US Box Office Report: 17/06/16 – 19/06/16

Dory finds the money, a Johnson is not the only big thing that Central Intelligence has, people are scared of the Clown, the world of Warcraft is coming to a quick end, and Other Box Office News.

We finally did it, folks!  It took almost a full decade, but we have finally managed to dethrone Shrek the Third from its record of the Highest Grossing Opening Weekend for an Animated Movie!  The Minions couldn’t do it, Disney couldn’t do it, The Simpsons couldn’t do it, even frickin’ Toy Story 3 couldn’t topple it!  It seemed that Shrek the Worst’s opening weekend total of $121 million – yes, $121 million worth of 2007 people went to see Shrek the Third, which most likely means that we were all complicit in this tragedy – could never be toppled, destined to just sit there unchallenged yet bewildered over like Avatar’s $2.7 billion worldwide total.  But then, lo and behold, here came Pixar to finally overthrow the not-particularly-jolly green ogre with… a Finding Nemo sequel.  Ah.  Bollocks.

Well, despite that idea still sounding like an indicator that the Pixar of 2015 will not be heard from again for a long time and this kind of negative reinforcement never leading to good things, Finding Dory did completely obliterate most every record for an animated film that was in its path.  Overall weekend?  $136 million, smashed!  Theatre average?  $31,634 compared to Shrek’s puny $29,507, crushed!  Opening weekend growth between sequels?  A staggering 93.8%, suckers!  Opening day?  $54.9 million, which admittedly is only bigger than Shrek’s $47 million by virtue of Dory’s $9.2 million in Thursday night previews, but don’t ruin the statistical-explosion mood, dammit!  EXPLOSIONS!  There is officially a new Queen in town, so now questions turn towards what could ever possibly hope to take that down?  Despicable Me 3Toy Story 4Frozen 2The Shrek reboot?  For the record, all of these are horrible ideas that nonetheless are all disappointingly real and headed for a cinema near you.

Elsewhere, the Kevin Hart Mega-Success Train keeps on a-chugging as Central Intelligence cleaned up whatever portions of the box office that Dory didn’t devour, finishing with a strong $34.5 million for a very comfortable second place for proof that a strong dick joke in your tagline can actually rope the public in.  That, and that people really like seeing Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson in movies.  Maybe someday one of them will star in an actually decent vehicle.  Or maybe they both will!  Wouldn’t that be something?  As for the limited release openers, the one notable performance came from Jon Watts’ (of Cop Car fame) Clown, albeit not the good kind of notable.  Dropped into 100 screens, it proceeded to make just $27,000 over those 3 days, leading to a per-screen average just as pitiable as the average clown: $270.  It’s tough to say what scared off audiences more, the promise of a terrifying clown or the blasting of noted-fuckboi Eli Roth all over the promotional material, but nobody turned up in either case.  Go watch Cop Car, folks.

Now, let’s talk bidness.  Specifically the bidness of Warcraft.  2016’s most-telegraphed domestic bomb got off to a pretty atrocious American start last weekend, opening with just $24 million despite being a huge $160 mil-budgeted tentpole release that is intended to start another massive franchise for Universal.  Of course, that was not to be – partially because Universal appear to have been trying to murder this film at every possible opportunity, and partially because of course this was going to do badly in America, do you even know just how silly this movie is – and its second weekend continued to mash all of the Worst Case Scenario buttons with a complete and total collapse of 73% between weekends.  That’s nearly Fifty Shades of Grey-levels of bad, except that Grey had actual money to start with!  However, the film is absolutely killing it at the foreign box office, which has now reached $377 million with a record-breaking $200 million coming from China!  So, now the question remains, can the foreign box office save the world of Warcraft?  Probably not, but it’s fun to speculate in order to create faux-dramatic tension!

Central Intelligence

Spoiler Alert: this is the Full List.

Box Office Results: Friday 17th June 2016 – Sunday 19th June 2016

1] Finding Dory

$136,183,170 / NEW

Look, I’m not inherently opposed to a Finding Nemo sequel and I know that there is every chance that it could actually be really great.  It’s just that, well, the existence of a Finding Nemo sequel is the loudest “We here at Pixar have become super-complacent and would like All of the money for little of the work” siren I could think of short of Toy Story 4… and they’re doing that as well!  Couldn’t all of the non-Disney/Laika arms of the American Feature Animation Industry just try a little harder?  Please?  I mean, you all have seen at least one trailer for Kubo and the Two Strings, right?

2] Central Intelligence

$34,500,000 / NEW

Time is fast running out for Kevin Hart to find a decent comedy vehicle to attach himself to.  His is a very, very funny man and a talented performer, but he doesn’t need to also steal Chris Rock’s 90s film career!  He needs a genuinely good film, fast, and a Jumanji remake is most definitely not going to be it.

3] The Conjuring 2

$15,555,000 / $71,730,086

Ouch.  That’s a 61.5% drop, compared to the first Conjuring’s 46.9% and Annabelle’s 57.3%.  Maybe Warner Bros. will hold off on that totally extraneous-sounding Nun spin-off they’re planning?  No, of course they won’t, cos they’re Warner Bros. and making godawful decisions is seemingly their studio policy by this point.

4] Now You See Me 2

$9,650,000 / $41,362,529

Now, on the one hand, this looks to be a prime example of Hollywood studios so desperate to avoid risky original ideas that they will attempt to force a franchise out of even the most minor of successes regardless of whether the demand is there for one.  But on the other hand, Jon M. Chu.  Even better, what appears to be Jon M. Chu operating at Step Up-levels of dumb ridiculousness which, if the finished film is indeed that, means that I’ll adore it even whilst nobody else does.  Just as long as Jem and the Holograms Jon M. Chu has been dead and buried, we should be good.  Here’s hoping!

5] Warcraft

$6,520,000 / $37,711,525

Yeah, I’m gonna be that guy, I had a goddamn blast with this one!  It’s just so very, very silly yet so in love with itself and its excessive self-seriousness that it just loops back around to being so very, very silly again!  I mean, it’s pretty much 2 hours of Blizzard forcefully shovelling lore down my throat, convinced that their incredibly simple and stupid lore is actually intelligent genius, which makes for a refreshing change from the bland, competent, ambition-free, boring mediocrity that the vast majority of the American studio output is at the moment.  Give me unique, personality-filled and individual-driven, interesting, entertaining failures like Warcraft over boring, committee-designed, soulless, miserable, yet semi-competent slop like, say…

6] X-Men: Apocalypse

$5,210,000 / $146,057,836

This series would not have gone to shit if Matthew Vaughn were still in charge.  Just saying.

7] Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

$5,200,000 / $71,929,574

Oh, sure!  They actually make a good film from this version of the Turtles and none of you bastards turn up to see it!  I give up with you lot.

8] Me Before You

$4,155,000 / $46,355,854

You know, folks, it may be time to consider the possibility that anybody who became famous thanks to Game of Thrones is actually a terrible actor and that we’ve all just been cruelly tricked into believing otherwise.

9] Alice Through The Looking Glass

$3,615,385 / $69,318,309

I’m not going to get another chance to do so, so let me order you to go and watch the first season of In Treatment.  Mia Wasikowska is normally that amazing and this franchise is just wasting her, honest.

10] Captain America: Civil War

$2,296,207 / $401,277,176

For the record: if it weren’t for my dissertation deadline and my final essays all being due in shortly after the release of this film, I would have written a giant 5 page review of Civil War like I did Batman v Superman.  It would have been more positive than that one, but it still would have been filled with criticisms and generally fatigue with these kinds of movies.  See!  I am not “totes bias” or whatever the kids say.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, my gold-plated yacht that runs on the tears of DC executives needs refuelling.

Dropped Out: The Angry Birds Movie, The Jungle Book

Callie Petch hopes that Anton Yelchin rests in peace.

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