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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Weekend Box Office by Klady – Shuttwo-er

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39 Responses to “Weekend Box Office by Klady – Shuttwo-er”

  1. Josh Massey says:

    The Blind Side is STILL truckin’. Wow.
    So can we expect an Avatar plummet next weekend? How many theaters is it losing to Alice?

  2. EthanG says:

    The asterisks are starting to fall…”Avatar” likely passed “Spider-Man” and “Independence Day” in domestic attendance this weekend, becoming the most attended non-sequel since “Titanic” and most attended non-sequel Sci Fi film since “Jurassic Park.” It also passed TDK in total domestic gross when factoring in 3D/IMAX premiums and is now #2 all time domestically when factoring in premiums (though not inflation).
    It’s days away from becoming the 5th film in the last 15 years to sell 70 million tickets domestically and has “Shrek 2″ and TDK’s attendance marks in its sights. Any arguments against it being a “cultural phenomenon” should be moot by now…
    Sooo…question is does anyone now know what the plan is next week with Alice now? Enough theatres have to have converted by now right??…because you have “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Hubble” 3 weeks after Alice….”Clash of the Titans” a week after Dragon….and 5 3D films between June 18 and August 13. What’s going to happen?
    Side not: why would Overture release the only two films on its slate until October one week apart…and release a cop film a week after a cop film? Seems weird.

  3. Steven Kar says:

    ALICE is going to get 3,400 screens next weekend. Not sure if all of them will be 3D screens. Should we expect AVATAR to plummet by 50% or more?

  4. a_loco says:

    I know this seems trivial, but just about every Canadian (except for myself) is watching the hockey game today. I wouldn’t be surprised if that affected the estimates slightly, as I doubt anybody worked it into them in the first place.

  5. David Poland says:

    Beating the dead horse… your attendance numbers are guesses, Ethan. Doesn’t matter if they are pro-Avatar or anti-Avatar… guesses.

  6. EthanG says:

    Again…this isn’t molecular physics, and estimates are different than wild guesses in the dark.
    “Avatar” has sold around 70 million tickets domestically. If this figure is off by a million tickets either way, extremely unlikely, it still is going to end up as the most attended movie of the 2000’s domestically once all is said and done….but also will end up selling at least 40 million fewer tix than Titanic.
    Those are two facts that are indisputable.

  7. brack says:

    You can’t spend tickets sold, so who really cares?

  8. DVertino says:

    Let it go Ethan. Seriously, no one really cares anymore.

  9. jeffmcm says:

    Again, this is a battle between two camps of people, one of whom refuses to speak the same language as the other. Keep up the good work, Ethan.

  10. ThriceDamned says:

    “If Avatar does 700m. I am finished with film because it will be dead in my eyes at that point.
    Posted by: IOIOIOI at January 17, 2010 12:11 PM”
    I wonder if that’s why I haven’t seen him post much lately?…since film is now officially dead in his eyes.

  11. doug r says:

    I see one local all-digital house is showing Alice on a different screen than both screens showing Avatar 3D. I know my local 18+IMAX place was trying to get a digital projector for one of its two 640 seat screens.

  12. Geoff says:

    I was at my local Classic Cinemas theater, which has eight screens, this weekend – they were one of the first in the area to have Real D (have had it for several years), just added a second 3D screen, and will be adding a third by the end of the month – I talked with the manager and they expect to retain Avatar 3D until Titan’s comes out in April and will have screens available to show Titans, Dragon and Alice in 3D at the same time.
    I have a feeling that a lot of theaters are scrambling to make this happen…..

  13. Geoff says:

    EthanG, I’m sure you’re using the Box Office Mojo charts, which are probably the closest thing to a definitive source, but sorry….those numbers just don’t jibe with me.
    Ticket prices have increased 65% since Titanic came out, in 12 years? No way, no way – I was working in movie theaters through ’97 and I can definitely tell you that tickets were NOT that much lower, just 12 years ago.
    Last time I saw Avatar in 3D, it was $8.00 for a matinee – back when Titanic was out first-run, I can assure you that a matinee was at least $5.50 or $6.00 – this was just a few years after Multiplex mania exploded and you had chains like National Amusements gouging a bit whenever they opened their newest 24 screen mega-plexes. It was also the very early days of stadium seating and THX and there was also premium pricing for those, as well.
    It’s amazing that even numbers from the late ’90’s are pure conjecture, at this point – no doubt, Avatar will not pass Titanic in total attendance, but it will probably pass every other film of the past 30 years except for E.T. Given those purely speculative numbers from Mojo, it could pass Ben-Hur and Empire when all is said and done.

  14. Joe Leydon says:

    Geoff: If I want to go see Avatar tomorrow in IMAX 3-D here in Houston, it’ll be $9.00. But if I wait until the evening, it’ll be $13.50. Regardless of what some folks have been saying here, there definitely is a price bump.

  15. EthanG says:

    Geoff, I’m going by the National Association of theatre owners (NATO). If they are lying about the average prices, then god help us because they would have to be fudging hundreds of pages of historical records. I still have a copy of my Episode I ticket though…5 bucks.
    A 3D matinee of Avatar runs about 9.50 where I live…evening 11.50. NATO has figures from literally hundreds of theatres from all over the nation in its EXHAUSTIVE Encyclopedia of Exhibition…the thing is thousands of pages in a PDF file. It lists average ticket prices for hundreds of theatres since 1984. It’s the movie equivalent of “Historical Statistics of the United States.” As far as being the top film of the past 30 years…it ain’t gonna catch Episode I, Jurassic Park, etc but it’s irrelevant.
    Anyway the only reason I brought this up is there have been so many debates and articles on this site, the trades, the AP, Finke, whatever noting “Avatar” only leads TDK because of premiums and inflation…no longer. It is indisputably going to end up the biggest film of the 2000’s in every possible category.

  16. sultry says:

    You guys live in low-price land (AKA Cheapsville) and don’t even know it. An evening of Avatar in 3D here is $13.50 and the IMAX version is $15.
    Feel free to feel sorry for me and send donations to the “Send Sultry to the Movies” Fund. Sorry, no tax deductions.

  17. Geoff says:

    Here’s the thing: the prices I was referring to are NOT in lower priced markets, at all – over the past 15 years, I have lived in worked in DC, Chicago, and New York – three of the top five media markets in the country.
    Look, maybe I’m just lucky, but I paid $8.00 for a matinee of Avatar in 3D in Oak Park, just outside the city, not exactly the cheapest town. On opening day, I it in 3D at the River East downtown, one of the pricier areas around the city and paid $9 for a matinee. When I saw it in IMAX 3D visiting family in Las Vegas, I paid $13 for a night show at the Red Rock Casino, a place where NOTHING is cheap.
    Now, that $13 may sound high, but when I saw The Dark Knight in IMAX two years ago (at the Navy Pier), it was $14 – sorry, I just do not personally see such the dramatic price bump for this movie that’s been hyped by the “asterisk” people :), for lack of a better term.
    Bottom line, there’s no real accurate way to measure this – if Avatar is getting significantly more matinee tickets sold than Titanic (which I think is very likely – the last matinee I went to, just two weeks ago, was packed), how do you measure that?
    And there’s just no way to really know how many tickets a movie like Gone with the Wind really sold.
    If you love the movie (which I do) and enjoy reading about box office as a hobby, then just sit back and enjoy the whole thing. If you don’t like the movie, then just a wait a few months and we’ll all be talking about Toy Story 3……

  18. hcat says:

    I don’t mean to quibble Geoff but I think DC is maybe near the bottom of the top ten, can’t imagine its top five even including its reach into Virgina and Maryland.
    Ethan – I thought you lived in the DC market as well, where could you see Phantom Menace for $5? A matinee at the uptown was easily 6.50 and even the ‘bargin’ second run theatre in Georgetown was about $4 all shows by that time.
    I just say this because the average ticket prices always seemed to be about 50 cents more than what I would pay for a matinee. This math simply did not seem possible. That somehow the 2 or 3 dollars plus that I would pay for an evening show, which I would figure would have the larger attendance is somehow offset by someone paying for a $4 evening ticket somewhere in the sticks. And since this had to be true of all metropolitan areas (ie the actual population centers of the country), the people of Wichita would have to be going to the theaters around the clock to offset these numbers.
    I don’t want to make this an arguement about Avatar, and am not accusing NATO of fudging the numbers. But do we know how NATO calculates this? I just don’t see how the math averages out.
    And Jeff, this is hardly a battle. There just seems to be those who want to start using a different yardstick on how we measure the largest hits. Money has always been used because that was the only thing that was ever actually counted. Everything else is some sort of Box Office paleontology.

  19. jesse says:

    Sultry, I’d love to contribute but I’m fresh out of cash; the Clearview theaters in Manhattan just went to $12.75 for REGULAR showings. And they don’t do matinees. My 3-D Alice in Wonderland tickets aren’t even for an IMAX and they cost $15.75 a pop. IMAX 3-D stuff closes in on the $20 mark.
    I will say, Clearview is pretty generous with their frequent moviegoing program; I feel like I get free tickets and drinks and stuff more often than I do with the Regal or AMC versions, and they’re less picky about not using free tickets on the first 10 days of a run (which I know is supposedly a studio/contractual thing, but I’m sorry, there are always exceptions to those rules — comp/readmit tickets, certain discounted corporate tickets — so enforcing it on frequent moviegoers seems pretty petty. I’m looking at you, AMC; Regal is relatively cool about it, too).

  20. EthanG says:

    @hcat….grew up in the Virginia Beach area…still in High School when TPM came out. Moved to DC area after college.
    NATO supposedly surveys more than 700 theatres annually on everything from ticket prices, to box office and concessions.

  21. hcat says:

    My question about how NATO derives their figures would be if they take population into account when making their average projections. If there are two theaters in your town, one has a ticket price of $8 and one has $6 than the average ticket price is $7. But if the more expensive theater does double the business than the average cost of a ticket sold in town is $7.50. If you put this at a National scale there might be a lot of smaller theaters charging less but the attendance might be considerbly higher in all the population centers with the higher ticket prices. I have just always wondered what the math was to figure out the average.

  22. EthanG says:

    I don’t have access to the encyclopedia but have a friend who does. Supposedly each theatre reports what percentage of revenue came from matinees, night showings, discounts (senior, military, college, kiddie) etc.
    Of course as DP and others have said there is no exact way to figure out ticket sales. However, it’s easy to get a decent estimate…aka judging by this weekend’s 14% dip there isn’t any conceivable way that “Avatar” finishes with fewer ticket sales than TDK and doesn’t become the top seller since 1999.
    It’s meaningless aside from a cultural perspective, but it’s an issue frequently brought up in box office reports from most mainstream sources…so due to them it’s worth noting.

  23. Geoff says:

    Hcat, just to clarify: I worked in DC, but lived in Fairfax, VA, which is pretty much to pop center of the DC metro area – believe me, I saw enough traffic tp back that up.

  24. EthanG says:

    Geoff I live in Fairfax…and it’s way beyond the national average now. Tysons Corner, the largest multiplex in the county, is $11.00 for evening tix and $14.00 for Avatar..but hey it’s only 8 for matinees.
    Cinema De Lux (National Amusements), the second largest in the county is $15.25 for Avatar (not a misprint) and 11.25 for general evening admission and 8.75 for matinee…waaay above average.
    I live right outside out Reston so catch a tiny break.

  25. Triple Option says:

    AMC has two discount passes. Regular that have the two week blackout and the gold that you can use opening w/e. $8 for the gold, which is the same price for a “bargain” matinee. If I can pry my ass outta bed on Saturday morn, they have first showings for like $6.50. But who wants to see a movie at 10 AM?
    I’m not going to doubt anyone’s ahole experience at any theater but I have to say I’ve had more good luck than not using a regular passes w/in the two week blackout period at AMC theaters. BUT, it’s generally like 10 PM on a school night. Ask nicely, and they’re generally pretty cool about it. Not like at that point I couldn’t ask for something else and then go into the other movie which would be empty anyway.
    Going to movies are too damn expensive, period! And making me sit three hours in some bloated $150M “epic” doesn’t justify any. I can go get a steak dinner over at Sizzler for what they’re gonna charge me for snacks. Ridiculous! Then turn around and say I can get a free re-fill on popcorn. I’m IN the movie, mofo, remember?! Think I’m gonna drop $11.50 x 2 for tix then wander out into lobby & stand in line for some more butteryish liquid topping right in the middle? If I get out of my seat at all it’ll be to go back to the projector room and turn DOWN the MF

  26. Me says:

    Ethan, is that $15.25 for the director’s hall? That theater charges extra for one room that has leather chairs and assigned seats. It’s the biggest ripoff in movie theaters in the Fairfax area, and they don’t tell you which movie is in that hall until you get there. So, you’ll go in for a movie and surprise, it’s $2-$3 more just because. I hate the De Lux.

  27. The Big Perm says:

    Going to the movies isn’t that bad for me, usually when I go it’s after dinner so I don’t buy concessions. Why would anyone pay eleven bucks for medium popcorn and a soda?

  28. Stella's Boy says:

    Why do people eat at McDonald’s? Why would anyone pay five bucks for a fancy coffee? A fool and his money are easily separated. I am often such a fool (though I haven’t had fast food in almost a year-and-a-half now; however sometimes I pay for overpriced candy at the movies).

  29. The Big Perm says:

    Well, at least for five bucks at McDonald’s you can get a lot of food even if it’s relatively crappy. While movie theater food is also crappy and you don’t get that much. I figure, go for volume.

  30. EthanG says:

    @Me…yeah hear you on the director’s hall. And no…theyre playing Crazies in Directors Hall for 13.25…halfway in between regular and Avatar. Ridiculous rip-off I agree…they used to give you a “wipie” as a bonus. Insanity.
    I try to stick to Worldgate, Reston Town Center or Fairfax Town Center (Regal) at all costs if I can. How many NOVA people are on here anyway??
    Agree with Perm on the food. McDonalds and cinema food wrecks your body but you get a medium popcorn the same price as an entire fast food value meal at theatres I go to.

  31. Geoff says:

    This is too funny – when I was in college (Mason), I used to work at the Worldgate, not a bad theater.
    My favorite was the UA Fairfax Towne Cente – it was the only THX theater around, had a Tower Records right below, and a Pomodoro’s pizza right across the street.
    And yes, I remember a decent-sized bump (like $2 more than The Mummy) when The Phantom Menace came out – it was worth it opening night, one of my favorite movie-going experiences ever. The audience made the movie half-enjoyable.

  32. EthanG says:

    It just went from too funny to borderline creepy…one of my best friends’ gf’s is the daughter of the manager of Worldgate and I just had dinner with him…did the manager have the last name Carrell? I also went to Mason….
    UA Towne Center is now Regal Town Center…Tower Records went under when they went bankrupt…vacant for years…then taken over by Circuit City…4 months before they went bankrupt so now vacant again. Pomodoro’s is still there though. I frequent Moby Dick’s Kabob in the same center frequently though…
    Town Center, sadly, barely is staying in business due to an agreement with De Lux where neither theatre plays the same movies, and De Lux almost always gets the better fare. Increasingly in FFX this is the way it goes…Lee Highway Cinema (National Amusements) and the cinema across from Tysons have closed over the last two years due to mega competition.
    This thread has gotten weeeeirrrd…

  33. EthanG says:

    I meant owner not manager

  34. Stella's Boy says:

    Preferring quantity is why so many Americans are fat.

  35. Me says:

    This is strange – I live in the City of Fairfax, right behind George Mason.
    Where is WorldGate? I like the Regal above the Tower (always wanted to try the Yum Yum Ice Cream Cafe), but you’re right that they don’t get the good movies now that the De Lux came to town. At least you could get parking in the same zip code as the Regal. I also miss the Lee Highway theaters, since I used to always go there. That’s where I saw my first digital showing (Finding Nemo).
    Mostly, though, I go to the Cinema Arts Theater, since it plays the art house fare. It’s independently owned, and the owner actually makes an effort to give the customer a good experience, giving out popcorn refills and asking what movies people want to see.

  36. Geoff says:

    I used to live in Fairfax, but not since 2002 – the Worldgate is in Herndon, just off of the Toll Road, from what I remember.
    That is so cool that the Cinema Arts Theater has survived all of this time – I remember when they first opened in 2000 and the first movie I saw there was Croupier, which was awesome and still remains my favorite Clive Owen film.
    I’m sure that the Regal (formerly UA) probably gets second choice because it’s NOT stadium seating, right? I have think to convert that theater would have been very difficult, as it is on the second floor above other retail.
    Yeah, bummer about Tower Records (was very cool to go there before or after the movie – sometimes to buy the soundtrack), but they did it to themselves – I used to go to that one in Fairfax all of the time and it USED to be that all new release CD’s were $11.99 for several weeks. Then in the late ’90’s, they started overcharging just like the other pure music chains, with new CD’s starting at $15.99 – that’s when I started going to Best Buy.

  37. Chucky in Jersey says:

    @Ethan: How far apart are the De Lux and the Regal Town Center? They’re probably close enough to be in a competitive booking zone.
    Speaking of the De Lux, it’s one of the National Amusements theaters being sold to Rave Cinemas. Expect changes when Rave takes ownership.

  38. EthanG says:

    @Me…I lived in the neighborhood right behind Mason until a year ago….Forest Ave off Roberts Road. Moved out just as they were sealing off University Dr…crazy. Yea worldgate is out here in Reston/Herndon near where 267 and 7100 meet…
    I love Cinema Arts..only theatre I have a card for, though wish they’d renovate. If not for them and AMC Shirlington it’d be a long trek to Dc… Yeah Lee Highway closing is sad…that whole area had a major facelift and the theatre was starting to fall apart…and the building is still empty.
    Yeah Chucky they are close enough for that. De Lux also makes plays for movies that would otherwise head to Cinema Arts and charges 3 bucks more to see them…

  39. Me says:

    Ethan – I live on Berritt in Green Acres, and when I go out jogging, I go along Roberts for a bit. Them closing off University was actually a major inconvenience, as I used to drive that way toward Burke.
    I agree about some of these theaters needing remodelling, but I tend to prefer older theaters with character and aren’t as expensive, to the newly remodelled places that cost an arm and a leg. Especially if they are independently owned and operated, like the Cinema Arts.

Box Office

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4