Weekend Box Office: ‘Star Trek’ Beat Everyone But Itself

Senior Editor
07.24.16 22 Comments

This weekend marked only the sixth time ever that five films all grossed more than $20 million in domestic box office, and that even a split may explain some lackluster numbers. Star Trek Beyond almost tripled its debuting competitors, but its $59.6 million opening is also down significantly from Star Trek Into Darkness‘s $70 million opening (which actually opened on a Thursday and made $79.2 million for the whole weekend), and 2009 Star Trek‘s $75 million. It’s also a smaller chunk of Beyond‘s $185 million budget. That said, it was “the second-largest non-superhero live-action opening of the year” and scored 84% recommended on Rotten Tomatoes to go with an A- Cinemascore (the last two Treks scored As).

The next two on the charts were the Secret Life of Pets, still holding strong in week three ($29.3 million) and Ghostbusters, with a fairly steep 53% second-weekend drop to $21.6 million. That one cost $144 million to make — and with the benefit of hindsight, it seems like they could’ve made more or less the same movie for significantly less money. Meanwhile, the James Wan-produced Lights Out only cost $4.9 million to make and grossed the same $21.6 million in its opening weekend this weekend. That one earned a 77% recommended rating on Rotten Tomatoes but only a B Cinemascore. Horror movies sell like crack, where the hardcore fans will do anything to get the fix, but if you look at the Cinemascores they never seem to feel great about it afterwards. Lights Out played 54% female and 74% under the age of 35, which is also how I describe my ideal woman.

With so many big openings this weekend there had to be a loser and that loser was Ice Age: Collision Course. Having two other huge animated movies in the top 10 (Pets and Finding Dory) surely split the market, and Collision Course movie grossed just $21 million, the first of the five Ice Age movies ever to open with less than $41 million domestic. That would be a disaster for a film with a $105 million budget, but Ice Age has always played better overseas, and Collision Course has already grossed $178 million outside of the US and has yet to open in China. The franchise is actually on pace to become the biggest animated franchise worldwide, having grossed more than $3 billion (or is already the biggest, depending on whether you include Puss in Boots in Shrek‘s total). Secret Life of Pets is playing much bigger than anyone expected, which probably explains what seems like a poor scheduling decision for Ice Age.

Elsewhere, Independence Day Resurgence has earned $243 million overseas, and it’s a good thing for Fox, because in the U.S. it will make less in its entire run than the original made in its first week, and that’s not even counting inflation. The BFG fared even worse, and may eventually get to $55 million domestic, on a $140 million budget. It’s made just $17 million overseas. In limited release, Mike Birbiglia’s delightful Don’t Think Twice earned $90,126 on one screen for the year’s best per-screen average thus far. You should see that if it ever comes to your town (it probably won’t).

This weekend brings us Jason Bourne, Bad Moms, and Nerve.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Star Trek Beyond $59,600,000 $15,173 $59,600,000
2 The Secret Life of Pets $29,330,000 (-42.3) $7,246 $260,708,000
3 Ghostbusters $21,600,000 (-53.1) $5,450 $86,856,000
4 Lights Out $21,600,000 $7,665 $21,600,000
5 Ice Age: Collision Course $21,000,000 
$5,261 $21,000,000
6 Finding Dory $7,220,000 (-43.8) $2,803 $460,199,000
7 The Legend of Tarzan $6,430,000  (-43.8) $2,261 $115,824,000
8 Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates $4,400,000 (-42.5) $2,059 $40,357,000
9 Hillary’s America $3,700,000 (+4,845.6) $3,043 $40,357,000
10 The Infiltrator $3,293,000 (-37.9) $2,143 $12,239,000

[chart via ScreenCrush]

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