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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Klady

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“TIFF doesn’t make attendance numbers for its Lightbox screenings publicly available, so it’s difficult to gauge exactly how many filmgoers the Lightbox is attracting (or how much money it’s bringing in). But the King Street West venue hasn’t become a significant draw for film enthusiasts. The Lightbox’s attendance has plunged – 49,000 fewer visitors last year, a drop of 27 per cent, according to figures recently reported in the Toronto Star. Its gallery space – designed to showcase the visions of cinema’s most iconic filmmakers – saw most of its exhibitions staff quietly axed this past fall. And its marketing barely escapes the Lightbox’s walls. Unless you are a TIFF member or one of the city’s most avid filmgoers, you could walk by the Lightbox and remain blissfully unaware of a single thing that goes on inside. TIFF “still has a world-class brand,” said Barry Avrich, a filmmaker and former board member, “but it’s going to take some fresh vision from retail, consumer programming and marketing experts, given how the lines have become intensely blurred when it comes to how people watch film. They will have to experiment with programming to find the right blend of function and relevance.”
~ Globe & Mail Epic On State of Toronto Int’l (paywalled)

“I’m 87 years old… I only eat so I can smoke and stay alive… The only fear I have is how long consciousness is gonna hang on after my body goes. I just hope there’s nothing. Like there was before I was born. I’m not really into religion, they’re all macrocosms of the ego. When man began to think he was a separate person with a separate soul, it created a violent situation.

“The void, the concept of nothingness, is terrifying to most people on the planet. And I get anxiety attacks myself. I know the fear of that void. You have to learn to die before you die. You give up, surrender to the void, to nothingness.

“Anybody else you’ve interviewed bring these things up? Hang on, I gotta take this call… Hey, brother. That’s great, man. Yeah, I’m being interviewed… We’re talking about nothing. I’ve got him well-steeped in nothing right now. He’s stopped asking questions.”
~ Harry Dean Stanton