MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

Despite considerable incoming heat (or because of it) The Lego Movie retained top spot during the Presidents’ Day holiday session with an estimated $48.9 million (all figures reflect the 3-day portion of the session).

The new crew included a potent $26.7 million start for a contemporized version of About Last Night in second spot; fair returns of $20.5 million for a re-engineered RoboCop and disappointment for a new embrace of 1981’s Endless Love and the weekend’s sole screen original Winter’s Tale with respective openers of $13.4 million and $7.5 million.

The new Bollywood entry Gunday was off to OK start of $512,000 at 159 venues and among exclusive debuts the Chinese import Beijing Love Story registered the best response with a $133,000 from a modest nine-screen bow.

Weekend revenues generated about $179 million (projected $210 million for four-day portion) for an impressive 16% uptick from the immediate prior session. It was also 6% improved from 2013 when the launch of A Good Day to Die Hard opened to $24.8 million and Identity Thief edged out freshman Safe Haven with a $23.7 million box office.

After a lull in its release schedule Sony opened two new titles (following on last weekend’s The Monuments Men) to albeit markedly different target audiences. About Last Night, loosely based on an early David Mamet play, was a movie hit back in 1986 with a Brat Pack cast and the new urbanized view looks to repeat that success. Studio exit polls revealed an opening crowd decidedly female with 63% of viewers and 57% aged 30-years and older.

The original RoboCop surfaced in 1987 and a quarter century later, the future law enforcement officer proved to be more brutal in an increasingly grimmer tomorrow. The film got a Wednesday jump start on the competition and entered the weekend with $4.75 million advance. Unsurprisingly it skewed male with 62% of the crowd but attracted an especially older crowd with 64% of buyers aged 25-years and older.

The original Endless Love solidified Brooke Shield’s popularity (and provided Tom Cruise with an early flashy turn) but won’t see a comparable result for Gabriella Wilde. The youthful romance drew in a lopsided 80% female audience with 76% aged 25-years and younger.

The supernatural love story Winter’s Tale got lost in the weekend mix. Its poor performance shouldn’t be attributed specifically to an audience desire to see the familiar. Reviews for the yarn were largely dismissive.

Weekend (estimates) February 14 – 16, 2014
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
The Lego Movie WB 48.9 (12,950) -29% 3775 129.2
About Last Night Sony 26.7 (11,840) NEW 2253 26.7
RoboCop Sony 20.5 (6.070) NEW 3372 25.4
The Monuments Men Sony 15.1 (4,890) -32% 3083 43.7
Endless Love Uni 13.4 (4,620) NEW 2896 13.4
Ride Along Uni 8.7 (3,470) -9% 2517 116.1
Winter’s Tale WB 7.5 (2,540) NEW 2965 7.5
Frozen BV 5.9 (2,820) -14% 2101 376.1
Lone Survivor Uni/eOne 4.1 (2,020) -27% 2013 118.4
That Awkward Moment Focus/VVS 3.4 (1,760) -35% 1922 21.4
American Hustle Sony/eOne 2.5 (2.300) -20% 1072 141.5
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Par 2.3 (1,790) -35% 1278 47.7
Vampire Academy Weinstein Co. 1.9 (710) -52% 2676 6.6
The Nut Job Open Road/eOne 1.8 (940) -52% 1918 57.6
The Wolf of Wall Street Par 1.8 (2,450) -29% 751 110.6
Philomena Weinstein Co, 1.4 (1,160) 78% 1225 30.5
Labor Day Par 1.3 (760) -60% 1664 12.5
Gravity WB 1.0 (2,760) -41% 355 267.9
August Osage County Weinstein Co. .83 (820) -44% 1010 35.7
Her WB .59 (2,320) -19% 255 23.3
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Lionsgate .53 (1,640) -19% 326 423.1
12 Years a Slave Fox Searchlight .53 (1,370) -35% 386 48.2
Gunday Yash Raj .51 (3,220) NEW 159 0.51
Nebraska Par .51 (1,560) -28% 324 15.8
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug WB .50 (1,750) -27% 285 256.1
Dallas Buyers Club Focus/Mongrel .40 (1,780) -35% 223 24.3
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $172.20
% Change (Last Year) 6%
% Change (Last Week) 16%
Also debuting/expanding
Gloria Roadside .30 (3,070) 20% 97 0.94
The Great Beauty Janus/Mongrel .14 (1,920) -8% 75 2.4
Beijing Love Story China Lion .13 (14,790) 9 0.13
The Attorney Well Go .11 (4,450) -48% 25 0.41
The Past Sony Classics .10 (1,250) -7% 77 1
Tim’s Vermeer Sony Classics 54,100 (4,510) 39% 12 0.2
Girl on a Bicycle Monterey 33,800 (820) 41 0.03
Idhu Kathirvelan Kadhal ATMUS 27,900 (1,640) 17 0.03
The Invisible Woman Sony Classics 27,400 (620) -54% 44 1.04
Starting Over Again ABS 7,700 (7,700) 1 0.01
Venus Talk CJ 5,500 (5,500) 1 0.01
Date and Switch Film Arcade 4,600 (460) 10 0.01
Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer Kino 4,300 (2,150) 2 0.01
Domestic Market Share (January 1 – February 13, 2014)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Mrkt Share
Universal (6) 231.1 19.50%
Paramount (7) 200.6 17.00%
Warner Bros. (5) 180.6 15.30%
Buena Vista (4) 148.2 12.50%
Sony (5) 102.4 8.70%
Lionsgate (6) 71.8 6.10%
Weinstein Co. (5) 54.6 4.60%
20th Century Fox (5) 53.6 4.50%
Open Road (3) 52.4 4.40%
Focus (2) 22.5 1.90%
eOne/Seville (5) 20 1.70%
CBS (2) 10.5 0.90%
Fox Searchlight (2) 9.8 0.80%
Other * (48) 24.4 2.10%
1182.5 100%
Top Domestic Grossers (January 1 – February 13, 2014)
Title Distributor Box Office
Lone Survivor Uni/eOne 114,137,838
Ride Along Uni 107,373,795
Frozen * BV 107,098,566
The Lego Movie WB 80,302,930
American Hustle * Sony/eOne 71,502,071
The Wolf of Wall Street * Par 67,297,197
The Nut Job Open Road/eOne 55,750,656
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug * WB 54,083,299
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Par 45,446,861
Saving Mr. Banks * BV 37,924,912
August: Osage County * Weinstein 34,627,788
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues * Par 34,314,662
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones Par 32,406,910
The Monuments Men Sony 28,668,667
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire * Lionsgate 27,049,114
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty * Fox 25,775,674
Her * WB 20,852,461
The Legend of Hercules Lionsgate 18,445,280
That Awkward Moment Focus/VVS 18,062,946
I, Frankenstein Lionsgate 17,864,878
* does not include 2013 box office

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 7.9 3980 -69% 97.2
Guardians of the Galaxy 6.9 3697 -44% 204.4
The Expendables 3 5.8 3221 NEW 5.8
Let's Be Cops 5.6 3094 NEW 14
The Giver 4.7 3003 NEW 4.7
Into the Storm 2.3 3434 -65% 25.9
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.1 2043 -43% 18.6
Lucy 1.6 2520 -44% 103.8
Step Up: All In 0.75 2072 -74% 9.9
Hercules 0.6 1475 -67% 66.6
Also Debuting
Singham Returns 0.2 127
Anjaan 61,500 57
The Trip to Italy 32,600 6
Frank 5,500 1
Life After Beth 5,300 2
Lovers 3,500 9
Fort McCoy 2,600 2
Abuse of Weakness 2,600 1
Dinosaur 13 2,500 14
Jelousy 1,700 1
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
It was supposed to be a horse race (notwithstanding Belmont) but at the finish line the singular teen romance The Fault in Our Stars left the competition in the dust with an estimated $48.1 million debut. Conversely, the frame’s other major release Edge of Tomorrow proved disappointing in a distant second at $28.9 million.
Exclusive newcomers were strong, including a solo Manhattan campaign of $9,400 for Citizen Koch. Much-ballyhooed abortion-themed rom-com Obvious Child proved fertile with $84,100 at four dispensaries.
In the niches, Indian import Holiday partied fair at $373,000 while Pinoy romantic comedy Maybe This Time grossed an impressive return of $552,000 on a trifling 51 screens.
Revenues for the session exceeded $160 million and ebbed 3% from last weekend’s tally. It was 8% improved from 2013 when the debut of The Purge posted $34 million and holdovers of Fast & Furious 6 and Now You See Me duked it out for place position with respective box office of $19.6 million and $19 million.
Industry tracking pitted The Fault in Our Stars against Edge of Tomorrow with the former demonstrating a slight edge as it picked up momentum toward opening day. The adaptation of John Green’s YA novel of teens who strike sparks in a cancer support group had a prognosis of $35 million.
The tide truly turned when Fault generated $8.2 million and Edge took in $1.8 million from Thursday previews. Crystal ball-gazers upped the ante to $55 million but the picture took another surprise turn with an unexpected 31% drop from Friday to Saturday business. Strong WOM in exit polling bodes well to broaden the opening weekend crowd, a predictaly 82% of women and was 79% aged 25-years and younger.
Edge of Tomorrow appeared to suffer from the amusement park factor with the movie crowd opting to skip this particular fun ride. Tracking had pegged the pic to open at between $32 million and $34 million. Reviews were upbeat for the futuristic mayhem with a Groundhog Day twist that opened a week earlier in 27 international territories to $18.7 million.
Exit demos also indicated that the sci-fier wasn’t particularly stepping on Fault’s toes with a 61% male tilt and 73% of the audience aged 25-years and older. A studio spokesman expressed confidence for a strong second weekend hold but history and upcoming competition definitely have the picture bucking considerable odds. International prospects are already ahead of Edge of Darkness’s likely final domestic tally with a second weekend estimated at $82 million that included a $25 million bow in China, $16.6 million in South Korea and Russia with $8.6 million.
Open Road's Chef expanded effectively again, prepping $10 million domestically.
Weekend (estimates) June 6 - 8, 2014
Title
Distributor
Gross (average)
% change *
Theaters
Cume
The Fault in Our Stars
Fox
48.1 (15,160)
NEW
3173
48.1
Maleficent
BV
33.6 (8,520)
-52%
3948
127.5
Edge of Tomorrow
WB
28.9 (8,280)
NEW
3490
28.9
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Fox
14.9 (4,090)
-54%
3639
189
A Million Ways to Die in the West
Uni
7.2 (2,270)
-57%
3160
30.1
Godzilla
WB
6.0 (1.920)
-50%
3110
185.1
Neighbors
Uni
5.2 (1,940)
-36%
2674
137.8
Blended
WB
4.0 (1,370)
-51%
2928
36.5
Chef
Open Road
2.5 (1,940)
32%
1298
10.3
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Sony
1.9 (1,290)
-46%
1481
196.3
Million Dollar Arm
BV
1.8 (1,120)
-49%
1643
31.4
Belle
Searchlight
.75 (1,580)
-40%
476
7.6
Rio 2
Fox
.72 (1,030)
-35%
702
125.6
Maybe This Time
ABS
.55 (10,820)
NEW
51
0.55
The Other Woman
Fox
.48 (980)
-65%
489
83.2
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
BV
.43 (1,360)
-31%
317
255.9
Holiday
Big Pictures
.37 (2,590)
NEW
144
0.37
Heaven is for Real
Sony
.37 (830)
-54%
446
88.8
Words and Pictures
Roadside Attractions
.29 (2,940)
269%
98
0.54
Grand Seduction
eOne
.28 (3,020)
-13%
97
0.82
The Lego Movie
WB
.26 (960)
-5%
274
255.8
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Fox Searchlight
.24 (1,280)
-37%
185
57.8
Ida
Music Box
.21 (2,540)
-10%
84
1.3
The Immigrant
Weinstein
.19 (1,320)
-39%
145
1.4
Divergent
Lionsgate
.19 (650)
-43%
298
149
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)
$156.60
% Change (Last Year)
8%
% Change (Last Week)
-3%
Also debuting/expanding
Fed Up
Weinstein Co.
83,600 (950)
-49%
88
1.2
Obvious Child
A24
84,100 (21,030)
4
0.08
Cold in July
IFC
68,900 (970)
-38%
71
0.25
Night Moves
Cinedgm
48,500 (1,520)
126%
32
30,800
Lunchbox
Sony Classics
50,700 (1,100)
-9%
46
4.1
Filmistaan
UTV
35,500 (1,480)
24
0.04
WolfCop
Echolands
34,900 (4,360)
8
0.03
Ping Pong Summer
Gravitas
26,400 (1,760)
15
0.03
Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon
Weinstein Co.
23,200 (5,800)
4
0.02
Only Lovers Left Alive
Sony Classics
22,800 (760)
-53%
30
1.6
Tracks
Mongrel
13,800 (2,760)
5
0.01
Citizen Koch
Variance
9,400 (9,400)
1
0.01
Trust Me
Paladin
5,100 (565)
9
0.01
Burning Blue
Film Arcade
4,600 (380)
12
0.01
The Case Against 8
Submarine
4,300 (1,430)
3
0.01
Test
Variance
2,400 (800)
3
0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 - June 5, 2014)
Distributor
Box Office
Market Share
Warner Bros. (12)
728.5
16.80%
Buena Vista (11)
677.1
15.60%
20th Century Fox (11)
615.2
14.20%
Sony (11)
577.7
13.30%
Universal (10)
540.5
12.50%
Paramount (8)
322.2
7.40%
Lionsgate (13)
285.4
6.60%
Open Road (6)
95.1
2.20%
Fox Searchlight (5)
83.7
1.90%
Weinstein Co. (12)
76.5
1.80%
Relativity (5)
75.5
1.80%
FreeStyle (6)
68.9
1.60%
Focus (6)
39.2
0.90%
eOne/Seville (14)
35.3
0.80%
Other * (142)
107.9
2.60%
4328.7
100.00%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Domestic Grossers (Jan. 1 - June 5, 2014) *
Title
Distributor
Box Office
The Lego Movie
WB
255,590,340
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
BV
255,447,104
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Sony
194,388,396
Godzilla
WB
179,093,006
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Fox
174,401,266
Divergent
Lionsgate
148,811,524
Frozen *
BV
137,534,677
Ride Along
Uni
134,965,071
Neighbors
Uni
132,600,495
Lone Survivor
Uni/eOne
125,026,404
Rio 2
Fox
124,909,565
Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Fox
110,162,081
300: Rise of an Empire
WB
106,601,189
Noah
Par
100,950,258
Maleficent
BV
93,846,968
Non-Stop
Uni
91,869,306
Heaven is for Real
Sony
88,412,645
American Hustle *
Sony/eOne
82,661,672
The Other Woman
Fox
81,725,819
The Monuments Men
Sony
78,132,865
* does not include 2013 Box Office