• Industry

World Box Office August 11-17

Sly Stallone may have to rethink his battle plan after The Expendables 3 fell decidedly short of the first and second entries in the series. It was able to muster just $16.2 million from the film’s North American debut, as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Guardians of the Galaxy proved stronger than the combined force of basically every major action star of the 80s and 90s. With a billing that features names like Schwarzenegger, Statham, Li, Gibson, Ford, Banderas, and that of creator/director Sylvester Stallone, not to mention the new additions of cage fighting champion and former Pan-American Judo champion Ronda Rousey, as well as Kellan Lutz, expectations were significantly higher. Expendables may have suffered from the early leak of a near-perfect pirated copy, although the film’s toned-down PG-13 edit may have had more to do with its shaky debut. Sixty-six percent of viewers were over the age of 25, as compared to figures of 60 and 65 percent for the first two installments. This essentially means that the push into family-friendly territory was unsuccessful. It did earn an A- Cinemascore, so word-of-mouth salvation isn’t off the table. Fellow opener The Giver found itself suffering a lack of generosity from American audiences. With just $12.7 million in opening receipts, this Weinstein Company adaptation of Lois Lowry’s young adult novel has a long way to go if it hopes to emulate the success of its source material. The film suffered a double-edged blow of bad reviews and having been a couple decades too late. A twenty-year gap between paperback and silver screen releases ensured that the film wasn’t able to capitalize on the fervor that propelled both The Hunger Games and Divergent to blockbuster status. This is doubly disappointing, as Lowry’s book was the literary archetype of youngsters fighting a dystopian near-future government on which each of those titles was modeled.
Let’s be Cops had a bit more luck in its opening effort. The Fox buddy comedy about two dimwits who decide to impersonate police officers had a solid $26.11 million Wednesday through Sunday run in the US and Canada. The Damon Wayans and Jake Johnson film was able to pack theatres, despite its inopportune opening during a weekend where real life police abusing their powers with deadly consequences in Ferguson, Missouri are dominating headlines.
On the international front, an old face popped up to steal the podium from recent contenders Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Fox and DreamWorks’ hit sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2 made its long awaited Chinese debut to the delightful tune of $25.9 million. The film, which debuted at Cannes on May 16, is set to become a true success in its final major territory. Italy showed itself to be very receptive, as well, as Dragon 2 finished its debut in first place with $3.55 million in box office receipts. All in all, the picture added $37.7 million this weekend, and has surpassed the $500 million mark in sales at home and abroad. At this rate it will overtake Rio 2 as the most successful animated feature of 2014 by the close of this coming frame.
There was good news coming in from South Korea as well. Local production Roaring Currents became the biggest film in its home market. The picture has sold an unprecedented $14 million tickets and attained a national gross of $107.6 million.
Guardians of the Galaxy also had another successful outing. Its $33.1 million international take this weekend brings it to an overseas cumulative of $196.4 million, and will have Disney and Marvel execs toasting a welcome top-two sweep. The film did $24.7 million at home, which takes it to a $486.7 million global cumulative. This is quite laudable for a new entry in just its third week. It has yet to open in Italy, Japan and China, and will in all likelihood see a substantial boost from these remaining key territories.
Into the Storm managed $7.7 million at home, while hangover Lucy picked up $7.1 million. Boyhood returned to the top ten, as well, after an expansion netted it $2.1 million in the U.S. this weekend.
Coming up for next frame are the releases of If I Stay and Sin City sequel A Dame to Kill For.