Box Office: ‘Chappie’ Opens at No. 1, New Vince Vaughn Comedy Bombs
It was a good news/bad news situation at the box office for the latest science fiction epic from Neill Blomkamp.
The good news: Blomkamp’s robot drama Chappie debuted at No. 1. The bad news: While Chappie earned enough to take the top spot, the movie opened with a disappointing $13.3 million. The chances that Chappie will compensate with international ticket sales aren’t looking all that great right now: the film grossed just $13.7 million overseas, bringing its worldwide gross to $27 million. The movie cost $49 million to make, so Sony still has a ways to go if it wants to turn a profit on the film. Granted, this is a movie that is far more concept-driven than star-driven. Yes, it’s got Hugh Jackman playing a rare role as a bad guy, but the driving force behind the film’s promotional campaign has been the story itself, which centers on a reprogrammed police droid who develops independent thoughts and emotions en route to becoming humanity’s last hope. Perhaps this is why the film performed below its $15 million expectations, although it’s not impossible that the film could make up ground in the coming weeks.
One film that isn’t likely to pick up in the coming weeks is Unfinished Business. The new comedy from Vince Vaughn was a major bomb in its opening weekend, earning only $4.8 million to become the worst opening of Vaughn’s mainstream movie career (indie drama Return to Paradise had a worse opening back in 1998, but its $2.5 million was earned from just 965 theaters, which is far more impressive when compared against the wider release Unfinished Business had). Unfinished Business opened at No. 10, behind such holdovers as The DUFF, which brought its three-week domestic total to $26.1 million after its $4.9 million haul for this weekend.
But not every newcomer this weekend underwhelmed: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel performed above expectations by delivering $8.6 million in its debut. The film opened at No. 3 behind previous No. 1 box office champ Focus, which earned $10 million in its second weekend. The sequel to 2012’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the John Madden-directed film reunites cast members Dev Patel, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy. The first film was a surprise hit, earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture and Best Actress for Judi Dench, along with Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Maggie Smith and Best Motion Picture Ensemble. It remains to be seen if the second movie will be as successful, but it’s already doing encouraging business.
Things were also pretty bright for Fox, as Kingsman: The Secret Service continues to perform well in week four, earning $8.3 million to bring its domestic total to $98 million. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water continues its impressive run, earning $6.7 million to bump Fifty Shades of Grey from the Top 5. Although, even though it’s dropped considerably in just four weekends at the box office, Fifty Shades continues to do solid business, as its $5.6 million haul for this weekend brings the film to a domestic gross of $156.4 million. It’s just as strong overseas as well, raking in $17.7 million for an international gross of $371.3 million. Its worldwide total is now a staggering $527.7 million.
Lastly, although it’s no longer in the Top 10 at the weekend box office, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper reached a milestone this weekend, as it surpassed $500 million worldwide to become the top-grossing domestic release of 2014. This weekend pushed the movie’s domestic ticket sales to $337.2 million, overtaking The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, which earned $336.8 million. That said, it wasn’t as much as Oscar winner Big Hero 6, which surpassed $600 million to Disney’s third highest-grossing animated film of all time behind Frozen and The Lion King.
Check out the rest of the totals for this weekend’s Top 10 below:
TOP 10 AT THE WEEKEND BOX OFFICE – 03/09/2015
1. Chappie ($13.3 million)
2. Focus ($10 million)
3. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ($8.6 million)
4. Kingsman: The Secret Service ($8.3 million)
5. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water ($6.7 million)
6. Fifty Shades of Grey ($5.6 million)
7. McFarland, USA ($5.3 million)
8. The Lazarus Effect ($5.1 million)
9. The DUFF ($4.85 million)
10. Unfinished Business ($4.8 million)