MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report: July 31, 2011

And the Winner Is …

It was an unexpected horse race at the box office with the cross genre Cowboys & Aliens going toe-to-toe with the animated exploits of the original Blue Men Group The Smurfs. Initial estimates gave the former a slight edge with $36.1 million to the latter’s $36 million but that could all change tomorrow. The session’s other national opening was the ensemble comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love that bowed fifth with $19.1 million.

Regionally the slacker comedy Starbuck slurped up close to $200,000 from its Wednesday debut in Quebec and brewed up an additionall $410,000 on the weekend. There was also a solid start for the Punjabi Jihne Mera Dil Luteya of $98,500 at 18 venues (13 in Canada where ex-pats are most conspicuous).

Limited and exclusive debuts also heated up with the Irish set offbeat thriller The Guard ringing up $78,100 at four sites and the dramatic Iraqi war drama The Devil’s Double grossing $90,800 from five screens. The non-fiction Life in a Day realized $48,200 from 11 engagements and French import Point Blank had a $30,500 box office from six initial dates. And American indie The Future was off to a fast start of $27,300 at a solo Manhattan flight.

The frame also saw a significant pop for the specialized Sarah’s Key that opened in Quebec and added U.S. dates for a new total of 38 engagements and close to a $10,000 theater average.

Overall weekend sales topped $180 million that amounted to a slight 7% dip from seven days ago. It was a significant 22% bump from last year when the third weekend of Inception trumped the launch of Dinner for Schmucks with respective grosses of $27.5 million and $23.5 million.

Tracking going into the weekend clearly favored Cowboys & Aliens with estimates generally around $40 million or better. Conversely The Smurfs were given a top end of $25 million that placed it behind continuing runs of both Captain America and the Harry Potter finale. Also undervalued was Crazy, Stupid, Love that was expected to open between $15 million and $18 million.

The cowpokes vs. the Giger-like invaders _ as with most summer spectacles _ couldn’t draw in the increasingly evasive under 25 crowd with exit polls identifying 63% of buyers as 30 years or older. The good news was that the audience wasn’t overwhelmingly male. The lads accounted for 53% of the pic’s total.

Exit demos were much more to the anticipated profile of Crazy, Stupid, Love with a 64% female, 71% older than 25 years breakdown. But the head scratcher is The Smurfs beginning with a 45% slice for its 3D engagements. The current industry wisdom is that movies that skew very young and very old are now likely to register less than 40% from stereoscopic playdates.

The Smurfs attracted 65% of its sales from families which was less than what had been anticipated. Of that slice of ticket buyers, 61% were parents and overall 55% of the crowd was identified as more senior was 25 years old. Objectively speaking it would appear that movie goers are more nostalgic for the cerulean toned Belgium little folk than the grizzled, sagebrush heroes.

Weekend (estimates) July 29 – 31, 2011
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
Cowboys & Aliens Uni 36.1 (9,630) NEW 3750 36.1
The Smurfs Sony 36.0 (10,610) NEW 3395 36
Captain America: The First Avenger Par 25.1 (6,760) -61% 3715 117
Harry Potter & the Deadly Hollows, Part 2 WB 22.0 (5,310) -54% 4145 318.5
Crazy, Stupid, Love WB 19.1 (6,320) NEW 3020 19.1
Friends with Benefits Sony 9.2 (3,150) -50% 2926 38.1
Horrible Bosses WB 7.1 (2,820) -41% 2510 96.2
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Par 5.9 (2,280) -51% 2604 337.9
The Zookeeper Sony 4.2 (1,720) -52% 2418 68.7
Cars 2 BV 2.2 (1,260) -61% 1763 182
Winnie the Pooh BVI 1.7 (1,050) -67% 1632 22.4
Midnight in Paris Sony Classics 1.2 (2,570) -33% 471 46.9
Bridesmaids Uni .84 (1,730) -36% 484 165.4
Bad Teacher Sony .79 (1,030) -70% 765 96.7
Kung Fu Panda 2 Par .66 (2,070) 108% 319 161.7
Mr. Popper’s Penguins Fox .45 (1,090) -52% 412 64.6
Starbuck Seville .41 (4,800) NEW 85 0.6
Sarah’s Key Weinstein/A-Z .37 (9,840) 225% 38 0.54
The Hangover Part II WB .37 (1,068) 23% 346 253
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara Eros .36 (4,430) -46% 82 2.6
The Tree of Life Searchlight/eOne .32 (1,630) -42% 196 11.7
Super 8 Par .27 (830) -62% 325 124.9
X-Men: First Class Fox .26 (880) -47% 295 144.7
Larry Crowne Uni/Alliance .26 (780) -75% 335 35.1
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $172.10
% Change (Last Year) 22%
% Change (Last Week) -7%
Also debuting/expanding
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Fox Searchlight .18 (1,920) -11% 93 0.7
Attack the Block Sony .13 (16,080) 8 0.13
Beats, Rhynes & Life Sony Classics .12 (2,900) -14% 43 0.8
Another Earth Fox Searchlight .11 (5,330) 37% 20 0.22
Jihne Mere Dil Luteya Viva .10 (5,470) 18 0.1
Devil’s Double Lions Gate 90,800 (18,160) 5 0.09
The Guard Sony Classics 78,100 (19,520) 4 0.08
Life in a Day Nat Geo 48,200 (4,380) 11 0.09
Point Blank Magnolia 30,500 (5,080) 6 0.03
The Future Roadside 27,300 (27,300) 1 0.03
Cooking in Progress Lorber 10,400 (10,400) 1 0.01
Sega Third Eye 9,800 (1,400) 7 0.01
The Interrupters Cinema Guild 8,500 (8,500) 1 0.01
Adventures of Pureza ABS 5,200 (2,600) 2 0.01
Golf in the Kingdom Lightning 3,700 (3,700) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – July 28, 2011)
Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Paramount (14) 1312.8 21.30%
Warner Bros. (20) 1118.7 18.10%
Universal (12) 774.4 12.50%
Buena Vista (11) 725.8 11.70%
Sony (16) 677.7 11.00%
Fox (11) 572.5 9.30%
Weinstein Co. (8) 184.5 3.00%
Relativity (5) 125.3 2.00%
Lions Gate (9) 118.7 1.90%
Fox Searchlight (9) 103.9 1.70%
Focus (5) 77.4 1.30%
Summit (6) 69.6 1.10%
Sony Classics (11) 64.1 1.00%
CBS (3) 57.5 0.90%
Film District (1) 53.9 0.90%
Other * (206) 139.6 2.30%
6176.4 100%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Global Grossers * (Jan. 1 – July 28, 2011)
Title Distributor Gross
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides BV 1,035,049,335
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Par 936,251,956
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2 WB 931,252,919
Kung Fu Panda 2 Par 604,586,547
Fast Five Uni 603,981,607
The Hangover 2 WB 572,016,741
Rio Fox 477,359,573
Thor Par 447,733,925
The King’s Speech * Weinstein/FilmNation 408,632,718
Cars 2 BV 373,718,780
X-Men: First Class Fox 348,330,632
Tangled * BV 296,514,084
Black Swan * Fox Searchlight 287,437,939
Rango Par 243,074,591
Bridesmaids Uni 241,044,150
The Green Hornet Sony 227,892,167
Just Go With It Sony 215,073,990
Battle: Los Angeles Sony 202,644,827
Gnomeo and Juliet BV/eOne; Pathe 194,703,331
Gulliver’s Travels * Fox 192,572,601
Tron: Legacy* BV 186,746,403
The Tourist Sony/GK Films 184,182,136
Hop Uni 183,325,478
Super 8 Par 182,432,920
True Grit Par 180,745,073
* does not include 2010 box office

2 Responses to “The Weekend Report: July 31, 2011”

  1. RoyBatty says:

    “The current industry wisdom is that movies that skew very young and very old are now likely to register less than 40% from stereoscopic playdates.”

    Seems this is a wisdom sitting on very shaky ground, because unless the % of 3D screens is a constant there’s too much fluidity in the factors for that wisdom.

    Also, there are 4 other films in 1,000+ wide release taking up 3D real estate. In fact, CAP AMERICA & H POTTER are on more screens than SMURFS. Goes to reason if exhibitors buy into this theory, they probably put SMURFS on the bare minimum of their very busy 3D screens.

  2. SamLowry says:

    Ho ho! More adults than kids sat through the Smurfs?

    Does not bode well at all.

    (So if the kids hadn’t shown up, it would’ve had a typical “Geek 20″ opening?)

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Fury 8.8 3173 NEW 8.8
Gone Girl 5.6 3249 -32% 94.8
The Book of Life 4.9 3071 NEW 4.9
The Best of Me 4.1 2936 NEW 4.1
Alexaander and the Terrible, Horrible … Day 3.2 3088 -39% 28
Dracula Untold 2.9 2900 -67% 33.8
Annabelle 2.5 2878 -52% 68.7
The Judge 2.4 3003 -45% 21.3
The Equalizer 1.6 2262 -44% 85.3
The Maze Runner 1.3 2155 -39% 87.7
Also Debuting
Birdman 0.13 4
Dear White People 0.12 11
Oka Laila Kosam 60,200 61
The Golden Era 19,000 15
The Tale of Princess Kaguya 13,600 3
Rudderless 9,200 18
Listen Up Philip 7,350 2
Guardian Angel 5,950 2
Hiroshima, Mon Amour (reissue) 5,250 5
Watchers of the Sky 3,100 4
Life Inside Out 3,050 2
Lakay 2,100 6
Diplomacy 2,100 1
The Hacker Wars 2,000 1
My Love, My Bride 1,800 1
Felony 1,300 9
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4