MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

Po was on the go as Kung Fu Panda 3 led session moviegoing with an estimated $40.6 million debut. Three other national openers struggled to get a marketplace hold. The true life heroism of The Finest Hours slotted fourth with $10.2 million while spoofy Fifty Shades of Black entered the scene with $5.9 million. Belated, entangled western Jane Got a Gun barely registered with $790,000.

No exclusive freshmen registered significant punch. The clutch of Oscar contenders saw their theater counts diminish, but per screens for the  Brooklyn, Room, The Big Short and Spotlight nonetheless improved.

In the niches the frame’s Indian imports all went flat while the Filipino rom-com Everything About Her had a solid opening of $244,000. The annual program of Oscar nominated short subjects was also off to a potent start with a $563,000 tally from 141 locations.

Revenues for the three days climbed to roughly $135 million for a jaunty 18% uptick from the prior weekend. It was a 35% improvement from 2015 when the sixth weekend of American Sniper dominated with $30.7 million and newcomer Project Almanac took second with $8.3 million.

The third installment of Kung Fu Panda was also the first for Fox domestically as DreamWorks Animation’s contract with Paramount lapsed. Tracking had predicted a stronger launch in the $45-$50 million range.

Panda opened a week earlier in China and added four international territories this weekend that’s boosted its foreign take to $75 million in 10 days. The domestic audience was 51% male with 54% of viewers aged 25-years and younger per studio exits. Some 70% of viewers were identified as families.

Expectations weren’t high for The Finest Hours based on an 1950s era rescue at sea drama despite a full-bore ad campaign and 3D and large-format complement. As with the recent In the Heart of the Sea it may find more favorable response overseas where the latter has grossed more than $70 million. Eyes for the opening weekend were 53% male and 72% aged 25-years and older.

Fifty Shades of Black appeared to be about 50 weeks late to the potential joke of its inspiration. Anticipation was that it had an excellent shot at a $10 million launch.

And Jane Got a Gun was just un-holstered from the start when original director Lynne Ramsay clashed with producers and opted not to show for the first day of filming. It didn’t help that the cash flow at Relativity dried up and it became one of the company’s selloffs to keep the doors open. Ultimately the Weinstein Co. release fired blanks.

Weekend (estimates) January 29 – 31, 2016
Title Distributor Gross (average) % chng Thtrs Cume
Kung Fu Panda 3 Fox 40.6 (10,260) NEW 3955 40.6
The Revenant Fox 12.2 (3,670) -24% 3330 138
Star Wars: The Force Awakens BV 10.6 (4,160) -24% 2556 895.2
The Finest Hours BV 10.2 (3,250) NEW 3143 10.2
Ride Along 2 Uni 8.3 (3,450) -33% 2412 70.8
The Boy STX/eOne 7.6 (2,850) -29% 2671 21.2
Dirty Grandpa Lionsgate/VVS 7.4 (2,530) -30% 2912 22.6
The 5th Wave Sony 6.9 (2,380) -33% 2908 20.1
13 Hours: Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Par 6.0 (2,130) -34% 2803 42.5
Fifty Shades of Black Open Road 5.9 (2,830) NEW 2075 5.9
Daddy’s Home Par 3.0 (1,750) -39% 1718 143
The Big Short Par 2.9 (2,980) -8% 983 60.8
Brooklyn Fox Searchlight/Mongrel 1.7 (2,260) -2% 748 30.4
Room 424/Elevation 1.1 (1,420) -15% 795 9.8
Spotlight Open Road/eOne 1.1 (1,520) -14% 715 34.7
Norm of the North Lionsgate .92 (610) -76% 1506 15.9
Jane Got a Gun Weinstein Co. .79 (650) NEW 1210 0.79
The Hateful Eight Weinstein Co. .66 (1,310) -52% 505 52.3
Sisters Uni .65 (1,230) -63% 529 86.1
Airlift B4U .59 (4,850) -33% 122 1.8
2016 Oscar Shorts Magnolia .56 (3,990) NEW 141 0.56
Joy Fox .54 (1,210) -53% 447 55.3
Ip Man 3 Well Go .49 (4,420) -37% 111 1.6
The Forest Focus .47 (880) -72% 532 26
45 Years IFC/Mongrel .46 (4,950) 188% 97 1.3
Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Road Chip Fox .43 (940) -61% 453 83.2
Carol Weinstein Co. .42 (1,340) -35% 313 11.4
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $130.70
% Change (Last Year) 35%
% Change (Last Week) 18%
Also debuting/expanding
Anomalisa Par .34 (2,030) -6% 169 1.9
The Lady in the Van Sony Classics .31 (6,240) 78% 50 0.73
Everything About Her ABS .24 (4,130) 59 0.24
The Danish Girl Focus .24 (1,070) -55% 224 10.3
Son of Saul Sony Classics .16 (2,860) 71% 55 0.71
Lazer Team Youtube 97,500 (4,060) 24 0.1
Mustang Cohen/Mongrel 92,400 (2,570) 83% 36 0.55
Saala Khados UTV 72,000 (1,040) 69 0.07
Trumbo Bleecker Street 65,800 (840) -30% 78 7.6
Irudhi Suttru ATMUS 63,200 (1,710) 37 0.06
Youth Fox Searchlight 51,300 (1,190) -37% 43 2.5
Mastizaade Eros 27,300 (590) 46 0.03
Paavada PJ 19,700 (2,810) 7 0.02
Aranmanai 2 Praneeth 15,100 (890) 17 0.02
Seethamma Andaku Ramayya Sitta Cinemas24 11,200 ((250) 44 0.01
Rabin, the Last Day Kino 5,600 (5,600) 1 0.01
Babysitting 2 A-Z Films 4,700 (470) 10 0.01
Everybody’s Fine Cheng Cheng 4,300 (860) 5 0.01

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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