Wed | Aug 15, 2018

Jurassic on top of slow holiday weekend

Published:Monday | July 6, 2015 | 12:00 AM


July 4th went off like a dud at the box office. Anticipated new releases Magic Mike XXL and Terminator Genisys fizzled, leaving the popular holdovers Jurassic World and Inside Out to top the holiday weekend.

Despite the brawny enticements of Channing Tatum and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the four-week rule of Universal's dinosaur sensation, Jurassic World, continued with an estimated US$30.9 million, according to studio estimates yesterday.

Pixar's acclaimed Inside Out nearly caught up to the runaway dinos, taking in US$30.1 million in its third weekend of release.

The strength of those June hits and the unfortunate timing of July 4th this year coming on a Saturday (rather than stretching out a long weekend) meant the sequels Terminator Genisys and Magic Mike XXL both failed to match previous instalments.

Paramount's Terminator Genisys, the fifth film in the series, which also marks Schwarzenegger's return to his most iconic character, took in US$28.7 million over the weekend and US$44.2 million since opening Wednesday.

Warner Bros also tried to expand the weekend, opening Tatum's male-stripper romp, Magic Mike XXL, on Wednesday. But after a strong start, the film managed just US$12 million over the weekend. Over five days, it made US$27.1 million.

The openings were disappointing for the new releases, but each has a different make-up. Terminator Genisys, an attempted reboot in the 31-year old, James Cameron-created franchise, was made for US$155 million. Magic Mike XXL, a road-trip sequel to Steven Soderbergh's 2012 hit original, was made for just under US$15 million.

Megan Colligan, head of Worldwide Distribution for Paramount, said the weekend simply didn't play like a holiday weekend.

Slow start

"The weekend got off to a very sluggish start because people didn't have off until Friday," said Colligan. "Our start was just not where it needed to be. Some of that does have to do with its pretty severe competition. Jurassic is still such a powerhouse in the marketplace, and it was hard to anticipate that that wouldn't have burned off a little more by now."

Genisys failed to come close to the previous Terminator film, the Schwarzenegger-less Salvation, which had a five-day debut of US$65.3 million over Memorial Day weekend in 2009. Genisys, which critics have slammed, is finding better business abroad. It made US$74 million internationally over the weekend.

Magic Mike XXL, however, had the benefit of largely positive reviews and tracking numbers that suggested a possible No. 1 opening of more than US$40 million. The original debuted with US$39.1 million.

But Magic Mike XXL failed to expand its audience. Whereas moviegoers for the first film were 73 per cent female, Magic Mike XXL was a staggering 96 per cent female, Warner Bros said.

Dan Fellman, head of Domestic Distribution for Warner Bros, said the film performed worse than expected in the South, Midwest and in Canada. Such a "girls-night-out" release, he said, didn't materialise over the holiday weekend.

"Our audience wasn't available to us," said Fellman. "We might be down, but we're not out. I'm in the wait-and-see mode."

Hollywood's summer has been inching close to equalling its record 2013 season, thanks partly to the unexpected success of Jurassic World. (Now with US$558.2 million domestically, it's already the fourth-best showing of all time in North America.)

The biggest potholes this summer have been holiday weekends, noted Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office firm Rentrak. Those weekends usually are the tent poles to Hollywood's summer spectacle, but the lagging Independence Day weekend follows a lacklustre Memorial Day, when Disney's Tomorrowland flopped.

"These are the weekends everyone's going, 'Wow, what happened?'" said Dergarabedian. "Part of it was the calendar. Part of it, too, was you have two movies out there - Jurassic World and Inside Out - that are just dominating the marketplace. Both those movies have appealed to every audience segment imaginable."

This weekend was still up 6.9 per cent over last year, when Melissa McCarthy's Tammy and the sci-fi adventure Earth to Echo made for Hollywood's worst July 4 in decades.

Upcoming debut

Universal's animated off-shoot sequel, Minions, will debut next weekend after a strong international performance. The film, which gives the pipsqueak henchmen of the Despicable Me movies the spotlight, has already grossed US$124.2 million abroad, including US$54.3 million this weekend.

Following are estimated ticket sales for Friday through yesterday at US and Canadian theatres, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through yesterday are also included.

1. Jurassic World, US$30.9m ($42m international)

2. Inside Out, US$30.1m (US$18.6m international)

3. Terminator: Genisys, US$28.7m (US$74m international)

4. Magic Mike XXL, US$12m ($6.2m international)

5. Ted 2, US$11m (US$18.8m international)

6. Max, US$7m

7. Spy, US$5.5m (US$3.4m international)

8. San Andreas, US$3m

9. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, US$1.3m

10. Dope, US$1.1m