Director Ron Howard’s reputation in Hollywood may still remain unscathed, but the dismal opening of his latest film In the Heart of the Sea is a mighty disappointment. The $100 million production budget film, based on the grand true tale that inspired Herman Melville to write the classic book Moby Dick, opened to a very disappointing $11 million in North America. That’s only narrowly above the opening of Ron Howard’s previous movie Rush (2013) which had been made on a much lower budget of $38 million. While Rush was loved by those who watched the film and received almost universal acclaim from the critics, In the Heart of the Sea has received mixed reviews (44% on Rottentomatoes) which could result in sharp drops in the coming weeks. The movie has earned $39.4 million in foreign markets which brings its total worldwide gross to $50.4 million, but the movie might need six times those figures to even manage break-even. It seems very unlikely now. Maybe the excitement around Star Wars: The Force Awakens is way too much that no one can think about any other movie, or maybe the idea of Chris Hemsworth battling a huge whale wasn’t that appealing after all. Whatever be the reason, it’s disappointing to see Ron Howard’s flick fail to brighten up the box-office; let’s hope for better things ahead.
As the only wide release of the weekend sunk before it set sail, the existing leader The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 stayed atop the domestic box-office charts for the fourth weekend in a row, a stunning feat, last achieved by Furious 7 earlier this year. The movie has earned $565 million so far worldwide, but is losing steam and might finish with the least earnings in the franchise. Last week’s Krampus dropped by 50% and slipped to fifth place; the movie has earned a decent $37 million worldwide so far. The high budget The Good Dinosaur is struggling with only $168 million worldwide; on the other hand, Creed with $85 million earned so far is doing terrifically well though I hope it grabs more in the foreign markets where it has grossed only $5.3 million upto now. Spectre has moved to $821 million worldwide; amazing numbers! That’s it for the weekend. The small matter of the US release for Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be discussed next week.
Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office (estimates):
1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 ($11.3 million; fourth weekend)
2. In the Heart of the Sea ($11.0 million)
3. The Good Dinosaur ($10.5 million; third weekend)
4. Creed ($10.1 million; third weekend)
5. Krampus ($8.0 million; second weekend)