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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Klady

Wekedn Esitmates 2013-12-08 at 9.48.37 AM

Not much happened at the box office while I was gone.

On the annual weekend where Hollywood has made a tradition—with a few exceptions—of not opening anything of any real box office weight, the only wide opener was Relativity’s Out of the Furnace, which is a very serious drama with a touch of genre.

Frozen, a week younger than The Hungrier Games, made a meaningless shift in the most meaningless and overstated box office stat… rank. The significant story for Frozen is that it’s the biggest grosser after 3 wide weekends for Walt Disney Animation Studios, the brand that has been working in tandem with Pixar for the last 6 years. Aside from The Lion King, $219m domestic is the magic number for non-Pixar Disney animated releases—albeit, Beauty & The Beast and Aladdin are both over 20 years old—and Frozen has a real shot at becoming the #2 all-time non-Pixar Disney release. Worldwide, Tangled‘s $391m international gross is a much tougher challenge.

As for The Hunger Games; Catching Fire, the 2nd film in the series will pass the 1st in worldwide gross sometime this next week. The question is how much more the film has in the tank. My guess would be that $850m – $900m worldwide is where we’re headed… with foreign about $75m over domestic, aka about 150% higher internationally than the first time around.

Out of the Furnace is kind of a step backward for Relativity. It’s a tough movie with a distinctly adult target audience, but you have to do better than that. Relativity hasn’t really released non-genre material in their three-year history. The closest film to Furnace was Act of Valor, which is Relativity’s 2nd best opening ever… but that was sold heavily on direct involvement with the Navy SEALs and Furnace is, in a literal way more than a thematic one, about a military veteran who is not having an easy go of it. You have to wonder if they would have been better off holding the film until there was some awards glow around American Hustle, but you also have to respect Relativity for making the push for Furnace as a prestige film instead of simply trying to sell the genre elements and to work off of the wake of its lead actor’s other film.

I am kind of amazed that Inside Llewyn Davis is the one of only 4 Coen Bros movies—at least, as best I can tell via Box Office Mojo—that has had an exclusive opening in the last 20 years. In any case, nice number… not an answer to any real box office question. This year alone, you have Spring Breakers doing $88k per and doing $14 million and Blue Jasmine doing $102k per and doing $32 million. So where does that leave Llewyn? Who the hell knows? (Rhetorical. The only legit answer is, “no one.”) O’ Brother, Where Are Thou didn’t open as well ($37k per on 5) and did $45 million as the music caught on. Time will tell.

We are in that odd time when awards movies are doing business, but generally holding their water until they can capitalize on the free publicity of nominations and awards to come. This weekend the serious Best Picture contenders are at slot numbers 9, 10, 11, 13, 16, 17, and 19, grossing between $410,000 and $2.1 million each.

37 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Klady”

  1. GexL says:

    OLDBOY at <$2 million after two weekends has to be one of the biggest flops I've ever seen reported on this chart.

  2. EtGuild2 says:

    Luckily, Disney didn’t make the entire movie twice this time around like they did with TANGLED, so FROZEN will be much, much more profitable.

    Speaking of expensive movies, 47 RONIN bombed in Japan this weekend. That movie’s going to really put a damper on Universal’s banner year.

  3. Tuck Pendelton says:


    Uni’s been aware of 47 Ronin’s fate for some time. I used to work there, and yeah – that movie was never brought up in conversation around the office. It literally bummed people out knowing how bad it was going to do, and this was literally two years ago.

    LA Film critics go for Bruce Dern. And a lot of love for HER.

  4. Joe Leydon says:

    Just heard AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY isn’t opening Dec. 25 as wide as originally planned. Bad sign? Good sign?

  5. hcat says:

    Everything about Osage County screams Shipping News to me. On paper it looks unbeatable but on screen it will simply be a decent movie.

    And all the love for Her just seemed to come out of nowhere right? Warners is having a helluva year, other than Pacific Rim I have had a great time with everything I’ve seen. Even the stodgy 42 and superslick Gangster Squad hit right in the movie pleasure center of my brain.

  6. berg says:

    August Osage County is still opening where it matters (NY, LA) and rolling out slowly … I think it is a good sign

  7. EtGuild2 says:

    Warners has had a mighty strange year that’s been like a commercial triptych…started off with 5 massive flops, movies that grossed $400 million worldwide on an estimated combined production budget of $400 million. Then followed with 5 very high profile releases (42, Gatsby, Man Of Steel, Pacific Rim, Hangover) that were profitable ($1.875 billion on estimated $660 million production cost) but were largely seen as underperforming or barely coming out ahead.

    Since then, they’ve released movies that exceeded expectations wildly at the box office ($1.375 billion on estimated $220 million budget) and with audience response (Prisoners, Gravity, Conjuring, We’re the Millers…Getaway being the one exception).

  8. chris says:

    “August Osage County” is not “Shipping News.” The latter was a disaster, but “August” is a decent and surprisingly not-too-stagebound adaptation.

  9. movieman says:

    “August” is a decent and surprisingly not-too-stagebound adaptation.

    …and “Last Mile Home” by Kings of Leon heard over the closing credits is killer.

  10. WhiteAmericanPossiblyJewishSanj says:

    “…and “Last Mile Home” by Kings of Leon heard over the closing credits is killer.”

    x_O [brain explodes]

    Honestly, sincerely, I will never see this movie because of that. Even if I thought it was my favorite movie ever, it would be instantly ruined if I heard that playing over the end credits. I don’t mean to offend anyone with my taste, I just… can’t. approve.

  11. cadavra says:

    ET: And don’t forget GRUDGE MATCH, which will do very well with all them geezers who supposedly don’t go to movies and spend money on stuff.

  12. movieman says:

    x_O [brain explodes]

    Honestly, sincerely, I will never see this movie because of that. Even if I thought it was my favorite movie ever, it would be instantly ruined if I heard that playing over the end credits. I don’t mean to offend anyone with my taste, I just… can’t. approve.

    I don’t understand any of that.
    And wasn’t this written expressly for “Osage”? If not, I don’t know why Weinstein would be bothering to campaign for Best Song recognition.
    (Which they are.)

  13. leahnz says:

    I’m really looking forward to ‘osage’ — for some reason i’m hanging out for a cracker scathing family dramedy (not enough of those imo, i tend to watch the same ones over and over on dvd) and it looks to fit the bill nicely.

  14. berg says:

    I just tossed in the DVD of Ghosts of Girlfriends Past … you know this is the prequel to Dallas Buyers Club …

    “I don’t know how to soften this Dutch. But nobody is going to miss you.”

  15. Breedlove says:

    Unrelated – no Smaug in 48fps? Has that ship sailed?

  16. Sam says:

    Hobbit 2 is going out on more 48fps screens than Hobbit 1 did. But the media and industry reception of 48 fps has been sour enough that the studio isn’t seeing fit to emphasize the frame rate in their press releases.

  17. EtGuild2 says:

    Tracking for this weekend seems so far off, this might be looked back on as a weekend that helped kill it once and for all. HOBBIT 2 exceeding the first HOBBIT? Uhhh…HUNGER GAMES taking a giant 55-60% drop after the second slowest weekend of the year? Righhht. Madea having her worst weekend since she debuted? Mmmmkay.

    All of this seems really loopy. A mid 40′s drop for FROZEN even seems odd given the top 4 holdovers fell an averaged 31% this weekend last year, and that seems to be the trend going back. I’d say the weather is a factor, but the HOBBIT projection upends that. Maybe the weird “one fewer shopping weekend” thing is screwing everything up.

  18. Jack1137 says:

    EtG what is the Tracking numbers? You’re Estimates on Frozen and HG:CF in Saturdays thread may have been too ambitious.

  19. EtGuild2 says:

    CATCHING FIRE is tracking at -55 to -58%, making it the biggest projected drop on this weekend in the last 6 years (since the badly maligned “Golden Compass”) for a film previously in the top 5. HOBBIT is tracking at around $90 million…it does have the benefit of earlier Thursday screenings, but this is just sheer insanity IMO. FROZEN is looking at a mid-40′s drop which is significantly higher than every comparable animated film, from TS 2 to TANGLED on this weekend in the last 15 years. That number is already probably impossible considering the FROZEN daily today was only -18% over last Monday.

    Either everyone secretly loved the first HOBBIT and is deciding to flee FROZEN and HG in record droves to make the sequel the biggest December opening of all time or something is off. And that still leaves the Madea number, which is at least 20% too low, period.

  20. RayBreslin says:

    Yeah this is real madness. Crazy stuff.

  21. EtGuild2 says:

    AbigailBreslin, Lionsgate stock has plummeted 17% since HG debuted because of ridiculous tracking projections that led to inflated analysis and subsequent articles that included words like “dissappointment.” Since so much of the market is automated, keyword box-office analysis now counts for news and led to a 10% one day sell-off the day after first weekend numbers came in and a 7% one-day sell-off after a bigger than expected drop this weekend. So this stuff does have a significant financial impact, glib statements aside.

    If Time Warner investors go in this weekend expecting a record-setting December debut for “The Hobbit,” expect them to flee come Monday.

  22. chris says:

    I can see why “Hobbit” expectations are a crapshoot, though. The last one sucked so hard that people may have been turned off for good, so is the fact that the new one is entertaining enough to change their minds?

  23. palmtree says:

    Leah, it fits the bill alright. Quite nicely. I enjoyed it and anticipate at least one acting nod out of it. Meryl is a good bet methinks.

  24. leahnz says:

    good to know palmtree – weird about Meryl, from (admittedly not very many) things i’ve heard/read about her perf as the acerbic matriarch some people seem to think she kills it and a few others describe her as ott to the point of eye-rolling excess, but i’ll be happy to see for myself – i tend to dig her more outrageous turns with a comedic touch, she’s a hoot, and her character seems kind of deliciously horrible in A:OC so it sounds like my cup of tea.

  25. EtGuild2 says:

    BTW…on movies, “Berberian Sound Studio.” Holy masterpiece. I had “Upstream Color,” “Gravity,” etc as my films this year. I’m practically shaking after watching “Berberian Sound Studio,” too much, so….

  26. Ray Pride says:

    There are no notable Hobbit singalongs, in this one, Chris, and much action.

  27. YancySkancy says:

    BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO just landed on Netflix Instant, so I guess maybe I’ll add it to the queue.

  28. Chris says:

    Agreed, Ray, although there’s that godawful song by Ed Sheeran or whatever his name is at the end. But if you’re not a credit watcher like me, you can just skip out on that, anyway.

  29. Ray Pride says:

    I just read about the source of the song: someone admired by Jackson’s daughter.

  30. Ray Pride says:

    Artsy yet artful: BERBERIAN is good, knowing fun.

  31. angrywhiterichmencontroltheuniverse says:

    I really enjoyed “Berberian…” but was a bit let down… loved the style and mood, and was nuts for the soundtrack, but I just didn’t feel the story. Toby Jones is so good though, I feel the story must have really really been lacking to not capitalize on that… would rather be rewatching “Suspiria” in the end…

  32. Chris says:

    I think anyone going into “Berberian” hoping for an experience akin to “Suspiria” is doomed. But if you go in hoping for something along the lines of “Peeping Tom” …

  33. Hcat says:

    “If time Warner investors go in this weekend looking for a record opening…….”

    Even though Lionsgate will likely have the highest domestic grosser this year (unless the guy who sells me my food truck tacos is right about Burgendy 2 outgrossing Avatar) they are still a mom and pop company compared to the majors. With an outfit as big as Warners one movie, let alone one weekend isn’t going to move the needle either way.

  34. EtGuild2 says:

    Lionsgate’s going to end up outgrossing Fox and Paramount domestically for the second straight year (and will give Sony a run for its money), and will come within spitting distance worldwide. It’s not an apples to apples comparison because of the conglomerates involved, but I think the days of thinking of Lionsgate as a mom-and-pop shop underdog are probably over.

    Big movies still push the needle on the majors. Disney had a 10% jump in early May during the Iron Man 3 numbers, and a 15% jump after Avengers. At it also took a beating after the JOHN CARTER debut. Any film with a big price tag can move a stock if it overshoots or undershoots expectations. If HOBBIT 2 debuts under, say 75 million…

  35. Hcat says:

    Lionsgate owns no cable channels, has a small television division, and no broadcast network or theme parks. There is just vastly different revenue streams going into the majors than Lionsgate (who has grown impressively).

    And carter cratered causing huge write offs, heads to roll, the fountains at Disney to flow red with blood……a somewhat softer opening to hobbit wouldn’t cause that type of panic. And the avengers stock bump can be more likely seen as a confirmation of the marvel buy (as well as a buy back of everyone who dumped when carter opened)

  36. EtGuild2 says:

    Completely agree on LG. But a $200 million film almost always causes immediate movement when it underperforms or overperforms, in the weeks after its debut (and after the inevitable quarterly revisions), and Viacom, Time Warner, etc aren’t immune. We saw it several times this year. People like Nikki have created a hype machine where illusory projections now have real-world impact.

  37. Mike says:

    If there are any stock drops it should be for Sony thinking they can turn Spiderman villains into franchises. I guess someone, somewhere is looking forward to a Venom movie, but a series? And is anyone looking for a Sinister Six movie? I thought that would happen in one of the Spiderman movies. I know they don’t have the rights to many Marvel characters, but I just don’t understand this move at all.

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