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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Friday Estimates by Baby Klady

Fri Est 651w 2017-04-01 at 8.33.21 AM copy

Fox may have delivered its best DreamWorks Animation opening with its penultimate release, as Boss Baby‘s opening day is almost identical to the top DWA/Fox release, Home. The rest of the weekend will tell, but $50m+ is in the cards for this comedy that played more like a Termite Terrace homage than a Trump joke before The Orange Menace became president. To be clear, I don’t think anyone is going to see this movie because of the Trump thing. But it is undeniable… and Alec Baldwin makes it unavoidable.

Even if Beauty & The Beast once again has a strong 3.8x Friday multiple for the weekend, it won’t get to that $50 million mark. But don’t cry for Beast, as it will become the sixth fastest film to hit $400 million domestic on Wednesday or Thursday this week. It will probably take a couple more weeks to pass $1 billion worldwide.

Ghost in the Shell will open to a little better than half of Lucy‘s opening. Lucy is the comp. 100%, at least domestically. The passionate following for the original Ghost in the Shell – mostly the same group focusing on whitewashing – are valuable, but nowhere near large enough to change the box office profile. This is true of all comic book movies and most franchises, really. You have a few franchises, like Twilight and The Hunger Games, where the lookie-loos drop off and the large core stays in place through the whole run. What is fascinating about Ghost is that the critical Asian market for the new film is where the English language and white star will be most obvious… and could go really, really well for Paramount, more so than in the U.S. where these issues are political chatter.

So the answer is, Ghost is not going to be a big U.S. hit. But it could be a solid moneymaker based on international returns. Story TK.

The Zookeeper’s Wife continues to get curiouser and curiouser. 474 screens. When is the last time you saw a movie open with that count? It is rare, especially for studio divisions. Basically, it’s a dump count. The exception (kind of) was 2015, when Universal threw Everest out there on 545 in September and Sony put The Walk out on the tightrope on 440. Both movies had high ambitions. (Didn’t write that as a pun… but ha ha, it became one.) The Walk was a disaster at the box office, whereas Everest was just a failure.

Zookeeper out-opened its screen count. It performed yesterday like the foreign-language non-Hollywood domestic hits that do a big number for a weekend and then disappear. But Zookeeper is not that. It is an awards movie that opened, instead, in late March/early April… a victim of an overfilled (and excellent) Focus awards schedule. And its opening is bigger than any English-language major studio release on fewer than 650 screens in the last five years, with the exception of Everest and the original Pitch Perfect, which launched on 335 and did $1.8m on opening day. The closest actual comp I found in the five-year look was A Most Wanted Man, which Roadside released on 361 screens in July 2014 and opened to $717k on opening day. Prestige movie. Oscar talk. $17.2 million domestic. Zookeeper will do a bit better than that, probably passing $20 million. But that is probably the glass ceiling… limited by its programming… unless it breaks away in some unique way.

6 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Baby Klady”

  1. BITPLAYA says:

    Who gets blamed for Ghost? The source material isn’t exactly popcorn flick material. It’s a moody existential trip. It came out what 30 years ago?

    It was a bad idea.

  2. JS Partisan says:

    Bad idea? Fuck no. It will do solid overseas, and that’s where this movie is aimed. Seriously, It’s one of more amazing looking films ever made, so it’s look (like the anime), will linger for a while.

    Seriously though, what a clusterfuck of a release schedule. All of these movies, are going to lose some fucking money, because these fuckers do not want to grasp, that the pie is only so big. Also, when there is a slow ass weekend during the summer. I’m just going to point out, that one of these films could be slated there. It’s just nuts, that March has become the crowded.

  3. Bitplaya says:

    The foreign would need to be huge to justify the budget and you have to always take into account that they get back less from some of those territories than they do domestic. A movie that makes $200 million overseas after shitting the bed domestic is still a failure.

    It would need to do Warcraft numbers to not be a failure.

  4. Pete B says:

    The anime came out in 1995, so just a mere 22 years ago.

  5. Geoff says:

    It is certainly a clusterfuck JS – even if ‘Ghost had opened significantly better here and overseas, it had only two weeks before the F8rious juggernaut kicked in….and as it stands, even Boss Baby doesn’t really have breathing room as Smurfs are returning to animation this Friday.

    Hard to see when there WAS some actual breathing room except for MAYBE half of January and not again until August – Sony did the smart thing by moving The Dark Tower to early August though of COURSE…if they’re hoping to nail down the Steven King crowd for a while, then they have an apparent IT explosion coming a month later.

    Lionsgate should have held on Power Rangers regardless – I’m guessing they were expecting Divergent-type numbers and in a weaker March, they would have probably gotten that. A fall release date could have worked.

  6. brack says:

    Ghost in the Shell was never going to get a very good opening weekend and/or run domestically. There was no marketing hook besides “here’s some neat looking stuff to look at.” Only movie geeks like us know wtf GitS is about (and I barely remember it).

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“The Motion Picture Academy, at considerable expense and with great efficiency, runs all the nominated pictures at its own theater, showing each picture twice, once in the afternoon, once in the evening. A nominated picture is one in connection with which any kind of work is nominated for an award, not necessarily acting, directing, or writing; it may be a purely technical matter such as set-dressing or sound work. This running of pictures has the object of permitting the voters to look at films which they may happen to have missed or to have partly forgotten. It is an attempt to make them realize that pictures released early in the year, and since overlaid with several thicknesses of battered celluloid, are still in the running and that consideration of only those released a short time before the end of the year is not quite just.

“The effort is largely a waste. The people with votes don’t go to these showings. They send their relatives, friends, or servants. They have had enough of looking at pictures, and the voices of destiny are by no means inaudible in the Hollywood air. They have a brassy tone, but they are more than distinct.”All this is good democracy of a sort. We elect Congressmen and Presidents in much the same way, so why not actors, cameramen, writers, and all rest of the people who have to do with the making of pictures? If we permit noise, ballyhoo, and theater to influence us in the selection of the people who are to run the country, why should we object to the same methods in the selection of meritorious achievements in the film business? If we can huckster a President into the White House, why cannot we huckster the agonized Miss Joan Crawford or the hard and beautiful Miss Olivia de Havilland into possession of one of those golden statuettes which express the motion picture industry’s frantic desire to kiss itself on the back of its neck? The only answer I can think of is that the motion picture is an art. I say this with a very small voice. It is an inconsiderable statement and has a hard time not sounding a little ludicrous. Nevertheless it is a fact, not in the least diminished by the further facts that its ethos is so far pretty low and that its techniques are dominated by some pretty awful people.

“If you think most motion pictures are bad, which they are (including the foreign), find out from some initiate how they are made, and you will be astonished that any of them could be good. Making a fine motion picture is like painting “The Laughing Cavalier” in Macy’s basement, with a floorwalker to mix your colors for you. Of course most motion pictures are bad. Why wouldn’t they be?”
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