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MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

Booty Call … Yoo Hoo Noo

The urban comedy Think Like a Man held onto the top spot in its sophomore session with an estimated $17.8 million in a session that featured a quartet of new national releases. The Newcomers that were bunched in the top five included the stop motion animation of The Pirates! Band of Misfits and the rom-com The Five Year Engagement that opened respectively to $11.4 million and $11.1 million.

A little bit further down the list were the testosterone thriller Safe that grossed $7.6 million and the nevermore whodunit The Raven with $7.2 million. Indian imports provided solid returns for Tamil Dammu of $243,000 and indifferent response for Hindi Tezz of $148,000. In Quebec Derapage provided a listless $142,000 box office at 58 locations.

Exclusive bows were largely fungible with the exception of the Jack Black vehicle Bernie that tallied $88,200 at three venues and the Norwegian thriller Headhunters that racked up $41,100 from four engagements.

Cusp of summer box office experienced a lull with weekend revenues of roughly $115 million that amounted to a 17% decline from the prior frame. It was a steeper 30% downturn from 2011 when the bow of Fast Five blew away the competition with an $86.1 million launch.

The weekend’s big noise was happening overseas with The Avengers getting a jump start on domestic with a 39 territory debut estimated at close to $180 million. Also heaping up advance gelt internationally is Battleship with $150 million to date prior to its North American bow on 5/18.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits entered its fifth weekend internationally with $70 million and performed pretty much to tracking pegged at between $11 million and $14 million. To no great surprise exit demos identified the audience as 76% family. It also tilted slightly female with 54%.

The Five Year Engagement arrived below expectations of $15 million to $18 million. Again exit demos were as expected with 57% of viewers aged 30 years and older and a female tilt of 64%. As with Wanderlust two months back this stripe of yucks and kisses seems to be a formula that’s rapidly losing its appeal.

Holdover titles generally experienced 50% drops and apart from The Hunger Games look to be swept out by the incoming summer tentpoles. Yet to be determined is the fate of alternative adult fare that’s been strengthening during the hot months as Midnight in Paris proved in extremis with a $55 million domestic tally.

Weekend Estimates:  April 27-29 2012

Title Distributor Gross (avg) Change Theaters Cume
Think Like a Man Sony 17.8 (8,850) -47% 2015 60.7
The Lucky One WB 11.4 (3,600) -49% 3175 40
Pirates! Band of Misfits Sony 11.4 (3,390) NEW 3358 11.4
The Five Year Engagement Uni 11.1 (3,790) NEW 2936 11.1
The Hunger Games Lions Gate 11.1 (3,110) -24% 3572 372.3
Safe Lions Gate 7.6 (3,370) NEW 2266 7.6
The Raven Relativity 7.2 (3,290) NEW 2203 7.2
Chimpanzee BV 5.4 (3,460) -49% 1567 19.1
The Three Stooges Fox 5.4 (1,750) -44% 3105 37.2
Cabin in the Woods Lions Gate 4.6 (1,730) -43% 2639 34.7
21 Jump Street Sony 3.1 (1,690) -34% 1820 132
American Reunion Uni 3.0 (1,380) -46% 2154 53.4
Mirror Mirror Relativity 2.2 (1,100) -49% 2017 58.9
Wrath of the Titans WB 2.0 (1,250) -50% 1572 80.5
Titanic 3D (reissue) Par 1.9 (1,340) -62% 1409 56.3
Lockout Open Rd/Alliance .96 (760) -70% 1259 13.3
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Uni .87 (980) -54% 883 208.5
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island WB .52 (1,300) -15% 401 101.9
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen CBS .43 (1,290) -37% 335 7.8
Bully Weinstein Co. .33 (1,250) -36% 263 2.1
Intouchables Alliance .29 (6,650) -4% 42 1.4
To the Arctic WB .24 (4,740) -12% 50 0.67
Monsieur Lazhar Music Box .24 (3,650) 58% 66 0.61
Dammu Ficus .24 (5,060) NEW 48 0.24
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) 107.55
% Change (Last Year) -30%
% Change (Last Week) -17%
Also debuting/expanding
Footnote Sony Classics .16 (1,560) -16% 101 1.6
Tezz Eros .15 (1,540 96 0.15
Derapage Alliance .14 (2,450) 58 0.14
The Raid: Redemption Sony Class/Alliance .14 (1,110) -68% 126 3.9
Damsels in Distress Sony Classics 89,500 (1,570) -22% 57 0.44
Bernie Millennium 88,200 (29,400) 3 0.09
The Deep Blue Sea Music Box 73,600 (1,440) -12% 51 0.87
Darling Companion Sony Classics 69,500 (4,090) 74% 17 0.12
Warriors of the Rainbow Well Go 57,300 (4,780) 12 0.06
Headhunters Magnolia 41,400 (10,350) 4 0.04
Sound of My Voice Searchlight 39,200 (7,840) 5 0.04
Elles Lorber 26,100 (4,350) 6 0.03
Restless City AAFF 9,800 (3,270) 3 0.01
The Highest Pass Cinema Libre 8,700 (4,350) 2 0.01
Broken Tower Focus 7,400 (7,400) 1 0.01
Mamitas Screen Media 5,800 (1,160) 5 0.01
96 Minutes Arc 5,600 (1,400) 4 0.01
Case depart K Films 4,400 (1,470) 3 0.01
Whore’s Glory Lorber 4,100 (2,050) 2 0.01
Inventing Our Life First Run 2,900 (2,900) 1 0.01
Booker’s Place TriBe Ca 2,600 (2,600) 2 0.01

Domestic Market Share:  Jan 1 – April 26, 2012

Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Universal (7) 490 15.30%
Sony (11) 468.6 14.60%
Lions Gate (5) 458.5 14.30%
Warner Bros. (18) 407.2 12.70%
20th Century Fox (9) 332.5 10.30%
Paramount (11) 285.7 8.90%
Buena Vista (8) 200.9 6.30%
Relativity (4) 146 4.50%
Weinstein Co. (7) 78.9 2.50%
Open Road (3) 70.3 2.20%
CBS (2) 61.6 1.90%
Summit (4) 47.1 1.50%
Fox Searchlight (3) 46.1 1.40%
Focus (3) 22 0.70%
Sony Classics (11) 18.7 0.60%
Other * (109) 75.2 2.30%
3209.3 100.00%

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“We don’t defy the laws of physics: There are no flying men or cars in this movie. So it made sense to do it old-school: real vehicles and real human beings in the desert. We shot the movie more or less in continuity, because the cars and the characters get really banged up along the way. The biggest benefit of digital technology for me was that the cameras were smaller and much more agile, so you could put them anywhere. We also spent a huge amount of time on spatial awareness—making sure the viewer could follow the action and understand what was happening. There has to be a strong causal connection from one shot to the next, just the same way that in music, there has to be a connection from one note to the next. Otherwise it’s just noise. Too often, if you just cram a lot of stuff into the frame, you get the illusion of a fast pace. But there’s no coherence. It doesn’t flow. It comes off as headbanging music, and it can be exhausting. We storyboarded the movie before we had a script: We had 3,500 boards, which helps the cast and crew understand how everything is going to fit together. Movies are getting faster and faster. The Road Warrior had 1,200 cuts. This one has 2,700 cuts. You have to treat it like a symphony.”
~ George Miller

“I was having issues with my script for It’s All About Love, so I called Ingmar Bergman and we ended up talking about everything but the script. He said, “Well, Festen is a masterpiece, so what are you going to do now?” At that point, I had not decided if I was going to make It’s All About Love, so I answered, “Hmmm, I don’t know. Maybe this, maybe that.” There was just a long pause, and then he said, “You’re fucked.” I said, “Well, how can you know?” “Well, Thomas, you always have to decide your next movie before the movie you’re doing presently opens.” And I said, “Why is that?” “Well, two things can happen. One thing is that you fail, and then you’ll feel scared and humiliated. It’ll get into your head. Second, and even worse, you have success, and then you’ll want more of it, or you’ll want to maintain it. But if you decide on your next film while you’re in the middle of editing, it becomes a very nonchalant choice. And then it’s shorter from the heart to the hand.”
~ Thomas Vinterberg

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