MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

Valentine’s Day provided considerable ardor for movie going with a record-breaking bow of approximately $81.8 million for the highly anticipated 50 Shades of Grey, dominant internationally as well. Despite its potency, $35.6 million debut for runner-up Kingsman: The Secret Service seems to have been properly contracted submissive counterprogramming.

Weekend revenues surged to an estimated $212 million, a 40% balloon from seven days past. It was also 17% improved from 2014 when the second weekend of The Lego Movie prevailed with $62.5 million and newcomers About Last Night and RoboCop followed respectively with $27.8 million and $25.1 million.

Incoming product in the niches was also strong with the Telugu Temper grossing $643,000 at 122 venues and China’s Somewhere Only We Know opening with $357,000 from 45 engagements on the now-established Chinese film circuit. Best of the exclusive newbies were Kiwi vampire mock-doc What We Do in the Shadows with a $79,600 tally at 5 bites and Israel’s foreign-language Oscar submission Gett: The Trial of Vivian Ansalem grossing $24,400 from two jury boxes.

The want-t0-see factor for the screen rendtion of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey was demonstrated by advance ticketing in the stratosphere, particularly outside of urban markets. The studio remained cautiously optimistic while pundits and trackers posited expectations ranging from $80-100 million for the four-day results. It delivered on its promise with the biggest Valentine box office ever and the second biggest February debut behind The Passion of tbe Christ, a flogger of a much more explicit stripe.

Studio exit polls indicated the expected female tilt of 68% with 58% of viewers aged 25-years and older. The next question—apart from who might direct the obligatory next two chapters—is how well the current movie will hold. Word-of-mouth from readers of the books may well hold the key: audience satisfaction and return visits are yet to be measured.

Fifty Shades cuffed an additional 58 territories, taking an estimated $158 million total to its Room of Pain. The UK provided roughly $21 million of that cache with most major territories save South Korea opening day-and-date and Japan and China yet to decide whether to open the film theatrically.

Objectively one would be perceived as slightly mad to open a picture against such might but Kingsman: The Secret Service proved up to the challenge. The film was admittedly tracking well with $30 million estimates for the four-day frame that it easily surpassed in three days. The film had already opened in a handful of foreign climes and racked up an impressive $20 million but with an R-rating it was hardly typical counterprogramming.

It skewed male with 57% of the opening crowd that was also 60% aged 25-years and older. The film also expanded internationally to 38 countries and added about $23 million to its tally.

With the Oscars a week away, the contenders are lingering with bated breath for the opening of the envelopes, largely filled with foregone conclusions. But that’s not how it’s being perceived by the folks at the Academy. With so many award show predecessors and so many of the same winners to date, Oscar malaise may be at its highest level ever.

Is that reason to fantasize that there could be a possible lower than usual ballot return by members who believe their vote doesn’t matter? Or, will it result in an uprising among voters with the majority voting against the apparent frontrunners?

The Academy doesn’t know (nor does PricewaterhouseCoopers) but since the conversion from paper to largely online voting, members appear to vote much later in the process and a greater percentage may not  be voting at all. It’s prompted a step-up of robocalls from the Academy president and numerous email reminders. So fasten your seat belts. Even if it turns out not to be bumpy night.

Weekend (estimates) February 13 – 15, 2015
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
50 Shades of Grey Uni 81.8 (22,440) NEW 3646 81.8
Kingsman: The Secret Service Fox 35.6 (11,123) NEW 3204 35.6
SpongBob: Sponge Out of Water Par 31.1 (8,510) -44% 3654 94.2
American Sniper WB 16.2 (4,720) -30% 3436 303.9
Jupiter Ascending WB 9.4 (2,960) -49% 3181 32.5
Paddington Weinstein Co. 4.1 (1,820) -22% 2244 62.3
Seventh Son Uni 4.1 (1,430) -43% 2874 13.4
The Imitation Game Weinstein/Elev 3.6 (2,290) -24% 1551 79.7
The Wedding Ringer Sony 3.4 (2,310) -29% 1456 59.7
Black or White Relativity/D Film 2.7 (1,710) -40% 1591 17.4
Project Almanac Par 2.7 (1,570) -48% 1732 19.5
The Boy Next Door Uni 1.8 (1,520) -56% 1192 33.8
Still Alice Sony Classics 1.7 (3,310) 94% 502 4.7
Taken 3 Fox 1.2 (1,710) -49% 691 86.9
Old Fashioned FreeStyle 1.1 (4,950) 2736% 224 1.5
Selma Par 1.0 (1,820) -39% 566 48.3
Birdman Fox Searchlight .88 (1,830) -32% 481 36.5
The Theory of Everything Focus .79 (1,690) -20% 466 33.2
Big Hero 6 BV .68 (2,140) 96% 317 219.3
Temper Great India .64 (5,270) NEW 122 0.92
Whiplash Sony Classics .74 (1,540) 23% 515 9.85
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies WB .41 (1,510) -46% 272 253.6
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Fox .39 (1.380) -23% 282 111
Somewhere Only We Know China Lion .36 (7,930) NEW 45 0.36
Into the Woods BV .35 (1,210) -59% 287 126.3
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $205.05
% Change (Last Year) 17%
% Change (Last Week) 40%
Also debuting/expanding
2015 Oscar Shorts Magnolia .33 (1,740) -32% 188 1.6
Mr. Turner Sony Classics .20 (2,090) -17% 95 2.7
A Most Violent Year A24/Elevation .19 (1,220) -80% 157 5.2
Roy White Hill .17 (1,980) 85 0.17
Two Days, One Night IFC/Metropole .13 (1,070) -39% 119 1.2
Timbuktu Cohen Media .10 (3,110) 31% 33 0.29
Anegan e4 Entertainment 91,800 (1,950) 47 0.09
Foxcatcher Sony Classics 83,500 (850) -54% 98 11.9
What We Do in the Shadows Paladin/VSC 79,600 (15,920) 5 0.08
Leviathan Sony Classics 61,700 (2,130) -24% 29 0.57
The Last 5 Years Weinstein Co. 34,100 (5,680) 6 0.03
Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amselem Music Box 24,400 (12,200) 2 0.02
The Rewrite Image Ent. 20,800 (2,310) 9 0.02
Hits Honora 15,500 (910) 17 0.02
3 coeurs Metropole 9,600 (2,400) 4 0.01
Da Sweet Blood of Jesus Gravitas 5,700 (710) 8 0.01
White Rabbit Breaking Glass 4,200 (840) 5 0.01
Domestic Market Share (January 1 – February 12, 2015)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
Warner Bros. (7) 384.8 30.60%
Paramount (6) 152.9 12.10%
20th Century Fox (8) 147.1 11.70%
Weinstein Co. (5) 113.9 9.10%
Universal (8) 111.7 8.90%
Buena Vista (5) 89.1 7.10%
Sony (5) 88 7.00%
Relativity (4) 39.5 3.10%
Lionsgate (4) 33.8 2.70%
Fox Searchlight (2) 28.2 2.20%
Sony Classics (6) 14.8 1.20%
Focus (3) 10.7 0.80%
Other (51) * 44.5 3.30%
1259 100%
* none greater than 0.5%

One Response to “The Weekend Report”

  1. Mark says:

    “It delivered on its promise with the biggest Valentine box office ever and the second biggest February debut behind The Last Temptation of Christ, a flogger of a much more explicit stripe.”

    Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ”? Or Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”?

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