MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

Add a franchise to the list. Guardians of the Galaxy swept up roughly half of weekend box office biz with a commanding estimated $93.2 million debut. That left the other national newcomer Get On Up working hard to secure third position with $14.1 million.

Among exclusive bows there was encouraging initial response for the dark Irish walk along the Via Doloroso, Calvary, with $71,600 from four confessionals. The frame also featured noteworthy expansions for Boyhood and Magic in the Moonlight.

In the niches a couple of Indian imports were off to solid starts. The Tamil Jigarthanda grosed $138,000 at 22 venues while the Telugu Run Raja Run had a $119,000 box office from 16 playdates. In Quebec the $100 million-plus grossing French comedy Qu’est ce qu’on a fait au bon dieu? (What have we done, good god?) was off to good response of $132,000 at 31 locations.

Session revenues climbed to more than $185 million, expanding business 20% from last weekend. It also reversed month-long b.o. declines, with a 36% upturn from 2013. Twelve months back, the opening of 2 Guns led with $27.1 million with The Wolverine right behind with $21.3 million and the $17.5 million launch of Smurfs 3 a disappointing third.

The Marvel magic continued with Guardians of the Galaxy. While hardly one of the pulper’s better-known titles, previews and early reviews elevated interest in the film that translated into the biggest Thursday preview gross of 2014 with $11 million. Tracking for the sci-fi adventure generally pegged a potent bounty of between $85 million and $90 million and some pundits held out hope for a 9-figure opening following Thursday’s result.

The film skewed slightly male at 56% with 55% of the initial crowd aged 25-years and older. Studio exits also identified 26% of the audience as families.

Guardians also opened day-and-date in 42 international territories to an estimated $66 million. It was Putin’ on the ritz in Russia with $13 million. Other notable bows were $11 million in the UK, $6.5 million in Mexico and $4.7 million in South Korea.

Papa had a truly mixed bag for the Godfather of Soul James Brown. Critics were divided about Get On Up but regardless gave actor Chad Boseman an awards worthy thumbs up. Tracking was not encouraging and the film fell mid-way between estimates of $13 million to $15 million. Unlike Ray. the new film has an awfully long haul to award season. It also has to expand its audience from opening weekend studio demos that identified it as 70% African American. Talk about art imitating life. The film also tilted 63% female with 90% of the audience aged 25-years and older.

On the alternative side. Boyhood added 204 engagements and continued to maintain excellent per screens. There were also strong results for the expansion of Magic in the Moonlight and just OK returns for the aggressive roll out of A Most Wanted Man.

Weekend (estimates) August 1 – 3, 2014
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
Guardians of the Galaxy BV 93.2 (22,850) NEW 4080 93.2
Lucy Uni 18.3 (5,710) -58% 3202 79.6
Get On Up Uni 14.1 (5,700) NEW 2468 14.1
Hercules Par 10.7 (2,980) -64% 3595 52.4
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox 8.7 (2,640) -48% 3283 189.3
Planes: Fire & Rescue BV 6.4 (1,970) -33% 3241 47.5
The Purge: Anarchy Uni 5.5 (2,080) -47% 2656 62.9
Sex Tape Sony 3.5 (1,410) -42% 2500 33.9
And So It Goes FreeStyle/VVS 3.2 (1,780) -30% 1816 10.4
A Most Wanted Man Roadside Attract 3.0 (4,090) 11% 729 6.7
Boyhood IFC/Mongrel 2.4 (7,680) 36% 311 7.4
Transformers: Age of Extinction Par 2.2 (1,260) -54% 1732 241.1
Tammy WB 1.6 (1,110) -55% 1415 81.5
How to Train Your Dragon 2 Fox 1.2 (1,410) -45% 861 168.6
Maleficent BV 1.2 (1,800) -33% 681 234.7
22 Jump Street Sony 1.2 (1,410) -55% 828 188.4
Magic in the Moonlight Sony Classics .,74 (11,440) 81% 65 1.3
Begin Again Weinstein Co. .67 (920) -57% 727 13.8
Chef Open Road/VVS .66 (1,890) -14% 350 28.3
Wish I Was Here Focus .61 (810) -47% 753 3.1
Edge of Tomorrow WB .57 (1,420) 9% 402 98.6
The Fluffy Movie Open Road .50 (1,160) -62% 432 2.3
Earth to Echo Relativity .46 (860) -67% 536 37
Captain America: The Winter Soldier BV .39 (2,110) 187% 185 259.3
Kick UTV .38 (2,210) -64% 174 2
America Lionsgate .36 (760) -60% 478 14.1
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $180.15
% Change (Last Year) 36%
% Change (Last Week) 20%
Also debuting/expanding
Jigarthanda Sun Pictures .14 (6,280) 22 0.14
Qu’est ce qu’on a fait au bon dieu? A-Z Films .13 (4,250) 31 0.13
Run Raja Run Great India .12 (7,440) 16 0.12
She’s Dating the Gangster ABS .11 (2,580) -55% 43 0.57
Calvary Fox Searchlight 71,600 (17,900) 4 0.07
I Origins Fox Searchlight 68,400 (560) -11% 122 0.23
Child of God Well Go 36,400 (3,640) 10 0.04
Mood Indigo Drafthouse 29,300 (1,542) 21% 19 0.11
Finding Fela Kino 13,100 (6,550) 2 0.01
Rich Hill Orchard 8,600 (8,600) 1 0.01
4 Minute Mile Gravitas 6,500 (720) 9 0.01
Louder Than Words ARC 4,700 (470) 10 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – July 24, 2014)
Distributor Box Office Market Share
20th Century Fox (13) 1144.6 18.30%
Warner Bros. (15) 991.5 15.90%
Sony (15) 902.5 14.50%
Buena Vista (14) 880.3 14.10%
Universal (12) 696.5 11.20%
Paramount (10) 603.3 9.70%
Lionsgate (14) 301.7 4.80%
Open Road (7) 115.3 1.80%
Relativity (6) 112.5 1.80%
Weinstein (16) 95.7 1.50%
Fox Searchlight (6) 89.1 1.40%
FreeStyle (7) 77 1.20%
Focus (8) 42.4 0.70%
eOne/Seville (17) 37.5 0.60%
Other * (196) 152.7 2.50%
6242.6 100.00%
* none greater than 0.4%

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4