“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: March 25, 2012
Starved For Inattention
The Hunger Games set a slew of records and debuted to a jaw dropping estimated $153.6 million. Nuff said.
The competition decided there was little point to even consider a counter-programmer. But in the niches Bollywood offered Agent Vinod that bowed to an OK $440,000 at 121 venues.
There were also a few limited freshmen that showed signs of life. The Raid: Redemption, an urban shootout, grossed $219,000 from 14 locations while the Brit period drama The Deep Blue Sea fared fair with $113,400 on 28 screens. The frame’s handful of exclusive generated generally disappointing results.
The anticipation for The Hunger Games was palpable. The popularity of its series of young adult novels was likened to the Harry Potter books … albeit slightly more sophisticated and unquestionably more sober sided. Pundits could not image anything less than a $100 million debut and tracking pegged it at between $130 million and $135 million in the days leading up to its release.
Neither the film’s Thursday midnights of $19.7 million nor Friday additional box office of $48.5 million indicated that the prognostications were off track. Saturday was expected to experience a downturn but (previews aside) stunned the industry with a slight boost and estimates quickly shot up by $20 million.
As for records Hunger can claim the biggest domestic opening for a non-sequel and slots third all-time behind the Harry Potter finale and The Dark Knight. It also fueled the biggest weekend box office outside a holiday session. It also opened day and date in 57 international territories and scored an impressive estimated $60 million that should eventually provide it for the sort of business experienced by the recent Twilight installments.
Exit demos also provided a bit of a surprised. While its 61% female tilt wasn’t really a shocker what stood out was that less than half the crowd was under the age of 25 years; specifically 44%. All this ultimately bodes well in the coming weeks as the current momentum is likely to bring in a younger male crowd.
The Hunger Game accounted for more than 70% of weekend admission that should add up to roughly $212 million. That was sufficient for a 97% boost from last weekend’s tally and 79% better than last year’s gross when debuts of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules and Sucker Punch opened respectively to $23.7 million and $19 million.
Holdover titles generally took 50% hits in the wake of The Hunger tsunami. The weather notwithstanding, summer definitely arrived early in 2012.
Weekend Estimates: March 23-25, 2012
|Title||Gross (average)||% change *||Theaters||Cume|
|The Hunger Games||153.6 (37,130)||NEW||4137||153.6|
|21 Jump Street||20.4 (6,550)||-44%||3121||70.2|
|Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax||13.0 (3,540)||-43%||3677||177.3|
|John Carter||5.0 (1,570)||-63%||3212||62.4|
|Act of Valor||2.0 (910)||-46%||2216||65.9|
|A Thousand Words||1.9 (1,050)||-40%||1787||14.9|
|Project X||1.9 (920)||-53%||2065||51.7|
|Safe House||1.4 (1,020)||-50%||1330||122.5|
|Journey 2: The Mysterious Island||1.3 (1,000)||-44%||1340||97.1|
|Casa de mi Padre||1.0 (2,170)||-55%||475||3.9|
|This Means War||1.0 (830)||-54%||1188||52.3|
|The Vow||.83 (660)||-60%||1258||122.8|
|Friends with Kids||.80 (1,440)||-45%||556||5.5|
|Salmon Fishing in the Yemen||.68 (5,480)||47%||124||1.6|
|Silent House||.63 (520)||-70%||1202||11.9|
|Good Deeds||.59 (950)||-57%||621||33.7|
|Jeff Who Lives at Home||.57 (2,240)||-33%||254||1.8|
|The Artist||.47 (820)||-55%||576||43|
|Agent Vinod||.44 (3,640)||NEW||121||0.44|
|A Separation||.34 (1,320)||-27%||261||6.1|
|The Iron Lady||.25 (770)||-41%||327||29.1|
|Alvin & the Chipunks: Chip-Wrecked||.24 (960)||-14%||248||132|
|Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)||$206.60|
|% Change (Last Year)||79%|
|% Change (Last Week)||97%|
|The Raid: Redemption||.22 (13,670)||14||0.22|
|The Deep Blue Sea||.11 (4,050)||28||0.11|
|We Need to Talk About Kevin||94,300 (1,180)||-6%||80||1.3|
|Being Flynn||72,100 (990)||-51%||73||0.4|
|In Darkness||58,700 (1,130)||-20%||52||0.79|
|Comme un chef||41,200 (2,750)||15||0.04|
|Un Heureux evenement||11,400 (540)||21||0.01|
|One Life||8,700 (2,900)||3||0.01|
|4:44: Last Day on Earth||8,400 (2,800)||3||0.01|
|Musical Chairs||7,300 (810)||9||0.01|
|The Trouble with Bliss||4.950 (4,950)||1||0.01|
|Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – March 23, 2012)|
|Distributor (releases)||Market Share|
|20th Century Fox (8)||13.20%|
|Warner Bros. (11)||12.90%|
|Buena Vista (7)||7.80%|
|Lions Gate (4)||3.70%|
|Weinstein Co. (6)||3.30%|
|Open Road (2)||2.50%|
|Fox Searchlight (3)||2.00%|
|Sony Classics (8)||0.60%|
|Other * (76)||2.10%|
|Top Limited Releases (Jan. 1 – March 22, 2012) *|
|Friends with Kids||4,696,681|
|A Dangerous Method *||4,131,966|
|Casa de mi Padre||2,848,252|
|Born to Be Wild *||2,219,802|
|Monsieur Lazhar *||1,748,051|
|2012 Oscar Nominated Shorts||1,693,261|
|We Need to Talk About Kevin||1,252,363|
|Jeff, Who Lives at Home||1,187,358|