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Weekend Box Office: There's No Place Like Home; Get Hard Stands Tall in Second

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By Chris Kavan - 03/29/15 at 10:44 PM CT

It took a one-two punch of a family-friendly animated offering and a not-at-all family-friendly R-rated comedy to lift the box office to an impressive level. And, as promised, the month opened soft like a lamb, but certainly went out much more like a lion. The combined efforts helped lift the box office about 10% above the same period as last year. With Furious 7 revving into theaters next week, that trend should certainly follow. But before we get to super-charged racing, let's reflect on this weekend.


Dreamworks scored a major win over the weekend as Home opened to an impressive $54 million. That is well in line with recent animated opening for Big Hero 6 ($56.4 million) and the recent SpongeBob Movie ($55.4 million) and it represents one of the best openings for a non-sequel film for Dreamworks and actually topped last year's How to Train Your Dragon 2 ($49.5 million). The film also scored the coveted "A" Cinemascore and if it follows the same pace as similar animated films, it should wind up with around $180 million total. It has been a good year for family titles. Last year, only four family films could reach the $150 million mark. This year, both SpongeBob and Cinderella have reached that and Home should follow shortly. And we haven't even got to Pixar's Inside Out or the Despicable Me spinoff Minions. Overall, it's been a good year if you like taking the family out to the movies.


It may have not taken the top spot, but Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart still made an impressive second-place showing with Get Hard. The $34.6 million is actually the third-highest opening for a live-action Ferrell film and the second-best for Hart (behind Ride Along). It's looking like the ride is going to be a bit rougher for Get Hard - it could only muster a so-so "B" Cinemascore from the mostly male (54%) and older (61% over 21) audience. It's going to face direct competition from Furious 7, and it was savaged by critics. But, the film only cost $40 million, so even if it has a pretty steep dropoff, it's going to make its money back. While it has an outside chance of hitting $100 million, it may be a bit out of its reach.


Last week's top-grossing film dipped about 58% in its second weekend on its way to $22.1 million. That drop is a bit steeper than Divergent, which only dropped 53% and took in over $25 million in its second weekend. Insurgent has taken in $86.4 million so far and is looking to close out at around the $130-$140 million range. That is still well above its $110 million budget, though it is looking like it will fall short of the $150 million Divergent set, it is also looking like Insurgent is going to do much better internationally and thus should top the first film world-wide.


The good news for family films continue as Cinderella, facing direct competition, dipped just about 50% and dropped from second to fourth place with $17.5 million. That also was enough for the film to top the $150 million mark (by the skin of its teeth) and by next weekend it will become the highest-grossing film to open in 2015. While its hold hasn't been remarkable for the live-action version of the classic fairytale, it still looks pretty good next to its modest $95 million budget. Its looking good to cross at least the $175 million mark.


I was looking forward to watching this one over the weekend - unfortunately I caught a bug and was laid up (though, luckily, not a curse-like STD). I'm still looking forward to this one - and it looks like I'm not the only one. After expanding to over 1200 theaters, It Follows also jumped over 1000% and went from 19th to 5th place with $4.02 million. Relying primarily on word-of-mouth and critical response, that has to be considered a solid result. Plans are for the film to continue to expand - we'll see if it continues to gain steam. I, for one, might sneak out on my day off to watch this one.

Outside the top five: In limited release, Noah Baumbach's While We're Young opened in four theaters with $242,000 for a per-theaters average of $60,500. That represents the best opening yet for Baumbach, topping the $34,350 per-theater average that Francis Ha opened with. It also represents the second-best opening for distributor A24 behind Spring Breakers. Plans are for this film to also see more expansion. Baumbach's last two films both wound up with $4 million, While We're Young has a good chance to do even better.

Next week all eyes are going to be on Furious 7 (well, all eyes composed of virulent, male moviegoers with a penchant for fast cars and over-the-top action). We'll see how it compares the last two impressive tallies for the series.


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