DreamWorks Animation only has one release in 2015, “Home.” Considering how much investors constantly scrutinize the studio that put a lot of pressure on the publicly traded company and its marketing and distribution partner, 20th Century Fox, to turn it into a hit. After Friday's opening, CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg can take a huge sigh of relief.
“Home” took the top spot on its opening day with $15.6 million. Since pre-release polling indicated strong family interest (it's a CG animated movie) it should perform even better on Saturday and possibly even Sunday. That means it could end up with $55-58 million over the three-day and become DreamWorks Animation's biggest opening since “Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted” earned $60 million in June 2012. No matter where it falls, “Home's” opening takes some pressure off 20th Century Fox who consistently underperformed with DWA Films domestically since “The Croods” was a surprise hit two years ago. It's unclear why “Home” made more than initial industry estimates, but the marketing push that focused on Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez's involvement to adult audiences probably didn't hurt.
Debuting in second place was Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell's “Get Hard.” The Warner Bros. comedy took in $12.9 million and should earn between $32-36 million over the weekend. Critics were not kind to the movie and it only earned a B Cinemascore rating (A is average), but its still on track to be Ferrell's biggest live action opening since 2010's “The Other Guys” and, if it holds, would become Hart's second largest debut after “Ride Along.”
“The Divergent Series: Insurgent” took third with another $6.8 million and $71.1 million in just eight days. That's just $5 million behind where “Divergent” was at this point in its run a year ago.
Walt Disney's “Cinderella” dropped to no. 4 with $4.7 million and $137.2 million so far. Globally, Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of the classic fairy tale has earned over $268.3 million.
“It Follows” expanded to 1,218 theaters and earned $1.4 million and $2.1 million in its first 15 days. While the horror thriller performed much better in limited release it's still a solid return considering distributor Radius-TWC found themselves jumping nationally much sooner than expected (or ever). By Sunday night “It Follows” has a shot at being topping “20 Feet From Stardom's” $4.9 million tally and becoming the highest grossing movie in Radius-TWC's three year history.
Look for final weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.