By David Poland email@example.com
Friday Estimates by More-Complex-Than-Expected Klady
Prisoners is one of the more interesting releases of the month. It’s being sold pretty simply as a thriller. Two names, both of whom give their very best to the film, lead the way, but don’t guarantee box office success. And a movie that, once seen, is more than meets the eye (or is that “beats the eye”?). Personally I am rooting for it, though I fear for most movies that demand more of the audience than the audience was expecting. Once in a while, audiences are surprised and delighted by it. But WB has had some success with this, releasing The Town and Contagion in September.
We’ll see what the fate of Prisoners is. And that will start with how it plays today (Saturday).
Also opening is Battle of the Year, for which I don’t recall seeing a single ad. I’m sure some have been out there… but not in my conscious life. Pretty underwhelming number, especially for Screen Gems. This is looking like the third or fourth-lowest grossing wide release in the history of the division.
Personally, I don’t get Rush going out on 5 screens. It’s a big ol’ movie and it kicks ass. But women are an issue. And a per-screen of under $40k per on 5 for a movie getting a big studio push is not a home run. So maybe they just have trouble in River City on this one. Snow White was catnip for women and Thor’s hottie-ness. F1 isn’t… unless the women are very hot, very rich, and a little slutty (per the story). And for guys, is anything less than Thor kicking ass going to bring them in? I am rooting for this movie big time as well. It’s is certainly in the Top 3 of studio movies released this year to date. But September may have been a giant release date mistake. At least in summer the Nascar crowd is milling about. Finding the audience this one deserves is rough.
Also in limited is Enough Said, which, being a Nicole Holofcener movie, is a much better candidate to build word-of-mouth on the coasts. And amazingly, it is doing better per-screen than Rush on just one less screen. Holofcener is a brand at the art house and the NYT rave helps and the casting of both Julia Dreyfus and James Gandolfini in his final role. But Holofcener first. A much happier story than Rush right now.