“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
~ James Gray
By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com
The Weekend Report: Float Like a Butterfly … Sting Like a Bee
The debut of Underworld: Awakening led weekend ticket sales with an estimated $25.2 million. Two other films bowed nationally and a fourth platformed after four weeks in Oscar-qualifying exclusives. The saga of the Second World War Tuskegee Airmen, Red Tails, ranked second with $19.1 million and the take no prisoners actioner Haywire kicked out with $8.9 million. Wedged in-between was the expansion of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close in position four with $10.4 million.
Despite patches of inclement weather box office was generally spritely and considerably more potent than last year’s weak outset.
A trio of Oscar foreign-language submissions opened strategically but, ironically, none made the short list announced last week. Of the three only Mexico’s Miss Bala showed promise with an $8,070 average from four screens. Conversely China’s The Flowers of War was un-blooming with $51,400 at 30 venues. Also of note were the non-fiction Crazy Horse with $8,700 from a single screen and the modern-day adaptation of Coriolanus that grossed $62,500 from nine engagements.
Overall box office generated roughly $135 million that was flat with last weekend’s three-day portion of the MLK holiday. However, it was 31% improved from 2011 when the debut of No Strings Attached led with $19.6 million and Green Hornet’s sophomore weekend added $17.7 million.
The fourth installment of the Underworld franchise was expected to top weekend charts and managed to exceed the previous edition’s $20.8 million bow. It played largely to loyal fans with exit polls indicating an audience composed 55% of males and 60% of viewers aged 25-years and older.
For many the weekend surprise was Red Tails, the chronicle of the African American flying aces that George Lucas financed when all the majors took a pass. Pundits predicted opening day interest followed by steep drops. But Friday to Saturday posted a sizeable 44% boost. Exit demos showed a crowd composed 51% male and 66% aged 25 years and older but ethnic breakdowns were unavailable. Fingers are crossed that the picture will skew younger in the coming weeks.
With the Oscar slate announcement just days away Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close launched nationally in hopes of capitalizing on Academy attention. So far the yarn hasn’t been a significant award’s contender but Oscar favor is particular difficult to predict this year. The film drew a not unexpected 59% female audience and a whopping 82% aged 25 plus.
Haywire tilted 55% male with 64% of the audience 35 years old and younger. Notwithstanding its results, the movie going crowd is definitely aging and the majors are both mulling a shift toward more mature content and pictures that will ease the erosion of that younger demographic that had dominated ticket sales for decades.
|Title||Gross (average)||% change *||Theaters||Cume|
|Underworld: Awakening||25.2 (8,190)||NEW||3078||25.2|
|Red Tails||19.1 (7,620)||NEW||2512||19.1|
|Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close||10.4 (3,960)||11350%||2630||11.1|
|Beauty and the Beast||8.6 (3,290)||-51%||2625||33.4|
|Joyful Noise||6.0 (2,200)||-46%||2735||21.9|
|Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol||5.5 (2,190)||-53%||2519||197.3|
|Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows||4.7 (1,880)||-46%||2485||178.5|
|The Iron Lady||3.7 (3,470)||-31%||1076||12|
|The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo||3.7 (1,930)||-45%||1907||94.7|
|War Horse||3.0 (1,200)||-49%||2525||72.2|
|Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked||2.9 (1,410)||-50%||2070||124.5|
|We Bought a Zoo||2.7 (1,320)||-51%||2065||69.5|
|The Devil Inside||2.5 (1,140)||-69%||2207||51.1|
|The Artist||2.4 (3,590)||99%||662||12.1|
|The Descendants||2.4 (4,340)||16%||560||51.3|
|The Adventures of Tintin||2.2 (1,630)||-46%||1340||72.3|
|Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy||1.8 (2,420)||-45%||730||18.3|
|Happy Feet Two||.42 (1,270)||-13%||331||62.6|
|A Dangerous Method||.41 (3,890)||-18%||105||3.4|
|Puss in Boots||.34 (1,160)||-18%||292||147.7|
|My Week with Marilyn||.32 (1,430)||-32%||225||12.1|
|The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn||.30 (820)||-61%||370||280.2|
|Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)||$128.80|
|% Change (Last Year)||31%|
|% Change (Last Week)||0%|
|A Separation||.18 (13,650)||147%||13||0.55|
|We Need to Talk About Kevin||72,800 (10,400)||72%||7||0.18|
|The Viral Factor||61,700 (2,800)||22||0.06|
|Fullmetal Alchemist||59,600 (1,320)||45||0.06|
|The Flowers of War||51,400 (1,710)||30||0.05|
|Miss Bala||32,300 (8,070)||4||0.03|
|Crazy Horse||8,700 (8,700)||1||0.01|
|The Front Line||6,800 (1,130)||6||0.01|
|Carol Channing: Larger Than Life||5,100 (2,550)||2||0.01|
|The Pruitt-Igoe Myth||4,400 (4,400)||1||0.01|
|The City Dark||2,900 (2,900)||1||0.01|
Domestic Market Share: January 1 – 19, 2012
|Distributor (releases)||Gross||Market Share|
|Warner Bros. (9)||78.8||15.40%|
|20th Century Fox (4)||68.1||13.30%|
|Buena Vista (5)||63.4||12.40%|
|Weinstein Co. (3)||17||3.30%|
|Fox Searchlight (3)||11.2||2.20%|
|Sony Classics (5)||2.8||0.60%|
|Other * (22)||6.1||1.20%|