MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

Hop To It

Weekend movie going dressed up and gave its corsage to the scare fare Prom Night that bested all comers with an estimated $22.8 million. Another freshman, the tough cop Street Kings ranked second with a so-so $12.1 million and the limited wide release preem Smart People entered the fray with respectable revenues of $4.2 million.

There was also a glut of specialized newbies including two Bollywood entries, U, Me Aur Hum with $347,000 at 89 venues and Krazzy 4 racking up $157,000 at 59 sites. The most potent limited releases were the Toronto-preemed drama The Visitor with an $18,800 average at four exposures and the non-fiction geriatric musical Young@Heart that also bowed at four theaters.

The torrent of new movies and the holdover strength of other films came up short overall as domestic film going continued its slow ebb. For the industry, summer can’t come too soon and mavens are counting the days down to the May 2 release of Iron Man.

Prom Night, a remake of the Canadian shocker of the 1980s, did better than the $20 million gross most had predicted in light of a season that’s seen just fair results for genre entries. Don’t believe the spin that there have been too many horror releases or that its appeal is on the wane. What’s on the wane is originality (most have been unnecessary remakes) and vitality and the majors and specialists might be better served to do a little r & d rather than scroll through rights catalogues.

Not much was expected for Street Kings based upon a James Ellroy story and it still performed a bit below its anticipated strength. It joins the ranks of such disparate recent releases as Leatherheads and Meet the Browns that opened softer than expected and have experienced more drastic weekly box office drops.

Overall business generated roughly $96 million in ticket sales for a slight 1% decline from the prior weekend. However, it was a significant 21% behind the 2007 session when Disturbia, another horror yarn, opened with a virtually identical Prom card of $22.2 million.

The critics were high on this weekend’s Smart People and The Visitor and sales appeared to confirm that an audience that reads reviews also buys movie tickets. That sector simply isn’t as avid as the frequents and the effectiveness of starting slow or wide continues to dog the specialized sector of exhibition.

Two of the platformers demonstrate how easy it is to stumble. Young@Heart that’s been a festival favorite managed to get across the idea that a heartwarming tale of seniors performing a soft rock repertoire would be an enjoyable alternative. Conversely, Chaos Theory looked just like countless other youth dramas and the absence of something fresh in the mix likely means its roll out will slow to a crawl.

– Leonard Klady


Weekend Finals – April 11-13, 2008

Title Distrib Weekend % Change Theaters Cume Wks
1 New Prom Night Sony/Alliance 20,804,941 2700 20,804,941 1
2 New Street Kings Fox Searchlight 12,469,631 2467 12,469,631 1
3 1 21 Sony 10,470,173 -32% 2736 61,738,420 3
4 2 Nim’s Island Fox 9,111,667 -31% 3518 25,391,566 2
5 3 Leatherheads Uni 6,276,665 -50% 2771 21,976,580 2
6 4 Horton Hears a Who Fox 5,920,566 -35% 3209 139,548,920 5
7 New Smart People Miramax 4,092,465 1106 4,092,465 1
8 5 The Ruins Par 3,385,395 -58% 2814 13,548,871 2
9 6 Superhero Movie MGM 3,216,247 -41% 2526 21,304,164 3
10 8 Drillbit Taylor Par 2,044,988 -40% 2205 28,436,029 4
11 7 Meet the Browns Lions Gate 1,555,182 -54% 1170 40,098,131 4
12 10 10,000 B.C. WB 1,478,374 -47% 1550 91,753,844 6
13 11 Stop-Loss Par 1,102,718 -51% 1305 10,025,906 3
14 9 Shutter Fox 1,093,946 -61% 1435 24,881,550 4
15 13 The Bank Job Lions Gate 992,188 -42% 802 28,420,868 6
16 15 Shine a Light Par Vantage 960,469 -35% 277 2,887,430 2
17 12 Under the Same Moon Weinstein Co. 953,266 -45% 445 10,337,903 5
18 14 College Road Trip BV 865,026 -49% 1012 42,301,612 7
19 New U, Me Aur Hum Eros 642,923 89 642,923 1
20 16 Run Fat Boy Run Picturehouse 587,221 -57% 534 5,430,641 3
21 18 Vantage Point Sony 522,492 -52% 575 71,905,849 8
22 19 Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day Focus 505,080 -31% 471 11,318,201 6
23 17 Never Back Down Summit 470,511 -58% 713 23,892,829 5
24 30 The Bucket List WB 373,434 80% 390 92,191,070 16
25 22 The Counterfeiters Sony Classics 351,856 -2% 147 3,377,613 8
26 28 The Spiderwick Chronicles Par 327,918 48% 407 70,278,709 9
27 New Krazzy 4 Eros 322,426 59 322,426 1
28 21 Juno Fox Searchlight 297,006 -24% 323 143,004,923 19
29 20 The Other Boleyn Girl Sony 295,006 -50% 405 26,604,525 7
30 23 Fool’s Gold WB 254,987 -26% 275 69,001,981 10
31 26 Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventu nWave 193,849 -21% 47 11,125,054 28
32 24 National Treasure: Book of Secrets BV 192,029 -28% 253 218,979,290 17
33 25 In Bruges Focus 178,357 -28% 163 7,102,257 10
34 39 Step Up 2 the Streets BV 160,266 61% 246 57,581,892 9
35 32 Priceless IDP 151,348 -8% 42 523,377 3
36 29 Jumper Fox 144,008 -32% 209 78,978,177 9
37 33 Flawless Magnolia 141,148 -7% 63 576,599 3
38 27 Alvin and the Chipmunks Fox 139,516 -42% 227 217,075,500 18
39 31 Married Life Sony Classics 129,836 -32% 95 1,197,472 6
40 42 Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus 3-D BV 109,517 30% 13 65,138,443 11
41 RE Bella Roadside/Seville 106,905 30 7,846,310 1
42 35 The Band’s Visit Sony Classics 104,935 -25% 90 2,614,080 10
43 34 27 Dresses Fox 99,504 -30% 140 76,526,559 13
44 New Emma Smith: My Story Candlelight 94,663 36 94,663 1
45 New The Visitor Overture 86,488 4 86,488 1
46 76 Persepolis Sony Classics 82,522 251% 147 4,293,233 16
47 55 Penelope Summit 74,483 42% 178 9,745,606 6
48 43 Dolphins and Whales 3-D 3D Entertainment 68,641 -12% 12 962,149 9
49 52 U2 3D nWave 65,675 17% 17 7,427,757 12
50 38 Definitely, Maybe Uni 58,243 -45% 194 32,071,363 9
51 54 Space Station 3-D Imax 57,256 8% 6 74,481,355 312
52 44 Semi-Pro New Line 53,206 -32% 128 33,370,443 7
53 61 Year My Parents Went on Vacation City Lights 51,828 45% 30 558,349 9
54 48 Caramel Roadside Attract. 51,379 -20% 39 863,046 11
55 New Young@Heart Fox Searchlight 50,937 4 62,231 1
56 New L’Auberge Rouge TVA 45,777 24 45,777 1
57 New Bra Boys Slow Hand 45,589 23 45,589 1
58 56 Magnificent Desolation Imax 45,568 -3% 4 23,395,025 133
59 47 Be Kind Rewind New Line 45,386 -31% 84 11,101,937 8
60 New Don Giovanni Bigger Picture 44,784 120 44,784 1
61 45 My Blueberry Nights Weinstein Co. 43,753 -41% 6 146,391 2
62 41 Untraceable Sony 42,288 -54% 118 29,120,314 12
63 65 Deep Sea 3-D WB 39,735 32% 10 34,910,975 111
64 53 Snow Angels WIP 37,773 -31% 47 316,317 6
65 36 Doomsday Uni 37,061 -69% 78 11,045,831 5
66 50 Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins Uni 35,209 -41% 56 42,312,236 10
67 51 The Hammer Intl Film Circuit 33,642 -42% 23 373,871 4
68 57 Planet B-Boy Elephant Eye 31,735 -26% 14 191,623 3
69 New Ben X Equinoxe 25,862 4 25,862 1
70 62 Flight of the Red Balloon IFC 23,918 -32% 2 75,129 2
71 New Chaos Theory WIP 23,880 11 23,880 1
72 82 My Brother is an Only Child Thinkfilm 23,520 19% 12 59,215 3
73 49 The Eye Lions Gate 22,545 -63% 49 31,441,242 11
74 72 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days IFC/Mongrol 21,767 -14% 39 1,364,127 22
75 46 There Will Be Blood Par Vantage 21,349 -69% 40 40,186,823 16
76 74 Diary of the Dead Weinstein Co. 19,421 -23% 36 923,993 9
77 40 Race UTV 18,426 -81% 20 1,367,024 4
78 79 Roving Mars BV 17,330 -20% 10 8,491,344 116
79 71 Paranoid Park IFC/Filmoption 17,311 -39% 24 468,010 6
Source: MCN/EDI

Estimates – April 11-13, 2008

Title Distributor Gross (averag % change Theater Cume
Prom Night Sony 22.8 (8,450) 2700 22.8
Street Kings Fox Searchligh 12.1 (4,920) 2467 12.1
21 Sony 10.6 (3,860) -31% 2736 61.8
Nim’s Island Fox 9.0 (2,560) -32% 3518 25.3
Leatherheads Uni 6.1 (2,210) -52% 2771 21.8
Horton Hears a Who Fox 5.8 (1,820) -36% 3209 139.5
Smart People Miramax 4.2 (3,820) 1106 4.2
The Ruins Par 3.2 (1,120) -61% 2814 13.3
Superhero Movie MGM 3.0 (1,180) -45% 2526 21.1
Drillbit Taylor Par 1.9 (870) -43% 2205 28.2
Meet the Browns Lions Gate 1.6 (1,350) -54% 1170 40.1
10,000 B.C. WB 1.4 (930) -49% 1550 91.7
Stop-Loss Par 1.1 (820) -53% 1305 10
Shutter Fox 1.1 (760) -61% 1435 24.9
The Bank Job Lions Gate 1.0 (1,210) -43% 802 28.4
Shine a Light Par Vantage 1.0 (3,500) -35% 277 2.9
Under the Same Moon Weinstein Co. .93 (2,090) -46% 445 10.3
College Road Trip BV .84 (830) -51% 1012 42.3
Run Fat Boy Run Picturehouse .57 (1,070) -58% 534 5.4
Vantage Point Sony .55 (960) -49% 575 71.9
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day Focus .51 (1,080) -30% 471 11.3
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $89.30
% Change (Last Year) -21%
% Change (Last Week) -1%
Also debuting/expanding
U. Me Aur Hum Eros .35 (3,899) 89 0.35
The Counterfeiters Sony Classics .34 (2,590) -5% 131 3.4
Krazzy 4 Eros .16 (2,660) 59 0.16
Emma Smith: My Story Candlelight .15 (3,480) 42 0.15
The Visitor Overture 75,200 (18,800) 4 0.08
Young@Heart Searchlight 50,300 (12,580) 4 0.06
Bra Boys Berkela 42,700 (1,860) 23 0.04
Chaos Theory WIP 22,800 (2,070) 11 0.02
Dark Matter First Independ. 9,100 (4,550) 2 0.01
Remember the Daze First Look 2,500 (630) 4 0.01

Domestic Market Share – To April 10, 2008

Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Fox (9) 452.1 19.10%
Warner Bros. (12) 376.5 15.90%
Buena Vista (8) 268.3 11.30%
Sony (11) 245.9 10.40%
Paramount (8) 224.1 9.40%
Lions Gate (7) 144.6 6.10%
Universal (7) 143.3 6.00%
Fox Searchlight (3) 119.7 5.10%
Par Vantage (7) 66.4 2.80%
New Line (4) 61.5 2.60%
Focus (4) 57.5 2.40%
MGM (7) 38.5 1.60%
Miramax (3) 38.1 1.60%
Summit (2) 33.1 1.40%
Overture (2) 20.8 0.90%
Other * (95) 81.4 3.40%
2371.8 100.00%

Global Grossers – To March 30, 2008

Title Distributor Gross
I Am Legend WB 270,214,778
National Treasure: Book of Secrets BVI 258,452,003
10,000 B.C. WB 230,668,896
Jumper Fox 198,747,514
Horton Hears a Who Fox 197,609,863
Juno Fox/Mandate 185,142,982
Alvin and the Chipmunks Fox 168,679,687
Cloverfield Paramount 157,903,442
Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis Pathe 157,314,114
The Bucket List WB 148,939,032
27 Dresses Fox/Spyglass 134,783,157
Asterix aux jeux Olympiques Pathe 130,521,428
Vantage Point Sony 126,507,378
The Spiderwick Chronicles Paramount 118,422,878
Sweeney Todd Paramount/WB 125,045,246
Step Up 2 BV/Summit 110,504,896
No Country for Old Men Miramax/Para 110,232,834
P.S. I Love You WB/Summit 109,635,887
Enchanted BV 107,450,510
The Golden Compass New Line 106,921,784
Rambo Lions Gate/NuI 103,202,282
* does not include 2007 box office

Top Domestic Grossers – To March 27, 2008

Title Distributor Gross
Juno * Fox Searchlight 113,564,674
Horton Hears a Who Fox 99,849,148
The Bucket List * WB 90,378,651
National Treasure: Book of Secret BV 84,668,814
10,000 B.C. WB 80,045,351
Cloverfield Par 79,868,530
Jumper Fox 77,984,874
27 Dresses Fox 75,941,603
Alvin and the Chipmunks * Fox 68,973,565
The Spiderwick Chronicles Par 68,646,009
Fool’s Gold WB 67,524,778
Vantage Point Sony 66,948,480
Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Co BV 64,547,158
Step Up 2: The Streets BV 57,001,753
I Am Legend * WB 56,933,914
Rambo Lions Gate 42,754,105
Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins Uni 42,093,210
Atonement * Focus 39,617,946
There Will Be Blood * Par Vantage 39,438,070
First Sunday Sony 38,182,387

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Klady

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“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