Box Office Wrap Up: No News Good News?
A week without any wide releases kept the rankings unchanged, but allowed many movies to break even.
The final weekend of the year seemed like a truce between opposing armies. So many movies had come out in December between all of the triple-A big releases and scores of Oscar hopefuls, several films were having trouble finding audiences. Throw in a world-beater like Disney’s Rogue One, and there weren’t a lot of eyeballs to share around. This week’s lack of new releases is a godsend for many projects. Nobody really changed position on the list, but many films that were in questionable money situations are much closer to turning a profit now.
Overall Box Office.
New Years on a weekend leads us to another predicament like Christmas, trying to parse a long weekend. Looking at weekend figures actually has become misleading; most of the earnings we are seeing aren’t showing up on the traditional Friday to Sunday period but are instead materializing earlier due to school breaks and holiday time off. Passengers looked to be in trouble (and rightly so, as we covered in the review) with two weekends of just 15 million in sales…but it has taken in a cumulative 66 million thanks to midweek sales. Many other films are seeing the same. Not Assasin’s Creed though. That movie is still doing awful.
The weekend take for the last frame of 2016 is up slightly from last year, though what that is a comparison to is anyone’s guess since the holidays don’t line up neatly. If you look at the extended weekend, you get a sales decrease…but again, compared to what? And we had The Force Awakens last year muddying the waters as well.
To no one’s surprise, Disney capped off the year with another first place finish for Rogue One. This year has been all Disney. They’ve managed to make 2.7 billion dollars in 2016. That is ridiculous, and likely to be a trend. Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Star Wars VIII, and Beauty and the Beast are all likely to be goldmines next year, ensuring a 2017 that may even surpass 2016’s eye popping total.
Second place remained unchanged with Sing taking in 42 million dollars, and third place also remained the same with Passengers taking in 16 million dollars. Though not out of the woods, Sony seems to have dodged a bullet with Passengers; domestic plus foreign gross have made sure the film has at least made back its budget.
Sighs of relief ring out for the rest of the top ten. In 5th place, Why Him? managed to earn back its budget, as did La La Land. Denzel Washington’s adaptation of Fences is nearly in the black, and even Will Smith’s ugly duckling Collateral Beauty is nearing the break even point.
The only sad news remains the fate of Assassin’s Creed. While it has found some footing abroad, and actually made the bulk of it’s money there, that is more due to the fact that it continues to languish at home. It looks like Hollywood has yet to find the magic formula for a big budget film based on a video game.