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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Friday Estimates by MockingLen, Part 1

Friday Estimates 2014-11-22 at 9.00.10 AM

So. Hunger.

There are no sure answers after one day. Just aren’t. Is this film—a middle film in a four-film set—going to accelerate or just be less popular than the rest? Not sure. But I can tell you that the domestic on the Potter finale, Part One, ended up being #4 in the series while the final finale was #1. Worldwide it was #3 vs. 7a’s #1… a massive 40% behind the ultimate finale. But there is this… the international number for 7a was the second best in Potter history, behind only 7b.

On Twilight, the first half of the finale also dipped domestically, behind the two films before it and the one after. Internationally, as with Potter, the Part 1 of the 2 part finale was the second strongest performer of the series.

As for the opening day number, here is how I would choose to parse it. There have been 19 days—opening or otherwise —of $40 million or more in the last three years. There have been just nine Fridays over $40 million in the last 3 years. There was Transformers 4 with $42 million. And now, Mockingjay. Last year, there were 3: Man of Steel ($44m), Iron Man 3 ($69m), and Catching Fire ($71m). (THG was the only one without the word “man” in the title… feminists of the world, you are welcome for that micro-stat.) In 2012, there were four: THG with $67m, Twilight 4b with $71m, TDKR with $76m, and Avengers with $81m.

In simpler terms… great launch for this year, significantly off of the previous film in the franchise… and wait for the international numbers before anyone makes a boo-boo face about these numbers. (Because we now live in a movie world where people complain about $100m+ domestic openings that aren’t big enough.)

There are dozens of factors in this situation. And… no one really knows. But I can tell you that the Hollywood Reporter story on the drop in the Lionsgate stock price on Friday after it seemed likely that this weekend’s release would open under $150 million was wildly misleading, as the Lionsgate stock price peaked for the year earlier in the week in anticipation of THG3 and the Friday drop brought the stock down to its 6th or 7th best closing number on a day of the entire year.

If you want to worry about Lionsgate stock price, this time next year would be a good time… if the company isn’t sold by then.

Will Mockingjay Part 1 open to $122m, reflecting the weekend wave of Catching Fire? No one knows. Will it open to more than $150m domestic as the first two films in the franchise did? Probably not. Could the film still outperform Catching Fire worldwide? Yes. Will it be the #1 THG film internationally? Probably.

There are other films at the box office this weekend. Big Hero 6 continues to float between Wreck-It-Ralph and Frozen. Dumb & Dumber To dropped hard, though not much of a surprise there. In a rarity for a U.S. comedy, they will be keeping a close eye on international on this one, as the first film performed unusually well overseas.

Interstellar is going to be in a fight for screens as it tries to get to $150m domestic. It should still make it because of the Thanksgiving holiday. But not a cakewalk. I expect an announcement that international has hit $300m this weekend, making $500m worldwide a lock and offers the possibility of $600m worldwide. But do keep an eye on the Chinese piece of that number, which returns less than half the rental that other international markets do.

Gone Girl is closing out, but will pass $155m domestic this weekend. It’s easily Fincher’s biggest domestic hit and should soon become his #1 worldwide grosser.

St. Vincent is also near the end and will close around $40m domestic. Fury is now past Moneyball domestically and internationally.

On the awards stage, Birdman added five screens to 862, but it now over the hump of its domestic revenue picture, unless award season revives it. It will likely pass $20m eventually (February?), but it will have to wait until Thanksgiving to get to $15m. The Theory of Everything expanded by 99 screens to 140 and should double last weekend’s gross.

Very quiet for the non-awards arthouse scene. Only two new films seem likely to crack the $10k per screen level this weekend, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night on two screens and Monk with a Camera on one.

One Response to “Friday Estimates by MockingLen, Part 1”

  1. michaeljones says:

    Mockingjay is expected to hit big, lot o ads and promotion for this one.

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