“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
~ James Gray
By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com
Weekend Box Office Report – November 7
Megamind led a torrid weekend box office frame (the largest for a pre-Thanksgiving November) with a first salvo estimated at $47.5 million. Two other national openers followed in succession with strong numbers. The comedy road trip Due Date grossed $33.4 million and the Afrocentric For Colored Girls bowed to $20.1 million.
There was also a pair of Bollywood films timed to the Dwali holiday. Golmaal 3 had solid returns of $443,000 from 86 screens while Action Replayy was disappointing with $232,000 from 99 venues. In Quebec Reste avec moi pancaked on a gross of $25,600 in an initial 19 playdates.
In limited and exclusive runs the politically charged Fair Game polled a respectable $663,000 that indicates challenging expansion plans. Among the remaining newcomers there was a good solo for Algerian Oscar submission Outside the Law of $7,500. But the big noise of the weekend was the not-for-the-squeamish 127 Hours, which played to near capacity at four and generated a staggering screen average of $66,570.
Weekend revenues ballooned as a result of buoyant new titles and some very strong holdovers.
The latest from DreamWorks Animation, Megamind, was generally pegged to debut in a mid-$40 million arena though some felt it could have performed better on a less competitive weekend. Though that contention is dubious, the rest of the year really doesn’t offer that option with both pre-sold and award titles beginning to open up the multiplex floodgates.
Due Date — with its obvious references to Trains, Planes & Automobiles — renewed faith in the power of a high concept comedy. But the riskier For Colored Girls, based upon the acclaimed play by Ntozake Shange, was the session’s major question mark. Many had pursued the property for decades and concluded that it was unfilmable, so when Tyler Perry unexpectedly stepped forward there was a collective shudder. Critical response was mixed to positive while the opening box office was better than anticipated.
Overall box office should top $155 million for the weekend and best the immediate prior session by 67%. It’s also a 28% improvement from 2009 with the launch of the animated A Christmas Carol opened to $30.1 million with the frame’s other debs The Men Who Stare at Goats and The Fourth Kind slotting third and fourth with respectively $12.7 million and $12.2 million.
If you believe that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, the opening weekend of 127 Hours would certainly buttress your argument. Aside from sterling reviews, the fact-inspired tale of endurance has generated a lot of ink centering on the intensity of the viewing experience that appears to cause at least a few patrons to faint at every screening. The industry will be watching intently to see whether it remains a date movie as it expands nationally.
Also under the microscope is Fair Game that fell short of dynamic initial business. There’s already debate about the decision to open in more than a handful of venues and a feeling that rapid expansion will result in further disappointment along the lines of Conviction.
Weekend Estimates – November 5-7, 2010
|Title||Distributor||Gross (average)||% change *||Theaters||Cume|
|ue Date||WB||33.4 (9,960)||New||3355||33.4|
|For Colored Girls||Lionsgate||20.1 (9,440)||New||2127||20.1|
|Saw 3D||Lionsgate||7.9 (2,820)||-67%||2808||38.5|
|Paranormal Activity 2||Par||7.1 (2,250)||-57%||3168||77|
|Jackass 3D||Par||5.0 (2,330)||-41%||2165||110.8|
|The Social Network||Sony||3.5 (1,890)||-22%||1860||85|
|Life As We Know It||WB||3.1 (1,610)||-23%||1950||48.6|
|Conviction||Fox Searchlight||1.5 (2,280)||-16%||672||4.5|
|The Town||WB||1.2 (1,510)||-39%||801||89.8|
|The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest||Music Box/Alliance||.74 (3,720)||2%||199||2|
|Fair Game||Summit||.66 (14,410)||New||46||0.66|
|Easy A||Sony||.50 (1,070)||-53%||468||57.3|
|Legend of the Guardians||WB||.45 (610)||-74%||740||54|
|Golmaal 3||Eros||.44 (5,140)||New||86||0.44|
|Waiting for “Superman”||Par Vantage||.38 (1,570)||-36%||242||5.4|
|Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps||Fox||.34 (960)||-57%||353||51.9|
|Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)||$149.10|
|% Change (Last Year)||28%|
|% Change (Last Week)||67%|
|127 Hours||Searchlight||.27 (66,570)||4||0.27|
|Action Replayy||Viva||.23 (2,340)||99||0.23|
|Four Lions||Drafthouse||41,300 (5,160)||8||0.04|
|Reste avec moi||Seville||25,600 (1,350)||19||0.03|
|Client 9||Magnolia||18,400 (6,130)||3||0.02|
|Red Hill||Strand||8,400 (1,680)||5||0.01|
|Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)||Cohen Media||7,500 (7,500)||1||0.01|
|Trapped||CJ Entertainment||4,400 (4,400)||1||0.01|
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Nov. 4, 2010)
|Distributor (releases)||Gross||Market Share|
|Warner Bros. (25)||1457.6||16.50%|
|Buena Vista (15)||1163.9||13.10%|
|Fox Searchlight (6)||75.9||0.80%|
|Weinstein Co. (7)||62.3||0.70%|
|Sony Classics (21)||55.5||0.60%|
|Other * (281)||233.2||2.60%|
|* none greater than .04%|
Top Global Grossers * (Jan. 1 – Nov. 4, 2010)
|Toy Story 3||BV||1,061,408,156|
|Alice in Wonderland||BV||1,024,537,295|
|Shrek Forever After||Par||737,766,901|
|Iron Man 2||Par||622,718,600|
|How to Train Your Dragon||Par||495,792,295|
|Clash of the Titans||WB||489,778,913|
|Sherlock Holmes *||WB||367,796,599|
|The Karate Kid||Sony||359,315,646|
|Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time||BV||335,692,394|
|The Last Airbender||Par||318,404,181|
|Sex and the City 2||WB||301,158,934|
|Resident Evil: Afterlife||Sony/Alliance||277,419,991|
|Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel||Fox||264,341,533|
|Knight and Day||Fox||256,518,022|
|Percy Jackson & the Olympians||Fox||226,497,209|
|* does not include 2009 box office|