There’s been talk of a slow box-office this year. Indeed as of early June, despite big grosses for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” “Godzilla” and “X-Men: Days Of Future Past,” the box-office was down 12% from 2013. And it has been relatively soft: Tom Cruise’s “Edge Of Tomorrow” vehicle failed to open higher than $30 million and all of the aforementioned summer blockbusters are expected to not pass the $225 million mark at home (a relatively low performance considering the average tentpole). Could it be blockbuster fatigue has already set in? Evidence in favor of that posit is this weekend’s box-office as two non-traditionally loud and epic films took off massively to make for $110 million total.
If you thought they were having a good year already, Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s 2014 perhaps rivaled all other directors so far. Their “LEGO Movie” was a massive smash ($256 million domestically, $462m globally) and now they’ve taken the #1 box office slot again with “22 Jump Street” which opened to an incredible $60 million and the 2nd highest R-Rated comedy opening ever (5th highest R-Rated film opening). Good comedy sequels are rare and far and few between and their box-office haul often goes down which is why so many of them are franchise killers, but ‘Jump Street’ opened a whopping 66% higher than “21 Jump Street” did in its opening weekend. Domestically, '21' made $138 million and '22' is almost halfway there after one weekend. Suffice to say it will easily surpass that number and we're probably looking at a comedy sequel that can hit close to $200 domestically if the film has legs (and one could definitely see kids going to see this uneven, but very funny movie more than once). The figure is the highest ever R-Rated opening in June and its only down 21% from “The Hangover II” which had the highest grossing R-Rated comedy sequel openings ever.
Not far behind ‘Jump Street’ and performing rather excellently as well was “How To Train Your Dragon 2.” Its opening was only up 14.4% from the first film which is not a huge margin for a sequel, but its still performed extremely well nonetheless (a great figure for not being at #1). The question will be is the appetite as strong. "How To Train Your Dragon" did fantastic numbers in 2010 ($217 domestic, almost $500 worldwide) and this weekends grosses don’t suggest it can run the same marathon, but as usual, the international box-office could change everything.
Angelina Jolie’s showing her gams are still looking strong. Her “Maleficent” movie was not only the highest debut of her career thus far it just keeps going and going only dropping 43% in its third week at the box-office. The movie has earned a spectacular $436 million worldwide in only 3 weeks in theaters, $163m of that domestic and the movie shows little signs of slowing down. $500 million globally will be easy and its just a question of it can chug along to $600 and considering it hasn’t opened in China or Japan yet that seems more than feesable. No doubt a sequel is about to be announced any minute now. The movie has already outgrossed the worldwide total of "Snow White & The Huntsman" which comparatively took 14 weekends to hit just shy of $400 million world wide).
Tom Cruise’s “Edge Of Tomorrow” may have underperformed in its first weekend, but as the global superstar has proved several times over, don’t count him out until its all over. In two weeks the movie has grossed a tentpole solid $237 million worldwide, and in its second week domestically, the sci-fi time travel had a strong hold, only dropping 43.8%— a relatively small figure for blockbusters. This probably means a good word-of-mouth. Cruise's sci-fi film "Oblivion" also opened up soft in 2013, but it eventually made its way to $286 million worldwide (though under $100 million in North America is a pretty crappy Xenu showing). So two weeks in (versus "Oblivion" at 10 weeks for that total figure), 'Tomorrow" surpassing that number should be effortless, as is hitting $300 million.
As expected, the frontloaded “The Fault In Our Stars” weepie took a big tumble in its second week going from the #1 position last week to #4 this week and falling 67.2% from the previous week (obviously an even bigger stumble than Cruise’s picture). But its grossed $81 million at home, $100 is easily in sight and its low cost means this one is a huge win either way (and while they presumably can’t do sequel to this one, I haven't read the books, but its outcome seems obvious, watch studios try and replicate its success for sure).
As for those early blockbuster forecasts, they’re probably off with “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” The film has hit the $205 million mark domestically in its fourth weekend and therefore is the highest grossing film of the summer so far surpassing “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (which is pretty much tapped out at the box-office now and has been in theaters for seven weeks, though it did finally cross the $700 million mark). It’s also only the third film of 2014 to pass the $200 mark in North America. The Bryan Singer-directed film has grossed $661 million worldwide and easily can make it past $700m (a huge milestone for the “X-Men” franchise; its previously highest film globally was $450 million). Now it’s a question if ‘Days of Future Past’ can reach the $234 million North American total of "X-Men: The Last Stand." Considering that latter figure took 18 weeks to achieve in 2006, it should be easy enough.
"Godzilla" is still trucking along ($439 million worldwide), but it still hasn't hit $200 million at home, its pace is a bit sluggish and it probably won't go much higher than about $215-ish after all is said and done. "Ted 2" will have to be a huge hit for Seth MacFarlane to ever get another expensive vanity project. His "comedy" Western is pretty much d.o.a. and has only grossed $58 million worldwide. Seth Rogen's "Neighbors" has almost hit the $150 million mark at home and it is now the 10th highest grossing R-rated comedy domestically to date. In theaters for six weeks starting out in limited, platforming and then eventually going wide, Jon Favreu's "Chef" has grossed $14 million at home, has been a terrific summer counter-programming effort and is perhaps the ideal model of the limited-to-wide platform release (of course, they haven’t released its budget, but presumably it’s small).
In limited release, A24's “The Rover” debuted with $70k in five venues for a good $14k per screen average. Its national roll out begins next weekend. On the flipside, Focus Features' “The Signal” had a weak broadcast; only hitting $150k in 120 venues which made for a very tepid $1,250 per screen average.
1.“22 Jump Street” — $60 million
2. “How to Train Your Dragon 2” — $50 million
3. “Maleficent” —$19m ($163.5m)
4 “Edge of Tomorrow” — $16,175,000 ($56.1m)
5 “The Fault In Our Stars” $15,725,000 ($81.7m)
6 “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” — $9.5m ($205.9m)
7 “Godzilla”—$3,155,000 ($191.3m)
8. “A Million Ways to Die in the West” — $3,077,000 ($38.9m)
9.“Neighbors” —$2,484,000 ($143m)
10. “Chef”- $2,276,000 ($14m)