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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by War Room (???) Klady

Friday Estimates 2015-08-29 at 9.51.40 AM

What can one say about the last week of August?


There have been exceptions. Focus, for a while, carved out nice adult/awards business with films like The Constant Gardener and The American. Then there was Inglourious Basterds. There have been horror and boy action movies (a new Transporter is coming next weekend, for the unusually late Labor Day holiday), but the end of August is generally a dumping ground.

There is no big ambitious title this weekend. Next weekend, there is a strong “adult” title in A Walk In The Woods and (as noted) The Transporter Refueled. So it will look better than this. But for now, a faith film is up front. War Room is not a massive success in the category – there were films at $60m and $90m domestic last year – but it is a solid number for an inexpensive film.

Tri-Star has been, in part, a service-deal division for Sony Pictures… then they gave it to Tom Rothman, who has now taken over the big studio and seems to want to keep using Tri-Star as his Sony version of Fox Searchlight. So the service deals need to go. But this is a solid business for Sony. Sony Faith should exist. Not only will it give a stable platform for these films, but I think it will help business. The two big hits last year both had “God” in their titles. I think a brand that lets that audience movie know that a movie specifically for them is coming would make the sell a lot easier. Anyway… TriStar’s last faith film, When The Game Stands Tall opened to about a third less on its Friday, but looking for a comp, it suggests that War Room should stay stable over the weekend and do somewhere between $10.5m and $11.5m.

Straight Outta Compton is now the biggest musical bio-pic ever, but the heat is subsiding. Still, $150 million domestic (plus) is an epic success. And foreign should be interesting.

No Escape is a title that sounds like it should be premiering on DVD, no? I’m actually amazed that 250,000 people went to go see it yesterday. I know more about the film from Twitter than I do from advertising. Always a bad sign for an opening weekend.

I feel almost cruel mentioning We Are Your Friends. A wide release that won’t get to $1,000 per screen is… well… painful to look at. I have a strong feeling that this summer’s ugliness at WB was intentional… take the hit… relaunch in the fall… because WB has had the kind of summer than is so below the level at which this studio has worked for decade after decade than I can’t believe it is anything else. This was worse than the cycle catching up with a studio. It was an overstuffed 11-release summer in which the only films that performed reasonably were San Andreas and Max. Mad Max: Fury Road was the best film of this summer… but underperformed at the box office. There were some good titles, some terrible titles… some unsellable titles and some pretty sellable ones, that didn’t sell. Brutal summer. Looking forward to Black Mass. I would bet that WB is too. The hard part is that with Johnny Depp, the film needs to do $100m domestic to be seen as a success. Doable… but not a cake walk.

In the indie market, not only is nothing looking at $10k per screen, none of this weekend’s releases will get to $5k per screen.

17 Responses to “Friday Estimates by War Room (???) Klady”

  1. Doug R says:

    Nice uptick for Jurassic World. Looks like their platforming is working.

  2. David Poland says:

    That would be the film hitting 2nd run theaters, Doug.

  3. Brett B says:

    It was also re-released into IMAX theaters, which surely helped.

  4. notfabio says:

    Yes this is the one week imax reissue for world it wont hit subrun until it drops to around 300 theatres

  5. Geoff says:

    Even Kevin Sujihara has said it recently, but it’s fairly obvious that this was an “inbetween” year for Warners – next year, they have the official launch of DC (Batman V. Superman, Suicide Squad) which could do $2 billion between them alone, re-launches of Tarzan and King Arthur, buddy cop films with Kevin Hart and The Rock, and…..the Harry Potter prequel. And then it’s more DC films, more Potter prequels, more Lego movies, and Steven Spielberg’s last gasp at a blockbuster franchise the following year. And strangely even this being an off year, they’re still third in market share by a wide margin……American Sniper making more than half a billion in the winter probably helped with that.

    That said, what WAS their strategy this summer??? Pan could have cleaned up in July against Ant-Man and Pixels, not sure why they blinked on that one. And what was the logic of releasing their two biggest action tent-poles (Mad Max, San Andreas) just two weeks apart? ‘Fury Road could have easily made $450 million worldwide if they actually gave it some breathing room their own films. Launching Entourage against an R-rated Melissa McCarthy comedy was absurd, but I don’t know if film would have made money at any time of year. And The Man from U.N.C.L.E., a film I quite liked……why dump it two weeks after Mission Impossible??? The folks in the marketing department were just off their game this year with the scheduling…..and I’m really looking forward to Creed, but I have a feeling it’s going to get creamed on Thanksgiving weekend as will the Point Break remake on Christmas weekend, though I’m not looking forward to that one. They just better not screw up the release of the Game of Thrones movie….

  6. dinovelvet says:

    “Pan could have cleaned up in July against Ant-Man and Pixels, not sure why they blinked on that one.”

    Er…have you seen the trailer?

  7. movieman says:

    Gee, I don’t know.
    I gotta believe that WB had higher hopes for “XXL,” “Vacation” and “U.N.C.L.E.”
    Weren’t the latter two intended as franchise-launchers?

  8. Hmmm says:

    Pan is going to implode. I can’t believe they remade HOOK.

  9. Bob Burns says:

    Good point. I’ll be interested to see Scandinavia or Germany.

  10. Geoff says:

    That’s the point Movieman – why open a spy franchise launcher just two weeks after the second biggest spy franchise (Mission Impossible) out there?

  11. Geoff says:

    And yeah Pan could implode but that’s because this is probably the most competitive October I can remember, it’s pretty brutal – you have The Martin, Steve Jobs, Crimson Peak, Bridge of Spies, The Walk, and don’t underestimate Jem and the Holograms. Universal has been on fire this year and they might pull that off despite the bad buzz.

  12. movieman says:

    I wouldn’t hold my breath re: Guy Ritchie’s Camelot.
    I’d be very surprised if it does any better than Fuqua’s 2004 reboot w/ Clive Owen and Keira Knightley.

  13. arisp says:

    I have literally no clue what WAR ROOM and NO ESCAPE are. Obviously neither does anyone else.

  14. Ray Pride says:

    The filmmakers say the Lord himself suggested the title THE WAR ROOM to them; NO ESCAPE was originally “The Coup.” Even the Lord and Harvey are sometimes off the marketing mark.

  15. Fitzgerald says:

    Sidebar about the sidebar– that Bumble Ward quote you guys are for some reason featuring is embarrassing.

  16. js partisan says:

    If you have an Apple TV, and turned on TRAILER POSTERS for screen saver. You sure as shit know what WAR ROOM is. My god. It’s a movie that turns fucking PRAYER INTO A GOD DAMN FUCKING WEAPON! Seriously! PRAYER IS WEAPON! Fucking Christians in this country… want to make fucking PRAYER A GOD DAMN WEAPON!

  17. cadavra says:

    That’s because they worship Republican Jesus instead of the real one.

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