Dory Dominates Independence Day Sequel; Shallows Surprise
By John Hamann
June 26, 2016
Resurgence is another summer of a 2016 sequel mistake, as it joins Alice Through The Looking Glass ($170 million budget/$82 million estimated domestic gross or EDG), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows ($135 million budget/$85 million EDG), Now You See Me 2 ($90 million+ budget/$70 million EDG), and X-Men: Apocalypse ($178 million budget/$160 million EDG) as films that have had to rely heavily on overseas grosses so as to not be completely embarrassed at the domestic take. The globalized model works right now, but for how long?
Finishing third is Central Intelligence, last weekend's opener with Kevin Hart and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. After opening smartly last weekend with $35.5 million, this Warner Bros. thriller held well enough, dropping 48% in weekend two, taking in $18.4 million. That's a better hold than Ride Along 2, which fell 65% after opening to a very similar $35.5 million. It's also better than Get Hard, in which Hart was paired with Will Ferrell. That one dropped 61% after opening to $33.8 million. CI has the comedy field to itself until Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates on July 8th, and it could see some summer legs. So far it has $69.3 million stateside and $14 million overseas.
The surprise of the weekend is fourth as The Shallows takes a bigger bite out of the box office than expected, doubling its tracking estimate. The Blake Lively thriller opened with a bang on Friday, earning $6.85 million, which includes $1.3 million from previews. The Friday number was just short of what tracking was looking for on the weekend, so Sony has one of the very few surprise hits of the year so far. Its weekend total came in at $16.7 million. The Shallows found success the old fashioned way - constant, engaging marketing, and a star with a ton of charisma willing to make the rounds and create awareness. Reviews were the best of the openers at 76% fresh, and the audience showed up. The Cinemascore is strong for the genre at B+. The budget is tiny at $17 million, and Piranha 3D, Open Water, and Deep Blue Sea all did decently overseas. The Shallows could realistically earn ten times its budget worldwide.
Fifth is Matthew McConaughey's Free State of Jones, the historical action movie that needed to work with critics if it was going to work with audiences. When STX Entertainment scheduled it for summer, we pretty much knew right then and there it wasn't going to win any Oscars. With a troubling 40% fresh rating in tow, Free State of Jones could only manage $7.8 million at the box office this weekend, much too low for the level of risk here. STX has about $40 million in exposure after selling off the overseas rights, but even a Cinemascore of A- isn't going to save it.
Sixth is The Conjuring 2. The now three-weekend-old thriller earned another $7.7 million this weekend, off a respectable 48% compared to last weekend. It has a domestic total of $86.9 million so far, and should see $100 million before its domestic run completes. It's on fire overseas, where it has picked up $156 million.