MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

American Sniper continued to hold sway at the box office with an estimated weekend gross of $63.9 million. Trailing in second place was the debut of the sexual suspenser The Boy Next Door with $15 million. Two other titles opened nationally with near-D.O.A. results. The not-so-madcap comedy Mortdecai was deathly with $4.1 million and the animated Strange Music (“from the mind of George Lucas”) eked $5.5 million.

In limited wide release the emotionally charged Cake had an OK bake off of $976,000. The session also included a trio of new films from India with best results for the Hindi Baby of $423,000 from 85 engagements. A torrent of exclusives produced no standouts with results varying from good for hockey doc Red Army to puzzling for the Al Pacino vehicle The Humbling.

Overall revenues for the frame approached $160 million that translated to a 22% decline from the 3-day portion of last weekend’s MLK holiday. It was a significant 34% improvement from 2014 when the second weekend of Ride Along grossed $21.3 million and no new release cracked the top 5.

With close to $200 million in two weeks of wide release American Sniper has evolved into a phenomenon on and off screen. It’s almost reached a level where anyone brave enough to question its artistry, content or perspective is in danger of being brought up on charges of treason.

While none of the new titles in the marketplace was expected to display significant commercial potency, The Boy Next Door at least came close to tracking expectations and produced on a mini-budget will prove profitable. Studio exit demos revealed a decidedly female crowd of 71% and a plurality Hispanic viewer at 45%. Additionally the audience was 60% aged 25-years-old and more senior.

The other new entries appeared to suffer in different fashion. Mortdecai was promoted as a wacko comedy and a change of pace for headliner Johnny Depp. It was not what fans wanted to see and attracted a 52% female crowd with a whopping 76% of viewers aged 25-years and older.

Conversely, Strange Magic’s dubious selling point was its association to the Star Wars creator and that proved insufficient for mass imagination. Demos skewed slightly female at 56% with 71% of viewers identified as families and 53% aged 25-years and younger.

Weekend (estimates) January 23 – 25, 2015
Title Distributor Gross (average) % chng Thtrs Cume
American Sniper WB 63.9 (17,240) -28% 3705 199.6
The Boy Next Door Uni 15.0 (5,760) NEW 2602 15
Paddington Weinstein Co. 12.3 (3,680) -35% 3355 40
The Wedding Ringer Sony 11.3 (3,770) -45% 3003 39.4
Taken 3 Fox 7.6 (2,600) -49% 2909 76
The Imitation Game Weinstein/Elevation 7.0 (3,450) 3% 2025 60.5
Strange Magic BV 5.5 (1,830) NEW 3020 5.5
Selma Par 5.3 (2,580) -40% 2046 39
Mortdecai Lionsgate 4.1 (1,560) NEW 2648 4.1
Into the Woods BV 3.9 (1,710) -43% 2270 121.5
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies WB 2.8 (1,930) -43% 1444 249.6
Unbroken Uni 2.0 (1,280) -51% 1606 112.4
Birdman Fox Searchlight 1.9 (2,260) 22% 833 30.9
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Fox 1.8 (1,280) -55% 1370 108.6
Blackhat Uni 1.6 (640) -58% 2568 7.1
The Theory of Everything Focus 1.3 (1,490) 33% 858 29.1
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Lionsgate 1.0 (1,510) -46% 676 334.3
Cake FreeStyle 1.0 (2,020) NEW 482 1
Wild Fox Searchlight .94 (1,860) -35% 505 34.7
Annie Sony .77 (1,020) -61% 756 84.2
Whiplash Sony Classics .74 (1,310) 105% 567 7.6
Spare Parts Lionsgate .72 (1,700) -46% 424 1.81
Big Hero 6 BV .67 (1,490) -38% 451 216.77
Foxcatcher Sony Classics .55 (1,070) -44% 516 10.39
The Woman in Black: Angel of Death Relativity/eOne .51 (1,000) -70% 510 25.38
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $154.20
% Change (Last Year) 34%
% Change (Last Week) -22%
Also debuting/expanding
A Most Violent Year A24 .43 (6,530) 60% 66 1.3
Baby T-Series .42 (4,980) 85 0.42
Still Alice Sony Classics .39 (10,310) 99% 38 0.76
Inherent Vice WB .38 (1,570) -66% 244 7.4
Ode to My Father CJ .21 (6,200) -35% 34 1.5
Mr. Turner Sony Classics .17 (3,880) -10% 43 1.9
Dolly  Ki Dolly Viva .113 (1,880) 60 0.11
Two Days, One Night IFC/Metropole .12 (3,260) 17% 38 0.53
Patas Blue Sky .111 (3,690) 29 0.11
Leviathan Sony Classics 68,700 (6,250) 75% 11 0.27
Manny Gravitas 35,600 (1,780) 20 0.04
Black Sea Focus 34,300 (6,860) 5 0.03
Mommy Roadside Attractions 29.500 (3,690) 8 0.03
Song One Film Arcade 22,900 (850) 27 0.02
The Humbling Millennium 21,300 (1,250) 17 0.02
Red Army Sony Classics 19,200 (6,400) 3 0.02
Americons Archstone 12,800 (910) 14 0.01
The Duke of Burgundy IFC 12,100 (4,030) 3 0.01
Love Forecast CJ 10,800 (10,800) 1 0.01
We’ll Never Have Paris Orion 6,700 (520) 12 0.01
R100 Drafthouse 6,500 (810) 8 0.01
Son of a Gun A24 3,400 (240) 14 0.01
Tru Love Indiecan 3,100 (3,100) 1 0.01

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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