“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: Shipwreck!
No one expected the trio of new national releases to unseat The Avengers … they just expected them to be more competitive. The Avengers third weekend prevailed with an estimated $55.2 million with Battleship not quite right behind with $25.3 million. Third spot went to The Dictator with $16.7 million and the third freshman, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, slotted fifth with $10.5 million.
Among niche and regional newcomers there was encouraging results for Crooked Arrows, the tale of a Native American Lacrosse team that netted $263,000 from 55 locations. Cannes preemed Laurence Always bowed softly in Quebec with a $63,700 tally at 26 venues and Bollywood entry Department was moribund with $59,700 from 60 playdates.
Best (but hardly boffo) among the new exclusive entries were Hysteria that vibrated $39,200 at five sites, French SVUish Polisse with $17,200 at three and a $9,100 solo flight for Russian import Elena.
Weekend revenues pushed to about $140 million and a 20% decline from seven days back. It was also 16% behind 2011 when the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Shores outdistanced the current crop of pictures with a $90.1 million opening salvo.
No one can quite believe The Avengers commercial momentum. It now ranks as the sixth biggest domestic grosser all-time after 17 days in cinemas while The Hunger Games (remember that one?) is not too shabby just down the list at position 14.
Battleship opened internationally last month and had a sizeable $220 million plus box office prior to arriving on these shores. Tracking had indicated decent opening momentum in the mid-to-high $30 million range and clearly things went seriously off course for the board game inspired yarn of the navy vs. hostile aliens. Exit demos showed a not unsurprising 57% male tilt but with 55% of the audience aged 30 years and older the film failed to bring out the young males that were its intended target.
Along with John Carter and Wrath of the Titans, Battleship enters the dry dock with considerable global box office that nonetheless can’t sustain mammoth production costs.
The younger than 25s that avoided the fighting machine were more receptive to the outrageous comedy of The Dictator. They comprised 56% of ticket buyers and were 65% male. The Sasha Baron Cohen comedy got a jump start on the weekend with a Wednesday debut that put $7 million in the purse pre-weekend. It also opened in line with tracking that suggested initial strength between $15 million and $18 million.
The Dictator opened simultaneously in 29 foreign territories (mainly Europe) and bettered the domestic take with an early estimate of slightly more than $30 million.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting was tracking almost identical to The Dictator and to no great surprise appeared to be the viewing choice for women. Exit reports revealed a 70% distaff audience that was 64% aged 25 years old and greater. A lot of younger women appear to have spent their weekend at other than the multiplex.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel continues to be the alternative viewing choice with the current session adding 179 engagements while maintaining a sturdy per screen. Also expanding nicely was the Jack Black sly comedy Bernie with the addition of 59 screens that placed it just outside the weekend top 10.
Weekend Estimates: May 18-20, 2012
|Title||Gross (average)||% change *||Theaters||Cume|
|The Avengers||55.2 (12,980)||-46%||4249||457.2|
|The Dictator||16.7 (5,560)||NEW||3008||23.8|
|Dark Shadows||12.6 (3,360)||-58%||3755||50.8|
|What to Expect When You’re Expecting||10.5 (3,470)||NEW||3021||10.5|
|The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel||3.2 (9,020)||20%||357||8.2|
|The Hunger Games||2.9 (1,420)||-35%||2064||391.6|
|Think Like a Man||2.6 (1,530)||-55%||1722||85.8|
|The Lucky One||1.7 (850)||-58%||2005||56.9|
|Pirates! Band of Misfits||1.4 (780)||-55%||1840||25.3|
|The Five Year Engagement||1.1 (940)||-67%||1175||27.1|
|Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax||.46 (1,210)||6%||379||210.2|
|Girl in Progress||.44 (1,370)||-68%||322||2.1|
|The Three Stooges||.41 (690)||-62%||594||41.8|
|Wrath of the Titans||.41 (1,130)||89%||360||82.4|
|Cabin in the Woods||.38 (840)||-61%||448||40.6|
|Mirror Mirror||.38 (940)||-36%||407||61.5|
|John Carter||.31 (2,690)||-60%||114||72.1|
|Crooked Arrows||.26 (4,780)||NEW||55||0.26|
|American Reunion||.24 (830)||-44%||290||56.5|
|The Raven||.23 (530)||-83%||432||15.5|
|Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)||$134.40|
|% Change (Last Year)||-16%|
|% Change (Last Week)||-20%|
|Laurence Anyways||63,700 (2,450)||26||0.06|
|Darling Companion||61,800 (1,030)||-6%||60||0.42|
|Where Do We Go Now?||25,500 (2,130)||66%||12||0.5|
|Bill W.||25,700 (2,340)||11||0.03|
|Lovely Molly||14,500 (2,900)||5||0.01|
|The Samaritan||6,900 (860)||8||0.01|
|American Animal||6,300 (6300)||1||0.01|
|Toucher le ciel||5,700 (1,140)||5||0.01|
|Over My Dead Body||4,900 (4,900)||1||0.01|
|Indie Game: The Movie||4,700 (4,700)||1||0.01|
|Beyond the Black Rainbow||3,200 (3,200)||1||0.01|
Domestic Market Share: Jan 1 – May 17, 2012
|Distributor (releases)||Market Share|
|Buena Vista (9)||15.80%|
|Lions Gate (8)||13.10%|
|Warner Bros. (15)||12.20%|
|20th Century Fox (9)||8.70%|
|Weinstein Co. (7)||2.10%|
|Open Road (3)||1.80%|
|Fox Searchlight (5)||1.30%|
|Sony Classics (11)||0.50%|
|Other * (130)||2.20%|
|* none greater than 0.04%||100.00%|
Top Global Grossers: Jan 1 – May 17, 2012
|The Hunger Games||633,769,552|
|Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol *||391,194,286|
|Titanic 3D (reissue)||340,733,583|
|Journey 2: The Mysterious Island||324,955,653|
|Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax||304,036,707|
|Wrath of the Titans||302,096,128|
|Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows *||298,488,422|
|Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked||197,051,758|
|21 Jump Street||184,362,366|
|The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo *||178,708,267|
|This Means War||152,876,666|
|Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance||147,252,185|
|War Horse *||140,044,414|
|The Descendants *||134,682,404|
|Puss in Boots *||155,785,805|
|The Woman in Black||130,275,654|
* does not include 2011 box office