MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

Buzz in the New

They simply can’t put a stake through the heart of Texas Chainsaw. The newest incarnation of the 1974 original, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, was top of weekend movie sales with an estimated $23.1 million debut.

Chainsaw was also the only new national release though several late-year award qualifiers also expanded to national exposure. Eco-themed drama Promised Land failed to ignite with the addition of 1,650 screens and a gross of $4.2 million. More promising though hardly explosive was The Impossible with a $2.8 million from 572 locations.

Also expanding from exclusive to limited status was Oscar-touted Zero Dark Thirty on the hunt for Osama with a $2.7 million gross from just 60 playdates. The flip side was the total collapse of Not Fade Away that eked out $278,000 at 565 garages.

Other new titles were scarce. Bollywood entry Table No. 21 was moribund and the lastest Up—56 and counting—on the Brit kids first intro’ed almost a half century ago—had a decent start of $28,400 on two screens.

Domestic 2012 box office wound up cashing in with $10.87 billion and a more than encouraging 6.2% revenue boost from the immediate prior year. Admissions were also on the rise by roughly 3%.

Historically, going to the movies reflects economic conditions but lags by three years. In this instance, looking back to 2009 would suggest few folk at the multiplex. But the thing about trend analysis is that when things change one has to alter the graph.

Still, there’s nothing one can point to definitively to explain why exactly there was such a significant upturn. One pundit proffered to this scribe that “the movies were better.” “Better” remains an amorphous term. Qualitatively, one would have to find a newfangled apparatus to gauge on that basis and the results would likely display a positive in micromillimeters.

If the standard is measured on the basis of profitability, the outcome is equally fuzzy. As with any year, there were hits and misses. Does the $1 billion-plus worldwide box office of The Avengers wipe out the $250 million writedown taken on John Carter and leave money on the table? The answer can only be found in the bowels of the creative accounting department.

What has changed (and not simply in 2012) is the actual composition of the audience. The once vigorously and slavishly pursued demo of 18-25-year-old males was likely the fastest eroding segment of ticket buyers. Conversely bean counters tell me that there’s tremendous growth among both sexes aged 25-34.

However, the future isn’t merely re-jiggering the production slate to reflect the tastes of a more mature audience. Apart from this week’s launch of Texas Chainsaw, there’s relatively little for the once-dominant young crowd to see on the big screen.

What ought to be keeping execs up late at night is the prospect that younger audiences are losing the moviegoing habit. These very folk were exposed to the experience by parents who had “it” but they have opted for other pursuits—including alternative platforms to view movies—upon reaching the age of maturity. So the link in the chain has effectively been broken or at least been temporarily severed.

If nothing is done to reset the situation. the next generation will have even fewer moviegoers and the medium will be truly on the road to oblivion. Ignore the inevitable at your own peril.

Weekend (estimates) January 4 – 6, 2013
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
Texas Chainsaw Lionsgate 23.1 (8,710) NEW 2654 23.1
Django Unchained Weinstein Co. 19.8 (6,580) -34% 3010 106.1
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey WB 17.5 (4,660) -45% 3755 263.8
Les Miserables Uni 16.1 (5,540) -41% 2904 103.6
Parental Guidance Fox 10.1 (2,990) -31% 3368 52.7
Jack Reacher Par 9.4 (2,870) -31% 3288 64.9
This is 40 Uni 8.5 (2,910) -32% 2931 54.4
Lincoln BV 5.3 (2,800) -27% 1901 144
The Guilt Trip Par 4.5 (1,950) -31% 2312 31.2
Promised Land Focus 4.2 (2,490) 2302% 1675 4.5
Monsters Inc. (reissue) BV 3.9 (1,844) -40% 2103 27.9
Silver Linings Playbook Weinstein Co. 3.6 (4,880) -11% 745 34.7
Skyfall Sony 3.2 (2,480) -29% 1307 297
Life of Pi Fox 2.9 (2,980) -24% 965 91.1
The Impossible Lionsgate 2.8 (4,840) 1414% 572 3.4
Zero Dark Thirty Sony 2.7 (45,500) 764% 60 4.4
Rise of the Guardians Par 2.5 (1,680) -49% 1507 97.1
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Lions Gate 1.5 (1,770) -38% 825 289.2
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Apart Par 1.2 (1,500) -49% 817 10.8
Wreck-It Ralph BV 1.2 (1,640) -38% 709 178.5
Hyde Park on Hudson Focus 1.0 (4,680) 142% 222 3.2
Argo WB .79 (2,620) -22% 302 110.1
Hotel Transylvania Sony 51 (1,810) -10% 281 145.8
Anna Karenina Focus .34 (2,120) -34% 163 11.5
Not Fade Away Par .28 (490) 405% 565 0.42
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $146.30
% Change (Last Year) 8%
% Change (Last Week) -17%
Also debuting/expanding
Rust and Bone Sony Classics .17 (4,470) 47% 39 0.88
Amour Sony Classics 62,700 (22,230) 1% 3 0.31
Table No. 21 Eros 33,200 (1,580) 21 0.03
56 Up First Run 28,400 (14,200) 2 0.03
All Superheroes Must Die Image 2,700 (270) 10 0.01
Top Domestic Grossers (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 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
Skyfall Sony 290,904,271
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Lions Gate 286,422,893
The Amazing Spider-Man Sony 262,083,357
Brave BV 237,262,103
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey WB 228,546,604
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 175,990,019
Ice Age: Continental Drift Fox 161,139,599
Snow White and the Huntsman Uni 155,326,249
Hotel Transylvania Sony 145,321,690
Taken 2 Fox 138,936,379
21 Jump Street Sony 138,591,227
Lincoln BV 134,189,097
Prometheus Fox 126,477,084
Safe House Uni 126,367,263
The Vow Sony 125,074,813
Magic Mike WB 113,741,031
The Bourne Legacy Uni 113,462,849
Argo WB 108,720,920

FINAL MARKET SHARES 2012

Distributor (releases) Gross (millions) Mkt Share % Change Rank ’09
1 Sony (25) 1780.6 16.40% 40% 3
2 Warner Bros. (27) 1651.8 15.20% -8% 2
3 Buena Vista (17) 1551.5 14.30% 26% 4
4 Universal (17) 1325.5 12.20% 27% 5
5 Lionsgate (21) 1209.5 11.10% 553% 10
6 20th Century Fox (19) 1024.5 9.40% 5% 6
7 Paramount (23) 919.8 8.50% -53% 1
8 Weinstein Co. (19) 257.5 2.40% -13% 8
9 Relativity (6) 202.4 1.90% -11% 9
10 Focus (10) 145.1 1.30% 14% 12
11 Open Road (6) 140.8 1.30% 459% 18
12 Fox Searchlight (10) 117.1 1.10% -22% 11
13 CBS (4) 92.3 0.80% 60% 15
14 Film District (5) 60.7 0.60% -52% 13
15 Sony Classics (21) 47.6 0.40% -46% 14
16 Summit (4) 47.1 0.40% -89% 7
Other (345) 294.2 2.70% N/A
10868 100% 6%

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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