By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekend Estimates by Klady On The Blue Crystals
There’s a $14m gap between Lucy‘s opening number and the next one on the summer chart (The Purge: Anarchy), $44 million to $30 million. I’m always interested in gaps like that.
There have been 30 films this summer so far that have been on 1,000 screens or more (not all opening… but eventually 1.000+ at some point in their release). Eleven have been at that $44 million or better. Twelve opened at $15m or below (some via limiteds). The seven in the middle have all gotten media hum that they are soft (The Purge: Anarchy, Think Like A Man Too, Hercules, Edge of Tomorrow, Tammy, Planes: Fire & Rescue, A Million Ways To Die In The West).
This is your studio middle class right now. Three sequels, two wannabe franchise funny people, and two movie star movies with male leads who are more popular internationally than domestically. Anyway… more food for thought than a fully formed argument at this point.
Lucy opened on the low end of the high end. But as we take each film individually, it was a sweet success. And audience reaction in testing before this opening suggests strong legs. In fact, according to Luc Besson (as seen in the DP/30 interview), Universal decided to go out 2 weeks earlier than originally planned to take advantage of how much audiences liked the movie. As it turned out, many critics, including some of the arty ones, went head-over-heels for the film, too. So a good feeling is being had by all (except those who don’t like the film… sorry, mates).
Brett Ratner’s followup to Tower Heist, Hercules… okay… stopping myself there. I haven’t seen this film and making assumptions about how mediocre it is would be unfair. On paper, it’s about the opening you would expect from The Rock… even a bit on the high end. Did Paramount’s normally brilliant marketing team get a damned thing out of the idea of it being a Hercules movie? Not really. It’s a 100% Rock sell. Even the lion attack that tags seemingly every piece of video on the film is without context. $29m is fine. The money will be overseas, if it’s there. This one is what they used to call “programmers.” These day, a $100m movie is a programmer… ha.
Woody Allen’s Midnight in the Moonlight was the per-screen king on 17 screens.
A nice start for Roadside Attractions and A Most Wanted Man, though it also reflects the solid, if not massive, hard core art house audience that is hungry for quality product that doesn’t stink of “direct-to,” especially during the summer.
Boyhood passed Snowpiercer this weekend, as the great big screen action movie should hit $4 million (the VOD ceiling) in theatrical next weekend and out while the intimate Linklater film successfully continues its expansion. The 300% screen expansion netting a 47% gross expansion clarifies the ultimate limitations of the 12 year production, but $10m theatrical seems completely possible.