By David Poland email@example.com
Friday Estimates by Boy Band Klady
One Direction: This Is Us has found a comfortable spot, right between Michael Jackson and Justin Bieber… that is, on the Best Opening For A Concert Film Chart.
Lee Daniels’ The Butler continues to chug along, dropping just 24% Friday-to-Friday. The film will pass $70m this weekend and could get close to $75m.
Meanwhile, We’re The Millers passed $100m yesterday. If Kathryn Hahn is responsible for, say, 5% of the laughs in Millers, it would be nice if 5% of the audience for that film went to go see her kill it in Afternoon Delight. But it doesn’t work that way.
The number from Klady on Instructions Not Included, a 347-screen Spanish-language comedy release by Lionsgate, were so big that I had to double-check it. But indeed, this niche release will be the second biggest limited (under 500 screens) of the last 3 years, behind only Mission:Impossible – Ghost Protocol‘s IMAX-only week-before-wide release. Even more impressive, the next closest limited launch in that period was a studio basically previewing – Pitch Perfect‘s $5.1m on 335 last year – and after that, it’s $2.2m for Casa de mi Padre with $2.29m. That is more of the territory in which Instructions Not Included is working. The closest this year have been niche film Chennai Express and Roadside Attraction’s Mud, both with $2.2m launches.
This is one of those game-changing moments which will change distributor behavior for a while, as they experiment in this niche. Searchlight stuck their toe in with L’Auberge Espagnole and Lucia Lucia in 2003. This is Lionsgate’s 7th attempt at this kind of mainstream Spanish language release in the last few years. The company did have its biggest Spanish-language hit with Ladrón que roba a ladrón that opened to about a quarter of what Instructions is doing. This time, Lionsgate may have hit hit Tyler Perry, uh, gold.
Getaway, which Len incorrectly put in the Sony column, is a classic WB dump, sold like a direct-to-DVD movie. (haven’t seen it, so no opinion about whether there was more there worth pursuing.)
And Closed Circuit, which got some very nice notices (I also skipped that one), also smelled of a dump. Focus has actually used this release date more skillfully than anyone out there to release non-genre, high-quality films years. But those were all wide releases. This is closest to The Illusionist, which Yari opened slowly then expanded on Labor Day weekend, doing $8 million in 4 days on 971 screens. Circuit won’t get close to that.
Top English-language per-screen opener looks to be Afternoon Delight, with an okay-ish $4250 per on Friday on 2 screens. None of the other limited English-language newcomers – some quite good – got past $1k per on Friday. Ugh.