The green was rolling in this week for the adaptation of John Green’s best-seller The Fault in Our Stars, which lived up to much of its online pre-release buzz and opened at #1 with $48.2 million. That is the biggest opening weekend for a teen romance without the word Twilight in the title. Although it did fall a bit short of Divergent‘s $54.6 million opening (the other book adaptation starring Shailene Woodley this year), the drama easily earned back its $12 million budget on its opening day. An A CinemaScore means that readers and new converts were very pleased by Josh Boone’s film.
Despite the big opening for Stars, the film did show an exorbitant amount of front-loading. More than 54% of its weekend gross came from its opening day Friday and Thursday night screenings ($26.1 million). Thursday screenings got a boost from a premium-priced event, entitled “The Night Before Our Stars,” which played at select cinemas and had a simulcast Q&A with Green, Woodley and other cast members.
However, even with the front-loading, Stars will still likely surpass the $100 million mark, especially as summer weekdays will give the film momentum. In 2012, another female-skewing film with a lot of Internet buzz, Magic Mike, opened with a Friday share that was about half of its opening weekend – yet the film still ended up with nearly three times its opening weekend. It will be interesting to see if Stars can stabilize over the coming week and make it to $120 million – or ten times its budget.
Even with teenage girls and their moms filling cinemas for Hazel and Gus, Maleficent still managed a solid hold, taking second place with $33.5 million. Although that is a 52% drop from last week, given the massive new competitor in the marketplace and the much larger drops of other big openers this summer, that is a fine reprieve. With $127.4 million, the Angelina Jolie fantasy could come close to the $200 million mark if it can fend off more competition next weekend, with the much-awaited How to Train Your Dragon 2 sure to take away families and 3D screens.