Box Office Report: Fantastic Four bombs, Mission: Impossible retains impossible first

To repeat, Fantastic Four bombed big time. While Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation reminds us how much people love the latest installment, and succeeded in fulfilling the otherwise impossible task of retaining first on its second weekend. Meanwhile, among the rest of the pack of new openers, The Gift, marking Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut, opened way above expectations, while Ricki and the Flash and Shaun the Sheep both stumbled.

Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation happily retained its top spot, dipping only 48.7% to $28.5 million. That’s a remarkable hold for a blockbuster in today’s age, for people usually rush out over opening weekend after hype intensifies pre-release.  In comparison, Mission: Impossible 3 dipped 47.6% to $25 million, Mission: Impossible dipped 53.3% to $27 million, while Mission: Impossible dipped 52.4% to $21.6 million. It seems like word of mouth is definitely coming into hold, allowing this to be one of the better holds the Mission: Impossible franchise has seen to date. That’s great for Paramount Pictures, since their only other big film released this summer, Terminator: Genisys, failed to chime with moviegoers domestically and failed to surpass the $100 million mark, despite the franchise’s history. The difference here would be that Rogue Nation has a certified fresh rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, and people gave it an A- cinema score last week. Expect a better hold next week, where the film will hopefully stabilize. The film has earned $107.8 million to date, and has a long life ahead of it. Oh, and 14.6% of that figure came from IMAX theaters.

Fantastic Four lost flame as soon as it released. I guess Fox was already anticipating that, seeing that it only garnered 9% on Rotten Tomatoes. Of course, it didn’t help that early word of mouth among moviegoers who caught the Thursday night previews wasn’t kind- the film’s Cinemascore was C-, a figure which probably no one would be pleased with. At least Fox tried to hide reviews early on, only lifting the embargo on Wednesday. Moviegoers already had 3 lambasted Fantastic Four films preceding that, so they were probably taking a more cautious approach whe catching this reboot which is supposed to be the actual one. Well, I guess Fox has to scrap any Fantastic Four- X Men plans at least until the next reboot. It earned $25.7 million, nowhere close to the $40-50 million range where box office analysts were expecting, That’s also nowhere near the $56 million and $58 million managed by the last two films in the franchise, Fantastic Four and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.  It doesn’t help when marketing evokes such little confidence (and of course, the final product is worse, because of the many removed scenes from the trailer showing production woes). Friday took up 1/2.28 of the final weekend numbers, which isn’t really close to a good hold. In terms of demographics, 60% of moviegoers were male, and 51% were under the age of 25.

In third was a surprising performance by The Gift. Marking Joel Egerton’s directorial debut, it outperformed slightly, earning $11.85 million over its opening weekend That’s not bad, considering the studio at the helm, STX Entertainment, is entering the film market with this film. Thank the admirable reviews for this one. The Gift’s opening day took up 1/2.88 of the final weekend figures, indicating great hold, and it earned a B cinemascore. 53% of moviegoers were female.

The other two new openers this weekend were nothing short of disappointments. Ricki and the Flash barely earned $6.6 million over its opening weekend. That sum only granted the film a seventh position at the box office. You can’t really blame it, though, due to really quiet marketing as well as its opening in less than 2000 theaters (1603 over opening weekend). Besides, summer moviegoing season isn’t really a time for such oddball films to open wide, and it could have been saved by the relatively more friendly moviegoing atmosphere (at least for dramas or films of such sorts) had it opened in the fall or spring seasons. The film had a B cinemascore, Anyways, 34% of business was made on Friday, which is really good actually. In other words, its opening day to weekend ratio was 1:2.925, indicating solid holds throughout the weekend.

Shaun the Sheep Movie also opened below expectations, earning $4 million domestically over its opening weekend. Lionsgate had certainly wished for something more, since it was a critical hit (98% on Rotten Tomatoes) and in The United Kingdom ($20.3 million). As Paddington had showed earlier this year, UK animated hits have an opportunity of making it big here, so it looks like stop-motion animation was a factor in why this film turned off quite a bit. Stop-Motion hasn’t really been embraced by people in the States, with the biggest hit in this sub-genre being Chicken Run back in 2000, with $106.8 million. No other film from said genre has surpassed $75.2 million, with the biggest hit in the last 5 years being ParaNorman, with $56 million. Of course, this was a hit in the UK, with $20.3 million since opening in May this year. Lets not forget that this film has already been out on DVD. This film sadly had to settle outside the top 10, at the eleventh position (such a pity). It opened earlier on Wednesday, and had earned a cumulative gross $5.6 million to date. It earned a B+ Cinemascore. 3 day Friday-Sunday take represents 71.4% of the overall 5-day take, so it indicates rather good holding power.

Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, in 183 theaters, earned $1.82 million this weekend. It has earned $5.76 million since opening, despite only having one showtime each day. Well, that sum might not seem hefty, but it’s best to note that with that figure, it is easily the 9th highest grossing anime film of all time domestically. Incredible, I can say.

On holdover news outside of the top 3, Vacation, Ant-Man and Minions took up the fourth, fifth and sixth positions respectively. All of them held up well, dipping between 38-40% each as compared to the previous weekend. Vacation earned $8.96 million on its sophomore weekend, for a cumulative gross of $37.1 million, still well below expectations, but showing that Vacation isn’t going to crash and burn just like we saw with Ted 2 earlier this summer. Ant-Man earned $7.9 million this weekend, for a cumulative gross of $147.5 million, while Minions earned $7.45 million this weekend, for a cumulative gross of $302.8 million. This of course, makes Minions the fifth highest grossing film domestically this year up to date. However, it would probably quickly make its way down to the seventh position, as soon as Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 and Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, opens at the end of the year. Oh, and it might drop all the way to ninth if Spectre and The Good Dinosaur over perform, due to the goodwill carried over from the previous Bond movie and the previous Pixar movie respectively. Oh, and just a minor tidbit, but this year is tracking to have a minimum of 7 movies which earned a figure above $300 million domestically. That’s far more than 3 last year, and 4 the year before. Even more good news for the box office.

This weekend last year, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, amidst horrible reviews, earned $65.6 million, driven by family audience. Three other openers failed to make much of an impact- Into the Storm opened to $17.4 million, The Hundred Foot Journey opened to $10.98 million, and Step Up All In opened to $6.47 million. The top 12 earned $120 million this year, far less than the $174.2 million managed last year. No matter how much I want to say that last year was an exception to the rule, since it was far and beyond driven by a double combo of Guardians of the Galaxy and Ninja Turtles, bringing August 2014 the coveted title of being the biggest said month in moviegoing history without accounting for inflation, I have to say that this is the softest such weekend since 2008, where the top 12 earned $111.4 million. When accounting for inflation, the number of tickets sold that weekend would be higher. However, one down month doesn’t really signify a lot, since we have had a great year thus far, and a great year going forward.

Here’s the top 10:
(NOTE: New films are bolded)

Rank Last Week Rank Film Weekend Gross Change Total Gross Per-Theater Average Week
1 1 Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation $28,502,372 -48.7% $107,756,579 $7,147 2
2 Fantastic Four $25,685,737 $25,685,737 $6,429 1
3 The Gift $11,854,273 $11,854,273 $4,736 1
4 2 Vacation $8,955,246 -39.0% $37,135,026 $2,611 2
5 3 Ant-Man $7,911,445 -38.2% $147,521,991 $2,719 4
6 4 Minions $7,449,020 -39.9% $302,803,140 $2,385 5
7 Ricki and the Flash $6,610,961 $6,618,610 $4,124 1
8 6 Trainwreck $6,147,150 -36.0% $90,948,980 $2,435 4
9 5 Pixels $5,435,539 -48.2% $57,650,843 $1,898 3
10 7 Southpaw $4,701,090 -38.3% $40,662,931 $2,067 3

Check back next weekend for Straight Outta Compton and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.


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