Box Office: ‘Fault in Our Stars’ falls hard on Saturday but wins with $48.2 million

20th Century Fox is no doubt ecstatic over the estimated $48.2 million debut for their new drama “The Fault in Our Stars.” What they might be slightly concerned about, however, is how the film got to that number.  

Playing more like a horror movie or a hardcore movie musical, “Stars” had a huge opening day.  The film took in $26.1 million from Thursday sneaks combined with a monster first full day.  Saturday, however, told a different story. Traditionally, whether it's a hit or not, a movie will get a slight bump of anywhere from 10-15% from Friday to Saturday numbers.  Animated or family films usually get jumps of 50% or more jumps because so much of their audience comes from matinees (for example, “The Lego Movie” had an 80% jump from Friday to Saturday).  “Fault,” on the other hand, dropped an eyebrow raising 51.6% from its opening day to its second day.  That means the audience was so enthusiastic to see it a huge percentage went as soon as they could. What Fox hoped for, was that the A cinemascore and positive reviews across the board would entice casual moviegoers to take in the picture. Many did, but not enough to keep the film on track for what looked like a $55 million debut.  Granted, they still may come in droves next weekend, but the longterm prospects for “Stars” went from an eventual $175 million plus U.S. gross to maybe $115 or $120 million at best.  The movie only cost $12 million and its marketing budget was relatively low for a summer release so Fox is going make a big profit on this one, but it clearly has not crossed over from its core fanbase yet (at least not yet anyway).  Moreover, the actual Sunday number (as opposed to the estimated take used to calculate the weekend gross) may actually come in lower.

Dropping from the top slot to no. 2 was Disney's “Maleficent.” The Angelina Jolie fantasy flick took in another $33.5 million down just 51.7% from its opening weekend. With $127.3 million in just 10 days, it could surpass “Mr. and Mrs. Smith's” $186.3 million as Jolie's highest grossing live action U.S. release to date.

Debuting third was the critically acclaimed Doug Liman Sci-Fi thriller “Edge of Tomorrow.” The Warner Bros. release earned a stellar 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, but took in just $29.1 million.  With a reported budget of $178 million, the studio is going to have to hope international returns (currently at $111 million) make up for the U.S. performance in a big, big way.

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” fell to fourth as it took in another $14.7 million for $189.1 million in just three weeks. The bad news is that it's highly unlikely “Days of Future Past” won't overtake “X-Men: The Last Stand's” $234 million to become the biggest domestic hit of the franchise. The good news is it's already the highest grossing “X-Men” movie ever with over $533 million globally.

Seth MacFarlane's “A Million Ways to Die in the West” is, well, dying a slow death at your local multiplex.  The comedy dropped 57.2% to earn just another $7.1 million and $30 million in its first 10 days.  At this point, it will be lucky to grab more than $45 million. Especially with “22 Jump Street” taking away a huge chunk of its audience next weekend.

Summer's first indie hit is now officially Jon Favreau's “Chef.” Open Road Films expanded the dramedy to wide release with 1,298 theaters and it earned another $2.6 million to surpass the $10 million mark in just five weeks. If Open Road can hold onto screens it could hit $20 million, although a $18 million final cume is more likely.  The low budget flick is a solid double for Open Road and may put Favreau back in Hollywood's good standing following “Cowboys and Aliens.”

New releases this upcoming Friday include “22 Jump Street” and “How To Train Your Dragon 2.”