Weekend Box Office: We’re running out of Guns N’ Roses jokes

Delayed for nearly a year thanks to injuries that star Dylan O’Brien incurred during filming, Maze Runner: The Death Cure landed in first place at the U.S. box office this weekend with a slightly disappointing $25.3 million. But the real story, on this last Monday in January, is the ongoing success of two unexpected…

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Delayed for nearly a year thanks to injuries that star Dylan O’Brien incurred during filming, Maze Runner: The Death Cure landed in first place at the U.S. box office this weekend with a slightly disappointing $25.3 million. But the real story, on this last Monday in January, is the ongoing success of two unexpected…

Read more...

‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ Leads Strong Holdover Box Office

Holiday juggernauts drove the January box office, along with more commercial Oscar titles than usual. But the Olympics loom.

The third installment of the young adult “Maze Runner” franchise, “The Death Cure” (20th Century Fox), pulled in over $23 million to take the weekend top spot. Strong holdovers and a bigger than usual boost for a wide swath of Oscar nominees led to a weekend total just under the total for the same late January date last year. Two weekends in a row lag behind 2017, but by the end of the first month the tally should pull three per cent ahead.

Big titles led by “Black Panther” (Disney) in February will determine if 2018 can keep pace with a very strong second month last year (led by “Get Out”) — going up against three weeks of Winter Olympics.

Christian Bale in Hostiles

Hostiles

But holdover movies in release made most of the noise this weekend, led by non-Oscar nominee “Hostiles” (Entertainment Studios) which scored third place after its initial modest awards-qualifying dates and big city expansion. Two Best Picture nominees placed in the Top Ten: “The Post” is at  #5, down 24 per cent in its third wide weekend, and “The Shape of Water” jumped 160 per cent, more than doubling its screen count to reach 1,854 and eighth place. Add five additional lead category contenders that placed in the top 20 and the result is an Oscar-angled box office far above normal. (See more about these films in our specialty box office report.)

Hugh Jackman the Greatest Showman

“The Greatest Showman”

But these high-end, older audience titles pale against the ongoing results for two Christmas studio releases. “Jumani: Welcome to the Jungle” (Sony) and “The Greatest Showman” (20th Century Fox) placed second and fourth in their sixth weekend, down only a tiny 16 and 11 per cent respectively. Both grabbed mainstream audiences early and haven’t let go, with terrific word of mouth propelling them farther than most Oscar nominees. “Jumanji” is way ahead of all, while “Showman” should end up a little behind “Dunkirk” and “Get Out.”

Fox with three of the top five (“Maze Runner,” “Showman,” and the “Post”) plus their Searchlight division titles comprised just under 40 per cent of the total audience. With their pending merger with Disney, this performance over multiple titles strengthens their case for continued production, especially for autonomous specialty producer-distributor and Oscar-winner Searchlight.

“Maze” joins fellow sequel “Insidious: The Last Key” as the second 2018 release to open over $20 million (“Maze” is about $6 million lower). The $62 million production might seem soft compared to cost except for its $88 million in foreign grosses. Fox’s opening audience statistics showed even male/female interest, 57 per cent under 25, and a strong minority following (the young leads are multiracial). It opened down a bit less than 25 per cent from the second franchise entry, not a bad performance, particularly with international to buttress it.

“12 Strong”

"12 Strong"

As always, a lack of new titles boosts holdovers across the board. Last week’s modest openers “12 Strong” (Warner Bros.) and “Den of Thieves” (STX) both fell 45 per cent, reasonable for a second weekend. It should earn both a third week in most theaters with only Lionsgate’s horror entry “Winchester” opening against the Super Bowl. That’s a bit more disappointing for “12 Strong,” since military-themed titles, which often thrive in January, often hold much better.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Disney) fell less than those two but more than many other titles. Its 36 per cent drop left it out of the Top Ten in its seventh week. “The Force Awakens” had ten Top Ten weekends, was third in its seventh with an $11 million gross. “Rogue One” managed one more than “Jedi” with seven and grossed $5.3 million a year ago. That compared to $4.2 million for “Jedi.” It already has already amassed $611 million (best for 2017) and $700 million additional foreign. But this title was more front-loaded with minor signs of some mixed audience reaction despite mostly favorable response.

Of note is that it was edged out for tenth by “Padmaavat” (Viva), an Indian historical/religious epic opening worldwide this weekend. It played in only 324 theaters, averaging an impressive $13,188.

"Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle"

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”

The Top Ten

1. Maze Runner: The Death Cure (20th Century Fox) NEW – Cinemascore: B+; Metacritic: 52; Est. budget: $62 million

$23,500,000 in 3,787 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $6,205; Cumulative: $23,500,000

2. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Sony) Week 6; Last weekend #1

$16,400,000 (-16%) in 3,553 theaters (-151); PTA: $4,616; Cumulative: $338,057,000

3. Hostiles (Entertainment Studios) Week 5; Last weekend #

$10,205,000 (+1,659%) in 2,815 theaters (+2,696); PTA: $3,624; Cumulative: $12,053,000

4. The Greatest Showman (20th Century Fox) Week 5; Last weekend #

$9,500,000 (-11%) in 2,663 theaters (-60); PTA: $3,567; Cumulative: $126,475,000

5. The Post (20th Century Fox) Week 5; Last weekend #

$8,850,000 (-24%) in 2,640 theaters (-211); PTA: $3,352; Cumulative: $58,536,000

6. 12 Strong (Warner Bros.) Week 2; Last weekend #

$8,645,000 (-45%) in 3,018 theaters (+16); PTA: $2,861; Cumulative: $29,760,000

7. Den of Thieves (STX) Week 2; Last weekend #

$8,360,000 (-45%) in 2,432 theaters (no change); PTA: $; Cumulative: $28,502,000

8. The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight) Week 9; Last weekend #

$5,700,000 (+161%) in 1,854 theaters (+1,001); PTA: $3,074; Cumulative: $37,679,000

9. Paddington 2 (Warner Bros.) Week 3; Last weekend #

$5,570,000 (-30%) in 2,792 theaters (-901); PTA: $1,995,000; Cumulative: $32,020,000

10. Padmaavat (Viva) NEW

$4,273,000 in theaters; PTA: $13,188,000; Cumulative: $4,273,000

‘The Shape of Water’ Gets Oscar Boost as ‘Hostiles’ Lures Crowds

Oscar favorite “The Shape of Water,” even without a Best Picture win, looks headed for at least a $55 million total, likely more; “Have a Nice Day” opens well.

Following last week’s Oscar nominations, Fox Searchlight’s “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” led the field of Oscar contenders. Both films showed healthy jumps over last weekend, with Guillermo del Toro’s showing the most strength.

While both films were outgrossed by 20th Century Fox’s “The Post” in much wider release, they did add around $21 million to their impressive totals so far. That’s far above boosts for last year’s “Hidden Figures” and “La La Land.”

This weekend will be the high water mark for the nominees, with the next weeks seeing normal drops and in some cases possible alternative home viewing (several titles are nearing the three-month mark when streaming becomes a choice). It remains to be seen what will replace them in theaters after what has been a strong awards season boosting grosses above average for the last few months.

Among the openers, the sole new release to show any strength was Strand’s Chinese adul animated feature “Have a Nice Day.” Its $11,000 initial Manhattan exclusive gross is the top limited release opener so far this year.

“Padmaavat” (Viva), a Bollywood historical epic which has caused controversy in its Indian release this week, managed to place in the overall Top Ten with a $4.3 million gross in only 324 theaters. In a limited run it managed to gross better than all but two of the lead category nominees playing this weekend.

“Tosca,” a Live at the Met single showing presentation in over 900 theaters, grossed $2 million. That’s a healthy boost and an example of how theaters are supplementing normal business with targeted audiences.

In a sign of the times, the first Sundance 2018 title has already debuted on Netflix though with little notice: Netflix’s National Lampoon early days biopic “A Futile and Stupid Gesture’ started showing on Friday while festival was still in progress.

Opening

Have a Nice Day (Strand) Metacritic: 81; Festivals include: Berlin, Seattle 2017

$(est.) 11,000 in 1 theater; PTA (per theater average): $(est.) 11,000

Not high on the radar in festival attention and not a factor in any awards race, this Chinese animated title was boosted by strong reviews which led to a good initial exclusive New York result. This crime drama (hardly typical of either animated content nor what Chinese censors  usually allow) centers on a man who steals money from his boss to pay for his fiancee’s surgery in a remote city.

What comes next: Los Angeles opens Friday, with other cities (likely boosted by the initial performance) to follow.

International releases:

Padmaavat (Viva/India): $4,273,000 in 324 theaters

Also available on Video on Demand:

Please Stand By (Magnolia/Austin 2017): $(est.) 4,000 in 5 theaters

“Mary and the Witch’s Flower”

Week Two

Mary and the Witch’s Flower (Fathom)

$137,087 in 77 theaters (-84); PTA: $1,780; Cumulative: $1,786,000

Most of the gross for this Japanese animated release, which was overlooked for the Oscar, came for its Fathom special event one day showings two Thursdays ago. But those theaters who have continued playing added more to its already decent total.

A Ciambra (IFC)

$7,531 in 2 theaters (+1); PTA: $3,766; Cumulative: $17,405

This Italian foreign-language Oscar submission added Los Angeles. The drama centering on a young Roma teen headed for early adulthood continues to do minor business.

Christian Bale in Hostiles

Hostiles

Ongoing/expanding (Grosses over $50,000)

Hostiles (Entertainment Studios) Week 6

$10,200,000 in 2,816 theaters (+2,697); Cumulative: $12,053,000

Though the strategy of a Christmas platform release and only minor added runs until the nominations didn’t pay off with a hoped for nod for Christian Bale, the early play and word of mouth did boost this western. Despite just slightly favorable reviews, Entertainment Studios’ marketing has propelled this into a decent national break, with a top three placement overall for the weekend despite major competition for older viewers. Its B Cinemascore doesn’t guarantee a big multiple ahead, but this Toronto acquisition looks like it could head to a respectable $30 million total. That’s much better than appeared possible with its mediocre initial results.

The Post (20th Century Fox) Week 6

$8,850,000 in 2,640 theaters (-211);  Cumulative: $58,536,000

The 24 per cent drop likely is better than what normally would have occurred for the third wide weekend for Steven Spielberg’s film. Its two nominations were in top categories (Pictures and Actress) should guarantee an ultimate gross above the director’s last Oscar contender. “The Bridge of Spies” in 2015 grossed $72 million in a release in the fall before it got any boost from its award contention.

“The Shape of Water”

The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight) Week 9

$5,700,000 in 1,854 theaters (+1,001);  Cumulative: $37,679,000

The leading nominee jumped 161 per cent. The $5 million+ gross is better than any Best Picture winner has done after the nominations since “The King’s Speech” seven years ago (that smash had six weekend over that number), and a better weekend than any of them in its entire run since the fourth (in October) for “12 Years a Slave.” The film, even without a win in the category, looks headed for at least a $55 million total, likely more.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight) Week 12

$3,600,000 in 1,457 theaters (+503); Cumulative: $37,011,000

A strong 88 per cent increase (helped by additional theaters) for this multiple nominee that looks like it will be Searchlight’s second $50 million+ grosser for the season.

I, Tonya (Neon) Week 8

$2,969,000 in 960 theaters (+18);  Cumulative: $18,844,000

The second wide week for this retelling of the Tonya Hardy story fell 30 per cent after its multiple nominations. It still looks headed for somewhere around $30 million, which would put it ahead of films nominated in acting categories but not Best Picture.

“Phantom Thread”

Photo Courtesy of Focus Features

Phantom Thread (Focus) Week 5

$2,890,000 in 1,021 theaters (+125);  Cumulative: $10,622,000

Paul Thomas Anderson’s film came out well in nominations, but still fell 11 per cent from last weekend. It still should end up grossing better than either of his two films since “There Will Be Blood,” with its international response (the roll out starts this week) to determine whether it has a shot at profit. (Its budget was $35 million).

Darkest Hour (Focus) Week 10

$2,885,000 in 1,333 theaters (-10);  Cumulative: $45,197,000

With six nominations, this 1940 Winston Churchill wartime drama saw its grosses increase slightly despite its already lengthy run. This remains the leader among specialized company Best Picture nominees and now has taken over from “The Big Sick” among all specialized grossing 2017 titles (“The Space of Water” will likely overtake it).

Lady Bird (A24) Week 13

$1,925,000 in 1,177 theaters (+502);  Cumulative: $41,648,000

Greta Gerwig’s comedy added Oscar acclaim to its accolades and rebounded once again to add to its already impressive total. It looks headed to $50 million depending on home viewing availability (the film is completing its third month in release).

Timothée Chalamet stars as Elio in <em>Call Me By Your Name</em>

“Call Me by Your Name”

Call Me By Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 10

$1,345,000 in 815 theaters (no change); Cumulative: $11,356,000

Though it received some top category nods (including Picture and Actor), this dropped 58 per cent from last weekend, which was its first wider break. This is not getting the response that other contenders have received from more mainstream audiences despite great acclaim. It still has a shot to hit somewhere close to $20 million if SPC can maintain screens for the next several weeks.

Molly’s Game (STX) Week 5

$900,000 in 556 theaters (-535); Cumulative: $25,900,000

After a decent run, Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, without either a Best Picture or Actress nomination, will soon finish its play.

The Disaster Artist (A24) Week 9

$104,108 in 84 theaters (-63); Cumulative: $20,916,000

Only a screenplay nomination for James Franco’s film means its successful run is coming to an end.

The Insult (Cohen) Week 3

$60,000 in 10 theaters (+7);  Cumulative: $143,712

Capitalizing on its Foreign Language Film nod, Cohen added more cities for this Lebanese court drama with a better than average result for a subtitle expansion.

The Florida Project (A24) Week 17

$55,289 in 33 theaters (-4);  Cumulative: $5,656,000

A supporting actor nomination for Willem Dafoe was the sole mention for Sean Baker’s much acclaimed film, now at about the end of its four-month run.

Also noted:

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (Sony Pictures Classics) – $35,918 in 19 theaters; Cumulative: $247,751

Happy End (Sony Pictures Classics) – $21,792 in 14 theaters; $198,481

Faces Places (Cohen) – $14,068 in 10 theaters; Cumulative: $722,829

Jane (Abramorama) – $12,221 in 9 theaters; Cumulative: $1,644,000

Box Office: ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ Overtakes ‘Jumanji’ With $22 Million

Fox’s “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” is set to knock “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” out of its first place slot at the box office, with $22 million from 3,787 North American locations. The last installment in the “Maze Runner” series, “The Death Cure” stars Dylan O’Brien as a young man fighting for survival in […]

Fox’s “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” is set to knock “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” out of its first place slot at the box office, with $22 million from 3,787 North American locations. The last installment in the “Maze Runner” series, “The Death Cure” stars Dylan O’Brien as a young man fighting for survival in […]

‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ to Outpace ‘Jumanji’ With $22 Million Weekend

Fox’s “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” is heading for $22 million at 3,768 North American locations, dethroning three-time champ “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” early estimates showed Friday. The sixth weekend of “Jumanji” will likely finish at around $14 million at 3,553 sites, giving it a stunning $335 million domestically after 40 days — topping […]

Fox’s “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” is heading for $22 million at 3,768 North American locations, dethroning three-time champ “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” early estimates showed Friday. The sixth weekend of “Jumanji” will likely finish at around $14 million at 3,553 sites, giving it a stunning $335 million domestically after 40 days — topping […]

‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ Sprints to $1.5 Million at Thursday Night Screenings

Fox’s “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” opened solidly with $1.5 million at 2,860 North American locations in Thursday night preview screenings. The launch compares to the $1.7 million from “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” from 2015 on its way to a $30 million opening. “The Death Cure” will expand to 3,768 sites Friday and should […]

Fox’s “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” opened solidly with $1.5 million at 2,860 North American locations in Thursday night preview screenings. The launch compares to the $1.7 million from “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” from 2015 on its way to a $30 million opening. “The Death Cure” will expand to 3,768 sites Friday and should […]

‘Maze Runner: Death Cure’ Runs Up $1.5M On Thursday Night

20th Century Fox’s The Maze Runner: Death Cure, the last picture in the YA feature trilogy, got off to a $1.5M start last night at 2,860 venues. Next to its predecessors, the first Maze Runner minted $1.1M from 2,200 10PM showings back in Sept. 2014 while a year later, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials improved upon that number with $1.7M.
There’s no question Maze Runner 3 will hit No. 1 this weekend. Fox is hoping for $20M at 3,787 venues, while others believe it could go…

20th Century Fox’s The Maze Runner: Death Cure, the last picture in the YA feature trilogy, got off to a $1.5M start last night at 2,860 venues. Next to its predecessors, the first Maze Runner minted $1.1M from 2,200 10PM showings back in Sept. 2014 while a year later, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials improved upon that number with $1.7M. There’s no question Maze Runner 3 will hit No. 1 this weekend. Fox is hoping for $20M at 3,787 venues, while others believe it could go…