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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Weekend Estimates by The Age of Kladaline

Weekend Estimates 2015-04-26 at 9.32.17 AM

Nothing terribly interesting about the full weekend as opposed to the boring Friday numbers. The one truly notable thing is the strong increase for Furious 7 from the Friday number. The film is playing increasingly better on weekends against its Friday number. Opening weekend, it was 2.2x Friday, but that was loaded with must-see demand and Thursday late-night numbers. Second weekend was 3.2x Friday. Third, 3.5x. And now, 3.8x. Pretty unusual. Is the film playing to children? Is it playing as The date movie? Is this a function of women not being able to talk guys into going to Adaline on Saturday night but being willing to go to see vroom-vroom instead?

Anyway… The Age of Adaline turned out to be stubby-legged. Expect the number to be lower in “actuals.”

Blart and Home are benefiting from a soft family market, both holding well (one more surprising than the other). With only Avengers 2 showing potential for all-family viewing between now and Tomorrowland in three weeks, both should continue on positive paths.

Since the first Paranormal Activity, only once has the Jason Blum low-budget horror franchise ¬†failed to gross $32 million. No film has done over $84 million either. But that is the range (PA did $104m domestic). And everyone is pretty happy. Unfriended is the fifth film by Blumhouse for Universal. The previous four averaged $56m domestic each. Foreign on the Universal pictures is not as strong as it has been on the Paranormal or Insidious franchises, though it’s still another $32m each. So you do the math. $88m each on theatrical alone on a bunch of movies that cost under $10m each to make. Cautious marketing budgets means high profits, since that is the primary spend. Unfriended is heading to the low end of the Blum spectrum, but should still pass that $32 million mark easily.

Ex Machina is now the #2 film from A24 to date. But it’s not accelerating in any way that suggests it will able to hold screens for very long against summer competition. It was the #2 per-screen this weekend among wide-releases and will probably be #2 again next weekend, maybe #3 or #4. But there is a good chance that this is the top of the mountain. It’s just very, very hard to build something that becomes a “surprise hit” after it’s opened to bigger numbers. A24 has done – as Radius did with It Follows – an excellent job changing strategies fairly late and created indie-level hits. This will likely be A24’s top grosser before it’s done. But you look at a movie like Unfriended, which will probably do about twice the gross of Ex Machina, and wonder what a more mainstream release of the film would have looked like. Unfriended seems to have surprising critical support, but Ex Machina is a film that will live on for a long, long time. Would a wider release tarnish the love of the film by some (not all) critics? Would half the bigger audience hate it because they came to see a horror film and it turned out to be an intellectual piece?

Insurgent isn’t going to catch Divergent at the domestic box office, though it has done better than the first film internationally. But basically, a glass ceiling franchise at just under $300m a movie. Again… that sure seems like an attractive number… but what is the context?

Get Hard is yet another example of meeting reasonable expectations. Will Ferrell hasn’t had an original gross $100m domestic since The Other Guys (with Mark Wahlberg) in 2010. This movie is over $100m worldwide and will be somewhere around $90m domestically. That puts it in the Top 5 of Will Ferrell starring/co-starring live-action non-sequels. Yeah… it’s not huge and it has Kevin Hart, but this result is up to what should be expectations for a Will Ferrell movie. If it blew up, like Talladega Nights or Elf, that would be the gravy. But those are the exceptions, not the rule. $90m domestic being consistent is not mega-stardom, but it’s far from being nothing… especially if you aren’t making terribly expensive films. Get Hard‘s claimed budget is $40 million, which would include money to both Ferrell and Hart. That’s about what the ceiling on a Will Ferrell movie should be. And $25m with DL Hughley would be all the better.

Woman in Gold is another surprise indie story this year. That one seems sure to get to $30m domestic and do you know anyone who is not Jewish and/or over 50 who has seen it? Impressive.

And the per-screen champ of the weekend is Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, a Brett Morgan doc made for HBO and given a small theatrical that is packing them in. Mostly, it is a really good movie and for those who love the music, word of mouth has clearly made the theatrical experience a priority. As discussed repeatedly, there is the VOD glass ceiling to keep it from being too big a grosser. But for people who see death and destruction in the box office numbers, you gotta take your wins when they come.

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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