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Box Office Report

BOX OFFICE: Anime Sensation ‘Your Name’ Delivers $1.6M in U.S. Debut, ‘Smurfs’ Open Weak

After a notable Friday gross of over $600,000, Makoto Shinkai’s smash-hit Your Name ended its first U.S. weekend with an estimated $1.6 million from 303 theaters, good for 13th place.

The Funimation-distributed film wasn’t able to maintain the momentum from its Friday box office, declining on both Saturday and Sunday, however it still managed a $5,281 per-theater-average for the Fri-Sun period, impressive for an animated feature that isn’t distributed by one of the majors.

How impressive is it exactly? The last time an independent animated film opened in 100-plus theaters and managed over $5K per-theater was back in September 2015, when the Mexican animated feature Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos had an $8,670 per-theater average from 395 theaters. Distributed by Pantelion Films, a joint-venture between Lionsgate and Grupo Televisa, Gallo was near-invisible in the English-speaking market, but ended up with $9.1M from the oft-ignored Hispanic moviegoing audience in the States.

Animation was all over the U.S. box office this weekend. Dreamworks Animation’s The Boss Baby retained its No. 1 ranking, adding an estimated $26.3M to its total that now stands at $89.4M. The film has grossed nearly $200M globally.

Sony Pictures Animation’s Smurfs: The Lost Village, directed by Kelly Asbury, opened weak in third place with an estimated $14M. That’s exceptionally low for a franchise with such built-in name recognition. But reviews for the $60 million film have been poor and the film hasn’t done well overseas either, generating just $56M so far from over 55 territories. The all-animation approach clearly wasn’t enough to save the theatrical franchise, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see The Smurfs continue in a direct-to-video or tv series format.

Speaking of troubled franchises, The Lego Batman Movie squeezed past $300M in global gross this weekend. In another context, that would be commendable, but for an $80 million production that had two major brands attached to it — Lego and Batman — that’s deeply concerning. The original Lego Movie earned $469M globally in 2014, and Lego Batman was just the second film in the franchise. Warner Bros. has one more Lego film scheduled for 2017 — The Lego Ninjago Movie — but with the gimmick of cg-animation-that-looks-like-bricks already wearing thin, expect Ninjago to attract an even more niche audience than the current Batman effort.

The money-losing Paramount remake of Ghost in the Shell dropped from third to fifth place in its second weekend. The film suffered a 60% decline, picking up just $7.4M, for a domestic total of $31.6M. Internationally, the film has generated $92.8M, lifting its overall to $124.4M.

Meanwhile, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast hybrid remake is headed for $1 billion at the box office. The film retained the No. 2 spot in the U.S. with an estimated $25M. Both domestic ($432.3M) and foreign ($545.1M) totals are exceptionally strong. BatB has already moved ahead of the company’s 2016 remake of The Jungle Book which grossed $966.6M.

  • GW

    I’m not surprised that the Smurfs movie isn’t doing well. I haven’t seen the movie but in the trailer the characters are completely outside themselves and one note, talking about the plot instead of living it. I saw Your Name. The story was good, especially after the plot deepens but the animation itself could have been better.

    • Dave 52

      As someone who has actually seen Smurfs, I can tell you that the movie is decent and a massive improvement over the last two films. It is a modern take on the characters that remains 100% true to the source material but adds some new things to it. As a matter of fact, it feels like an episode of the cartoon or something out of comic but on the big screen. It’s very much in the vein of The Peanuts Movie. I found it to be pretty enjoyable and fun. Honestly, unlike the last two films, I wouldn’t mind if they made another one because after seeing what lies in the Forbidden Forest it does make me curious what else they can do with this universe.

      • mushed potato

        Perhaps there’s fatigue and lowered expectations from the earlier movies, Smurfs 2 was a cringe-coated stake to the IP’s heart.

        Lost Village feels like what a debut Smurf movie should’ve been, then the other two as direct-to-DVD spiritual sequels.

        • Dave 52

          You hit it right on the nail my friend. If Lost Village was the first film to be released it probably would have been more successful box office wise and probably would have gotten better reviews (Although I do find most of the reviews towards the film very unfair).

          • Jer

            Well it doesn’t help that it’s going against the boss baby, your name, Gits, and beauty and the beast. The anime fans are going on to see Gits, and parents might more opt to take their little ones to see boss baby rather then try smurfs again. … Also beauty and the beast continues to draw people in much to my surprise.

          • Dave 52

            Yeah, there is so much competition that is honestly going against Smurfs more than for it. The last two films aren’t a big help either. I just hope the film is successful enough so that Sony doesn’t backtrack and give us another live action and continues to make more animated ones that open up more possibilities within the universe.

          • Jer

            I hope it gets a show on Netflix. It may be a mistake to only count how this does at the theater. Old school fans like us might more opt to buy the blu-ray/dvd/stream when that comes out and with a show you can eventually get around to all of the Smurfs. Fun fact, when I was looking up who was voicing the Smurfs. I found out Jokey Smurf was played by Gabriel Iglesias. A show is definitely needed.

      • Barrett

        I’m glad to hear that review. I’m going to make a point of paying to see Smurfs in theaters. I may just be one moviegoer, but I want to vote with my dollars for the kind of Smurfs movie I wish they’d made in the first place.

        • Dave 52

          Cheers to that! I just hope the movie is successful enough so that Sony will see that this is the Smurfs movie that we wanted to see from the start. If not, then they will probably just give us the last two films again. Is Lost Village a perfect movie? No, but it is more respectful to it’s original source material and it is most definitely a step in the right direction for the Smurfs film franchise. Unlike the last two films, I wouldn’t mind if they made another one.

      • Jer

        I’ve seen the new surmfs film too and I thought it was very good. A lot of people are saying it’s for little kids which is true, but it’s smurfs. It would feel wrong, if they did a gritty reboot. The movie is a spiritual return to the cartoon show that I watched as a kid. I can attest to that much like Dave52 has already said. I love this new world they created and I really wish this movie was doing better because this is something that deserves a sequal or better yet a new tv series. This is the interation of the smurfs that should have been shown first. Unfortunately, the last two movies were garbage and that weight I feel is what crushing this movie.

        • If only those films never happened, that’s what I’ve told myself all these years! I suppose the only consolation we had were those two animated videos that were made featuring traditionally hand-drawn sequences produced by Duck Studios (now Noble Animation), despite the fact they still used those 3D versions for the cover and wraparound segments.

    • jawsnnn

      I’m very surprised to hear that. Makoto Shinkai’s previous movies have been at the very least ridiculously gorgeous.

      • GW

        The overall lighting was good and the special effects were well animated but the character design and animation I found wanting. If you liked his previous movies you’ll probably like this one too. It’s not like Shinkai’s ever had the most experimental character designs but here they’re really uninspired and it is compounded by the bland, safe expressions.

  • So Smurfs only made $14 million. That’s less than the opening of the last two live-action Smurfs. And
    considering all the negative reaction to Emoji Movie, this could be a very bad year for Sony Animation.

  • AnthonyA

    Still looking for a local theater ( in the USA ) that has Ghost in the Shell. Haven’t yet found one within two hours’ drive. Every single theater inside that range is still showing Beauty and the Beast, though, in its third week or more. How can GiTS possibly make any money if it’s not showing anywhere? And how can B&B not make money if it’s the only movie in town? I exaggerate only slightly about B&B, but every theater inside of that two hours’ drive (~100 miles) has pretty much the same slate of movies on their first three screens. B&B, Boss Baby, and Power Rangers have the screens filled up. Guess I’ll have to see GiTS at Redbox. Also want to see Going in Style, but doesn’t look like any of the local cinemas picked that up, either.

    • Barrett

      You are probably not near any large metro area. There are so many multiplexes with so many screens in those areas even films like Ghost in the Shell have at least a half-dozen theaters showing them. I frequently hear people on here complain about not being able to see “art house” type films if they don’t live near places like NY, LA, SF, DC, Seattle, etc. but not used to hearing that complaint about a major “popcorn” release.

      • It’s certainly odd that a film like GitS isn’t making it’s way to those smaller communities for being such a mainstream release.

    • A little stunned here. I did a simple Google search and found three theaters in my area are playing it (Toledo, OH), both standard and 3D. I suppose it depends on location and perhaps smaller communities are getting the shaft if it’s only playing in major areas.

  • Marc Hendry

    Smurfs doesn’t actually look too terrible. The designs and animation are real nice, and I didn’t cringe at the trailer. Although I don’t think I saw any ads for it at all! I didn’t even realise it was out yet

    • I’ve seen a few, they usually stuck them on one or two family flicks I’ve seen them on.

  • Barrett

    I’m really surprised to see this Smurfs film do so poorly. I was excited to see them abandon the ugly-as-hell uncanny valley approach and go back to “cartoony Smurfs.” I will probably still see the film despite the mixed reviews. It’s not as if the Smurfs cartoon was renowned for its sophisticated storytelling. If they can keep the tone closer to Hanna-Barbera and further from the too-hip-for-its-own-good attitude of the first two films, I will be happy.

    Oh, and I’m amazed to see Boss Baby doing so well. Other than some nice, snappy animation, there is absolutely nothing about that story premise or characters that makes me want to spend a dime on it. I’d sooner go see Storks again than buy a ticket for Boss Baby, but HEY, Alec Baldwin…I guess?! No accounting for audiences’ tastes…

  • Sam Snyder

    so from reading this article i’m gettin a vibe that the lego ninjago movie will not gonna do very well this fall. anyone beg to differ? im just currious thats all

    • Metlow Rovenstein

      Did Sony market the Lost Village film? If not, that’s part of why the movie bombed.