Split Turns Into A Breakout Hit, Weinstein’s Gold flops
By John Hamann
January 29, 2017
Given all the negative media attention for A Dog’s Purpose, I thought this one had the potential to finish further down the chart behind La La Land and Hidden Figures, but moviegoers were either not impacted by the almost drowning of an animal or didn’t care. On Friday night, A Dog’s Purpose finished well back of Split, earning $5.3 million, but considering the controversy, Universal will be whistling dixie when they look at the opening day number. I have to assume that the controversy probably caused some dog lovers to drop out, but on the other hand, the awareness created by the leaked video may have also helped to promote the film to some who may not have been interested.
The result leaves Universal with the top two films of the weekend, something I expect the studio was anticipating regardless, but likely with Split finishing second and A Dog’s Purpose on top. That was not to be. A Don’s Purpose earned $18.4 million from a very wide 3,059 venues, and while it finishes in the lower area of the range Universal was looking for, it still finishes within that original range. This film could have easily slipped away into nothingness, leaving the movie to fend for itself overseas. A Dog's Purpose cost a relatively small $22 million to make, and with this opening, Universal dodges what could have been a small bomb.
Hidden Figures, the current hot historical film about black women working at NASA, ended up in third place. Hidden Figures earned only three Oscar nominations, but it has been on a roll over its first two wide release weekends at the box office. This weekend, Hidden Figures took in another $14 million, dropping 11% compared to last weekend. The Friday score of $3.8% was down only 14% from the previous weekend, and set the table for the rest of the frame. The total now for Figures has rolled up to a massive $104 million, and the $25 million film is just getting started overseas.
The supposed Final Chapter of the Resident Evil series launched this weekend, and set a new low for a domestic launch for this franchise. At its Thursday preview, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter picked up only $1 million. That was a little more than the last film in the series, Retribution, but we are talking pocket change in the movie business. After that, The Final Chapter fell apart, earning a combined $5.1 million on Friday night, significantly down from Retribution’s $8.4 million, as people know to wait until Netflix for this type of thing, which is probably pretty enjoyable at home on a Sunday afternoon.
Over the weekend, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter drew $13.9 million for Screen Gems, leaving it behind the former lowest opener, as the original earned $17.7 million when the series debuted in 2002. Its B Cinemascore ties it for top spot amongst all the RE films, as it matched the score of the first two films in the series. The Final Chapter cost $40 million to make, and even the usually very creative Screen Gems laid an egg with this one. The good news is that overseas, The Final Chapter has already $65 million. The last film, Retribution, earned almost $200 million total overseas, so as odd as it may seem, there may be more to this series should it do well overseas again.