MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report: September 25, 2011

Show Me the Moneyball

The Lion King continued to roar with an estimated $22.1 million gross that placed it at the top of weekend viewing charts. Four debuting films ranked right behind. The critically acclaimed baseball opus Moneyball bowed to $20.4 million and the family targeted Dolphin Tale opened with $19.9 million. Movie goers were less enthusiastic for premiering action fare with Abduction garnering $11 million and Killer Elite trailing on a $9.4 million box office.

Alternative circuits provided what appears to be a record bow for Telugu-language Dookudu of $933,000 at 42 venues. There were also a pair of new Hindi imports _ the politically controversial Mausam grossed $455,000 from 88 playdates while Yaara o Dildaara had an OK $64,800 from 18 exposures. In Quebec Café de Flore brewed up $183,000.

Limited and exclusives newcomers provided few highlights with encouraging results of $43,100 from four engagements for the inspirational based on fact Machine Gun Preacher and a $22,600 tally for the gay-themed Weekend on a solo flight. Pearl Jam Twenty had a tuneful $64,500 following a single day blitz last week that grossed $280,000.

Overall weekend revenues generated slightly more than $120 million that provided an 18% boost from the immediate prior session. It was also 22% improved from 2010 when newcomers Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Legend of the Guardians led with respective bows of $19 million and $16.1 million.

Leading up to the weekend pundits wondered whether The Lion King could hold its grip on the box office. Mid-week business had been ferocious and the only surprise was that more playdates weren’t added for its sophomore round; especially as it becomes available on disc next weekend.

The most potent competition appeared to be Moneyball that had top end estimates of $20 million. Filmmakers have tried several times to mount the saga of baseball’s Oakland As in the early part of the new millennium. Buttressed by critical hosannas and a campaign that downplayed its sporting background the film drew almost equally between the sexes but skewed older with exits indicating 64% attending were 35 years and older. Early signs suggest its commercial arc could be similar to last year’s Social Network domestically but international will be a greater challenge that will swing on Brad Pitt’s appeal vs. a resistance to a largely unfamiliar sport; Japan and Cuba notwithstanding.

Dolphin Tale conversely skewed 66% female with 49% of the crowd was 18 years and younger. Its 3D component generated roughly 50% of its opening box office and its opening strength was zapped by the unexpected Lion King stamina. Still it debuted better than expected and unless Simba once again defies industry wisdom and continues to perform following its DVD availability, the film should have a strong second weekend hold.

Post-Twilight, Abduction at least confirmed Taylor Lautner’s base with exit demos reflecting a 69% female audience and 56% of the crowd younger than 25 years of age. Exits weren’t available for Killer Elite but it would be a total surprise if it weren’t male dominant. Regardless the full throttle promotion for new distributor Open Road of its star action vehicle is already a commercial disappointment.

Also on the down side is the close to 50% drop for the critical favorite Drive.

Domestic box office for 2011 appears to be on the upswing but remains roughly 4% behind last year at this point as a result of the movie going malaise during this year’s first six months.

Weekend (estimates) September 23 – 25, 2011
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
The Lion King 3D BV 22.1 (9,480) -27% 2330 61.6
Moneyball Sony 20.4 (6,810) NEW 2993 20.4
Dolphin Tale WB 19.9 (5,680) NEW 3507 19.9
Abduction Lions Gate 11.0 (3,530) NEW 3118 11
Killer Elite Open Road 9.4 (3,160) NEW 2986 9.4
Contagion WB 8.5 (2,720) -41% 3136 57.1
Drive FilmDistrict 5.7 (1,980) -49% 2904 21.4
The Help BV 4.4 (1,640) -32% 2695 154.5
Straw Dogs Sony 2.1 (860) -60% 2408 8.9
I Don’t Know How She Does It Weinstein Co, 2.0 (810) -54% 2490 8
The Debt Focus 1.2 (1,150) -58% 1067 28.9
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Fox 1.2 (980) -57% 1178 173.6
Warrior Lions Gate 1.1 (790) -61% 1411 12.2
Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain Code Black 1.1 (3,760) -9% 287 5.1
Colombiana Sony .94 (1,110) -60% 847 35.1
Dookudu Ficus .93 (22,210) NEW 42 0.93
Crazy, Stupid, Love WB .77 (1,140) -51% 675 82.1
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World Weinstein Co, .69 (570) -57% 1207 37
The Smurfs Sony .55 (820) -56% 669 138.4
Mausam Eros .45 (5,170) NEW 88 0.45
Shark Night Relativity .44 (660) -76% 637 18.2
Harry Potter & the Deadly Hollows, Part 2 WB .37 (1,160) -47% 320 378.8
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark Film District .34 (800) -70% 424 23.5
Captain America: The First Avenger Par .30 (900) -47% 334 174.8
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $114.00
% Change (Last Year) 22%
% Change (Last Week) 18%
Also debuting/expanding
The Guard Sony Classics .26 (1,570) -23% 167 4.2
Café de Flore Alliance .18 (4,940) 37 0.18
Sarah’s Key Weinstein/A-Z .14 (880) -54% 155 6.9
Higher Ground Sony Classics 72,200 (1,130) -35% 64 .58
Pearl Jam Twenty Abramorama 65,400 (6,540) 10 0.35
Yaara o Dildaara Big Pictures 64,800 (4,050) 16 0.06
Thunder Soul Roadside Attr 52,500 (1,500) 35 0.05
Machine Gun Preacher Relativity 43,100 (10,770) 4 0.04
Puncture Millennium 34,800 (8,700) 4 0.03
Weekend IFC 22,600 (22,600) 1 0.02
Limelight Magnolia 10,100 (10,100) 1 0.01
Marrying the Mafia 4 CJ Ent 8,900 (8,900) 1 0.01
The Man Nobody Knew First Run 7,450 (7,450) 1 0.01
Omar m’a tuer Mongrol 4,900 (820) 1 0.01
A Bird of the Air Paladin 4,100 (4,100) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – September 22, 2011)
Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Paramount (14) 1422 18.50%
Warner Bros. (23) 1408.8 18.30%
Buena Vista (14) 952.2 12.40%
Sony (22) 942.4 12.30%
Universal (14) 915.9 11.90%
20th Century Fox (13) 764.4 10.00%
Weinstein Co. (12) 274.5 3.60%
Lions Gate (13) 153.7 2.00%
Relativity (6) 143.2 1.90%
Focus (7) 120 1.60%
Fox Searchlight (9) 107.4 1.40%
Film District (3) 92.8 1.20%
Sony Classics (13) 77.6 1.00%
Summit (6) 69.9 0.90%
CBS (3) 57.5 0.70%
Other * (256) 175.4 2.30%
7677.7 100.00%
* none greater than 0.35%
Top Domestic Grossers (Jan. 1 – September 22, 2011) *
Title Distributor Gross
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2 WB 378,436,868
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Par 351,501,539
The Hangover 2 WB 254,464,305
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides BV 241,029,902
Fast Five Uni 209,951,424
Cars 2 BV 189,679,088
Thor Par 181,066,624
Captain America: The First Avenger Par 174,490,933
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Fox 172,438,523
Bridesmaids Uni 168,998,490
Kung Fu Panda 2 Par 165,151,698
The Help BV 150,044,102
X-Men: First Class Fox 146,396,804
Rio Fox 143,619,809
The Smurfs Sony 137,812,056
Super 8 Par 126,901,819
Rango Par 123,481,694
The King’s Speech * Weinstein Co. 121,123,415
Horrible Bosses WB 116,676,771
Green Lantern WB 116,568,361
* does not include 2010 box office

One Response to “The Weekend Report: September 25, 2011”

  1. Ligaya says:

    Besides Brad Pitt’s popular appeal/star power internationally to sell Moneyball, countries in which baseball is the main or a major sport – besides Japan and Cuba – are Venezuela, Mexico, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

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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