By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekend Estimates by Cap 2 2 Klady
So… Captain America 2 dropped off about the expected amount, but Rio 2 did not. The first Rio had a 68% bump on its first Saturday… this one 28% (according to Mojo). Fox, which is now releasing DreamWorks Animation, also saw a 78% Saturday bump in the first Peabody weekend. So what happened? Well, the educated guess would be that Rio (which, for he record, opened a little better than its sequel) was a tweener, never really getting as hot as you might have expected with the younger audience that runs to the multiplex for animated movies in huge numbers. There may also be some general softness in the marketplace for animation with 3 titles in the last 2 months an a week… not to mention an underperforming Muppets movie. The only one to really excel was The Lego Movie and a big part of that gross was a non-traditional (stoned) adult animation audience. Interestingly, there have been more animated releases in these last 10 weeks than we will have all summer long.
One other note on Rio… where was the talent on this one? I saw Tracy Morgan on some show, mentioning that he was selling this movie for a second or two (the new norm on the Jimmy circuit… and for that matter, on Stewart and Colbert, as he was). I guess Anne Hathaway has been in hiding and when she stuck her nose out, the only story was that she was sticking her nose out. But never heard a peep from Jesse Eisenberg, Jamie Foxx or Leslie Mann. I know the later two have movies in the next 3 weeks to promote and perhaps Jesse is not allowed to appear intentionally in public while bald, but Rio was not the kind of hit that suggested that the second film could sell itself. And it really didn’t… even though the outdoor was fantastic.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier will pass the total domestic gross of Captain America by next Saturday, maybe even Friday. Still a bit to go, worldwide, to come up to the post-Avengers Marvel standard of $650m and above (2 films and counting) and has a reasonable shot at getting there from its current $477 million. It’s running slightly ahead of Thor 2 domestically, though Thor 2 was leading into the riches of Thanksgiving weekend, and is well ahead of Thor 2 internationally at this point in the run, though Cap 2 was released much more aggressively. I haven’t done a territory by territory breakdown, but Cap probably has another $70 million and change in him domestically and would then only need another $75m from international to make the $650m mark worldwide.
Oculus did what horror usually does… dies by the end of the weekend. But with a $5 million budget and tight marketing, $20m and change domestically and ancillaries makes for a profitable piece of business.
Draft Day did okay. Smells like mostly female-driven ticket buying. Will the guys, especially over 35s, show up in the next couple weeks before the actual NFL draft based on word-of-mouth?
Is The Raid 2 suffering from indie glass ceiling? The expansion worked out film this weekend, but it was softer going into the expansion. Sony Classics is playing the release plan a bit differently this time and will be hoping that this weekend – the biggest grossing weekend of either of the 2 Raid films – will lead to strong word-of-mouth and a bit of a hold. Last time, they dropped 38% of their screens the week after their widest expansion. If they hope to beat the gross of the first Raid, they can’t do that this time… but audiences need to show up. As one of the few companies in this arena that doesn’t do VOD on top of theatrical, films like this, that Magnolia or IFC would VOD a week before opening theatrically, add interesting case studies that studios, like big Sony, will examine as they consider day-n-date options for smaller releases moving forward.
300: Rise of an Empire hopes to get to 1/2 the domestic gross of 300 by next weekend so they can quit. But the international crowd showed up, nearly matching the gross of 300 overseas and suggesting that there may be a little more blood that can be squeezed out of this stone, albeit at a lower price with direct-to-Netflix or DVD or some such thing likely for domestic consumption.
Under The Skin did some decent numbers, considering the challenging content. The Lunchbox and Le Week-End are both solid adult audience movies that deserve more of an audience, but are getting nice support in sticking around by their distributors.
Only Lovers Left Alive and The Railway Man were the per-screen leaders of the weekend, with both on just 4 screens, proving the love for Jim Jarmusch and Colin Firth out there. Also nice numbers for Finding Vivian Meier. Joe, a strong film from David Gordon Green, starring Nic Cage, is out there looking like no one outside of media knows its out there. Likewise, Dom Hemingway. As noted regarding Raid 2, it’s very hard out there for the bigger indie distributors to get theatrical going these days now that indie audiences have become used to the VOD option on every film.
Would we really expect the duo of Nymphomaniac films to do under $1.5m combined in years past? Volume II opened to less than half what V1 did domestically. Meanwhile, the film will be profitable against a $5m cost of production, thanks for $9.5 million in theatrical overseas for the first film alone. But what are the VOD numbers? And how do the VOD numbers cannibalize the theatrical? Clearly, this system works for companies working on tighter margins, like Magnolia and IFC. But are the Sony Classics and Fox Searchlights going to be squeezed into either playing the VOD game or getting out of the business of the “smaller” titles and the theatrical market for these films gets weaker and weaker?