Weekend Box Office: Summer’s Satisfying Start

I often have a good chuckle when I hear box office analysts boldly label a movie’s premiere as a failure despite opening right on track with studio expectations. This weekend’s top flick opened pretty much where it was predicted to, yet it’s being called a misfire for not being as grandiose as its 10-year-old predecessors and most $200+ million blockbusters. In my opinion, the blockbuster season is off to a great start.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2‘ opened $1 million above studio expectations. From 4,324 IMAX, 3D and 2D locations, the sequel to 2012’s reboot pulled in $92 million, which is one of the year’s highest openings and just a couple million behind April’s ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’. Many box office reports note that Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy brought in much higher numbers without the additional income of 3D ticket prices, but it’s worth noting that there wasn’t such a high saturation of comic book movies back then. Because Raimi’s movies debuted to $114.8 million, $88.1 million (over a long holiday weekend) and $151.1 million, the $92 earned by ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ is said to be a signal of franchise fatigue. Yet it’s still up $30 million from the Fourth of July weekend numbers for the first ‘Amazing Spider-Man’. I don’t see this franchise going anywhere – especially not when you look at the $277 million the film has already earned overseas.

Spidey’s closest contender was last weekend’s top movie, ‘The Other Woman‘. Down 42% in its second weekend, the Cameron Diaz/Leslie Mann/Kate Upton chick flick added another $14.2 million to its $47.3 million ten-day total. At this rate, the studio may inflict a sequel upon us. What do you think the title will be? ‘The Other Women’? ‘The Other Other Woman’?

Heaven Is for Real‘ held on to the #3 spot, slipping 39% in attendance. Its $8.7 million third weekend pushed the film’s total up to $65.6 million, beating out ‘Son of God’ and ‘God’s Not Dead’ as the highest-grossing faith-based movie of 2014.

With ‘Spider-Man’ stealing some of its box office thunder, five-week-old ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘ suffered its first significant drop-off to date, down 52%. It brought in another $7.7 million, pushing its domestic total up to $237.1 million. Worldwide, ‘Cap’ has now earned $679.8 million.

Fifth place went to ‘Rio 2‘ which, in its fourth weekend, earned $7.6 million and crossed the $100 million mark. Domestically, the kiddie sequel has earned $106.4 million. Overseas, it’s grossed $286.8 million. Dammit, here comes ‘Rio 3’, which I hope is titled ‘Três Rios’.

Two limited indie flicks also opened this weekend. One did well, but the other was DOA.

Fox Searchlight’s ‘Belle‘ rolled out on just four screens, but brought in $105,000. The $26,250 per-screen average is a good indicator of what the film might do as it expands leading up to Memorial Day. That is, if the studio starts marketing it.

Elizabeth Banks’ ‘Walk of Shame‘, on the other hand, had to hang its head in shame. Focus released the R-rated comedy on 51 screens and on VOD services. Nobody reports VOD numbers, but the comedy only grossed $38,000 from theatrical showings. Its per-screen average was just $745, so don’t expect this title to expand to your area. If interested, you’ll most likely have to go the VOD route before it hits Blu-ray shelves.

Top 10:

1. ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ (Sony) – $92,000,000

2. ‘The Other Woman’ (Fox) – $14,200,000

3. ‘Heaven Is for Real’ (TriStar) – $8,700,000

4. ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ (Buena Vista) – $7,762,000

5. ‘Rio 2’ (Fox) – $7,600,000

6. ‘Brick Mansions’ (Relativity) – $3,545,000

7. ‘Divergent’ (Summit) – $2,175,000

8. ‘The Quiet Ones’ (Lionsgate) – $2,000,000

9. ‘God’s Not Dead’ (Free Style) – $1,769,000

10. ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ (Fox Searchlight) – $1,735,000


  1. I’ve always judged summer films by the quality of the movies, not their box office take. If Spider-man 2 is really the start of the summer season, then it’s off to a shaky start – although I REALLY consider Captain America 2 to be the start…even though it came out last month (“summer” will start in March pretty soon…doubt it? Paramount already has their next Beverly Hills Cop movie lined up for March 2015). So we’re 1 for 2 on big budget blockbusters so far – at least in terms of entertainment.

  2. William Henley

    What would you guys consider “big budget”? I mean, I Divergant didn’t cost $200 million, but I still think thats a pretty good sized budget movie.

    Analysts is silly. Its like saying Enterprise failed because of franchise fatigue, even though it was pulling more viewers than Voyager did. That show failed because of poor network handling.

    There is no way A. Spidy 2 could be considered a failure by any stretch of the imagination.

    • I think anything that cost over $100 million is still a big budget film, although movies that cost over $150 million would certainly qualify.

      Divergent cost about $85 million, although the sequel’s costs will probably top $100 million.

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