It opened in first place, as the original horror film doubled the opening for its main competition, action sequel xXx: Return of Xander Cage. It led in its second weekend too, experiencing one of the smallest second-weekend declines for any horror film in recent years, beating out two major new debuts. Now this weekend, Universal’s Split leads for an improbable third weekend — something virtually nobody could have predicted pre-release.
The film took in an estimated $14.6 million at the box office, down 43.0 percent. Following its mere 35.9 percent decline the previous weekend, both its weekend drops so far have now been below 45 percent — very impressive for the frontloaded horror genre, which usually experiences 60+ percent declines its second weekends and 45+ percent declines in third weekends. Split has avoided that fate by its positive word of mouth and uncommon theater count increases on both its second and third weekends, unusual for a film that debuts in wide release to begin with.
Box office three-peats have been unusually common in the past few months, as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story did it in December/January and Moana did it in November/December. But both of those were among the most anticipated films of the entire year, as were several other films to accomplish the feat in 2016 such as Suicide Squad, Finding Dory, The Jungle Book, or Star Wars: The Force Awakens. On the other hand, Split came somewhat out of the blue. Some of the earliest long range forecasts didn’t even have it leading on its opening weekend (although the forecasts almost all did by a few days before release, as the film steadily gained in pre-release buzz). Now the title stands just shy of the nine-digit mark, having earned $98.71 million total, and should likely cross $100 million during an early weekday this week — perhaps as soon as Monday.
The main competitor for first place this weekend fell just a bit short, as Paramount’s horror sequel Rings opened with an estimated $13.0 million. The film earned a dismal C- CinemaScore from an audience that was 54 percent female and 67 percent under age 25. The horror sequel started below the $15.0 million opening for the original The Ring — and that film was released in 2002, when ticket prices were much lower. Adjusted for inflation, the comparisons look even worse, debuting 41.8 percent behind 2002’s The Ring and a massive 72.5 percent behind 2005’s The Ring Two. But with a $25 million budget, this installment still might be able to make it into the black when all is said and done.
Both of the top two films at the box office were horror releases. When was the last time this occurred? A Boxoffice Pro review finds that it doesn’t appear to have occurred at any other point this decade. Horror doesn’t even take first place for the weekend that often, but the times it’s happened in the past five years — including Don’t Breathe, The Conjuring 2, Ouija, Insidious Chapter 2, The Conjuring, The Purge, Evil Dead, Texas Chainsaw 3D, Paranormal Activity 4, and The Possession — didn’t see a fellow horror release taking the runner-up spot.
Rings began with an estimated $5.64 million on Friday, including $800 thousand from Thursday night previews, made an approximately-equal $5.62 million on Saturday, and is projected to decline a steep 69.1 percent on Sunday to $1.73 million. This places the film’s opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.31 to 1, about in line with the usual for the frontloaded horror genre.
Rounding out the top five are three holdovers: Universal’s A Dog’s Purpose with an estimated 40.6 percent decline to $10.8 million, Fox’s Hidden Figures with an estimated 27.9 percent drop to $10.1 million, and Lionsgate’s awards frontrunner La La Land with an estimated 39.1 percent fall to $7.45 million.
Speaking of awards contenders… Weinstein’s Company’s Lion more than doubled its theater count to 1,405 screens, its highest nationwide screen count yet. In the process, it cracked the box office top 10 for the first time with an estimated $4.0 million and eighth place. The film has now taken in $24.7 million total.
STX Entertainment’s The Space Between Us opened in ninth place with an estimated $3.82 million. That was about in line with the already-low projections for the title, and with an estimated $30 million production budget, the film appears unlikely to even reach $10 million. (However, STX’s share of the budget is only $3.7 million after co-financing and tax credits.) The movie earned an A- average CinemaScore from an audience that was 69 percent female and 67 percent over age 18 — surprising for a film with two teenaged lead characters.
The Space Between Us started with an estimated $1.4 million on Friday, including $170 thousand in Thursday night previews, improved an estimated 23.5 percent to $1.73 million on Saturday, and is projected to decline 60.1 percent on Sunday to $690 thousand. This places the film’s opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.72 to 1.
The top 10 films this weekend earned an estimated $76.07 million total. That’s 31.8 percent below the $111.65 earned by the top 10 films last weekend. It’s also 35.7 percent below the $118.35 million earned by the top 10 films on this weekend last year, when Kung Fu Panda 3 led with $41.28 million.
Sony Classics’ The Comedian starring Robert De Niro debuted to an estimated $1.12 million in 848 theaters. Magnolia’s I Am Not Your Negro began with an estimated $709 thousand on 43 screens. And Paladin’s Chapter & Verse posted the best per-screen average of the weekend with $32,713 on one screen.
While La La Land has peaked at second place in the domestic weekend box office, it tentatively appears to have won the overseas box office for the first time this weekend. The film earned an estimated $20.1 million overseas weekend, down 18.3 percent, in 72 markets. This brings the film to a $150.0 million overseas and $268.3 million global total. Notable grosses to date include $30.3 million in the United Kingdom, $22.9 million in South Korea, and $12.4 million in Australia.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter earned an estimated $16.5 million overseas weekend, down 34.8 percent, in 57 markets. It’s now earned a $95.6 million overseas and $117.5 million global total.
Rings started with an estimated $15.2 million overseas weekend in 35 markets, for a $28.2 million global total.
Split made an estimated $14.6 million overseas weekend, down only 1.4 percent, in 41 markets. It’s now earned a $44.0 million overseas and $142.7 million global total.
Studio Weekend Estimates for Friday, February 3 – Sunday, February 5, 2017:
|3||A Dog’s Purpose||$10,800,000||-41%||3,178||120||$3,398||$32,901,265||2||Universal|
|5||La La Land||$7,450,000||-39%||3,236||100||$2,302||$118,306,924||9||Lionsgate / Summit|
|6||Resident Evil: The Final Chapter||$4,500,000||-67%||3,104||0||$1,450||$21,851,775||2||Sony / Screen Gems|
|9||The Space Between Us||$3,820,000||—||2,812||—||$1,358||$3,820,000||1||STX Entertainment|
|10||xXx: The Return of Xander Cage||$3,700,000||-57%||2,478||-1173||$1,493||$40,024,887||3||Paramount|
|11||Rogue One: A Star Wars Story||$2,933,000||-44%||1,613||-436||$1,818||$524,642,512||8||Disney|
|13||Gold (2016)||$1,450,000||-58%||2,166||0||$669||$6,221,465||2||The Weinstein Company / Dimension|
|14||Patriots Day||$1,145,000||-59%||1,003||-844||$1,142||$30,255,974||7||CBS Films / Lionsgate|
|15||Passengers||$875,000||-4%||1,104||479||$793||$97,405,870||7||Sony / Columbia|
|1||The Founder||$1,515,000||-42%||936||-179||$1,619||$9,911,805||3||Weinstein Company|
|5||The Comedian||$1,107,710||—||848||—||$1,306||$1,107,710||1||Sony Pictures Classics|
|8||20th Century Women||$483,230||-47%||253||-397||$1,910||$4,789,757||6||A24|
|9||Un Padre No Tan Padre||$435,000||-56%||312||0||$1,394||$1,637,509||2||Lionsgate / Pantelion Films.|
|15||Elle (2016)||$95,044||-25%||104||-24||$914||$1,943,214||13||Sony Pictures Classics|
|16||The Resurrection of Gavin Stone||$72,595||-84%||114||-765||$637||$2,278,608||3||BH Tilt|
|1||I am Not Your Negro||$709,500||—||43||—||$16,500||$709,500||1||Magnolia Pictures|
|2||The Salesman||$236,871||233%||46||43||$5,149||$346,924||2||Cohen Media Group|
|4||Julieta||$127,729||5%||58||10||$2,202||$1,029,697||7||Sony Pictures Classics|
|5||Toni Erdmann||$103,302||8%||24||4||$4,304||$528,079||7||Sony Pictures Classics|
|6||The Red Turtle||$75,357||4%||21||6||$3,588||$235,249||3||Sony Pictures Classics|
|7||The Eagle Huntress||$40,459||-45%||48||-43||$843||$2,936,539||14||Sony Pictures Classics|
|8||Buddies in India||$25,000||-86%||25||-30||$1,000||$279,043||2||China Lion Entertainment|
|9||Mr. Gaga: A True Story of Love and Dance||$24,685||—||2||—||$12,343||$33,963||1||Abramorama|
|10||Worlds Apart||$6,700||117%||1||0||$6,700||$53,890||4||Cinema Libre Studio|
|12||Saving Banksy||$6,458||-38%||4||0||$1,615||$37,854||4||Parade Deck Films|