'Star Trek Beyond' Debuts at #1, 'Lights Out' Opens Strong and 'Ice Age 5' Bombs
by Brad Brevet
July 24, 2016
Topped by Star Trek Beyond, five films grossed over $20 million this weekend for the first time since May 24, 2015 and for only the sixth time ever*. In the five previous instances $45.6 million was the largest gross for the #1 film when Monsters University topped the weekend back on June 30, 2013, which separates this weekend from the rest thanks to the estimated $59.6 million Beyond delivered in its debut performance. Also opening this weekend, and topping the $20 million threshold, was the impressive performance from New Line and Warner's Lights Out along with the rather disappointing opening for Ice Age: Collision Course. Overall, the top twelve grossed over $183 million, up 29.4% when compared to the same weekend last year.
The estimated $59.6 million opening for Star Trek Beyond is enough to take #1 for the weekend, but that's a 15% drop compared to the $70.1 million opening for Star Trek Into Darkness, and that's not including the $13.5 million it carried into the weekend after opening on a Thursday. Beyond has received strong reviews and opening day audiences gave it an "A-" CinemaScore, which is just off from the "A" both of the previous Trek installments received. The audience saw a demographic breakdown that was 57% male vs. 43% female and 73% of the audience was over the age of 25.
As for projecting an overall domestic performance, Star Trek Beyond is probably looking at a domestic haul around $180-190 million, a continued decline when compared to the $228.7 million Into Darkness delivered and $257.7 million 2009's Trek took in domestically. However, given Beyond's $185 million budget, all eyes will now turn toward the film's international performance.
In the end, Into Darkness came in below 2009's Star Trek reboot domestically, but outperformed the 2009 film internationally by $110 million. By comparison, with an estimated $30 million international debut in 37 overseas markets, Beyond is playing 35% above Star Trek, but 14% below Into Darkness.
In the UK it opened at #2 with an estimated $6.1 million, which is 15% below Star Trek and 37% below Into Darkness. In Germany the film opened in first with $4.5 million, 31% above Star Trek and 29% below Into Darkness and in Russia it opened #1 with $3.3 million, a 240% improvement over Star Trek and 13% above Into Darkness. It opened with $3 million in Australia as well as with $1 million in Taiwan, $932,000 in Italy, $912,000 in Thailand and $766,000 in Philippines. Upcoming key releases include France and Korea on August 18, Spain (Aug 19), Brazil (Sep 1), China and Mexico on September 2 and Japan on October 21.
Taking second this weekend was Illumination and Universal's The Secret Life of Pets with an estimated $29.3 million, a strong third weekend performance as the film has now grossed over $260 million domestically. The 42% drop for the animated feature, along with the estimated $7.2 million for Finding Dory, as it became the ninth highest grossing domestic release of all-time, all took a chunk out of the debut of Fox's Ice Age: Collision Course, which could only muster a $21 million opening and a fifth place finish for the weekend. Until now, no Ice Age film had opened with less than $41 million and the $21 million debut for the latest feature is a 55% drop compared to the $46.6 million opening for Ice Age: Continental Drift in 2012.
Ice Age: Collision Course, however, is more of an international play than domestic as it has now grossed over $178 million overseas after opening in seven markets in early July. The film is now playing in 60 markets and still has 17 releases yet to come, including Italy (8/22) and China (8/23). It's also of note the Ice Age franchise is now the biggest animated franchise globally, grossing over $3 billion at the worldwide box office.
Getting back to the domestic charts, topping the fifth Ice Age installment this weekend with a stellar debut performance is the James Wan-produced PG-13 thriller Lights Out, which brought in an estimated $21.6 million after scoring well with critics and earning a "B" CinemaScore from opening day audiences. The film's demographic breakdown was almost in complete contrast to Star Trek Beyond with males making up 46% of the audience versus 54% female and 74% of the audience was under the age of 35. Depending on how it holds on, its domestic run should end up around $50-55 million.
Finishing in what is currently a tie for third place with Lights Out was Sony's Ghostbusters reboot, which dropped 53% for an estimated $21.6 million. The drop is just a step above the 51.4% average when you compare to other films that had similar opening weekends and also scored a "B+" CinemaScore, but for director Paul Feig and star Melissa McCarthy this is a much larger drop than they are used to. The duo's three previous films together saw an average 34.4% second weekend drop. Ghostbusters carries a $144 million budget and has grossed $86.8 million so far domestically and just over $120 million worldwide.
Also finishing in the top ten is Dinesh D'Souza's Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party, which expanded into 1,216 theaters this weekend and brought in an estimated $3.7 million. D'Souza's films tend to hold on rather well after their initial nationwide expansion so it will be interesting to see how Hillary's America performs next weekend now that it has taken advantage of its well-timed expansion following the Republican National Convention and as the Democratic Convention gets underway this week.
Finishing outside the top ten we find CineGalaxy's release of Kabali, which entered the weekend with $1.9 million from Thursday alone and ended up adding an estimated $2.15 million from 236 theaters for a 13th place finish over the weekend. The film's four-day cume stands at just over $4 million.
Just behind Kabali with an estimated $1.88 million from 313 theaters is Fox Searchlight's debut of Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. Directed by Mandie Fletcher, the film has now brought in over $20 million internationally after debuting in the UK on July 1 and will now expand into additional North American theaters next weekend, though just how many is yet to be decided.
Also opening in limited release was Well Go's Train to Busan, which delivered an estimated $285,900 from 27 theaters for a $10,589 per theater average and Film Movement's The Seventh Fire, which brought in $8,418 from one theater.
The limited release to discuss this weekend, however, is Mike Birbiglia's Don't Think Twice, which grossed an impressive $90,126 from New York's Landmark Sunshine theater alone. This gives the film the highest per screen average of 2016 and one of the highest exclusive opening weekend per screen averages of all-time. Birbiglia wrote, directed and stars in the film alongside Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Tami Sagher and Chris Gethard. Don't Think Twice expands to Los Angeles and Chicago on July 29 and nationwide in August.
Next weekend sees the release of Jason Bourne into more than 3,900 theaters, the R-rated comedy Bad Moms from STX will debut in approximately 3,000 theaters and Lionsgate will debut Nerve on Wednesday in approximately 2,600 theaters.
For a look at this weekend's estimated results click here and we'll be updating the charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
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* The four other times five films topped $20 million were June 30, 2013, November 25, 2012, June 13, 2004 and July 27, 2003.