MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

Although it took a sharp hit, American moviegoers continued to top Fifty Shades of Grey with an estimated $23.2 million. The session saw three new national releases open to fair if not-so-astounding figures headed by the inspiring (true) sport saga McFarland, USA with $11.1 million. Just a step behind was the high school comedy The Duff at $11 million with Hot Tub Time Machine 2 trailing with $5.8 million.

Best of the exclusives was Oscar-nominated Argentine black comedy Wild Tales with $84,700 from four screens.

In the niches the Hindi Badlapur had a blah start of $224,000 at 84 venues while Hong Kong’s Triumph in the Skies soared with $183,000 in 12 flights. Manilla Film Fest winner English Only, Please was a not so stellar $37,100 at 28 sites and French import Asterix: Le Domaine des dieux had an OK $229,000 gross from 77 cels.

Oscar weekend revenues pushed to better than $115 million and a 46% decline from seven days earlier. It was however 6% improved from 2014 when the third weekend of The Lego Movie dominated with a $31.3 million box office and newcomers 3 Days to Kill and Pompeii bowed respectively with $12.2 million and $10.3 million.

The want see factor for Fifty Shades of Grey proved to be palpable as second weekend grosses fell 70% domestically and 55% overseas as the sizzler approached a staggering $400 million cume in a mere 10 days.

Bolstered by strong reviews and a paucity of family fare in the marketplace McFarland, USA bested tracking that suggested high end results of $10 million. There were also unfounded studio concerns that having another Kevin Costner film (Black or White) in the marketplace might be a detriment. Exit demos provided upbeat results of a 50/50 gender split but families surprisingly comprised only 29% of the audience. And 70% of the crowd was aged 25-years and older.

Expectations were even more modest for The Duff (Designated Ugly Female Friend) but clearly young women were anxious for a movie that reflected their realm. It swung heavily female with 75% of viewers and skewed young with 68% of the audience aged 25-years and younger.

Conversely, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 whose original has become a cult classic in ancillary exposure was perceived as the leader among the newcomers with estimates ranging from $12 million to $14 million. It tilted 63% male but failed to get the youth crowd with 76% of ticket buyers aged 25-years and older.

The evanescence of awards personally is represented by an encounter with Michael Lerner who was nominated in 1991’s Barton Fink for his portrayal of fictional studio head Jack Lipnick. Several years after,  I said to him “I bet people come up to you and congratulate you on winning an Oscar (he didn’t).” He smiled and affirmed. “And you don’t correct them,” I replied. He just smiled broadly.

Good night and good luck.

Weekend (estimates) February 20 – 22, 2015
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
50 Shades of Grey Uni 23.2 (8,740) -70% 2655 130.1
Kingsman: The Secret Service Fox 17.5 (5,370) -52% 3266 67.1
SpongBob: Sponge Out of Water Par 15.6 (4,250) -50% 3680 125.3
McFarland, USA BV 11.1 (4,020) NEW 2755 11.1
The Duff CBS 11.0 (4,260) NEW 2575 11
American Sniper WB 9.5 (2,940) -42% 3235 319.5
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Par 5.8 (2,010) NEW 2880 5.8
Jupiter Ascending WB 3.7 (1,480) -60% 2503 39.6
The Imitation Game Weinstein/Elevation 2.5 (1,790) -28% 1408 83.9
Paddington Weinstein Co. 2.3 (1,240) -44% 1837 67.7
Still Alice Sony Classics 2.1 (2,720) 23% 765 7.9
The Wedding Ringer Sony 1.2 (1,290) -62% 950 61.9
Black or White Relativity/D Film 1.0 (870) -62% 1166 19.6
Seventh Son Uni .95 (930) -77% 1019 16
Birdman Fox Searchlight .82 (2,010) -4% 407 37.7
Project Almanac Par .81 (980) -71% 828 21.5
Selma Par .65 (1,580) -36% 412 49.6
Whiplash Sony Classics .57 (1,290) -4% 440 11.3
Big Hero 6 BV .55 (1,880 -19% 292 220.2
The Theory of Everything Focus .54 (990) -27% 545 34.1
The Boy Next Door Uni .51 (1,010) -71% 503 34.9
Taken 3 Fox .48 (1,060) -57% 454 87.6
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Fox .34 (1,210) -17% 280 111.6
Old Fashioned FreeStyle .33 (1,110) -67% 298 1.6
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $111.90
% Change (Last Year) 6%
% Change (Last Week) -46%
Also debuting/expanding
2015 Oscar Shorts Magnolia .26 (1,150) -26% 227 2.2
Asterix: Le Domain des dieux Metropole .23 (2,970) 77 0.23
Badlapur Eros .22 (2,670) 84 0.22
Triumph in the Skies Media Asia .18 (15,270) 12 0.18
Mr. Turner Sony Classics .18 (1,510) -6% 120 3
What We Do in the Shadows Paladin/VSC .15 (7,700) 73% 20 0.29
Timbuktu Cohen Media .11 (2,110) 3% 53 0.47
Two Days, One Night IFC/Metropole .10 (980) -26% 101 1.4
Foxcatcher Sony Classics 87,200 (740) 2% 118 12
Wild Tales Sony Classics 84,700 (21,170) 4 0.08
Leviathan Sony Classics 82,400 (1,920) 21% 43 0.7
Elephant Song eOne 59,500 (2,700) 22 0.06
English Only, Please ABS 37,100 (1,320) 28 0.04
Bandipotu Moviemills 7,100 (250) 28 0.01
Queen and Country BBC 6,300 (6,300) 1 0.01
All the Wilderness Screen Media 5,900 (590) 10 0.01
Domestic Market Share (January 1 – February 19, 2015)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
Warner Bros. (7) 420.7 27.30%
Universal (8) 218.6 14.20%
Paramount (6) 205.3 13.30%
20th Century Fox (9) 199.1 12.90%
Weinstein Co. (6) 125.8 8.20%
Sony (5) 92.7 6.00%
Buena Vista (5) 91.1 5.90%
Relativity (4) 42.7 2.80%
Lionsgate (4) 34.3 2.20%
Fox Searchlight (2) 29.9 1.90%
Sony Classics (6) 19.1 1.20%
Focus (3) 11.8 0.80%
Other * (59) 51 3.30%
1542.1 100%
* none greater than 0.5%

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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