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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Weekend Estimates by Tax Day Klady

Friday Estimates 652 2018-04-15 at 9.40.48 AM copy

A Quiet Place was not #1 this weekend, but even if it had been #1, it’s irrelevant. It is easily the bigger box office story of the weekend. A 35% drop in a second weekend that, 1) comes after a $30m+ opening weekend, 2) is not influenced by a holiday weekend, and 3) is not an animated film is extremely rare.

A Quiet Place is #1500 on the big chart of great holds at Box Office Mojo. But there are only 84 movies ever that opened over $30 million and held 65% of the number the next weekend. Twenty-seven of those are animated films, which are stronger holders than any other genre. Twenty-three had second weekend on Christmas, New Year’s or Thanksgiving. That brings us down to 37 titles. Fifteen more are summer releases.

Of the 19 films still on the list, only seven had openings over $40 million and only four launching with over $50 million. They are American Sniper, Gravity, The Martian and now, A Quiet Place.

You may argue that I am being too generous to this film’s numbers, but every standard I have used has been pretty broad and reasonable. Holding better over a holiday weekend is to be expected. Animated films have a unique place. And the bigger the opening, the more challenging a 35% hold becomes.

There are amazing holds like Star Wars VII, Jurassic WorldBlack Panther and the nine other films with $100 million openings that held 50% or better the second weekend. But it is easy to undervalue the performance of A Quiet Place too. When I guessed that it would be a $150 million movie, others thought I was being too ambitious… turns out I was being too conservative. It is $20 million+ ahead of last year’s biggest thrillers, Get Out and Split, after two weekends, suggesting that $200 million domestic is a legit possibility.

Now… Rampage. Meh. But take away the films in which Dwayne was not a lead (aka, not on the one-sheet) and was not animated and is not a sequel and this is his third best opening. Now, adjust with Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle and GI Joe: Retaliation, which were both really reboots based heavily on The Rock’s star power… so Top 5. But, Top 5.

Yes, WB was aiming at San Andreas, not Central Intelligence. But anyone foolish enough to expect F&F numbers deserves to be beaten about the head and shoulders. And of course, the film is already right at $150 million worldwide in its first weekend… which is why Dwayne is one of the few worth the money these days.

Truth or Dare is another Blumhouse win, albeit a small one. Cost nothing. Universal spent a ton on outdoor and modestly on very targeted TV and an aggressive online campaign. Smelled of direct-to-Netflix. But much better than that, financially.

Fox Searchlight is managing Isle of Dogs carefully, but successfully. The expansion from 554 to 1939 screens was more abrupt than Grand Budapest, but less so than Fantastic Mr. Fox, which went from four to 2,033. Dogs should land right between the two previous Searchlight forays with Wes domestically. There is no sign that the strained complaints about cultural appropriation have taken a toll (aside from the ads losing their Asian flair).

Blockers will be (unfairly) used as a cautionary tale over lunches for the next month. It’s done fine. But it hasn’t gotten a second wind. It could easily do 3x opening. But it has not become America’s obsession… especially with young women, where it was expected to explode by many. One wonders whether A Quiet Place, albeit in a very different genre, took its wind.

Amazingly, Sony Animation has its sixth $100 million domestic grosser with Peter Rabbit. Done now, but $300 million worldwide is nothing to hop at. Expect a sequel.

Kino has a hit with Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami. Maybe it could have been bigger. I am surprised that I was never invited to see the film before release (or get a link). I am a slave to the rhythm and it would have been high on my watch list.

And Sony Classics has another quiet cashflow film with The Leisure Seeker, very low profile, but also very low-priced for the domestic release and already over $2.3 million.

22 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Tax Day Klady”

  1. LBB says:

    Haven’t seen it yet but was hoping A Quiet Place would squeak out another #1. So close.

  2. Sideshow Bill says:

    Just reiterating what I posted on the Friday thread about YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE. Holy shit. Just holy shit. More Lynne Ramsay soon, please, and don’t forget this film in December/January

  3. Christian says:

    “Krystal” ended with $250 per screen on 83. That is just a stunning per-screen figure. Maybe it’s not all that unusual?

    I’m not usually a dance-on-its-grave box-office guy, but I had my eye on “Krystal” because it was lavished with praise at the Virginia Film Festival. That’s where I saw it, and I figured the overreaction was just festival-gush: Locals appreciative to hear from William H. Macy in person (he presented the film). Seems like that might be the case after all, although it’s hard to gauge a broader reaction to a film that next to no one bothered to see.

  4. movieman says:

    Like “Borg Vs. McEnroe” and “Aardvark,” “Krystal” is another title that’s available as a VOD D&D w/ its “limited theatrical.”
    So not surprising.
    And, unlike “B Vs. M,” the reviews for both “Krystal” and “Aardvark” were pretty bad.

    Sad that Lucrecia Martel’s “Zama” didn’t open better, even in supposed “Film Culture” hotbeds.

    Nice that “The Rider” had a decent bow (akin to the decent recent launches of “Lean on Pete” and “You Were Never Really Here”), so maybe “Film Culture” still has a pulse if just w/ English-language auteurist cinema. (Hey, Wes and PTA.)

    Not sure why foreign language movies are having such a hard time breaking through these days, even on the arthouse circuit. Ozon’s delicious movie-movie “Double Lover” couldn’t crack $200,000 domestically. And the Oscar-winning “A Fantastic Woman” and Oscar-nominated “Loveless” and “Foxtrot” all struggled, despite diligent Sony Pictures Classics ad/pub campaigns.

    Any theories?

  5. Stella's Boy says:

    People here gave me shit for some stupid reason when I mentioned this a month or two ago, but Loveless looked depressing as hell. I’m sure it is good and someday I’d like to see it as a good downer has its appeal, but isn’t that a possible explanation? I wanted to see the dumbest comedy ever made after seeing the Loveless trailer. Movie like that that appears so unrelentingly bleak can be a tough sell?

  6. EtGuild2 says:

    Catching LAST JEDI worldwide now looks like a 50/50 proposition for BLACK PANTHER. Doing so would likely mean you end the year with 4 out the Top 10 worldwide grossers as MCU movies.

    Even with the bigger drop, READY PLAYER ONE is at $475 million worldwide, and with Japan still to come it looks to make at least a bit of money despite the massive China haul (It’s somehow cracked the PR’s all-time Hollywood Top 10). $600 million is quite possible.

    $200 million is a bit of a reach to speculate for A QUIET PLACE, DP. Looking at GET OUT’s trajectory, A QUIET PLACE would need to AVERAGE a -35% drop each weekend from here out to get there. Not impossible, but that’s a crazy thing to project for a horror film.

  7. Glamourboy says:

    I would hope that Blockers would do better…its actually a terrific comedy…yeah, there’s barf and gross-out humor, but there’s also a soft center to the film that had me and my friends shedding a few tears in the end. The ensemble cast is great. I hope Kay Cannon gets to keep making movies.

  8. Aaron Aradillas says:

    BLACK PANTHER needs $27 million. Is it possible the movie will get a boost during AVENGERS weekend? Will Marvel give PANTHER one last push?

    BLOCKERS, like the original PITCH PERFECT, will be a solid hit in theaters but become a HUGE hit on cable. It should be remembered that SUPERBAD had a terrific trailer. The BLOCKERS trailer was kind of iffy. Also, SUPERBAD had both KNOCKED UP and Apatow to help prop it up.

  9. movieman says:

    I think we may have had that same discussion a few months back, SB.
    Yeah, “Loveless” is a downer, as is “Foxtrot” for that matter.
    But so were some of the biggest foreign language films of yore that had arthouse audiences queuing up around the block (“Cries and Whispers,” “The Story of Adele H.,” “Scenes from a Marriage,” “Hiroshima, Mon Amour,” etc., etc.).
    There just seems to be an impenetrable barrier between 21st century audiences (even among the most hardcore moviegoers) and subtitles.
    Depressing.

  10. Stella's Boy says:

    Arthouse audiences being leery of subtitles nowadays? I guess it’s possible. Every time I’m at one of the two Landmark Theatres where I live, the average age is about 70. I can’t imagine they are scared off by subtitles, but you could be right. Bad trailers maybe? And I still think misery porn is a tough sell these days, subtitles or not. I don’t know though I could be wrong. These days all arthouse movies are a tough sell.

    You see Beirut movieman? I like Brad Anderson a lot and am intrigued by it.

  11. Chucky says:

    Don’t blame the films themselves for the current arthouse malaise. Blame the arty distribs who are imitating the Hollywood policy of movie marketing for Murica. In New Jersey, one prominent arthouse opened “Beirut” and “Chappaquiddick” simply because the arty fare is underwhelming.

    As well, “The Leisure Seeker” can hardly be “a quiet cashflow film” when it was one-and-done in the megaplexes thanks to the dumbed-down marketing.

  12. Triple Option says:

    Shia LaBeouf as John McEnroe sounds like some goofy website list of who’d be the perfect actor to play a non-actor celeb in film. Do you really want to remind the world how unlikable Johnny Mac was? Some guys who were public enemy #1 during their heyday turned into lovable curmudgeons in the 2nd act of their life, like Charles Barkley and Ozzy Osbourne. Mac hasn’t found a way to say diplomatically that women’s tennis isn’t on par with men’s or set the record straight on his steroid use. Not that these are reasons to have people stay away from seeing the movie, I just don’t think there’s much character appeal to his early years that may have been present had he developed a sense of humor to match his ground game.

    I don’t know if the fact that there hasn’t been a dominant US mens player since Sampras and not one with personality since Agassi that made it hard to enter the public’s radar. I had to google search the Billie Jean King movie to recall the title of that largely forgettable Battle of the Sexes and that had talent widely adored with a feel-good theme all hitched up to the bumper upon release. I’m sure Searchlight pumped way more into marketing. I haven’t seen any spots or banners for Borg v Mac. But if the former goes widely unnoticed, no surprising Borg v Mac didn’t make any noise.

    I know you don’t want to get shoved around by the summer tent poles but releasing it two months since the Aussie Open and another, what, 6 wks before the next major in Roland Garros??? I can’t believe tennis is on anyone’s mind right now. I wonder how huge their rivalry would’ve been had Borg been from Czech like Lendl? That way you have the US vs eastern bloc powers behind it. Johnny, the actress dating, wannabe rockstar against the methodical, technically sound, silent cyborg. We’d prolly still be hearing about them like Bird vs Magic.

  13. Triple Option says:

    Rampage looked pretty lame to me. Beirut is the type of movie I go for but that looked pretty generic as well. My quick glance at some reviews seemed to confirm that.

  14. JSPartisan says:

    Art house fare, is for streaming. I know that statement gets a lot of pushback here, but it seems to be the truth. These films aren’t always easy to find, and some of us have limited options. Sure. We need these movies, but does watching them online diminish their impact at all? Is it different from how TCM has always been? It’s not like it was easy to find the great Indies in the 90s. That’s why I had Cinemax and blockbuster. Times change, or the technology does.

  15. movieman says:

    Nope, didn’t open anywhere near me, SB.
    I was really looking forward to it, too: love Hamm, Pellegrino & Whigham; and Anderson has done some interesting work (“Happy Accidents,” “Next Stop Wonderland,” etc.) over the years.

  16. Stella's Boy says:

    That’s a fair point JS. That probably does play a role as well. They aren’t always easy to find and that will likely only get worse. As it stands now the two Landmark Theatres we have already play blockbusters on a regular basis just to survive, limiting the arthouse fare, but soon we are losing both of them. One of our Landmarks is being taken over by a local nonprofit group and the other is probably going to close down when its lease is up later this year. And Landmark is up for sale isn’t it?

  17. spassky says:

    “We need these movies, but does watching them online diminish their impact at all?”

    yes. i will be the first here to push back on that. I can’t believe people don’t appreciate the focus a theater gives an audience/viewer.

    I think the Zama screenings were thrown off because of A) the midweek screenings and Q&As martel has been doing in nyc; B) the weather in nyc this weekend; C) It’s a brutal, strange, dizzying film that is very hard to market. In fact, all Martel seems a little tough for many modern audiences. That didn’t stop people from seeing YWNRH, but that’s because of one reason: Joaquin.

  18. JSPartisan says:

    The theater never is the focus place. It’s always been home for me.

  19. spassky says:

    I do admit that for subtitled films, my focus is much better watching from a balcony or slightly above to keep from moving my head up and down.

    you never look at your phone, pause the film, eat food, or do anything else that would distract from your viewing at home? If not, I assure you that you are likely in the minority on that one.

  20. Hcat says:

    Almost never get there, plus all the older titles I do not have the opportunity to see on the big screen, but theatrical is ALWAYS preferable. Home video is the methadone to true shot of attending the theater.

    Besides, movies are a communal experience.

  21. Pete B says:

    ^ “Besides, movies are a communal experience.”

    I don’t know. Few things beat having a private showing. That’s always a plus in my book.

  22. Sonny Hooper says:

    While some movies benefit from the big-screen experience (SFX blockbusters) and being seen with a crowd (comedies, horror), movies are only a communal experience because that’s how they were first experienced. Doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the only way or even the best way. Times change.

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