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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Friday Estimates by Summer Dregs Klady

Friday Estimatest 2016-08-20 at 8.48.11 AM

The calendar of weekends looks different this August, so direct comparisons are iffy. That said, this third opening weekend of August looks a lot like most third weekends in August, give or take a blockbuster. Following behind only Guardians of the Galaxy and the super-leggy The Sixth Sense, Suicide Squad has the #3 all-time August domestic gross. And by a good margin, one that continues to grow, no matter how much the media has moved on.

In terms of newbies, this is a standard launch weekend for this time of year. None of the openers are major… not even strong minor ($20 million launch). But they will still be #4, #5, and #6 for the month. And an opening like The Butler ($24.6 million) was really the exception to the rule in these dog days of summer in recent years.

Last summer, for instance, $10.5m for Sinister 2 led the newcomers “this date” with Hitman: Agent 47 landing $8.3 million and American Ultra doing $5.5 million. This weekend’s three openers will beat that group of weekend newcomers by more than 25%. The strength of the month, in terms of quality, is getting lost in the sauce. That would be two family films, Pete’s Dragon and Kubo & The Two Strings.

Florence Foster Jenkins is dropping like a regular movie, though there is still some hope that its legs will get stronger as older audiences are inspired by word of mouth.

On the exclusive front, not much excitement. Natalie Portman’s A Tale of Love & Death is having a decent start, cracking $10k per on two… but not exactly fireworks.

30 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Summer Dregs Klady”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    I guess a lot of people would rather be subjected by their kids to a 5th showing of the VULGAR & VIOLENT LIFE OF PETS, than seek out something thoughtful and engaging.

    I enjoyed WAR DOGS…Todd Phillips’ first project in 7 years that is more enjoyably caustic than contemptuous of its audience…but I’m not sure if it was because of, or in spite of Jonah Hill’s performance.

    A24 has ANOTHER gem with MORRIS IN AMERICA. At this point I feel like a company mouthpiece. Surprised this one’s taking the VOD route, though.

  2. Dr Wally Rises says:

    The Pete’s Dragon drop is surprising and unfortunate. It’s going to do even less well than those alleged Disney megaflops like John Carter and Tomorrowland ultimately. And all three are actually fine movies. Flawed, yes, but fine nonetheless. Too bad.

  3. Bulldog68 says:

    Thankfully the budget on Pete’s Dragon was significantly less as well. Can’t help but think that this and BFG was just too much product and would have been better served opening elsewhere.

  4. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Overseas grosses have bailed out BFG to some degree. Just like Spielberg’s Tintin. PD won’t have that luxury. I think Thangsgiving would have been a better fit for it- I don’t feel much of a buzz yet in public for Doctor Strange or Fantastic Beasts yet. Maybe that’s just me.

  5. Movieman says:

    I had no idea “Morris” was available as a VOD, Ethan.
    Again, thanks for the head’s-up. Expected it would be theatrical-only considering the (mostly) rave reviews.
    Glad to hear that you liked “War Dogs.” I’ve never been the biggest Todd Phillips fan, but this felt like nearly as much of an artistic breakthrough as “The Big Short” was for McKay–although I genuinely liked most of McKay’s pre-“Short films: not so much w/ Phillips.
    Was particularly impressed that he finessed the dramatic turn “Dogs” makes in the third act. Smart, sharply paced and beautifully acted (Teller is Hill’s equal as far as I was concerned, and Cooper totally nailed his glorified cameo), it may very well be my favorite studio release of the summer.

  6. Stella's Boy says:

    I saw Blood Father yesterday. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed seeing Gibson on the big screen again. I missed him. He’s got such a natural screen presence. Makes it look effortless. The guy is a movie star and he’s still got it. I liked the movie too. Jean-Francois Richet knows how to make a good B movie. It’s pretty entertaining, and plays almost like movie as public apology. Erin Moriarty is good as his daughter. Reminded me of circa 2002 Alison Lohnman.

    Talking trailers, the one for Jack Reacher 2 is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. I love Jack Reacher. Way better than I expected it to be. But the trailer for part 2 plays like parody as it goes out of its way to make sure you know what a courageous and dangerous patriotic badass Jack Reacher is. It’s so stupid. I really hope the movie is better than the trailer.

    The story behind War Dogs is fascinating. That alone has me intrigued. Also can’t wait to see Hell or High Water. Monday hopefully.

  7. Gustavo says:

    “Overseas grosses have bailed out BFG to some degree. Just like Spielberg’s Tintin.”

    I don’t think so. The BFG has grossed about 55 million internationally thus far. Its worldwide gross is 108 million, below production costs (140 million) and way below when P&A costs (unannounced) are taken into account.

    Tintin grossed 296 million outside the US.

    Unfortunately, BFG is a big miss all around.

  8. Christian says:

    “Hell or High Water” expanded to a theater near me this weekend, but last night’s 7:20 show in suburban Northern Virginia was only about half full, despite a 4-star rave in the Washington Post.

    I’ll be curious to hear how large the Friday-to-Saturday bump is for that film this weekend. I hope it’s big. The film certainly deserves a large audience.

  9. EtGuild2 says:

    Yeah there’s been 6 big-budget outright disasters this year: BEN-HUR, BFG, GODS OF EGYPT, DIVERGENT,HUNTSMAN, and then TMNT2 and STAR TREK on the border…poor Paramount and Lionsgate.

    Christian…Tysons Corner or good old Cinema Arts in Fairfax City? :p

  10. leahnz says:

    be afraid be very afraid

    (there appears a solid trend now of genuinely good movies in the cinema withering on the vine/flatlining; meanwhile dribbling shit from the asshole makes coin, one at the expense of the other what with the vast majority of screens dedicated to the big shitshows and then accordingly the sheep flock. i’ll never understand the rooting for generic big-budget superhero/comic instalment no.86 crap not to flop mentality on this blog when inside my brain i’m screaming ‘die mutherfucker die!’ to all this ‘world-building’ costumed freaks stuff – spend the cash on the real deal, the cinematic version of ‘trickle-down economics’ is not working, and it’s getting worse)

  11. Mike says:

    Love Cinema Arts in Fairfax. It’s just down the street from me. Though with two little kids, I’m more likely to go to the second run theater at University Mall (which happens to be owned by the same guy who owns Cinema Arts).

  12. Movieman says:

    Ethan- Just finished watching “Krisha” and was blown away. Thanks again for alerting me to its VOD release.
    Trey Edwards Shults is definitely someone to watch: why isn’t he fielding offers right and left for both movie and cable work? There’s nothing on his IMDB page post-“Krisha.”
    And Krisha Fairchilds’ performance deserves to be spoken in the same breath as Gena Rowlands’ towering work in her Cassavetes masterpieces.

  13. EtGuild2 says:

    @Mike…Wow, small world, I know Mark’s daughter, and I miss his wacky newsletters. Between that and their eclectic food experiments, unpredictable special screenings and signature root beer carpeting, Cinema Arts has character…and so do the audiences. I’ll always remember seeing SOPHIE SCHOLL: END OF DAYS there and witnessing a heated exchange that culminated in a drunken female patron slapping her male companion in the face outside and loudly declaring “YOU’RE the Nazi!” following the screening.

    Seeing INTO THE WILD there was emotional, as Chris McCandless went to Woodson HS, right across the street.

    @Movieman, glad you enjoyed it! I think Ray Pride mentioned Schults has some kind of first-look deal with A24…hope it moves forward. KRISHA bombed at the box office but hopefully will find new life on video. And yeah, Krisha Fairchild gives the best female performance of the year as things stand for formal releases. Verite to the core….the making of it is fascinating, as they used his recovering alcoholic grandmother, who really does suffer from dementia and had no idea what was going on, along with half his family over a 9-day in-house shoot. Looking forward to this young man’s career as a possible kind of Cassavetes-Malick hybrid.

  14. Geoff says:

    Hey when did some of you folks live in the DC area/Fairfax?? I lived there for ten years – went to GMU for undergrad – and I very much remember seeing second run at University Mall: Jurassic Park, True Lies, whatever Pauly Shore opus had come out that year, etc. Moved to Chicago 14 years ago – pleasantly surprised that both Cinema Arts AND University Mall are both still open! :) Have either of them gone the stadium route? Both theaters seemed to have limited space so that would seem unlikely…..

    Yeah Cinema Arts was a very cool thing when it first opened in 2000 – I remember it was going to be Northern Virginia’s answer to the Angelika which I finally got to go to the following spring to see this little film that was getting a ton of hype out of Sundance called Memento. I saw quite a few little indie gems (for good prices too) at the Cinema Arts not long after it opened and I remember the first one I saw literally I the month the theater it had opened was Croupier – super-cool movie that started my man-crush with Clive Owen and I believe the movie was actually released un-rated if I’m not mistaken? Yeah that was the place to go to see the hyped up Indie hits and it was only ten minutes away from where I lived – got to see Before Night Falls, Amores Perros, Ghost World….and there were always good crowds too. When did you guys frequent these theaters?

  15. EtGuild2 says:

    Hah…that’s funny. Both are still the same! What’s changed is they do have competition now…in the form of the Angelika itself! Angelika opened in Merrifield after they bulldozed the decrepit Lee Highway theater there and turned it into a Town Center. It’s nice…but still can’t match the charm of CA:)

    I frequented between 2004-2010 mostly though still occasionally head back. Can’t remember my first movie there…SIDEWAYS, maybe? I remember seeing MYSTERIOUS SKIN like three times there…oh Greg Araki, you are such a disappointment.

  16. Doug R says:

    Leah, at least realistic Sci Fi is doing well. Gravity, Interstellar and The Martian all made decent money.

  17. Christian says:

    Wow, didn’t know so many of us had NoVa/Cinema Arts connections. Yes, that’s where I saw HOHW. The theater is about to launch a Kickstarter to buy new seats – something the owner succeeded with last year for University Mall. The campaign was dubbed the “Save Our Butts!” Kickstarter. Since my wife and I frequent that 2nd-run theater, we contributed. Our name is on a plaque on one of the new chairs, but I’ve never seen it. We’ll likely support the CA Kickstarter, but I don’t know at which level. We’LL see how much discretionary income we have at that time.

    I caught INDIGNATION at Angelika Mosaic last week.

  18. Geoff says:

    Wow I think we just missed each other EtGuild – I left a couple of years before you came apparently. :) But yeah I remember the Lee Highway Multiplex in Merrifield, that was THE place to see big movies for the GMU crowd….I remember seeing the Star Wars: Special Edition release Friday night theater being literally more than half-filled with Mason folks smuggling in alcohol too. Great crowd and great experience….every one went “Awwwwww” when Luke whine about going to Toshi station and there were folks dancing in the aisles to the Cantina theme, it was a party.

  19. Geoff says:

    And really nice to hear that two smaller independent theaters like University Mall and Cinema Arts are still surviving amidst all of that exploding sprawl in Fairfax County. :)

  20. EtGuild2 says:

    I also caught INDIGNATION at Angelika last week. Creepy! I love it :)

    Yeah CA/UA are pretty well ensconced. Location, location.
    The wheels were coming off at Lee Hwy by the time I was there…I remember the armrest next to me literally falling off the chair when seeing SUPERBAD. But Angelika and the Mosaic District are great. I’m glad they found a good use for the world’ biggest empty parking lot.

  21. leahnz says:

    “Leah, at least realistic Sci Fi is doing well. Gravity, Interstellar and The Martian all made decent money.”

    true, i hadn’t thought about that — i wonder if it’s indicative of a genuine underlying hunger and affection for the ‘space’ sci-fi subgenre, which is underserved now what with serious space movies few and far between, or just a confluence of factors making those three popular for a variety of reasons. kind of surprised there isn’t more of an attempt to replicate that success within the genre given that winning streak

  22. Steve D. says:

    Wow, didn’t know there were so many posters in the NoVa area. I always figured everyone was in California.

    Just over the border in Maryland myself. Rarely make it out as far as Fairfax, but often see films at Tysons and sometimes in Arlington or Shirlington.

    What is considered the premier theater in NoVa for seeing event movies these days?

  23. YancySkancy says:

    keah: Looks to me like Arrival with Amy Adams is going for the Interstellar audience. And maybe Passengers with J-Law and Pratt?

  24. leahnz says:

    yeah ‘arrival’ looks the goods, i have time for Dville given his decent pedigree thus far. the trailers at least make it look more ‘earth-based invasion’ than ‘space odyssey’ but lord knows trailers can be full of shit so we’ll see, i keep meaning to read the story on which it’s based. clearly villeneuve is on a bigger-budget trajectory so it should be interesting to see if he can retain his unique mojo with the bean counters breathing down his neck, sure hope so

    ‘passengers’ looks space-based, i don’t know if it’s just me or what but while the cast seems ok and all (tho if it’s any sort of a drama hopefully pratt has partaken in some acting classes because outside his narrow wheelhouse of personality plus his ‘acting’ is awkward af) i’m unable to muster up any enthusiasm for it, maybe it’s the tyldum factor, i find him dull but i’m always happy to be proven wrong in the cinema when the lights go down.

  25. YancySkancy says:

    The Imitation Game was meh, but Tyldum’s Headhunters is a rather smashing thriller, so maybe there’s hope for Passengers.

  26. Mike says:

    I moved here in 2002, and have been going to both theaters for awhile. I’m not very partial toward the new Anjelika, as I liked the old Lee Highway theater and the new one has been keeping Cinema Arts from getting certain movies in a timely fashion. I couldn’t wait on Before Midnight, so saw it at the Anjelika. It’s too sterile and trying too hard to be elegant.

    I also remember seeing Memento at Cinema Arts and it being a defining experience.

    When I was dating my now wife, we used to go to Bethesda Row all the time. I went to Shirlingtin a few times. I’m not sure there is a premier theater around here. Maybe the one downtown?

  27. EtGuild2 says:

    Have you tried iPic in Bethesda? It’s part of a limited national chain, but it’s an extravagant experience…

    I would go with E Street Landmark as the signature DC area theater. It’s not huge, but it gets first-run indies faster than any other cinema in the country outside of NY/LA, and it’s definitely unique considering it’s all underground.

  28. EtGuild2 says:

    Oh…and it’s 2nd run, and features a lot of live-comedy shows, but Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse is an institution.

  29. Steve D. says:

    Well, for the signature DC theater, I have to go with the Uptown. Largest screen in town, and I think the only vintage theater still operating (other than the Avalon). Certainly the only one with a balcony.

    I still have to try the iPic. The ArcLight in Bethesda didn’t seem all that impressive for the price.

    In Virginia… I don’t know. There are several nice multiplexes, but I’m not sure which stands out as THE place to see new films.Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse is fun for 2nd run material.

  30. Christian says:

    The best auditoriums in the D.C. area are the AFI Silver theater #1 and the main downstairs theater at the Avalon.

    I saw “Kubo and the Two Strings” in a Dolby-equipped auditorium at Tysons a couple of weeks ago, and it was impressive in many ways. However, I don’t like my seat rumbling during louder moments. I’m at a movie, not on an amusement park ride. But maybe that’s just me.

    I often have to see advance screenings at the Regal Majestic in Silver Spring. It’s equipped for the overwhelming visual/auditory (especially auditory!!) experiences many audiences seem to want, but man, I’m at an age where my eardrums bleed at the likes of “Tron: Legacy” cranked up to 11 on those sound systems.

    Also, I hate getting across town to the Majestic on weeknights in D.C. (from Arlington), but I realize I’m complaining about a privilege others don’t have and should probably just shut up.

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