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
Lucy 17 3173 NEW 17
Hercules 11 3595 NEW 11
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 4.7 3668 -55% 160.4
The Purge: Anarchy 3.4 2856 -65% 44.8
Planes: Fire & Rescue 2.8 3839 -57% 28.6
Sex Tape 1.9 3062 -68% 22.8
And So It Goes 1.3 1762 NEW 1.3
Transformers: Age of Extinction 1.3 2476 -54% 233
Tammy 1.1 2562 -54% 75.8
22 Jump Street 0.8 1613 -46% 183.9
Also Debuting
A Most Wanted Man 0.71 361
The Fluffy Movie 0.51 432
Kick 0.37 179
Magic in the Moonlight 0.12 17
She's Dating the Gangster 70,000 46
Alludu Seenu 29,100 86
The Divine Move 13,000 11
Happy Christmas 4,150 4
A Master Builder 3,100 2
Thirumanam Ennum Nikkah 2,800 13
Eyjafjallajokull 1,800 4
Come Back to Me 1,500 8
A Letter to Momo 1,100 1
Very Good Girls 1,100 9
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
It was supposed to be a horse race (notwithstanding Belmont) but at the finish line the singular teen romance The Fault in Our Stars left the competition in the dust with an estimated $48.1 million debut. Conversely, the frame’s other major release Edge of Tomorrow proved disappointing in a distant second at $28.9 million.
Exclusive newcomers were strong, including a solo Manhattan campaign of $9,400 for Citizen Koch. Much-ballyhooed abortion-themed rom-com Obvious Child proved fertile with $84,100 at four dispensaries.
In the niches, Indian import Holiday partied fair at $373,000 while Pinoy romantic comedy Maybe This Time grossed an impressive return of $552,000 on a trifling 51 screens.
Revenues for the session exceeded $160 million and ebbed 3% from last weekend’s tally. It was 8% improved from 2013 when the debut of The Purge posted $34 million and holdovers of Fast & Furious 6 and Now You See Me duked it out for place position with respective box office of $19.6 million and $19 million.
Industry tracking pitted The Fault in Our Stars against Edge of Tomorrow with the former demonstrating a slight edge as it picked up momentum toward opening day. The adaptation of John Green’s YA novel of teens who strike sparks in a cancer support group had a prognosis of $35 million.
The tide truly turned when Fault generated $8.2 million and Edge took in $1.8 million from Thursday previews. Crystal ball-gazers upped the ante to $55 million but the picture took another surprise turn with an unexpected 31% drop from Friday to Saturday business. Strong WOM in exit polling bodes well to broaden the opening weekend crowd, a predictaly 82% of women and was 79% aged 25-years and younger.
Edge of Tomorrow appeared to suffer from the amusement park factor with the movie crowd opting to skip this particular fun ride. Tracking had pegged the pic to open at between $32 million and $34 million. Reviews were upbeat for the futuristic mayhem with a Groundhog Day twist that opened a week earlier in 27 international territories to $18.7 million.
Exit demos also indicated that the sci-fier wasn’t particularly stepping on Fault’s toes with a 61% male tilt and 73% of the audience aged 25-years and older. A studio spokesman expressed confidence for a strong second weekend hold but history and upcoming competition definitely have the picture bucking considerable odds. International prospects are already ahead of Edge of Darkness’s likely final domestic tally with a second weekend estimated at $82 million that included a $25 million bow in China, $16.6 million in South Korea and Russia with $8.6 million.
Open Road's Chef expanded effectively again, prepping $10 million domestically.
Weekend (estimates) June 6 - 8, 2014
Title
Distributor
Gross (average)
% change *
Theaters
Cume
The Fault in Our Stars
Fox
48.1 (15,160)
NEW
3173
48.1
Maleficent
BV
33.6 (8,520)
-52%
3948
127.5
Edge of Tomorrow
WB
28.9 (8,280)
NEW
3490
28.9
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Fox
14.9 (4,090)
-54%
3639
189
A Million Ways to Die in the West
Uni
7.2 (2,270)
-57%
3160
30.1
Godzilla
WB
6.0 (1.920)
-50%
3110
185.1
Neighbors
Uni
5.2 (1,940)
-36%
2674
137.8
Blended
WB
4.0 (1,370)
-51%
2928
36.5
Chef
Open Road
2.5 (1,940)
32%
1298
10.3
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Sony
1.9 (1,290)
-46%
1481
196.3
Million Dollar Arm
BV
1.8 (1,120)
-49%
1643
31.4
Belle
Searchlight
.75 (1,580)
-40%
476
7.6
Rio 2
Fox
.72 (1,030)
-35%
702
125.6
Maybe This Time
ABS
.55 (10,820)
NEW
51
0.55
The Other Woman
Fox
.48 (980)
-65%
489
83.2
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
BV
.43 (1,360)
-31%
317
255.9
Holiday
Big Pictures
.37 (2,590)
NEW
144
0.37
Heaven is for Real
Sony
.37 (830)
-54%
446
88.8
Words and Pictures
Roadside Attractions
.29 (2,940)
269%
98
0.54
Grand Seduction
eOne
.28 (3,020)
-13%
97
0.82
The Lego Movie
WB
.26 (960)
-5%
274
255.8
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Fox Searchlight
.24 (1,280)
-37%
185
57.8
Ida
Music Box
.21 (2,540)
-10%
84
1.3
The Immigrant
Weinstein
.19 (1,320)
-39%
145
1.4
Divergent
Lionsgate
.19 (650)
-43%
298
149
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)
$156.60
% Change (Last Year)
8%
% Change (Last Week)
-3%
Also debuting/expanding
Fed Up
Weinstein Co.
83,600 (950)
-49%
88
1.2
Obvious Child
A24
84,100 (21,030)
4
0.08
Cold in July
IFC
68,900 (970)
-38%
71
0.25
Night Moves
Cinedgm
48,500 (1,520)
126%
32
30,800
Lunchbox
Sony Classics
50,700 (1,100)
-9%
46
4.1
Filmistaan
UTV
35,500 (1,480)
24
0.04
WolfCop
Echolands
34,900 (4,360)
8
0.03
Ping Pong Summer
Gravitas
26,400 (1,760)
15
0.03
Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon
Weinstein Co.
23,200 (5,800)
4
0.02
Only Lovers Left Alive
Sony Classics
22,800 (760)
-53%
30
1.6
Tracks
Mongrel
13,800 (2,760)
5
0.01
Citizen Koch
Variance
9,400 (9,400)
1
0.01
Trust Me
Paladin
5,100 (565)
9
0.01
Burning Blue
Film Arcade
4,600 (380)
12
0.01
The Case Against 8
Submarine
4,300 (1,430)
3
0.01
Test
Variance
2,400 (800)
3
0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 - June 5, 2014)
Distributor
Box Office
Market Share
Warner Bros. (12)
728.5
16.80%
Buena Vista (11)
677.1
15.60%
20th Century Fox (11)
615.2
14.20%
Sony (11)
577.7
13.30%
Universal (10)
540.5
12.50%
Paramount (8)
322.2
7.40%
Lionsgate (13)
285.4
6.60%
Open Road (6)
95.1
2.20%
Fox Searchlight (5)
83.7
1.90%
Weinstein Co. (12)
76.5
1.80%
Relativity (5)
75.5
1.80%
FreeStyle (6)
68.9
1.60%
Focus (6)
39.2
0.90%
eOne/Seville (14)
35.3
0.80%
Other * (142)
107.9
2.60%
4328.7
100.00%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Domestic Grossers (Jan. 1 - June 5, 2014) *
Title
Distributor
Box Office
The Lego Movie
WB
255,590,340
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
BV
255,447,104
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Sony
194,388,396
Godzilla
WB
179,093,006
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Fox
174,401,266
Divergent
Lionsgate
148,811,524
Frozen *
BV
137,534,677
Ride Along
Uni
134,965,071
Neighbors
Uni
132,600,495
Lone Survivor
Uni/eOne
125,026,404
Rio 2
Fox
124,909,565
Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Fox
110,162,081
300: Rise of an Empire
WB
106,601,189
Noah
Par
100,950,258
Maleficent
BV
93,846,968
Non-Stop
Uni
91,869,306
Heaven is for Real
Sony
88,412,645
American Hustle *
Sony/eOne
82,661,672
The Other Woman
Fox
81,725,819
The Monuments Men
Sony
78,132,865
* does not include 2013 Box Office