MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report: March 11, 2012

Plan Carter in Outer Space

Like a hideous car accident all eyes were on John Carter. Or, at the very least there was the prospect of the anticipated catastrophe that a calculated franchise title would come crashing down to earth (or Mars).

The film proved to be somewhat of a split decision. Its opening estimated gross of $30.1 million ranked it second to Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’s second weekend of $39 million. So, while the hero of the pulps and pecs was not a flame out neither did he flex the sort of commercial heft that would anticipate sequels.

There were two additional new releases in the current frame. The eerie going ons of Silent House charted fifth in the lineup with $6.8 million and a notch down it was not a pretty picture for Eddie Murphy’s antics in A Thousand Words with a box office bow of $6.2  million.

Prospects were slightly better for the limited wide opening of Friends with Kids that grossed $2 million at 374 locations. And in the niches Bollywood entry Kahaani had a decent $241,000 debut at 48 venues.

There were also a number of encouraging exclusive bows beginning with the Brit light drama Salmon Fishing in the Yeman that grossed $223,000 from 18 screens. Israeli Oscar submission Footnote posted $47,300 at two theaters and non-fiction Jiro Dreams of Sushi showed similar potency with $42,500 in another twosome.

Overall weekend revenues generated close to $140 million in e-tickets sales for a 19% decline from the prior frame. It was 7% improve from 2011 when the opening of Battle: Los Angeles led the field with $35.6 million and other newcomers Red Riding Hood and Mars Needs Moms trailed respectively with $14 million and $6.9 million.

Edgar Rice Burroughs’ bygone pulp favorite John Carter of Mars has enticed myriad filmmakers over the decades and seemed a natural to join his Tarzan as a movie staple. But matters appeared to unravel at early previews and from a confused marketing campaign in which reference to the Red Planet was excised. Critical response was extreme and variegated but not surprising considering the scrutiny awarded the costly production.

Domestically John Carter came up short of its targeted young male audience that was 63% composed of that gender but 59% aged 25 and older. International results were considerably more upbeat with an estimated $70 million salvo that included most major territories save for Japan and China. The prospects of an eventual $350 million global gross are good … but not enough to revisit the character on the big screen.

That comeback picture for Eddie Murphy remained on the horizon following the opening of A Thousand Pictures. It skewed 55% female with 61% of viewers aged 25 and older. It seems an eternity since the comic connected with the hip and the young.

Memories of Oscar are also fading fast with The Artist falling significantly short of the $60 million gross predicted by its distributor. The film received a considerable boost internationally last weekend with a current international cume of $70 million. A Separation was another beneficiary of Academy largesse with its international gross now approaching $20 million.

Weekend (estimates) March 9 – 11, 2012
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Uni 39.0 (10,420) -44% 3746 121.9
John Carter BV 30.1 (8,040) NEW 3749 30.1
Project X WB 11.4 (3,730) -46% 3065 40
Act of Valor Relativity 7.0 (2,380) -48% 2951 56.1
Silent House Open Road/eOne 6.8 (3,210) NEW 2124 6.8
A Thousand Words Par 6.2 (3,290) NEW 1890 6.2
Safe House Uni 4.9 (2,300) -33% 2144 115.7
The Vow Sony 4.0 (1,600) -34% 2478 117.6
This Means War Fox 3.7 (1,910) -33% 1949 46.9
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island WB 3.6 (1,440) -44% 2525 90.7
Good Deeds Lions Gate 3.0 (2,000) -57% 1516 30.6
The Artist Weinstein Co. 2.1 (1,420) -41% 1505 40.3
Friends with Kids Roadside Attractions 2.0 (5,400) NEW 374 2
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Sony 2.0 (1,090) -58% 1804 48.1
Wanderlust Uni 1.7 (1,400) -56% 1220 15.6
Gone Summit ,93 (810) -69% 1144 10.8
Chronicle Fox .91 (1,530) -53% 595 62.3
A Separation Sony Classics .78 (2,770) -18% 281 4.8
The Descendants Fox Searchlight .69 (1,330) -47% 517 81.5
Hugo Par .62 (1,980) -50% 313 72.3
The Iron Lady Weinstein Co. .57 (1,280) -33% 447 27.9
The Woman in Black CBS .46 (1,060) -60% 433 53
The Secret of Arrietty BV .39 (780) -74% 501 17.5
Star Wars, Episode 1 – 3D Fox .32 (1,240) -71% 258 42.8
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $132.00
% Change (Last Year) 7%
% Change (Last Week) -19%
Also debuting/expanding
Kahaani Viva .24 (5,020) 48 0.24
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen CBS .22 (12,390) 18 0.22
We Need to Talk About Kevin Oscilloscope .15 (2,540) 15% 60 1
In Darkness Sony Classics .11 (2,260) 6% 50 0.57
Rampart Millennium 68,200 (1,180) -43% 58 0.66
Undefeated Weinstein Co. 55,700 (4,280) -32% 13 0.25
Footnote Sony Classics 47,300 (23,650) 2 0.05
Being Flynn Focus 43,400 (3,620) -1% 12 0.1
Jiro Dreams of Sushi Magnolia 42,500 (21,250) 2 0.04
Mr. Nookaya Bahrat 20,600 (1,580) 13 0.02
Boy Paladin 28,400 (14,200) -17% 4 0.04
Romeo Onze Metropole 9,100 (2,280) 4 0.01
Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jay Adopt 6,300 (2,100) 3 0.01
Howling CJ Entertainment 5,700 (5,700) 1 0.01
Attenberg Strand 4,300 (4,300) 1 0.01
Bending the Rules IDP 4,100 (410) 10 0.01
Sound of Noise Magnolia 3,200 (1,600) 2 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – March 8, 2012)
Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Universal (6) 295.1 15.70%
20th Century Fox (8) 282.1 15.00%
Sony (9) 279.2 14.90%
Warner Bros. (11) 256.8 13.70%
Paramount (8) 204.9 10.90%
Buena Vista (6) 115.3 6.10%
Relativity (3) 68.8 3.70%
Weinstein Co. (6) 67.5 3.60%
Lions Gate (2) 53.6 2.80%
CBS (1) 52.5 2.80%
Open Road (1) 46.4 2.50%
Summit (4) 44.7 2.40%
Fox Searchlight (3) 44.1 2.40%
Focus (2) 20.9 1.10%
Sony Classics (7) 10 0.50%
Other * (66) 35.3 1.90%
1877.2 100.00%
* none greater than 0.04%
Top Domestic Grossers (Jan. 1 – March 8, 2012) *
Title Distributor Box Office
The Vow Sony 113,613,746
Safe House Uni 110,803,815
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island WB 87,030,611
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol * Par 85,736,441
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Uni 82,878,830
Contraband Uni 66,410,885
Underworld: Awakening Sony 62,342,483
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows * WB 62,313,544
Chronicle Fox 61,362,872
The Devil Inside Par 53,203,521
The Woman in Black CBS 52,540,246
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo * Sony 51,845,543
The Grey Open Road/eOne 50,836,301
Red Tails Fox 49,227,987
Act of Valor Relativity 49,100,597
Beauty and the Beast 3D (reissue BV 47,265,159
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Sony 46,100,147
This Means War Fox 43,139,350
War Horse * BV 42,929,021
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked Fox 42,749,145
* does not include 2011 box office

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 7.9 3980 -69% 97.2
Guardians of the Galaxy 6.9 3697 -44% 204.4
The Expendables 3 5.8 3221 NEW 5.8
Let's Be Cops 5.6 3094 NEW 14
The Giver 4.7 3003 NEW 4.7
Into the Storm 2.3 3434 -65% 25.9
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.1 2043 -43% 18.6
Lucy 1.6 2520 -44% 103.8
Step Up: All In 0.75 2072 -74% 9.9
Hercules 0.6 1475 -67% 66.6
Also Debuting
Singham Returns 0.2 127
Anjaan 61,500 57
The Trip to Italy 32,600 6
Frank 5,500 1
Life After Beth 5,300 2
Lovers 3,500 9
Fort McCoy 2,600 2
Abuse of Weakness 2,600 1
Dinosaur 13 2,500 14
Jelousy 1,700 1
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