No Surprises Again at the Box Office; Hart, Affleck Mediocre
By John Hamann
October 16, 2016
Finishing second is Kevin Hart: What Now?, a cheap-to-produce concert film that will rake in the cash for Hart and Universal. Kevin Hart has experience with a film like this, as Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain earned $32 million theatrically against a production budget of $2.5 million. Concert films must make sense financially, as Netflix is paying Chris Rock $40 million for two specials. What Now? proves these concert films work, as it had an opening day of $4.8 million, and was sure to be heading for similar opening from of Let Me Explain, which debuted to $10 million over three days, and $17 million over five days (it opened on a Wednesday).
Kevin Hart: What Now? finished the weekend with $12 million, a solid debut for a concert film, and opens ahead of its predecessor. The difference between What Now? and Let Me Explain is breadth of release. Let Me Explain was such a hit because it debuted on only 876 screens, whereas What Now went much wider, debuting at 2,567 venues. The budget was also much higher at $10 million, which means Universal will have to wait longer to collect their profits. With Universal distributing, this might get more play overseas than the earlier film did. Kevin Hart: What Now? is just another film serving as filler between Suicide Squad and Doctor Strange.
The Girl on the Train is third this weekend after opening in top spot last weekend with $24.5 million. In its second frame, the Emily Blunt starrer earned $12 million, and fell the requisite 51% in its second weekend, almost like clockwork. This $45 million film has earned a solid $46.6 million stateside, but the better news is that its being embraced overseas as well, with a take of $17 million earned prior to the start of the weekend.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is fourth this weekend, and after a 47% drop in weekend two to $15.1 million, the hold improves a bit this weekend. Miss Peregrine’s kids earned another $8.9 million this weekend and fell 41%. The Fox release is doing okay with a domestic take of $65.8 million to date, and another $100 million overseas, but with the massive $110 million budget, it still has miles to go before entering the win column for the studio.
Fifth is Deepwater Horizon, which also carries a $110 million budget, and this one is sinking fast. After earning $11.5 million last weekend, the Mark Wahlberg starrer loses another 45% and pulls in only $6.4 million. Deepwater Horizon has earned $49.3 million stateside, and despite being out to dozens of markets overseas, had not hit the $30 million mark prior to the weekend. This is going to be just another expensive Lionsgate disaster, where they save themselves by unloading overseas rights to unsuspecting companies. How long can that strategy really last?
Storks is sixth, as the animated film is another film struggling versus its budget. This weekend, its fourth, Storks earned $5.6 million and declined 33% versus its $8.3 million take last weekend. Storks has now earned $59.1 million domestically and $71 million overseas. Storks cost Warner Bros. $70 million to make, so it still has a ways to go to see profitability.