MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

Limbo Rock … How Low Can You Go

Moviegoers were otherwise engaged this weekend and overall box office sank by slightly more than half. With no new national releases in the mix, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn easily held onto the top spot with an estimated $16.8 million.

Niche and exclusive newcomers generally did little to brighten the picture. The exception was the exclusive bow of the controversial Shame that grossed $364,000 from 10 engagements. Also good was Bollywood newcomer The Dirty Picture with a $263,000 tally at 52 venues. But otherwise it was the blahs across the ages and genders.

Weekend box office generated roughly $83 million to record the second lowest weekend of 2011. Only the weekend following Labor Day provided an even more dire result. Business sank 51% from last weekend’s Thanksgiving holiday and a more 6% abatement from 2010. A year back Tangled was top draw with $21.6 million in its second weekend and the first half of the Harry Potter finale added $17 million to its larder.

Traditionally the first weekend of December ranks among the lowest attended session’s of the year and the current frame is the worst for this week in the past five years. Still there was an element of a self-fulfilling prophecy in the decision by the majors and indies not to provide a wide release. Traditionally at least some genre potboiler rears its head this time of year and sometimes does better than expected business.

Disclosure in 1994 was a rare instance of a major release opening in early December. And despite a strong bow its distributor was disappointed by an eventual domestic gross of about $85 million.

Amid the current rubble some of the family friendly pictures held well as well as a few of the awards targeted titles. The Artist, named best film by the New York Critics Circle, added two screens and held steady. Other relatively resilient films included Hugo, Arthur Christmas, The Descendants and My Week with Marilyn.

However, the shrewdest move had to be the opening of Shame. In the absence of a new national title or a major expansion, the grim yarn of sexual dependency received an enhanced publicity focus and drew in the alternative audience. With potential awards recognition in the offing this formidable start has a big upside.

Weekend (estimates) December 2 – 4, 2011
Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Summit 16.8 (4,160) -60% 4046 247.2
The Muppets BV 11.2 (3,270) -62% 3440 56.5
Hugo Par 7.6 (4,130) -33% 1840 25.2
Arthur Christmas Sony 7.3 (2,170) -39% 3376 24.9
Happy Feet Two WB 5.9 (1,680) -56% 3536 51.7
Jack and Jill Sony 5.4 (1,780) -46% 3049 64.2
The Descendants Fox Searchlight 4.9 (8,590) -33% 574 17.8
Immortals Relativity 4.4 (1,680) -50% 2627 75.6
Tower Heist Uni 4.1 (1,710) -43% 2404 70.8
Puss in Boots Par 3.0 (1,080) -60% 2750 139.4
J. Edgar WB 2.4 (1,190) -53% 1985 32.6
My Week with Marilyn Weinstein Co. 1.2 (4,800) -33% 244 3.9
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas WB 1.0 (1,380) -39% 710 33.1
Moneyball Sony .57 (570) 100% 1004 73.8
In Time Fox .55 (1,310) -29% 421 35.8
The Ides of March Sony/Alliance .53 (520) 109% 1016 40.1
Shame Fox Searchlight .36 (36,380) NEW 10 0.36
Dolphin Tale WB .32 (780) 74% 410 70.7
Like Crazy Par Vantage .27 (1,760) -37% 152 2.9
Midnight in Paris Sony Classics .26 (860) 344% 305 56
The Dirty Picture Alt Entertainment .26 (5,060) NEW 52 0.26
Melancholia Magnolia/eOne .23 (2,230) -30% 104 1.6
The Artist Weinstein Co. .20 (33,900) -1% 6 0.5
Real Steel BV .17 (680) -48% 253 83.4
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $76.85
% Change (Last Year) -6%
% Change (Last Week) -51%
Also debuting/expanding
The Way PDA .17 (1,050) -18% 160 3.6
The Skin I Live In Sony Classics .16 (1,380) -14% 116 2.7
A Dangerous Method Sony Classics .12 (29,850) -29% 4 0.41
Pastorela Lions Gate 65,700 (1,190) 55 0.07
I Am Singh Big Pictures 25,300 (470) 54 0.03
Kinyarwanda AFFRM 21,500 (2,390) 9 0.02
Answers to Nothing Roadside 14,400 (690) 21 0.01
Bezawada Annapurna 11,700 (420) 28 0.01
Sleeping Beauty IFC 8,300 (4,150) 2 0.01
Outrage Magnolia 6,200 (3,100) 2 0.01
Khodorkovsky Lorber 5,600 (5600) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Dec. 1, 2011)
Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Paramount (19) 1736.3 18.50%
Warner Bros. (26) 1614.5 17.30%
Sony (28) 1177.1 12.60%
Buena Vista (16) 1156.1 12.40%
Universal (18) 1030.1 11.00%
20th Century Fox (16) 825.4 8.80%
Summit (9) 354.9 3.80%
Weinstein Co. (15) 285.7 3.10%
Relativity (8) 216.1 2.30%
Lions Gate (15) 184.6 2.00%
Film District (4) 125.6 1.30%
Focus (7) 123.6 1.30%
Fox Searchlight (12) 123.2 1.30%
Sony Classics (17) 84.9 0.90%
CBS (3) 57.5 0.60%
Other * (325) 261.8 2.80%
9357.4 100.00%
* none greater than 0.35%
Top Global Grossers (Jan. 1 – Dec. 1, 2011) *
Title Distributor Gross
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2 WB 1,339,007,353
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Par 1,123,779,767
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides BV 1,043,585,965
Kung Fu Panda 2 Par 665,712,192
Fast Five Uni 628,291,158
The Hangover 2 WB 582,704,066
The Smurfs Sony 561,341,168
Cars 2 BV 559,955,381
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Summit 534,112,490
Rio Fox 484,654,961
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Fox 481,180,399
Thor Par 449,362,618
The King’s Speech Weinstein/FilmNation 408,823,504
Captain America: The First Avenger Par 368,629,160
X-Men: First Class Fox 353,624,124
Tangled * BV 296,514,084
Bridesmaids Uni 288,483,356
Black Swan * Fox 287,898,948
Super 8 Par 259,835,830
Real Steel BV 253,806,606
Rango Par 245,728,275
Green Lantern WB 234,559,572
The Green Hornet Sony 227,892,167
Bad Teacher Sony 216,438,475
Just Go With It Sony 215,073,990

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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