MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey staved off a torrent of new product to easily retain top spot in the marketplace with an estimated $36.6 million. Its closest competition came from Tom Cruise actioner Jack Reacher and mid-life comedy This is 40, which debuted respectively with $15.5 million and $12.1 million. Two other national releases opened to listless results. The mother-son road movie The Guilt Trip had an opening weekend of $5.3 million and the reissue of Monsters Inc. found $5 million in its stocking.

The frame also saw the national launch (it opened in home ring Québec two weeks ago) of Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Apart with $2.1 million and Bollywood’s Debangg 2 was a solid but not record breaking $980,000 at 155 locations. And also in Québec, the hockey comedy genre went pint-sized with Les Pee-Wee 3D scoring $280,000 at 88 rinks.

In exclusives the big bang was the controversial Zero Dark Thirty with $408,000 ($640,000 since Wednesday) at five sites. Also off to a strong start was Foreign-Language Oscar-tipped Amour with a $68,300 tally from three apartments. Otherwise results for late-year contenders, including the tsunami-themed The Impossible, Beat classic On the Road and coming-of-age Not Fade Away were softish but not yet irreparable.

Weekend revenues crawled toward $115 million for a 19% decline from seven days earlier. The soft openings of several new entries also translated into a 14% drop from 2011 when the second weekends of Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows led with respective grosses of $29.5 million and $20.3 million. The top freshmen titles were The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ($12.7 million) and The Adventures of Tintin ($9.7 million).

Still, box office to date (with eight days left in the year) has surpassed last year’s total and is now almost 2% ahead of the entire 2011 figure with a week and a bit to slip into the stocking.

Critical response to Jack Reacher was generally positive with caveats about the film’s violent strain. Regardless, it fell short of a $20 million-plus projected opening and may not be the new franchise hoped for in the star’s future. The film tilted 60% male and needs to connect more demonstrably with Cruise’s female base. It was also 76% aged 25 years and older according to studio exit polls.

This is 40 was considerably closer to expectations and demographics. Its opening weekend crowd was 57% female and 74% aged 25 and over. Its future largely rests on word-of-mouth which thus far has been less than four-star endorsements.

But it looks like a traffic accident for The Guilt Trip, which failed to bring in younger fans of Seth Rogen and was largely skewered by the critical community. Barbra Streisand fans anxious to see the icon in her first major film role in a decade translated into a viewership that was 60% female and 82% aged 25 years on up.

The vacuum of films for a younger demographic could well elevate the opening box office of Django Unchained next week.  

Tensions continue to mount between the film industry and the Motion Picture Academy over the latter’s ramped-up nomination-broadcast schedule. Ballots are already out and historically members are quick to return their ballots, which can’t be good for the likes of Les Misérables and Zero Dark Thirty. Reaction to the announcement of nominees on Jan. 10, 2013 could well result in some tweaking of the process in what appears to be an awkward period of adjustment.

Weekend (estimates) December 21 – 23, 2012
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey WB 36.6 (8,930) -49% 4100 149.8
Jack Reacher Par 15.5 (4,630) NEW 3352 15.5
This is 40 Uni 12.1 (4,160) NEW 2913 12.1
Rise of the Guardians Par 5.9 (1,750) -17% 3387 79.7
Lincoln BV 5.7 (2,480) -19% 2285 116.8
Skyfall Sony 4.8 (2,040) -27% 2365 279.9
The Guilt Trip Par 5.3 (2,200) NEW 2431 7.4
Monsters Inc. (reissue) BV 5.0 (1,910) NEW 2618 6.5
Life of Pi Fox 3.8 (2,190) -29% 1750 76.2
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Lions Gate 2.7 (1,340) -48% 2000 281.7
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Apart Par 2.1 (2,490) NEW 840 2.2
Wreck-It Ralph BV 2.0 (1,360) -39% 1444 171.9
Silver Linings Playbook Weinstein Co. 1.8 (4,800) -16% 371 19.9
Debangg 2 Eros 1.0 (6,290) NEW 155 1
Argo WB .89 (1,980) -24% 450 106.4
Red Dawn Film District .79 (780) -67% 1011 42.6
Flight Par .71 (960) -63% 742 91
Anna Karenina Focus .67 (2,020) -34% 331 9.6
Hitchcock Fox Searchlight .59 (1,100) -47% 535 4.2
Playing for Keeps Film District .42 (500) -46% 851 12.4
Zero Dark Thirty Sony .41 (81,660) NEW 5 0.64
Hyde Park on Hudson Focus .39 (4,510) 32% 86 0.92
Hotel Transylvania Sony .32 (980) 331% 331 144.3
Les Pee-Wee 3D Seville .28 (3,200) -25% 88 0.28
Taken 2 Fox .21 (770) -27% 275 138.5
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $107.95
% Change (Last Year) -14%
% Change (Last Week) -19%
Also debuting/expanding
The Impossible Lions Gate .13 (8,970) 15 0.13
Rust and Bone Sony Classics .12 (4,610) 117% 27 0.36
Amour Sony Classics 68,300 (22,770) 3 0.1
Chasing Ice National Geo 57,600 (1,240) -12% 47 0.72
Barbara Adopt 56,900 (3,790) 15 0.06
On the Road IFC 39,800 (9,950) 4 0.04
Sarocharu Blue Sky 32,400 (1.350) 24 0.03
Not Fade Away Par 18,200 (6.070) 3 0.02
Whatcha Wearin’? CJ Entertain. 6,600 (6,600) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Dec. 20, 2012)
Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Sony (25) 1761.2 17.10%
Warner Bros. (27) 1532.6 14.80%
Buena Vista (17) 1503.3 14.60%
Universal (16) 1213.2 11.70%
Lions Gate (20) 1201.1 11.60%
20th Century Fox (18) 976.5 9.50%
Paramount (21) 824.1 8.00%
Relativity (6) 202.4 2.00%
Weinstein Co. (18) 178.2 1.70%
Focus (9) 141.6 1.40%
Open Road (6) 138.5 1.40%
Fox Searchlight (10) 115.3 1.10%
CBS (4) 90.3 0.90%
Film District (5) 58.3 0.50%
Summit (4) 47.1 0.45%
Sony Classics (20) 47 0.45%
Other * (339) 289.3 2.80%
10320 100.00%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Domestic Grossers (Jan. 1 – Dec. 20, 2012)
Title Distributor Box Office
The Avengers BV 623,444,910
The Dark Knight Rises WB 448,159,219
The Hunger Games Lions Gate 408,043,896
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Lions Gate 279,005,734
Skyfall Sony 275,091,774
The Amazing Spider-Man Sony 262,083,357
Brave BV 237,229,573
Ted Uni 218,795,265
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted Par 216,509,794
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Uni 214,571,106
Men in Black III Sony 179,199,159
Wreck-It Ralph BV 169,922,525
Ice Age: Continental Drift Fox 161,029,989
Snow White and the Huntsman Uni 155,326,249
Hotel Transylvania Sony 143,942,931
21 Jump Street Sony 138,591,227
Taken 2 Fox 138,265,100
Prometheus Fox 126,477,084
Safe House Uni 126,367,263
The Vow Sony 125,074,813

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Guardians of the Galaxy 3.8 3462 -21% 262.1
As Above/So Below 3.2 2640 NEW 3.2
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.7 3543 -41% 153.3
If I Stay 2.6 3003 -62% 23.1
The November Man 2.2 2776 NEW 3.9
Let's Be Cops 2 3010 -39% 51.1
When the Game Stands Tall 1.4 2673 -52% 12.1
The Giver 1.3 2805 -37% 27.6
The Hundred-Foot Journey 1.1 1918 -30% 35.9
The Expendables 3 0.85 2564 -55% 30.5
Also Debuting
Cantinflas 0.81 382
Ghostbusters - 30th Anniversary 0.49 784
Rabhasa 0.1 86
Double Di Trouble 38,300 33
Life of Crime 30,600 35
Kundo: Age of Rampant 28,900 26
Swearnet 28,300 88
Raja Natwarlal 22,100 74
Peruchazhi 14,100 13
The Congress 7,560 13
The Last of Robin Hood 7,100 2
Starred Up 2,900 2
Temporary Family 2,800 5
Through a Lens Darkly 2,750 1
Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie 2,700 7
Last Weekend 1,350 1
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