Weekend Box Office (April 8 - 10, 2016)
THIS WEEKEND North American audiences were split between a new comedy and a holdover super hero smackdown as Melissa McCarthy's The Boss opened just $200,000 ahead of the third round of Batman v Superman. The funnylady's popular R-rated humor in Boss attracted the expected audience with $23.6M for the weekend from 3,480 locations for a good $6,778 average, according to final studio figures.
Hammered by critics, The Boss still broke $20M which does not always happen with critically-panned R-rated comedies. It was a weaker opening than what the actress has seen with past comedies Identity Thief ($34.6M) and The Heat ($39.1M) which both had co-stars to promote. Boss was marketed as a solo vehicle for McCarthy. Audiences were not too pleased as evidenced by the lousy C+ CinemaScore grade signaling a rocky road ahead.
Just missing another turn in the number one spot was Batman v Superman which grossed $23.4M in its third weekend for an understandable drop of 55%. Warner Bros. has banked $296.6M to date and is on course to finish with about $340M from North America. Second and third weekend drops have been higher on BvS than last year's Easter opener Furious 7 which suffered declines of 60% and 51%.
Overseas markets saw a bigger slowdown as the weekend take was $34.4M dropping a hefty 60%. Competition got heavier as Disney's The Jungle Book and Universal's The Huntsman: Winter's War opened in various territories collecting nearly $50M in business. The international cume for Dawn of Justice is $487.7M and the new worldwide haul sits at $784M surpassing recent super hero hits Guardians of the Galaxy, Deadpool, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. A final global gross close to $900M still seems likely.
Disney's smash hit Zootopia remained in the top three for a sixth weekend grossing $14.3M, down just 26%. With $296M to date, the animated blockbuster is hoping to get to the $350M vicinity by the end of its domestic run. Overseas grosses rose to $556.5M boosting the global tally to an incredible $852M and it will break the $900M barrier before Japan's release which begins on April 23. In China, Zootopia has soared to $232.2M allowing it to surpass Avengers: Age of Ultron to become the third biggest Hollywood blockbuster of all-time there behind Furious 7 and Transformers: Age of Extinction. This is an astounding performance for an original movie, whether animated or live-action.
Universal's comedy sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 slipped 42% to $6.5M putting the new sum at $46.8M which is a whopping 81% below the $241.4M final of its 2002 predecessor.
Young men failed to turn out for the new ultraviolent action thriller Hardcore Henry which debuted in fifth place with $5.1M from a very wide 3,015 locations for a puny $1,694 average. Reviews were mixed for the R-rated title from STX and exit polls showed the audience to be 76% male with two-thirds being 17-34. In recent years, this has become one of the most unreliable demographics for action movies not tied to a popular brand.
Faith-based hit Miracles from Heaven declined by 35% to $4.7M and Sony has taken in a solid $53.7M overall. Fellow religion-themed drama God's Not Dead 2 fell 47% after a weak opening to $4.1M for a cume of $14M for Pure Flix.
Falling 39% to $3.5M was The Divergent Series: Allegiant which has collected a disappointing $61.7M thus far in North America. That's down a troubling 46% from Insurgent at the same point a year ago. The sci-fi pic 10 Cloverfield Lane dropped a reasonable 36% in its fifth weekend to $2.9M putting Paramount at $67.9M to date. Helen Mirren spent another weekend in the top ten with her military pic Eye in the Sky which made $2.9M, off 27%, for a new total of $10.5M for Bleecker Street.
Opening poorly outside the top ten was the Jake Gyllenhaal drama Demolition with $1.1M from 854 locations for a poor $1,286 average. The Fox Searchlight release did not fair well with critics earning lackluster reviews and paying audiences were not too pleased either.
The top ten films grossed $91M which was down 26% from last year when Furious 7 stayed at number one with $59.6M; and down 31% from 2014 when Captain America: The Winter Soldier remained in the top spot with $41.3M.
Compared to projections, The Boss opened on target with my $23M forecast while Hardcore Henry did half of my $11M prediction.
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Watch the NEW trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when The Jungle Book, Barbershop: The Next Cut, and Criminal all open.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: April 12, 2016 at 1:20PM ET
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