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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by DraKlady


There are probably some two-$20m opening weekends from-one-studio weekends in history. Not many. Sony released two movies for two different demographics and did as well or better than expected with both. That is a big marketing achievement.

Building on Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and Lion King 3D, Hotel Transylvania improved the record for “Best September Opening” by about 20%. It’s the best opening ever for Sony Animation by about 40% and has a good chance of being the first $150m film for Sony Animation… where they are probably feeling pretty good about not doing the DreamWorks Animation deal about now.

How much of this is Sandler & Co and how much is in spite of Sandler & Co? Good question. The studio really didn’t emphasize Sandler in the pitch to families. The film itself is heavy with double entendres that might have surprised some parents of younger kids this weekend.

Looper, which is stirring passion on both the positive and negative sides—more to the positive—had a very solid opening. Unless you consider the ensemble movie Red “a Bruce Willis movie,” this is Willis’ best launch as a lead this decade that doesn’t include the phrase “Die Hard.” And it’s new territory for Joseph Gordon-Levitt as well.

The stat that really jumped out at me was that the audience for Looper was, accordingly to exit polling, 70% over 25. Of course, it’s an R-rated film. But it’s not R-rated, to my eye, in a way that would make a parent of an urban 14-year-old shy about their kid seeing the movie. The under-25s are a potentially strong market going forward.

As Sony reminds, this was a FilmDistrict movie. It is their biggest opening and will be their biggest film. Sigh…

Won’t Back Down did.

And we discussed Pitch Perfect yesterday (after my initial stupidity). Nice launch… but the story is really going to be told next weekend.

Lawless has had a very quiet $36 million.

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11 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by DraKlady”

  1. Loser says:

    dp, thoughts on looper opening bigger in china than stateside? Agree, if it can do 40 maybe 50 domestic, it could do 200+ ww maybe significantly more

    I do think looper is especially vulnerable to piracy, if I were Sony I’d think about getting aggressive with VOD for this. Under 25 males are going to want to see this but if they have a game of thrones wait between theatrical and DVD et al, i think it will only hurt RJs solid entry

  2. bulldog68 says:

    On the international front, Ice Age 4 has now equaled Ice Age 3 at $690m. We now have two Ice Age movies in the top international grosses, the only double appearance. No Transformers, no Potter, no Pirates. Phenomenal.

    Also with this opening, I wonder how Frankenweenie will do next weekend. I know my daughters have a very soft interest in seeing a black and white animated movie. To them it kind of defeats the purpose of being animated.

  3. etguild2 says:

    Who the heck thought a movie about public school unions, with zero international appeal, no stars, and a budget 3 times as big as it should be was a worthy major studio release? The Walden/Fox partnership is a disaster. For every TOOTH FAIRY there is a CITY OF EMBER. WON’T BACK DOWN is challenging Fox’s own record for the worst opening ever for a movie debuting in 2,500+ theatres, and is, at the minimum the 8th worst major studio wide release of all-time.

    What sucks for Fox is they have two more Walden movies to go this year, with the ultra-niche CHASING MAVERICKS and PARENTAL GUIDANCE, a film that looks as if it’s been sitting on the shelf since 1985. No wonder they are marketing the hell out of TAKEN 2.

  4. YancySkancy says:

    I’ve read those first two sentences about five times each, and I think I finally got it. You really need some hyphens in there, and I presume that “on” should be “one.” Still not sure what “Sony Tom” is.

    Mainly, this is a test post, because I’ve been unable to post since clearing away a bunch of crap so my comp will run faster. So here goes nothing.

    EDIT: Okay, that worked. Had to use a different email address though. Frustrating.

  5. etguild2 says:

    ICE AGE 4 is also going to be the first animated title to hit $700 million overseas. Depressing.

  6. Antho42 says:

    Hey David Poland, the USA is going to become an aging society in near future ( i.e., like Japan is currently experiencing). Do you think that film and media companies would have to start putting more emphasis on the over 25 crowd?

    Keep up the good work.

  7. Krillian says:

    What’s “The Other Dream Team” about? Guys who only get acting jobs that Michael Keaton and Christopher Lloyd turn down?

    Nice to see Masquerade doing well in a re-release. Nice to see people giving new appreciation to Rob Lowe’s career.

    Can’t wait for D’Souza’s follow-up. 2020: Hillary’s America.

  8. berg says:

    The Other Dream Team is a doc about the basketball team from Lithuania … this film will really connect to sports fans who will recognize many of the talking heads … it also takes in how the players were considered russian at one Olympics in the 80s and then Lithuanian during another Olympics after the fall of the soviet union …. the Grateful Dead also becomes involved in funding and support of the team and they wear uniforms that were designed by the Dead during the Olympics

  9. Ira Parks says:


    I still think the cume for LOOPER looks low. I was thinking it would be at least 31, maybe even 32% higher. Shows you what I know. Comparing these numbers to MONEY TRAIN on its opening weekend reveal possible audience fatigue with respect to violence. Although my screening was packed and uniformly loved by all.

  10. Ira Parks says:


    Ah, not so fast there, Movieman. MONEY TRAIN didn’t make a ton of money (no pun intended) on its opening weekend, but made its budget back after video. So I think it did just fine, violence and all. Just sayin’.

  11. Rashad says:

    Loved Looper, but geeks and critics sure do know how to turn people against films, by blurting out non-stop hyperbole.

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No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
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The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
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The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4