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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Think Like A Klady

Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 8.51.57 AM

We’re gonna box office like it’s March!

The opening for Think Like A Man Too is very good… just not an improvement on the first. In fact, given that Friday numbers are still estimates (shhh… don’t tell anyone… the truth would require a lack of false authority), the numbers are close enough to be statistically identical. Does this mean that we’re looking at a $33.6 million weekend? Possible… but no one actually knows until it happens. (EEK!)

Jersey Boys, which might as well have been made by The Wooster Group for all it cares about its audience’s pleasure, had all the signs of a mid-summer dump by Warner Bros. Historically, Clint Eastwood holds a lot of sway on how WB publicizes and markets his films. So maybe there was a more exciting push that never happened. But given the material, the raw stuff to make great spots may not exist. All that said, the film should be one of Eastwood’s best 5 openings ever as a director. I didn’t realize until I just looked it up that Eastwood’s best opening weekend as a director is $18 million for Space Cowboys, though Gran Torino did $29.5 million on its first wide expansion. And he’s only had two $40m+ grosssers in the last decade (9 films). So the box office on Jersey Boys will be right in line with Eastwood’s directorial resume. The project, originally bought by Graham King for Scorsese about 7 years ago, right after The Departed, never came together (would they have Benjamin-Buttoned Leo for Valli?) and Eastwood was a safe choice… though he took the musical – not the music – out of the show, damning it to footnote status.

The rest of the Top Ten is enjoying a weekend of nice holds so far, with the worst being a completely reasonable 2nd Friday vs 1st Friday drop for 22 Jump Street with 55% off, which probably leads to something more like 50% for the weekend. The film passes $100m domestic today.

DWA has to be a little concerned about How To Train Your Dragon 2 is still a few million ahead of the original after 8 days in the market, but is trending down while the original had some of the strongest legs DWA has had. If Saturday is anything like Friday, the original film will pass the 9-day box office number for Dragons 2 and that trend will not turn. We’ll see. The one advantage that Dragon 2 has is that it has 2 more weeks before any direct competition, from Earth To Echo, and then 2 weeks later, Planes 2, neither one of which should shake the world. So we’ll see.

Maleficent has been leggier than I imagined and $200 million domestic is looking well within reach. Foreign – aside from China – could hit $300 million this weekend. China could generate a huge number for the film. And Japan is still pending. So $600 million worldwide is not a long-shot.

The Fault In Our Stars, the weepie that launched a thousand trend pieces, will get close to the $100m domestic mark this weekend. But oddly, after starting with $26m on one day, will feel a bit faded and frustrating in the end… though highly profitable. What will be fascinating to watch is these kinds of film suddenly going from underdogs to overdogs and the additional costs that stem from that. Will the industry overindulge, underindulge, or just price the goose laying golden eggs to death? Time will tell.

X-Men: Days of Future Past has now doubled any previous X-Men movie (aside from the not-X-branded The Wolverine, which X-Men: DoFP is still ahead of by almost $200m) and will, in fact, pass the $700 million mark that I suggested early on was the real first-level goal at Fox for this film. So good on them. I underestimated the film.

It’s also worth considering – as X-Men, Spiderman, and Captain America has each generated $100m in the Chinese market – that Chinese grosses currently return half (or less than half) of rentals vs grosses to American distributors compared to the other international markets. Given the big numbers, this is no small rounding error in box office coverage. When you are looking at the billion dollar hits, $25 million in rentals not coming in from China is not a huge deal. When the biggest movies of the year (so far) are returning under $350 million against budgets of $200m-plus and marketing budgets well over $100m worldwide, $25m is pretty significant (7% of theatrical net or more).

No real excitement on the indie side this weekend. The top per screen film is Coherence, from Oscilloscope. Described by the studio as “part cerebral sci-fi and part relationship drama,” I must admit, it wasn’t even on my radar (even though I love Oscilloscope).

I expect numbers for Obvious Child, The Signal, and The Rover tomorrow.

3 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Think Like A Klady”

  1. Smith says:

    I saw 22 Jump Street the other night and came away really disappointed. Can’t believe it’s getting such good reviews. The whole “we’re doing a sequel” thing was barely funny after the first few scenes (and was done better – and in song form – by Muppets Most Wanted earlier this year), and the inverted dynamic between Hill and Tatum just turns the whole thing into another dumb pro-jock homoerotic bromance frat comedy, which basically completely misses the point about what was novel and fresh about the first one – IMO, obviously. Maybe I’m just sick to death of this type of comedy (Neighbors wore me out quickly for similar reasons), but by the time the action shifted to Spring Break I was ready to leave. I didn’t, but maybe I should have.

    There are people out there who genuinely like this movie, and genuinely believe it’s as funny and good as the first movie? What on Earth am I missing? I’ve read a few of the positive reviews and just can’t imagine that we watched the same movie.

  2. leahnz says:

    fwiw i’m also in the ‘should have left well enough alone’ camp on 22 Jump St — 21 Jump managed a certain simple, goofy charm while it subverted nerd/jock tropes to giggly effect (tho i thought it fell apart in the last act going OTT scattershot, but i’m still a fan of it as an example of lowbrow urban humour that mostly worked for me), while 22 Jump would seem to indicate that going meta and subverting your subversion is easier said than done, i don’t think the directors quite have the satirical skills for that, at least not yet anyway

  3. movieman says:

    Jersey Boys, which might as well have been made by The Wooster Group for all it cares about its audience’s pleasure

    That made me laugh.
    Thanks, Dave.

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