DreamWorks’ Home dazzled the box office with a $54 million opening weekend that shot it to number one. The film blew past critic expectations and landed the third highest opening weekend ever for an original DreamWorks film (bested only by Kung Fu Panda and Monsters Vs. Aliens).
Lackluster critical reviews (48% Rotten Tomatoes) and a relatively relaxed marketing campaign prophesied another box office letdown for DreamWorks. However, Home beat the odds and gave DreamWorks a desperately needed win. Although critics were not blown away by the film, audiences gave it an ‘A’ grade on CinemaScore through theatre exit polls. In the end, good word of mouth seems to be a big factor in the success of the film.
For DreamWorks, Home’s box office performance is just what the doctor ordered. It has been a rough couple of months for DreamWorks, with announcements in January that one of its main studios in Redwood City, California would close, and that around 500 jobs would be cut. In February, DreamWorks reported a fourth quarter loss of $263 million, a likely impetus for the layoffs and closing. These events appeared to be a culmination of bad fortune following a string of box office losses over the past few years.
With Home as the only animated feature released by DreamWorks in 2015, there is clearly a lot riding on its performance. Hopefully, Home will usher in new winds and set DreamWorks on a path to sail back to its former glory.
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes