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MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report: March 27, 2011

Burger King

Rodrick indeed ruled as Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 trumped fellow debutante Sucker Punch to take the weekend box office crown with an estimated $24.5 million. The visually bombastic head game Sucker settled in the second slot with $19.2 million.

The session was chock-a-block with entries in limited and exclusive debuts. The inspirational sports-themed The 5th Quarter proved to be a low scorer with $208,000 tally from 123 courts while in Canada the local vigilante carnage of Hobo With a Shotgun blew away $168,000 at 47 box cars. Also in Canada, Brit import West is West (following up on East is East) compassed to $39,800 from 17 venues.

Exclusives saw good results for the controversial Palestine-set Miral of $65,600 from four screens and $84,300 at seven locales for French comedy Potiche. Also Gallic, animated prize winner Mia and the Migoo rang up $16,400 from a single reported engagement.

Weekend revenues topped $120 million for a slim 5% boost from seven days earlier and sank a further 7% from the 2010 comparable. A year ago the bow of How to Train Your Dragon led with $43.7 million and newcomer Hot Tub Time Machine slotted third with $14 million.

With only a single weekend bettering last year’s record, Q1 domestic box office is running an alarming 23% behind 2010. That’s a lot of catching up to do and certainly a daunting challenge to generate comparable admission stats.

Tracking pegged the weekend as an easy win for Sucker Punch with pundits convinced young males would propel the slightly salacious fantasy of young femme warriors to low to mid-$20 million box office. Indeed exit polling showed the audience as 64% male and 45% under the age of 25. A further 29% were aged 26 to 35 and should those kind of demos continue as they have this year, the summer tentpoles won’t be quite at the level of past seasonal fare.

The second installment of kid lit fave Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Rodrick Rules was pegged to gross between $18 million to $22 million, or at the high end slightly less than what the first episode grossed its opening weekend. Rather it bettered the original by 11% with males edging out females with a 51% slice if the audience. The target audience of youth and families resulted in a crowd comprised 59% under the age of 25. Mars Needs Moms notwithstanding, pictures aimed at the very youngest movie goers have been least effected by viewing declines in 2011.

The other resilient audience segment has been plus 25 women and this weekend that translated into strong holds for the likes of The Lincoln Lawyer and The Adjustment Bureau. As for the elusive four quadrant movie, the only evidence of its existence in Q1 was True Grit.

Weekend Estimates

Weekend (estimates)
March 25 – 27, 2011
         
Title Distributor Gross (average) % change Theaters Cume
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules! Fox 24.5 (7,730) NEW 3167 24.5
Sucker Punch WB 19.2 (6,340) NEW 3033 19.2
Limitless Relativity 15.2 (5,410) -20% 2805 41.2
The Lincoln Lawyer Lions Gate 10.7 (3,960) -19% 2707 28.7
Rango Par 9.9 (2,710) -35% 3645 106.4
Paul Uni 7.5 (2,660) -43% 2806 24.6
Battle: Los Angeles Sony 7.4 (2,370) -49% 3118 72.4
Red Riding Hood WB 4.3 (1,570) -41% 2715 32.4
The Adjustment Bureau Uni 4.2 (1,840) -27% 2282 54.8
Mars Needs Moms BV 2.2 (1,000) -59% 2170 19.1
Beastly CBS 2.1 (1,350) -33% 1585 25.3
Hall Pass WB 1.7 (1,400) -35% 1204 42.3
The King’s Speech TWC 1.6 (1,480) -23% 1062 134.9
Gnomeo and Juliet BV/eOne 1.5 (1,080) -36% 1364 95.8
Just Go With It Sony 1.5 (1,330) -34% 1116 100.2
Jane Eyre Focus .96 (10,670) 106% 90 1.9
Unknown WB .62 (900) -51% 688 62.2
Tangled BV .52 (1,730) -16% 301 198.5
I Am Number 4 BV .48 (940) -52% 512 53.5
Win Win Searchlight .46 (20,040) 207% 23 0.67
Cedar Rapids Searchlight .41 (1,200) -22% 342 6.1
Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son Fox .37 (910) -48% 406 36.9
Of Gods and Men SPC .35 (2,960) 26% 120 2
           
           
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)   $115.60      
% Change (Last Year)   -7%      
% Change (Last Week)   5%      
           
           
Also debuting/expanding          
The Fifth Quarter Rocky Mtn .21 (1,690)   123 0.21
Hobo With a Shotgun Alliance .17 (3,570)   47 0.17
Kill the Irishman Anchor Bay .14 (3,440) 1% 41 0.5
Potiche Music Box 84,300 (10,540)   7 0.08
Miral TWC 65,600 (16,400)   4 0.07
West is West D Film 39,800 (2,340)   17 0.04
Winter in Wartime SPC 26,200 (3,270) 75% 8 0.05
White Irish Drinkers ScrnMedia 17,900 (2,980)   6 0.02
Jaloux Seville 17,700 (2,210)   8 0.02
Mia and the Migoo Gkids 16,400 (16,400)   1 0.02
My Perestroika INFC 14,600 (14,600)   1 0.01
Catch Me I’m in Love ABS 6,200 (6,200)   1 0.01
Peep World IFC 5,800 (1,940)   3 0.01
Bal (Honey) Olive 4,300 (4,300)   1 0.01
           
           
           
Domestic Market share
(Jan. 1 – March 24, 2011)
         
Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share      
Paramount (9) 393.3 20.20%      
Sony (10) 352.5 18.10%      
Buena Vista (6) 246.8 12.60%      
Warner Bros. (13) 227.2 11.60%      
Universal (7) 204.5 10.50%      
Weinstein Co. (3) 129.3 6.60%      
Fox (5) 86.1 4.40%      
Fox Searcchlight (4) 79.5 4.10%      
Relativity (4) 57.8 3.00%      
CBS (3) 52.6 2.70%      
Lions Gate (6) 23.5 1.20%      
Focus (3) 21.9 1.10%      
eOne/Seville (7) 13.9 0.70%      
Summit (3) 12.2 0.60%      
Sony Classics (5) 11.1 0.60%      
Other * (83) 38.3 2.00%      
  1950.5 100.00%      

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“Chad Harbach spent ten years writing his novel. It was his avocation, for which he was paid nothing, with no guarantee he’d ever be paid anything, while he supported himself doing freelance work, for which I don’t think he ever made $30,000 a year. I sold his book for an advance that equated to $65,000 a year—before taxes and commission—for each of the years of work he’d put in. The law schools in this country churn out first-year associates at white-shoe firms that pay them $250,000 a year, when they’re twenty-five years of age, to sit at a desk doing meaningless bullshit to grease the wheels of the corporatocracy, and people get upset about an excellent author getting $65,000 a year? Give me a fucking break.”
~ Book Agent Chris Parris-Lamb On The State Of The Publishing Industry

INTERVIEWER
Do you think this anxiety of yours has something to do with being a woman? Do you have to work harder than a male writer, just to create work that isn’t dismissed as being “for women”? Is there a difference between male and female writing?

FERRANTE
I’ll answer with my own story. As a girl—twelve, thirteen years old—I was absolutely certain that a good book had to have a man as its hero, and that depressed me. That phase ended after a couple of years. At fifteen I began to write stories about brave girls who were in serious trouble. But the idea remained—indeed, it grew stronger—that the greatest narrators were men and that one had to learn to narrate like them. I devoured books at that age, and there’s no getting around it, my models were masculine. So even when I wrote stories about girls, I wanted to give the heroine a wealth of experiences, a freedom, a determination that I tried to imitate from the great novels written by men. I didn’t want to write like Madame de La Fayette or Jane Austen or the Brontës—at the time I knew very little about contemporary literature—but like Defoe or Fielding or Flaubert or Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky or even Hugo. While the models offered by women novelists were few and seemed to me for the most part thin, those of male novelists were numerous and almost always dazzling. That phase lasted a long time, until I was in my early twenties, and it left profound effects.
~ Elena Ferrante, Paris Review Art Of Fiction No. 228

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