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Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies|16.5|3875|NEW|50.9
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb|5.6|3785|NEW|5.6
Annie|5.3|3116|NEW|5.3
Exodus: Gods and Kings|2.3|3503|-75%|33.1
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1|2.2|3174|-41%|283.7
Wild|1.2|1061|147%|4.2
Top Five|1|1307|-59%|9.9
P.K.|1|272|NEW|1
Big Hero 6|0.9|2407|-35%|187.8
The Penguins of Madagascar|0.85|2717|-45%|61.5
||||
||||
Also Debuting||||
Mr. Turner|28,400|5||
Les Maîtres du suspense|21,800|54||
Song of the Sea|4,600|1||
Winter Sleep|2,100|1||

The Weekend Report

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings swept into the marketplace with an estimated $24.5 million to lead weekend movie ticket sales. The session’s other national newcomer was the raw romantic comedy Top Five that bowed to $7.1 million.

The exclusive bow of Inherent Vice generated a potent $336,000 box office from five pads and modest expansions for The Imitation Game and Wild maintained both pictures’ commercial momentum.

In the niches the Tamil import Lingaa posted an impressive $1.4 million gross from 136 engagements. There was also good news for the Chinese comedy Back in Time with a $228,000 tally from 19 screens.

Revenues from the frame were slightly more than $85 million that marked an 11% improvement from last weekend. It was a rather severe 43% drop from 2013 when the debut of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug arrived with $73.6 million.

There’s been a degree of head scratching about the mini-wave of biblically-inspired movies that began earlier this year with Noah. Exodus: Gods and Kings played heavily on the spectacle of the venerable saga and not so much on a contemporary metaphor and tracking indicated a solid bow somewhere in the range of $24 million to $28 million. Last weekend the film opened in 11 international territories to similarly strong but not quite epic figures.

Studio exit polling identified the opening crowd as 54% male with 54% of viewers aged between 18 and 34-years old.

Chris Rock’s inside showbiz Top Five was a big audience favorite at Toronto and hotly pursued by major distributors. Although not an awards contender it’s been put into the fray as counter-programming and following its excellent bow is hoping to build on word-of-mouth during the season.

The season thus far has been commercially disappointing and aside from The Hobbit finale could very well be the softest year end in a decade. Annie is perceived as the family viewing choice but there’s considerable reservation about it hitting a home run. There’s a comparable concern that there won’t be an award’s contender that gets a major box office boast. Such candidates as Unbroken, Selma and American Sniper haven’t received a lot of love from the spate of critics’ panels or even the Golden Globes in the past fortnight and will have to push their late starts and keep fingers crossed that Oscar voters saw and appreciated their respective virtues.

Weekend (estimates) December 12 – 14, 2014
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
Exodus: Gods and Kings Fox 24.5 (6,990) NEW 3503 24.5
Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Lionsgate 12.9 (3,450) -42% 3731 277.1
The Penguins of Madagascar Fox 7.3 (2,000) -33% 3667 58.9
Top Five Par 7.1 (7,290) NEW 979 7.1
Big Hero 6 BV 6.1 (2,080) -24% 2943 185.3
Interstellar Par 5.4 (2,020) -30% 2692 166.7
Horrible Bosses 2 WB 4.6 (1,450) -45% 3202 43.6
Dumb and Dumber 2 Uni 2.7 (960) -36% 2842 82.1
The Theory of Everything Focus 2.5 (2,080) -5% 1220 17.1
Wild Fox Searchlight 1.6 (13,530) 159% 116 2.4
Lingaa Classics 1.4 (10,220) NEW 136 1.4
Birdman Fox Searchlight 1.3 (2,190) 16% 606 20.8
Gone Girl Fox 1.0 (1,070) -30% 963 164.4
The Imitation Game Weinstein/Remstar .89 (32,960) 129% 27 2
St. Vincent Weinstein Co. .69 (680) -35% 1012 41.9
Fury Sony .61 (840) -33% 726 84.3
Nightcrawler Open Road/Elevation .59 (740) -45% 798 31.1
The Pyramid Fox .57 (830) -58% 685 2.4
The Homesman Roadside Attractions .38 (1,700) -21% 223 1.6
Foxcatcher Sony Classics .37 (4,650) -29% 79 3.3
Inherent Vice WB .34 (67,200) NEW 5 0.34
Beyond the Lights Relativity .29 (640) -60% 459 14.3
Whiplash Sony Classics .25 (1,630) -21% 154 4.8
Back in Time China Lion .23 (12,000) NEW 19 0.23
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $81.75
% Change (Last Year) -43%
% Change (Last Week) 11%
Also debuting/expanding
The Babadook IFC .12 (1,460) 50% 80 0.28
Citizenfour Weinstein Co, .10 (960) -27% 105 1.9
Force Majeur Magnolia 54,800 (1,070) -33% 51 0.93
Expelled Fox Home 16,900 (5,630) 3 0.02
Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks Dada 12,300 (1,760) 7 0.01
Magician: Astonishing Orson Welles Cohen 6,400 (3,200) 2 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Dec. 11, 2014)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
20th Century Fox (19) 1636.3 16.90%
Buena Vista (16) 1526.6 15.80%
Warner Bros. (23) 1350.8 14.00%
Sony (21) 1188.4 12.30%
Universal (18) 1039.2 10.80%
Paramount (14) 994.9 10.30%
Lionsgate (22) 688.6 7.10%
Weinstein Co. (26) 204.8 2.10%
Relativity (10) 178.3 1.90%
Open Road (9) 151.3 1.60%
Fox Searchlight (10) 123.9 1.30%
Focus (11) 110.7 1.10%
FreeStyle (10) 104.3 1.10%
eOne/Seville (30) 54.3 0.60%
Other * (335) 305 3.10%
9657.4 100%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Limited Releases (Jan. 1 – Dec. 11, 2014) *
Title Distributor Box Office
Boyhood IFC/Mongrel 24,060,571
Birdman Fox Searchlight 19,469,207
A Most Wanted Man Roadside/eOne 17,237,855
The Theory of Everything Focus 14,623,183
Nebraska * Par 11,669,238
Dallas Buyers Club * Focus/Remstar 11,522,869
Belle Fox Searchlight 10,726,630
Magic in the Moonlight Sony Classics 10,541,058
Island of the Lemurs: Madagascar WB 8,275,869
Inside Llewyn Davis * CBS/Mongrel 8,107,748
Cantinflas Lionsgate 6,382,924
Jerusalem NationalGeo 6,058,260
Meet the Mormons Purdie 5,950,924
Cesar Chavez Lionsgate 5,571,497
The Skeleton Twins Roadside Attractions 5,276,804
The Wind Rises BV 5,209,580
Journey to the South Pacific Imax 4,979,344
Hubble 3D * Imax 4,865,691
Snowpiercer Weinstein Co. 4,563,650
Whiplash Sony Classics 4,511,611
* does not include 2013 box office

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, December 13th, 2014
Title Gross Theater % Change Cume
Exodus: Gods and Kings

8.6

3503

NEW

8.6

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

3.7

3731

-44%

267.9

Top Five

2.5

979

NEW

2.5

The Penguins of Madagascar

1.6

3667

-34%

53.1

Interstellar

1.5

2692

-30%

162.8

Horrible Bosses 2

1.5

3202

-46%

40.5

Big Hero 6

1.4

2943

-23%

180.6

Dumb and Dumber To

0.8

2842

-36%

80.2

The Theory of Everything

0.75

1220

-4%

14.4

Wild

0.5

116

184%

1.3

Also Debuting
Lingaa

0.39

123

Inherent Vice

0.13

5

Back in Time

75,000

19

Expelled

4,400

3

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks

3,000

7

Magician: Astonishing Orson Welles

2,100

2

 

The Weekend Report

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 made the hat trick as it topped session moviegoing with an estimated $21.7 million. In what’s been traditionally one of the slowest weekends on the calendar. Distribution propped up the self-fulfilling prophecy by largely avoiding new product apart from low-budget horror adventure The Pyramid that grossed only $1.3 million.

On the bright side, limited launch of Wild opened to a sturdy $622,000 from 21 screens and The Imitation Game continued to post strong numbers with the addition of four engagements. The significant expansion of The Homesman also generated OK results.

In the niches, Bollywood provided Action Jackson, which grossed a less-than-stellar $167,000. The situation was marginally better for Past Tense on the Filipino circuit, with boxoffice of $121,000 at 50 venues. In Canada, homegrown comedy Corner Gas raised few laughs with a $152,000 tally from 96 playdates and Serena, the Bradley Cooper-Jennifer Lawrence drama (not slated for U.S. theatrical), had a dull $54,800 bow from 38 locations.

Session revenues grossed close to $80 million to rank as the second lowest weekend of 2014 following the frame after Labor Day. It was a 54% tumble from seven days earlier and trailed 2013 by 19%. A year back the second weekend of Frozen led with $31.6 million to Catching Fire’s $26.2 million.

The industry has for decades thrown up its hands and abandoned the first week of December as a lost cause for movie attendance. The last major release that tried to buck the trend was Disclosure a full two decades ago in 1994, and while it opened well the verdict was its ultimate gross was stifled even in a much different marketplace. So it’s an opportunity for majors to dump its “losers” and this year that was The Pyramid, with “high-end” expectations of $1.5 million.

The schedule will resume next weekend, with Christmas Day jammed with major releases and strategic Oscar-qualifying runs to stuff stockings.

Weekend (estimates) December 5 – 7, 2014
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
THG: Mockingjay – Part 1 Lionsgate 21.7 (5,350) -62% 4054 257.8
The Penguins of Madagascar Fox 11.2 (2,960) -56% 3775 49.7
Horrible Bosses 2 WB 8.6 (2,510) -45% 3400 36.1
Big Hero 6 BV 8.1 (2,570) -57% 3168 177.5
Interstellar Par 7.7 (2,550) -51% 3028 158.4
Dumb and Dumber 2 Uni 4.2 (1,350) -50% 3088 78.1
The Theory of Everything Focus 2.7 (3,220) -47% 826 13.6
Gone Girl Fox 1.5 (1,220) -40% 1205 162.8
The Pyramid Fox 1.3 (2,190) NEW 589 1.3
Birdman Searchlight 1.1 (1,540) -39% 738 18.9
St. Vincent Weinstein 1.1 (750) -37% 1432 40.8
Nightcrawler Open Road 1.0 (830) 23% 1257 30
Fury Sony .86 (960) -44% 896 83.2
Beyond the Lights Relativity .68 (820) -57% 827 13.8
Wild Searchlight .62 (29,620) NEW 21 0.67
Foxcatcher Sony Classics .53 (7,070) -43% 75 2.8
The Homesman Roadside/Saban .51 (3,310) 110% 154 1.1
The Imitation Game Weinstein/Remstar .38 (47,620) -20% 8 1
Whiplash Sony Classics .32 (1,860) -29% 173 4.4
John Wick Lionsgate .31 (630) -45% 488 42.1
The Equalizer Sony .28 (820) -42% 342 100.4
Guardians of the Galaxy BV .26 (930) -44% 276 332.2
The Judge WB .25 (630) -43% 398 46.5
The Maze Runner Fox .23 (840) -31% 275 101.4
Ouija Uni .22 (610) -44% 354 50.6
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $73.40
% Change (Last Year) -19%
% Change (Last Week) -54%
Also debuting/expanding
Rosewater Open Road/SEF .17 (850) -51% 202 2.9
Action Jackson Eros .17 (1,340) 125 0.17
Corner Gas Prairie Pants .15 (1,580) 96 0.15
Citizenfour Weinstein .13 (1,230) -33% 104 1.7
Past Tense ABS .12 (2,420) 50 0.12
Force Majeure Magnolia 78,500 (1,430) -19% 55 0.84
Women Who Flirt China Lion 72,400 (2,680) -2% 27 0.26
Serena eOne 54,800 (1,440) 38 0.05
The One I Wrote for You Abramorama 46,300 (940) 49 0.05
Panic 5 Bravo Lionsgate 33,600 (1,340) 25 0.03
Dying of the Light Lionsgate 11,100 (1,110) 10 0.01
Miss Julie Wrekin Hill 9,800 (1,960) 5 0.01
Uzumasa Limelight 11 Arts 8,700 (670) 13 0.01
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry Intl Film Circuit 8,600 (8,600) 1 0.01
Tell Orion 8,400 (930) 9 0.01
Zero Motivation Zeitgeist 8,200 (8,200) 1 0.01
The Passionate Thief (reissue) Rialto 8,100 (8,100) 1 0.01
Concerning Violence Kino 3,100 (3,100) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Dec. 4, 2014)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
20th Century Fox (18) 1618.9 16.90%
Buena Vista (16) 1515.9 15.90%
Warner Bros. (23) 1338.7 14.00%
Sony (21) 1186.6 12.40%
Universal (18) 1033.4 10.80%
Paramount (14) 984.3 10.30%
Lionsgate (22) 660.1 6.90%
Weinstein Co. (26) 202.6 2.10%
Relativity (10) 177.1 1.90%
Open Road (9) 149.6 1.60%
Fox Searchlight (9) 121.4 1.30%
Focus (11) 106.9 1.10%
FreeStyle (10) 104.2 1.10%
eOne/Seville (29) 54.1 0.60%
Other * (328) 300.7 3.10%
9554.5 100%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Domestic Grossers (Jan. 1 – Dec. 4, 2014) *
Title Distributor Box Office
Guardians of the Galaxy BV 331,959,384
Captain America: The Winter Soldier BV 259,788,645
The Lego Movie WB 257,760,692
Transformers: Age of Extinction Par 245,439,076
Maleficent BV 241,410,378
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Lionsgate 236,126,831
X-Men: Days of Future Past Fox 233,921,534
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox 208,545,589
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Sony 202,870,044
Godzilla WB 200,710,493
22 Jump Street Sony 191,780,832
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par 191,507,779
How to Train Your Dragon 2 Fox 176,983,845
Big Hero 6 BV 169,418,239
Gone Girl Fox 161,361,026
Divergent Lionsgate 151,341,699
Interstellar Par 150,656,962
Neighbors Uni 150,203,932
Frozen * BV 137,645,361
Ride Along Uni 134,986,540
* does not include 2013 box office

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

THG: Mockingjay – Part 1|Lionsgate|6.6|4054|-73%|242.7
Horrible Bosses 2|WB|2.7|3400|-57%|30.2
Penguins of Madagascar|Fox|2.4|3775|-77%|40.9
Interstellar|Par|2.1|3028|-67%|152.8
Big Hero 6|BV|1.8|3168|-77%|171.2
Dumb and Dumber To|Uni|1.2|3088|-63%|75.1
The Theory of Everything|Focus|0.75|826|-61%|11.7
The Pyramid|Fox|0.45|589|NEW|0.45
Gone Girl|Fox|0.4|1205|-57%|161.8
St. Vincent|Weinstein Co.|0.3|1432|-56%|40
|||||
|||||
Also Debuting|||||
Wild|Searchlight|0.16|21||
Action Jackson|Eros|55,200|125||
Corner Gas|Prairie Pants|52,500|96||
Past Tense|ABS|34,900|50||
Serena|eOne|17,800|38||
Panico 5 Bravo|Lionsgate|9,700|22||
Dying of the Light|Lionsgate|3,700|10||
Miss Julie|Wrekin Hill|3,250|5||
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry|Intl Film Circuit|3,100|1||
Uzumasa Limelight|11 Arts|2,500|13||
Tell|Orion|2,500|9||
The Passionate Thief (reissue)|Rialto|2,200|1||
Zero Motivation|Zeitgeist|1,850|1||
Concerning Violence|Kino|1,050|1||

The Weekend Report

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 held top spot over the extending Thanksgiving holiday with an estimated $56.9 million. Turkey days featured two new national releases that came up short of expectations. Animated Penguins of Madagascar bowed in second spot with $25.7 million and the sequel of revenge Horrible Bosses 2 ran fifth at $15.5 million. Exclusive newcomers included Oz horror yarn The Babadook with $18,800 from two engagements. The biggest clues were left by Oscar hopeful The Imitation Game, that bowed to $484,000 on just four secret estates.

In the niches new Indian imports were largely moribund including a big push for the Bollyw00d-Canada mashup Dr. Cabbie about the perils of a new immigrant in Toronto that grossed $119,000 in its U.S. launch. The film has grossed $1.7 million above the 49th parallel since its September release.

Weekend revenues generated close to $170 million at multiplexes and the like that translated into a 17% decline from seven days back. It also experienced a 22% erosion from 2013 when competition was fierce between The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and the launch of Frozen that wound the weekend respectively with $109.9 million and $93.6 million.

Exclusive newcomers saw good results for the day-and-date theatrical/VOD release of rave-reviewed horror yarn The Babadook of $18,800 from two engagements. Greater noise came from Oscar hopeful The Imitation Game about the breaking of the Enigma Code and the tortured life of Alan Turing that bowed to $484,000 on just four screens.

The calendar wasn’t particularly kind, with a later-than-usual Thanksgiving timing and the ferocity of Black Friday shopping among other factors. A significant slice of moviegoers clearly put that leisuretime activity on a lower priority and exhibition is clearly on edge about next weekend (traditionally one of the most poorly attended of the year) when the only major new release is the Reese Witherspoon-starring survival saga Wild.

Predictions held that The Penguins of Madagascar would have at least a $30 million weekend and a $45 million tally. It didn’t help the film that it had strong competition from the fourth weekend of Big Hero 6. The film nonetheless played to its target family audience with a slight 51% female tilt and per exit polls 58% of viewers aged 25-years and younger.

Internationally, Penguins had opened two weeks earlier in China where it flocked to $25 million. The current weekend generated an estimated $36 million in 44 territories including Russia with $8.2 million, Italy at $4.6 million and Germany grossing $4.2 million.

Horrible Bosses 2 had prognosticators touting a $20 million weekend and 5-day gross close to $30 million. Generally withering reviewers and twitter chatter weren’t helpful to the sequel that also had a fairly even gender split according to studio demos with men ahead at 51%. It audience was 59% aged 25-years and older.

Weekend (estimates) November 28 – 30, 2014
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1 Lionsgate 56.9 (13,710) -53% 4151 225.6
The Penguins of Madagascar Fox 25.7 (6,820) NEW 3764 35.9
Big Hero 6 BV 18.8 (5,590) -6% 3365 167.3
Interstellar Par 15.9 (5,180) 3% 3066 147.2
Horrible Bosses 2 WB 15.5 (4,600) NEW 3375 22.8
Dumb and Dumber 2 Uni 8.3 (2,650) -41% 3130 72.2
The Theory of Everything Focus 5.1 (6,320) 235% 802 9.5
Gone Girl Fox 2.5 (2,110) -6% 1174 160.8
Birdman Searchlight 1.9 (2,630) 1% 710 17.2
St. Vincent Weinstein 1.8 (1,400) -22% 1256 39.3
Beyond the Lights Relativity 1.6 (1,320) -40% 1187 12.8
Fury Sony 1.5 (1,550) -20% 994 81.9
Foxcatcher Sony Classics 1.0 (13,750) 127% 72 2.1
Nightcrawler Open Road/Elev .85 (1,500) -30% 570 28.7
John Wick Lionsgate .52 (1,070) -49% 488 41.6
The Equalizer Sony .50 (1,160) 79% 432 99.9
The Imitation Game Weinstein .48 (121,000) NEW 4 0.48
Guardians of the Galaxy BV .46 (1,620) -6% 285 331.8
Whiplash Sony Classics .45 (2,530) -8% 179 3.9
The Judge WB .43 (1,040) -21% 415 45.9
Alexander and the Terrible … Day BV .41 (1,090) -33% 376 64.1
Ouija Uni .38 (830) -61% 456 50.2
Rosewater Open Road/SEF .35 (1,620) -38% 216 2.6
The Maze Runner Fox .34 (1,230) 11% 275 101
Saving Christmas IDP .31 (810) -53% 381 2.5
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $158.55
% Change (Last Year) -22%
% Change (Last Week) -17%
Also debuting/expanding
The Homesman Roadside Attractions .20 (4,060) 46% 50 0.47
Citizenfour Weinstein Co, .18 (1,770) 4% 103 1.5
Dr. Cabbie Eros .12 (540) 220 1.8
Force Majeur Magnolia .10 (1,940) -8% 52 0.72
Dear White People Roadside Attractions 86,500 (1,880) -15% 46 4.2
Women Who Flirt China Lion 76,100 (2,930) 26 0.08
Kaaviya Thalaivan ATMUS 69,300 (1,980) 35 0.07
Ungli Big Pictures 49,300 (850) 58 0.05
Antarctica: A Year on Ice Music Box 26,200 (3,740) 7 0.03
The Babadook IFC 18,800 (9,400) 2 0.02
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night Kino 16,400 (4,400) -37% 4 0.06
Yamaleela 2 CineGalaxy 9,600 (190) 51 0.01
Touch the Wall Tuckman 5,300 (2,650) 2 0.01
Before I Disappear IFC 2,300 (2,300) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Nov. 23, 2014)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
20th Century Fox (17) 1574.7 17.00%
Buena Vista (16) 1480.4 16.00%
Warner Bros. (22) 1309.8 14.20%
Sony (21) 1182.5 12.80%
Universal (18) 1016.2 11.00%
Paramount (14) 954.4 10.30%
Lionsgate (22) 544.6 5.90%
Weinstein Co. (25) 198.4 2.10%
Relativity (10) 173.9 1.90%
Open Road (9) 147.3 1.60%
Fox Searchlight (9) 118.1 1.30%
FreeStyle (10) 104.1 1.10%
Focus (11) 98.3 1.00%
eOne/Seville (29) 53.7 0.60%
Other * (323) 294.9 3.20%
9251.3 100%
* none greater than 0.4%

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

THG: Mockingjay – Part 1|24.3|4151|-55%|192.9
The Penguins of Madagascar|10.3|3764|NEW|20.4
Big Hero 6|7.8|3365|76%|156.3
Interstellar|6.6|3066|57%|137.8
Horrible Bosses 2|6.2|3375|NEW|13.5
Dumb and Dumber To|3.4|3130|-22%|65.8
The Theory of Everything|1.9|802|375%|6.4
Gone Girl|1|1174|24%|159.3
Birdman|0.75|710|45%|16.1
St. Vincent|0.7|1256|12%|37.9
||||
||||
Also Debuting||||
The Imitation Game|0.18|4||
Dr. Cabbie|41,050|220||
Kaaviya Thalaivan|23,900|35||
Women Who Flirt|23,450|26||
Ungli|15,900|58||
Antarctica: A Year on Ice|8,500|7||
The Babadook|7,050|2||
Yamaleela 2|3,800|51||
Touch the Wall|1,700|2||
Before I Disappear|1,000|1||

The Weekend Report

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 generated the biggest box office bow (wow) of the year with an estimated $123.2 million salvo. The franchise’s third outing was always expected to be boffo albeit tracking indicated it would not attain the $158 million level of the prior chapter. Nonetheless, some held out hope for a gross close to $150 million.

In light of the anticipated b.o. tsunami, competitors steered clear of the date with even limited, niche and exclusive debuts pared way back. But there was an encouraging $23,500 gross for the offbeat California-shot, Iran-set hipster vampire tale A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night from two playdates.

The session also featured small expansions for The Homesman, Foxcatcher and The Theory of Everything with the latter two titles maintaining hefty screen averages. The Indian diaspora provided a few titles with only the Hindi Happy Ending registering a commercial pulse that was nonetheless faint at $188,000 from 126 screens.

Otherwise: Katniss, Katniss, Katniss.

Weekend revenues generated close to $200 million for a sizable 41% jump from the seven days past. It was nonetheless 14% below 2013 results when the debut of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire launched with $158.1 million.

It’s quibbling to notch the Mockingjay 1 debut as disappointing. Despite the post-Hunger arrival this year of Divergent, The Giver and The Maze Runner, the attrition rate for the vanguard yarn has been negligible and the arrival of the then-unknown Jennifer Lawrence has in short order transformed her into a movie star and Oscar winner.

Just weeks ago the expectation was that the new entry would become 2014’s top-grossing title but it’s now more likely to attain the bridesmaid slot behind Guardians of the Galaxy.

Mockingjay also opened day-and-date in the rest of the world (save China and Japan) with early estimates of slightly more than $150 million that already places it among the top 25 global box office champs of 2014. The UK was the top territory with close to $20 million and such venues as Germany, Mexico, Russia, Australia and France posted 8-figure plus results.

Weekend (estimates) November 21 – 23, 2014
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Pt 1 Lionsgate 123.2 (29,690) NEW 4151 124.3
Big Hero 6 BV 20.1 (5,510) -42% 3650 135.7
Interstellar Par 15.0 (4,400) -47% 3415 120.6
Dumb and Dumber 2 Uni 13.8 (4,330) -62% 3188 57.5
Gone Girl Fox 2.8 (1,730) -39% 1609 156.8
Beyond the Lights Relativity 2.6 (1,480) -58% 1766 10.1
St. Vincent Weinstein 2.3 (1,340) -40% 1707 36.5
Fury Sony 1.9 (1,090) -51% 1720 79.1
Birdman Fox Searchlight 1.8 (2,130) -25% 862 14.4
The Theory of Everything Focus 1.5 (10,570) 101% 140 2.8
Nightcrawler Open Road/Elevation 1.2 (1,060) -60% 1102 27.1
Ouija Uni 3.0 (1,270) -48% 1341 48.59
John Wick Lionsgate 2.3 (1,290) -45% 972 39.73
Saving Christmas IDP .65 (1,590) -34% 410 1.9
Alexander and the Terrible… Day BV .62 (820) -62% 754 63.3
Rosewater Open Road/SEF .54 (1,460) -53% 371 2
The Judge WB .54 (1,070) -49% 505 45.3
Whiplash Sony Classics .49 (1,480) -33% 331 3.2
Guardians of the Galaxy BV .46 (1,430) 58% 324 331
Foxcatcher Sony Classics .46 (19,040) 69% 24 0.8
The Book of Life Fox .40 (910) -59% 438 47.9
Chaar Sahibzaade White Hill .33 (6,530) -25% 51 1.4
The Maze Runner Fox .30 (810) -53% 370 100.5
The Equalizer Sony .28 (1,030) -41% 269 99.3
The Best of Me Relativity .23 (540) -67% 432 26.2
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $192.00
% Change (Last Year) -14%
% Change (Last Week) 41%
Also debuting/expanding
Happy Ending Eros .19 (1,490) 126 0.19
Citizenfour Weinstein .18 (2,090) 3% 86 1.2
The Homesman Roadside .12 (3,710) 170% 33 0.18
Force Majeure Magnolia .10 (1,830) -6% 56 0.57
Dear White People Roadside 92,400 (1,360) -53% 68 4.1
Edsa Woolworth ABS 44,700 (1,940) -65% 23 0.26
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2 ASIA 37,600 (3,760) -61% 10 0.17
Elsa & Fred Millennium 34,300 (1,720) -24% 20 0.2
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night Kino 23,500 (11,750) 2 0.02
Rowdy Fellow Movie Mills 22,900 (520) 44 0.02
Food Chains Screen Media 19,200 (1,200) 16 0.02
Monk with a Camera Kino 9,100 (9,100) 1 0.01
Happy Valley Music Box 5,400 (1,800) 3 0.01
Little White Lie Truth Aid 4,100 (4,100) 1 0.01
Heartbeat Mongrel 2,800 (2,800) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Nov. 20, 2014)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
20th Century Fox (17) 1571.1 17.30%
Buena Vista (16) 1459.1 16.10%
Warner Bros. (22) 1308.9 14.40%
Sony (21) 1180.2 13.00%
Universal (18) 1001.1 11.00%
Paramount (14) 938.9 10.30%
Lionsgate (22) 438.8 4.80%
Weinstein (25) 195.9 2.20%
Relativity (10) 171.1 1.90%
Open Road (9) 145.6 1.60%
Fox Searchlight (9) 116.2 1.30%
FreeStyle (10) 104.1 1.20%
Focus (11) 96.6 1.10%
eOne/Seville (29) 53.5 0.60%
Other * (320) 291.9 3.20%
9073 100%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Global Grossers * (Jan. 1 – Nov. 20, 2014)
Title Distributor Box Office
Transformers: Age of Extinction Par 1,083,817,908
Guardians of the Galaxy BV 770,754,950
Maleficent BV 757,560,968
X-Men: Days of Future Past Fox 746,224,744
Frozen * BV 724,322,158
Captain America: The Winter Soldier BV 713,778,940
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Sony 709,012,447
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox 708,178,313
How to Train Your Dragon 2 Fox 619,789,291
Godzilla WB; Toho 523,345,942
Rio 2 Fox 498,781,117
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par; MGM 475,722,431
The Lego Movie WB 472,173,863
Lucy Uni 460,738,679
Edge of Tomorrow WB 368,667,083
Interstellar Par 357,910,013
Noah Par 362,164,780
The Wolf of Wall Street * Par 350,418,304
The Maze Runner Fox 332,022,744
300: Rise of an Empire WB 331,624,640
22 Jump Street Sony 331,392,898
Gone Girl Fox 323,082,469
The Fault in Our Stars Fox 304,248,580
Divergent Lionsgate 289,044,408
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug * WB 277,256,540
* does not include 2013 box office

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1|39.5|4151|NEW|56.4
Big Hero 6|4.5|3650|-44%|120.1
Dumb and Dumber To|4.3|3188|-70%|48
Interstellar|4.2|3415|-49%|109.8
Gone Girl|0.8|1609|-41%|154.8
Beyond the Lights|0.8|1766|-66%|8.3
St. Vincent|0.65|1707|-43%|34.9
Fury|0.55|1720|-52%|77.8
Birdman|0.5|862|-27%|13.1
The Theory of Everything|0.4|140|86%|1.7
||||
Also Debuting||||
Happy Ending|62,300|126||
Rowdy Fellow|7,900|44||
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night|7,350|2||
Food Chains|7,000|14||
Monk with a Camera|4,000|1||
Happy Valley|1,650|3||
Me|1,600|1||
Little White Lie|1,450|1||
Heartbeat|1,150|1||

The Weekend Report

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Barnum or H.L. Mencken or an unnamed Chicago journalist observed that “no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” Authorship aside the latest confirmation is certainly Dumb and Dumber To and it took on all comers to top weekend movie going with an estimated $38 million debut.

The session’s other major release The Star is Born-ish romance Beyond the Lights ranked third with a disappointing $6 million bow. Also soft were a couple of medium wide  openers. The politically charged Rosewater grossed $1.2 million while the Kirk Cameron’s evangelical uplifter Saving Christmas was far from a stocking stuffer with a $1.1 million tally.

There were also a couple of significant exclusive newcomers including the Western trek The Homesman that had a solid $46,200 box office from four rides and the near capacity bow of award’s contender Foxcatcher with a staggering $277,000 from six screens.

In the niches the most potent of the new Indian imports was the Punjabi Baaz with $55,700 at eight sites while both the Hindi Kil Dil and the Telugu Pilla Nuvvu Leni Jeevitham had dullish debuts. The U.S. made Filipino romance Edsa Woolworth was also weaker than most titles in that sector while there was an excellent $103,000 launch for the Chinese Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2 from 10 screens.

The frame also saw significant broadening for Whiplash and The Theory of Everything with the latter maintaining a very strong hold.

Adding it all session revenues were close to $150 million for a 7% decline from seven days prior. It was also 14% improved from 2013 when the second weekend of Thor: The Dark World beat out the bow of The Best Man Holiday with respective grosses of $36.6 million and $30.1 million.

After a two decade hiatus the Dumb and Dumber boys returned older but not wiser and audiences appeared to forgive them a lot. Tracking indicated a tight race with the holdover Big Hero 6 but opening day box office provided the belated sequel with an edge and well on the way with pundit estimates of $35 million to $40 million. The film skewed 55% male with 57% of viewers aged 25-years and older according to studio exits that also pegged the audience as a significant 38% Hispanic.

Dumb and Dumber To also bowed in seven international territories including Germany and Spain and grossed a tidy $3.2 million.

The well-received Beyond the Lights hoped to translate its kudos into crossover business that anticipated a $10 million debut. However, it wound up playing to its core with a crowd dominated by older female African Americans that’s likely to limit broader word-of-mouth.

Weekend (estimates) November 14 – 16, 2014
Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
Dumb and Dumber To Uni 38.0 (12,050) NEW 3154 38
Big Hero 6 BV 35.8 (9,490) -36% 3773 111.5
Interstellar Par 28.9 (8,120) -39% 3561 97.5
Beyond the Lights Relativity 6.4 (3,590) NEW 1789 6.4
Gone Girl Fox 4.6 (2,350) -26% 1959 152.7
St. Vincent Weinstein Co. 3.9 (1,660) -28% 2332 33.1
Fury Sony 3.8 (1,590) -33% 2382 75.9
Ouija Uni 3.0 (1,270) -48% 2382 48.1
Nightcrawler Open Road/Elevation 2.9 (1,390) -45% 2103 24.9
Birdman Fox Searchlight 2.4 (2,830) 5% 857 11.6
John Wick Lionsgate 2.3 (1,290) -45% 1758 39
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible … Day BV 1.5 (940) -58% 1633 62.3
Rosewater Open Road/SEF 1.2 (3,180) NEW 371 1.2
Saving Christmas IDP 1.1 (2,610) NEW 410 1.1
The Judge WB 1.0 (1,290) -41% 803 44.4
The Book of Life Fox .94 (940) -66% 1006 47.3
Whiplash Sony Classics .76 (1,820) 139% 419 2.4
The Theory of Everything Focus .73 (17,780) 249% 41 1
The Best of Me Relativity .64 (890) -54% 722 25.7
The Maze Runner Fox .63 (1,200) -49% 524 100.1
The Equalizer Sony .45 (1,210) -51% 375 98.9
Dracula Untold Uni .35 (920) -67% 383 55.7
Guardians of the Galaxy BV .31 (1,310) -27% 233 330.5
Chaar Sahibzaade White Hill .29 (8,160) 58% 36 0.72
Foxcatcher Sony Classics .28 (46,170) NEW 6 0.28
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $140.50
% Change (Last Year) 14%
% Change (Last Week) -7%
Also debuting/expanding
Dear White People Roadside Attractions .19 (1,830) -51% 106 3.9
Kil Dil Yash Raj .17 (2,250) 77 0.17
Citizenfour RADiUS .17 (2,280) -17% 75 0.94
Edsa Woolworth ABS .11 (2,170) 49 0.11
Force Majeure Magnolia .10 (2,200) -12% 46 0.42
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2 ASIA .10 (10,320) 10 0.1
Pilla Nuvvu Leni Jeevitham Praneeth 60,900 (1,420) 43 0.06
Baaz Roadside 55,700 (6,960) 8 0.06
The Homesman Roadside 46,200 (11,550) 4 0.05
Elsa & Fred Millennium 42,600 (1,580) -34% 27 0.14
Mary’s Land Infinito 24,400 (8,130) 3 0.02
Goodbye to Language Kino 18,800 (9,400) -7% 2 0.09
Matthew 18 Adopt 16,200 (390) 42 0.02
Le jour se lève (reissue) Rialto 12,500 (4,170) 3 0.01
Les Combattants K-Films 7,700 (770) 10 0.01
Wolves Ketchup 6,300 (525) 12 0.01
The Sacrifice Kino 4,900 (4,900) 1 0.01
Dilli 1984 Sukha 3,200 (360) 9 0.01
Always Woodstock Gravitas 2,100 (300) 7 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Nov. 13, 2014)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
20th Century Fox (17) 1563.1 17.60%
Buena Vista (16) 1416.7 16.00%
Warner Bros. (22) 1306.8 14.70%
Sony (21) 1173.8 13.20%
Universal (18) 955.1 10.80%
Paramount (14) 901.8 10.10%
Lionsgate (21) 418.6 4.70%
Weinstein Co. (25) 190.6 2.10%
Relativity (9) 162.6 1.80%
Open Road (8) 140.5 1.60%
Fox Searchlight (9) 112.7 1.30%
FreeStyle (10) 104.1 1.20%
Focus (11) 95.4 1.10%
eOne/Seville (29) 53.4 0.60%
Other * (310) 285.8 3.20%
8881 100%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Limited Releases * (Jan. 1 – Nov. 13, 2014)
Title Distributor Box Office
Boyhood IFC/Mongrel 23,919,735
A Most Wanted Man Roadside/eOne 17,237,855
Nebraska * Par 11,669,238
Dallas Buyers Club * Focus/Remstar 11,522,869
Belle Fox Searchlight 10,726,630
Magic in the Moonlight Sony Classics 10,522,921
Birdman Fox Searchlight 9,125,367
Inside Llewyn Davis * CBS/Mongrel 8,107,748
Island of the Lemurs: Madagascar WB 7,981,025
Cantinflas Lionsgate 6,382,924
Jerusalem NationalGeo 5,830,140
Meet the Mormons Purdie 5,724,851
Cesar Chavez Lionsgate 5,571,497
The Wind Rises BV 5,209,580
The Skeleton Twins Roadside Attractions 5,179,980
Journey to the South Pacific Imax 4,847,393
Hubble 3D * Imax 4,663,700
Snowpiercer Weinstein Co. 4,563,650
The Railway Man Weinstein Co. 4,438,438
The Lunchbox Sony Classics 4,231,500
* does not include 2013 box office

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Dumb and Dumber To|14.2|3154|NEW|14.2
Interstellar|8.4|3561|-50%|77
Big Hero 6|8|3773|-49%|83.7
Beyond the Lights|2.3|1789|NEW|2.3
Gone Girl|1.3|1959|-28%|149.4
St. Vincent|1.1|2332|-31%|30.3
Fury|1.1|2382|-34%|73.2
Ouija|1|2382|-48%|46.1
Nightcrawler|0.9|2103|-47%|22.8
Birdman|0.7|857|3%|9.8
||||
||||
Also Debuting||||
Rosewater|0.39|371||
Saving Christmas|0.35|410||
Foxcatcher|75,600|6||
Kil Dil|58,200|77||
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2|35,100|10||
Edsa Woolworth|28,500|49||
Pilla Nuvvu Leni Jeevitham|17,000|43||
The Homesman|13,200|4||
Mary’s Land|10,600|3||
Matthew 18|6,100|42||
Les Combattants|3,650|10||
Le jour se lève (reissue)|3,200|3||
Wolves|2,300|12||
The Sacrifice|1,450|1||
Dilli 1984|1,200|9||
Always Woodstock|1,100|7||

The Weekend Report

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

The weekend was expected to be highly competitive between the spaced-out Interstellar and the cuddly animated robot of Big Hero 6. When the dust cleared the tilt went friendly with BH6 grossing an estimated $56 million and the sci-fi eye-popper close behind with $48.3 million. The two films accounted for roughly 66% of the session’s box office. Similarly, it was dreare among the new exclusive with the notable exception being the Stephen Hawking origin story The Theory of Everything with a potent $206,000 box office from five screens.

In the niches it was another lap around the circuit (albeit four decades on) for the motorcycle bible On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter that crossed the finish line with $363,000. New imports from India were largely moribund save for the Punjabi Chaar Sahibzaade that grossed $123,000 at 24 sites and the critically-auded elder romance Elsa & Fred had a disappointing $61,700 tally from 34 engagements.

Session revenues expanded upward to roughly $160 million and a bouncy 65% rise from seven days back. It was nonetheless a 7% decline from 2013 when the opening of Thor: The Dark World led with $85.7 million.

There was little doubt that on the cusp of Thanksgiving movie going would benefit from a couple of highly anticipated films; particularly if they appealed to different sectors of the audience. The family-centric Big Hero 6 appeared to have a slight edge and indeed that proved correct. The only question that remained was how lofty would the films fly. Pundits put the ceiling at around $60 million.

Studio exits pegged the big galoot crowd evenly split between the sexes and 72% identified as families. It was 58% comprised of folk aged 25-years and younger. The film is already in its third week in Russia and added 15 international territories including India and Indonesia for an estimated weekend gross of $7.6 million.

Interstellar received the full court press but critical response was mixed and there was decided anxiety about its near three hour running time. The film got a weekend head start with large screen engagements only that rendered about $2.1 million on Wednesday and Thursday and the desire to see it in its FULL glory was palpable with 36% of its box office coming from those screens.

The film’s orbit was 52% male with 75% of viewers aged 25-years and older.

It was not unexpected that the initial Interstellar international response would supersede the domestic box office and weekend estimates for its 62 territory launch are expected to be $80 million. It opened in all major arenas except China and Japan with Imax engagements accounting for roughly 9% of its box office.

The frame also featured an expansion for Birdman that maintained the picture’s momentum. Laggies also added screens but failed to clear the next platform hurdle.

Weekend (estimates) November 7 – 9, 2014
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
Big Hero 6 BV 56.0 (14,900) NEW 3761 56
Interstellar Par 48.3 (13,570) NEW 3561 50.5
Gone Girl Fox 6.1 (2,760) -28% 2224 145.5
Ouija Uni 6.0 (2,240) -44% 2680 43.6
Fury Sony 5.5 (1,950) -37% 2834 69.3
St. Vincent Weinstein 5.5 (2,250) -23% 2455 27.2
Nightcrawler Open Road 5.4 (1,960) -48% 2766 19.7
John Wick Lionsgate 4.1 (1,890) -49% 2152 34.7
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible … Day BV 3.5 (1,470) -47% 2381 59.2
The Book of Life Fox 2.8 (1,280) -66% 2166 45.2
Birdman Fox Searchlight 2.2 (4,850) -6% 462 8
The Judge WB 1.7 (1,430) -48% 1215 42.6
The Best of Me Relativity 1.3 (1,200) -51% 1110 24.4
The Maze Runner Fox 1.2 (1,210) -46% 1012 98.9
Dracula Untold Uni 1.0 (1,230) -66% 830 54.9
The Equalizer Sony .87 (1,410) -51% 616 98
Annabelle WB .53 (840) -73% 630 83.5
Guardians of the Galaxy BV .41 (1,390) -27% 296 330
On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter Hanover .36 (1,570) NEW 231 0.36
Dear White People Roadside .34 (1,950) -54% 175 3.5
Addicted Lionsgate .33 (1,360) -51% 241 17
Before I Go to Sleep FreeStyle .33 (400) -82% 820 3
Whiplash Sony Classics .32 (3,660) 25% 88 1.5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par .26 (1,090) -17% 236 190.9
Laggies A24 .22 (790) 218% 281 0.42
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $152.00
% Change (Last Year) -7%
% Change (Last Week) 65%
Also debuting/expanding
The Theory of Everything Focus .21 (41,260) 5 0.21
Citizenfour RADiUS .21 (3,580) 9% 59 0.57
Chaar Sahibzaade White Hill ,12 (5,120) 24 0.12
Force Majeur Magnolia .11 (3,460) 38% 33 0.28
Elsa & Fred Millennium 61,700 (1,810) 34 0.06
The Shaukeens Viva 54,900 (840) 65 0.05
My Old Lady Cohen/D-Film 54,600 (1,190) -52% 46 3.7
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Gkids 53,700 (1,990) -24% 27 0.33
Henri Henri Christal 48,700 (1,870) 26 0.05
Pride CBS/Remstar 47,200 (890) -54% 53 1.4
Gemma Bovery Metropole 37,400 (3,740) 10 0.04
Maps to the Stars eOne 26,500 (600) -62% 44 0.15
The Way He Looks Strand 22,300 (2,480) 9 0.02
Goodbye to Language Kino 20,700 (10,350) -22% 2 0.07
Wayward: The Prodigal Son Cedar Fort 20,200 (420) 48 0.02
Brother of Bommali CineGalaxy 14,400 (460) 31 0.01
The Outrageous Sophie Tucker Menemsha 14,100 (1,690) 8 0.01
Jessabelle Film Arcade 10,600 (880) 12 0.01
National Gallery Zipporah 8,900 (8,900) 1 0.01
Joru CineGalaxy 7,700 (270) 29 0.01
Sex Ed Marvista 7,400 (820) 9 0.01
Occupy the Farm Ignite 6,300 (6,300) 1 0.01
Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain Vitagraph 6,200 (6,200) 1 0.01
Actress Cinema Guild 5,100 (5,100) 1 0.01
Viva la Liberta Distrib 4,700 (2,350) 2 0.01
The Better Angels Amplify 4,600 (2,300) 2 0.01
The Invisible Front Aspectus 4,300 (4,300) 1 0.01
The Historian Devolver 3,800 (1,900) 2 0.01
Fugly! 108 Media 2,800 (2,800) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Nov. 6, 2014)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
20th Century Fox (17) 1548.3 17.90%
Buena Vista (15) 1335.2 15.40%
Warner Bros. (22) 1302.9 15.00%
Sony (21) 1164.5 13.40%
Universal (17) 944.1 10.90%
Paramount (14) 837.7 9.70%
Lionsgate (21) 412.1 4.80%
Weinstein Co. (25) 182.5 2.10%
Relativity (9) 160.7 1.90%
Open Road (8) 133.5 1.50%
Fox Searchlight (9) 109.4 1.30%
FreeStyle (10) 103.7 1.20%
Focus (10) 94.8 1.10%
eOne/Seville (28) 53.1 0.60%
Other * (303) 280.5 3.20%
8663 100%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Domestic Grossers * (Jan. 1 – Nov. 6, 2014)
Title Distributor Box Office
Guardians of the Galaxy BV 329,589,099
Captain America: The Winter Soldier BV 259,788,645
The Lego Movie WB 257,760,692
Transformers: Age of Extinction Par 245,439,076
Maleficent BV 241,222,842
X-Men: Days of Future Past Fox 233,921,534
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox 208,444,587
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Sony 202,870,044
Godzilla WB 200,710,493
22 Jump Street Sony 191,530,183
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par 190,606,517
How to Train Your Dragon 2 Fox 176,734,149
Divergent Lionsgate 151,341,699
Neighbors Uni 150,203,932
Frozen * BV 137,645,361
Gone Girl Fox 139,328,422
Ride Along Uni 134,986,540
Rio 2 Fox 131,538,435
Lucy Uni 126,573,960
Lone Survivor Uni/eOne 125,026,404
* does not include 2013 box office

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Interstellar|16.7|3561|NEW|18.9
Big Hero 6|15.7|3761|NEW|15.7
Ouija|1.9|2680|-44%|39.4
Gone Girl|1.8|2224|2%|141.2
Nightcrawler|1.7|2766|-47%|15.9
Fury|1.7|2834|-13%|65.5
St. Vincent|1.6|2455|-5%|23.2
John Wick|1.2|2152|-32%|31.9
Alexaander and the Terrible, Horrible … Day|0.9|2381|1%|56.6
The Book of Life|0.7|2168|-39%|43.1
||||
||||
Also Debuting||||
On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter|0.14|231||
The Theory of Everything|60,750|5||
Chaar Sahibzaade|22,700|24||
The Shaukeens|16,900|65||
Elsa & Fred|16,200|34||
Henri Henri|12,450|26||
Gemma Bovery|10,050|10||
Wayward: The Prodigal Son|7,600|45||
The Way He Looks|6,500|9||
Brother of Bommali|4,200|31||
Occupy the Farm|3,700|1||
Jessabelle|3,600|12||
Sex Ed|3,450|9||
Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain|3,200|1||
The Outrageous Sophie Tucker|3,000|7||
National Gallery |2,650|1||
Joru|2,480|29||
Actress|2,450|1||
The Historian|2,400|2||
The Better Angels|1,900|2||
The Invisible Front|1,800|1||
Fugly!|1,300|1||
Viva la Liberta|1,200|2||

Confessions of a Film Festival Junkie: AFI 2014

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Gary Essert spent close to a decade raising money and fighting industry resistance before the curtain rose on FilmEx back in 1971. It was the first truly international and substantial celebration of global cinema in the city that thinks of itself as the movie capital of the world. Now Los Angeles has two such events (and myriad specialty/niche movie showcases).  AFI Fest gets underway Thursday with the world premiere of A Most Violent Year kicking off the show. For the record AFI connects back to FilmEx as the institution came aboard shortly after the latter’s board forced Essert out and that panel proved incapable of running the operation.

AFI Fest is slightly more international and glitzier than the LA International Film Fest that unspools in the summer. The differences between the two extravaganzas don’t appear to reflect mandate, constituency or gestalt. It’s simply about the calendar.

The summer positioning of LAIFF has provided the inclusion of several summer blockbusters to pump up attention. It’s sandwiched between Cannes in May and pre-fall behemoths Toronto and Venice resulting in that most of the vaunted Cannes titles prefer to wait until the Canadian festival to launch a North American offensive and the other yet to premiere anticipated films do likewise.

The current festival is in some respects the first major salvo of Los Angeles’ award season. It’s dotted with the likes of such critical darlings as Inherent Vice, Mr. Turner and closing night selection Foxcatcher. There are also several handfuls of Oscar foreign-language submissions and many documentary entries that clearly hope to find favor with the Academy membership.

All the above, regardless of the quality of selection, invariably tilts AFI FEST toward a festival of festivals rather than a festival of discovery sensibility. It’s not so much a bias as an inevitable perception. There are a sufficient number of films arriving with a pedigree or a marquee value that acts like a magnet for the media and public. And that just makes it a little bit harder for the selections from yet unheralded filmmakers and national cinemas to emerge from the fray.

One can persuasively argue that the local audience (neither event attracts much of an out-of-town crowd) isn’t as adventurous about film as similar events in Seattle, San Francisco or Chicago. It therefore follows that it’s wise to program pre-tested movies and keep one’s fingers crossed that the tom toms will beat melodiously for a few films yet to have gained a reputation.

AFI Fest runs simultaneous with the American Film Market and there have been frustrating attempts in the past to marry these respective purveyors of “show” and “business.” However with one situated in Hollywood and the other in Santa Monica there’s no convenient method of bringing the two together or reducing a commute of more than an hour during peak traffic periods.

On a more positive note the event is putting a bright spotlight on Sophia Loren and that’s certainly a warm and deserved celebration. In the coming days there will be tips and anecdotes that hopefully will make the event a slighter smoother ride.

DAY 2

Feast or famine?

Far from the worst thing you could do today is plunk down in cinema 6 of the Chinese and catch a triple bill beginning at 2 p.m. with Gett, The Trial of Vivianne Amsalem. Israeli’s Oscar submission is a gripping yarn of a woman seeking divorce and thwarted in her pursuit by her faith’s rabbinical laws.

It’s followed by the comparably depressing Two Days, One Night, the story of woman whose job is on the line when the company she works for downsizes. From Belgium’s exemplary filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne and starring Marion Cotillard it truly makes you wonder about that country’s labor laws. The workers are given the choice of either taking a bonus or forfeiting the money in favor of allowing Cotillard’s Sandra to retain her position. She has the weekend to plead her case to her fellow employees prior to the vote. It’s not the Brothers best work and the actress’s presence is sometimes distracting in light of their penchant to use non-professionals. Nonetheless its facility to convey outrage, humiliation and pathos packs a real wallop.

Thankfully the trio’s conclusion is the Argentine Wild Tales (also Oscar submitted), as black a black comedy as one would hope to savor and outrageously hilarious. It’s comprised of a handful of vignettes that begin in the most ordinary or idyllic of circumstances with each tale evolving as matters go radically askew. Pedro Almodovar is one of the film’s producers and one can just feel him encouraging writer-director Damian Szifron to fly without a net.

Saturday’s other prospects include ’71, a late edition from the United Kingdom that focuses on a young soldier posted in Belfast in that fateful year. It was recently nominated for major awards including best feature at the British Independent Awards.

And there is, of course, P.T. Anderson’s Inherent Vice that premiered at the recent New York Film Festival. Based upon the novel by the reclusive Thomas Pynchon the 1960s-set film noir is unconventional as one would anticipate from both the filmmaker and the enigmatic writer.

Sunday’s slate also provides some choice options including Mike Leigh’s sublime Mr. Turner on England’s masterful 19th century landscape painter J.M.W. Turner. Timothy Spall deservedly received top acting honors at the most recent Cannes festival and has to be considered for an Oscar. Focusing on Turner’s life after he achieved acclaim it’s a masterful meditation on class and taste and the mores of the day and arguably the filmmaker’s career masterwork.

Echoing Saturday one could camp out at the Chinese 1 and enjoy a trio of treats. Leviathan—Russia’s Oscar submission—is a refreshingly frank drama set in a small coastal town where a less than peerless protagonist is facing expropriation. In the throes of personal dilemmas, the rampant corruption of local authority soon melds into an absorbing nightmare that threatens to turn tragic at every turn.

Then stay put for The Salt of the Earth, Wim Wenders and Juliano Salgado’s unconventional and penetrating portrait of the great photographer Sebastiao Salgado. It’s difficult to explain but the visuals and narrative and Wenders’ laconic, elliptical approach manage to capture the soul of an artist in a most potent fashion.

Wrapping up the day is Haemoo (yes, South Korea’s Oscar submission), based on a real life incident involving a smuggling operation that seriously went wrong. Set in a small fishing village circa 1998 it centers on a trawler captain who can’t make ends meet legitimately and takes the job of coyote for Chinese immigrants. Anchored by a variegated performance by Kim Yun-seok, the film conveys a quiet desperation and an inevitable cataclysm from the consequences of bad decisions.

The Weekend Report

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Halloween said si to Ouija as the spooky yarn edged out newcomer Nightcrawler for top spot at the box office. Respective estimates were $10.9 million and $10.7 million. The session’s other wide release, chiller Before I Go to Sleep, grossed a disappointing $1.9 million.

Holiday-timed retreads of Saw and The Nightmare Before Christmas also failed. In the niches,  Horns failed to spike with a $107,000 tally at 96 venues.

In Canada, Cannes-prized Maps to the Stars was off the chart with $78,500 at 49 locations and Ceci n’est pas un polar eked out $18,300 from 17 screens. Incoming exclusives failed to register save for two-screen preem of Jean-Luc Godard’s 3D puzzler Goodbye to Language, at $25,200.

While hardly the Super Bowl, Halloween night traditionally takes a bite out of moviegoing and it’s particularly noticeable when the holiday falls on a weekend. Session grosses that were shy of $100 million attest to the fact and translated into an 18% decline from the prior weekend. It was a steeper 24% drop from 2013 when the bow of Ender’s Game led with a $27 million launch.

Pundits were unanimous in pegging Nightcrawler, the creepy tale of a freelance tabloid purveyor of shmutz, as the weekend champ with estimates of $13 million to $15 million. Generally positive reviews appeared to bolster its prospects but its potential audience appeared to prefer viewing sleaze at home and without undue editorial commentary.

The weekend slump  puts a crimp in recent post-Labor Day holiday momentum with the year to date lagging behind 2013 by 3.5%.

As with Christmas distributors are hoping to widen the Thanksgiving holiday period with highly anticipated releases of Interstellar and Big Hero 6 next week. That gives those pictures a two week lead on The Hunger Games finale that many are already anticipating as the biggest box-office grosser of the year.

Weekend (estimates) October 31 – November 2, 2014
Title Distributor Gross (average) % chng Thtrs Cume
Ouija Uni 10.9 (3,750) -45% 2899 34.9
Nightcrawler Open Road 10.7 (3,880) NEW 2766 10.7
Fury Sony 9.1 (2,740) -32% 3313 60.4
Gone Girl Fox 8.6 (3,030) -22% 2834 136.4
The Book of Life Fox 8.2 (2,940) -18% 2794 40.4
John Wick Lionsgate 8.0 (3,080) -45% 2589 27.5
St. Vincent Weinstein 7.6 (2,970) -2% 2552 19.3
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible … Day BV 6.7 (2,320) -7% 2896 53.9
The Judge WB 3.4 (1,770) -21% 1942 39.6
Dracula Untold Uni 2.9 (1,530) -33% 1913 52.8
The Best of Me Relativity 2.6 (1,130) -43% 2327 21.8
Birdman Fox Searchlight 2.4 (10,560) 77% 231 4.9
The Maze Runner Fox 2.2 (1,350) -7% 1620 96.9
Annabelle WB 2.0 (1,160) -39% 1755 82.5
Before I Go to Sleep FreeStyle 1.9 (990) NEW 1935 1.9
The Equalizer Sony 1.8 (1,650) -34% 1108 96.5
The Boxtrolls Focus .74 (910) -21% 812 48.6
Dear White People Roadside .71 (1,850) -43% 384 2.8
Addicted Lionsgate .66 (1,1190) -56% 555 16.4
Saw 10th Anniversary (reissue) Lionsgate .64 (310) NEW 2063 0.64
Happy New Year Yash Raj .62 (2,570) -69% 241 3.1
Guardians of the Galaxy BV .53 (1,590) -4% 334 329.4
Whiplash Sony Classics .25 (4,110) 1% 61 1.1
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par .19 (730) -49% 265 190.4
Citizenfour Weinstein Co, .19 (5,080) 49% 37 0.37
This is Where I Leave You WB .18 (700) -5% 261 33.9
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $92.90
% Change (Last Year) -24%
% Change (Last Week) -18%
Also debuting/expanding
Horns Weinstein Co. .11 (1,110) 96 0.11
Pride CBS/Remstar .10 (1,050) -35% 93 1.3
Mommy Seville 92,600 (2,100) -23% 44 2.7
My Old Lady Cohen/D-Film .10 (1,220) -24% 84 3.6
Force Majeure Magnolia 88,700 (3,690) 280% 24 0.12
The Trial ABS 86,400 (2,700) -61% 32 0.46
Maps to the Stars eOne 78,500 (1,600) 49 0.08
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Gkids 70,800 (2,620) 9% 27 0.24
Laggies A24 65,300 (4,080) -15% 16 0.16
Current Theega 24 Frames 40,800 (1,050) 39 0.04
Blood Ransom Tectonic 27,500 (1,200) 23 0.03
Goodbye to Language Kino 25,200 (12,600) 2 0.03
Super Nani Eros 22,700 (530) 43 0.02
Ceci n’est pas un polar K-Films 18,300 (1,080) 17 0.02
Point and Shoot Orchard 6,600 (6,600) 1 0.01
ABCs of Death 2 Magnolia 4,100 (290) 14 0.01
Showrunners Submarine 2,750 (2,750) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Oct. 30, 2014)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
20th Century Fox (17) 1523.3 17.90%
Buena Vista (15) 1325.6 15.50%
Warner Bros. (22) 1295.1 15.20%
Sony (21) 1149.3 13.50%
Universal (17) 926.6 10.90%
Paramount (13) 832.4 9.80%
Lionsgate (20) 399.3 4.70%
Weinstein Co. (24) 171.7 2.00%
Relativity (9) 156.7 1.80%
Open Road (8) 121.1 1.40%
Fox Searchlight (9) 106.1 1.20%
FreeStyle (9) 100.8 1.20%
Focus (10) 93.7 1.10%
eOne/Seville (27) 52.5 0.60%
Other * (300) 274.8 3.20%
8529 100%
* none greater than 0.4%

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Ouija|3.4|2899|-59%|27.5
Nightcrawler|3.2|2766|NEW|3.2
Fury|1.9|3313|-53%|53.3
John Wick|1.8|2589|-67%|21.4
Gone Girl|1.8|2834|-48%|129.6
St. Vincent|1.7|2552|-34%|13.1
The Book of Life|1.1|2794|-53%|33.3
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible … Day|0.9|2896|-55%|48
The Judge|0.85|1942|-35%|37
Dracula Untold|0.8|1913|-38%|50.7
||||
||||
Also Debuting||||
Before I Go to Sleep|0.57|1935||
Saw 10th Anniversary (reissue)|0.32|2063||
The Nightmare Before Christmas (reissue)|79,200|211||
Horns|31,100|96||
Maps to the Stars|20,800|49||
Current Theega|11,900|39||
Blood Ransom|6,600|22||
Goodbye to Language|5,700|2||
Super Nani|5,500|43||
Ceci n’est pas un polar|4,200|17||
ABCs of Death 2|2,160|14||
Point and Shoot|1,400|1||

The Weekend Report

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Audiences proved game for Ouija and placed it at the top of the charts with an estimated $20.1 million. That left the session’s other incoming wide release, the actioner John Wick, with the consolation prize of $14.2 million.

In regional release the inspirational high school football yarn 23 Blast failed to score with a $347,000 tally from 617 scrimmages. Another flood of incoming exclusives provided a few encouraging (and better) results including Swedish Oscar submission Force Majeure that entered with $23,400 from two screens. The American indie comedy Laggies also opened well with $81,700 at six sites and the Edward Snowden affair provided Citizenfour with an excellent $117,000 box office from five engagements.

The Diwali festival saw the bow of several high profile Indian imports. The Hindi Happy New Year opened to a solid if unspectacular $1.8 million while the Tamil Kaththi is setting records internationally with the U.S. providing $343,000 to the trove. And the Telugu Karthikeya grossed $143,000. On the Filipino circuit The Trial was also off to a good start of $191,000.

Weekend revenues pushed close to $120 million and an 11% decline from seven days back. It was still 11% improved from 2013 when the $32 million opening of Bad Grandpa usurped Gravity’s three week run at the top.

On the heels of The Purge: Anarchy, Ouija arrived just in time for Halloween and proved that one can adapt an oh so venerable bored game. Industry tracking had tapped the teen horror tale to take the crown with estimates in the $20 million to $22 million range. Still it initially looked like a tight race with John Wick having comparably strong Thursday sneaks and potent Friday matinees.

Studio exit polls showed Ouija with a 61% female audience with 75% of viewers aged 25-years and younger … scary stuff indeed. The film also opened in five secondary foreign climes in Asia and Europe and grossed an OK $1.3 million.

Expectations for John Wick were less than buoyant despite the casting of Keanu Reeves in the title role of a vengeful hit man. It exceeded low ball numbers drawing in a 60% male crowd but failed to bring in a younger crowd based on polling that pegged the audience as 77% aged 25-years and older.

The weekend also featured small platform boosts for Oscar hopefuls Birdman and Whiplash with both films staying on track early in the seasonal admiration race.

Weekend (estimates) October 24 – 26, 2014
Title Distributor Gross (average) % chng Thtrs Cume
Ouija Uni 20.1 (7,030) NEW 2858 20.1
John Wick Lionsgate 14.2 (5,480) NEW 2589 14.2
Fury Sony 13.2 (4,160) -44% 3173 46.2
Gone Girl Fox 11.1 (3,580) -37% 3106 124.1
The Book of Life Fox 9.8 (3,140) -43% 3113 29.9
St. Vincent Weinstein 7.8 (3,430) 1077% 2282 9
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible … Day BV 7.0 (2,250) -39% 3117 45.5
The Best of Me Relativity 4.7 (1,610) -53% 2936 17.6
The Judge WB 4.3 (1,660) -45% 2610 34.4
Dracula Untold Uni 4.3 (1,810) -58% 2364 48.2
Annabelle WB 3.3 (1,320) -58% 2505 79.5
The Equalizer Sony 2.7 (1,670) -49% 1636 93.7
The Maze Runner Fox 2.2 (1,490) -50% 1496 94
Happy New Year Yash Raj 1.8 (7,100) NEW 255 1.8
Addicted Lionsgate 1.5 (1,540) -58% 956 15.3
Birdman Fox Searchlight 1.4 (28,600) 237% 50 2.1
Dear White People Roadside Attractions 1.3 (3,360) 271% 384 1.7
The Boxtrolls Focus .87 (790) -68% 1107 47.6
Guardians of the Galaxy BV .53 (1,320) -45% 402 328.6
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par .36 (850) -32% 300 190.1
23 Blast Ocean Avenue .35 (560) NEW 617 0.35
Kathhi MM Media .34 (3,730) NEW 92 0.6
Left Behind FreeStyle/eOne .26 (800) -72% 320 13.5
Whiplash Sony Classics .24 (5,300) 23% 46 0.72
Meet the Mormons Purdie .22 (1,720) -61% 129 5.2
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $112.10
% Change (Last Year) 14%
% Change (Last Week) -11%
Also debuting/expanding
The Trial ABS .19 (3,670) 52 0.19
Pride CBS/Remstar .15 (1,220) -27% 124 1.1
Karthikeya Movie Arts .14 (3,760) 38 0.14
My Old Lady Cohen/D-Film .14 (1,350) -37% 103 3.4
Mommy Seville .13 (2,420) -33% 55 2.6
The Skeleton Twins Roadside Attractions .12 (1,200) -55% 102 4.9
Citizenfour Weinstein Co, .12 (23,460) 5 0.12
Laggies A24 81,700 (13,620) 6 0.08
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Gkids 64,800 (3,240) 18% 20 0.14
Listen Up Philip TriBeCa 57,500 (2,610) 147% 22 0.09
Force Majeur Magnolia 23,400 (11,700) 2 0.02
1,000 Times Good Night Film Movement 21,200 (920) 23 0.02
Pelican Dreams Shadow 7,700 (3,850) 2 0.01
Exists Film Arcade 7,400 (620) 12 0.01
Pooja Vendhar 7,100 (420) 17 0.01
White Bird in a Blizzard Magnolia 6,200 (1,550) 4 0.01
Revenge of the Green Dragon A24 5,300 (2,650) 2 0.01
Low Down Oscilloscope 4,300 (4,300) 1 0.01
Love Project Seville 3,000 (600) 5 0.01
The Heart Machine Film Buff 2,100 (2,100) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Oct. 23, 2014)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
20th Century Fox (17) 1493.1 17.80%
Buena Vista (15) 1315.9 15.70%
Warner Bros. (22) 1283.8 15.30%
Sony (21) 1126.9 13.50%
Universal (17) 897.4 10.70%
Paramount (13) 831.8 9.90%
Lionsgate (20) 378.7 4.50%
Weinstein Co. (23) 160.9 1.90%
Relativity (10) 151.1 1.80%
Open Road (7) 120.6 1.40%
Fox Searchlight (9) 104.2 1.20%
FreeStyle (9) 100.5 1.20%
Focus (10) 92.3 1.10%
eOne/Seville (26) 52.1 0.60%
Other * (290) 266.4 3.30%
8375.7 100%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Global Grossers * (Jan. 1 – Oct. 23, 2014)
Title Distributor Box Office
Transformers: Age of Extinction Par 1,083,765,020
Maleficent BV 757,191,367
X-Men: Days of Future Past Fox 746,224,744
Guardians of the Galaxy BV 740,207,192
Frozen * BV 724,322,158
Captain America: The Winter Soldier BV 713,778,940
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Sony 709,012,447
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox 707,186,596
How to Train Your Dragon 2 Fox 616,700,299
Godzilla WB; Toho 523,345,942
Rio 2 Fox 498,670,793
The Lego Movie WB 472,173,863
Lucy Uni; Europa 414,332,197
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par 382,094,732
Edge of Tomorrow WB 368,667,083
Noah Par 362,164,780
The Wolf of Wall Street * Par; Red Granite 350,418,304
300: Rise of an Empire WB 331,624,640
22 Jump Street Sony 328,715,034
The Fault in Our Stars Fox 304,021,005
Divergent Lionsgate 289,044,408
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug * WB 277,256,540
Neighbors Uni 270,048,602
The Maze Runner Fox 260,223,044
Mr. Peabody & Sherman Fox: Dmwks 253,379,783
* does not include 2013 box office

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Ouija|8.2|2858|NEW|8.2
John Wick|5.4|2589|NEW|5.4
Fury|4.1|3173|-54%|37.1
Gone Girl|3.5|3106|-37%|116.5
St. Vincent|2.5|2282|1247%|3.6
The Book of Life|2.4|3113|-51%|22.5
Alexander and the Terrible … Day|2|3117|-38%|40.5
The Best of Me|1.6|2936|-62%|14.5
The Judge|1.3|2610|-47%|31.3
Dracula Untold|1.2|2364|-59%|45.3
||||
||||
Also Debuting||||
Happy New Year|0.58|255||
Kaththi|0.11|92||
23 Blast|0.1|617||
The Trial|52,780|50||
Karthikeya|37,250|38||
Laggies|31,800|6||
Citizenfour|31,400|5||
1,000 Times Good Night|6,560|23||
Force Majeure|6,150|2||
Pelican Dreams|3,850|2||
Exists|3,650|12||
Revenge of the Green Dragon |2,500|2||
White Bird in a Blizzard|2,400|4||
Pooja|2,400|17||
Low Down|1,800|1||
Love Project|1,050|5||
The Heart Machine|1,050|1||

The Weekend Report

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

The Second World War thundered into multiplexes in the form of Fury and topped the charts with an estimated $23.6 million opening salvo. The two other national bows included Guillermo Del Toro-produced animated fiesta The Book of Life slotting third with $16.9 million and the three-hankie The Best of Me striking few Sparks, remaining a few sniffles behind at $10.2 million. Platformers ranged from a drop dead $310,000 result for Jason Reitman’s sixth moral tale, Men, Women & Children, at 608 lecterns, to a tempo-setting $202,000 bounce for the percussive stamina test Whiplash at 21 venues.

In the niches Telugu Oka Laila Kosam was off to a good start with $187,000 from 61 venues. However, the big thunder came rom a spate of new exclusives; many positioning for the autumnal awards run-up. Japanese anime The Tale of the Princess Kaguya opened to $49,500 from three screens while epic Chinese Oscar submission The Golden Era grossed $53,100 at 15 sites. Considerably more potent were the discomfortingly humorous race relations satire Dear White People with $351,000 from just 11 playdates and a staggering $422,000 for fine-feathered black comedy Birdman in only four nests.

Frame revenues inched toward $135 million, registering a 12% dip from the prioer weekend. However, it was an impressive 28% upturn from 2013 when the third weekend of Gravity secured the hat trick with $30 million and the top opener was the Carrie remake with a $16.1 million entry.

None of the newcomers attained heights anticipated by trackers, including the well-reviewed Fury, which fell short of predictions that ranged from $30-33 million. The saga of a WWI Itank crew recalled the intensity of the submariners of Das Boot and emulated the similar The Beast of even more distant memory. Studio exit polling indicated an unsurprising 60% male tilt with an older audience estimated at 81% aged 25-years and older. The latter factor proved bonecrushing and suggested a new generation unwilling to embrace a once popular genre that’s only been successfully revisited by Inglouriuous Basterds of late.

The backdrop of Mexico’s Day of the Dead provided an ironic slant for The Book of Life and its colorful, flamboyant style was expected to generate between $18-20 million. The opening crowd tilted 57% female with families dominating and 54% of the opening crowd aged 25-years and younger. Polling also indicated that the audience was a significant but not overwhelming 30% Hispanic which bodes well for its longevity. The film also bowed day and date in 19 foreign climes; primarily in Latin territories familiar with the celebration and grossed an estimated $8.5 million led by Mexico and Brazil with respective openings of $3.8 million and $2 million.

The Nicholas Sparks franchise appears to be fading with his sixth entry in six years, The Best of Me, falling short of $15-16 million expectations. The picture’s performance suggests an audience of fans and scant interest for converts. Sparks’ patented format traditionally plays heavily to women and an older crowd that this weekend opted for other choices.

The award tomtoms beat loudest for Birdman and Whiplash. While neither is at pitched at a best-picture decibel level, each could secure major acting honors for, respectively, Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons in the supporting category. Keaton faces what should be a fiercely-contested competition with the lineup that includes Eddie Redmayne channeling physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, Timothy Spall painting his Mr. Turner and Benedict Cumberbatch embodying real life code-breaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.

Weekend (estimates) October 17 – 19, 2014
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
Fury Sony 23.6 (7,440) NEW 3173 23.6
Gone Girl Fox 17.8 (5,480) -33% 3249 107.1
The Book of Life Fox 16.9 (5,510) NEW 3071 16.9
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible … Day BV 12.0 (3,890) -35% 3088 36.8
The Best of Me Relativity 10.2 (3.470) NEW 2936 10.2
Dracula Untold Uni 9.9 (3,420) -58% 2887 40.7
The Judge WB 7.9 (2,640) -40% 3003 26.8
Annabelle WB 7.9 (2,740) -50% 2878 74.1
The Equalizer Sony 5.4 (2,390) -44% 2262 88.1
The Maze Runner Fox 4.5 (2,080) -40% 2155 90.8
Addicted Lionsgate 3.4 (3,320) -54% 1037 12.8
The Boxtrolls Focus 2.6 (1,170) -60% 2251 46
Guardians of the Galaxy BV 1.0 (1,360) -45% 730 327.8
Left Behind FreeStyle/eOne .91 (990) -68% 923 12.8
St. Vincent Weinstein .67 (9,880) 511% 68 0.8
Meet the Mormons Purdie .58 (1,820) -77% 317 4.5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par .53 (1,420) 44% 372 189.6
This is Where I Leave You WB .51 (1,010) -68% 502 33.2
Kill the Messenger Focus .49 (1,150) -48% 427 1.8
Birdman Fox Searchlight .42 (105,500) NEW 4 0.42
Dear White People Roadside .35 (31,900) NEW 11 0.35
Dolphin Tale 2 WB .33 (650) -74% 502 40.8
No Good Deed Sony .32 (1,070) -66% 296 52.3
Men, Women & Children Par .31 (510) 595% 608 0.47
The Skeleton Twins Roadside .29 (1,860) -32% 155 4.7
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $126.80
% Change (Last Year) 28%
% Change (Last Week) -12%
Also debuting/expanding
My Old Lady Cohen Media .21 (1.630) -32% 129 3.2
Pride CBS/Remstar .20 (1,760) -8% 115 0.86
Whiplash Sony Classics .20 (9,620) 50% 21 0.21
Mommy Seville .19 (2,570) -13% 75 2.3
Oka Laila Kosam Blue Sky .19 (3,070) 61 0.19
The Good Lie WB .17 (1,230) -69% 135 2.1
Breakup Buddies China Lion 91,400 (3,810) -53% 24 0.7
The Two Faces of January Magnolia 63,300 (1,320) -27% 48 0.32
The Golden Era China Lion 53,100 (3,540) 15 0.05
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Gkids 49,500 (16,500) 3 0.05
Rudderless IDP 34,700 (1,930) 18 0.03
Tracks Weinstein Co. 33,200 (920) -48% 36 0.41
Listen Up Philip TriBeCa 24,900 (12,450) 2 0.02
Hiroshima, Mon Amour (reissue) Rialto 17,800 (3,560) 5 0.02
Guardian Angel Richmond Media 11,400 (5,700) 2 0.01
Watchers of the Sky Music Box 8,500 (1,700) 5 0.01
My Love, My Bride CJ 7,550 (7,550) 1 0.01
Diplomacy Zeitgeist 6,900 (6,900) 1 0.01
Life Inside Out Circus Road 6,500 (3,250) 2 0.01
Felony Gravitas 4,200 (420) 10 0.01
Lakay 4 Features 3,660 (610) 6 0.01
The Hacker Wars Vitagraph 3,300 (3,300) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Oct. 16, 2014)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
20th Century Fox (17) 1443.7 17.60%
Buena Vista (15) 1302.6 15.90%
Warner Bros. (22) 1261.1 15.40%
Sony (21) 1087.2 13.20%
Universal (16) 882.9 10.80%
Paramount (13) 830.6 10.10%
Lionsgate (19) 373.3 4.50%
Weinstein (22) 159.9 1.90%
Relativity (9) 137.9 1.70%
Open Road (7) 120.6 1.50%
Fox Searchlight (8) 103.5 1.30%
FreeStyle (9) 99.3 1.20%
Focus (9) 88.3 1.10%
eOne/Seville (25) 51.6 0.60%
Other * (281) 260.9 3.20%
8203.4 100%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Limited Releases * (Jan. 1 – Oct. 9, 2014)
Title Distributor Box Office
Boyhood IFC/Mongrel 23,622,687
A Most Wanted Man Roadside/eOne 17,185,345
Nebraska * Par 11,669,238
Dallas Buyers Club * Focus/Remstar 11,522,869
Belle Fox Searchlight 10,726,630
Magic in the Moonlight Sony Classics 10,457,171
Inside Llewyn Davis * CBS/Mongrel 8,107,748
Island of the Lemurs: Madagascar WB 7,673,312
Cantinflas Lionsgate 6,382,924
Cesar Chavez Lionsgate 5,571,497
Jerusalem NationalGeo 5,299,866
The Wind Rises BV 5,209,580
Journey to the South Pacific Imax 4,717,904
Snowpiercer Weinstein 4,561,255
Hubble 3D * Imax 4,441,348
The Railway Man Weinstein 4,438,438
The Skeleton Twins Roadside 4,427,667
The Lunchbox Sony Classics 4,231,500
Meet the Mormons Purdie 3,952,235
Fading Gigolo Millennium 3,769,873
* does not include 2013 box office

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Fury|8.8|3173|NEW|8.8
Gone Girl|5.6|3249|-32%|94.8
The Book of Life|4.9|3071|NEW|4.9
The Best of Me|4.1|2936|NEW|4.1
Alexaander and the Terrible, Horrible … Day|3.2|3088|-39%|28
Dracula Untold|2.9|2900|-67%|33.8
Annabelle|2.5|2878|-52%|68.7
The Judge|2.4|3003|-45%|21.3
The Equalizer|1.6|2262|-44%|85.3
The Maze Runner|1.3|2155|-39%|87.7
||||
Also Debuting||||
Birdman|0.13|4||
Dear White People|0.12|11||
Oka Laila Kosam|60,200|61||
The Golden Era|19,000|15||
The Tale of Princess Kaguya|13,600|3||
Rudderless|9,200|18||
Listen Up Philip|7,350|2||
Guardian Angel|5,950|2||
Hiroshima, Mon Amour (reissue)|5,250|5||
Watchers of the Sky|3,100|4||
Life Inside Out|3,050|2||
Lakay|2,100|6||
Diplomacy|2,100|1||
The Hacker Wars|2,000|1||
My Love, My Bride|1,800|1||
Felony|1,300|9||