Weekend Report: 'Stars' Align for 'Fault,' Cruise Misses with 'Edge'
by Ray Subers
The Fault in our Stars
June 8, 2014
Young women turned out in droves this weekend to see teen romance The Fault in our Stars, which easily took the top spot with $48 million. Meanwhile, Edge of Tomorrow was unable to convert strong reviews in to a successful debut. The Fault in our Stars opened noticeably higher than past romantic hits The Vow ($41.2 million) and Dear John ($30.5 million). Despite doing more business on Friday, though, Fault wound up lower than star Shailene Woodley's Divergent ($54 million) for the full weekend.
With over 10 million copies in print, John Green's The Fault in our Stars is one of the most popular books in recent memory. Fans of the book were enamored with the movie's trailer, which appeared to accurately portray the story of two cancer-stricken teens falling in love. From there, distributor 20th Century Fox mobilized those fans with a targeted marketing strategy that focused heavily on social media outreach.
The movie's audience was made up almost entirely of young women: according to Fox, it was 82 percent female and 79 percent under the age of 25. They rushed out to see the movie on Thursday night ("The Night Before Our Stars" event played a part here) and Friday, which resulted in an incredible $26.1 million haul that day. Unfortunately, business dropped off precipitously from there: the 51 percent Friday-to-Saturday dip is one of the steepest ever.
Ultimately, Friday box office wound up accounting for 54 percent of the total weekend gross, which makes this one of the most front-loaded openings on record (more so than any of the Twilight movies). Even with strong word-of-mouth ("A" CinemaScore), it's likely that Fault continues a steady decline from here: it should wind up over $100 million, but not by much.
In second place, Maleficent fell 51 percent to $34.3 million. That's a solid hold for a Summer release: in comparison, Show White and the Huntsman dropped 59 percent on the same weekend in 2012. To date, Maleficent has earned $128.2 million, and now appears on track to close around $200 million. Edge of Tomorrow took third place with $28.8 million. That's a bit below recent sci-fi movies like Elysium ($29.8 million) and John Carter ($30.2 million), which is surely not what Warner Bros. was hoping for with this mega-budget movie. It's also noticeably lower than last year's Oblivion (also starring Tom Cruise) and Pacific Rim, both of which opened north of $37 million.
While critics have been praising the movie's originality, marketing wasn't really able to convey that point to average moviegoers. On a large scale, this looked like just another effects-heavy alien invasion movie, the likes of which arrive in theaters a few times a year. Audiences also had a bit of deja vu thanks to Cruise's presence here, as the movie's visuals seemed too close to last year's Oblivion. Finally, last year's Elysium beat Edge of Tomorrow to the punch with mechanical exoskeletons. On the surface, at least, Edge felt about as redundant as it gets.
According to Warner Bros., Edge's audience was 61 percent male and 73 percent over the age of 25. Showings in 3D accounted for 47 percent of ticket sales, while IMAX delivered $4.2 million. Critics dug the movie (89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), but moviegoers were less enthralled: they awarded it a so-so "B+" CinemaScore. The movie may still hold up well, but it will be a big surprise if it comes anywhere close to $100 million. X-Men: Days of Future Past had another steep drop this weekend. The superhero sequel fell 53 percent to $15.2 million, which brings its 17-day total to $189.6 million. Ultimately, the seventh X-Men movie should wind up around $220 million total.
Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West rounded out the Top Five with $7.3 million. That's down 56 percent, which is a horrible drop for a comedy. So far, the movie has earned $30.3 million, and it no longer has a shot of reaching $50 million. Around-the-World Roundup
While domestic audiences weren't all that interested in Edge of Tomorrow, the movie did manage to earn an impressive $82 million overseas this weekend. That includes a $25 million debut in China, which is the biggest opening ever for Tom Cruise. It was also huge in South Korea ($16.6 million), and it scored in Russia as well ($8.6 million).
Elsewhere, though, the movie wasn't quite as strong: it opened to $3.2 million in France, $3.1 million in Mexico and $2.8 million in Australia. Its final market is Japan, where it opens on July 4th; ultimately, Edge should earn north of $250 million. Maleficent added $59.7 overseas this weekend, which brings its total to $208.1 million. Its top market so far is Mexico with $30 million. The movie still has China and Japan on the way, and could ultimately wind up around $400 million overseas. X-Men: Days of Future Past grossed $42.1 million this weekend. In China, it added $7.5 million and passed $100 million total. Overall, the movie has earned $421 million overseas and $610 million worldwide; it's on track to earn over $700 million worldwide.
It turns out that John Green's novel is popular outside of the U.S. as well: The Fault in our Stars earned $17.1 million overseas this weekend. That includes strong debuts in Brazil ($5.9 million), Mexico ($4 million) and Australia ($3.7 million). The movie expands in to 19 new markets, including Germany, next weekend.
A week ahead of its U.S. debut, 22 Jump Street opened to $8.1 million in the U.K. That's three times higher than 21 Jump Street's debut, which indicates that this sequel is going to take a big step up overseas.