MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report, December 18, 2011

Squeakel … Schmeakel

The industry adhered to Bert Lance’s admonishment that “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” with a trio of sequels on the cusp of holiday movie going. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows led with an estimated $39.3 million followed by Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked grossing $23.3 million and Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol in caboose position at $13.1 million.

Additionally a couple of awards contenders opened in exclusives including Oscar doc short listed dance profile Pina that tripped a light fantastic $16,200 at two venues. The screen adaptation of (Gods of) Carnage bowed at five sites with an OK $85,200.

Weekend revenues ballooned 61% from last weekend to roughly $122 million but continued to lag behind the comparable 2011 session by 12%. A year ago the frame was led by new releases Tron: Legacy and Yogi Bear with respective box office bows of $44 million and $16.4 million.

Domestic box office year to date is approaching $9.7 billion which translates into roughly 4.5% less stamina than last year. With 13 viewing days left in 2011 the prospects of making up an additional $400 million to bridge the gap are, well, impossible to be blunt.

Pundits anticipated considerably stronger openings for both Sherlock and Alvin than transpired. Sherlock, the sequel, was spit-balled at between $50 million and $55 million while the Chipmunks were predicted with a curtain raiser somewhere around $30 million and $35 million. In the rear view mirror it’s easy to say that ticket buyers continue to be more hesitant to plunking down $25 plus for a night at the flickers.

Sherlock skewed older and male with 68% of the crowd 25 years and old and 59% guys according to studio exit polls while the Alvin gang was 54% female with 53% of the audience 25 years and younger.

The weekend puzzler was the decision to platform the fourth Mission Impossible installment prior to a Dec. 21 national release. The generally best reviewed of the series had strong per screens but hardly seemed in need of a word-of-mouth campaign. Last weekend Paramount bowed The Adventures of Tintin in Quebec to great response. The character is well known in the province and wound up the top grossing film in Canada but the studio for some odd reason didn’t report grosses or send out a press release to tub thump its boffo biz. Incidentally Paramount is nonetheless the domestic market share champion two years running.

On the awards front The Descendants remains the sole contender in wide release. The likes of still in the game picture prospect The Artist and major category possibilities Shame, My Week with Marilyn and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy remain stronger as everyone girds for the final spate of Oscar hopefuls in the coming fortnight.

Weekend (estimates) December 16 – 18, 2011
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows WB 39.3 (10,620) NEW 3703 39.3
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked Fox 23.3 (6,2560) NEW 3723 23.3
Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol Par 13.1 (30,920) NEW 425 13.1
New Year’s Eve WB 7.5 (2,130) -43% 3505 24.9
The Sitter Fox 4.4 (1,590) -54% 2752 17.7
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Summit 4.2 (1,410) -47% 2958 266.3
Arthur Christmas Sony 3.6 (1,240) -44% 2929 38.6
Hugo Par 3.6 (1,430) -40% 2532 39.1
Young Adult Par 3.5 (3,520) 1019% 986 3.9
The Muppets BV 3.4 (1,220) -51% 2808 70.9
The Descendants Fox Searchlight 3.2 (3,610) -28% 878 28.6
The Adventures of Tintin Par 1.3 (8,990) -6% 148 3.4
Jack and Jill Sony 1.2 (640) -60% 1910 70.5
Happy Feet Two WB 1.0 (570) -73% 1780 58.8
Tower Heist Uni .88 (670) -63% 1315 75.8
Immortals Relativity .82 (680) -67% 1210 81.9
My Week with Marilyn Weinstein Co. .59 (2,420) -24% 244 6.1
Puss in Boots Par .46 (610) -72% 757 142.8
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Focus .45 (28,000) 44% 16 0.88
J. Edgar WB .37 (530) -69% 703 35.7
Shame Searchlight/Alliance .30 (5,970) 8% 21 1.2
The Artist Weinstein Co. .28 (16,650) -4% 17 1.3
Dolphin Tale WB .19 (680) -29% 281 71.3
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas WB .17 (850) -64% 202 34.4
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $114.90
% Change (Last Year) -12%
% Change (Last Week) 61%
Also debuting/expanding
A Dangerous Method Sony Classics .15 (9,100) 101% 17 0.72
Carnage Sony Classics 85,210 (17,040) 5 0.09
Like Crazy Par Vantage 56,400 (560) -66% 100 3.3
Pina Mongrol 16,200 (8,100) 2 0.02
Spellbound CJ Entertainment 9,100 (9,100) 1 0.01
Cook County Hannover House 7,700 (1,540) 5 0.01
Corman’s World Anchor Bay 6,300 (3,150) 2 0.01
Addiction Incorporated Variance 5,500 (5,500) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Dec. 15, 2011)
Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Paramount (21) 1763.8 18.40%
Warner Bros. (29) 1653.8 17.30%
Sony (28) 1207.4 12.60%
Buena Vista (16) 1179.3 12.30%
Universal (18) 1038.5 10.90%
20th Century Fox (17) 840.1 8.80%
Summit (9) 387.2 4.10%
Weinstein Co. (15) 289.3 3.00%
Relativity (8) 225.9 2.40%
Lions Gate (16) 184.9 1.90%
Fox Searchlight (13) 136.7 1.40%
Film District (4) 125.8 1.30%
Focus (8) 124.1 1.30%
Sony Classics (17) 87.3 0.90%
CBS (3) 57.5 0.60%
Other * (336) 267.8 2.80%
9569.4 100.00%
* none greater than 0.35%
Top Domestic Grossers * (Jan. 1 – Dec. 15, 2011)
Title Distributor Gross
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2 WB 381,011,219
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Par 352,424,682
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Summit 262,130,081
The Hangover 2 WB 254,464,305
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides BV 241,071,802
Fast Five Uni 209,999,424
Cars 2 BV 191,452,396
Thor Par 181,066,624
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Fox 176,711,822
Captain America: The First Avenger Par 176,679,192
The Help BV 169,273,652
Bridesmaids Uni 169,185,860
Kung Fu Panda 2 Par 165,347,740
X-Men: First Class Fox 146,408,305
Rio Fox 143,619,809
The Smurfs Sony 142,614,158
Puss in Boots Par 142,310,193
Super 8 Par 127,021,426
Rango Par 123,481,694
The King’s Speech * Weinstein Co. 121,123,415
* does not include 2010 box office

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
The Purge: Anarchy 12.9 2806 NEW 12.9
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 10.4 3969 -62% 113.4
Planes: Fire & Rescue 6.3 3826 NEW 6.3
Sex Tape 5.6 3062 NEW 5.6
Transformers: Age of Extinction 2.7 3224 -45% 219.9
Tammy 2.3 3402 -45% 65.9
22 Jump Street 1.4 2229 -31% 177.2
How to Train Your Dragon 2 1.1 2169 -40% 157.9
Earth to Echo 1 2450 -44% 29.7
Maleficent 0.9 1541 -27% 226
Also Debuting
Persecuted 0.31 736
Wish I Was Here 0.15 68
Velaiyilla Pattathari 61,800 31
Mood Indigo 10,400 2
There's No Place Like Utopia 10,300 1
I Origins 9,500 4
A Five Star Life 4,000 1
Alive Inside 3,600 1
An American in Hollywood 2,750 4
Among Ravens 2,000 4
Video Games 1,700 6
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