Final Update, Monday 6PM after Sunday Post; Final actual figures included: In a late-August weekend littered with three R-rated pictures, the only one audiences wanted to watch was Universal/Legendary’s Straight Outta Compton. The studio reports that the second weekend for the F. Gary Gray film fell 56% with $26.3M and a 10-day cume of $111.1M; that’s a bit lower than the $26.76M Uni originally was projecting Sunday morning. Compton‘s Saturday-to-Sunday fall was steeper than anticipated at 30%. The N.W.A biopic rose 28% Saturday to $10.6M over Friday’s $8.3M. Currently, many figure that Compton will continue to ride at No. 1 through Labor Day weekend.
Overall, a humid haze hit the summer box office this weekend, throwing a monkey wrench into turnstiles: Total ticket sales were at $106.6M, down 28% from last weekend and off 7% from a week ago. Heading into the weekend, distribution insiders were expecting Compton to post a second-frame decline between -40% and -50%.
We’ll be in this lull for two more weekends, first because there’s nothing on the schedule that’s going to create a stampede: next weekend Warner Bros. has the Zac Efron drama We Are Your Friends and The Weinstein Co. is opening the political action film No Escape with Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan. There’s even a faith-based film War Room jockeying for its share from 1,100 engagements. Labor Day weekend isn’t any better with Europa Corp’s genre reboot The Transporter Refueled and Broad Green’s adult-demo comedy A Walk In The Woods with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. In addition, young adults and kids are getting back into a school mindset. Rentrak reported that 40% K-12 and 23% colleges were already in session as of Friday. That not only subtracts from weekday business, but keeps them away from the multiplex as school sports and other activities take up their time. Given how more schools start up early, late August keeps getting earlier and earlier each year.
The story many studios have been writing this summer has been the prevalence of holdovers over fresh product. So it comes as no surprise to also find Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation in second with $11.5M in its fourth weekend, towering above the three R-rated releases which annihilated each other in their quest for the under-25 crowd: Gramercy/Focus/Blumhouse’s Sinister 2 with $10.5M in third, 20th Century Fox’s Hitman: Agent 47 in fourth with $8.3M, and Lionsgate’s American Ultra in sixth with $5.5M.
Sinister 2 wound up attracting those young females as originally tracked with 51% female and 59% under the age of 25. Demos for Sinister 2 were 22% Latino, 23% African American and 42% Caucasian. Some rival distribs think that the sequel, which is lower than the first installment’s first FSS of $18M, would have been better off next weekend where there’s more breathing room. That’s debatable given how sucky August already is. To get to these double-digit grosses, Gramercy/Focus, as they did with Insidious: Chapter 3, engaged horror-philes with an aggressive social media campaign and out-of-the-box stunts. The distributor created ‘SpreadtheFear,’ allowing fans to insert a short, jump scare at the end of one of their own custom-made videos. #SinisterSundays Twitter campaign was built around a contest where fans were challenged to watch killer snippets from Sinister 2. There was also a Sinister weekends “Inspired By” screening program in 20 markets ramping up toward the release that showcased the horror films that inspired the Sinister 2 filmmakers.
While 20th Century Fox would have been happier with higher grosses on Hitman: Agent 47, they’re not cringing given that the big play for this franchise is overseas. The first one tanked stateside with close to $40M but made another $60.3M overseas. Canada over-indexed on Agent 47 repping 10% of its weekend. That’s higher than the 8% that Canada contributed to this weekend’s total box office. 61% males took in Agent 47, 60% over 25. The Rupert Friend-Zachary Quinto film had the highest CinemaScore of the three releases: a B vs. the other two’s B-. Top markets included Washington D.C., Toronto, Miami, Montreal, Orlando, Detroit and Tampa.
American Ultra filed a gross that wasn’t too far from Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg’s previous 2009 collaboration, Adventureland, which opened to $5.7M at 1,862 theaters (final domestic cume on that film was $16M). While both actors were actively promoting the film, one rival distrib questioned how much Lionsgate might have spent in marketing American Ultra given how little it popped. Lionsgate shelled out $12.6M for TV spots on American Ultra according to iSpot.TV which is the lowest of the three wide entries: Fox spent $17.3M in TV ads per iSpot.TV while Gramercy/Focus shelled out $13.4M for Sinister 2. The studio specifically targeted young adults 18-34, running TV spots on Adult Swim, Comedy Central, FX, FXX, MTV, MTV2, SPIKE and TRUTV; a plan that reached 85M viewers. There were custom vignettes across Comedy Central and MTV2, :60 sneak peeks in key programming on MTV and FXX, and a KROQ sponsorship surrounding a private Mumford & Sons show in LA with ticket giveaways, tagged promos and DJ endorsements. Obviously, Stewart’s Twilight fans didn’t show up, which points to a standard dilemma in the franchise age where certain actors face challenges at the B.O. outside the film series that launched them. Said one rival studio chief, “Not to disparage Kristen Stewart because she was great in Twilight, but we’ve seen this before when Robert Pattinson tried to burst out on the scene after Twilight, Daniel Radcliffe post Harry Potter and Orlando Bloom after Pirates Of The Caribbean. It’s not them, it was the property that was working at the box office.” Then there’s the notion that the audience didn’t buy Stewart and Eisenberg as CIA killers. As previously mentioned, the weekend opening for American Ultra is lower than the $7M Lionsgate paid for it.
Warner Bros.’ The Man From U.N.C.L.E. fell 45% in its second weekend in fifth with $7.3M. The studio hasn’t let up in its promotion of the film. During the month of August, WB spent the most out of all the majors according to iSpot.TV with $20.9M. A majority of that went toward eight spots on the Guy Ritchie film. Overall in terms of TV ad spend, Warner Bros. has spent $32M on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Through 10 days, the spy film, which cost $84M to make, has made $26.5M at the domestic B.O.
The top 20 films per Rentrak Theatrical for the weekend of Aug. 21-23 as compiled by Deadline’s Amanda N’Duka:
1) Straight Outta Compton (UNI), 3,025 theaters (+268)/ 3-day cume: $26.3M (-56%)/ Per screen average: $8,715 /Total cume: $111.1M/ Wk 2
2) Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (PAR), 3,442 theaters (-258) /3-day cume: $11.5M (-33%)/ Per screen: $3,327 /Total Cume: $157.5/ Wk 4
3) Sinister 2 (Gramercy/Focus), 2,766 theaters/ 3-day cume: $10.5M / Per screen: $3,811 / Wk 1
4) Hitman: Agent 47 (20th Century Fox), 3,261 theaters / 3-day cume: $8.3M / Per screen: $2,553 / Wk 1
5) Man From U.N.C.L.E (WB), 3,673 theaters (+35) / 3-day cume: $7.3M (-45%)/ Per screen: $1,992 /Total cume: $26.5M/ Wk 2
6) American Ultra (Lionsgate), 2,778 theaters / 3-day cume: $5.5M / Per screen: &1,963 /Wk 1
7) The Gift (STX), 2,303 theaters (-200) / 3-day cume: $4.3M(-34%)/ Per screen: $1,859 / Total Cume: $31M /Wk 3
8). Ant-Man (DIS), 2,016 theaters (-290)/ 3-day cume: $4.1M(-26%)/ Per screen: $2,012 /Total cume: $164.5M / Wk 6
9). Minions (UNI), 2,226 theaters (-414)/ 3-day cume: $3.8M (-26%)/ Per screen: $1,720 /Total Cume: $320.1M / Wk 7
10) Fantastic Four (FOX), 2,581 theaters (-1,423) / 3-day cume: $3.7M (-54%)/ Per screen: $1,447 / Total Cume: $49.7M /Wk 3
11). Vacation (WB), 2,302 theaters (-786)/3-day cume: $3M (-42%) / Per screen: $1,311 / Total cume: $52.2M /Wk 4
12). Ricki And The Flash (SONY), 2,013 theaters (-51) / 3-day cume: $2.98M (-35%)/ Per screen: $1,482 / Total cume: $20.2M / Wk 3
13). Trainwreck (UNI), 1,333 theaters (-665)/ 3-day cume: $2.5M (-36%)/ Per screen: $1,845 / Total cume: $102.4M/ Wk 6
14). Pixels (SONY), 1,349 theaters (-827) /3-day cume: $2.1M (-36%)/ Per screen: $1,590 / Total cume: $68.6M/ Wk 5
15). Inside Out (Dis), 212 theaters (-198) / 3-day cume: $1.6M (-22%) / Per screen: $1,942 / Total cume: $342.4M / Wk 10
16). Shaun The Sheep Movie (LGF), 1,678 theaters (-682)/3-day cume: $1.5M (-47%) / Per screen: $902 / Total cume: $14.5M/ Wk 3
17). Southpaw (TWC), 1,058 theaters (-669) / 3-day cume: $1.2M (-51%) / Per screen: $1,110 / Total cume: $48.1M / Wk 5
18). Jurassic World (UNI), 574 theaters (-164) /3-day cume: $948K (-24%) Per screen: $1,651 /Total cume: $639.6M/ Wk 11
19). Mr. Holmes (RSA), 433 theaters (-158) / 3-day cume: $587K (-30%) / Per screen: $1,356 / Total cume: $15.4M / Wk 6
20). The End Of The Tour (A24), 355 theaters (+222)/ 3-day cume: $558K (+38%) / Per screen: $1,572 /Total cume: $1.7K / Wk 4
Grandma (SPC), 4 theaters /3-day cume: $116K/Per screen: $28,885/ Wk 1
Learning To Drive (BGP), 4 theaters /3-day cume: $66K/Per screen: $16,504/ Wk 1
Le Journal d’un Vieil Homme (eOne), 8 theaters /3-day cume: $29K/Per screen: $3,576/ Wk 1
The Quay Brothers In 35mm (ZEIT), 1 theaters /3-day cume: $8,403/Total cume: $16,995/ Wk 1
Top Spin (NR), 1 theaters /3-day cume: $2,177/ Wk 1
Guidance (SR), 2 theaters /3-day cume: $1,554 /Per screen: $777/ Wk 1
4TH & 3RD Update, Saturday 8:23AM after 2AM post: It’s that time of year when August starts falling apart at the box office. Sure, more kids are back in school, with Rentrak reporting 40% K-12 and 23% college in session. Still that doesn’t mean a great movie can’t launch in this corridor, defined as
weekend 34 on the calendar. Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds is the reigning historical champ during this frame with a $38.1M opening, and Straight Outta Compton’s estimated second weekend of $27.5M will rank as the second highest B.O. draw ever for weekend 34 (by an opener or a holdover). That figure is about 54% down from Compton’s $60.2M opening, and while that’s a tad steeper than originally expected, great word of mouth prevails and the Universal/Legendary release will cross the $100 mark tonight.
A trio of blah B films – Sinister 2 (CinemaScore B-), Hitman: Agent 47 (B) and American Ultra (B-) — is charting at the lower end of projections, largely due to the fact that they’re all stealing moviegoers from each other as they’re all aimed at an under-25 crowd. Friday afternoon estimates for the three pics were lower than initial projections and Saturday morning estimates are even lower. That late night surge that usually occurs with R-rated fare just didn’t happen. This demo doesn’t always turn a cold shoulder to late summer offerings, having sparked to such films as Bring It On ($17.4M opening/$68.4M domestic cume) and Blade ($17.1M opening/$70.1M). The ticket buyers are just not amused by the new titles on the marquee today.
Compton’s Friday looks to be higher than originally forecast, now around $8.3M. By Sunday, the cume for the F. Gary Gray-directed film could go as high as $112.2M. Social media monitor RelishMix reports that Compton’s social activity remains vibrant with #StraightOuttaCompton at 27K hashtags, twice that of newcomer #AmericanUltra. Between Sunday and Thursday, Compton’s top 10 videos added 5.5M views. The movie’s Facebook page added more than 200K with its likes headed to 2.1M. Ice Cube is the social driver, adding 71k fans during the week to his Facebook, which now stands at 9.86M.
In its fourth weekend, Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is poised to hold second with $11.9M, off as much as 31% from a week ago, pushing Gramercy/Focus/Blumhouse’s Sinister 2 down to third with $11M, far below the $17M-$18M opening the industry originally projected (the first film posted an $18M opening). Friday is at an estimated $4.67M and with horror films being front-loaded, Friday as good as it gets for this film in terms of its daily ticket sales this weekend. M:I5 is gaining on The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water ($162.99M) to ultimately become Paramount’s top grossing film of 2015.
Tracking originally showed that females under 25 were heading toward Sinister 2, which didn’t make much sense as they typically flock to PG-13 horror films in packs, not those rated R. Rentrak’s PostTrak revealed the obvious: That the sequel is mostly popular among young guys at 55%; 59% under 25. While a B-range CinemaScore is amazing for the genre, Sinister 2’s B- is less than other Blumhouse sequels such as Insidious: Chapter 2 (B+), The Purge: Anarchy (B) and Paranormal Activity 2 (B), but then again, Sinister ($48.1M domestic B.O.) wasn’t as mass-appealing as those franchises’ first installments. Plus Ethan Hawke, a major star in the first title, isn’t around for Sinister 2, nor is anyone of any headline caliber. Sinister 2 did beat the C+ CinemaScore of the first film, but that’s not showing at the B.O.
Heading into the weekend, RelishMix noticed that social activity was light on Sinister 2, but gaining slightly. The film’s social media universe stands at 43.2M comprised mostly of 41.2M YouTube Views. The movie’s FB page added a constant 3K fans daily up to 1.5M.
20th Century Fox’s Hitman: Agent 47 has been shot in the kneecaps and is falling below its $10M estimated weekend with $8.3M in fourth. Critics hated this film at 8% Rotten which is even more than they despised Sinister 2 (11% Rotten) and the first Hitman (14%). So why make another one? The first one worked globally grossing $100M, 60% of that coming from overseas. Social media yield on Agent 47 is a blip per Relish Mix. The combination of #HitmanAgent47, #Hitman and #Agent47 hashtags only total just north of 2K. Official Hitman FB page is up to 195k fans with crossover from the comic book FB which counts 3.25M fans. 43.2M YouTube video views are only going viral at a rate of 5 to 1, which again is low. Star Rupert Friend is talking about Hitman: Agent 47 to his 16K FB friends and 20K Twitter followers. However, co-star Zachary Quinto who touts 1.1M Twitter followers, 555K Instagram and close to 700K likes on FB is merely mentioning the film, giving more chatter and photos to the next Star Trek and Oliver Stone’s upcoming Snowden.
Warner Bros.’ second weekend of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is looking at $7.36M in fifth, which marks a 45% decline. Not a bad hold, but not good enough for a film that cost $84M before distribution and marketing. Ten-day cume by Sunday is now projected at $26.6M.
Which brings us to Lionsgate’s American Ultra. This is the big headscratcher. I’m hearing from sources that the turnout at certain metro multiplexes was microscopic. Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart fans, who turned up at 30%, also gave the film a B-. Out of the three wide releases, this one looked like it was a winner-take-all with its hip reteaming of Stewart and Eisenberg, last seen in the cult comedy Adventureland.
And yet American Ultra is set to flame out with $5.6M – less than what Lionsgate shelled out to acquire domestic — which is mind boggling largely because Stewart spurs plenty of heat on social media three years after the Twilight series ended. This is despite the fact that she doesn’t own any personal social media handles. At the Tuesday night Los Angeles premiere, Stewart posed for a photo with Twilight star Taylor Lautner, and the response from the crowd was as though the planets just aligned in the cosmos. Also, critics aren’t overly jaded about American Ultra, giving it a 44% rotten score.
So why’s American Ultra waning? Good question. New York Magazine film critic David Edelstein writes: “Stewart and Eisenberg have real movie-star chemistry.” Some rival distribs believe the public isn’t buying the idea of Stewart and Eisenberg as killer CIA agents. Maybe they’re right: Eisenberg has seen bigger openings with films like Now You See Me ($29.4M). Even his 2011 August bomb 13 Minutes or Less saw a higher opening with $13M (final cume $37M). When it came to doing PR, Stewart and Eisenberg weren’t slouches, landing USA Today online videos/feature. Stewart played word games with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. Altogether there were 15 national talk show appearances.
Rentrak’s Pre-Act saw fervent social media activity for American Ultra prior to its release. RelishMix reports that while the social media yield was light on American Ultra, Stewart’s Twilight fans were cross-promoting to their 42M Facebook fans and 1.4M followers on the official Twilight pages. Stewart’s FB international fans pages were feeding American Ultra materials to their 4.9M+ fans. American Ultra’s SMU counts 29.1M comprised of 10.3M FB fans, 2.8M TW followers and 16.3M YouTube views. But then the social chatter just sags from there: Reposted rate of videos for American Ultra are average at 7 to 1. The film’s FB page of 136K sputtered along with 1K likes a day, then surged with close to 10K following the premiere. Instagram also got some kick from the premiere when Viners starting posting videos, driving followers to 34K. #AmericanUltra Twitter hashtag activity has skyrocketed to 18K. Lionsgate first dated American Ultra at the end of April, after what was perceived to be a positive reaction to footage at CinemaCon.
Among notables, Sony Pictures Classics’ Lily Tomlin title Grandma which boasts an 89% fresh Tomato score is grossing a hearty $110K for the weekend or $27,500 at four New York and Los Angeles venues. SPC spent $2M for world rights to the movie out of Sundance. Lionsgate Premiere’s Peter Bogdanovich comedy She’s Funny That Way is in 27 theaters and will make roughly less than half of Grandma with $51K. The film which reteams Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson after Marley & Me was bought out of last year’s Toronto Film Festival.
The top 10 films for the weekend of Aug. 21-23 per industry estimates updated as of Saturday 8:23AM:
1) Straight Outta Compton (UNI), 2,757 theaters / $8.3M Fri. (-66%) / 3-day cume: $27.5M (-54%)/Total cume: $112.2M/ Wk 2
2) Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation (PAR), 3,442 theaters (-258) / $3.36M Fri. (-32%) / 3-day cume: $11.9M (-31%)/ Total Cume: $157.96/ Wk 4
3) Sinister 2 (Gramercy/Focus), 2,766 theaters / $4.67M Fri.*/ 3-day cume: $11M / Wk 1
*includes Thursday previews of $850K.
4) Hitman: Agent 47 (20th Century Fox), 3,261 theaters / $3.085M Fri.**/ 3-day cume: $8.3M / Wk 1
*includes Thursday previews of $600K.
5) Man From U.N.C.L.E (WB), 3,673 theaters (+35) / $2.18M Fri. (-55%)/ 3-day cume: $7.36M (-45%)/Total cume: $26.6M/ Wk 2
6) American Ultra (Lionsgate), 2,778 theaters / $2.1M Fri.+/ 3-day cume: $5.6M / Wk 1
+includes Thursday previews of $425K.
7/8/9) The Gift (STX), 2,303 theaters (-200) / $1.27M Fri. (-34%) / 3-day cume: $4.29M(-34%)/ Total Cume: $31M /Wk 3
Ant-Man (DIS), 2,016 theaters (-290) / $1.17MFri. (-24%) / 3-day cume: $4.2M(-23%)/Total cume: $164.6M / Wk 6
Minions (UNI), 2,226 theaters (-414)/ $1.07M Fri. (-26%)/ 3-day cume: $3.87M (-25%)/Total Cume: $320.1M / Wk 7
10) Fantastic Four (FOX), 2,581 theaters (-1,423)/ $1.068M Fri. (-55%)/ 3-day cume: $3.6M (-56%)/ Total Cume: $49.6M /Wk 3
Grandma (SPC), 4 theaters / $33K Fri./3-day cume: $110K/PTA $27,500/ Wk 1
She’s Funny That Way (LG Premiere), 27 theaters / $14K Fri.*/ 3-day cume: $51K/PTA $1,885/Wk 1
2nd Update, Friday 6PM: Talk about the summertime blues. Given the onslaught of R-rated offerings today, matinees weren’t expected to be hot, but it appears we might be hitting the doldrums of August. Looking at late-afternoon box office estimates, the top films are off their initial projections. Some insiders attribute this to school being back in session, while others say that the latest crop is cannibalizing one another as all three are vying for the under-25 demographic.
Universal/Legendary’s Straight Outta Compton is still on course to hit $110.7M by Sunday, but with a lower FSS than expected: $26.2M at 3,025 theaters, a 56% decline from its $60.2M opening weekend. Compton should end today at $8M, down 65% from its first day (which was loaded with $4.96M in Thursday previews).
Gramercy/Focus Features/Blumhouse’s Sinister 2 has second place, but with a take that’s below its projected high-teens weekend: $12.3M at 2,766. While the horror sequel was tracking high among young females, according to Rentrak’s Post Trak, it’s the guys who are showing up at 55% — 59% of them under 25. Sinister 2‘s Friday currently is figured to be $5.38M. Rotten Tomatoes shows critics loathing Sinister 2 at 11% fresh, but this film wasn’t made for them.
Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is steady as it goes in third with an estimated $3.3M in its fourth Friday, with a FSS of $11.87M at 3,442. By Sunday, M:I5 looks to be at $157.9M,, inching closer to overtaking The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water ($162.99M) as Paramount’s highest-grossing title of the year.
20th Century Fox’s Hitman: Agent 47 is drawing mostly older males, with 60% guys/65% over 25, according to Post Trak. Hitman is looking at $4M today with a $10M weekend in fourth place from 3,261 playdates. If there’s any film that critics hate more than Sinister 2 this weekend, it’s Agent 47, which they’re grading at 8% fresh on RT.
The suave, sophisticated CIA guys in Warner Bros.’ The Man From U.N.C.L.E. are outsmarting the stoner ones in Lionsgate’s American Ultra, at the box office that is. U.N.C.L.E.’s second FSS of $7.1M puts it in fifth, while the ultraviolent Kristen Stewart-Jesse Eisenberg film is currently ringing up $6.5M at 2,778. Ultra is on track to have a higher Friday than U.N.C.L.E., $2.25M to $2.12M. Where are Stewart’s femme Twilight fans? Well, they’re not at American Ultra, according to Post Trak, which shows 59% males, 40% of them under 25. Out of the three new releases today, critics like American Ultra the most with a 45% Rotten Tomatoes grade. U.N.C.L.E.‘s second weekend reps a 47% decline. Its 10-day cume is projected to be $26.3M.
1st Update, Friday, 7:29AM: Thursday night saw a battle royal among three R-rated wide entries in regards to preview money, but none of them fared as well as Universal’s Straight Outta Compton, which continued to hold No. 1 with $4.6M, raising its week’s cume to $84.8M. The F. Gary Gray film, still bolstered by Fandango online ticket sales, will definitely clear the century mark by Sunday with a second weekend that is 40%-50% less than its $60.2M opening. Today, Compton expands beyond the 3,000-theater threshold.
None of the previews chalked up the typical $1M Thursday night for the standard weekend opener. There’s so many of them stepping on each other’s toes. Gramercy/Focus Features/Blumhouse’s Sinister 2 was the highest with $850K last night at 2,100 locations, followed by 20th Century’s Fox’s sequel Hitman: Agent 47, which seized $600K, and Lionsgate’s American Ultra which made $425K. Rentrak reports close to 40% K-12 schools and 23% colleges are already back in session, so don’t expect any dazzling matinees for these three titles today. Any foot traffic for this crop comes at night.
Sinister 2 is expected to continue its momentum as the best of the three with a $17.5M-$18M opening at 2,758 theaters. Earlier this summer Gramercy/Focus/Blumhouse’s Insidious: Chapter 3 raked in $1.55M in Thursday night previews on its way to a $22.7M FSS. Young females repped the majority of that PG-13 title’s crowd, and according to tracking, females under 25 are making the R-rated Sinister 2 their first choice at 18%; that’s more than double the want-to-see for the Kristen Stewart-Jesse Eisenberg action comedy American Ultra.
Hitman: Agent 47 is seeing most of its interest among males under and over 25, with a weekend that is $10M-$12M at 3,261 venues. American Ultra, which was acquired by Lionsgate for $7M, is looking at $6M-$8M at 2,778 for FSS. Total awareness for the Nima Nourizadeh-directed film is highest among guys under 25 at 60%.