MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

Tidal Bowl Sunday

Goodnight Irene!

Pounding rains that shuttered most of the multiplexes in the Northeast U.S. hobbled weekend box office. Grosses sank to levels that are normally associated with the man-made catastrophe Super Bowl; and new national releases hoping to cash in on late season largesse received a blank check.

The winner by default was The Help that retained the crown with an estimated $14.5 million. The distaff actioner Colombiana took the bridesmaids slot with $10.2 million. Even more disappointing were the fourth and fifth ranks for spooky Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and silly Our Idiot Brother with respective entries of $8.4 million and $6.5 million.

Regionally French comedy blockbuster Rien a declarer fell short of a smooth Atlantic crossing with $53,300 at 26 cinemas. But hardest hit were a clutch of exclusive and limited upscale releases that included Circumstance, Brighton Rock and Higher Ground that saw many screenings cancelled due to inclement weather and now face grim prospects to regain momentum once the storm passes.

Overall revenues squeaked to a little better than $90 million that represented a 28% decline from last weekend and a 22% fall from 2011. A year ago two newcomers battled for bragging rights with Takers nosing out The Last Exorcism by $150,000 with $20.5 million.

The bright spot however is that summer 2011 will be an improvement on last year’s box office with the current weekend bringing its gross to slightly more than last year’s $4.05 billion total. The season’s final eight days should be sufficient to provide 4% to the plus that would be about equal to the 2009 finish. And, yes, admissions will continue to shrink.

In Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire (not to mention New York, Boston and Philadelphia) hurricanes hardly happen. But when they do it has crippling effect on box office and reports of virtual movie going blackouts on Saturday, Sunday or both extended to as far south as Washington, D.C. The industry largely expects that winter blizzards will intrude on business several times a season but one has to go back to the 1994 California earthquake to find a comparable box office impact caused by forces of nature.

Once the debris clears, the armchair quarterbacking can truly assess why Irene appeared to keep the audience from buying tickets for Our Idiot Brother to a far greater extent than Colombiana or Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.

Keep safe, keep warm.

Weekend (estimates) August 26 – 28, 2011

Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
The Help BV 14.5 (5,220) -28% 2778 96.8
Colombiana Sony 10.2 (3,890) NEW 2614 10.2
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Fox 8.6 (2,550) -47% 3374 148.4
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark Film District 8.4 (3,050) NEW 2760 8.4
Our Idiot Brother Weinstein Co, 6.5 (2,550) NEW 2555 6.5
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World Weinstein Co, 5.8 (1,750) -50% 3305 21.8
The Smurfs Sony 4.6 (1,620) -41% 2861 125.8
Conan the Barbarian Lions Gate 3.1 (1,020) -69% 3015 16.5
Crazy, Stupid, Love WB 3.0 (1,930) -37% 1577 69.7
Fright Night BV 3.0 (970) -63% 3114 14.2
30 Minutes or Less Sony 2.5 (1,220) -60% 2071 31.6
Final Destination 5 WB 2.5 (1,190) -68% 2085 37.9
Harry Potter & the Deadly Hollows, Part 2 WB 2.3 (1,750) -49% 1328 370.6
One Day Focus 2.3 (1,350) -54% 1725 9.6
Cowboys & Aliens Uni 2.3 (1,460) -46% 1559 93.4
Captain America: The First Avenger Par 2.1 (1,490) -49% 1424 168.6
The Change-Up Uni 1.2 (1,340) -57% 904 34.5
Midnight in Paris Sony Classics .71 (1,090) 29% 652 51.6
Sarah’s Key Weinstein/A-Z .66 (2,350) -15% 281 4.2
Horrible Bosses WB .62 (1,330) -52% 465 113.8
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Par .61 (1,180) 1% 518 349.4
The Guard Sony Classics .40 (3,710) -5% 107 1.8
Super 8 Par .29 (1,210) 189% 242 126
Mr. Popper’s Penguins Fox .24 ((1,110) -20% 219 67
Senna PDA/Mongrol .23 (6,850) 46% 34 0.61
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $85.50
% Change (Last Year) -22%
% Change (Last Week) -28%
Also debuting/expanding
The Whistleblower IDP/eOne .13 (1,930) -13% 68 0.6
Another Earth Fox Searchlight 90,600 (960) 9% 94 1.1
Devil’s Double Lions Gate 85,700 (1,030) -42% 78 1.2
Rien a declarer Seville 53,300 (2,050) 26 0.05
Circumstance Roadside 39,700 (5,640) 7 0.04
Brighton Rock IFC 28,200 (2,560) 11 0.03
Chasing Madoff Cohen Media 26,800 (2,440) 11 0.03
Higher Ground Sony Classics 23,400 (7,800) 3 0.02
Way Back Home ABS 21,600 (3,090) 7 0.02
Redemption Road FreeStyle 18,200 (700) 26 0.02
La Run K Films 13,600 (760) 18 0.01
Suing the Devil River Rain 8,300 (590) 14 0.01
The Family Tree Entertainment 4,200 (2,100) 2 0.01
Shut Up Little Man TriBeCa 2,250 (1,125) 2 0.01
Politics of Love FlickBag 1,950 (975) 2 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Aug. 25, 2011)
Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Paramount (14) 1409.1 19.80%
Warner Bros. (22) 1323.2 18.50%
Universal (14) 905.1 12.70%
Sony (19) 869.5 12.20%
Buena Vista (13) 833.9 11.70%
Fox (13) 729.5 10.20%
Weinstein Co. (9) 203.8 2.90%
Lions Gate (11) 133.2 1.90%
Relativity (5) 125.5 1.70%
Fox Searchlight (9) 107.8 1.50%
Focus (6) 85.6 1.20%
Sony Classics (12) 71.3 1.00%
Summit (6) 69.9 1.00%
CBS (3) 57.5 0.80%
Film District (1) 54 0.80%
Other * (230) 154.8 2.20%
7133.7 100%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Global Grossers * (Jan. 1 – Aug. 25, 2011)
Title Distributor Gross
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2 WB 1,284,440,397
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Par 1,100,104,396
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides BV 1,041,010,194
Kung Fu Panda 2 Par 630,537,304
Fast Five Uni 607,183,426
The Hangover 2 WB 580,768,459
Cars 2 BV 510,434,944
Rio Fox 483,787,468
Thor Par 448,515,250
The King’s Speech * Weinstein/FilmNation 408,711,643
X-Men: First Class Fox 352,157,104
The Smurfs Sony 344,875,919
Captain America: The First Avenger Par 318,341,218
Tangled * BV 296,514,084
Black Swan * Fox Searchlight 287,879,561
Bridesmaids Uni 274,974,902
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Fox 274,271,376
Rango Par 243,100,005
Super 8 Par 238,534,641
The Green Hornet Sony 227,892,167
Just Go With It Sony 215,073,990
Battle: Los Angeles Sony 202,921,199
Green Lantern WB 201,404,280
Bad Teacher Sony 198,384,847
Gnomeo and Juliet BV/eOne; Pathe 195,014,691
* does not include 2010 box office

One Response to “The Weekend Report”

  1. Well at least it wasn’t a big weekend for the box office anyway, if some superhero movie had had its opening weekend squashed by the storm I would be bummed.

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
No Good Deed Sony 8.8 2175 NEW
Dolphin Tale 2 WB 4.2 3656 NEW
Guardians of the Galaxy BV 2.1 3104 -23%
The Drop Searchlight 1.4 809 NEW
Let's Be Cops Fox 1.3 2755 -19%
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par 1.2 2957 -22%
If I Stay WB 1.2 3040 -27%
The November Man Relativity/VVS 0.85 2702 -34%
The Giver Weinstein Co, 0.75 2253 -25%
When the Game Stands Tall Sony 0.7 2435 -26%
Also Debuting
Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? Atlas 0.17 242
Finding Fanny Fox Intl 0.17 121
Power CineGalaxy 0,11 88
The Skeleton Twins Roadside 0.1 15
My Old Lady Cohen Media 33,300 11
Goreyan Nu Daffa Karo Speed 31,800 27
The Pirates Well Go 26,800 25
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Weinstein Co, 21,000 4
The Gifted ABS 12,200 20
Take Me to the River Abramorama 9,900 11
Believe Excel 8,400 37
The Green Prince Music Box 7,000 4
Born to Fly Aubin 2,950 1
The Quitter Goodface 2,900 1
108 Stitches FreeStyle 2,200 12
Anukshanam Vega 2,200 13
Bird People IFC 1,950 1
Honeymoon Magnolia 1,700 2
I Am Eleven Intl Film Circuit 1,550 2
Smiling Through the Apocalypse First Run 1,500 1
The Man on Her Mind Paladin 1,100 7
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