MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

Frankengust

A strong hold finally put Argo atop the weekend box office chart with an estimated $10.3 million in an otherwise soft marketplace distracted by presidential politicking, hurricane Sandy and pre-Halloween heebie jeebies.

A quartet of new releases bowed to disappointing results with many already pegged at a low bar. Best of the bunch was the epic adaptation of Cloud Atlas that ranked third with an estimated $9.4 million while the chill of the week, Silent Hill: Revelation, was two notches behind with $8 million. Debuting out of the top 10 were the kid-centric Fun Size with $3.9 million and the not too hip Chasing Mavericks roping in $2.2 million.

In the niches Indian imports introed the Hindi Chakravyuh with a gross of $117,000 at 88 venues and the Telugu Dhenikaina Ready generated $103,000 from 28 screens. The politically-themed The Other Son had an encouraging start of $127,000 from 41 playdates and 1978’s Halloween was briefly taken off the shelf, screened at 518 multis and added $162,000 to the jack o’lantern.

The clutch of exclusive newcomers had some OK starts but no single title demonstrated the sort of dynamism that would sustain beyond Thanksgiving.

Weekend revenues toted up to about $95 million and a 28% drop from last weekend. It was a more modest 10% decline from 2011 when the debuts of Puss in Boots and In Time bowed to $34.1 million and $12.1 million respectively.

There was some mention of inclement weather effecting box office and there were unquestionably pockets were Sandy diminished attendance. However the brunt of the blame had to be shouldered by incoming movies with limited commercial appeal and few holdovers able to break out of targeted niche interest.

David Mitchell’s novel Cloud Atlas was largely considered unfilmable with six narrative lines that spanned the historic past and advanced into the future. Whatever reservations one might have about the cinematic result served up by the Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer it certainly didn’t relate to clarity or structure. Though tracking was hardly robust pundits expected better, anticipating opening strength of $12 million to $15 million.

Critical response ranged from tepid to withering and audience sampling produced a less than inspired C grade from CinemaScore. The film skewed ever so slightly male with 51% and was decidedly older with 55% of the crowd 25-years and senior according to studio exit demos.

Silent Hill: Revelation arrived at the low end of tracking that ranged from $8 million to $10 million. What little audience showed up for the other newcomers amounted to a 67% female, 73% under 25% crowd for Fun Size and a 50/50 split, 59% 25-year and up viewship for Chasing Mavericks.

The big noise in the marketplace was further afield as 007’s Skyfall premiered in 25 territories with an estimated $77 million box office. The latest Bond has received sterling reviews and pumped up interest in the UK where it $32 million tally set records. Amereekans will have to wait until November 9.

Weekend (estimates) October 26 – 28, 2012
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
Argo WB 12.3 (4,300) -25% 2855 60.7
Hotel Transylvania Sony 9.5 (2,890) -37% 3276 130.4
Cloud Atlas WB 9.4 (4,700) NEW 2008 9.4
Paranormal Activity 4 Par 8.7 (2,550) -70% 3412 51.3
Silent Hill: Revelation Open Road/Alliance 8.0 (2,730) NEW 2933 8
Taken 2 Fox 7.9 (2,270) -40% 3489 117.3
Here Comes the Boom Sony 5.3 (1,770) -37% 3014 30.4
Alex Cross Lions Gate 5.2 (2,060) -54% 2539 19.5
Sinister Lions Gate 5.1 (2,010) -42% 2542 39.6
Pitch Perfect Uni 4.0 (1,490) -41% 2660 51.3
Fun Size Par 3.9 (1,300) NEW 3014 3.9
Frankenweenie BV 2.4 (1,480) -45% 1738 31.7
Chasing Mavericks Fox 2.2 (1,120) NEW 2002 2.2
Looper Sony/Alliance 2.1 (1,780) -49% 1189 61.5
Seven Psychopaths CBS 1.5 (1,480) -55% 1003 11.9
The Perks of Being a Wallflower Lions Gate 1.4 (1,940) -34% 736 11.2
End of Watch Open Road/Alliance .33 (1,140) -60% 290 38.6
Trouble with the Curve WB .28 (680) -61% 420 34.6
Brave BV .27 (1,060) -35% 257 235.4
The Master Weinstein Co. .26 (1,320) -49% 201 15.2
The Dark Knight Rises WB .25 (860) -30% 291 447.1
The Sessions Fox Searchlight .23 (11,600) 105% 20 0.4
ParaNorman Focus .22 (790) 113% 280 54.9
House at the End of the Street Relativity .20 (670) -57% 302 31.1
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $88.90
% Change (Last Year) -10%
% Change (Last Week) -28%
Also debuting/expanding
John Carpenter’s Halloween (reissue) Screenvision .16 (310) 518 0.16
Searching for Sugar Man Sony Classics .15 (1,350) -22% 114 2.2
The Other Son Cohen Media .13 (3.090) 41 0.13
Chakravyuh Eros .12 (1,330) 88 0.12
Thieves Well Go .10 (5,120) -33% 20 0.53
Dhenikaina Ready Blue Sky .10 (3,680) 28 0.1
The Paperboy Millennium .10 (1,300) -12% 76 0.55
Samsara Oscilloscope 88,400 (1,320) -38% 67 2.2
Smashed Sony Classics 42,300 (2,010) -5% 21 0.15
District of Corruption Rocky Mtn 21,600 (7,200) 3 0.02
Marcelino Pan y Vino Gigapix 17,900 (17,900) 1 0.02
The Lonliest Planet IFC 17,200 (8,600) 2 0.02
Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story Dutchmen 10,500 (10,500) 1 0.01
Ajab Gazabb Love Big Pictures 8,400 (340) 25 0.01
Camille Redouble Metropole 8,100 (2,020) 4 0.01
Orchestra of Exiles First Run 6,800 (6,800) 1 0.01
The Last Fall Image Ent. 6,200 (6,200) 1 0.01
Le Torrent Remstar 5,600 (1,400) 4 0.01
Pusher Weinstein Co. 5,100 (340) 15 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Oct. 25, 2012)
Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Sony (23) 1438.9 16.60%
Warner Bros. (24) 1330.7 15.30%
Buena Vista (14) 1212 13.90%
Universal (14) 1180 13.60%
Lions Gate (18) 888.9 10.20%
20th Century Fox (16) 867.9 10.00%
Paramount (17) 633 7.30%
Relativity (6) 201.7 2.30%
Weinstein Co. (16) 144 1.70%
Focus (7) 130.8 1.50%
Open Road (5) 120.6 1.40%
Fox Searchlight (9) 106.5 1.20%
CBS (4) 85.7 1.00%
Summit (4) 47.1 0.50%
Sony Classics (19) 45.5 0.50%
Other * (302) 259.1 3.00%
8692.4 100.00%
* none greater than 0.4%

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Fury 8.8 3173 NEW 8.8
Gone Girl 5.6 3249 -32% 94.8
The Book of Life 4.9 3071 NEW 4.9
The Best of Me 4.1 2936 NEW 4.1
Alexaander and the Terrible, Horrible … Day 3.2 3088 -39% 28
Dracula Untold 2.9 2900 -67% 33.8
Annabelle 2.5 2878 -52% 68.7
The Judge 2.4 3003 -45% 21.3
The Equalizer 1.6 2262 -44% 85.3
The Maze Runner 1.3 2155 -39% 87.7
Also Debuting
Birdman 0.13 4
Dear White People 0.12 11
Oka Laila Kosam 60,200 61
The Golden Era 19,000 15
The Tale of Princess Kaguya 13,600 3
Rudderless 9,200 18
Listen Up Philip 7,350 2
Guardian Angel 5,950 2
Hiroshima, Mon Amour (reissue) 5,250 5
Watchers of the Sky 3,100 4
Life Inside Out 3,050 2
Lakay 2,100 6
Diplomacy 2,100 1
The Hacker Wars 2,000 1
My Love, My Bride 1,800 1
Felony 1,300 9
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4