Weekend Box Office: Error 404

As bad as Neill Blomkamp’s robot movie did this weekend, it’s nowhere close to being as big a bomb as Vince Vaughn’s new comedy.

Although ‘Chappie‘ (or, as I like to call it, ‘CHAPP●E’) debuted in the top spot, its numbers are hardly anything for distributor Sony to be proud about. From 3,201 locations, the R-rated sci-fi flick only pulled in $13.3 million. To give that some perspective, Blomkamp’s ‘District 9‘ opened in 2009 to $37.3 million without featuring a single known actor, and ‘Elysium‘ opened to $29.8 million in 2013 with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster in the leads. Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman and Die Antwoord couldn’t keep Blomkamp’s new $49 million production afloat. Domestically, ‘Chappie’ won’t be playing in the same league as his previous films, but only time will tell if the foreign box office can save it. Without accounting for inflation, the 1986 ‘Short Circuit‘ ($40.6 million) will likely out-gross it.

Will Smith’s ‘Focus‘ dropped to second place in its second week. With an expected 46% drop-off, the romantic caper nabbed $10 million, bringing its ten-day total up to $34.5 million. Although open in most major international markets, the film has only earned $12.2 million overseas. With a $50 million budget, the movie’s global $46.7 million total is much lower than it needs to be deemed a success.

The most successful surprise of the weekend was Fox Searchlight’s ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel‘. In 2012, the first ‘Marigold Hotel‘ was given a platform release that ultimately added up to $46.4 million domestically and $90.4 million internationally – all on a budget of only $10 million. As a result, Searchlight gave the sequel a wide release off the bat. From 1,573 screens, it opened in third place with $8.6 million. Overseas, it has already scored $21 million. Also estimated to have been produced for just $10 million, the sequel is already a success that will turn over pure profit from here on out.

Four-week-old ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service‘ continues to bring in business. Slipping just 30% in attendance, its holdover remains impressive. The $8.3 million weekend brought the R-rated action flick’s domestic total up to $98 million. Internationally, the $80 million movie has grossed $150.3 million. With a worldwide total of $248.3 million, we’re almost certain to get a sequel. Hopefully this time, Matthew Vaughn won’t hand the reins over to another director incapable of making the sequel as good as the original. (See: ‘Kick-Ass 2‘.)

Rounding out the Top 5 was ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water‘, which has benefited from a dearth of kids’ movies since its debut five weeks ago. After a 35% drop-off, ‘SpongeBob’ soaked up another $7 million, bringing its domestic run up to $148.9 million. Overseas, the animated behemoth has earned $110.4 million.

Vince Vaughn’s new comedy ‘Unfinished Business‘ was his biggest flop to date. From 2,777 locations, the R-rated picture only managed $4.8 million, barely enough to land in the Top 10. With a budget of $35 million, it would take an international miracle for Fox to break even on this one. That’s highly unlikely considering that the film is already playing in about half of the overseas markets and has only earned $2.6 million.

The Adam Carolla indie comedy ‘Road Hard‘ had a decent little debut on 22 screens, where it brought in $113,000 for a per-screen average of $5,136.

Also worth noting is that ‘American Sniper‘ broke a record and crossed a milestone this weekend. With a domestic total of $337.2 million, the war drama has eclipsed ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1’ to become the highest-grossing film released in 2014. On this same weekend, its worldwide total crossed the $500 million mark.

Top 10:

1. ‘Chappie’ (Sony) – $13,300,000

2. ‘Focus’ (Warner Bros.) – $10,020,000

3. ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ (Fox Searchlight) – $8,600,000

4. ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ (Fox) – $8,300,000

5. ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water’ (Paramount) – $7,000,000

6. ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ (Universal) – $5,604,000

7. ‘McFarland, USA’ (Buena Vista) – $5,318,000

8. ‘The Lazarus Effect’ (Relativity) – $5,100,000

9. ‘The DUFF’ (Lionsgate) – $4,850,000

10. ‘Unfinished Business’ (Fox) – $4,800,000


  1. William Henley

    With Chappie opening so poorly, I wonder how much longer the studios are going to give Blomkamp big budgets. I didn’t really care to see this movie, but as I am anxious to get the Alien between-quel, I was hoping this would have done better. Does that $13.3 million include Imax ticket sales?

    • I went to my IMAX on a Saturday night and there were approximately 8 people in there…including myself and my date. 🙁

      Blomkamp didn’t exactly get a big budget for this one…around $50 million, probably about $10 million of which went to Hugh Jackman.

  2. C.C. 95

    I think it is more than a ‘little noteworthy’ that the BIGGEST BOX OFFICE MOVIE OF 2014 is not Hunger Games or Guardians of the Galaxy or X-Men…
    It is American Sniper. That you only footnote its success is bizarre.

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