MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report: April 24, 2011

Holy cow! Easter saw a close race between the animated Rio and the agitated Madea’s Big Happy Family. Sunday estimates gave the former a slight edge of $26.2 million to the latter’s $25.7 million. The holiday session featured another national bow with the adaptation of Water for Elephants that ranked third in the lineup with $17.4 million.

Also debuting in limited wide for Earth Day was African Cats that purred to $6.3 million. Niche activity was ferocious beginning with a handful of Indian releases from Hindi, Telegu and Tamil sectors of that industry. Bollywood entries Dum Maaro Dum and Dharti saw passable results of $332,000 for the first at 101 exposures and more vibrant response of $148,000 at 18 venues for the other. Also impressive were Telegu Mr. Perfect with $239,000 and Tamil Ko of $70,400 from 11 screens.

There were also a ridiculous number of limited and exclusive bows including the non-fiction The Greatest Movie Ever Sold that posted a solid $7,040 theater average from 18 exposures and Beautiful Darling on the departed Candy Darling rang up $13,400 from a single playdate. However, apart from the U.S. launch of Canadian Oscar submission Incendies that stepped out with $53,600 on three screens (it’s done $4.7 million in Canada) close to 20 titles joined the ranks of commercial casualties.

Weekend revenues pushed close to $140 million for a slight 6% boost from the immediate prior frame. It was a heady 40% better than 52 weeks back with an asterix. It gets an * because the corresponding holiday session occurred later in the 2010 calendar and by that yardstick, box office plunged 23%.

Pundits were pretty much on the money in predicting Rio’s second weekend gross but guesstimated the new Madea would debut in the low $30 million sphere. The enviable run of largely comic hits for Tyler Perry (For Colored Girls notwithstanding) stretching back a decade to Diary of a Mad Black Woman virtually amount to a franchise. Still, he has yet to truly crossover with the latest offering attracting an 81% African American audience per exit polls. The crowd was 72% female and 69% plus 25 years old.

Also skewing female was the circus-set adaptation of Water for Elephants that marginally exceeded predictions of $14 million to $16 million. Reviews were generally downbeat but the audience ran away to the big top anyway.

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Weekend Estimates: April 22-24, 2011

Title Distributor Gross (average) % chng Theaters Cume
Rio Fox 26.2 (6,820) -33% 3842 80.7
Medea’s Big Happy Family Lions Gate 25.7 (11.220) NEW 2288 25.7
Water for Elephants Fox 17.4 (6,180) NEW 2817 17.4
Hop Uni 12.4 (3,430) 16% 3616 100.5
African Cats BV 6.3 (5,190)   1220 6.3
Scream 4 Weinstein Co. 7.1 (2,150) -62% 3314 31.1
Soul Surfer Sony 5.6 (2,490) -23% 2240 28.6
Insidious Film District 5.3 (2,530) -21% 2103 44.1
Hanna Focus 5.2 (2,190) -28% 2384 31.7
Source Code Summit 5.0 (2,120) -19% 2363 44.5
Arthut WB 4.0 (1,460) -40% 2770 29.2
Limitless Relativity 2.6 (1,920) -28% 1363 74
The Conspirator Roadside Attractions 2.2 (2,620) -37% 848 4.69
The Lincoln Lawyer Lions Gate 1.8 (1,490) -37% 1220 53.4
Your Highness Uni 1.7 (1,030) -58% 1610 19.7
Win Win Fox Searchlight 1.1 (2,890) -12% 388 6.6
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules! Fox .95 (1,020) -54% 928 50.3
Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 Rocky Mountain .88 (1,890) -48% 465 3.1
Jane Eyre Focus .76 (2,380) -23% 319 7.9
Born to Be Wild WB .61 (2,930) -2% 208 3
Rango Par .36 (650) -50% 557 119.4
Dum Maaro Dum Fox Searchlight .33 (3,290) NEW 101 0.33
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)   $132.80      
% Change (Last Year)   40%      
% Change (Last Week)   6%      
Also debuting/expanding          
Mr. Perfect Blue Sky .24 (8,860)   27 0.24
Dharti Viva .15 (8,230)   18 0.15
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold Sony Classics .13 (7,040)   18 0.13
In a Better World Sony Classics 81,500 (1,990) 13% 41 0.3
Ko Red Giant 70,400 (6,400)   11 0.07
Incendies Sony Classics 53,600 (17,870)   3 0.05
The Warring States China Lion 33,300 (1,450)   23 0.03
When Harry Tries to Marry 108 Pics 24,700 (6,180)   4 0.02
High Cost of Living Film Movement 18,200 (1,140)   16 0.02
Textuality eOne 15,600 (3,320)   5 0.02
Beautiful Daling Corinth 13,400 (13,400)   1 0.01
Legend of the Fist Variance 10,900 (2,720)   4 0.01
The Bang Bang Club TriBeCa 9,100 (2,270)   4 0.01
Stake Land Dark Sky 7,400 (7,400)   1 0.01
Deep Gold Bigfoot 5,700 (260)   22 0.01
Lost Journey Mongrol 5,200 (2,600)   2 0.01
My Black Minidress CJ Enterteinment 4,500 (4,500)   1 0.01
Zokkomon UTV 3,800 (160)   24 0.01
Cougar Hunting Screen Media 3,700 (3,700)   1 0.01
Bury the Hatchet Cine Marais 2,600 (2,600)   1 0.01

Domestic Market Share:  January 1 – April 14, 2011

Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Paramount (9) 417.9 16.00%
Sony (11) 397.8 15.30%
Universal (9) 340.3 13.10%
Warner Bros. (16) 307.7 11.80%
Buena Vista (6) 256.9 9.90%
Fox (7) 191.2 7.30%
Weinstein Co. (4) 158.7 6.10%
Relativity (4) 103.2 4.00%
Fox Searcchlight (4) 86.5 3.30%
Lions Gate (7) 58.3 2.20%
CBS (3) 57.1 2.20%
Focus (4) 54.7 2.10%
Summit (4) 52.1 2.00%
FilmDistrict (1) 38.8 1.50%
eOne/Seville (7) 15.2 0.60%
Sony Classics (6) 13.2 0.50%
Other * (109) 56 2.10%
  2605.6 100.00%

Top Global Grossers: January 1 – April 14, 2011

Title Distributor Gross
The King’s Speech * Weinstein/FilmNation 389,152,471
Tangled * BV 289,868,823
Black Swan * Fox Searchlight 255,743,164
Rango Par  235,404,968
The Green Hornet Sony 228,277,588
Rio Fox 205,271,498
Just Go With It Sony 200,750,546
Battle: Los Angeles Sony 194,031,560
Tron: Legacy * BV 188,520,403
Gnomeo and Juliet BV/eOne/Pathe 180,903,735
The Tourist * Sony 179,755,565
True Grit * Par   178,585,212
Gulliver’s Travels * Fox   178,117,941
Little Fockers * Uni/Par Intl 175,784,317
Yogi Bear * WB  149,128,177
No Strings Attached Par 144,919,321
Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of Dawn Treader Fox 144,766,420
I Am Number 4 BV 139,025,789
Unknown WB/Studio Canal 123,357,765
Hop Uni 121,344,537
Limitless Relativity/Lions Gate 115,133,628
The Adjustment Bureau Uni 111,903,411
The Rite WB 97,746,941
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never Par 96,084,142
Rien a declarer (Belgium/France) Pathe 85,205,004

One Response to “The Weekend Report: April 24, 2011”

  1. A says:

    um…
    Dharti’s not a Bollywood/Hindi movie
    Its a Punjabi movie though many of the main actors in it have starred in Bollywood films because there is a lot of acting talent in Punjab but the movie industry there is to small to give them all roles and pay them appropriately.
    It would be nice if the Punjabi Film Industry, which is getting better and better every year, was acknowledged for what is a great effort.

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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