MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report: October 2, 2011

Wail of a Tale

Families continued to hold sway at the multiplex as Dolphin Tale ascended to the top of the weekend movie charts with an estimated $14.3 million. Holdovers dominated frame sales with a quartet of new national releases bowing to mostly fair to poor response. The exception was the inspirational Courageous that ranked fourth with $8.8 million from a modest run of 1,161 playdates.

Trailing behind were the Cancer comedy 50/50 with $8.7 million, the chiller Dream House with $8.1 million and the teen targeted What’s Your Number eking out $5.5 million.

In Canada Breakaway, a tale of a Hindi hockey team, scored with $472,000 from 46 ice rinks. Conversely Bollywood import Force provided an ironic $99,000 at 58 venues and the black comic horror yarn Tucker & Dale vs. Evil dribbled $53,100 from 30 splattertoriums.

Bows in exclusive and limited release were rife but with few stand outs. Fest fave Take Shelter was upbeat with a $55,300 gross from three screens and on solo openings the policier Munger Road tracked down $40,400 in Chicago while Korean import War of the Arrows had a $21,800 bullseye following its $46 million tally at home.

Session revenues were slightly shy of $100 million that saw box office recede 18% from last weekend while registering a modest 3% rise from 2010. Last year the debut of The Social Network dominated with an opening $22.4 million salvo with holdovers of Legend of the Guardians and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps following respectively with $10.8 million and $10 million.

Pundits anticipated that holdovers would reign at the box office but weren’t unanimous about the order of Dolphin Tale, Moneyball and The Lion King. Unquestionably there was a mighty force from family viewing that’s been evident this time of year while Moneyball benefited from strong reviews and positive word of mouth.

The incoming movies all skewed female (admittedly exit demos weren’t available for Dream House) and older. Courageous _ which was aimed toward a faith-based crowd _ was expected to appeal older though perhaps not as decidedly as the 77% plus 25 years old indicated from exit polls. Tracking was pretty much on the mark with projections of between $8 million and $10 million.

The big question mark movie was 50/50, a comedy but centered on a young man diagnosed with cancer. Tracking indicated to would open between $10 million and $12 million. And while buttressed by positive reviews, audiences remained unconvinced the experience wouldn’t be a downer. Its fate now rests with strong word of mouth and bringing down the opening profile that registered a 65% plus 25 year old crowd.

For the nonce the industry is taking a deep breath in anticipation of a big bounce back at Thanksgiving.

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Weekend (estimates) September 30 – October 2, 2011
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
Dolphin Tale WB 14.3 (4,060) -25% 3515 37.5
Moneyball Sony 12.5 (4,180) -36% 2993 38.5
The Lion King 3D BV 10.9 (4,670) -50% 2340 79.5
Courageous Sony 8.8 (7,590) NEW 1161 8.8
50/50 Summit 8.7 (3,540) NEW 2458 8.7
Dream House Uni 8.1 (3,060) NEW 2661 8.1
Abduction Lions Gate 5.6 (1,800) -49% 3118 19.1
What’s Your Number Fox 5,5 (1,840) NEW 3002 5.5
Contagion WB 4.9 (1,790) -42% 2744 64.6
Killer Elite Open Road 4.7 (1,570) -50% 2986 17.3
Drive FilmDistrict 3.3 (1,680) -43% 1974 27
The Help BV 3.0 (1,200) -31% 2505 159.4
Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain Code Black .74 (2,660) -35% 278 6.2
The Debt Focus .64 (1,060) -49% 604 30.1
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Fox .52 (880) -55% 591 174.5
Breakaway Alliance .47 (10,300) NEW 46 0.47
Warrior Lions Gate .44 (630) -60% 707 13.1
Straw Dogs Sony .43 (490) -79% 874 10.1
Captain America: The First Avenger Par .41 (1,180) 36% 350 175.3
Colombiana Sony .94 (1,110) -60% 847 35.1
Crazy, Stupid, Love WB .39 (960) -50% 405 82.7
I Don’t Know How She Does It Weinstein Co, .38 (510) -81% 745 9.2
Cars 2 BV .36 (1,600) 255 190
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World Weinstein Co, .34 (480) -53% 710 37.5
Dookudu Ficus .33 (7,50) -72% 44 1.7
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $92.20
% Change (Last Year) 3%
% Change (Last Week) -18%
Also debuting/expanding
The Guard Sony Classics .22 (1,380) -13% 157 4.5
Sarah’s Key Weinstein/A-Z .13 (830) -19% 153 7.2
Force Fox Star .10 (1,710) 58 0.1
Machine Gun Preacher Relativity 84,500 (2,560) 87% 33 0.14
Take Shelter Sony Classics 55,300 (18,430) 3 0.06
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil Magnolia 53,100 (1,770) 30 0.05
Munger Road FreeStyle 40,400 (40,400) 1 0.04
War of the Arrows CJ Entertainment 21,800 (21,800) 1 0.02
Bunraku Cinedigm 10,300 (1,030) 10 0.01
Cellule 211 Remstar 10,100 (1,440) 7 0.01
Finding Joe Balcony 9,200 (9,200) 1 0.01
Sahib Biwi aur Gangster UTV 8,900 (1,110) 8 0.01
Margaret Searchlight 7,300 (3,650) 2 0.01
Sarah Pallin: You Betcha! FreeStyle 6,700 (1,120) 6 0.01
American Teacher First Run 6,200 (6,200) 1 0.01
Mammuth Olive 1,900 (1,900) 1 0.01
Benda Bilili National Geo 1,700 (1,700) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Sept. 29, 2011)
Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Warner Bros. (24) 1445.7 18.40%
Paramount (14) 1423.2 18.20%
Buena Vista (14) 987.6 12.60%
Sony (23) 973.9 12.40%
Universal (14) 916.6 11.70%
20th Century Fox (13) 766.1 9.80%
Weinstein Co. (12) 278.9 3.60%
Lions Gate (14) 168.8 2.10%
Relativity (7) 143.9 1.80%
Focus (7) 121.8 1.60%
Fox Searchlight (9) 107.4 1.40%
Film District (3) 101.3 1.30%
Sony Classics (14) 78.4 1.00%
Summit (6) 69.9 0.90%
CBS (3) 57.5 0.70%
Other * (267) 195.7 2.50%
7836.7 100.00%
* none greater than 0.35%
Top Limited Releases (Jan. 1 – Sept. 29, 2011) *
Title Distributor Gross
African Cats BV 15,428,747
The Tree of Life Searchlight/eOne 13,228,329
Born to Be Wild WB 13,069,673
Jane Eyre Focus 11,242,660
The Conspirator Roadside Attractions 11,538,204
Win Win Fox Searchlight 10,182,869
Blue Valentine * Weinstein Co. 9,597,588
Hubble 3D * WB 8,572,560
Barney’s Version * eOne/Sony Classics 7,130,176
Sarah’s Key Weinstein Co./A-Z 7,050,533
Cedar Rapids Fox Searchlight 6,861,102
Under the Sea 3D * Imax 6,349,080
Beginners Focus 5,855,346
Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain Code Black 5,515,487
Cave of Forgotten Dreams IFC/Kinosmith 5,378,347
Biutiful Roadside Attractions 5,101,237
Atlas Shrugged Rocky Mountain 4,739,834
The Company Men Weinstein Co. 4,444,612
The Guard Sony Class/Alliance 4,261,792
Seven Days in Utopia Vision 4,093,251
* does not include 2010 box office

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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