Weekend Box Office: Ron Howard’s Latest Earns Just $11 Million On A $100m Budget

I didn’t get a chance to see In The Heart of the Sea, even though I loved the book, and it sounds like I wasn’t alone: Warner Bros.’ Ron Howard epic grossed just $11 million on a $100 million production budget, a “painful flop” that will “likely result in a steep write down for Warner Bros.,” according to Variety. Keep in mind, this is the same company that previously put out Jupiter Ascending and Pan. Ouch.

It’s one of the worst openings of Ron Howard’s career, and adds to a growing list of flops for Chris Hemsworth, along with Rush and Blackhat. Cue the articles calling him the next Ryan Reynolds? We’ll see. But I can personally guarantee that Blackhat sucked a lot worse than In the Heart of the Sea, which earned a B+ Cinemascore and 43% recommended on Rotten Tomatoes. This with an audience that was “54% male and 68% over the age of 35, while 3D screenings accounted for 42% of receipts.”

WB will hope to earn some money back overseas, where people are still more impressed by things like 3D, and running water. (I kid, I kid.) ITHOTS was sandwiched between repeating number one Mockingjay Part 2, which is still the worst-performing film of the Hunger Games franchise, and Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur, which, at $89.6 million domestic is still the worst-performing Pixar movie. Overall, this weekend’s top 12 was the lowest performing box office for this weekend since 1998.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom, however. Creed continued doing well (a black star and director, try it more often!) as did Spectre, and Krampus is still far outpacing expectations. Meanwhile, The Night Before, which seemed sort of like a flop when it first came out, has remained in the top 10 and has quietly earned $38.2 million domestically, on a $25 million budget. It’s not Neighbors, of course, but it’s nice to see it earning money, especially since it was, in my opinion, pretty good (here and here). A hell of a lot better than Neighbors, at the very least.

Speaking of good movies, The Big Short opened in eight theaters, earning $90,000 per, the second-best per-screen average of the year. That said, that’s a second-best behind Steve Jobs, which, as we know, turned out to be a huge flop. I’m hoping for better for The Big Short because it deserves it, and because it’s kind of the anti-Steve Jobs. (More on that later.)

Hard to say just yet, because, of course, nothing really matters until Star Wars.

“I don’t think you can take away how much the Force is overshadowing everything right now,” said Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “Until [‘The Force Awakens’] opens, everything else will be a non-factor.” [Variety]

Star Wars, eh? I’ll have to look that up. That Empire Strikes Back was a darn okay film.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 $11,300,000 (-40.1%) $3,095 $244,490,956
2 In the Heart of the Sea $11,005,000        (-%) $3,547 $11,005,000
3 The Good Dinosaur $10,497,000 (-31.5%) $2,911 $89,660,791
4 Creed $10,120,000 (-32.5%) $2,890 $79,321,018
5 Krampus $8,010,000 (-50,8%)
$2,744 $28,151,330
6 Spectre $4,000,000 (-27.6%) $1,515 $190,767,660
7 The Night Before $3,900,000 (-22.5%) $1,458 $38,205,656
8 The Peanuts Movie $2,650,000 (-25.8%) $999 $124,955,585
9 Spotlight $2,508,853  (-10.4%) $2,304 $20,302,802
10 Brooklyn $1,975,000 (-19.0%) $2,086 $14,330,423

[Chart via ScreenCrush]

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