MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady

The Weekend Report

Campaign Fatigue

A pair of potent new releases provided marketplace momentum and a much needed diversion from what’s coming up November 6. Poised at the top of the charts was the animated Wreck-It Ralph with an estimated $48.8 million leaving the bridesmaid slot to incoming Flight with $24.8 million. A third national release, the martial arts Man with the Iron Fists, slotted in position #4 with an $8.2 million gross.

In the niches Bollywood provided a dullish start of $97,200 for Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana and in Quebec local entry Tout ce que to possedes had a fair $42,400 debut at 11 venues. Considerably better was English-lingo Midnight’s Children with a Canadian tote of $87,700 from 10 screens.

Exclusive newcomers largely entered commercially D.O.A. with the exception of the musical drama A Late Quartet with an encouraging $74,500 at nine initial chambers.

Overall weekend box office shot up to about $140 million and expanded 51% from seven days back. It was also 23% improved from 2011 when the second weekend $15.1 million gross of Puss in Boots trumped newcomers Tower Heist and Harold and Kumar’s 3D Christmas that bowed respectively with $10.5 million and $4.7 million.

The stereoscopic Wreck-It Ralph was on track to gross $45-$50 million and did. The surprising fact is that the yarn of a toy story bad guy emerged as Disney’s biggest-ever box office opening. That’s partially due to a slight 54% male skew according to studio exit polling (Disney anime generally favors the other sex) and an audience 57% composed of folk aged 25-years and younger. They additionally identified 68% of the audience as being composed of families.

Meanwhile the saga of a fortified airline pilot, Flight, was on course to prognostications of roughly $25 million. Data was unavailable on the number of white-knuckle flyers that bought tickets but it’s fair to assume they weren’t the film’s target audience. The film also skewed infinitesimally male at 51% with a decidedly older 89% crowd aged 25-years and senior.

The awards season has to date produced one contender (Argo) and one casualty (Cloud Atlas) and a number of films with niche constituencies including The Master and The Sessions. While unlikely to mirror the presidential campaign’s $6 billion spending frenzy, one can nonetheless anticipate heavy infusions of cash in a race without frontrunners in major categories.

Some pundits have already mapped out favorites based on anticipation that could quickly evaporate once something tangible is added to the process. People with skin in the game always hope for first screening reactions that were accorded the likes of Platoon and Schindler’s List rather than the chilliness that transpired when early favorites The Crucible and At Play in the Fields of the Lord encountered when first presented to critics and the industry.

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 21.33 4175 -53% 168
The Good Dinosaur 15.6 3749 NEW 31.9
Creed 11.6 3404 NEW 24.1
Spectre 5.2 2940 22% 168.5
The Peanuts Movie 4 3089 36% 111
The Night Before 3.2 2960 -10% 19.1
The Secret in Their Eyes 1.7 2392 -28% 11.2
Spotlight 1.6 897 60% 9.5
Brooklyn 1.4 845 348% 4.9
The Martian 1.3 1420 31% 216.7
Also Debuting
Victor Frankenstein 0.9 2797
Tamasha 0.36 182
Size Zero/Inji Iduppazhagi 0.1 181
The Danish Girl 75,600 4
Mukhtiar Chadha 39,300 34
The Priests 9,400 2
Janis: Little Girl Blue 7,250 2
Floride 4,800 9
A Fool 2,050 2
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