The Box Office Battleground
This weekend in The Box Office Battleground we have Melissa McCarthy entering the ring to challenge Batman V Superman’s number 1 spot. If Batman V Superman has another tremendous decline like last weekend’s 69% drop, then The Boss may very well become…THE BOSS (I’m sorry) of the box office weekend. Other newcomers include the first-person action extravaganza Hardcore Henry, the Jake Gyllenhaal, and Naomi Watts vehicle Demolition, and in a limited thirty-five theaters, Mr. Right will make its debut. How will the newcomers fare this weekend? Will Batman V Superman be dethroned? What other films from last weekend will remain in the top five? Read on to find out!
First, we’ll take a look at The Boss. The film stars Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Bell, but the person to really focus on is McCarthy. Over the years, McCarthy has become a household name and has had a few box office success stories under her belt. Her breakout film Bridesmaids debuted with $26 million while her most recent movie Spy opened with $29 million. In between McCarthy has seen opening weekend success with The Heat $39 million, Tammy $21 million, and Identity Thief with a $34 million dollar weekend. Also worth noting is all of these films, including The Boss, have R ratings. This means her films are limiting themselves from a more mainstream and general audience consumption. Considering McCarthy’s starring films have all carried R ratings and produced upwards of $20 million for all releases, even with some less than stellar aggregate reviews like Tammy (23%) and Identity Thief (19%), it’s impressive. Identity Thief and Tammy seem to be the films worth taking the closer look at, as The Boss’s rotten tomato score is right around there at 18%. Thursday, The Boss managed to bring in $985,000 in preview showings, which is indicative of another $20 million dollar plus weekend for McCarthy. I would expect this to open around $22-25 million dollars this weekend. The Boss has no direct competition and could even serve as a nice foil to the grim and humorless Batman V Superman. McCarthy’s name is bigger than it was during the era of Identity Thief and Tammy. It’s clear she has acquired a growing core audience over the years one that will show up regardless of poor reviews. That leads me to believe it can and will open higher than Tammy. If that’s the case it’s going to be a close race between Batman V Superman and The Boss.
Last weekend was not kind to Batman V Superman and it looks like it confirmed Warner Bros worst fears, fears that the movie couldn’t maintain its momentum and audience. Dropping over 69% from its opening weekend, Batman V Superman dropped from $166 million to $51 million. Analysts are predicting another drop of around 57% percent, however, they estimated a 58-68% drop last weekend, and that proved to be too optimistic. If Batman V Superman continues the steep decline it could mean another drop over 60%. Whether Batman V Superman can slow down its decline remains to be seen. Best case, and most likely case, is Batman V Superman levels out around 55-58% this weekend meaning it can bring in around $23-26 million, just edging out The Boss, in what will be a nail-biting race for Warner Bros to come out on top.
Next, up we have Hardcore Henry. Hardcore Henry brought in about $380,000 in Thursday previews, meaning the film is on track to score about $7-10 million this weekend. Anything over 10 million would be deemed a great success for STX, who were behind the releases of The Gift and The Boy. The studio has a knack for nailing the marketing for these smaller budget films. The Gift opened with $11 million on a $5 million dollar budget, while The Boy did $10.7 million on a $10 million dollar budget. Hardcore Henry fits into this same financial territory as those films. The studio acquired the film for $10 million and put another $2 million behind its marketing. It looks like STX’s plans will pay off, and their emphasis on marketing Hardcore Henry to gamers. That seems to be the niche audience the film would appeal most to. Other flicks to look at for comparison are hard, given the first person nature and style of Hardcore Henry. However, stacking it against Hitman Agent 47’s $8 million weekend, a film that would appeal to a similar video game audience, seems to be the safest bet. I’d wager Hardcore Henry to bring in about $8-10, higher than the lower $7-10 million analysts are tracking, thus securing a place in the top 5.
Speaking of the top 5, expect Zootopia to hang onto its position. Last weekend Zootopia managed a $19.3 million dollar weekend only dropping 20% from the week before it. Continuing at this rate another drop of about 22-25% would mean a weekend of around $14-15 million for Zootopia, putting it ahead of Hardcore Henry at the number 3 spot.
Lastly, we have Demolition and Mr. Right. Both are opening in limited release, Demolition in 854 theaters, and Mr. Right in 35. It’s impossible to expect huge numbers from these films, but in a smaller theater release, it’s important to watch per theater averages. Jean-Marc Valle the director of Demolition had limited releases for his previous films Wild and The Dallas Buyers club, both of which opened to the tune of less than a million. However, those were in 9 theaters for Dallas Buyers Club, and 21 theaters for Wild. Considering Valle has been growing in popularity and Demolition has nearly 840 more theaters in both cases, expect this to open over a million in limited release. How much over, is hard to say. Demolition hasn’t been as heavily marketed or talked about as Wild and The Dallas Buyers Club, nor did it receive as high of an aggregate score on rotten tomatoes. Demolition is currently standing at a 52% at the time of writing this article. I’d say 1.5-2 million is a safe bet for Demolition in its limited run. As for Mr. Right, something like The Matador with Pierce Brosnan which opened in 4 theaters and averaged about $17,000 per theater, is a solid comparison. Both comedies about professional killers, both having an unassuming partner, both in limited release. I would expect Mr. Right to be in the same ballpark, but I’d dilute the $17,000 to something along the lines of $7-10,000 per theater, due to the jump from 4 to 35. A weekend of around $235,000-350,000 for Mr. Right would be my bet.
- Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice – $22-26 million
- The Boss – $22-25 million
- Zootopia – $14-15 million
- Hardcore Henry – $7-10 million
- My Big Fat Greek Wedding – $6-8 million
Check back next week to see how accurate or inaccurate we were! Be sure to leave your own predictions in the comment section below.
Patrick McQuaid is an aspiring games and film journalist/critic looking to make his mark on the industry. He’s attempting to finish his Communications degree while juggling a variety of responsibilities… it’s proving difficult, but he has some spunk. Don’t give him a beer and ask about Silent Hill 2 in the same action or prepare to have an aggravatingly long chat about how that game transcends the art form.