Weekend Box Office (February 26 - 28, 2016)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND With Hollywood focused on the Academy Awards, super hero giant Deadpool easily remained number one in its third weekend with an estimated $31.5M. Down a reasonable 44%, the Fox smash has upped its cume to a stunning $285.6M which is an incredible figure for a not-so-well-known comic book character. Deadpool now ranks as the third highest-grossing R-rated film of all time after The Passion of the Christ and American Sniper. International markets were red hot too with another $40.2M this weekend boosting the offshore total to $324.2M and the worldwide tally to $609.8M.

The historical epic Gods of Egypt became a big-budget flop on opening weekend debuting in second place with an estimated $14M which amounted to just one-tenth of the production cost of the effects-heavy action pic. The PG-13 vehicle released by Lionsgate was panned by film critics and had faced plenty of negativity since the debut of its trailer months ago for both an abundance of white actors playing Egyptians and a cheesy overall look.

With a reported budget of $140M (more than double that of Deadpool), Gods will need a wildly successful international run. 68 overseas markets opened this weekend to the tune of $24.2M with only one market able to get past $2M. Russia led the way with a $3.5M weekend and key territories like Korea, China, France, and Germany are still to come.

Panda power followed as the DreamWorks Animation threequel Kung Fu Panda 3 grossed an estimated $9M dropping 28% in its fifth round. Fox has amassed $128.5M so far in North America and $314.3M worldwide. It has already become the highest grossing animated film of all-time in China with $144.2M there. The biblical drama Risen enjoyed a good second weekend taking in an estimated $7M, down 41%, to boost the cume to $22.7M for Sony.

The weekend's two other new releases were met with soft results from audiences. Fox's inspirational pic Eddie the Eagle bowed to an estimated $6.3M from 2,042 sites for a mild $3,085 average. Reviews for the Hugh Jackman flick were positive and word of mouth has been strong (the CinemaScore is a glowing A) so its drops may not be too big in the weeks ahead.

Similar numbers were seen by the cop drama Triple 9 which debuted to an estimated $6.1M from 2,205 locations averaging a weak $2,768 per theater. Reviews were mixed for the R-rated Open Road release with a cast including Casey Affleck, Kate Winslet, Woody Harrelson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Anthony Mackie.

Collecting an estimated $5.2M was the comedy How To Be Single which fell 37% and has banked $39.6M to date for Warner Bros. A24's horror film The Witch fell just 43% to an estimated $5M in its sophomore session. With $16.6M to date, the low-cost period chiller could end up with $25-30M. The Jesse Owens film Race followed with an estimated $4.3M, down 42% in its second weekend, putting Focus at $13.9M.

Leading all films with 12 Academy Award nominations, The Revenant remained popular with moviegoers grossing an estimated $3.8M, off a scant 2% in its eighth weekend of wide release, boosting Fox's cume to a hefty $170.5M. Leonardo DiCaprio is all set to take home the Best Actor Oscar for what is the third highest grossing film of his career after Titanic and Inception. A win for Picture or Director (or both) would help keep the box office run going throughout March. Global tally is $404M and Oscar gold would take it near the $500M mark.

Below the top ten, Oscar contenders for Best Picture had one more weekend to squeeze out some cash from their big nominations. Audiences will lose interest quickly for those that do not win big.

PGA winner The Big Short grossed an estimated $1M this weekend, up 13%, giving Paramount $68.5M to date. Spotlight has cleaned up with critics groups and is still taking in cash with an estimated $788,000, up 51% with screens boosted by 71%. The Open Road pic is now at $39.2M.

Brooklyn dipped just 4% to an estimated $735,000 for $36.5M overall for Fox Searchlight which won the Best Picture trophies over the last two years with 12 Years A Slave and Birdman. Likely Best Actress winner Brie Larson's Room expanded and watched its weekend take climb 58% to an estimated $643,000. A24's cume is $13.5M which is more than double what it had when Oscar nominations were announced.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $92.1M which was up 3% from last year when Focus opened at number one with $18.7M; but down 12% from 2014 when Non-Stop debuted in the top spot with $28.9M.

Compared to projections, Gods of Egypt came in a little higher than my $12M prediction. Triple 9 and Eddie the Eagle opened a little below my forecasts of $9M and $8M.

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Watch the trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Be sure to check back on Monday for final figures and again on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Zootopia, London Has Fallen, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, and The Other Side of the Door all open.

# Title Feb 26 - 28 Feb 19 - 21 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Deadpool $ 31,115,195 $ 56,470,167 -44.9 3,856 3 $ 8,069 $ 285,254,204 Fox
2 Gods of Egypt 14,123,903 3,117 1 4,531 14,123,903 Lionsgate
3 Kung Fu Panda 3 8,898,439 12,516,601 -28.9 3,296 5 2,700 128,353,798 Fox
4 Risen 6,815,021 11,801,271 -42.3 2,915 2 2,338 22,518,768 Sony
5 Triple 9 6,109,085 2,205 1 2,771 6,109,085 Open Road
6 Eddie the Eagle 6,084,682 2,042 1 2,980 6,084,682 Fox
7 The Witch 5,066,908 8,800,230 -42.4 2,204 2 2,299 16,675,437 A24
8 How To Be Single 5,008,362 8,202,430 -38.9 3,047 3 1,644 39,479,228 Warner Bros.
9 Race 4,103,290 7,353,922 -44.2 2,387 2 1,719 13,692,912 Focus
10 The Revenant 3,953,291 3,866,741 2.2 1,645 10 2,403 170,659,760 Fox
11 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2,986,439 3,907,295 -23.6 1,433 11 2,084 925,988,323 Disney
12 Zoolander 2 2,232,829 5,455,344 -59.1 1,974 3 1,131 27,343,298 Paramount
13 Ride Along 2 1,506,610 2,229,825 -32.4 941 7 1,601 88,493,095 Universal
14 Hail, Caesar! 1,208,080 2,745,705 -56.0 959 4 1,260 28,380,890 Universal
15 The Lady in the Van 1,179,937 1,504,739 -21.6 602 7 1,960 5,823,009 Sony Classics
16 The Big Short 1,009,722 887,975 13.7 543 12 1,860 68,520,574 Paramount
17 The Boy 891,992 1,436,592 -37.9 672 6 1,327 34,544,271 STX
18 The 5th Wave 852,155 1,312,378 -35.1 588 6 1,449 33,096,957 Sony
19 The Choice 829,725 1,802,224 -54.0 1,060 4 783 18,018,692 Lionsgate
20 Brooklyn 750,834 766,626 -2.1 477 17 1,574 36,525,461 Fox Searchlight
Top 5 $ 67,061,643 $ 97,790,699 -31.4
Top 10 91,278,176 121,119,706 -24.6
Top 20 104,726,499 133,958,120 -21.8
Top 10 vs. 2015 104,726,499 101,425,611 3.3

Last Updated: February 28, 2016 at 2:20PM ET

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