MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

Click… Clack…

The Adam Sandler fantasy-comedy Click bowed to an estimated $39.7 million to top weekend movie going charts. However, the frame’s big surprise was an unexpectedly potent debut for the urban thriller Waist Deep of $9.2 million that ranked fourth in the lineup. And another puzzler wasWordplay that filled in the blank spaces in 45 niche engagements.

Despite tracking reports that suggested a $40 million debut for Click, exhibition sources remained confident the Adam Sandler vehicle would surpass polling that historically rarely gets it right. It was a solid launch but in a season where the majority of high profile releases haven’t quite lived up to expectations, the desire for a picture that hits it out of the ballpark has ramped up considerably.

Despite the upbeat advance word on Superman Returns, one senses a palpable anxiety about the picture’s performance during the upcoming Independence holiday weekend. Even with the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel in the wings, the Man of Steel picture has been singled out as movie that could make or break the torrid summer season.

Waist Deep entered the fray with no more than a modest anticipation of genre strength that might translate into a $5 million gross. Unheralded and lacking a powerhouse ad campaign the yarn of kidnapping and revenge had all the markings of a summer programmer that would fill in the gaps between seasonal blockbusters. Though expected to have a steep sophomore frame drop, its opening salvo ensures it of a considerably enhanced theatrical vitality.

Weekend revenues should click in with roughly $140 million in ticket sales for a 12% decline from the immediate prior weekend. Box office was however 6% ahead of 2005 when the second frame ofBatman Returns grossed $27.6 million and the premiere of Bewitched ranked second with $20.1 million.

Sophomore frames of both Nacho Libre and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift experienced steep drops of around 60% while The Lake House and Garfield sequel proved more resilient with erosion of less than 40%. The session also inducted The Break-Up into the now over populated $100 million club and both A Prairie Home Companion and An Inconvenient Truth continued to hold their own as alternative multiplex fare.

New entries in niche play included respectable debuts for the docudrama The Road to Guantanamo and the indie entry The Great New Wonderful. There was also encouraging single screen bows for Wassup Rockers and the concert-profile outing Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man.

However, the appeal of Wordplay uttered nary a cross word. Upping the ante from two to 45 locations, the favorite American pastime translated well from newspaper to big screen with an average of almost $7,000 and a weekend gross of roughly $310,000. It definitely is shaping up as a commercial successor to spelling bee outing Spellbound and a challenge for an aficionado producer to adapt into a fiction movie.

– by Leonard Klady


Weekend Estimates – June 23-25, 2006

Title Distributor Gross (avera % chan Theaters Cume
Click Sony 39.7 (10,550) 3749 39.7
Cars BV 22.9 (5,790) -32% 3949 156.2
Nacho Libre Par 11.9 (3,860) -58% 3083 52.4
Waist Deep Focus 9.2 (9,140) 1004 9.2
Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drifr Uni 9.1 (3,010) -62% 3030 42.5
The Lake House WB 8.3 (3,150) -39% 2645 29.3
The Break-Up Uni 6.1 (2,080) -38% 2907 103.7
Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties Fox 4.8 (1,600) -34% 2981 16.1
X-Men: The Last Stand Fox 4.5 (1,850) -43% 2408 224.1
The Da Vinci Code Sony 3.9 (2,060) -25% 1911 205.5
Over the Hedge Par 2.8 (1,370) -37% 2007 144.5
A Prairie Home Companion Picturehouse 2.2 (2,870) -24% 752 12.4
The Omen Fox 2.1 (990) -63% 2107 52
An Inconvenient Truth Par Classics 1.9 (3,660) -2% 514 9.5
Mission: Impossible III Par .74 (1,340) -45% 552 131.5
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $130.00
% Change (Last Year) 6%
% Change (Last Week) -12%
Also debuting/expanding
Wordplay IFC .31 (6,930) 845% 45 0.36
The Road to Guantanamo IDP 60,400 (4,030) 15 0.06
The Great New Wonderful First Indeende 38,500 (4,810) 8 0.04
Wassaup Rockers First Look 29,050 (29,050) 1 0.03
Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man Lions Gate 16,700 (16,700) 1 0.02
Two Drifters Strand 5,600 (5,600) 1 0.01
The Hidden Blade Tartan 4,200 (4,200) 1 0.01

Top Limited Grosses: January 1 – June 22, 2006

Match Point DmWks 23,052,317
Deep Sea 3-D WB 11,861,080
Mrs. Henderson Presents Weinstein Co. 10,662,712
Transamerica Weinstein Co. 8,771,637
Good Night, and Good Luck WIP 8,203,593
An Inconvenient Truth Par Classics 7,613,606
Magnificent Desolation Imax 6,496,800
The World’s Fastest Indian Magnolia 5,120,660
Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada Sony Classics 4,996,040
The Libertine Weinstein Co. 4,773,768
Cache (Hidden) Sony Class/Allianc 3,732,437
Roving Mars BV 3,729,400
Keeping Up with the Steins Mrmx 3,506,924
Wild Safari 3-D nWave 3,190,581
Tsotsi Mrmx 2,905,200
Water Fox SearchMongrel 2,834,463
La Mujer de Mi Hermano Lions Gate 2,808,241
The Squid and the Whale IDP 2,324,489
Rang De Basanti UTV 2,197,694
Brick Focus 1,936,248
does not include 2005 box office | none greater than 522 theaters

Domestic Market Share: January 1 – June 15, 2006

Fox (15) 768.9 18.50%
Sony (16) 695.6 16.70%
Buena Vista (16) 525.6 12.60%
Paramount (9) 479.3 11.50%
Universal (12) 476.4 11.40%
Warner Bros. (12) 321.4 7.70%
Weinstein Co. (9) 190.9 4.60%
Lions Gate (11) 166.2 4.00%
New Line (7) 119.1 2.90%
Focus (7) 101.5 2.40%
Fox Searchlight (7) 95.7 2.30%
Sony Classics (13) 47.3 1.10%
DreamWorks (3) 24.7 0.60%
MGM (1) 22.5 0.50%
Other * (147) 132.6 3.20%
* none greater than 0.4% 4167.7 100.00%

Comments are closed.

Klady

Quote Unquotesee all »

“I remember very much the iconography and the images and the statues in church were very emotional for me. Just the power of that, and even still — just seeing prayer card, what that image can evoke. I have a lot of friends that are involved in the esoteric, and I know some girls in New York that are also into the supernatural. I don’t feel that I have that gift. But I am leaning towards mysticism… Maybe men are more practical, maybe they don’t give into that as much… And then also, they don’t convene in the same way that women do. But I don’t know, I am not a man, I don’t want to speak for men. For me, I tend to gravitate towards people who are open to those kinds of things. And the idea for my film, White Echo, I guess stemmed from that — I find that the girls in New York are more credible. What is it about the way that they communicate their ideas with the supernatural that I find more credible? And that is where it began. All the characters are also based on friends of mine. I worked with Refinery29 on that film, and found that they really invest in you which is so rare in this industry.”
Chloë Sevigny

“The word I have fallen in love with lately is ‘Hellenic.’ Greek in its mythology. So while everyone is skewing towards the YouTube generation, here we are making two-and-a-half-hour movies and trying to buck the system. It’s become clear to me that we are never going to be a perfect fit with Hollywood; we will always be the renegade Texans running around trying to stir the pot. Really it’s not provocation for the sake of being provocative, but trying to make something that people fall in love with and has staying power. I think people are going to remember Dragged Across Concrete and these other movies decades from now. I do not believe that they will remember some of the stuff that big Hollywood has put out in the last couple of years. You’ve got to look at the independent space to find the movies that have been really special recently. Even though I don’t share the same world-view as some of my colleagues, I certainly respect the hell out of their movies which are way more fascinating than the stuff coming out of the studio system.”
~ Dallas Sonnier