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.