It”s official: Independence Day: Resurgence is kind of a dud. The belated sequel to 1996″s Independence Day finished with just $41.6 million in its opening weekend, at the low end of expectations and a number that doesn”t make the prospect of a third movie very likely (sorry, Roland Emmerich).
So what happened? A mixture of poor reviews, the absence of original star Will Smith, and a dearth of nostalgic investment in the first movie all seem likely culprits (you can read my earlier post on the factors keeping the film from likely box-office glory here), but what I”m interested in for the purposes of this article are the raw numbers, and boy are they dispiriting. Here are four grim statistics to put Resurgence“s weak performance in context.
1. It opened to lower numbers than the original Independence Day.
Despite benefitting from higher ticket prices and 3D surcharges, Resurgence still couldn”t top the opening weekend take of its 1996 predecessor, which brought in $50.2 million over its debut frame, i.e. nearly $9 million more. Here”s another number for you: the average movie ticket cost $4.42 in 1996. In 2016? $8.58. If you break it down, that means Resurgence sold about six and a half million less tickets than the original movie — a pretty bleak number no matter how you spin it.
2. Finding Dory made over $30 million more than Resurgence — in its second weekend.
Finding Dory, which is well on its way to becoming the highest-grossing movie of the summer (if not the entire year), positively crushed Resurgence this weekend, raking in over $73 million in its sophomore frame. The Pixar sequel's per-theater average was also head and shoulders above the sci-fi dud, raking in $17,012 per screen vs. Resurgence“s $10,226.
3. The film”s reported budget is $165 million.
With only $41.6 million in its domestic opening weekend and a likely North American take of just over $100 million, Resurgence will need to perform especially well overseas to finish in the black. On that front, it made a little over $102 million in international markets this weekend — a decent start, but not likely to bring it anywhere near the $500 million foreign total of the first Independence Day. It's worth noting that the '96 original also debuted in a market that was much less friendly to Hollywood movies than it is today.
4. It was overshadowed by the debut of a killer-shark movie starring Blake Lively.
Salt in the wound! Though Resurgence made nearly twice as much as The Shallows this weekend, the latter film performed far better than expected, bringing in over $16 million in its opening frame on a budget of just $17 million. The Jaume Collet-Serra-directed survival thriller is now being touted as a sleeper success story while Resurgence is, um, not.
You can watch Roth's video review of the film below: