MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

Those Damned Apes Got A Peel

You can’t keep a good chimp down (or orangutan) and the re-booted Rise of the Planet of the Apes swung a wide arc with an estimated $54.2 million bow that handily set it atop weekend movie going. The frame’s other wide debut, the comic The Change-Up, chuckled into fourth slot with $13.5 million.

The session also saw a clutch of limited and exclusive bows that posted encouraging openings. The political thriller The Whistleblower grossed $57,400 from 7 posts while American indies Gun Hill Road and Bellflower had respective bows of $35,800 and $20,600 at three and two screens. The four and one-half hour fest fave The Mysteries of Lisbon was also upbeat with a $9,900 tally from two initial engagements.

Overall revenue climbed to about $166 million to register an 8% decline from the prior weekend and a 24% boost from 2010. One year back the launch of The Other Guys with $35.5 million led the field and the frame’s other frosh, Step Up 3D, ranked third with $15.8 million.

Both industry expectation and tracking for the umpteenth incarnation of the venerable Planet of the Apes franchise was ho-hum. The underlying attitude was uninformed with cynicism that ultimately gave way to enthusiastic reviews and considerably better than the $40 million or so predictions floating through the system.

The summer has been rife with low ball projections that ought to trouble industry tracking companies and cause a rethink on methodology. The past year has seen a shift in audience composition; most noticeably in the erosion of the 18 to 25 year old crowd that’s been the core of ticket buyers for decades. While Rise of the Planet of the Apes exit demos skewed slightly male with 54%, its audience was calculated 56% as 25 years and older … virtually every wide release of the summer has been dominated by “older” attendees.

While no one need pass around collection plates for theater owners, one can nonetheless appreciate their pain. In addition to hefty costs to convert to digital exhibition, they’ve been confronted with increasingly shrinking windows between theatrical and VOD, DVD and other ancillary revenue streams. Now they have to resolve the fact that a big chunk of their audience feels that the cost of a night at the movies is too expensive. The one-time avids haven’t lost the habit but they’re unquestionably less rabid.

The beneficiary of the shift ranges from circuits such as Landmark and screens devoted to alternative product to niche distributors and the studio’s specialized divisions. While the summer anomalies cannot claim the heights of My Big Fat Greek Wedding or The Blair Witch Project, there have been a handful of summer releases that embrace the likes of Midnight in Paris and Buck that have sustained and grossed far in excess of anyone’s dreams. The latest addition to that group is French import Sarah’s Key that’s already grossed $1.3 million after three weekends in very limited release.

Weekend (estimates) August 5 – 7, 2011
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Fox 54.2 (14,860) NEW 3648 54.2
The Smurfs Sony 20.6 (6,060) -42% 3395 75.8
Cowboys & Aliens Uni 15.7 (4,180) -57% 3754 67.3
The Change-Up Uni 13.5 (4,640) NEW 2913 13.5
Captain America: The First Avenger Par 12.9 (3,570) -49% 3620 143.1
Harry Potter & the Deadly Hollows, Part 2 WB 12.1 (3,820) -45% 3175 342.8
Crazy, Stupid, Love WB 11.8 (3,920) -38% 3020 41.9
Horrible Bosses WB 4.6 (2,250) -37% 2025 105.1
Friends with Benefits Sony 4.6 (1,910) -51% 2398 48.4
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Par 3.0 (1,630) -50% 1854 344.2
The Zookeeper Sony 2.1 (1,230) -51% 1724 73.6
Cars 2 BV 1.1 (1,230) -52% 926 184.7
Midnight in Paris Sony Classics 1.0 (2,430) -16% 399 48.5
Winnie the Pooh BVI .73 (1,020) -59% 716 24.4
Sarah’s Key Weinstein/A-Z .54 (7,500) 44% 72 1.3
Bridesmaids Uni .53 (1,420) -38% 374 166.5
Kung Fu Panda 2 Par .48 (1,660) -28% 290 162.7
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides BV .41 (1,500) 100% 274 239
Mr. Popper’s Penguins Fox .36 (1,110) -23% 327 65.4
X-Men: First Class Fox .35 (1,470) 21% 236 145.3
Bad Teacher Sony .33 (950) -61% 350 97.5
The Hangover Part II WB .28 (920) -24% 303 253.6
Starbuck Seville .26 (3,230) -27% 81 1.2
The Tree of Life Searchlight/eOne .24 (1,430) -27% 170 12.1
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $159.00
% Change (Last Year) 24%
% Change (Last Week) -8%
Also debuting/expanding
Devil’s Double Lions Gate .20 (5,950) 104% 33 0.34
The Guard Sony Classics .19 (9,910) 145% 19 0.3
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Fox Searchlight .16 (1,450) -9% 116 1.01
Another Earth Fox Searchlight .16 (2,980) 50% 55 0.44
Beats, Rhynes & Life Sony Classics 77,600 (2,040) -34% 38 0.94
Attack the Block Sony 76,500 (9,560) -45% 8 0.29
The Whistleblower IDP 57,400 (8,200) 7 0.06
Gun Hill Road Motion Film 35,800 (11,930) 3 0.04
Bellflower Oscilloscope 20,600 (10,300) 2 0.02
Magic Trip Magnolia 13,600 (3,400) 4 0.01
The Mysteries of Lisbon Music Box 9,900 (4,950) 2 0.01
The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll Red Hawk 9,100 (3,030) 3 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Aug. 4, 2011)
Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Paramount (14) 1362.3 21.10%
Warner Bros. (21) 1196.1 18.60%
Universal (13) 826.9 12.80%
Sony (18) 756.4 11.70%
Buena Vista (11) 732.9 11.40%
Fox (11) 574.5 8.90%
Weinstein Co. (8) 185.1 2.90%
Relativity (5) 125.4 1.90%
Lions Gate (10) 118.8 1.80%
Fox Searchlight (9) 104.9 1.60%
Focus (5) 77.8 1.20%
Summit (6) 69.7 1.10%
Sony Classics (12) 66.3 1.00%
CBS (3) 57.5 0.90%
Film District (1) 53.9 0.80%
Other * (212) 144 2.30%
6452.5 100%

One Response to “The Weekend Report”

  1. Cole Moore Odell says:

    It’s Deathly Hallows, not Deadly Hollows, as you have everywhere.

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 16.5 3875 NEW 50.9
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb 5.6 3785 NEW 5.6
Annie 5.3 3116 NEW 5.3
Exodus: Gods and Kings 2.3 3503 -75% 33.1
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 2.2 3174 -41% 283.7
Wild 1.2 1061 147% 4.2
Top Five 1 1307 -59% 9.9
P.K. 1 272 NEW 1
Big Hero 6 0.9 2407 -35% 187.8
The Penguins of Madagascar 0.85 2717 -45% 61.5
Also Debuting
Mr. Turner 28,400 5
Les Maîtres du suspense 21,800 54
Song of the Sea 4,600 1
Winter Sleep 2,100 1
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