Thursday Night Box Office Explodes for The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as cancer patients who meet and fall in love at a support group, has owned social media mentions for the past couple weeks. That momentum is turning into piles of dollars for Twentieth Century Fox as the film earned big money during Thursday midnight showings, dwarfing the amount put up by fellow newcomer The Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt.

Yesterday news broke that special Thursday night The Fault in Our Stars screenings in New York City, including a simulcast with the film’s stars, quickly sold out at $25 per ticket. Anticipation for the film has been swelling online from its main tween demographic, so much so that Thursday midnight showings earned Fox $8.2 million, putting it up in the same leagues as this summer’s big hitters like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Weekend box office estimates for The Fault in Our Stars have a range putting it anywhere between $25 million on the low end to upward of $40 million on the high end. The only thing holding it back from $50 million or more is the location count at 3,171, about 25 percent less than the blockbusters receive.

Strong word of mouth could lead to extensive sellouts and push the box office total for The Fault in Our Stars closer to $45 million or maybe a little higher and solidify it as the next young adult book adaptation to hit the jackpot in Hollywood. Either way you cut it Fox has hit a home run with the film based on John Green’s best-selling novel. It was produced for an estimated $12 million and will be in the black after marketing and expenses after its first weekend of release.

Edge of Tomorrow won’t be anywhere near as fortunate despite solid reviews that have garnered the Sci-Fi action/thriller a 90% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes. It earned $1.8 million from its late Thursday screenings, a far cry from The Fault in Our Stars. Weekend estimates are pointing toward an opening weekend around $30 million.

The key for Edge of Tomorrow will be its performance overseas where Cruise is a bigger draw. It has already earned $33 million from early international openings with big territories such as France, China and Russia yet to open. The $3.8 million earned in Korea on Wednesday was the fourth-largest opening ever in that country. With a production budget in the neighborhood of $178 million, or roughly 15 times more than The Fault in Our Stars, Cruise and Blunt have their work cut out for them and need the Korea story to repeat itself several times over before Edge of Tomorrow makes its way to Blu-ray, DVD and VOD.

One positive that Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures can lean on heading into the weekend, and more specifically Friday evening, is that both the NHL and NBA Finals are off tonight. This will keep Edge of Tomorrow’s demographic from being glued to their TVs and should positively impact the Friday box office results.

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