Home > Uncategorized > Going Bionic Column > GOING BIONIC #260 – ANALYZING ‘HOME’ AND AWAY. March 31, 2015



March 31, 2015
Hammad Zaidi
When I was a bright-eyed, energetic graduate student at the UCLA Film and Television Producers Program in ‘94, one of our most electric professors repeatedly stated, the worldwide box office would trump the North American box office within 20 years. That professor was Peter Guber, the Chairman of Sony Studios at the time. Peter was also one of the most successful motion picture producers in the history of cinema, with credits like Batman and Rain Man, helping his cumulative worldwide box office to cross over $4 billion. Even though we students had a deep respect for Peter Guber, his prediction about the international box office prediction rather outlandish.
Flash forward to today, and you’ll find the North American box office only accounted for 42.9% of the world box office in 2014, and it is expected to lose more ground in 2015. In other words, Peter Guber was right. The North American box office has lost its stranglehold on the world, even if it’s still the planet’s most significant launching pad for major film releases.
Today we’re examining Home, the DreamWorks produced and Fox distributed $135 million dollar budgeted animated feature that has made nearly as much overseas as it has domestically. 
Home Opening Weekend Domestically
Home won its opening weekend (March 27-29), by earning $52,107,731 on 3,708 screens, which is a $14,053 per screen average. The picture also became DreamWorks’ third highest grossing non-sequel in history, only behind Kung Fu Panda ($60.2 million) and Monsters & Aliens ($59.3 million). Furthermore, Home earned an “A” rating on CinemaScore, which may help its staying power.
Barometer For Success
The key barometer to look out for domestically is how the picture does next weekend. Should it’s earnings only did a small amount from weekend one to two, the film will hit it’s projected $180 million domestic box office total. Conversely, if it tanks more than 45% in week two, Home could be going home sooner than Fox and DreamWorks want it to.
Home (Away from Home)
Home has earned $47,546,000 internationally, which accounts for 47.7% its $99,653,731 total box office. Key international territories include the United Kingdom, in which the picture has earned $9,017,594 since March 20, Australia, where it has earned $3,973,690 since March 19, and Italy, where it’s earned $742,942 since March 29. Other international release locations include the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Slovakia, South Africa, Hungary and Finland.
International Staying Power is in Question
Home experienced a 41.7% drop in its second weekend in Australia, ($1,272,666 vs. $2,182,787) which suggests it may be on its way out of theaters, unless strong worth of mouth saves it. However, it only dropped 13% during its second weekend of release in New Zealand, ($185,194 vs. $214,661). So, the film may have staying power in certain territories.
Is Home a Hit or Miss?
I’d skew on the side of Home being a “breakeven,” with an outside shot of finding its way into the realm of being considered a hit. Having a $135 million dollar production budget, coupled with its estimated $35 million plus in P&A costs, puts Home in trouble. This is because major theater chains keep about 53% of the box office for themselves, so this picture would have to make two and a half to three times its budget in order to break even. A healthy amount could be made in ancillary markets like VOD, cable and television sales, and merchandising opportunities could be plentiful, but even those numbers would evaporate quickly if the film doesn’t perform theatrically. Thus, the foreign box office has become overtly crucial, because it serves as either an insurance policy or a lifeline for major domestic releases.
Thank you for lending me your eyes for this 260th edition of Going Bionic and I look forward to borrowing your eyes again next Tuesday. Until then, I wish you a tremendously productive week. I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal.
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