MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

Déjà vu … All Over Again

Real Steel nosed ahead of a couple of newcomers to take top spot at the weekend box office with an estimated $16.1 million. Dusted off but hardly gleaming were new versions of Footloose and The Thing that followed with respective grosses of $15.8 million and $8.7 million. The third new release was the birder comedy The Big Year that laid an egg with a $3.3 million launch.

In a week of significant disappointment there were few straws of hope to grasp with niche and regional freshmen largely flatlining. Exclusive openers weren’t much better though the belated release of star driven Fireflies in the Garden had an OK bow of $31,300 at five venues. And that sole bright spot was unquestionably Spaniard Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In that grossed $224,000 from an initial six screen run.

Box office dipped 7% from seven days earlier and a resounding 34% from 2010. Last year debuts of Jackass 3D and Red led with respective bows of $50.3 million and $21.8 million.

While expectations for all three incoming movies were modest, each of the trio failed to do better than low end projections. Both Footloose and The Thing managed to attract their target audiences but with not quite the intensity tracking reports had indicated. The Big Year can be viewed as close to a total audience rejection.

The exit demos once again tended to skew older or not quite as young as trending of the past two decades. The youthful Terpsichore that is Footloose attracted an audience that was 64% composed of folks 25 years and older while The Thing was 56% aged 30 years and younger. There was no discernable pulse among The Big Year’s ticket buyers.

Holdovers were generally resilient with drops generally in the 25% to 33% range. But apart from the 3Dized The Lion King the fall hasn’t generated a sizeable hit or a resounding commercial surprise. In such a climate one shouldn’t be taken aback by distribution plans for shorter theatrical windows or PPV experiments that will fall closer to opening dates.

The sense of desperation is palpable and growing. The erosion of the 18 to 25 frequent movie goer base can’t be ignored and providing easier and more economical access to that group has thus far resulted in some disastrous experimentation. But if they’re not coming back to the multiplex both distribution and exhibition are going to have to alter their playbook.

Weekend (estimates) October 14 – 16, 2011
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
Real Steel BV 16.1 (4,690) -41% 3440 51.6
Footloose Par 15.8 (4,440) NEW 3549 15.8
The Thing Uni 8.7 (2,910) NEW 2996 8.7
The Ides of March Sony/Alliance 7.4 (3,360) -29% 2199 22
Dolphin Tale WB 6.3 (1,910) -31% 3286 58.6
Moneyball Sony 5.5 (1,940) -26% 2840 57.7
50/50 Summit 4.3 (1,810) -24% 2391 24.3
Courageous Sony/Tricord 3.4 (2,770) -31% 1214 21.4
The Big Year Fox 3.3 (1,530) NEW 2150 3.3
The Lion King 3D BV 2.7 (1,210) -40% 2267 90.5
Dream House Uni/eOne 2,5 (1,140) -45% 2172 18.4
Contagion WB 1.8 (1,090) -38% 1684 72
Abduction Lions Gate 1.4 (840) -50% 1707 25.8
The Help BV 1.2 (960) -38% 1267 164.9
Drive FilmDistrict 1.1 (1,540) -41% 703 32.1
What’s Your Number Fox 1.1 (870) -64% 1282 12.9
Killer Elite Open Road 1.0 (690) -55% 1431 23.7
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows, Part 2 WB .29 (890) -28% 330 380.2
Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain Code Black .28 (1,510) -39% 188 7.4
Take Shelter Sony Classics .27 (11,370) 425% 24 0.43
Cars 2 BV .26 (1,270) -8% 205 190.8
The Way PDA .24 (2,390) 117% 100 0.4
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $83.60
% Change (Last Year) -34%
% Change (Last Week) -7%
Also debuting/expanding
The Skin I Live In Sony Classics .22 (37,410) 6 0.22
The Guard Sony Classics .12 (1,290) 2% 94 4.8
Labios Rojos Lions Gate 65,200 (970) 67 0.07
Machine Gun Preacher Relativity 52,700 (1,250) 29% 42 0.41
Marecages Metropole 31,900 (1,520) 21 0.03
Fireflies in the Garden Senator 31,300 (6,260) 5 0.03
Silenced CJ Entertainment 27,400 (27,400) 1 0.03
The Woman Blood Disgusting 16,300 (960) 17 0.02
Aazaan Alchemia 11,300 (230) 50 0.01
Texas Killing Fields Anchor Bay 8,900 (2,970) 3 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Oct. 13, 2011)
Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Warner Bros. (24) 1488.1 18.40%
Paramount (14) 1424.7 17.60%
Buena Vista (15) 1050.5 13.00%
Sony (25) 1034.7 12.80%
Universal (15) 932 11.50%
20th Century Fox (14) 779.2 9.60%
Weinstein Co. (12) 280.9 3.50%
Lions Gate (14) 180.6 2.20%
Relativity (7) 144.4 1.80%
Focus (7) 123 1.50%
Film District (3) 108.8 1.30%
Fox Searchlight (10) 107.7 1.30%
Summit (7) 89.9 1.10%
Sony Classics (15) 79.6 1.00%
CBS (3) 57.5 0.70%
Other * (282) 216.4 2.70%
8098 100.00%

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Lucy 17 3173 NEW 17
Hercules 11 3595 NEW 11
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 4.7 3668 -55% 160.4
The Purge: Anarchy 3.4 2856 -65% 44.8
Planes: Fire & Rescue 2.8 3839 -57% 28.6
Sex Tape 1.9 3062 -68% 22.8
And So It Goes 1.3 1762 NEW 1.3
Transformers: Age of Extinction 1.3 2476 -54% 233
Tammy 1.1 2562 -54% 75.8
22 Jump Street 0.8 1613 -46% 183.9
Also Debuting
A Most Wanted Man 0.71 361
The Fluffy Movie 0.51 432
Kick 0.37 179
Magic in the Moonlight 0.12 17
She's Dating the Gangster 70,000 46
Alludu Seenu 29,100 86
The Divine Move 13,000 11
Happy Christmas 4,150 4
A Master Builder 3,100 2
Thirumanam Ennum Nikkah 2,800 13
Eyjafjallajokull 1,800 4
Come Back to Me 1,500 8
A Letter to Momo 1,100 1
Very Good Girls 1,100 9
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
It was supposed to be a horse race (notwithstanding Belmont) but at the finish line the singular teen romance The Fault in Our Stars left the competition in the dust with an estimated $48.1 million debut. Conversely, the frame’s other major release Edge of Tomorrow proved disappointing in a distant second at $28.9 million.
Exclusive newcomers were strong, including a solo Manhattan campaign of $9,400 for Citizen Koch. Much-ballyhooed abortion-themed rom-com Obvious Child proved fertile with $84,100 at four dispensaries.
In the niches, Indian import Holiday partied fair at $373,000 while Pinoy romantic comedy Maybe This Time grossed an impressive return of $552,000 on a trifling 51 screens.
Revenues for the session exceeded $160 million and ebbed 3% from last weekend’s tally. It was 8% improved from 2013 when the debut of The Purge posted $34 million and holdovers of Fast & Furious 6 and Now You See Me duked it out for place position with respective box office of $19.6 million and $19 million.
Industry tracking pitted The Fault in Our Stars against Edge of Tomorrow with the former demonstrating a slight edge as it picked up momentum toward opening day. The adaptation of John Green’s YA novel of teens who strike sparks in a cancer support group had a prognosis of $35 million.
The tide truly turned when Fault generated $8.2 million and Edge took in $1.8 million from Thursday previews. Crystal ball-gazers upped the ante to $55 million but the picture took another surprise turn with an unexpected 31% drop from Friday to Saturday business. Strong WOM in exit polling bodes well to broaden the opening weekend crowd, a predictaly 82% of women and was 79% aged 25-years and younger.
Edge of Tomorrow appeared to suffer from the amusement park factor with the movie crowd opting to skip this particular fun ride. Tracking had pegged the pic to open at between $32 million and $34 million. Reviews were upbeat for the futuristic mayhem with a Groundhog Day twist that opened a week earlier in 27 international territories to $18.7 million.
Exit demos also indicated that the sci-fier wasn’t particularly stepping on Fault’s toes with a 61% male tilt and 73% of the audience aged 25-years and older. A studio spokesman expressed confidence for a strong second weekend hold but history and upcoming competition definitely have the picture bucking considerable odds. International prospects are already ahead of Edge of Darkness’s likely final domestic tally with a second weekend estimated at $82 million that included a $25 million bow in China, $16.6 million in South Korea and Russia with $8.6 million.
Open Road's Chef expanded effectively again, prepping $10 million domestically.
Weekend (estimates) June 6 - 8, 2014
Title
Distributor
Gross (average)
% change *
Theaters
Cume
The Fault in Our Stars
Fox
48.1 (15,160)
NEW
3173
48.1
Maleficent
BV
33.6 (8,520)
-52%
3948
127.5
Edge of Tomorrow
WB
28.9 (8,280)
NEW
3490
28.9
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Fox
14.9 (4,090)
-54%
3639
189
A Million Ways to Die in the West
Uni
7.2 (2,270)
-57%
3160
30.1
Godzilla
WB
6.0 (1.920)
-50%
3110
185.1
Neighbors
Uni
5.2 (1,940)
-36%
2674
137.8
Blended
WB
4.0 (1,370)
-51%
2928
36.5
Chef
Open Road
2.5 (1,940)
32%
1298
10.3
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Sony
1.9 (1,290)
-46%
1481
196.3
Million Dollar Arm
BV
1.8 (1,120)
-49%
1643
31.4
Belle
Searchlight
.75 (1,580)
-40%
476
7.6
Rio 2
Fox
.72 (1,030)
-35%
702
125.6
Maybe This Time
ABS
.55 (10,820)
NEW
51
0.55
The Other Woman
Fox
.48 (980)
-65%
489
83.2
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
BV
.43 (1,360)
-31%
317
255.9
Holiday
Big Pictures
.37 (2,590)
NEW
144
0.37
Heaven is for Real
Sony
.37 (830)
-54%
446
88.8
Words and Pictures
Roadside Attractions
.29 (2,940)
269%
98
0.54
Grand Seduction
eOne
.28 (3,020)
-13%
97
0.82
The Lego Movie
WB
.26 (960)
-5%
274
255.8
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Fox Searchlight
.24 (1,280)
-37%
185
57.8
Ida
Music Box
.21 (2,540)
-10%
84
1.3
The Immigrant
Weinstein
.19 (1,320)
-39%
145
1.4
Divergent
Lionsgate
.19 (650)
-43%
298
149
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)
$156.60
% Change (Last Year)
8%
% Change (Last Week)
-3%
Also debuting/expanding
Fed Up
Weinstein Co.
83,600 (950)
-49%
88
1.2
Obvious Child
A24
84,100 (21,030)
4
0.08
Cold in July
IFC
68,900 (970)
-38%
71
0.25
Night Moves
Cinedgm
48,500 (1,520)
126%
32
30,800
Lunchbox
Sony Classics
50,700 (1,100)
-9%
46
4.1
Filmistaan
UTV
35,500 (1,480)
24
0.04
WolfCop
Echolands
34,900 (4,360)
8
0.03
Ping Pong Summer
Gravitas
26,400 (1,760)
15
0.03
Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon
Weinstein Co.
23,200 (5,800)
4
0.02
Only Lovers Left Alive
Sony Classics
22,800 (760)
-53%
30
1.6
Tracks
Mongrel
13,800 (2,760)
5
0.01
Citizen Koch
Variance
9,400 (9,400)
1
0.01
Trust Me
Paladin
5,100 (565)
9
0.01
Burning Blue
Film Arcade
4,600 (380)
12
0.01
The Case Against 8
Submarine
4,300 (1,430)
3
0.01
Test
Variance
2,400 (800)
3
0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 - June 5, 2014)
Distributor
Box Office
Market Share
Warner Bros. (12)
728.5
16.80%
Buena Vista (11)
677.1
15.60%
20th Century Fox (11)
615.2
14.20%
Sony (11)
577.7
13.30%
Universal (10)
540.5
12.50%
Paramount (8)
322.2
7.40%
Lionsgate (13)
285.4
6.60%
Open Road (6)
95.1
2.20%
Fox Searchlight (5)
83.7
1.90%
Weinstein Co. (12)
76.5
1.80%
Relativity (5)
75.5
1.80%
FreeStyle (6)
68.9
1.60%
Focus (6)
39.2
0.90%
eOne/Seville (14)
35.3
0.80%
Other * (142)
107.9
2.60%
4328.7
100.00%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Domestic Grossers (Jan. 1 - June 5, 2014) *
Title
Distributor
Box Office
The Lego Movie
WB
255,590,340
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
BV
255,447,104
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Sony
194,388,396
Godzilla
WB
179,093,006
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Fox
174,401,266
Divergent
Lionsgate
148,811,524
Frozen *
BV
137,534,677
Ride Along
Uni
134,965,071
Neighbors
Uni
132,600,495
Lone Survivor
Uni/eOne
125,026,404
Rio 2
Fox
124,909,565
Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Fox
110,162,081
300: Rise of an Empire
WB
106,601,189
Noah
Par
100,950,258
Maleficent
BV
93,846,968
Non-Stop
Uni
91,869,306
Heaven is for Real
Sony
88,412,645
American Hustle *
Sony/eOne
82,661,672
The Other Woman
Fox
81,725,819
The Monuments Men
Sony
78,132,865
* does not include 2013 Box Office