By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekend Estimates by Klady
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.