After one of the worst March openings in nine years, the box office bounced back with the release of Disney’s latest live-action fairy tale, Cinderella. Directed by Kenneth Branagh (Thor) and starring Lily James, Richard Madden, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter and many more, the movie opened in 3,845 in theaters on Friday after earning $2.3 million from Thursday night previews. It took in $23 million (roughly 67% of the movies in theaters) and ended up with an estimated $70.1 million over the weekend or $18,219 per theater. It’s the sixth-largest March opening and came out just ahead of Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent last June.
It also opened internationally in 55% of the overseas territories where it scored $62.4 million with a huge $25 million opening in China as well as #1 openings in other Asian and Latin American markets. Globally, the day and date release grossed $132 million with other major markets such as the UK, France, Germany, Brazil and others still to come.
Cinderella also opened in 358 IMAX theaters in North America where it grossed more than $5 million, besting Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian‘s previous IMAX opening record for a 2D PG film. Internationally, it grossed over $4 million on 295 IMAX screens accounting for 7% of the film’s global opening weekend.
The movie received an “A” CinemaScore from moviegoers, making it one of those rare exceptions where they agree with the critics–it was 83% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes–and a good sign for the film to have strong word-of-mouth throughout its theatrical run.
Liam Neeson reunited with director Jaume Collet-Sera (Non-Stop) for their third action film Run All Night, co-starring Joel Kinnaman, Ed Harris, Common, Genesis Rodriguez and more, which also opened on Friday in 3,171 theaters but did less than Neeson’s normal fare with just $11 million ($3,474 per theater) to take second place. Its “A-” CinemaScore is decent though, which could help it over the next few weeks before Universal’s Furious 7 takes over.
Matthew Vaughn’s action-comedy Kingsman: The Secret Service (20th Century Fox) crossed the $100 million mark during the week and added another $6.2 million over the weekend (down just 25% from last week) to move up a notch back into third place. It has grossed $107.4 million so far after five weeks in theaters, pretty much holding off all other action movies post-American Sniper.
There was a tight race for fourth place between three movies, but according to estimates, Will Smith and Margot Robbie’s romantic crime-comedy Focus (Warner Bros.) came out slightly ahead of the others with $5.81 with a gross of $44 million so far.
Last week’s #1 movie, Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi action flick Chappie (Sony), starring Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver and Hugh Jackman, took a massive 57% plunge to fifth place (according to estimates) with $5.8 million. It has grossed a weak $23.3 million domestically, forcing it to rely on international box office to recoup its production budget.
The ensemble comedy The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight), starring Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Richard Gere and more, expanded into 2,022 theaters on Friday, but despite a minimal 33% drop, its $5.7 million weekend gross put it behind Focus and Chappie, so it fell to sixth place (again, based on estimates). It has grossed $18.1 million and should continue to hold well without much direct competition for older audiences.
Seventh place went to The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (Paramount/Nickelodeon) with $4.1 million and $155 million total after six weeks in theaters.
Universal’s controversial romantic drama Fifty Shades of Grey and CBS Films’ high school comedy The DUFF were essentially tied for ninth place with $2.9 million each, although the former has grossed $161 million to the latter’s $30.3 million.
The Top 10 grossed approximately $118 million, which was up over $40 million from the same weekend last year when DreamWorks Animation’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman pulled ahead of 300: Rise of an Empire with both of them staying ahead of DreamWorks’ action flick Need for Speed, based on the popular video game.
Opening in just four theaters, David Robert MItchell’s festival fave horror film It Follows (RADiUS-TWC) scored $163,000 or $40,800 per theater, a decent showing for a horror film that gets a rare platform release. No word on how far RADiUS plans on expanding the film, but it is one of the few movies from the company that hasn’t done a day-and-date VOD release.