MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

Wedding Bell Green

The Proposal was an offer the audience couldn’t refuse as the romantic comedy romped to an estimated $34.4 million debut to gain weekend bragging rights. The frame’s other national freshman — the caveman comedy Year One — grunted $20.1 million to finish fourth overall.

New titles in limited or regional release had a few bright spots. The latest from Woody Allen, Whatever Works, got a fast start of $272,000 from nine venues and the boisterous A vos marquee … Party! 2 looked hearty with a $520,000 gross in Quebec. In English Canada Victoria Day was not nearly as impressive with an $11,500 tally from a trio of screens and everything from the rom-com Irene in Time to the Scandinavian chiller Dead Snow were uninspired.

Overall business was marginally up from both last weekend and last year with hope that the past few tentative sessions will open up with upcoming sequels to Transformers and Harry Potter and the gangster opus Public Enemies.

Expectations for the Sandra Bullock vehicle The Proposal were modestly pegged in the low 20s with some prognosticators ranking it second to The Hangover. But a clever marketing campaign and a recent drought of femme-centric pictures conspired in its favor. The actress’s pictures tend to open modestly but have enjoyed high multiples and her current outing has limited direct competition in the coming weeks.

Year One pretty much performed to predictions of a $20 million opening. It’s also expected to do a fast fade with little upside seen in international release.

The frame’s other stunner was the steadfast hold of The Hangover. The film was viewed as a tidy money maker with perhaps an $80 million domestic gross. Now one can foresee an ultimate tally of more than $200 million and considerably greater traction in its foreign exploitation.

Weekend revenues should push close to $145 million for a 6% boost from seven days earlier. It was however a sliver of slightly more than 1% improved from 2008 when the bow of Get Smart led with $38.7 million and another deb, Love Guru, had a less than serendipitous $13.9 million box office.

The Woody Allen-Larry David combo in Whatever Works attracted a better than core crowd and its $30,330 screen average provides some optimism that the tart comedy might expand from his limited fan base. Also on the bubble isFrancis Coppola’s Tetro, which added five cities to its two screen bow last weekend and maintained a sturdy screen average.

– Leonard Klady


Weekend Finals

Title Distrib Weekend % Change Theaters Cume Wks
1 New The Proposal BV 33,627,598 3056 33,627,598 1
2 1 The Hangover WB 26,753,473 -18% 3545 152,817,015 3
3 2 Up BV 23,492,677 -24% 3832 226,268,932 4
4 New Year One Sony 19,610,304 3022 19,610,304 1
5 3 TheTaking of Pelham 123 Sony 12,034,899 -48% 3077 44,067,224 2
6 4 Night at the Museum 2 Fox 7,807,185 -19% 2962 156,459,744 5
7 7 Star Trek Par 5,511,434 1% 2307 240,255,340 7
8 5 Land of the Lost Uni 4,358,945 -51% 2945 44,055,510 3
9 6 Imagine That Par 3,290,227 -40% 3011 11,541,605 2
10 8 Terminator Salvation WB 3,284,230 -31% 1920 119,727,528 5
11 9 Angels & Demons Sony 2,820,196 -31% 1888 128,158,818 6
12 10 Drag Me to Hell Uni 1,974,375 -50% 1627 39,234,860 4
13 14 Away We Go Focus 871,224 55% 132 1,937,113 3
14 12 X-Men Origins: Wolverine Fox 635,130 -32% 536 177,288,905 8
15 11 My Life in Ruins Fox Searchlight 460,935 -73% 644 7,821,989 3
16 17 Easy Virtue Sony Classics 429,101 43% 255 1,575,197 5
17 New A vos marque … Party! 2 Seville 312,359 99 458,521 1
18 39 Food, Inc. Magnolia 288,194 376% 51 385,920 2
19 16 17 Again WB 278,984 -33% 318 62,730,645 10
20 19 Under the Sea 3D WB 268,997 21% 42 10,422,675 19
21 New Whatever Works Sony Classics 266,162 9 266,162 1
22 13 Dance Flick Par 257,065 -64% 402 24,736,580 5
23 15 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past WB 217,154 -53% 375 53,420,011 8
24 18 The Brothers Bloom Summit 215,274 -27% 209 2,878,472 6
25 23 The Soloist Par 192,526 21% 204 31,295,414 9
26 25 Moon Sony Classics 179,370 32% 21 392,981 2
27 20 Monsters vs. Aliens Par 165,408 -19% 228 195,513,959 13
28 21 Race to Witch Mountain BV 162,183 -15% 202 66,818,869 15
29 22 Fast & Furious Uni 136,915 -16% 200 154,882,235 12
30 33 Millenium Alliance 103,066 31% 45 922,500 4
31 30 Departures Regent 102,822 8% 27 476,108 4
32 35 Knowing Summit 99,144 35% 115 79,819,993 14
33 26 Summer Hours IFC 92,055 -25% 45 1,113,469 6
34 24 Hannah Montana: The Movie BV 86,678 -45% 128 78,331,891 11
35 36 J’ai tue ma mere K-Films 76,107 17% 17 347,258 3
36 29 State of Play Uni 72,079 -26% 131 37,090,034 10
37 32 Earth BV 68,067 -17% 109 31,706,973 9
38 28 Every Little Step Sony Classics 63,757 -36% 52 1,348,289 10
39 31 Next Day Air Summit 62,169 -28% 133 9,953,451 7
40 48 Tetro Zoetrope 57,405 54% 8 113,321 2
41 27 Obsessed Sony 53,245 -56% 104 68,375,012 9
42 34 Sunshine Cleaning Overture 49,263 -36% 134 11,978,076 15
43 40 The Haunting in Connecticut Lions Gate 46,478 -17% 117 56,235,277 13
44 38 I Love You, Man Par 43,402 -32% 92 71,752,575 14
45 37 Fighting Uni 42,741 -33% 89 23,235,386 9
46 51 Dolphins and Whales 3D 3D Entertainment 37,021 3% 5 6,355,031 71
47 50 Seraphine Music Box 35,257 -2% 13 154,222 3
48 41 Valentino: The Last Emperor Truly Indie 32,189 -41% 30 1,454,966 14
49 55 Goodbye Solo Roadside Attract. 31,086 -2% 33 744,839 13
50 60 O Horten Sony Classics 29,419 24% 23 170,980 5
51 47 Paul Blart: Mall Cop Sony 27,842 -26% 72 146,728,248 23
52 45 Magnificent Desolation Imax 25,896 -34% 3 28,998,578 196
53 56 Lemon Tree IFC 24,950 -16% 22 467,072 10
54 54 Medea Goes to Jail Lions Gate 24,435 -23% 53 91,078,585 18
55 42 Rudo y Cursi Sony Classics 23,535 -49% 39 1,746,295 7
56 43 Street Dreams Slow Hand 22,039 -52% 23 84,944 2
57 49 Sugar Sony Classics 21,327 -42% 32 1,037,595 12
58 46 Space Station 3D Imax 19,708 -48% 6 78,947,726 375
59 73 The Merry Gentleman IDP 19,217 32% 20 291,677 8
60 52 Is Anybody There? Story Island 18,774 -45% 39 1,988,165 10
61 59 Tyson Sony Classics 18,546 -29% 24 825,450 9
Source: MCN/EDI

Estimates – June 19-21, 2009

Title Distributor Gross (averag % change * Theaters Cume
The Proposal BV 34.4 (11,270) 3056 34.4
The Hangover WB 26.7 (7,540) -19% 3545 152.8
Up BV 21.2 (5,540) -31% 3832 224
Year One Sony 20.1 (6,650) 3022 20.1
The Taking of Pelham 123 Sony 10.9 (3,550) -53% 3077 43
Night at the Museum 2 Fox 7.2 (2,440) -25% 2962 155.9
Star Trek Par 4.6 (2,010) -15% 2307 239.4
Land of the Lost Uni 3.8 (1,300) -57% 2945 43.5
Imagine That Par 3.1 (1,020) -44% 3011 11.32
Terminator Salvation WB 2.9 (1,520) -39% 1920 119.4
Angels and Demons Sony 2.6 (1,390) -36% 1888 128
Drag Me to Hell Uni 1.8 (1,130) -53% 1627 39.1
Away We Go Focus .89 (6,740) 59% 132 1.95
X-Men Origins: Wolverine Fox .59 (1,100) -37% 536 177.2
A vos marque … Party! 2 Seville .52 (5,250) 99 0.7
My Life in Ruins Fox Searchlight .43 (670) -75% 644 7.8
Easy Virtue Sony Class/Allia .39 (1,620) 31% 242 1.5
Whatever Works Sony Classics .27 (30,330) 9 0.27
17 Again WB .26 (820) -37% 318 62.7
Food, Inc. Magnolia .25 (5,580) 315% 45 0.35
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $141.30
% Change (Last Year) 1%
% Change (Last Week) 6%
Also debuting/expanding
The Brothers Bloom Summit .20 (970) -32% 209 2.9
Moon Sony Classics .18 (8,050) 30% 22 0.39
Tetro Zoetrope 54,300 (6,790) 85% 8 0.11
Victoria Day E1 11,500 (3,830) 3 0.01
$9.99 Regent 10,800 (5,400) 2 0.01
The Narrows Cinedigm 8,200 (430) 19 0.01
Irene in Time Rainbow 7,700 (960) 8 0.01
Under Our Skin Shadow 6,900 (6,900) 1 0.01
The Windmill Movie Film Desk 4,100 (4,100) 1 0.01
Dead Snow IFC 4,050 (4,050) 1 0.01

Domestic Market Share – January 1 – June 18, 2009

Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Warner. Bros (20) 866.5 18.50%
Paramount (11) 747.1 15.90%
Fox (10) 646.5 13.80%
Sony (12) 538.7 11.50%
Buena Vista (11) 510.8 10.90%
Universal (12) 441.4 9.40%
Lionsgate (7) 237.2 5.00%
Fox Searchlight (6) 193.2 4.10%
Summit (6) 146.3 3.10%
Focus (4) 96.5 2.10%
Paramount Vantage (2) 52.4 1.10%
MGM (3) 42.3 0.90%
Miramax (4) 38.7 0.80%
Weinstein Co. (6) 34.5 0.70%
Overture (3) 26.9 0.60%
Other * (142) 73.2 1.60%
* none greater than 0.35% 4692.2 100%

Top Domestic Grossers – January 1 – June 18, 2009

Title Distributor Gross
Star Trek Par 234,743,906
Up BV 202,776,255
Monsters vs. Aliens Par 195,348,551
X-Men Origins: Wolverine Fox 176,653,775
Fast & Furious Uni 154,745,320
Night at the Museum 2 Fox 148,652,559
Paul Blart: Mall Cop Sony 146,700,406
Taken * Fox 144,966,929
Gran Torino * WB 142,214,209
The Hangover WB 126,063,542
Angels & Demons Sony 125,338,622
Slumdog Millionaire * Fox Searchlight 119,092,566
Terminator Salvation WB/Sony 116,443,298
Watchmen WB/Par Intl 107,579,799
He’s Just Not That Into You WB/New Line 93,953,653
Madea Goes to Jail Lionsgate 91,054,150
Knowing Summit 79,720,849
Hannah Montana: The Movie BV 78,245,213
Coraline Focus 75,256,049
Curious Case of Benjamin Button * Par 74,888,490
* does not include 2008 box office
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Klady

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“I always thought that once I had lived in Chicago for a while, it would be interesting to do a portrait of the city – but to do it at a significant time. Figuring out when would be the ideal time to do that was the trick. So when this election came around, coupled with the Laquan McDonald trial, it seemed like the ideal time to do the story. Having lived in Chicagoland for thirty-five-plus years and done a number of films here, I’ve always been struck by the vibrancy of the city and its toughness. Its tenderness too. I’ve always been interested in the people at the center of all the stories. This is a different film in that regard, because we’re not following a couple of individuals over the course of the project in the way that a lot of the films I’ve done have, but I still feel like people’s voices and aspirations and hopes are at the center of this series.

It wasn’t easy. We started back in July 2018, it was actually on the Fourth of July – that was our first shoot. It’s like most documentaries in that the further you go along the more involved and obsessed you get, and you just start shooting more and more and more. We threw ourselves into this crazy year in Chicago. We got up every day and tried to figure out if we should be out shooting or not, and what it is we should shoot. We were trying to balance following this massive political story of the mayor’s race and these significant moments like the Laquan McDonald trial with taking the pulse of people in the city that we encounter along the way and getting a sense of their lives and what it means to live here. By election day, Zak Piper, our producer, had something like six cameras out in the field. You could double-check that, it might have been seven. We had this organized team effort to hit all the candidates as they were voting, if they hadn’t already voted. We hit tons of polling places, were at the Board of Elections and then were at the parties for the candidates that we had been able to follow closely. Then of course, we were trying to make sure we were at the parties of the candidates who made it to the runoff. So, yeah, it was kind of a monster.”
~ Steve James On City So Real

“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