MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

The Split decision was a knockout as M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller doubled the box office of any weekend contender with an estimated debut of $40.1 million. xXx: Return of Xander Cage was in a distant second with $20.1 million. The Founder had a disappointing national franchise of $3.5 million, while comic faith tale The Resurrection of Gavin Stone sputtered to $1.3 million.

Awards positioning saw major expansions for 20t Century Women and Silence with both failing to ignite. The announcement of Oscar nominees on Tuesday could provide a second wind. In international day-and-date, India’s latest, Kannada family yarn Pushpaka Vimana, had a dull start of $35,200. In Québec, French import Nelly was sturdy with a $94,500 tally.

Revenues were shy of $150 million and dipped a slight 2% from last weekend’s three-day portion of the Martin Luther King holiday. But it was a  tidy 29% uptick from 2016 when the fifth weekend of The Revenant led with $16 million, and new entries Dirty Grandpa and The Boy bowed with $11.1 million and $10.8 million respectively.

International box office revenues are crunched with the sector grossing $27.3 billion for a 2.7% improvement from the prior year. The modest improvement was nearly identical to the domestic increases and indicates a foreign maturation following years of healthy annual boosts as India, Russia and China blossomed. The Hollywood majors generated about $14.3 billion of the total which was 49% better than the domestic final of $9.6 billion.

Top-end tracking predictions for Split woefully underestimated at $26-$28 million. The national mood appeared to be hungry for an eerie thriller propelled by a shrewd marketing campaign that delivered a satisfying experience. On the domestic front, the audience was 52% female with 52% aged 25-years and younger. Internationally the film opened in 20 territories to just shy of $6 million. Its sole major market was the UK at $3.1 million.

The xXx franchise bowed in 2002 to strong global box office but a sequel three years later signaled its quick demise. Its revival, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, was expected to generate a top end of $20 million and proved accurate. However its aggressive day-and-date international launch in 53 markets proved more potent with a $50 million debut. Russia topped the list with a $5.5 million box office with France grossing $3.1 million and Germany and Mexico each adding $2.8 million to the till.

The stateside audience was 53% male with 62% of viewers aged 25-years and older.

The weekend also had the industry buzzing about perceived missteps by Paramount distribution that is currently juggling five national releases including xXx 3 and last week’s freshman Monster Trucks. The consensus is that the new titles have pushed out Fences that’s lost 1675 playdates in two weeks. There’s no talk about a re-issue of Fences based on Oscar nominations though the company is primed to do just that next weekend with Arrival. And this weekend’s 833 new venues for the commercially faltering Silence has caused much tut-tuting as many additions were the result of arranging for it to unspool as the last screening of the day for Monster Truck engagements.

Weekend (estimates) January 20 – 22, 2017
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
Split Uni 40.1 (13,210) NEW 3038 40.1
xXx: Return of Xander Cage Par 20.1 (5,510) NEW 3651 20.1
Hidden Figures Fox 16.2 (4,740) -22% 3416 84.2
Sing Uni 9.0 (2,820) -37% 3193 249.3
La La Land Lionsgate 8.4 (4,520) 42% 1865 89.8
Rogue One BV 7.2 (2,680) -46% 2693 512.4
Monster Trucks Par 7.0 (2,260) -36% 3119 22.6
Patriots Day CBS 6.1 (1,940) -48% 3120 23.7
Sleepless Open Road 3.5 (1,960) -58% 1803 15
The Founder Weinstein Co. 3.5 (3,160) NEW 1115 3.5
The Bye Bye Man STX/VVS 3.5 (1,570) -74% 2220 20.1
Moana BV 2.6 (1,980) -40% 1296 236.8
Passengers Sony 2.4 (1,520) -55% 1556 94.6
Lion Weinstein Co. 1.8 (3,180) -20% 575 16.4
Live By Night WB 1.8 (640) -64% 2822 9.5
Underworld: Blood Wars Sony 1.7 (1,150) -73% 1466 28.6
20th Century Women A24 1.3 (2,050) 321% 650 2.3
The Resurrection of Gavin Stone High Top 1.3 (1,490) NEW 887 1.3
Fences Par 1.3 (1,850) -54% 693 48.8
Why Him? Fox 1.1 (1,100) -68% 1034 58
Silence Par 1.1 (710) -43% 1580 5.1
Manchester By the Sea Roadside Attract/ Mongrel .97 (1,790) -43% 543 38.9
Moonlight A24/Elevation .63 (1,290) -43% 489 15.8
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them WB .43 (1,430) -54% 302 231.7
Jackie Fox Searchlight .37 (1,540) -50% 239 11.3
Arrival Par .33 (1,850) -39% 180 95.7
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $142.60
% Change (Last Year) 29%
% Change (Last Week) -2%
Also debuting/expanding
Sailor Moon R Eleven Arts .18 (1,510) 78 0.18
Paterson Bleecker Street .12 (3,210) 22% 38 0.53
Elle Sony Classics .11 (780) -58% 143 1.6
Nelly Seville 94,500 (4,340) 22 0.09
Julieta Sony Classics 91,400 (2,290) -25% 40 0.67
Pushpaka Vimana Thoogudeepa 35,200 (1,760) 20 0.04
Toni Erdmann Sony Classics 26,700 (4,680) -28% 6 0.26
The Red Turtle Sony Classics 20,900 (6,970) 3 0.02
Faith’s Song Northface 10,400 (1,300) 8 0.01
Panique (reissue) Rialto 6,100 (6,100) 1 0.01
Bakery in Brooklyn Gravitas 4,700 (590) 8 0.01
Strike a Pose Bond 360 3,500 (700) 5 0.01
My Father Die FilmRise 3,400 (425) 8 0.01
Staying Vertical Strand 3,300 (820) 4 0.01
They Call Us Monsters BMP 2,600 (1,300) 2 0.01

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Kingsman: The Golden Circle 15.1 4003 New 15.1
It 9 4007 -53% 245.4
The Lego Ninjago Movie 5.7 4047 New 5.7
American Assassin 1.9 3154 -68% 21.8
mother! 1 2368 -67% 11.2
Home Again 1 2685 -41% 20
Friend Request 0.7 2569 New 0.7
Stronger 0.5 574 New 0.5
The Hitman's Bodyguard 0.5 2037 -52% 72.2
Wind River 0.4 1431 -52% 30.8
Also Debuting
Jai Lava Kusa 0.27 179
Battle of the Sexes 0.16 21
Nikka Zalidar 2 95,600 45
Victoria & Abdul 55,800 4
Bhoomi 15,100 37
Les Rois mongols 14,200 34
The Tiger Hunter 9,600 42
Woodshock 5,550 3
The Tag-Along 2 3,800 7
Bobbi Jene 3,000 1
Unrest 2,950 1
Axis 2,700 1
I Can Speak 2,200 2
The King's Choice 2,100 2
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