Weird and Wild MLK Box Office Weekend
By John Hamann
January 15, 2017
After seven wins at the Golden Globes last weekend, there was no question that La La Land was going to push upward this frame. The question was how much. Lionsgate added 333 venues to its run (now at 1,848 venues), and the result is a 43% uptick over last weekend, as the Ryan Gosling/Emma Stone flick earned $14.5 million. This is another small film ($30 million budget) that is punching above its weight class. It has earned $74.1 million at the domestic box office (and shows no sign of slowing), and has also picked up another $55 million (and growing) overseas.
Third place goes to Sing, as the animated film brought in another $13.8 million, off 33% compared to last weekend. The $75 million film is now in its fourth weekend, and it lost about 260 venues this frame. The domestic total has now reached $233 million, and is joined by an overseas result of $164 million. It should get by the $251 million domestic total earned by Despicable Me to become Illumination Entertainment’s fourth biggest domestic earner, behind The Secret Life of Pets ($368 million), Despicable Me 2 ($368 million) and Minions ($336 million).
That puts Rogue One: A Star Wars Story all the way down in fourth, as it lost almost 1,000 screens compared to last weekend, not surprising given all this new product. In its fifth weekend, Rogue One pulled in another $13.7 million and dropped 38% compared to last weekend. The domestic total has hit $498.9 million, as the Gareth Edwards film passed Finding Dory to become the seventh biggest film ever and the biggest earner for films released in 2016. It is likely that Rogue One does not get to the $534 million earned by The Dark Knight, but for a prequel with few iconic Star Wars characters, the domestic total is excellent. If there is a downside, it’s the $481 million earned overseas, as I am sure Disney was hoping for at least $500 million (which it may still hit). China opened Rogue One last weekend, and unfortunately for Disney, there are simply no more worlds to conquer.
Somehow, STX Entertainment got The Bye Bye Man to open decently. Audiences were obviously starved for some thrills, as there hasn’t been a horror release since early December, and that was Incarnate with Aaron Eckhart, which has yet to earn $5 million domestic. This one is more in the Freddy Krueger style of horror, but PG-13, as that is the way of the world today. The Bye Bye Man earned $13.4 million from 2,220 venues, more than a decent start for a film that cost $7.4 million to make. Reviews and Cinemascore were bad as expected, barely showing up with a 27% fresh rating and a C Cinemascore, but STX should be applauded for even getting this thing to open. If marketing costs were kept in check, and it earns a few million overseas, this will be a decent addition for the upstart STX, who will be releasing Luc Besson’s Valerian next summer.