MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

Sub-way Stories

Hangover and Up once again dominated weekend ticket sales with respective grosses of $33.1 million and $30.7 million and that put the kibosh on new releases. The highly anticipated The Taking of Pelham 123 pulled into third spot with a just passable $24.6 million gross while the $5.6 million box office for Imagine That was too cruel to contemplate.

New movies in limited and exclusive patterns saw some torrid response including the meditative sci-fi Moon with $132,000 from eight pods and Coppola’s dramatic Tetro in near capacity mode with $38,000 from singles in Manhattan and L.A. Also torrid were a pair of non-fiction entries. The nutritional Food, Inc. tallied up $48,700 from three bites and the musical Youssou N’Dour chanted up $28,200 from a soulful trio.

Overall sales were noticeably down from both last weekend and 2008 and that heightened industry fears of stepped up erosion that had been looming for weeks. General anxieties center on concerns that fewer pictures selections at the multiplex could result in a proportional decline in admissions … but appreciable change won’t be apparent until late in the year.

The positive shock felt through the community was the 74% hold for top seller The Hangover.Minimally expectations were for a one-third drop from opening weekend for the raunchy antics and the sturdier result has industry pundits doffing their hats to the perfect timing for a significant and unserved audience segment.

The older appeal for incoming Pelham 123 is shaping up as a slow moving train. The high freight costs of the vehicle demanded a more competitive launch; especially in light of the more youthful tilt of the weekend’s top sellers. Clearly too many patrons did not have the picture as their top choice.

Conversely Imagine That was on the “don’t see” list for prospective buyers. The shift to family appeal movies for Eddie Murphy has lost steam and the performer is ripe for reinvention or a return to the hipper, bawdier humor that gained him initial recognition.

Weekend business approached $130 million and that translated into a 16% decline from the prior weekend. It was an even steeper 23% push back from 2008 when the debut of The Incredible Hulktopped the chart with $55.4 million and the other major freshman The Happening ranked third with $16.4 million.

The other big question mark of the frame is the ultimate fate of Francis Coppola’s Tetro following upbeat response since its Cannes premiere. The filmmaker decided to self distribute the operatic family drama and mapped out a strategy unseen for decades. Following this weekend’s exclusive bows in New York and Los Angeles, he’ll add additional exclusive dates in 10 additional major markets next weekend. In interviews he’s indicated that going the single screen route in the top 25 markets and letting the film play out should cover his bottom line. If he’s correct a lot of independents are apt to follow suit whether this test case is a trend or an anomaly.

– Leonard Klady


Weekend Estimates – June 12-14, 2009

Title Distributor Gross (averag % change * Theaters Cume
The Hangover WB 33.1 (9,870) -26% 3355 105.1
Up BV 30.7 (7,910) -30% 3886 187.4
The Taking of Pelham 123 Sony 24.6 (8,010) 3074 24.6
Night at the Museum 2 Fox 9.7 (2,880) -34% 3365 143.5
Land of the Lost Uni 8.9 (2,530) -53% 3534 34.8
Imagine That Par 5.6 (1,870) 3008 5.6
Star Trek Par 5.5 (2,100) -33% 2638 232
Terminator Salvation WB 4.6 (1,740) -48% 2650 113.7
Angels and Demons Sony 4.1 (1,690) -37% 2436 123.2
Drag Me to Hell Uni 3.8 (1,660) -46% 2273 35.1
My Life in Ruins Fox Searchlight 1.6 (1,400) -50% 1165 6.3
X-Men Origins: Wolverine Fox .89 (1,110) -54% 799 176.1
Dance Flick Par .72 (890) -63% 810 24.1
Away We Go Focus .54 (12,000) 315% 45 0.74
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past WB .45 (830) -52% 545 52.9
17 Again WB .39 (1,010) 84% 388 62.1
Easy Virtue Sony Class/Allia .29 (3,270) 42% 88 1
The Brothers Blum Summit .28 (1,680) -32% 166 2.5
Under the Sea 3D WB .22 (5,330) 9% 42 9.8
Race to Witch Mountain BV .18 (780) -32% 228 66.5
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $134.35
% Change (Last Year) -23%
% Change (Last Week) -16%
Also debuting/expanding
Moon Sony Classics .13 (16,500) 8 0.13
Summer Hours IFC .12 (2,550) -21% 46 0.96
Departures Regent .10 (1,630) 13% 60 0.33
Street Dreams Slow Hand 49,300 (2,240) 20 0.05
Food, Inc. Magnolia 48,700 (16,150) 3 0.05
Tetro Zoetrope 29,400 (14,700) 2 0.04
Youssou N’Dour Shadow 28,200 (9,400) 3 0.03
War Eagle, Arkansas Empire 14,700 (2,100) 7 0.01
Kal Kissne Dekha Adlabs 12,100 (670) 18 0.01
Call of the Wild Vivendi 11,800 (840) 14 0.01
Dim Sum Funeral Imagination 5,900 (2,950) 2 0.01

Domestic Market Share – January 1 – June 11, 2009

Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Warner. Bros (20) 802.9 17.90%
Paramount (10) 728.8 16.30%
Fox (10) 630.3 14.10%
Sony (11) 500.2 11.10%
Buena Vista (11) 463.9 10.30%
Universal (12) 421.1 9.40%
Lions Gate (7) 237.1 5.30%
Fox Searchlight (6) 190.5 4.30%
Summit (6) 145.5 3.20%
Focus (4) 95.5 2.10%
Paramount Vantage (2) 52.4 1.20%
MGM (3) 42.3 0.90%
Miramax (4) 38.7 0.90%
Weinstein Co. (6) 34.5 0.80%
Overture (3) 26.8 0.60%
Other * (138) 70.2 1.60%
* none greater than 0.35% 4480.7 100%

Top Global Grossers – January 1 – June 11, 2009

Title Distributor Gross
Angels & Demons Sony 416,977,838
Monsters vs. Aliens Par 365,317,984
Slumdog Millionaire * Fox Searchlight 354,728,739
X-Men Origins: Wolverine Fox 350,947,769
Fast & Furious Uni 348,524,044
Star Trek Par 341,583,167
Night at the Museum 2 Fox 287,023,039
Curious Case of Benjamin Button * Par/WB 275,868,156
Gran Torino * WB 265,724,572
Terminator Salvation WB/Sony 226,573,688
Watchmen WB/Par Intl 182,785,802
Paul Blart: Mall Cop Sony 182,252,438
Up BV 173,842,034
Marley and Me * Fox 167,361,576
He’s Just Not That Into You WB/New Line 167,134,178
Knowing Summit 164,501,989
Valkyrie * MGM 158,562,785
Taken * Fox 153,677,558
17 Again WB/New Line 122,674,677
Hannah Montana: The Movie BV 121,252,084
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Klady

Quote Unquotesee all »

“I really want to see The Irishman. I’ve heard it’s big brother Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece. But I really can’t find the time. The promotion schedule is so tight, there’s no opportunity to see a three and a half-hour movie. But I really want to see it. In 2017, right before Okja’s New York premiere, I had the chance to go to Scorsese’s office, which is in the DGA building. There’s a lovely screening room there, too, with film prints that he’s collected. I talked to him for about an hour. There’s no movie he hasn’t seen, even Korean films. We talked about what he’s seen and his past work. It was a glorious day. I’ve loved his work since I was in college. Who doesn’t? Anyone involved with movies must feel the same way.”
~ Bong Joon-ho

“But okay, I promise you now that if I ever retire again, I’m going to ensure that I can’t walk it back. I’ll post a series of the most disgusting, offensive, outrageous statements you can ever imagine. That way it will be impossible for me to ever be employed again. No one is going to take my calls. No one is going to want to be seen with me. Oh, it will be scorched earth. I will have torched everything. I’m going to flame out in the most legendary fashion.”
~ Steven Soderbergh