Weekend Box Office: Hardly Anyone Showed Up For ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’

This weekend, Universal released a sequel to a movie that had a B Cinemascore and 47% on RottenTomatoes (Snow White And The Huntsman). This sequel was directed by VFX guy and co-written by the writer of Hangover 3. Amazingly, this strategy did not pay dividends, as The Huntsman grossed just $20 million on a $115 million budget.

That opening put it at number two for the weekend, well behind The Jungle Book‘s $60 million second weekend. As Forbes puts it, The Huntsman cost 65% as much as its predecessor and grossed just 36% as much in its first weekend. Despite a worse critic score (17%) it actually had a better Cinemascore (B+) from audiences, probably due to the smaller sample size. Jeez, it’s like no one even cares about fancy antler slingin’ anymore. Sad.

The original Snow White and the Huntsman opened with $56 million and finished with almost $397 million worldwide in 2012 (when, it should probably be noted, Kristen Stewart was still hot from Twilight). It looked slick and had a nice trailer, which, along with the hot stars, should probably account for the big numbers. Trouble is, as the above RottenTomatoes and Cinemascore should indicate, no one really liked it all that much. If Winter’s War‘s opening proves anything, it’s that you can’t force a franchise if the audience doesn’t want it. Franchises should be consensual.

The Jungle Book, meanwhile, repeated at number one, grossing another $60 million domestic on a second-weekend-dropoff of just $41% – “the fourth smallest second weekend drop for a film that opened over $100 million,” according to box Office Mojo. Zootopia (which is wonderful) held even better than that, declining only 18.8% from last weekend and crossing the $900 million mark worldwide. At the other end of the spectrum was poor ol’ Hardcore Henry, who you won’t have to kick around anymore after soon its 78.8% third weekend drop, the second-largest third-weekend drop of all time behind Meet Dave. It’s never good news when Meet Dave is part of the conversation.

The most surprising film in the top 10? Probably Compadres, from distributor Pantelion, neither of which I’d heard of before today, truth be told. That grossed $1.35 million from 368 theaters, beating out Helen Mirren’s Eye In The Sky and Tom Hanks’ (!!) A Hologram For The King, which opened in 401 theaters. Compadres appears to be a sort of Spanglish Rush Hour starring a fat redhead. Doesn’t look half bad, actually.

The “summer” movie season kicks off May 6th with Captain America: Civil War (which screened for L.A. and New York critics weeks ago but I don’t get to see until next Monday), and in the meantime, this weekend brings us Key and Peele’s Keanu, Mother’s Day, and Ratchet and Clank.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 The Jungle Book $60,803,000 (-41.1) $15,095 $191,477,000
2 The Huntsman: Winter’s War $20,080,000 $5,297 $20,080,000
3 Barbershop: The Next Cut $10,830,000 (-46.5) $4,047 $36,031,000
4 Zootopia $6,611,000 (-18.8) $2,363 $316,435,000
5 The Boss $6,080,000 (-38.9)
$1,801 $49,508,000
6 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice $5,520,000 (-38.9) $1,800 $319,501,000
7 Criminal $3,100,000 (-46.2) $1,155 $10,864,000
8 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 $1,100,000 (-35.6) $1,201 $55,374,000
9 Compadres $1,350,000 $3,668 $1,350,000
10 A Hologram For the King $1,175,000 $2,930 $1,175,000

[Chart via ScreenCrush]