Last Weekend's Guardians Climax Makes Box Office Sleepy
By John Hamann
May 14, 2017
At the box office, five to seven days can make a world of difference. Last weekend, a film that cost $200 million to make succeeded massively; this weekend, two films that cost a combined $217 million (before big marketing costs) flailed, creating a massive flop crater in the second weekend of May, one that is usually very successful.
I believe that one opener looked good on paper, while one did not - but I will leave it to you to decide which was which. Our first, Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, skewed the myth, turning it into a $175 million action movie. This was more than Excalibur. It was a huge, $175 million blockbuster starring Charlie Hunnam, who is relatively unknown except to fans of Sons of Anarchy and Pacific Rim. Snatched is our other opener, a comedy that at least for me felt under marketed. Amy Schumer can be a bull in a china shop with the media, and she barely caused a blip on my movie radar despite the fact that she is about as good as it gets for me. Which movie looked better on paper for me? Anything with the lovely Amy Schumer will always win the day, but it was a couple of small films, Lowriders and The Wall, that appeared this weekend despite small budgets or low screen counts.
That means the monstrous Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 repeats at number one this weekend, which was pretty much a given with its $146.5 million opening weekend. With rotten reviews and poor marketing, the bigger openers didn't look like they were going to have much of a chance against Guardians 2, as the behemoth would need to lose more than 70% to get to $40 million, which is still high for a film like King Arthur, and out of reach for Snatched, considering Trainwreck opened to $30 million. Guardians 2 got started on Friday with $16.4 million, down a powerful 71% from its opening Friday. Did the Disney and Marvel suicide rate wildly increase after that second Friday? Hell no. The second Friday had to compete against that Thursday preview/Friday opening, which was huge - the Thursday showings were $17 million, and the combined amount was $56.2 million.
The original Guardians had a first Friday of $37.8 million on its way to a $94.3 million weekend. The second Friday came in at $12.3 million, down 68% from the debut. Should the same fate befall Guardians 2, the weekend total would come in at about $68 million. The estimate from the studio this morning is $63 million, which puts it just a little lower than the trajectory of the first film. Guardians just missed hitting $200 million in eight days, and it settled for crossing the mark early Saturday, matching the speed of films like Deadpool and Minions. Domestically, its total is just short of $250 million, with a running total of $246.2 million. Overseas, the total has risen to $384 million, for a global total of $630 million.