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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Pop Soundtrack Klady

Weekend Estimates 2014-08-03 at 9.05.55 AM

What can one say about an estimated $93.2m opening for Guardians of the Galaxy? Well done, Disney.

The estimate is being rounded up by the studio and some outlets so that it is bigger than Godzilla, the #2 opening of the summer and #3 for the year. And indeed, it may be bigger. It may also be smaller. In the rush to write, it seems that now nearly all outlets have chosen to acknowledge that no one actually knows what will happen on the day we project into 3-day estimates each late Saturday night/early Sunday… Sunday. The bigger the gross, the less trustworthy the estimate. And given that Disney is estimating a bigger Sunday for Guardians than for Cap 2 or Godzilla and slightly smaller than the $100m-opening Transformers 4, we really, really don’t know. But estimates are not estimates anymore… they are marketing. And so, “94m!” Definitively above Godzilla… until it is or is not actually that.

Guardians is – regardless of whether it is a little higher or a little lower – the #1 opening in August by about a 35% margin. It is either the #3 or #4 opening of the year and #2 or #3 of the summer. It gives Marvel-based films four of the six top openings in 2014 with Avengers 2 due up to launch next summer. If it has the same trajectory as Cap 2, it will gross about $255m domestically. But as is now the norm, because of the price tag, the international is where the real revenue question lives. That larger front got off to a good start this weekend with about $66m in roughly half the rest of the world.

Get On Up opened to around $14m, and 42 opened to around $27m. They are saying that there was a Saturday bump, so that is a good sign, box office-wise… not about word-of-mouth, but about the kind of audience that is going to see the film. Better chance of stronger legs.

Lucy held up pretty well against the Guardians onslaught and this weekend suggests, as much as anything, that whomever at Universal decided to move the movie into an earlier summer slot was very, very smart. The film should hit $100m domestic in the next 10 days.

Roadside Attractions has had a good history with summer dramas and that continues with their handling of A Most Wanted Man, which expanded nicely this weekend. It should become the distributor’s #3 all-time grosser next weekend and is sure to be their #2, though whether it can topple their #1, Mud, and its $21.6 million is a question. But worth noting… it’s not a VOD movie on top of theatrical.

IFC also has a summer hit in Boyhood, which is currently IFC’s #3 all-time. There is a giant anomaly in IFC’s history… My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It is an outlier in virtually every way. But in the rest of IFC history, Boyhood is now their widest release ever and has remained solid in a slow expansion. How much wider will it go and how quickly? We’ll find out one week at a time. Maybe IFC is not pushing their story as hard as the Weinsteins were pushing theirs… but no coincidence that none of IFC’s Top 3 pictures were scheduled for VOD on top of theatrical.

The Woody Allen, Magic in the Moonlight, is kicking along with a strong $11,440 per screen on 65 screens. But the real questions will start to be answered as the film expands further. SPC has been a little more aggressive on the theater counts with this release so far, so it will be interesting to see if they go wider than 800 screens or not… and what the gross is.

Fox Searchlight opened Calvary on 4 screens to very strong numbers. It will be interesting on this one to see if the religious groups show up before it’s over in theatrical. But indie movie lovers should come out.

25 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Pop Soundtrack Klady”

  1. Spacesheik says:

    Saw ‘Guardians’ last night, a skillfully made space pop epic, real crowd pleaser, the audience loved it. Highly entertaining. James Gunn really managed to balance all the elements: pop culture references, comic book mayhem, space opera, cheeky comedy, just right.

  2. Razed by Wolves says:

    I liked Guardians pretty well, but I’m definitely excited to see the sequel, where they can get into the meat of a story without all the setup-y stuff (hopefully in the vein of X2 and Spidey 2). I’d give the movie a B, but Rocket gets an A+. You almost had me tearing up, you digital rodent you…

  3. Martin says:

    Hey David, if you got a minute, I’m interested in your thoughts on what is the real 800ib gorilla, Cap3 v Batman/Superman.

    I assumed Feige would flinch and move Cap. But after GotG, I think the real reason is the only way to make sure BvS (ie JLA Beta) doesn’t have an opening that rivals Avengers is by counter-programming and siphoning.

    They’ll jockey for opening night, hoping one pushes the other to Wednesday midnight, which should screw up the 3-day weekend totals by front-loading the diehards into Thursday. So BvS doesn’t get the clear skies Avengers got for a 3-day weekend haul.

    And both may not cross 90 million because there are not enough IMAX/3D screens to share. So Cap3 could end up owning more 2D screen real estate, and BvS gets more IMAX/3D, but one without the other doesn’t get you to 100 million, or near the Avengers 2 opening, which is going to be the new peak.

  4. JS Partisan says:

    If DC are smart. They give Supes and Bats their own day. Marvel is such a stronger property than DC has ever been on film, and DC needs to realize this. It’s just math.

    It also makes sense, to sell Batman v Supes as something special, and give it it’s own slot. The movie may be shit, but those two characters are finally on the big screen together. DC/Warners needs to treat it like it means something more than another sequel, and trying to open it against Cap III is just nonsensical.

  5. PcChongor says:

    That kind of release date siphoning/dick wagging is exactly what’s going to eventually bring the parent company owned studios to their knees in the coming years. Disney might still be able to afford a sacrificial lamb in “Cap 3,” but Warners, Universal, Sony, and Paramount are going to be in for a real world of investor hurt if they ever start using the same tactics.

  6. SamLowry says:

    I hope there are enough theaters in Israel to make up for the lost revenue from the universal boycott that will break out across the rest of the Middle East when Bats vs Supes premieres.

  7. Hcat says:

    Avatar 2 will go over schedule grab that date and push them both off.

    And I hope they cancel each other out just because this prActice of calling dibs on weekends years in advance is ridiculous.

  8. EtGuild2 says:

    “Marvel is such a stronger property than DC has ever been on film”

    Critically, TDK trilogy is the strongest superhero property in history, and if Nolan had chosen to film TDK in 3D it may have been the highest grossing as well…of course, Marvel/Disney is much stronger now, but I still don’t see the point of this matchup. Especially since “Ant-Man,” at this point, may not make its release date/is at risk of flopping, and the April date is a proven goldmine now.

  9. Triple Option says:

    @SamLowry, why a ban on Bats vs Supes in the Middle East?

  10. SamLowry says:

    Triple Option, because Wonder Woman tweeted “I am sending my love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens…Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children…We shall overcome!!! Shabbat Shalom! #weareright #freegazafromhamas #stopterror #coexistance #loveidf”.

    If folks weren’t aware that the actress is Israeli, they know now, and she’s making sure that everyone who isn’t on board with Israel will think twice before buying a ticket to this flick. Kinda like if Robert Downey, Jr. showed up at, say, the AVENGERS 2 premiere wearing a “Free Tibet” T-shirt.

  11. JS Partisan says:

    Gal is a member of that military, so this sort of post is going to happen. Also, is Freeing Tibet really comparable to this nonsense Israel is doing? You also are missing the reference here. It would be like RDJ showing up to the Avengers 2 premiere in a Ron Paul shirt, and going on about how libertarianism helped him out.

  12. SamLowry says:

    Also, “this practice of calling dibs on weekends years in advance is ridiculous”…and giving us shitty movies that never would have been greenlit if they hadn’t been part of a franchise.

    I can’t even remember the last time I was blown away by a major release–usually tentpoles range between barely okay to downright awful because the studio was in such a mad rush to make a coveted opening date that everyone thought dazzling effects and a rushed pace will distract your attention away from the lousy script.

    Though I haven’t seen LUCY yet (I’ll wait until I can rent it from Mr. Redbox for $1.27), I suspect that if it had been a spec script it would’ve been copied like samizdat, read over the phone, and performed at parties to the breathless guffaws of the audience because it is hilariously awful. But when a director who can lay his hands on $40M says he pulled it out of his own ass, who’s going to argue with him?

    What bugged me the most about INTO DARKNESS is that it felt like it had been dreamed up by a 9 year-old with ADD and a poor sense coherence, yet I’m sure Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof each walked away with at least $100k for writing this piece of garbage. And since it made money they’ll be paid to write even more garbage.

  13. SamLowry says:

    JSP, no one will forego AVENGERS 2 because of support for Ron Paul; Mike Huckabee, maybe. David Duke, definitely.

    And theaters will definitely close across China if Downey rocks that T, since China is what it’s all about these days.

    (BTW, the under-30 crowd is blaming Israel for this one.)

  14. matt says:

    Nice hold (-33%) for Planes Fire and Rescue.

    Does 22 Jump Street’s 180 million+ gross vs. 21 Jump Street’s 130 million guarantee a 23 Jump Street?

  15. Jerryishere says:

    @SamLowry if K/O/Lindelof got 100k to write into darkness they have the worst agents in the biz.
    They each pocketed 7 figures + residuals that are probably another 7 figure pay day.

    Writing tent poles is lucrative.
    Writing them with the stellar track record those guys have is HIGHLY lucrative.

  16. SamLowry says:

    It’s too bad their tent poles and track record suck.

    You could grab anyone off the street, offer them $100 to write a one-page synopsis for the next Star Trek movie, and it would be just as good. Maybe the test would be to grab three people off the street, toss in a synopsis from Lindelof, and ask a Paramount exec to pick the one that gets a seven-figure payday.

  17. leahnz says:

    define ‘stellar’… (if that means box office-wise then ok, but if not — i don’t know i’d rather like to throttle K/O/Lindelof and put a pox on their houses for somehow making their messy, nonsensical shitstream writing the default of the moment; i really wish they’d all take a long holiday in Siberia, get LOST in the woods and try to find their way out using their combined logic of a nine year old school kid)

  18. SamLowry says:

    …and I just happened to be reading 6 High-Tech Movie Facilities That Make No Sense when I checked the comments and realized a few fans were okay with Abrams’ TREK 1 only because they were embracing fanfic that patched all the plot holes in that movie.

    When you have to rely on the fans to make up more shit to fix your shitty work, all I can say is…wow.

  19. Jermsguy says:

    Guardians had a runtime of 121 minutes. Can we applaud a big-budget action blockbuster telling such a relatively tight story?

  20. EtGuild2 says:

    Some strange actual vs estimates results this weekend. GUARDIANS did indeed finish above GODZILLA, and just shy of CAP. The estimate for PLANES was way too high, and for PURGE and NEIGHBORS wayyyyyy too low.

  21. arisp says:

    Stellar eh… For me it would have to be Gravity. The experience, more than the film, but still. Maybe Tree of Life, There Will be Blood, No Country…

  22. leahnz says:

    oh FTR when i wrote ‘define stellar’ i was referring to this comment of jerrishire’s above mine about kurtzman orca and lindelof (OKA the unholy trinity of satan): “Writing them with the stellar track record those guys have is HIGHLY lucrative.” as is often the case i was trying to comment in a rush so my reference may have been clear as mud.

  23. Martin says:

    Martin says:
    August 3, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Hey David, if you got a minute, I’m interested in your thoughts on what is the real 800ib gorilla, Cap3 v Batman/Superman.

    So next time, I’ll make my hint more overt. I was really hoping you would drop a column about the ramifications for WB, before it broke.

  24. JS Partisan says:

    The ramifications are what they are: DC is starting to do something, that Marvel has seemingly perfected. It’s not an easy task they are trying to undertake, but the move does give them room to grow.

  25. SamLowry says:

    Hard to believe that all Marvel “perfected” is putting out coherent movies that don’t collapse under the weight of flawed logic.

    You know how they say you’re your own worst editor? Most scripts read like first drafts that were never scrutinized by anyone with a clear head.

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