MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

Weekend Box Office Report – November 7

No Brainer

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.

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Weekend Estimates – November 5-7, 2010

Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
Megamind Par 47.5 (12,040) New 3944 47.5
ue Date WB 33.4 (9,960) New 3355 33.4
For Colored Girls Lionsgate 20.1 (9,440) New 2127 20.1
Red Summit 8.8 (2,720) -18% 3229 71.8
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
Secretariat BV 4.1 (1,570) -18% 2614 51.1
Hereafter WB 4.0 (1,680) -38% 2365 28.7
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%
Also debuting/expanding
127 Hours Searchlight .27 (66,570) 4 0.27
Action Replayy Viva .23 (2,340) 99 0.23
Stone Overture .18 (1,630) -28% 109 1.5
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%
Paramount (16) 1423.7 16.00%
Fox (16) 1290.9 14.50%
Buena Vista (15) 1163.9 13.10%
Sony (23) 1151.1 13.00%
Universal (17) 776.9 8.80%
Summit (10) 488.3 5.50%
Lionsgate (13) 444.2 5.00%
Overture (7) 81.2 0.90%
Fox Searchlight (6) 75.9 0.80%
Focus (7) 74.8 0.80%
Weinstein Co. (7) 62.3 0.70%
Sony Classics (21) 55.5 0.60%
MGM (1) 51.2 0.60%
CBS (2) 50 0.60%
Other * (281) 233.2 2.60%
8880.7 100.00%
* none greater than .04%

Top Global Grossers * (Jan. 1 – Nov. 4, 2010)

Title Distributor Gross
Avatar Fox 1,953,205,209
Toy Story 3 BV 1,061,408,156
Alice in Wonderland BV 1,024,537,295
Inception WB 831,539,135
Shrek Forever After Par 737,766,901
Twilight: Eclipse Summit 691,483,448
Iron Man 2 Par 622,718,600
How to Train Your Dragon Par 495,792,295
Despicable Me Uni 492,994,376
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
Robin Hood Uni 311,826,207
Shutter Island Par 301,977,955
Sex and the City 2 WB 301,158,934
Salt Sony 291,684,047
Resident Evil: Afterlife Sony/Alliance 277,419,991
Grown Ups Sony 270,265,798
The Expendables Lionsgate/NuImage 269,273,037
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
Valentine’s Day WB 217,596,116
* does not include 2009 box office

One Response to “Weekend Box Office Report – November 7”

  1. Keil Shults says:

    This is the second time I’ve seen the title mistyped as Trains, Planes, when it’s actually Planes, Trains. I think the first instance was in a Poland column last week.

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Klady

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Tsangari: With my next film, White Knuckles, it comes with a budget — it’s going to be a huge new world for me. As always when I enter into a new thing, don’t you wonder how it’s going to be and how much of yourself you are going to have to sacrifice? The ballet of all of this. I’m already imaging the choreography — not of the camera, but the choreography of actually bringing it to life. It is as fascinating as the shooting itself. I find the producing as exciting as the directing. The one informs the other. There is this producer-director hat that I constantly wear. I’ve been thinking about these early auteurs, like Howard Hawks and John Ford and Preston Sturges—all of these guys basically were hired by the studio, and I doubt they had final cut, and somehow they had films that now we can say they had their signatures.  There are different ways of being creative within the parameters and limitations of production. The only thing you cannot negotiate is stupidity.
Filmmaker: And unfortunately, there is an abundance of that in the world.
Tsangari: This is the only big risk: stupidity. Everything else is completely worked out in the end.
~ Chevalier‘s Rachel Athina Tsangari

“The middle-range movies that I was doing have largely either stopped being made, or they’ve moved to television, now that television is a go-to medium for directors who can’t get work in theatricals, because there are so few theatricals being made. But also with the new miniseries concept, you can tell a long story in detail without having to cram it all into 90 minutes. You don’t have to cut the characters and take out the secondary people. You can actually put them all on a big canvas. And it is a big canvas, because people have bigger screens now, so there’s no aesthetic difference between the way you shoot a movie and the way you shoot a TV show.

“Which is all for the good. But what’s happened in the interim is that theatrical movies being a spectacle business are now either giant blockbuster movies that run three hours—even superhero movies run three hours, they used to run like 58 minutes!—and the others, which are dysfunctional family independent movies or the slob comedy or the kiddie movie, and those are all low-budget. So the middle ground of movies that were about things, they’re just gone. Or else they’re on HBO. Like the Bryan Cranston LBJ movie, which years ago would’ve been made for theaters.

“You’ve got people like Paul Schrader and Walter Hill who can’t get their movies theatrically distributed because there’s no market for it. So they end up going to VOD, and VOD is a model from which no one makes any money, because most of the time, as soon as they get on the site, they’re pirated. So the whole model of the system right now is completely broken. And whether or not anybody’s going to try to fix, or if it even can be fixed, I don’t know. But it’s certainly not the same business that I got into in the ’70s.”
~ Joe Dante

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