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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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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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