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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Weekend Estimates by Klady: What Now?

Weekend Estimates 2016-10-16 at 10.08.19 AM

The Accountant opens to almost the exact same amount as The Girl On The Train last week… which means whatever you think it means. Not disastrous… not cause for celebration. Only three films open to $7500 per-screen overall, none on more than five screens. The strongest of those was Certain Women by Kelly Reichardt, her career-best opening.

The most interesting thing about this weekend is that it may be pretty much the same again next weekend. There are FOUR wide openings next weekend. Three are sequels or franchise extensions. All four could come up short of $20 million openings. Though the last Madea movie was the first to open under $25 million (with $16m), with this group it has to be the favorite to “win” the weekend.

The first Jack Reacher opened to $16m. Ouija opened to $19.9m and in the pre-Halloween slot, people could be in the mood to have it open at #1 next weekend.

The wild card is the comedy, Keeping Up With The Joneses, which looks like a lot of fun… but has leads who don’t really open movies. So if it’s great (seeing it later this week), it could leg it out… but hard time opening over $15m even in this crowd.

But… The Accountant is not a great opening. The Girl on The Train was not a great opening. Sully and The Magnificent Seven are looking a lot better this month than they did last month.

The box office will turn back up the week after as Inferno is likely to have a $40m plus opening going into a massive November.

It’s silly, mostly, to try to get macro answers out of micro evidence. This has not been a bad year at the box office. But it is fair to say that there has not been much excitement from the distributors themselves about the product in the last two months. And this is somewhat a result of the bifurcation of the product between huge and small, as well as the lean towards foreign box office for some product.

For instance… Miss Peregrine is about to pass $200 million worldwide, doing double overseas what it did here. Fox clearly saw that coming. Likewise for Universal and Bridget Jones’ Baby, which is over $165m worldwide, $23m of which is domestic. How much heat came off the pitches in the U.S., anticipating foreign to be the driving successes?

Was Warner Bros obsessed with getting The Accountant to blow up when their cash cow, Fantastic Beasts, is a month away?

I’m not saying they weren’t trying. I’m not saying they didn’t spend. I’m not saying they didn’t care.

But there is magic in selling, just as there is in making movies. From where I sit, you can see the energy flowing or not. You can feel whether a movie feels like life & death to a team or is just another piece of product.

And no matter how great the passion, marketing teams sometimes fail. And surprisingly often, when they throw the movie like they can’t wait to get away from it, they have hits. To say it is an inexact science would be to understate the issue.

But these people – who are quite brilliant about many things – are just people. Like anyone, they are distracted by the circumstances around each and every movie they have to sell. So when the field tilts this way or that, they adjust. It’s just human nature.

And this weekend? It was okay. Decent openings. Decent holds. Just nothing to write home about.

The last time the top movie of the week did over $10,000 per screen was… Suicide Squad‘s second weekend. There were three weekends of this kind all summer. This is the 10th straight weekend without a $10k per screen film on top. Do I think about per-screen for wide release movies a lot? No. But does it show a lack of enthusiasm for 2.5 months? Yeah.

11 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Klady: What Now?”

  1. TrackerBacker says:

    Inferno is probably going to open closer to $20 than $40. And on Keeping up with the Joneses, doesn’t it feel like Fox is kind of dumping it?

  2. Bulldog68 says:

    Suicide Squad ending up just shy of BvsS says more about the weakness of the latter than the strength of the former for sure but SS must hold some sort of records for a movie with such a significant second weekend drop being able to stabalize. When it looked like this thing wasn’t going to even double its opening weekend gross it has now achieved better legs than Civil War, Apocalypse, and Iron Man 3.

  3. EtGuild2 says:

    SS’s run is amazing, but I don’t think it’s really fair to compare May multiples to other summer openings because of the nature of May openings with kids not being out of school. Because then you get into making crazy pronouncements like ANT-MAN is more beloved than THE AVENGERS–look at the multiple!

  4. Hcat says:

    But isn’t Antman more well liked than Avengers? Haven’t seen Ant but just from taking the tempatures of when they were released Antman seemed more well liked, but your point still stands an existing property (avengers, batman) will be more front loaded compared to less familiar properties where people wait awhile longer for WOM before committing.

  5. Christian says:

    I’m feeling a little bad for “American Honey,” although I suppose I should be grateful it screened in my market and that I was able to see it. I’d love to see it a second time on the big screen (although its aspect ratio is closer to 1.33:1 than standard widescreen), but will probably settle for additional watches via DVD.

  6. Bitplaya says:

    Why does Will Smith get no credit for SS? Have people forgotten that he’s a real fucking movie star? He hasn’t been in a popcorn movie as a lead in a long time so he was due. I think he’s the difference between SS being a total dud and getting the numbers it did.

    Does anyone else think that Independence Day 2 has a totally different US run if Will was in it?

  7. Gustavo says:

    If Smith is the difference between SS being a total dud and getting the numbers it did, then why weren’t After Earth, Concussion and Focus even moderate hits?

    His star has faded.

  8. Bitplaya says:

    Gustavo, did you miss the part where I said popcorn movie?

    Also he’s a deep supporting character in After Earth. He’s barely in the movie. Even Tom Cruise has given up doing anything other than action movies at this point.

  9. EtGuild2 says:

    ANT-MAN more beloved than AVENGERS 1? I certainly don’t think so…maybe among the hardcore MCU faithful, but you can’t compare an all-time grosser with a run of the mill grosser because the response of the average movie-goer (at least pre-Civil War) would be “I love Avengers!” vs “Oh Ant-Man…that’s the guy who gets small, right?”. If you look at May movie multiples in general without the context of total gross, you’d come to the conclusion that Americans simply hate movies released in May compared to movies released in July or August. “School is out” movies have a major structural advantage built in on multiples because people don’t feel the need to rush out.

  10. Movieman says:

    What Tracker said re: “Inferno.” The “Dan Brown Movie” genre feels over at this point, at least domestically.
    I agree w/ Dave that “Joneses” looks like fun.
    Greg Mottola has never made a movie I haven’t enjoyed.
    The date is definitely problematic, though.
    It looks more like an early August, not late October release.

  11. Erik Winther says:

    I recently discovered your website and I think its a great resource for everyone working in the entertainment field. I like your stats and also your opinions. I’ll keep on following what you post. Keep up the hard work!

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