million. Next weekend could bring some power, given the President’s Day weekend and Valentine’s Day falling on a Sunday. Openers include the long-awaited Deadpool, which could reignite Ryan Reynolds career, Zoolander 2, which will be a fascinating box office story given the 15 year separation between little-seen original and much-hyped sequel, and an original film in How To Be Single, with Alison Brie, Rebel Wilson, Dakota Johnson and Leslie Mann. Looks like something for everyone to me.

Top Weekend Box Office for 2/5/16-2/7/16 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Kung Fu Panda 3 Fox $21,000,000 - 49% $69,051,000
2 Hail, Caesar! Universal $11,400,000 New $11,400,000
3 The Revenant Fox $7,100,000 - 44% $149,703,000
4 Star Wars: the Force Awakens Disney $6,890,000 - 38% $905,961,000
5 The Choice Lionsgate $6,085,000 New $6,085,000
6 Pride And Prejudice And Zombies Sony $5,200,000 New $5,200,000
7 The Finest Hours Disney $4,715,000 - 54% $18,381,000
8 Ride Along 2 Universal $4,100,000 - 51% $76,786,830
9 The Boy Stx Entertainment $4,098,000 - 46% $26,895,684
10 Dirty Grandpa Lionsgate $4,050,000 - 47% $29,389,753
11 The 5th Wave Sony $3,800,000 - 47% $25,750,000
12 13 Hours: the Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Paramount $2,850,000 - 55% $47,743,000
  Also Opening/Notables
  Regression Weinstein Co. $31,000 New $31,000
  Fifty Shades of Black Open Road Films $2,185,105 - 63% $9,475,725
  Jane Got a Gun Weinstein Co. $127,000 - 85% $1,386,761
  2016 Oscar Nominated Short Films Shorts Hd $350,000 - 37% $1,150,000
  Aferim! Big World Pictures $6,856 - 65% $60,766
  The Lady In the Van Sony Classics $392,585 + 31% $1,256,804
  Anomalisa Paramount $160,000 - 55% $2,236,000
  Daddy's Home Paramount $1,500,000 - 51% $145,260,000
  Son of Saul Sony Classics $100,393 - 39% $884,534
  The Big Short Paramount $1,780,000 - 42% $63,730,000
  Brooklyn FOX SEARCHLIGHT $1,125,000 - 36% $32,325,000
  Spotlight Open Road Films $844,274 - 30% $36,113,108
  Room A24 $782,440 - 37% $11,252,823
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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