Box Office: ‘Chappie’ is a Clunker, ‘Unfinished Business’ Bombs and ‘American Sniper’ is a 2014 Champ

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Chappie box office results
Photo: Columbia Pictures

Heading into the weekend, Sony was saying they were expecting $15-16 million for Neill Blomkamp‘s Chappie, but now that the results are in and the opening weekend total is an estimated $13.3 million, the word is “that’s about right”.

Quoted by Deadline, Sony distribution chief Rory Bruer said yesterday, “The results for Chappie are within the realm of our expectations.” I’ll cut him a little slack due to the “within the realm” statement, even though the result was clearly less than their expectations. I’m sure they’re at least happy the CinemaScore came in at a “B” for the $49 million production, with a budget that low Chappie isn’t likely to be an all-out financial disaster, though it’s certainly no peach.

If you want to talk disasters, well, look no further than Unfinished Business, which has a 20% RottenTomatoes score and audiences weren’t too keen on checking it out either as the bloom seems to be entirely off the Vince Vaughn rose. Opening with only $4.8 million, this is the worst opening for a Vaughn-led wide release. Previously that title was held by 2013’s Delivery Man as things continue to go downhill for the man that was on the top of the comedic world when Wedding Crashers stormed the box office back in 2005.

The final new wide release this weekend was The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which pretty much matched its production budget with a $8.6 million opening. Nothing to write home about, but when you don’t spend a lot it doesn’t hurt as much when you don’t make a lot. It also doesn’t hurt when you make that much from only 1,573 theaters when films such as Unfinished Business were playing in 2,777.

It was somewhat good news that last weekend’s soft #1, Focus, managed to only drop 46% rather than 50+, finishing its sophomore frame with $10.1 million, but when you don’t open big and your drop is small it’s hardly a victory.

Warner Bros. does have something to celebrate this weekend, however, as it now owns the #1 movie of 2014 in Clint Eastwood‘s American Sniper, which surpassed both Guardians of th Galaxy ($333.1 million) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 ($336.7 million) for the 2014 box office crown with $337.2 million domestically. Take that all you naysayers that think people only come out to watch comic book movies, franchise movies and sequels… Oh, and nevermind the rest of the top of the 2014 box office list, or, at least don’t look too closely until you get to Interstellar and Gone Girl.

Next weekend sees the release of Cinderella and Run All Night as well as the limited and On Demand release of the excellent thriller It Follows.