Weekend Wrap-Up

Angry Birds Slingshot to the Top

By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis

May 22, 2016

She doesn't look so angry.

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Although the weekend debut of $21.8 million will be viewed as a disappointment relative to the $49 million start Neighbors had in 2014, it's important to put things in perspective. First, the original Neighbors came out of nowhere and blindsided prognosticators with the strength of its opening. Second, Neighbors 2: Sorority Uprising was put together on a tiny budget of $35 million, meaning that it won't take much work for Universal to reap a profit from this picture.

With regard to long-term prospects, Neighbors 2 is going to struggle to maintain the type of hold that the first film did for a few reasons. Primary among these is the lower critical review scores on Rotten Tomatoes, as Sorority Uprising's 61% is just on this side of positive, compared to the stronger 73% for Neighbors. Both films received B Cinemascores, which isn't usually the best sign for a comedy (although Neighbors was obviously able to overcome). The toughest hurdle for Neighbors 2, though, will be the perception of failure that will be perpetuated by the media. The fact that it came in so far behind the original film will be the story rather than the fact that the studio will be able to come out ahead with an easy profit on a relatively low investment.

Although the position may change when actual numbers are released tomorrow, final new release The Nice Guys is currently holding onto the number four position. The wildly positively reviewed film from Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling and director Shane Black earned $11.3 million, right around where tracking predicted it would land. The Warner Bros. project had a $50 million budget, which means this one may have to wait for home video release for profitability, especially considering the aggressive marketing push. The film has an amazing 90% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, which will undoubtedly help long-term prospects, but the B- Cinemascore is perplexing given the critical love.

The fifth and sixth place entrants this week are a blockbuster and a quietly strong performer people will remember as a dud. As referenced above, The Jungle Book is a staggering box office triumph. Costing only $175 million to produce, this retelling of Rudyard Kipling classic garnered another $11 million this weekend, bringing its domestic total to $327.5 million. Its global tally of $857.7 million actually surpasses both of Favreau’s Iron Man movies, which is going to be a great trivia question down the line. Money Monster is a much different situation. Featuring three of the most recognizable names in the industry – George Clooney and Julia Roberts as stars and Jodie Foster as director – this modestly budgeted $27 million film grossed $7 million in its second weekend. That drop of 53% is fairly hefty for a film of this scale, but it has still earned $27 million in 10 days. It’s going to be profitable for Sony, but virtually nobody will remember it that way.


The situation is similar with the films finishing in seventh and eighth place this weekend. The Darkness is a low-budget indie film starring Kevin “Didn’t You Star in Footloose?” Bacon, whose salary ask used to be twice this film’s $4 million cost. After debuting in fourth place last weekend, it slides to seventh with another $2.4 million. That brings its running total to $8.5 million, which is enough to put the project in the black, even if it’s a future punchline. Conversely, the dictionary doesn’t have any superlatives to describe Zootopia, which hung around with another $1.7 million this weekend. That brings its domestic total to a dazzling $334.4 million, and it’s going to pass a billion globally over the next few days. With massively less hype, Zootopia is going to approach Frozen’s $1.28 billion total.

The other two films in the top ten this week are both losers that never deserved a greenlight. The Huntsman: Winter’s War cost $115 million to produce. Its weekend take of $1.2 million ups its total domestic performance to $46.7 million. While its global tally of $158 million may cause you to believe this film is profitable, it wasn’t. Not even a little bit. Mother’s Day is a bit more interesting in that its $25 million budget is modest enough that it could wind up in the black. Another $1.1 million this weekend takes it up to $31.3 million domestically with another $10 million internationally. It’s not profitable yet, but it has a chance. In terms of opportunity cost, however, it’s a huge and a miss from what a good movie would have earned with the same cast.

Combined box office for the top 12 this weekend was $131.2 million, down 11% from 2015’s $147.5 million. The number one worldwide release this weekend is the big story at the moment. It opens domestically next Friday, and it’ll be the story of the weekend. The film in question is X-Men: Apocalypse, and it gained $103.3 million overseas prior to its domestic debut. It squares off against another international heavyweight in a fascinating match-up.

Alice in Wonderland is the film that identified the potential potency of both the 3D and international markets. At one point, that title was in the top 10 all-time in terms of global box office with more than a billion dollars earned, which is more than any X-Men movie has ever managed. Oddly, virtually no demand for a sequel existed, which makes the release of Alice Through the Looking Glass a bit of a question mark, at least domestically. It should still perform extremely well overseas. Combined with the Memorial Day holiday’s standard box office inflation, next weekend should be explosive.

Top Weekend Box Office for 5/20/16-5/22/16 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 The Angry Birds Movie Sony $39,000,000 New $39,000,000
2 Captain America: Civil War Disney $33,114,000 - 54% $347,390,000
3 Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Universal $21,790,000 New $21,790,000
4 The Nice Guys WARNER BROS. $11,270,000 New $11,270,000
5 The Jungle Book Disney $11,017,000 - 36% $327,497,000
6 Money Monster Sony $7,000,000 - 53% $27,000,000
7 The Darkness Dimension Films $2,363,000 - 52% $8,460,482
8 Zootopia Disney $1,703,000 - 40% $334,403,000
9 The Huntsman: Winter's War Universal $1,190,000 - 55% $46,668,690
10 Mother's Day Open Road Films $1,115,214 - 66% $31,288,936
11 Barbershop: the Next Cut WARNER BROS. $845,000 - 49% $52,714,000
12 The Meddler Sony Classics $777,539 + 108% $2,043,460
  Also Opening/Notables
  Weiner IFC Films $80,000 New $80,000
  Maggie's Plan Sony Classics $66,708 New $66,708
  Ma Ma Oscilloscope $9,466 New $9,466
  The Lobster A24 $408,000 + 114% $1,038,222
  Love & Friendship Roadside Attractions $575,000 + 331% $775,000
  Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero Oky Doky Productions $36,926 - 39% $115,176
  A Bigger Splash FOX SEARCHLIGHT $338,000 + 78% $787,800
  Keanu WARNER BROS. $525,000 - 73% $20,008,000
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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