Storks, Seven - Not So Magnificent
By John Hamann
September 25, 2016
In this day and age, it is hard to get moviegoers excited about a western. Oaters these days need to be pretty spectacular to work, with films like Dances With Wolves, True Grit and Unforgiven jumping to mind. Even Tarantino had a small miss with The Hateful Eight, a film that also had some strong casting going for it and an electric release date over Oscar season, yet it still only made $54 million at the domestic box office. Luckily for The Weinstein Company, The Hateful Eight was big overseas, earning $101 million, thus saving the $44 million film. Sony and The Magnificent Seven will need the same kind of help overseas, or this expensive, $90 million production will be in trouble as well.
Finishing second is Storks, which has an even more disappointing result than The Magnificent Seven, as both films suffer from middling reviews. Treasured remakes of classics cannot have a 63% fresh rating and succeed, and these days, animated films with the same score can't either. Storks, despite its seemingly gorgeous animation, also scored a 63% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and that was the beginning of the end for this one. The opening day for Storks laid an egg - coming in at only $5.7 million, lower than anyone expected, with most looking for at least $30 million. The opening day was less than Penguins of Madagascar, another recent disappointment that debuted to $6.1 million (on a Wednesday), and lower than the $8 million that Mr. Peabody and Sherman opened to in March 2014, which was another expensive disappointment as the domestic gross ($115 million) failed to outdo the budget ($145 million).
Over the weekend, Storks could only manage $21.8 million. The studio put this out to 3,922 venues thinking they had something - Andy Samberg, Jennifer Aniston and Danny Trejo form part of the voice cast so there was some star power with this one as well. Reviews hurt, but the A- Cinemascore will hurt more. This is the same Cinemascore as something like Hotel Transylvania 2, as well as being the same or poorer than all of the Ice Age films except the most recent one.
This is a second tier animation performance, putting Storks at a lower level than anything that Pixar has put out, and lower than anything that Illumination Entertainment has released. With a $70 million production cost, Warner Bros. will have to hope that Storks can get to $90 million stateside, before relying on overseas to bring in the additional $120 million this one will need. It got a China release this weekend, so that should go a long way to making up the less-than-stellar result stateside.
Sully holds very nicely, as the appeal for the Tom Hanks film keeps it going strong this weekend. On Friday, Sully was only off 36% compared to the previous Friday, as it enjoyed a $4.2 million third Friday. Over the weekend, the Clint Eastwood film earned a very nice $13.8 million, giving it a drop of only 36%. Bridge of Spies, Hanks' most recent hit, opened lower at $15.4 million, but then had 26% drops in two consecutive weekends, with its third frame only at $8.4 million. Sully is behaving more like Captain Phillips, which opened to $25.7 million (lower), and then dropped 36% and 29% in its second and third weekends (better). Captain Phillips though had $70 million after three weekends of release, whereas Sully is at $92.4 million after three frames and should be busting through the $100 million mark next weekend (it took Captain Phillips seven weekends to do the same). Overseas totals have hit $25 million, with many more international markets still to come, including the UK in December.