MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 made it four in a row at the top of the weekend box office with an estimated $11.2 million. The session’s sole incoming national newcomer, historical whaling saga In the Heart of the Sea, was just behind with $10.9 million with just $1.1 million separating the top four movies in the marketplace.

Exclusive freshmen met tepid response with the exception of awards contender The Big Short, bowing to a potent $713,000 from eight swaps. In the niches the Telugu Bengal Tiger struggled to a $206,000 debut while South Korean Inside Men dipped into warm waters with a $23,600 gross from two screens.

In another grim moviegoing frame, revenues barely exceeded $75 million and box office sank by 24% from seven days back. It was also 10% less than the 2014 session when the launch of Exodus: Gods and Kings led with $24.1 million. The domestic box office passed the $10 billion benchmark this week and the 2015 pace remains a slim 4% ahead of last year.

There was a bygone quality to In the Heart of the Sea that did not click with modern audiences. The historic tragedy of the nineteenth century whaling ship Essex (a reported inspiration for Melville’s “Moby Dick”) wasn’t tracking well, although estimates of $12-14 million tagged it a likely weekend leader. The film opened a week ago in 36 overseas markets to a spotty response of $18 million that left an unease for its domestic launch and the likelihood of major writedown. Studio exit demos showed a slight 54% male tilt with 68% of the audience aged 35-years and older.

With announcements of SAG and Golden Globe nomination slates this week, pundits eyeing box office to determine momentum. With most holdovers slipping a third to a half and most hopefuls unable to expand, Spotlight, Brooklyn, Trumbo, Carol and The Danish Girl stayed steady.

It also provided an eye-popping opening for the satiric take on 2008’s financial meltdown, triggered by housing loans, ably etched in The Big Short. Exit demos tagged the crowd at 53% female with 56% of viewers aged 35-years old and older.

At Christmas, releases of Joy, The Hateful Eight and The Revenant will get close scrutiny. And next week’s opening of the still-unseen Star Wars: The Force Awakens (until now not deemed award-worthy) might shake the holiday tree.

Weekend (estimates) December 11 – 13, 2015
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 Lionsgate 11.2 (3,080) -40% 3651 244.4
In the Heart of the Sea WB 10.9 (3,520) NEW 3103 10.9
The Good Dinosaur BV 10.3 (2,860) -33% 3606 89.5
Creed WB 10.1 (2,880) -33% 3502 79.3
Krampus Uni 8.0 (2,730) -51% 2919 28.1
Spectre Sony 4.0 (1,510) -28% 2640 190.8
The Night Before Sony 3.9 (1,470) -22% 2674 38.2
The Peanuts Movie Fox 2.6 (990) -27% 2653 124.9
Spotlight Open Road/eOne 2.4 (2,220) -14% 1089 20.2
Brooklyn FxSearch/Mongrel 1.9 (2,060) -20% 947 14.3
The Martian Fox 1.4 (1,330) -14% 1041 222.8
Love the Coopers CBS/eOne 1.3 (830) -12% 1610 24.6
The Secret in Their Eyes STX/eOne 1.2 (720) -37% 1661 19.2
Trumbo Bleecker Street .81 (1,460) -15% 554 5.5
The Big Short Par .71 (89,120) NEW 8 0.71
Bridge of Spies BV .58 (1,070) -15% 540 69.4
Chi-Raq Roadside Attractions .55 (1,940) -54% 285 2.1
Carol Weinstein Co. .33 (20,810) 130% 16 1.2
The Letters FreeStyle .32 (410) -43% 779 1.4
Legend Uni/Elevation .30 (2,790) 7% 107 1.4
The Danish Girl Focus .25 (10,580) 144% 24 0.65
Macbeth Weinstein Co. .25 (2,330) 260% 108 0.35
Room A24 .24 (1,190) 6% 204 4.2
A Second Chance ABS .21 (2,660) -59% 80 1
Bengal Tiger Supreme .21 (1,860) NEW 111 0.29
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $71.85
% Change (Last Year) -10%
% Change (Last Week) -24%
Also debuting/expanding
Youth Fox Searchlight .10 (5,940) 29% 17 0.21
Suffragette Focus .10 (840) -35% 166 4.5
Hitchcock/Truffaut Cohen Media 44,700 (2,480) -56% 18 0.1
Inside Men CJ 23,600 (12,800) 2 0.02
Yellow Day Idyllic 19,900 (9,950) 2 0.02
Don Verdean Lionsgate 10,400 (320) 33 0.01
The Boy and the World Gkids 6,500 (3,250) 2 0.01
Bleeding Heart Gravitas 5,300 (590) 9 0.01
The Girl in the World FreeStyle 4,900 (490) 10 0.01
La Derniere lecon Axia 4,200 (1,050) 4 0.01
Body Oscilloscope 3,900 (3,900) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (January 1 – December 10, 2015) *
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
Universal (24) 2375.9 23.60%
Buena Vista (14) 1595.1 15.90%
Warner Bros. (29) 1526.9 15.20%
20th Century Fox (21) 1207.7 12.00%
Sony (18) 927.3 9.20%
Paramount (12) 586.9 5.80%
Lionsgate (20) 564.3 5.60%
Weinstein Co. (19) 285.8 2.80%
Focus (13) 119.4 1.20%
Fox Searchlight (10) 110.3 1.10%
Relativity/Europa (7) 86 0.90%
Sony Classics (21) 62.4 0.60%
Open Road (7) 59.6 0.60%
STX (2) 57.3 0.55%
CBS (2) 55.5 0.55%
A24 (9) 50.1 0.50%
Other * (372) 381.7 3.80%
10052.2 100%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Global Grossers (Jan. 1 – Dec. 10, 2015) *
Title Distributor Box Office
Jurrasic World Uni 1,670,256,236
Furious 7 Uni 1,515,406,318
Avengers: Age of Ultron BV 1,404,649,117
Minions Uni 1,157,463,774
Inside Out BV 855,055,987
Spectre Sony; MGM 800,439,066
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Par 682,138,894
The Martian Fox 577,694,811
Fifty Shades of Grey Uni 570,536,817
American Sniper WB 549,569,608
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 Lionsgate 540,581,673
Cinderella BV 542,013,849
Ant-Man BV 519,842,308
San Andreas WB 494,414,787
Hotel Transylvania 2 Sony 442,415,662
Terminator Ganysis Par 440,329,877
Kingsman: The Secret Service Fox 414,351,546
Monster Hunt Edko 395,654,235
Home Fox; DmWks 385,085,573
Mad Max: Fury Road WB 381,034,329
Taken 3 Fox; Europa 328,171,749
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies * WB 324,095,379
SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water Par 320,764,088
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials Fox 315,194,283
Big Hero 6 * BV 307,976,246
* does not include 2014 box office

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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