6TH WRITETHRU Monday final: At a time in Hollywood when studios are dusting off old blockbuster classics like Star Wars and Jurassic Park and re-energizing them, 20th Century Fox’s Independence Day: Resurgence alienated generations of fans this weekend, with $41M. No amount of advance marketing, from a Super Bowl spot to parading the entire cast at CinemaCon, could save this film from its plight in the states as audiences yearned to see an engaging movie star in a movie above and beyond a VFX cauldron. There’s no discrepancy between what film critics think (who gave it a 33% Rotten score) and audiences’ B CinemaScore. While the raging trend of sequelitis has been the go-to excuse for various franchise pics’ failure to deliver this year, Resurgence obviously didn’t have the goods to begin with, compared to such films as Captain America: Civil War, Finding Dory and Conjuring 2 (current domestic $86.9M) that bucked the sequelitis curse.
Overseas, Resurgence fared better with a $100.15M opening from Russia, China, Latin America, South Korea, Mexico, India, Australia and United Kingdom. Why does a film like Resurgence die in the States and live abroad? Outside of Western Europe and Australia, there’s a bigger appetite for event films regardless of quality, and U.S. audiences’ standards for entertainment are much higher. Couple this with the fact that the exhibition infrastructure in such places as Russia, China and Latin America is still hitting its stride. Worldwide, Imax screens took in $15.8M for Resurgence, while only $5M at 365 here in the U.S./Canada.
Is the disaster movie dead? Especially since this is Emmerich’s second blunder following White House Down? Says one non-Fox executive, “You better have a fresh spin on it with compelling characters and a story that makes up for any VFX on the screen.”
There’s also a bit of deja vu here, reminiscent of last year’s July 4th release Terminator: Genisys, in that a half-baked reboot followed a Pixar film that’s pulling in everyone from 5 to 80. Last year Pixar’s offering was Inside Out, which would ultimately reign at No. 1 during the July 4th holiday weekend, and this year we have Finding Dory, which after posting the best opening for an animation film last weekend with $135M, easily scored the best second weekend for the genre with $73M, out-pegging the previous high from DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek 2 ($72.2M).
In addition, there was a number of strong holdovers aimed at men (Warner Bros./New Line/Universal’s Central Intelligence, down just 49% for a second weekend of $18.2M and 10-day total of $69.2M) and new titles aimed at women, specifically Sony’s The Shallows with $16.8M. These titles were siphoning off demos from Resurgence, or at least providing a better option at the multiplex.
With Shallows blowing its $7M-$11M projections away, we can nearly call summer 2016 the season when genre ruled, especially in the wake of Warner Bros./New Line’s Conjuring 2. Shallows was the best reviewed title this weekend out of all the wide entries with 74% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. And whenever that happens for a horror film, it’s an anomaly.
Beamed Josh Greenstein, Sony president of worldwide marketing and distribution, about Shallows’ success, “We had the best reviewed new movie of the weekend and combined with a great audience response saw a fantastic result. People wanted to watch a film with quality that was original in this summer landscape.”
“We saw an opportunity, we knew we had a great playing movie, and we wanted to take advantage of how well this movie would play into the Fourth of July weekend,” adds Greenstein about Sony moving up Shallows’ release by a week at the last minute.
Shallows digital marketing did the heavy lifting, hitting millennials and young moviegoers. Sony had 18 different demographic and psychographic targets online; everything from outdoor enthusiasts to fans of empowered female actors. The studio created customized video content for each.
“The largest percent of our media buy on Shallows was digital and the customization of the campaign on different platforms really helped us break through,”explains Greenstein. Shallows, before P&A, cost an estimated $17M.
Sony worked with influential outlets like Buzzfeed’s Try Guys, Refinery 29 and Vice. Shallows played into Discovery Channel’s Shark Week with Blake Lively showing behind-the-scenes content with shark expert Paul De Gelder. Social media stunts included a “shark fin activation” during Spring Break in Panama City Beach – a jet ski towed a giant Shallows-branded fin along the coast. There were pool parties in Los Angeles, Miami and Phoenix and a Wave Waterpark “Friday Night Splash” activation in San Diego. During Memorial Day weekend, there was another shark fin activation in Long Beach, CA that generated a large social response as beachgoers were warned to #FearTheShallows. And we can’t forget that riveting Shallows trailer that dropped following CinemaCon which truly showed this wasn’t a cookie-cutter shark movie.
STX Entertainment’s Matthew McConaughey Free State of Jones didn’t launch with $7.6M at 2,815 locations. There’s been an ongoing discussion lately about how critics can really impact a film’s chances at the box office, and when it comes to an adult-geared drama like this, reviews are even more crucial since older folk follow them. Despite winning an A- CinemaScore with those who showed up, FSOJ was largely panned by film reviewers with a 40% Rotten Tomatoes score (there were some decent reviews out of New York). But the fact that FSOJ‘s audience was comprised of 51% over 50 is very telling. This audience doesn’t come out in abundance during opening weekend, and it was STX’s intention to get a leg-up on July 4th, so that FSOJ could play into a holiday weekend and provide an alternative for these older moviegoers (folks who have no intention of seeing Tarzan, BFG or Independence Day: Resurgence).
Broad Green’s release of Amazon’s Neon Demon at 783 theaters drew $589K which isn’t a great opening for a film of this magnitude. The hope here was that Neon Demon would open to at least $2M-$3M. Marketing materials began dropping for this Nicolas Winding Refn movie back in April when it was announced that it was headed to the Cannes Film Festival. Amazon tried to dazzle exhibitors with footage of the movie at a CinemaCon lunch and a Skype call from Refn. But like David Lynch, Refn has his fair share of both fans and detractors, and he delivered a stylized genre film with less commercial appeal than his cult pinnacle Drive ($11.3M opening, $35M domestic). Unfortunately, Neon Demon had the deck stacked against it ever since it polarized critics at Cannes. Broad Green executed a mostly digital campaign ala TWC Radius’ It Follows. Refn has been working overtime, showing up at Q&As at Alamo Drafthouses, The Hollywood ArcLight, and even at an advance screening with Drive star Ryan Gosling at Hollywood Cinespia. Neon Demon is the second Refn film after Only God Forgives to fizzle stateside. That said, there are those who believe there’s a business in Refn, read Vendian and Wild Bunch who announced a first look deal at Cannes with the director’s Space Rocket Nation. Other than the U.S., the other big markets for Refn are France and the U.K. where both Drive ($13.3M in France, $4.7M in UK) and Only God Forgives ($3.7M, $1.9M) excelled.
Final weekend reported figures from ComScore:
1). Finding Dory (DIS), 4,305 theaters (0)/3-day cume: $73M (-46%)/ Per screen avg.: $16,948/ Total cume:$286.3/Wk 2
2). Independence Day: Resurgence (FOX), 4,068 theaters /3-day cume: $41M/ Per screen: $10,088 /Wk 1
3). Central Intelligence (WB/NL/UNI), 3,508 theaters (0) /3-day cume: $18.2M (-49%)/ Per screen: $5,200 /Total cume: $69.2M/Wk 2
4).The Shallows (SONY), 2,962 theaters / 3-day cume: $16.8M / Per screen: $5,672 /Wk 1
5). Conjuring 2 (WB/NL), 3,033 theaters (-323) / 3-day cume: $7.7M (-48%)/ Per screen: $2,539 /Total cume: $86.9M/Wk 3
6). Free State of Jones (STX), 2,815 theaters / 3-day cume: $7.6M/ Per screen: $2,690 /Wk 1
7). Now You See Me 2 (LG), 2,745 theaters (-487)/ 3-day cume: $5.6M (-40%)/ Per screen: $2,038 /Total cume: $52M/Wk 3
8). X-Men: Apocalypse (FOX), 1,679 theaters (-953) /3-day cume: $2.49M (-53%) / Per screen: $1,483 /Total cume: $151.1M/Wk 5
9). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (PAR), 1,947 theaters (-1,139)/ 3-day cume: $2.46M (-53%)/ Per screen: $1,266 /Total Cume: $77.2M/Wk 4
10). Warcraft (UNI/LEG), 1,952 theaters (-1,454) / 3-day cume: $2.2M (-69%)/ Per screen: $1,151 /Total cume: $44M/Wk 3
11). Me Before You (MGM/New Line/WB), 2,645 theaters (-117) /3-day cume: $3.9M (-57%)/ Per screen: $1,479 / Total cume: $46.1M/Wk 4
12). Alice Through The Looking Glass (Disney), 495 theaters (-1,385) /3-day cume: $1.9M (-57%) / Per screen: $3,743 / Total cume: $74.3M/ Wk 5
13). Captain America: Civil War (Disney), 753 theaters (-681) / 3-day cume: $1.4M (-41%) / Per screen: $1,817 / Total cume: $403.9M/ Wk 8
14). The Jungle Book (DIS), 478 theaters (-475) /3-day cume: $1.3M (-16%)/ Per screen: $2,631 /Total cume: $358M / Wk 11
15). Neon Demon (BGREEN/AMZN), 783 theaters /3-day cume: $589K / Per screen: $752 /Wk 1
16). Love & Friendship (AMZ/RSA), 281 theaters (-216) /3-day cume: $496K (-36%) / Per screen: $1,668 /Total cume: $11.9M/Wk 7
17). The Angry Birds Movie (SONY/ROVIO), 443 theaters (-1,578)/ 3-day cume: $455K (-73%)/ Per screen: $1,027 / Total cume: $104.9M/ Wk 6
18). The Lobster (A24), 210 theaters (-109) / 3-day cume: $404K (-33%)/ Per screen: $1,922 /Total cume: $7.4M/Wk 7
19). The Nice Guys (WB), 291 theaters (-231)/3-day cume: $400K (-51%)/ Per screen: $1,376 /Total cume: $35M/ Wk 6
20). Maggie’s Plan (SPC), 203 theaters (-123)/3-day cume: $274K (-36%)/ Per screen: $1,349 /Total cume: $2.3M/ Wk 6
Sunday studio-reported figures for the weekend of June 24-26:
1). Finding Dory (DIS), 4,305 theaters / $23.2M Fri. / $27.9M Sat. (+21%) / $22.1M Sun. (-21%) /3-day cume: $73.2M(-46%)/Total cume:$286.6/Wk 2
2). Independence Day: Resurgence (FOX), 4,068 theaters / $16.8M Fri. (includes $4M previews) / $14M Sat. (-17%) / $10.8M Sun. (-23%) /3-day cume: $41.6M/Wk 1
3). Central Intelligence (WB/NL/UNI), 3,508 theaters / $5.7M Fri./ $7.4M Sat. (+30%) / $5.3M Sun. (-28%) /3-day cume: $18.4M (-48%)/Total cume: $69.3M/Wk 2
4). The Shallows (SONY), 2,962 theaters / $6.9M Fri. (includes $1.3M previews) /$5.6M Sat. (-19%) / $4.2M Sun. (-24%) / 3-day cume: $16.7M /Wk 1
5). Free State of Jones (STX), 2,815 theaters / $2.66M Fri. (includes $365K previews) /$2.8M Sat. (+7%) / $2.3M Sun. (-20%) / 3-day cume: $7.8M/Wk 1
6). Conjuring 2 (WB/NL), 3,033 theaters (-323) / $2.6M Fri. /$3M Sat. (+19%) / $2.1M Sun. (-30%) / 3-day cume: $7.7M (-48%)/Total cume: $86.9M/Wk 3
7). Now You See Me 2 (LG), 2,745 theaters (-487)/ $1.7M Fri./ $2.25M Sat. (+30%) / $1.68M Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $5.65M (-40%)/ Total cume: $52.05M/Wk 3
8). X-Men: Apocalypse (FOX), 1,679 theaters (-953) / $735K Fri. /$1.06M Sat. (+44%) / $685K Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $2.5M (-53%) /Total cume: $151.2M/Wk 5
9). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (PAR), 1,947 theaters (-1,139)/ $675K Fri. / $983K Sat. (+46%) / $742K Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $2.4M (-54%)/Total Cume: $77.1M/Wk 4
10). Warcraft (UNI/LEG), 1,952 theaters (-1,454) / $642K Fri./ $927K Sat. (+44%) / $556K Sun. (-40%) / 3-day cume: $2.1M (-71%)/ Total cume: $43.9M/Wk 3
Neon Demon (BGREEN/AMZN), 783 theaters / $240K Fri. / $196K Sat. (-18%) / $170K Sun. (-13%) /3-day cume: $607K /Wk 1
Swiss Army Men (A24), 3 theaters / $48K Fri. / $36K Sat. (-25%) / $29K Sun. (-19%) /PTA: $38K/3-day cume: $114K /Wk 1
Weiner Dog (IFC), 2 theaters / $8K Fri. /$10K Sat. (+16%) / $9K Sun. (-10%) /PTA: $14K/ 3-day cume: $27K /Wk 1
Eat That Question (SPC), 2 theaters / $5K Fri. /$7K Sat. (+20%) / $6K Sun. (-14%) /PTA: $9K/ 3-day cume: $18K /Wk 1
4TH WRITETHRU, Saturday 8:15AM: 20th Century Fox’s UFO movie Independence Day: Resurgence is getting crushed by Disney/Pixar’s animated sequel Finding Dory, with the latter tearing up its projections for a huge second weekend that’s estimated at $75.4M, dipping an amazing -44% and flying past $288M by Sunday.
Resurgence is landing below expectations with $43.4M this weekend after a $16.8M Friday. That’s disastrous for a 20-year-old beloved blockbuster franchise that Fox counted as one of its summer pillars. If there’s any prayer for Resurgence‘s domestic box office apocalypse to cease, then it lies abroad where this $165M-$200M Roland Emmerich film is expected do draw $100M-$150M this weekend. Resurgence‘s older male demos (56% men, 67% over 25) aren’t that far from the original’s audience. The only difference is that the 1996 film had an overall A CinemaScore and won over various demos with A+ grades. The sequel has clearly fizzled with audiences who gave it an overall B CinemaScore. Few demos provided a high mark of A- and that was the under 18, 18-24 and under 25 crowds (33%).
Despite a strong holdover by Warner Bros./New Line/Universal’s Central Intelligence ($18.1M) in third, Sony is sitting there like a cat with a canary in its mouth. In a clever last minute movie, the studio decided last week to move up its July 1 $17M Blake Lively shark movie The Shallows by a week and now it’s cutting an estimated $16.02M away from the competition in fourth place. The studio recognized the market’s need for a title appealing to females and capitalized on that opportunity. Females accounted for 55% of Shallows’ crowd with 56% over 25 per CinemaScore. What’s also working in Shallows‘ favor is that it’s the best reviewed wide entry at 75% fresh. 57% of the crowd said they came out to watch Blake Lively battle a shark.
One would think that young females would make a beeline for Nicolas Winding Refn’s stylized Hollywood fashion model horror film Neon Demon from Broad Green/Amazon, but moviegoers are turning up their noses, spending only $239K at 783 theaters on Friday night, for a projected weekend of $609K. Expectations for this film were between $2M-$3M, and if Neon Demon is lucky, it will final at the high end of that. Critics were divided about this film since its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. It has a 48% Rotten score.
Another box office casualty this weekend is STX’s $50M Matthew McConaughey Civil War epic Free State of Jones, which critics dismissed at 41% rotten, but audiences awarded an A-. However, with a great grade like that and a sour estimated opening weekend of $7.7M-$7.8M, a film’s chances of legging out are slim. But here’s what is interesting when you dive into the audience data for FSOJ: 53% were guys, and 92% over 25. However, 51% of the film’s audience was comprised of those over 50, and we need to note that particular crowd doesn’t rush out to theaters on opening weekend; they arrive slowly. Nonetheless, a disappointment here for a film that many were expecting to start at $11M-$13M, and potentially be an awards contender. STX truly stoked the CinemaCon crowd with a riveting clip of McConaughey’s Newton Knight carrying a wounded soldier through a busy battlefield. Forty-four percent of the crowd bought tickets because FSOJ stars McConaughey. STX brought on equity partners and IM Global to cover the pic’s cost and Deadline hears that the Robert Simonds and Bill McGlashan studio stake was under $10M, but the studio is also on the hook for P&A. All in, industry sources tell me that STX’s investment is $40M.
Fox tried to put a cap on any bad word of mouth for Resurgence by keeping domestic critics from advance screenings until Friday AM. It’s not often that a studio keeps a film from the media, and whenever they do, it’s an attempt to control any bad word-of-mouth from poisoning fanboys. Sometimes that unconventional tactic works, but as former ID4 star Will Smith pointed out at Cannes Lions this week, it’s impossible in this social day and age to hide a stinker. Resurgence‘s current reception? Critics loathe it with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 34% while moviegoers are blasé about it with an overall B CinemaScore.
Some blame Resurgence’s failure on its trailers which were a blur of CGI spaceships melting into orange-smoke explosions. Juxtapose this with the 1996 title’s teasers with jarring images of major landmarks being blown up by UFOs, moments which grabbed moviegoers’ attention and pulled them into theaters. And no amount of marketing trickery – or Super Bowl spot placement – can make up for the lack of Will Smith in Resurgence, an essential component of the original required to make a sequel work. The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis also suggested that if we can’t have Smith, then we should get “a charismatic star” or better VFX.
Some of Fox’s initiatives to excite fans fell flat. Recently, there was a cool portal Independence Day: My Street, where one could enter their physical address and see their block pulverized by the U.S. Air Force and UFOs. The clever idea backfired when the media noticed that users could enter in the addresses where tragedies took place, i.e. Brussels Airport, Café Bonne Biere in Paris and 1 World Trade Center, the latter generating eerie images reminiscent of 9/11.
There was a Hollywood premiere on Monday that fans were invited to, but no one was moved to Tweet in great numbers. Relish Mix observed that following the premiere the combination of #Independenceday and #DontMessWithEarth hashtags popped 10X from 508 on Monday to 4.9K across Twitter and Instagram on Tuesday. That’s good, but not great especially when you consider that the Dory premiere popped 20K hashtags, and an exceptional premiere logs around 50K.
Video view counts for Resurgence have been in the 40K/day range recently, and as low as 10K/day according to RelishMix with the viral video rate at 3:1 which is very low for a summer sequel tentpole. Resurgence also lacks a socially active cast, with the exception of Liam Hemsworth who is actively sharing to his 7.5M fans. Also RelishMix reports that the social conversation on Resurgence is “suspicious” particularly given the lack of Smith.
Should Resurgence truly come up short at the B.O., it will be the second disaster film from Emmerich to tank following 2013’s White House Down ($150M, $205.4M worldwide). Is the disaster genre dead? Should Emmerich retire it? Apparently, some studios believe there’s still a buck to be made in mass explosions with Universal fast-tracking the director’s next project Moonfall about the moon falling out of orbit and hurling toward earth.
For a small budget thriller, The Shallows has a strong social media universe of 82.2M (38.6M Facebook fans, 8.1M Twitter followers, around 9M Instagram followers and 26.5M YouTube views) with Blake Lively the epicenter of all social media, promoting to her 11M followers. The top trailers are getting substantial views this week in the 70K range. One clip in particular from the BuzzFeed Video channel’s “Try Guys” is getting over 200K views a day. Social conversation on a whole is positive according to RelishMix.
The top 10 films for the weekend of June 24-26 per industry estimates as of Saturday AM:
1).Finding Dory (DIS), 4,305 theaters / $23.4M Fri. (-57%)/ 3-day cume: $75.4M (-44%)/Total cume:$288.7/Wk 2
2). Independence Day: Resurgence (FOX), 4,068 theaters / $16.8M Fri. (includes $4M previews) / 3-day cume: $43.4M/Wk 1
3). Central Intelligence (WB/NL/UNI), 3,508 theaters / $5.6M Fri. (-57%) / 3-day cume: $18.1M (-49%)/Total cume: $69M/Wk 2
4).The Shallows (SONY), 2,962 theaters / $6.77M Fri. (includes $1.3M previews) / 3-day cume: $16.02M /Wk 1
5).Free State of Jones (STX), 2,815 theaters / $2.66M Fri. (includes $365K previews) / 3-day cume: $7.7-$7.8M/Wk 1
6). Conjuring 2 (WB/NL), 3,033 theaters (-323) / $2.5M Fri. (-54%) / 3-day cume: $7.5M (-50%)/Total cume:$86.7M/Wk 3
7). Now You See Me 2 (LG), 2,745 theaters (-487)/ $1.6M Fri. (-44%) / 3-day cume: $5.5M (-41%)/ Total cume:$51.9M/Wk 3
8). X-Men: Apocalypse (FOX), 1,679 theaters (-953) / $721K Fri. (-49%) / 3-day cume: $2.6M (-51%) /Total cume: $151.2M/Wk 5
9). Warcraft (UNI/LEG), 1,952 theaters (-1,454) / $636k Fri. (-67%) / 3-day cume: $2.15M (-70%)/ Total cume:$43.9M/Wk 3
10). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (PAR), 1,947 theaters (-1,139)/ $646k Fri. (-57%) / 3-day cume: $2.09M (-60%)/Total Cume:$76.8M/Wk 4
Notables: A slew of films out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival hit the screen this weekend, including Swiss Army Men, Wilderpeople and Weiner Dog.
Neon Demon (BGREEN/AMZN), 783 theaters / $239K Fri. / 3-day cume: $609K /Wk 1
Swiss Army Men (A24), 3 theaters / $48K Fri. / PTA: $45K/3-day cume: $135K /Wk 1
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (ORCH), 5 theaters / $19K Fri. / PTA: $12k/3-day cume: $59K/Wk 1
Weiner Dog (IFC), 2 theaters / $8k Fri. /PTA: $14K/ 3-day cume: $26k /Wk 1
Eat That Question (SPC), 2 theaters / $5k Fri. /PTA: $8K/ 3-day cume: $17k /Wk 1
2nd UPDATE, 11:57AM: Projections off of matinees show Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory on course for a $62M-$63M second weekend, while 20th Century Fox’s Independence Day: Resurgence is likely to post a Friday between $18M-$19M for a weekend in the high $40M range at 4,068 venues. Dory will reach $274M by Sunday.
Resurgence, at an estimated production cost of $165M-$200M, is expected to deliver abroad with a projected $100M-$150M out of China, Russia, Latin America and the United Kingdom. Last night, the Roland Emmerich movie generated $4M from 3,200 theaters, a number that’s on par with what Paramount’s Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation delivered in its first night before taking in $55.5M. Current Rotten Tomatoes rating for Resurgence is 40% from 87 reviews. In lieu of Will Smith’s absence in this part 2 to the 1996 film, trailers and stills are highlighting Liam Hemsworth as the new hero this time around.
Sony’s The Shallows is looking quite healthy with an estimated $5M Friday on its way to a projected $13M at 2,962 locations.
With both these titles in the market, the filmmakers connected to Shallows and Resurgence also had other big news today. Deadline’s Mike Fleming broke two stories, first that Emmerich and Harold Kloser sold their Moonfall script to Universal for seven figures, about the moon falling out of orbit and hurtling toward earth. Pic is being fast-tracked. Also Shallows scribe Anthony Jaswinski sold his haunted ship spec Mary to Tooley Productions.
STX Entertainment’s Free State of Jones is limping at this point in time with a projected $3M for Friday and an $8M weekend opening at 2,815 sites. STX produced the film for $50M, but has limited exposure as it brought on several equity partners covering a significant part of the budget, including IM Global which has international rights on the movie
Broad Green/Amazon’s Neon Demon isn’t looking so hot with a $500K Friday and $1.6M-$1.8M opening. These figures could swing up or down by nightfall. Gaumont and Wild Bunch co-financed and co-handled foreign sales on the latest from Danish helmer Nicolas Winding Refn. Amazon bought U.S. rights out of AFM last November. Similar to Refn’s previous 2013 movie Only God Forgives, Neon Demon polarized audiences at Cannes with a portion of the initial press crowd booing, and the pic receiving a 17-minute standing ovation at its evening premiere.
1ST UPDATE, 7:36AM: Four wide releases are piling on top of Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory today, but none of them are expected to have the strength to take the femme fish down. Dory‘s second weekend is projected to be -55% for a three-day total of $60M. Yesterday, she swam past the double century mark with a total of $213.3M after logging $17.4M for the day.
20th Century Fox’s Independence Day: Resurgence, a sequel 20 years in the waiting, grossed $4M from roughly 3,200 theaters last night. The Pico Boulevard studio is hoping for a $50M-plus weekend at 4,068 theaters with help from PLF, 3D and Imax formats. Resurgence‘s previews jive with such previous summer tentpole eves as Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($4M preview, $55.5M FSS) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ($4.1M, $72.6M). Fox held back advance screenings of Resurgence from the domestic press until this morning in hopes that fanboy word of mouth impacts the B.O. for this Roland Emmerich disaster movie for the better. Currently, Resurgence counts a middling 46% Rotten Tomatoes score from 68 reviews.
Sony reported that Thursday previews of its PG-13 Blake Lively shark thriller The Shallows swallowed up $1.325M. That Thursday night figure is right under such PG-13 female-skewing horror films like Insidious: Chapter 3 last June which made $1.55M. The studio moved up Shallows last week to today from its July 1 launch seeing an opportunity to capitalize on those young females who were overdosed from Dory, and with no plans to watch Independence Day: Resurgence or Nicolas Winding Refn’s arty horror pic Neon Demon. While the studio will be content with $7M-$8M from 2,962 locations on this $13M title from Unknown and Non-Stop director Jaume Collet-Serra, rivals believe the shark film has the chops to make more in the $12M-$13M. Currently, out of the four new releases, it’s posting the best Rotten Tomatoes score at 74% fresh. Lively’s previous solo outing, the period romance The Age of Adaline from Lakeshore/Lionsgate, opened to $13.2M in April of last year after $575K previews.
STX Entertainment’s Free State of Jones made $365K last night. The movie stars Matthew McConaughey as Mississippi farmer Newt Knight who led local farmers and slaves against the Confederacy during the Civil War, enabling Jones County to separate itself as a ‘Free State of Jones’. Seabiscuit and Hunger Games’ Gary Ross directs. Free State of Jones, which carries a production tag before P&A of $50M, is hoping to make between $11M-$13M. Currently, from 70 reviews, the film carries a 34% Rotten rating.
Neon Demon will be in play at 780 theaters. Broad Green is handling Refn’s latest from the Cannes Film Festival for a fee. 18-24 olds turning out is the sweet spot for this movie from the Drive director. Neon Demon is mostly booked at theaters on the coasts where Refn’s fanbase lies, versus Middle America. Industry projection for the weekend stands at $2M. Rotten Tomatoes rating from 109 reviews currently stands at a middling 48% rotten.