MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

It was a rewrite for the record books weekend as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire set a new benchmark for the Thanksgiving holiday with an estimated $75.2 million gross (figures reflect 3-day period).

The frame’s top newcomer, the animated Frozen, also had reason to crow. Its $66.7 million debut ranks as the biggest bow for a ‘toon and its company’s top non-live action launch. The other national debutantes were, however, not the belles of the ball. Actioner Homefront struggled to $6.8 million and slotted sixth in the lineup and two notches down the adaptation of legit favorite Black Nativity went in the red with $3.9 million. The limited wide Oldboy, adapted from the South Korean cult favorite, also looked grim with an $840,000 box office.

Exclusives were led by an $82,500 box office for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom at four sites. Also encouraging was the $20,100 opening for the indie The Punk Singer on two screens.

In the niches the new Hindi actioner Bullett Raja was disappointing with $147,000 as was Telugu comedy, Venkatadri Express, with a gross of $37,200 at 21 venues.

The session also featured significant expansions of Philomena and The Book Thief that generated OK results of $3.5 million and $4.9 million, respectively. There was also an excellent harvest for Nebraska that added 74 playdates and marked a $740,000 journey.

Overall revenues generated close to $215 million ($310 million for the 5-day portion), which marked a 7% decline from the immediate prior weekend. It was a slim 1% improvement from Thanksgiving 2012 when The Twilight Saga finale grossed $35.5 million and the top newcomers were Rise of the Guardians ($23.8 million) and Life of Pi ($22.5 million).

Frozen melted some recent icy returns for family fair with impressive numbers but just not quite sufficient to vanquish archer Everdeen. Its opening crowd was 81% families according to studio exit polling. It was also 57% female and overall 58% of opening crowds were 58% 25-years and younger.

Next weekend traditionally is among the lowest grossing sessions in any calendar year and 2013 should conform to that trend with but a single new wide release (Out of the Furnace). It will be followed by a flurry of new releases and strategic expansion as the majors balance the sublime, ridiculous and Oscar-worthy.

Weekend (estimates) November 29 – December 1, 2013
Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Lionsgate 75.2 (18,060) -52% 4163 297.7
Frozen BV 66.7 (17,820) NEW 3742 93.1
Thor: The Dark World BV 11.2 (3,400) -21% 3286 186.8
The Best Man Holiday Uni 8.5 (4,950) -51% 1712 63.4
Delivery Man BV 6.9 (2,260) -13% 3036 19.4
Homefront Open Road/VVS 6.8 (2,630) NEW 2572 9.6
The Book Thief Fox 4.9 (3,950) 701% 1234 7.9
Black Nativity Fox Searchlight 3.9 (2,570) NEW 1516 5
Philomena Weinstein Co, 3.5 (4,240) 2665% 835 4.5
Last Vegas CBS 2.7 (1,470) -38% 1854 58.7
Dallas Buyers Club Focus/Remstar 2.6 (3,750) -3% 696 10.3
Gravity WB 2.6 (2,550) -19% 1016 249.7
12 Years a Slave Fox Searchlight 2.3 (1,970) -19% 1165 33.1
Free Birds Relativity 1.8 (790) -66% 2287 53.2
Bad Grandpa Par 1.8 (1,190) -48% 1503 98.8
Ender’s Game Lionsgate 1.3 (1,510) -36% 843 59.5
Captain Phillips Sony 1.2 (1,460) -35% 807 102.8
Oldboy FilmDistrict .84 (1,440) NEW 583 1.2
Nebraska Par .74 (7,250) 127% 102 1.5
The Christmas Candle Echolight .42 (1,160) -50% 361 1.7
Cloudy with a Sense of Meatballs 2 Sony .37 (530) -57% 707 115
About Time Uni .36 (1,100) -71% 331 14.7
Despicable Me 2 Uni .35 (1,310) 4% 271 366.9
All is Lost Roadside Attractions .20 (1,340) -44% 151 5.4
Ram-leela Eros .19 (2,010) -60% 94 2.6
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $205.90
% Change (Last Year) 1%
% Change (Last Week) -7%
Also debuting/expanding
Bullett Raja FIP .15 (1,220) NEW 121 0.15
Blue is the Warmest Color (Adele) Metropole/IFC .14 (1,390) -33% 98 2.1
The Great Beauty Janus .13 (6,690) 143% 19 0.25
Mandella: Long Walk to Freedom Weinstein Co, 82,500 (20,620) 4 0.08
Kill Your Darlings Sony Classics 69,400 (940) -31% 74 0.76
Venkatadri Express AZIndia 37,200 (1,770) 21 0.04
The Armstrong Lie Sony Classics 29,300 (950) -32% 31 0.19
The Punk Singer IFC 20,100 (10,050) 2 0.02
Violette Metropole 9,400 (1,180) 8 0.01
11 A.M. CJ Entertainment 8,400 (8,400) 1 0.01
Cousin Jules Cinema Guild 3,900 (3,900) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Nov. 24, 2013)
Distributor (releases) Box Office (millions) Market Share
Warner Bros. (21) 1623.8 16.90%
Universal (17) 1370.5 14.20%
Buena Vista (14) 1347.5 14.00%
Sony (18) 1060.1 11.00%
20th Century Fox (16) 989.1 10.30%
Paramount (14) 824.4 8.60%
Lionsgate (26) 783.2 8.10%
Weinstein Co. (24) 475.7 4.90%
Relativity (8) 221.2 2.30%
FilmDistrict (8) 201.6 2.10%
Open Road (6) 115.8 1.20%
Fox Searchlight (10) 98.6 1.00%
Focus (9) 91.4 0.95%
CBS (4) 74.1 0.75%
Sony Classics (17) 68.8 0.70%
eOne/Seville (27) 59.6 0.60%
Other * (312) 232.1 2.40%
9637.5 100%
* none greater than 0.45%
Top Global Grossers (Jan. 1 – Nov. 28, 2013)
Title Distributor Box Office
Iron Man 3 BV 1,214,790,498
Despicable Me 2 Uni 916,980,174
Fast & Furious 6 Uni 788,109,425
Monsters University BV 744,055,947
Man of Steel WB 663,863,028
Gravity WB 586,134,118
Thor: The Dark World BV 558,170,787
World War Z Par 540,229,757
The Croods Fox 517,148,263
Oz the Great and Powerful BV 494,038,163
Star Trek Into Darkness Par 467,388,403
The Wolverine Fox 416,641,188
Pacific Rim WB 415,727,134
G.I. Joe: Retaliation Par 374,141,049
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Lionsgate 373,911,216
The Hangover Part III WB 360,880,112
Django Unchained * Weinstein/Sony 356,247,618
Now You See Me Lionsgate 355,447,610
The Smurfs 2 Sony 347,515,628
The Conjuring WB 315,569,706
A Good Day to Die Hard Fox 305,391,077
The Great Gatsby WB 302,806,488
Les Miserables * Uni 301,287,664
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey * WB 288,252,146
Oblivion Uni 286,697,768
* does not include 2012 box office

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
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