By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com
The Weekend Report, July 1, 2012
The pundits anticipated that audience hearts would once again be in the Highlands and Brave would be atop weekend box office.
They were wrong.
The incoming allure of childhood dreams gone awry and some animated pecs trumped the competition. Ted, the scatological take on the child-man, debuted at the top of the list with an estimated $53.8 million and the alternately hilarious and dark world of Magic Mike’s male strippers bowed second with $39.2 million. Two other films opened nationally that included Tyler Perry back in form with a $26.4 million launch for Medea’s Witness Protection slotting fourth while the family drama People Like Us wound up with scraps that amounted to $4.2 million.
New in the niches the Punjabi Jatt & Juliet scored an impressive $144,000 from 15 playdates. While Punjab films can’t compete with Bollywood that community largely centered in Canada has developed into rabid movie goers. Canada’s home grown Take This Waltz also displayed strength with a $138,000 opening at 31 venues (including two U.S. engagements) and French implort Cloclo (a bio of 1960s singing sensation laude Francois) failed to replicate La Vie en Rose with a $14,300 tally from eight Quebec exposures.
Among the exclusive bows there was considerably better response for France with Unforgivable grossing $27,600 from five screens. But the mouse that roared was Sundance prized Beasts of the Southern Wild with a potent $176,000 box office at an initial quartet.
Box office pumped up to more than 210 million and a 28% hike from seven days earlier. It was also an unexpected 3% improvement from 2011 in light of last year’s $97.8 million debut of Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Tracking for Ted was always strong but nonetheless initial translations slotted it third in the lineup with about $30 million. That estimate ramped up to $40 million just prior to opening and put it competitive with Brave.
A studio spokesperson noted that current tracking has been wildly inaccurate and that’s no joke. Currently there are three major market research companies specializing in box office tracking and one would think they could do comparably well with political trackers capable of predicting elections minutes after polls close.
Ted’s box office set a new high for an R-rated comedy. The audience demos skewed 56% male with 52% of viewers aged 30 years and older.
Magic Mike saw its prospects rise following Thursday midnight sneaks that generated $2 million. Opening weekend drew a 73% crowd with 66% of buyers aged 25 years and older. Strong reviews and word-of-mouth bode well for hitting the other quadrants in the coming weeks.
Medea’s Witness Protection proved to be a stronger draw than other recent Tyler Perry efforts. While it drew on Perry’s traditional base with a 69% female skew and 69% of the crowd aged 25 years and older there was an upbeat note with 30% of buyers identified as non-African American _ a significant improvement in his slow crossover in the past decade.
Recent weeks haven’t been great for alternative adult fare and People Like Us is no exception. As with last week’s Seeking a Friend … its wide launch underwhelmed and in hindsight the picture might have been better served with a platform release as has been witnessed by Marigold Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, Bernie and the current To Rome with Love.
Overseas a couple of films got a jump start on their domestic openings. Ice Age: Continental Drift was on a record breaking course with an estimated $78 million debut in 34 territories. And days ahead of its holiday launch The Amazing Spider-Man grossed $50 million in 13 nations primarily focusing on Asia.
|Weekend (estimates) June 29 – July 1, 2012|
|Title||Distributor||Gross (average)||% change *||Theaters||Cume|
|Magic Mike||WB||39.2 (13,390)||NEW||2930||39.2|
|Madea’s Witness Protection||Lions Gate||26.4 (12,230)||NEW||2161||26.4|
|Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted||Par||11.8 (3,190)||-40%||3715||180|
|Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter||Fox||5.9 (1,910)||-64%||3109||29|
|Moonrise Kingdom||Focus||4.8 (5,640)||42%||854||18.4|
|Snow White and the Huntsman||Uni||4.4 (1,874)||-46%||2337||145.6|
|The Avengers||BV||4.2 (2,380)||-42%||1757||606.3|
|People Like Us||BV||4.2 (2,030)||NEW||2055||4.2|
|Men in Black III||Sony||2.8 (1,490)||-51%||1902||169.6|
|Rock of Ages||WB||2.7 (1,130)||-64%||2405||34.9|
|That’s My Boy||Sony||2.2 (920)||-71%||2363||34.4|
|The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel||Fox Searchlight||1.0 (1,950)||-36%||534||40.4|
|Seeking a Friend for the End of the World||Focus||1.0 (640)||-73%||1608||6.6|
|To Rome with Love||Sony Classics||.71 (24,550)||97%||29||1.3|
|The Hunger Games||Lions Gate||.39 (1,400)||-38%||278||403.8|
|Dark Shadows||WB||.38 (1,040)||45%||365||76.3|
|Safety Not Guaranteed||Film District||.37 (2,270)||-21%||164||1.7|
|Your Sister’s Sister||IFC||.23 (2,480)||16%||94||0.7|
|Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)||$203.90|
|% Change (Last Year)||3%|
|% Change (Last Week)||28%|
|Beasts of the Southern Wild||Searchlight||.18 (44,100)||4||0.23|
|Jatt & Juliet||Speed||.14 (9.610)||15||0.14|
|Take This Waltz||Mongrel/Magnolia||.14 (4,440)||31||0.14|
|Hysteria||Sony Classics||77,500 (1,060)||-48%||73||1.6|
|Neil Young’s Journey||Sony Classics||12,400 (4,130)||3||0.01|
|Runway Cop||CJ Entertainment||5,900 (5,900)||1||0.01|
|Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – June 28, 2012)|
|Distributor (releases)||Gross||Market Share|
|Buena Vista (10)||919.9||17.50%|
|Warner Bros. (18)||579.9||11.00%|
|Lions Gate (9)||572.5||10.90%|
|20th Century Fox (11)||482||9.20%|
|Fox Searchlight (7)||86.1||1.60%|
|Weinstein Co. (8)||84.1||1.60%|
|Open Road (3)||72.2||1.40%|
|Other * (186)||138.5||2.60%|
|* none greater than 0.45%|