MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

Weekend Report: January 23, 2011

Zonk Went the Strings of My Heart 

The debut of rom-com No Strings Attached led weekend box office sales with an estimated $20.3 million. It was the session’s only national debut in what proved to be a depressed marketplace.

Also new were several late year Oscar hopefuls. The endurance saga No Way Back struggled to a disappointing $1.3 million while there were encouraging results for the downsizing tale The Company Men of $720,000 at 106 venues. There were also good returns for Bollywood’s Dhobi Ghat of $410,000 from 79 screens. Canadian Oscar submission Incendies bow in the country’s English sector to a not very stellar $33,800 at 19 sites.

Box office revenues dipped 19% from the prior weekend and a more severe 27% from 2010. Last year Avatar remained firmly on top in its 38th day of release with $34.9 million with the opening of Legion trailing at $17.5 million.

Hardly the sort of thing to bolster Natalie Portman’s Oscar prospects, No Strings Attached was roundly dismissed by the nation’s critics and opened to dullish response. Exit polls skewed decidedly female and indifferent audience feedback suggests a steep second weekend drop. Last weekend freshmen The Green Hornet and The Dilemma both experienced hard hits in their sophomore sessions.

With Oscar’s finalists unveiling in two days it was good for the grosses of The King’s Speech, The Fighter and Black Swan. Box office was also first rate for True Grit which has to date been largely passed over by critics and industry honor rolls and pundits predict no variance from the Academy. But its $138 million domestic gross to date outpaces all the presumed contendors.

Though the Oscar folk won’t be altering its award schedule this year or next, one can expect the issue to crop up again in 2013. The awards continue to be anticlimactic and, worse, capricious with voting members prone to vote for the unexpected … they too worn down by a bone crushing consensus that augers for inevitability for its winner’s roster. The inarguable situation has to create a heightened sense of anxiety for all those associated with The Social Network and make the likes of Colin Firth and Christian Bale ponder whether they’ve worn out their current welcome and should refrain from perceived campaigning in the coming weekss

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Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
No Strings Attached Par 20.3 (6,730) NEW 3018 20.3
The Green Hornet Sony 18.2 (5,080) -46% 3584 63.6
Dilemma Uni 9.7 (3,290) -46% 2943 33.3
The King’s Speech Weinstein Co. 8.3 (4,960) -9% 1680 57.8
True Grit Par 7.8 (2,260) -29% 3464 138.5
Black Swan Fox Searchlight 6.1 (2,540) -27% 2407 83.5
The Fighter Par/Alliance 4.5 (1,960) -12% 2275 73
Little Fockers Uni 4.3 (1,460) -40% 2979 141.1
Yogi Bear WB 4.0 (1,580) -26% 2510 88.8
Tron: Legacy BV 3.8 (1,890) -33% 2018 163.4
Tangled BV 3.1 (1,690) -21% 1860 186.4
Season of the Witch Relativity 2.2 (960) -52% 2307 22.1
Country Strong Sony 2.1 (1,470) -42% 1441 16.9
Chronicles of Narnia: Dawn Treader Fox 1.3 (1,180) -42% 1135 100.6
The Way Back Newmarket 1.3 (1,950) NEW 678 1.3
Gulliver’s Travels Fox 1.2 (1,060) -45% 1100 40
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows, Part 1* WB .95 (1,310) -32% 725 291.4
Blue Valentine Weinstein Co. .93 (3,840) -33% 242 4.5
The Tourist Sony .91 (1,040) -46% 875 65.9
The Company Men Weinstein Co. .72 (6,790)   106 0.72
Megamind Par .59 (1,840) -11% 320 146.4
Barney’s Version eOne/Sony Classics .48 (6,190) 35% 77 1
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)   $102.40      
% Change (Last Year)   -27%      
% Change (Last Week)   -19%      
Also debuting/expanding          
Dhobi Ghat UTV .41 (5,140)   79 0.41
Another Year Sony Classics .22 (4,930) 98% 45 0.73
Somewhere Focus .20 (2,440) -19% 83 1.3
Rabbit Hole Lions Gate .18 (1,760) -36% 101 1.3
The Illusionist Sony Classics 85,700 (5,710) 42% 15 0.38
Incendies eOne/Seville 33,800 (1,780)   19 2.5
Evangelion: 2.0 11 Arts 24,600 (1,640)   15 0.02
Un Vie Qui Commence Alliance 20,700 (1,480)   14 0.02
L’Autre Dumas Seville 11,800 (1,450)   8 0.01
The Woodmans Kino Lorber 5,400 (5,400)   1 0.01

One Response to “Weekend Report: January 23, 2011”

  1. IOv3 says:

    Yeah, you know The Social Network is not going to win right? Seriously, talk to David about this.

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Klady

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“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

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas