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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Weekend Estimates by Leggo My Whip-O Klady

weekend estimates 021217 9-34a

So I gave too much respect to Fifty Shades Darker. The Friday number, with its hardcore must see-ers, was the anomaly. This one dropped like a stone the rest of the weekend. Off 45% from the first film in the series. If that translates to the entire run, $90m domestic is the target and the international… who knows? 45% international off would be $222 million, about $310 worldwide. Still profitable. But no one at the studio will be thrilled with the energy needed to launch the third next year. As long as the international holds – and it could hold much better than domestic – there will be profits. But pushing out the third in a series when you know your once-big-hit will do $70 million max domestic is a cranky activity.

The Lego Batman Movie delivered on its Friday launch as one would expect from a family film… but will it pace Moana and Sing and The Lego Movie? Lego opened significantly better. But it found a legit adult audience. and was less about the kids. There are benefits both ways. And looking at the Ninjago trailer, the best long-view chance for the franchise is young kids, not adults. So this may be a good sign for WB.

John Wick: Chapter Two flexed more muscle than expected and becomes a more realistic opportunity to get to $100m domestic. That may become overstatement by this time next weekend. But $29.4 million puts Wick 2 in the top tier of Lionsgate openers, behind only franchises that were always meant to be franchises. So take the win.

Hidden Figures just keeps going. Now it looks like $150m is the domestic minimum and $175m is realistic. La La Land is coming back to earth more quickly, but still a remarkable run and it should be near $140 million when it wins Best Picture. The Weinstein Company is being cautious with Lion, but doing nicely, holding well and passing $30 million. Arrival will have passed $100 million domestic by this time next weekend. Manchester by the Sea remains solid. And Moonlight passed the $20m barrier this weekend.

The only $10k+ weekends in limited/exclusive were A United Kingdom from Searchlight on four and Kedi from Oscilloscope on one.

I’m Not Your Negro is doing strong doc business, though the real box office surprise for docs this award season is The Eagle Huntress, which has done $3 million.

22 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Leggo My Whip-O Klady”

  1. JS Partisan says:

    Imagine… If John wick opened in fucking January, and Lego Bats opened in March. There’s so much money, that these films left on the table. There’s no need for a cluster fuck like this, is fucking February!

  2. EtGuild2 says:

    BOW to the power of Vin Diesel in China! The #9 Hollywood opening of all-time there, doubling ROGUE ONE’s and on par with THE GREAT WALL. One of the few cases recently where China has served as the golden goose unless it falls off a cliff (which it may).

    Satanic Illumination has staked out the same December date it had for SING for SING 2 in 2020, and something in 2022 (SING 3?) as well (with MINIONS 2 now announced also). SING is now the #3 non-summer cartoon of all-time domestically (behind FROZEN and ZOOTOPIA), and $650 million worldwide looks possible with Russia, China and Japan still to play. Dreamworks has never had a $650 million worldwide original, and since Illumination does these on the cheap, the final will be like $750 million for a DWA/DA/Pixar release.

  3. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Not sure about the validity of sending out Lego Bats against Kong, Logan and Beauty. I expect all three of those to open at $70 million plus.

  4. Heather says:

    I understand the argument for money left on the table, but the studios were more focused on the President’s day holiday and the extra boast it can provide Sunday and Monday. Fifty Shades will enjoy
    Valentine’s as well

  5. Bulldog68 says:

    @ JS, What Wally said, and there is also Power Rangers and Boss Baby in March. Maybe they just felt that March had too much aimed at the same audience. Opening now it’s the only family option for awhile.

  6. Joe Leydon says:

    I have never quite understood the expression “leaving money on the table” when used in the context of film distribution. Do you mean that people who might want to see a movie on its opening weekend but miss it (because they see another movie instead) won’t go see it on the following weekend? I’m not sure I buy that.

  7. JS Partisan says:

    Joe, most people, see only five movies a year, in a theater. This means, that a couple who has a choice between those three movies, picks one, and waits to watch the other ones later. If they are spread out, and only one of these movies should have opened this weekend, then the other two may have been one of the five. That’s leaving money… On the table.

  8. Pete B. says:

    ^ Statistics?

  9. JS Partisan says:

    ^ that’s your response, on a box office blog?

    This shit, is easy to figure out. It’s just numbers.

  10. EtGuild2 says:

    Hey Joe! I have never seen a critic quoted as much in a trailer as you are for KEDI, haha. Can’t wait to check it out:)

  11. poet67 says:

    At least Universal didn’t commit to splitting “Fifty Shades Freed” into a two-parter.

  12. Geoff says:

    Yeah but JS where would you have moved it? Next month is a clusterfuck and the last Lego movie was the second highest February grosser ever behind Passion of the Christ….I’m guessing Warners or Lionsgate were counting on the other studio blinking and YES John Wick 2 could have cleaned up opening the middle of last month.

    Like we said March is damn crowded and April looks a bit better except for F8 but you have Boss Baby the last week of March then full-on animated Smurfs the next week after that….so your animation market is going to be a bit log-jammed. MAYBE May – might even work to do the weekend after ‘Guardians as a nice fuck-you back to Marvel Studios but they’re probably still leaving money on the table.

    Do any later than the second weekend of May and then you’re bumping up against a MORE important DC property of Wonder Woman which comes out at the beginning of June THEN Transformers THEN Cars 3(!) THEN Spiderman Returns. Now that I think about it, the first weekend of August looks pretty quiet right now and seeing how they launched Suicide Squad last August, that weekend might have been a good launching spot for Lego Batman….but that would have been holding off for six whole months FOLLOWING a glut of superhero movies for several months prior.

    It would have probably out-opened the first Lego movie if NOT for John Wick 2 and Lionsgate could have probably been looking at a $40 million plus opening for that one if it had a quieter weekend to itself as well.

  13. JS Partisan says:

    Geoff, that’s true, it’s a mess next month, but Wick could have easily run away with January. This just seems like weird placing, when you could have just opened Lego Bats next week.

  14. Joe Leydon says:

    EtGuild2: I gave it four paws up.

  15. palmtree says:

    I thought Sing was part of a larger game plan. 270m was not even imagined by most prognosticators, so to think Uni won’t expand on it seems silly.

  16. Sideshow Bill says:

    ” Next month is a clusterfuck and the last Lego movie was the second highest February grosser ever behind Passion of the Christ”

    Didn’t Deadpool surpass Lego Movie last year? It was February release.

    Considering that neither Great Wall or Cure For Wellness look like world-beaters (to my eyes) opening Batman on that holiday weekend might have yielded a bigger opening. I don’t know what the tracking is on either film.

    But, if they do open weak Batman could easily have a great hold and make up for what it lost this weekend, and probably remain number one FWIW. And it only has Get Out to contend with the following weekend. I’m not great at box office analysis but seems to me Batman will be fine.

    I agree Wick could have done a little better in January. But nobody really saw Split coming either.

  17. Sideshow Bill says:

    Hmm, I forgot Fist Fight opens next week too. I still think Batman will be fine.

  18. Christian Hamaker says:

    “Moana” made it to the second-run theater near me, so I’ll probably get to it at last – if not this week, in the next week or two. The big animated films seem to stay at that theater for months on end.

    Speaking of animation, I’ll try again (after an attempt in the Saturday-morning thread) to get some discussion going about the Oscar-nominated shorts. This year’s animated short were – for the first time I can remember since I started attending the animated and live shorts compilations six or seven years ago – inferior to the live action shorts. But even more surprising is my preference for the final entry, “Pear Cider and Cigarettes,” which three film-buff friends have all declared their least favorite of the bunch. It’s long, and OK, you know where the story’s going early on. But that’s the nature of dealing with an addict (which is what the story is about). I found the visual presentation consistently arresting and would gladly sit down and watch it again right now if I could.

  19. Triple Option says:

    I haven’t seen too many of the animated or live action shorts over the years. There have been years when I’ve only seen one or the other but not both. Last year, I didn’t see any but in 2015, the year The Phone Call won, I thought the live action ones were stronger but now, I’m having a harder time picturing the animated from that year. I actually thought the Irish film Burger Chef & Jeff, wait, no, what was it called?? Boogaloo & Graham. Yes, Breakin’ IV: Electric Boogaloo and Graham, was the best one.

    I won’t see the shorts until next weekend. I’ve caught them at different points in the past, like some type of screening or festival but I saw they were going to be in theaters on the 20th. Will bring my comments back if I am able to go.

  20. Christian says:

    That Irish short escapes me, although I remember not loving “The Phone Call.”

  21. Triple Option says:

    I should have said Northern Ireland. It was the one with the two boys 9 & 7 -ish who get the chicken to take care of to keep them out of trouble. They were hysterical smartasses. But it was set presumably in the early 80s over a period of military enforced curfew.

    I kinda knew the Phone Call would win if not because of the somewhat recognizable talent in it but it was such a huge emotional play. Which, to the director’s credit, everything was cued up from the gitgo. If you sit and dissect it then it’s easy to go, “Wait, what?” and question what was really the storyline and results but did such an emotional drive by I’m sure people clicked it off while still dabbing their eyes. I think I read the dude who directed it had a history in advertising and directing commercials. Makes sense.

  22. Christian says:

    I remember it now.

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