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The Weekend Report

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

The story was Dory as the Blue Tang clan of Finding Dory boop boop ditem whatem an estimated $73.2 million in its second weekend. That was bad news for Independence Day: Resurgence, fizzling into second with $41.6 million. The session’s other two national openers saw upbeat results for The Shallows, churning $16.2 million while Civil War lesson Free State of Jones struggled to $7.5 million.

The fashionista provocation The Neon Demon hardly sparkled with a gross of $582,000 from 783 playdates. Exclusive freshmen included good initial results for the union of dysfunction and Dachshund in Wiener-Dog of $23,000 from two screens and a $69,700 tally for New Zealand family comedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople from five engagements. But the big whoop goes to the offbeat Swiss Army Man, which grossed out $113,000 in three exposures. Among imports only Panjabi Sardaarji 2 displayed commercial power with a $218,000 box office.

Revenues for the frame were about $190 million for a 20% decline from last weekend. It was a slim 2% improvement from 2015 when the third weekend of Jurassic World edged Inside Out with respective draws of $54.5 million and $52.3 million.

A whole new generation was unfazed by the continuation of 1996’s Independence Day. Resurgence proved ironic on the domestic front where expectations peaked at $50 million and ebbed as opening day neared. Bad signs included the choice not to general press screen the film, and spots that favored comedy ahead of action. Studio exit demos identified the audience as 58% male with 64% of viewers aged 25-years and older.

International results were more encouraging for IDR with estimates of $100 million from 57 markets. China bowed to $36 million but nonetheless finished second behind a $43 million gross for Now You See Me 2. It also settled for the bridesmaid spot to The Secret Life of Pets in the UK with $7.3 million. It was leader of the pack in South Korea and Mexico with respective openings of $7.4 million and $6.7 million.

While lacking the big bite of Jaws, The Shallows was a shark picture trackers pegged to open at $10-$12 million. Clearly there was an audience for cheap thrills over expensive pyrotechnics. Its female protagonist contributed to a 54% female tilt with an split between over/under 25-year olds.

Nascent STX opened its first prestige picture Free State of Jones without sufficient TLC to win over audiences or critics. Tracking suggested an $9-$10 million weekend but the heavy focus on headliner Matthew McConaughey in the Civil War message picture missed the mark with alternative and upscale viewers.

Weekend (estimates) June 24 – 26, 2016
Title Distributor Gross (average) % chng Thtrs Cume
Finding Dory BV 73.2 (16,990) -46% 4305 286.5
Independence Dy: Resurgence Fox 41.6 (10,220) NEW 4068 41.6
Central Intelligence WB 18.4 (5,240) -48% 3508 69.3
The Shallows Sony 16.2 (5,470) NEW 2962 16.2
The Conjuring 2 WB 7.6 (2,500) -49% 3033 86.8
Free State of Jones STX 7.5 (2,650) NEW 2815 7.5
Now You See Me 2 Lionsgate 5.6 (2,030) -41% 2745 52
X-Men: Apocalypse Fox 2.5 (1,470) -53% 1679 151.1
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Par 2.4 (1,220) -55% 1947 74.8
Warcraft Uni 2.1 (1,080) -71% 1952 43.9
Alice Through the Looking Glass BV 1.9 (3,890) -55% 495 74.4
Me Before You WB 1.8 (1,150) -55% 1538 51.1
Captain America: Civil War BV 1.4 (1,820) -41% 753 403.9
The Jungle Book BV 1.2 (2,530) -19% 478 358
The Neon Demon Broad Green .58 (740) NEW 783 0.58
Love & Friendship Roadside Attr .46 (1,630) -38% 281 11.8
The Angry Birds Movie Sony .45 (1,020) -73% 443 104.9
The Lobster A24 .42 (2,000) -31% 210 7.4
The Nice Guys WB .41 (1,410) -50% 291 35
Zootopia BV .28 (1,210) -70% 233 340.4
Maggie’s Plan Sony Classics .27 (1,340) -37% 203 2.3
Sardaarji 2 White Hill .25 (4,000) NEW 62 0.25
Udta Punjab White Hill .22 (2,130) -65% 102 1.05
Genius Roadside .21 (1,390) -29% 152 0.8
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $184.00
% Change (Last Year) 2%
% Change (Last Week) -20%
Also debuting/expanding
Swiss Army Man A24 .11 (37,730) 3 0.11
Weiner IFC .10 (1,170) -20% 88 1.2
The Man Who Knew Infinity IFC/Mongrel 84,200 (1,260) -42% 67 3.7
Hunt for the Wilderpeople Orchard 69,700 (13,940) 5 0.07
Three Well Go 58,100 (3,230) 18 0.06
Tickled Magnolia 57,500 (3,190) 162% 18 0.95
Raman Raghav 2.0 Big Pictures 53,900 (870) 62 0.05
Oka Manasu 9PM Entertainment 25,400 (350) 72 0.03
Wiener-Dog IFC 23,000 (11,500) 2 0.02
Eat That Question Sony Classics 17,400 (8,700) 2 0.02
Les Cowboys Cohen Media 13,600 (3,400) 4 0.01
The Kind Words Strand 7,900 (7,900) 1 0.01
Septembers of Shiraz Momentum 6,500 (720) 9 0.01
Right Now, Wrong Then Grasshopper 5,100 (2,550) 2 0.01
The Duel Lionsgate 4,300 (390) 11 0.01
Yarn Bond 3,100 (3,100) 1 0.01
Vigilante Diaries Anchor Bay 2,000 (1,000) 2 0.01
Domestic Market Share (January 1 – June 23, 2016)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
Buena Vista (9) 1711.3 32.10%
20th Century Fox (12) 924.2 17.30%
Warner Bros. (14) 696.3 13.10%
Universal (11) 438.6 8.20%
Paramount (9) 391.4 7.30%
Sony (14) 323.1 6.10%
Lionsgate (13) 252.9 4.70%
Focus (8) 134.4 2.50%
Open Road (4) 69.4 1.30%
Weinstein (7) 54.6 1.00%
A24 (5) 42.6 0.80%
Roadside  (6) 42.4 0.80%
STX (3) 28.9 0.55%
Sony Classics (9) 23.1 0.45%
Other * (185) 204 3.80%
5337.2 100%
* none greater than 0.4%

Reviews: Free State of Jones and Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

Free State of Jones harkens back to the Civil War era and its aftermath for an arcane and fascinating piece of time that eluded even Ken Burns. Set in Jones County, Mississippi, It centers on disaffected Southerners struggling through a war and a cause unrelated to their daily existence but nonetheless demanding sacrifice they find unduly oppressive.

Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey) is a conscript assigned to sweep the battlefields for fallen soldiers. It’s a perilous task that has honed his survival instincts to the nth degree. But the tipping point comes when a teenage relative arrives and is brought low in his very first skirmish.

Knight decides to go AWOL; taking the corpse of his kin back home for a proper burial. He tells his comrades this is not his war. It’s a conflict for plantation owners and slave holders exempt from military duty by age or vocation.

Back home he finds family and neighbors victim of Confederate laws that demand a tithe of crops and stock to the war effort. By law it’s ten percent; in practice it’s closer to everything. So he decides to stand with the largely female population against the authorities and that defiance makes him a marked man. The protagonist finds refuge in the swamps along with fellow deserters and runaway slaves. It’s his version of Sherwood Forest and this Robin Hood abets the poor by forcefully opposing the minions of the wealthy grandees. Knight winds up declaring a portion of the state an independent domain with a charter of principles though devoid of a legal/political body, which gives the film its title.

Based on historic documents, the film is a compelling look at strength and resistance of a little-known time. The attention to detail is staggering; tirelessly recreating a bygone time through stark images from cinematographer Benoît Delhomme and evocative production design by Philip Messina.

As vibrant as Free State of Jones can be, it falters through a dense narrative that descends into secondary concerns. A 1950s trial of Knight’s ancestor for misogamy fails to provide contemporary resonance and the era of Reconstruction following the Civil War comes short of extending the grim history.

There’s unquestionably sufficient material here for several films or a TV miniseries and writer-director Gary Ross appears hellbent on cramming every bit of research he’s collected into a single feature. He winds up being his own worst enemy; under-cutting the potency of the saga with minutia that’s arresting but not always dramatic.

Free State also gets a considerable boost from McConaughey’s finest film work. It’s precise, nuanced and largely free of histrionics. He provides much-needed humanity and a first-person perspective on decency and tolerance in an era when such qualities weren’t in ample abundance.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a family film with a wicked sense of humor, a manhunt through the wilds and even a car chase, as well as New Zealand’s highest-grossing native movie. Cherubic 13-year old Ricky Baker (Julian Dennision) is a troubled native boy who’s been bounced through social services and has reached the end of the chain. His last chance is the remote cabin of the big-hearted Bella and her gruff companion Hec (Sam Neill). The system couldn’t be happier to be rid of him.

Ricky’s belligerence and monosyllabic stance is no match for Bella’s unconditional love. Besides his vain initial attempts to escape are thwarted by his total lack of skill in the bush. But the fairytale is short-lived. Bella succumbs to a heart attack and social services returns him to the urban environment.

The set-up is equal parts saccharine and social conscience. But writer-director Taika Waititi is more of a social satirist keen to bend conventions and thumb his nose at preconceived expectations. His collaboration on the “Flight of the Conchords” series led to What We Do in the Shadows, a hilarious pseudo-documentary about vampires attempting to live the “square life.”

Ricky’s resistance to returning to civilization is abetted by serendipity. Hec is sufficiently self aware that he’s ill-suited to take over guardianship. But when he twists his ankle in the wilds they fail to meet their date with the authorities. They are assumed to be fugitives and that’s just fine with Ricky. Hec just has an inbred resistance to the system.

The skewered perspective and good natured quality of Hunt for the Wilderpeople is simply disarming. Dennison is a natural and without over-playing his hand, Neill revels in playing against time as a taciturn backwoodsman. There’s also a drop-dead funny turn from Waititi as the minister presiding over Bella’s funeral. The film sets the natural rugged beauty of New Zealand against the small-minded bureaucracy of any good “progressive” democracy. It’s a universal reality that’s readily relatable and effortlessly funny.

 

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

Finding Dory|23.6|4305|-48%|236.9
Independence Day: Resurgence *|16.7|4068|New|16.7
The Shallows|6.7|2962|New|6.7
Central Intelligence|5.6|3508|-56%|56.6
Free State of Jones|2.6|2815|New|2.6
The Conjuring 2|5.4|3033|-54%|81.7
Now You See Me 2|1.7|2745|-40%|48.1
X-Men: Apocalypse|0.7|1679|-49%|149.4
TMNJT 2 |0.65|1947|-57%|75.4
Me Before You|0.65|1538|-58%|49.9
||||
* includes Thursday previews||||
||||
Also Debuting||||
The Neon Demon|0.24|783||
Sardaarji 2|73,700|62||
Swiss Army Man|48,300|3||
Three |20,000|18||
Hunt for the Wilderpeople|18,900|5||
Raman Raghav 2.0|15,700|62||
Oka Manasu|10,200|72||
Wiener-Dog|8,350|2||
Eat That Question|5,400|2||
Les Cowboys|3,650|4||
The Kind Words|1,800|1||
Right Now, Wrong Then|1,700|2||
Septembers of Shiraz|1,550|9||
Yarn|1,400|1||
The Duel|1,250|10||
Vigilante Diaries|1,200|2||

The Weekend Report

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Finding Dory propelled to a record estimated $136.4 million. There was also good news for the other national debut—pumped-up action comedy Central Intelligence—with a  finish of $34.4 million. The frame’s only significant expansion was Genius , which maintained its bottom line. The Lobster continues to be a surprise success with a current cume of $6.7 million, rivaling its international run of $8.5 million.

Horror yarn Clown neither provided chuckles nor chills with a $27,300 tally at 100 venues. Best of the exclusive newcomers was the nonfiction Tickled with a coochy-coo $20,600 from two screens. In the niches, two Indian imports demonstrated significant heft. Punjabi Udta Punjab grossed $644,000 while Telugu Gentleman bowed to $458,000.

Overall revenues for the session swam to roughly $235 million and a 53% hike from last weekend. It was still 6% behind the 2015 level was Jurassic World’s second weekend grossed $106.6 and Inside Out bowed with a potent $90.4 million.

Expectations were bold for Finding Dory with cautious levels around $120 million that bettered Toy Story 3’s animated opening record of $110.3 million. The 13-year interval since Finding Nemo only made absence fonder (though the new film isn’t a strict sequel) with Thursday previews also setting records. The picture also opened in 29 international waters with an estimated $50 million including $17.5 million in China and $7.6 million in Australia.

Dory skewed female with 55% of domestic viewers with studio exit demos identifying families comprising 65% of the audience. Roughly 57% of the crowd was aged 25-years and younger.

Counterprogramming proved effective for Central Intelligence with the buddy action comedy coming close to top-end predictions of $35 million. Exit demos saw a surprising 51% female tilt. The plus 25-year old audience accounted for 57% of viewers with 32% of aged between 18 and 34-years old.

Weekend (estimates) June 17 – 19, 2016
Title Distributor Gross (average) % chng Thtrs Cume
Finding Dory BV 136.4 (31,690) NEW 4305 136.4
Central Intelligence WB 34.4 (9,810) NEW 3508 34.4
The Conjuring 2 WB 15.6 (4,650) -61% 3356 71.8
Now You See Me 2 Lionsgate 9.2 (2,850) -59% 3232 40.9
Warcraft Uni 6.5 (1,910) -73% 3406 37.7
TMNJ 2 Par 5.2 (1,680) -64% 3086 71.9
X-Men: Apocalypse Fox 5.2 (1,960) -48% 2632 146
Alice Through BV 3.9 (2,090) -30% 1880 69.6
Me Before You WB 4.2 (1,580) -54% 2645 46.4
Captain America: Civil War BV 2.3 (1,590) -47% 1434 401.3
The Angry Birds Movie Sony 1.6 (810) -75% 2021 103.1
The Jungle Book BV 1.3 (1,390) -52% 953 355.7
Zootopia BV .91 (2,980) 63% 305 339.5
The Nice Guys WB .81 (1,550) -59% 522 34.2
Love & Friendship Roadside .76 (1,520) -47% 497 11
Udta Punjab White Hill .64 (5,800) NEW 111 0.64
The Lobster A24 .61 (1,910) -38% 319 6.7
Gentleman Atmus .46 (3,610) NEW 127 1
Maggie’s Plan Sony Classics .44 (1,320) -29% 335 1.8
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Uni .32 (700) -85% 464 54.5
Genius Roadside .29 (2,230) 197% 131 0.43
Money Monster Sony .20 (710) -71% 286 40.3
Popstar: Never Stop Uni .18 (860) -89% 211 9.4
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $229.53
% Change (Last Year) -6%
% Change (Last Week) 53%
Also debuting/expanding
Weiner IFC .13 (1,590) -21% 80 1
The Man Who Knew Infinity IFC/Mongrel .12 (1,300) -37% 91 3.5
The Meddler Sony Classics 66,800 (710) -49% 94 4
The Wailing Well Go 46,500 (2,110) -65% 22 0.65
Clown Weinstein 27,300 (270) 100 0.03
Tickled Magnolia 20,600 (10,300) 2 0.02
Au Nom de ma fille A-Z Films 16,700 (1,280) 13 0.02
Raiders! Drafthouse 10,300 (690) 15 0.01
Proof of Innocence CJ 10,200 (10,200) 1 0.01
My Love, Don’t Cross That River Film Movement 5,800 (2,900) 2 0.01
Seoul Searching Wonder Vision 5,700 (5,700) 1 0.01
The Last King Magnolia 4,300 (1,430) 3 0.01
Cosmos Kino 3,400 (3,400) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (January 1 – June 16, 2016)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
Buena Vista (9) 1493.1 29.90%
20th Century Fox (11) 912.4 18.30%
Warner Bros. (14) 615.4 12.30%
Universal (11) 426.9 8.50%
Paramount (9) 393.4 7.90%
Sony (13) 318.4 6.40%
Lionsgate (13) 238.3 4.80%
Fous (8) 134.3 2.70%
Open Road (4) 69.4 1.40%
Weinstein Co. (7) 54.6 1.10%
STX (3) 42.4 0.85%
A24 (5) 41.6 0.85%
Roadside Attractions (6) 27.4 0.55%
Sony Classics (9) 22.1 0.45%
Other * (181) 200.8 4.00%
4990.5 100%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Global Grossers (January 1 – June 16,2016)
Title Distributor Box Office
Captain America: Civil War BV 1,145,722,250
Zootopia BV 1,008,705,316
The Jungle Book BV 914,919,915
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice WB 869,087,267
Deadpool Fox 778,191,797
Star Wars: The Force Awakens * BV 741,421,311
The Mermaid Alibaba; Sony 552,493,009
The Revenant Fox 531,557,282
Kung Fu Panda 3 Fox; DreamWorks 518,403,862
X-Men: Apocalypse Fox 484,664,146
Warcraft Uni; Legendary 337,050,505
The Angry Birds Movie Sony 319,730,868
Alice Through the Looking Glass BV 223,231,243
London Has Fallen Focus; NuImage 203,893,315
The Monkey King 2 China Lion 190,755,793
From Vegas to Macau III Bona; Media Asia 186,923,621
Allegiant Lionsgate 179,835,477
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip * Fox 165,150,302
The Huntsman: Winter’s War Uni 164,134,837
Daddy’s Home * Par 154,763,061
* does not include 2015 revenue

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

Finding Dory *|54.9|4305|New|54.9
Central Intelligence|13|3508|New|13
The Conjuring 2|5.4|3356|-67%|61.6
Now You See Me 2|2.8|3232|-67%|34.5
Warcraft|1.9|3406|-82%|33.1
Me Before You|1.5|2645|-50%|43.7
TMNJ2|1.5|3086|-63%|68.2
X-Men: Apocalypse|1.4|2632|-50%|142.2
Alice Through|1.3|1880|-24%|67
Captain America: CW |0.6|1434|-51%|399.6
|||||
* includes Thursday previews|||||
|||||
Also Debuting|||||
Udta Punjab|0.19|111|
Gentleman|0.14|127|
Clown|10,400|100|
Tickled|7,350|2|
Au Nom de ma fille|5,000|13||
Raiders!|3,500|15||
Proof of Innocence|3,350|1||
Seoul Searching|2,600|1||
My Love, Don’t Cross That River|2,200|2||
Cosmos|1,550|1||
The Last King|1,250|3||

Weekend Estimates

Sunday, June 12th, 2016

The Conjuring 2 manifested an estimated $40.4 million, with game-inspired Warcraft at $24.3 million, while Now You See Me 2 prestidigitated $22.8 million. The session’s only significant expansion was Maggie’s Plan.

In the niches, Hindi Te3n opened an okay $263,000. In exclusives a pair of docs—The Music of Strangers and the auto-portrait De Palma—proved potent. Literary biopic Genius wrote a good start of $102,000 at 16 venues.

Revenues for the frame generated close to $160 million and surpassed last weekend by 15%. It was however 44% behind 2015 when the opening of Jurassic World grossed a record-breaking $204.6 million.

Tracking clearly favored The Conjuring 2, the follow up to 2013’s surprise chiller success. The spooky tale out-performed expectations that were in the mid-$30 million level and cemented the appeal of high gloss, modestly-budgeted horror fare. Studio exit polling pegged the opening crowd with a slight female tilt of 52% with 57% of viewers aged 25-years and older. Roughly half the audience was aged between 17 and 24-years old.

The Conjuring sequel also opened in 44 international territories to a hefty estimated $50 million. The focus was Latin America with Mexico posting top returns of $9 million. Other top locations included South Korea with $4 million and Australia posting $2.7 million.

Warcraft may be the videogame adaptation that finally breaks through the genre’s movie jinx. It’s already opened extensively internationally where the gross climbed to $80 million after two weeks. On the domestic front tracking expectations were also on the low side in the area of $20 million to $22 million. It was decidedly the session’s boy movie with 66% of viewers with 54% of eyes aged 30 years and younger.

The film opened to a staggering $157 million in China with a total overseas weekend gross of $186 million to easily lead as the global box office champ.

Also inspired by a left field success Now You See Me 2 was expected to finish second behind The Conjuring 2 in the neighborhood of $25 million. It brought in a crowd that was 52% female and 60% aged 25-years and older.

Weekend (estimates) June 10 – 12, 2016
Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters
The Conjuring 2 WB 40.4 (12,100) NEW 3343
Warcraft Uni 24.3 (7,150) NEW 3400
Now You See Me 2 Lionsgate 22.8 (7,060) NEW 3232
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Par 14.7 (3,610) -58% 4071
X-Men: Apocalypse Fox 10.1 (2,810) -56% 3585
Me Before You WB 9.2 (3,340) -51% 2762
The Angry Birds Movie Sony 6.8 (2,200) -34% 3083
Alice Through the Looking Glass BV 5.6 (1,940) -50% 2898
Captain America: Civil War BV 4.4 (2,080) -44% 2101
The Jungle Book BV 2.7 (1,830) -38% 1496
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Uni 2.1 (1,340) -56% 1581
The Nice Guys WB 2.1 (1,840) -39% 1147
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Uni 1.7 ((740) -63% 2313
Love & Friendship Roadside Attractions 1.5 (1,790) -31% 826
The Lobster A24 .96 (1,710) -34% 560
Money Monster Sony .71 (970) -62% 731
Maggie’s Plan Sony Classics .66 (2,110) 361% 311
Zootopia BV .57 (1,460) -24% 391
A…Aa Blue Sky .36 (3,580) -72% 101
Te3n Big Pictures .26 (2,530) NEW 104
Housefull 3 Eros .22 (1,980) -68% 112
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice WB .19 (870) -34% 215
Weiner IFC .18 (2,520) -11% 71
The Man Who Knew Infinity IFC/Mongrel .17 (1,380) -43% 124
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $151.30
% Change (Last Year) -44%
% Change (Last Week) 15%
Also debuting/expanding
The Wailing Well Go .13 (3,660) -41% 35
The Meddler Sony Classics .13 (950) -50% 136
Genius Roadside Attractons .10 (6,380) 16
Sing Street Weinstein Co. 66,200 (600) 41% 111
A Bigger Splash Fox Searchlight 58,700 (1,030) -64% 57
De Palma A24 29,100 (9,700) 3
The Music of Strangers Orchard 25,400 (8,470) 3
Puerto Ricans in Paris Focus 22,900 (560) 41
Blackway FreeStyle 16,300 (1,020) 16
Diary of a Chambermaid Cohen Media 10,800 (5,400) 2
Oka Ammayi Thappa Tollywood 5,900 (270) 22
From Afar Strand 5,200 (5,200) 1
Germans & Jews First Run 4.200 (4,200) 1
Be Somebody 71 Studio 3,000 (300) 10
Domestic Market Share (January 1 – June 9, 2016)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
Buena Vista (8) 1463.2 30.70%
20th Century Fox (11) 897.8 18.90%
Warner Bros. (13) 542.8 11.40%
Universal (11) 392.7 8.30%
Paramount (9) 362.8 7.60%
Sony (13) 307.3 6.50%
Lionsgate (13) 208.3 4.40%
Focus (7) 133.9 2.80%
Open Road (4) 69.3 1.50%
Weinstein Co. (7) 54.5 1.10%
STX (3) 42.4 0.90%
A24 (5) 40.1 0.85%
Roadside Attractions (5) 25.3 0.50%
Sony Classics (9) 21 0.45%
Fox Searhlight (4) 18.7 0.40%
Bleecker Street (3) 17.9 0.40%
Other * (170) 161 3.40%
4759 100%
* none greater than 0.35%
Top Limited Releases (January 1 – June 9, 2016)
Title Distributor Box Office
Eye in the Sky Bleecker/eOne 18,455,324
Hello, My Name is Doris Roadside Attractions 14,301,689
The Lady in the Van Sony Classics 10,021,175
Carol * Weinstein Co. 8,910,357
Love & Friendship Roadside Attractions 8,016,875
The Danish Girl * Focus 6,607,578
The Lobster Mongrel/A24 4,598,123
45 Years IFC/Mongrel 4,563,579
A Hologram for the King Roadside Attract/eOne 4,154,086
Where to Invade Next Drafthouse/Mongrel 3,827,261
The Meddler Sony Classics 3,771,153
Midnight Special WB 3,712,282
Anomalisa Par 3,683,877
Everybody Wants Some!! Par 3,442,160
The Mermaid Sony 3,229,457
Green Room A24/D Films 3,200,431
The Man Who Knew Infinity IFC/Mongrel 3,132,460
Sing Street Weinstein Co. 2,918,919
2016 Oscar Nominated Shorts Magnolia 2,816,816
Ip Man 3 Well Go 2,758,588
* does not include 2015 revenue

Friday Estimates

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

The Conjuring 2 | 16.4 |3343 |New| 16.4
Warcraft | 10.7 |3400 |New |10.7
Now You See Me 2 | 8.3| 3232| New |8.3
TMNJ2 | 4 |4071| -68% |50.2
Me Before You | 3.1 |2762 |-61% |30.6
X-Men: Apocalypse| 2.7| 3585| -58%| 129.1
The Angry Birds Movie | 1.8 |3083 |-32% |93.3
Alice 2 | 3.1 |2898| -49% |58.5
Captain America: Civil War |1.2 |2101| -44% |393.7
The Jungle Book | 0.7 |1496| -37% |350.6

Also Debuting
Te3n | 73,700| 105
Genius | 25,900 |16
De Palma| 11,200 |3
The Music of Strangers | 6,400 |3
Puerto Ricans in Paris | 6,100 |41
Blackway | 5,100 |16
Diary of a Chambermaid | 3,200| 2
Oka Ammayi Thappa | 2,000 |22
From Afar | 1,900| 1
Be Somebody | 1,250| 10
Germans & Jews | 1,200 |1

Los Angeles Film Festival 2016 Wrap

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

The Los Angeles Film Festival will wind down tonight with Desierto. The Mexico-France co-production grapples with the hot button issue of illegal border crossings into the U.S.

The good news for my LAFF 2016 experience is a relatively strong program, albeit based upon my limited personal experience. I’ll just add the fact that I didn’t see as many films as I had hoped. Still, such films as Blood Stripe, Kicks and 11:55 fulfilled a mandate of diversity without employing it as a crutch.

This year’s juried award winners included Blood Stripe, about a female Marine coping with her tours of duty in Afghanistan. Documentary winner Political Animals focused on gay politicians in California. The latter film also won the audience award with the audience nod going to Green/is/Gold, a tale of brothers taking control from errant parents.

The festival move to Culver City was a marked improvement from the Downtown years. In addition to a more convivial environment such niceties as parking and access proved to be relatively low-stress experiences. The downside for the event is it’s not well run. Screenings begin 20 to 30 minutes late and that ought to be addressed with a better training program for its volunteers. There’s disarray within the Arclight complex with no sense of anyone steering the fest. An element as simple as signage is frustratingly absent. It resulted in one instance of being directed to the wrong auditorium. The “wrong” movie was likely better than the one planned out in my schedule but serendipity isn’t a sufficient defense.

Another major hurdle for the LAFF is bringing up its profile. My ad hoc survey found that almost no one outside the media and Film Independent membership was aware that a major film festival was going on this week. Its media sponsor the Los Angeles Times ran an opening day story and only two subsequent profile pieces on individual films. It felt very much like a disconnect between the corporate decision makers and reporters unenthused by the program.

The seemingly more receptive alternative L.A. Weekly appeared to be boycotting the LAFF. Last week’s issue, where one would anticipate a guide to the “hot” titles not to be missed, merited not a single mention about the event or its contents. My other ad hoc survey revealed that about 80% of attendees were Film Independent members. That might be a sufficient base to sustain the program. Preaching to the converted does little to expand the audience for alternative moviegoing.

The limited media exposure the LAFF received stressed diversity in respect to the films directed by minorities, women and other under-represented folk. There’s no question that emphasis is laudable and necessary. Still when you lead with your rationale, the content is going to suffer. The actual films got shunted off to the side or were referenced not in terms of quality or invention but in how they fit into a programming niche.

There’s long been an “us” and “them” stance embodied by Film Independent. Its annual Spirit Awards show revels in taking easy swipes at Hollywood studios and mainstreamers. Yet it strategically takes place on Oscar weekend to ensure that high profile names will be available and its broadcast revenue secured.

The choice to create a combative pose is simply not honest. There’s enormous overlap between the myriad haves and have-nots of the film industry that often blur the lines that are supposed to separate the sectors. The time has come to embrace the inter-relationship and champion the best, not the neediest.

The Weekend Report

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows led the weekend with an estimated $35.3 million debut. Two other films bowed nationally, with better-than-expected results for the drama Me Before You of $18.1 million and a disappointing turn of $4.6 million for boy-band music-and-fame satire Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.

Best of new exclusives were single-screen exclusives The Witness with $13,600, and The Fits, generating $10,300. Expansions saw solid returns for Maggie’s Plan and the continued strength of The Lobster is providing the biggest surprise among alternative titles. In the niches, Indian imports saw potent results for Telugu A…Aa of $1.3 million as well as Hindi Housefull 3 with $697,000. Korean occult horror The Wailing ($40 million overseas) bowed with $211,000 at 32 villages and latest Filipino rom-com Love Me Tomorrow grossed $142,000.

Session revenues generated about $135 million and dipped 19% from last weekend. It was flat with 2015 when the debut of Spy was on top with $29.1 million and another freshman, Insidious Chapter 3, was close behind with $22.7 million.

The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie opened on April Fools 1990 to results that surprised everyone. The new-gen reboot in 2014 and follow-up Out of the Shadows provided solid but not spectacular returns. But this has not been a sequel-friendly season as evidenced by new X-Men and Neighbors.

Turtles also opened day-and-date in 40 international territories to an estimated $34 million. Top territories included the UK with $5.3 million, Russia grossing $4.8 million and Mexico celebrating $4.5 million.

On the domestic side the audience tilted 54% male with 52% of the audience aged 25-years and younger per studio exit polling. Data wasn’t available that reflected family attendance.

There was obviously sufficient awareness of Jojo Moyes’ YA novel Me Before You to spur results that bettered tracking indicators and top end industry expectations of $15 million. The three-hankie affair drew an 81% female audience that was 72% aged 25-years and older. The key 17-34-year demo accounted for 36% of viewers.

Me Before You opened in a handful of overseas engagements to an estimated $7.7 million with the Brit tale grossing $2.7 million in the UK. South Korea was also strong with a $1.6 million tally.

It appears that a significant swath of the crowd didn’t get the joke when it came to Popstar… expecting a more conventional musical saga. Expectations were modest, if higher than its opening box office. Its crowd was 60% male with 55% aged 25-years and younger and 75% aged between 17 and 34.

Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
TMNJ2 Par 35.3 (8,670) NEW 4071 35.3
X-Men: Apocalypse Fox 22.3 (5,370) -66% 4153 116.5
Me Before You WB 18.1 (6,680) NEW 2704 18.1
Alice Through the Looking Glass BV 10.7 (2,850) -60% 3763 50.8
The Angry Birds Movie Sony 9.7 (2,790) -48% 3484 86.6
Captain America: Civil War BV 7.6 (2,470) -50% 3084 389
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Uni 4.7 (1,940) -50% 2417 48.5
Popstar: Never Stop… Uni 4.6 (2,000) NEW 2311 4.6
The Jungle Book BV 4.2 (2,130) -40% 1990 347.5
The Nice Guys WB 3.5 (1,840) -47% 1888 29.1
Love & Friendship Roadside 2.1 (2,530) -14% 819 7
Money Monster Sony 1.8 (1,370) -58% 1323 38.2
The Lobster A24 1.5 (2,660) 98% 560 3.6
A…Aa Blue Sky 1.3 (9,850) NEW 134 1.8
Zootopia BV .80 (1,990) -1% 400 337.2
Housefull 3 Eros .70 (5,130) NEW 136 0.7
Batman v. Superman WB .28 (1,060) -55% 270 329.9
The Man Who Knew Infinity IFC/Mongrel .27 (1,350) -58% 198 3
The Meddler Sony Classics .24 (1,050) -54% 232 3.6
The Wailing Well Go .21 (6,590) NEW 32 0.29
10 Cloverfield Lane Par .20 (2,290) 82% 86 72.3
Weiner IFC .19 (3,310) -10% 58 0.53
The Darkness High Top .18 (870) -75% 208 10.4
A Bigger Splash Fox Searchlight .16 (710) -70% 220 1.7
Maggie’s Plan Sony Classics .15 (4,450) 11% 34 0.4
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $128.90
% Change (Last Year) 0%
% Change (Last Week) -19%
Also debuting/expanding
Love Me Tomorrow ABS .14 (2,330) 61 0.14
Iraivi Praneeth 85,700 (2,090) 41 0.09
Sing Street Weinstein Co. 45,300 (790) -71% 57 2.9
The Final Master United 25,800 (1,170) 22 0.03
Into the Forest Elevation 19,700 (2,190) 9 0.02
Art Bastard Cavu 16,100 (8,050) 2 0.02
The Witness FilmRise 13,600 (13,600) 1 0.01
The Fits Osilloscope 10,300 (10,300) 1 0.01
Approaching the Unknown Vertical 6,200 (560) 11 0.01
Urge Lionsgate 4,900 (410) 12 0.01
The President Corinth 4,400 (4,400) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (January 1 – June 2, 2016)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
Buena Vista (8) 1427.3 31.30%
20th Century Fox (11) 865.4 19.00%
Warner Bros. (12) 507.6 11.10%
Universal (9) 375.3 8.20%
Paramount (9) 318.4 7.00%
Sony (15) 289.8 6.40%
Lionsgate (12) 206.5 4.50%
Focus (7) 133.6 2.90%
Open Road (4) 69.2 1.50%
Weinstein Co. (7) 54.4 1.20%
STX (3) 42.4 0.95%
A24 (5) 37.9 0.80%
Roadside Attractions (5) 22.3 0.50%
Sony Classics (7) 20.3 0.45%
Fox Searhlight (4) 18.4 0.40%
Bleecker Street (3) 17.9 0.40%
Other * (163) 155.8 3.40%
4562.5 100%
* none greater than 0.35%
Top Domestic Grossers (January 1 – June 2, 2016)
Title Distributor Box Office
Captain America: Civil War BV 381,349,157
Deadpool Fox 362,973,734
The Jungle Book BV 343,222,661
Zootopia BV 336,429,682
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice WB 329,619,773
Star Wars: The Force Awakens * BV 284,378,657
The Revenant Fox 182,765,375
Kung Fu Panda 3 Fox 143,213,757
X-Men: Apocalypse Fox 94,173,232
Ride Along 2 Uni 91,251,872
Daddy’s Home Par 85,902,195
The Angry Birds Movie Sony 76,902,726
10 Cloverfield Lane Par 72,082,998
Allegiant Lionsgate 66,184,051
The Boss Uni 62,797,695
London Has Fallen Focus/VVS 62,524,260
Miracles from Heaven Sony 61,143,691
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Uni 59,948,926
Barbershop: The Next Cut WB 53,383,303
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghai Par 52,897,721
* does not include 2015 revenue

LAFF Report 2016

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

The Los Angeles Film Festival falls under the umbrella of Film Independent, its schedule filled with films by unheralded filmmakers, but that often star well-known faces in calling-card productions. The event has evolved from an old-style film showcase into a schedule with little notice of studio releases, foreign films or circuit auteurs.

Since the demise of Westwood as a moviehouse oasis, Los Angeles-based movie events have few choices of location. Staples Center and LA Live enticed the festival to the downtown Regal Cinemas in 2010, as well as an unsuccessful venue for the Spirit Awards, which sent them back to the big tent on the beach in Santa Monica. For 2016, the Arclight Culver City has 12 screens, and during the weekend three are dedicated to the festival while as many as six offer LAFF programs on weekdays.

My first taste of LAFF 2016 was Friday and signs were positive. The pulse of the neighborhood quickened without heightening the anxiety level. An amiable and engaged quality circled the hospitality area, and folks waiting in line to see the evening shows sported smiles. My plan was to see The Hollars, a family saga starring and directed by John Krasinski. There was another film I’d hope to catch but its publicist informed me earlier in the day that it was sold out and I’d have to see it at the press-industry screening on Monday.

Shortly after finding the appropriate queue the person in front of me kindly told me that I’d need a hard ticket and pointed me to a table where they were being handed out. I hopped over, gave my name and showed my press pass. However, they couldn’t find my name and hadn’t initially heard me when I mentioned I was “with the press.” It turned out this was a table dedicated to Film Independent members and the distributors thought the press table was somewhere off to the left.

In fact there didn’t appear to a press table or representative. And there were a lot of people that “didn’t know.” Eventually someone with seeming authority told me The Hollars was a “members only” screening and the press seats had been filled.

Not to overly indulge in sour grapes but nowhere in the communications from the press office or in the daily emails of screenings was there any indication that members screenings precluded the press. A subsequent check of email did uncover a note sent at 8:02 p.m. apologized that press passes wouldn’t apply to that 8:45 p.m. screening.

I’m headed back to LAFF shortly hopeful that its feel-good ambience will spill over to the functionaries.

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

Title Distrib Gross Theater % Change Cume
Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles: Out of the Shadows | 12.4| 4071 |New |12.4
Me Before You | 7.8 |2704|New| 7.8
X-Men: Apocalypse | 6.6| 4153 |-61%| 100.7
Alice Through the Looking Glass | 3.1| 3763 |-63%| 43.2
The Angry Birds Movie | 2.6| 3484 |-48% |79.5
Captain America: Civil War | 2.1 |4084| -49%| 283.5
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping| Uni| 1.8 |2311 |New| 1.8
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Uni|1.5 |2417| -48%| 45.3
The Jungle Book | 1.1| 1990 |-37%| 344.3
The Nice Guys | 0.95| 1888| -46%| 26.6

Also Debuting
A…Aa | 0.39 |134
Houseful 3 | 0.18| 136
The Wailing | 52,900| 32
Love Me Tomorrow |ABS |43,700| 61
Iraivi | 33,900| 41
The Final Master | 8,300| 22
Into the Forest | 7,000 |9
Art Bastard | 6,700 |2
The Witness | 4,400 |1
The Fits | 3,850| 1
Approaching the Unknown | 2,200| 11
Urge | 1,800 |11
The President | 1,400| 1

The Weekend Report (3-Day Weekend)

Monday, May 30th, 2016
Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
X-Men: Apocalypse Fox 79.6 (19,173) NEW 4150 79.6
Alice Through the Looking Glass BV 33.7 (8,960) NEW 3763 33.7
The Angry Birds Movie Sony 24.9 (6,330) -51% 3932 72.5
Captain America: Civil War BV 20.0 (5,890) -53% 3395 377.5
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Uni 11.4 (3,340) -57% 3416 40.7
The Jungle Book BV 9.7 (3,840) -35% 2523 341.2
The Nice Guys WB 8.1 (2,840) -42% 2865 23.5
Money Monster Sony 5.4 (2,340) -38% 2315 35.1
Love & Friendship Roadside 3.1 (6,330) 332% 493 4.1
Zootopia BV 1.1 (1,890) -52% 572 336.1
The Lobster A24 .93 (8,020) 92% 116 1.8
The Darkness High Top .91 (910) -67% 1004 10
The Meddler Sony Classics .68 (1,620) -33% 420 3.1
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice WB .67 (1,860) 68% 361 329.5
The Man Who Knew Infinity IFC .59 (2,050) -5% 288 2.4
A Bigger Splash Searchlight .52 (1,380) 22% 378 1.4
The Huntsman: Winter’s War Uni .41 (1,100) -72% 374 47.5
Kung Fu Panda 3 Fox .35 (1,810) 14% 192 143.2
Barbershop: The Next Cut WB .32 (1,200) -71% 265 53.3
Mirales from Heaven Sony .27 (1,400) -36% 193 61
Mother’s Day Open Road .27 (800) -81% 335 32.2
The Boss Uni .26 (1,120) -67% 231 62.7
Ratchet & Clank Focus .24 (1,530) -4% 159 8.8
Weiner IFC .21 (7,740) 88% 27 0.32
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $202.40
% Change (Last Year) 5%
% Change (Last Week) 20%
Also debuting/expanding
Sing Street Weinstein .15 (860) -66% 175 2.8
Maggie’s Plan Sony Classics .13 (7,070) 64% 19 0.22
Demain L’Atelier 62,300 (3,890) 16 0.06
Idhu Namma Aalu Chimbu 52,800 (1510) 35 0.05
Saadey CM Saab Viva 51,500 (1,720) 30 0.05
The Idol Adopt 25,600 (1,510) 17 0.03
Holy Hell CNN 10,800 (2,160) 5 0.01
Last Man Club Cactus 9,900 (990) 10 0.01
Chevalier Strand 6,100 (2,030) 3 0.01
Praktan Eros 7,100 (1,010) 7 0.01
Presenting Princess Shaw Magnolia 5,500 (1,830) 3 0.01
The Ones Below Magnolia 5,400 (1,800) 3 0.01
Domestic Market Share (January 1 – May 26, 2016)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
Buena Vista (8) 1352.1 31.30%
20th Century Fox (11) 778.9 18.00%
Warner Bros. (11) 493.7 11.40%
Universal (9) 359.6 8.30%
Paramount (8) 316.2 7.30%
Sony (13) 253.4 5.90%
Lionsgate (12) 206.3 4.80%
Focus (7) 132.2 3.00%
Open Road (4) 68.8 1.60%
Weinstein (7) 54.2 1.30%
STX (3) 42.4 1.00%
A24 (5) 36.7 0.85%
Sony Classics (7) 19.1 0.45%
Bleecker Street (3) 17.8 0.40%
Fox Searchlight (4) 17.8 0.40%
Other (166) * 170.8 4.00%
4320 100%
* none greater than 0.35%

The Weekend Report

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

X-Men: Apocalypse led the field for the Memorial holiday frame with an estimated $64.8 million (all figures represent first three days of extended weekend). Session’s other national debut, Alice Through the Looking Glass, took second with $27.9 million.

Niche and exclusive newcomers were moribund, although there were significant expansions for Love & Friendship, The Lobster and Maggie’s Plan.

Revenues spiked to better than $165 million and a 20% improvement from the prior weekend. It was a more modest 5% upturn from 2015 when the launch of San Andreas led with $43.5 million.

The tenth mutation of the X-Men provided brought back much of the talent from earlier outings as well as fans. Industry tracking had anticipated a debut in the low-to-mid $60 million range. X-X opened a week earlier in 76 foreign climes to $101 million and this weekend added a couple of territories and an estimated additional $55 million. On the domestic side, X-Men: Apocalypse had a 62% male audience with 55% of viewers aged 25-years and older.

Despite the success of 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, there wasn’t much to find down the Lewis Carroll rabbithole. That hesitance trickled down to the public, although tracking had suggested a significantly higher debut in the area of $35 million for Alice Through the Looking Glass. There was also a distant chill heard in mainstream reviews. The film opened day-and-date in 43 international territories to about $65 million including a potent $27 million bow in China. Disney global box office passed $4 billion during the weekend.

On the domestic front, Alice had an audience that skewed female by 57%. Studio exit demos identified viewers as 32% family with 46% aged between 17-34 years old. About 41% opted to see the film in 3-D.

Getting a two-week jump on its domestic release, Duncan Jones’ gamer translation  Warcraft launched in 20 international venues to an impressive $31 million. Russia accounted for about $10 million with Germany adding $6 million and France $4.5 million.

Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
X-Men: Apocalypse Fox 64.8 (15,610) NEW 4150 64.8
Alice Through the Looking Glass BV 27.9 (7,420) NEW 3763 27.9
The Angry Birds Movie Sony 18.8 (4,770) -51% 3932 66.4
Captain America: Civil War BV 15.2 (4,470) -54% 3395 372.6
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Uni 9.1 (2,660) -58% 3416 38.3
The Jungle Book BV 6.9 (2,750) -37% 2523 338.4
The Nice Guys WB 6.4 (2,240) -43% 2865 21.8
Money Monster Sony 4.2 (1,830) -40% 2315 33.9
Love & Friendship Roadside 2.4 (4,850) 327% 493 3.4
Zootopia BV .83 (1,450) -51% 572 335.9
The Darkness High Top .75 (740) -67% 1004 9.9
The Lobster A24 .71 (6,140) 83% 116 1.6
The Meddler Sony Classics .51 (1,220) -34% 420 3
Batman v. Superman WB .49 (1,360) 57% 361 329.3
The Man Who Knew Infinity IFC .44 (1,540) -11% 288 2.3
A Bigger Splash Searchlight .41 (1,080) 24% 378 1.3
Huntsman: Winter’s War Uni .32 (850) -74% 374 47.4
Kung Fu Panda 3 Fox .25 (1,320) 14% 192 143.1
Barbershop: The Next Cut WB .23 (860) -73% 265 53.3
Mother’s Day Open Road .22 (660) -81% 335 32.1
Mirales from Heaven Sony .21 (1,080) -36% 193 61
Ratchet & Clank Focus .19 (1,170) -7% 159 8.8
The Boss Uni .18 (790) -72% 231 62.6
Weiner IFC .16 (5,960) 91% 27 0.29
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $159.00
% Change (Last Year) 5%
% Change (Last Week) 20%
Also debuting/expanding
Sing Street Weinstein .12 (670) -66% 175 2.8
Maggie’s Plan Sony Classics .10 (6,870) 64% 19 0.19
Idhu Namma Aalu Chimbu 42,500 (1,210) 35 0.04
Saadey CM Saab Viva 37,000 (1,280) 29 0.04
Demain L’Atelier 30,600 (2,350) 13 0.03
The Idol Adopt 19,200 (1,120) 17 0.02
Holy Hell CNN 8,300 (1,660) 5 0.01
Last Man Club Cactus 7,400 (740) 10 0.01
Chevalier Strand 5,300 (1,770) 3 0.01
Praktan Eros 5,200 (730) 7 0.01
Presenting Princess Shaw Magnolia 4,600 (1,530) 3 0.01
The Ones Below Magnolia 4,400 (1,430) 3 0.01
Domestic Market Share (January 1 – May 26, 2016)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
Buena Vista (8) 1352.1 31.30%
20th Century Fox (11) 778.9 18.00%
Warner Bros. (11) 493.7 11.40%
Universal (9) 359.6 8.30%
Paramount (8) 316.2 7.30%
Sony (13) 253.4 5.90%
Lionsgate (12) 206.3 4.80%
Focus (7) 132.2 3.00%
Open Road (4) 68.8 1.60%
Weinstein (7) 54.2 1.30%
STX (3) 42.4 1.00%
A24 (5) 36.7 0.85%
Sony Classics (7) 19.1 0.45%
Bleecker Street (3) 17.8 0.40%
Searchlight (4) 17.8 0.40%
Other (166) * 170.8 4.00%
4320 100%
* none greater than 0.35%

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

X-Men: Apocalypse * | 26.2| 4150 |New |26.2
Alice Through the Looking Glass * | 9.7 |3763 |New |9.7
The Angry Birds Movie | 5| 3932 |-54%| 52.7
Captain America: Civil War | 4| 3395 |-53% |361.5
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising | 2.8| 3416 |-68%| 32
The Jungle Book | 1.8| 2523 |-34% |333.3
The Nice Guys | 1.7 |2865| -55% |17.1
Money Monster | 1 |2315| -44% |30.7
Love & Friendship | 0.65 |493| 334%| 1.6
The Darkness | 0.2 |1004| -69% |9.3

* includes previewa

Also Debuting
Idhu Namma Aalu |18,400| 18
Demain |15,200| 13
Saadey CM Saab | 9,200 |30
The Idol | 5,800 |16
Holy Hell | 3,200 |3
Last Man Club | 2,200 |10
Presenting Princess Shaw | 1,700| 3
Chevalier | 1,550 |3
The Ones Below| 1,100| 3

The Weekend Report

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

The debut of The Angry Birds Movie flew to the top of the weekend charts with an estimated $39.1 million. Other wide openers were Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising in third spot with $21.8 million and the 1970s-style neo-noir spoof The Nice Guys a step back at $11.1 million.

Best of the exclusive incomers were the black comedy doc Weiner with $81,900 and romantic comedy Maggie’s Plan grossing $65,300 – both playing on five screens. In the niches, Telugu Brahmotsavam bowed with a solid $584,000 for the weekend (Thursday showings generated a potent $590,000) while Hindi Kaptaam grossed $89,600 in limited release. Also off to a good start was the Filipino This Time with a $212,000 box office.

Momentum faded for expansions of The Meddler, The Man Who Knew Infinity and A Bigger Splash. But new dates for The Lobster evidenced no loss of interest for shellfish.

Weekend revenues generated close to $140 million for a slight 6% boost from seven days prior. It was nonetheless 11% off 2015 totals, when the launch of Tomorrowland grossed $33 million with the second weekend of Pitch Perfect 2 right behind at $30.8 million.

Despite the Victoria Day holiday in Canada, no weekend movies opened to anticipated potency. The Angry Birds Movie was expected to gross $43-$45 million and had an awareness off the charts. Expectations were ramped up by results from international openings a week earlier to an impressive $42 million. This weekend the overseas markets added an additional $55 million. On the domestic front the audience split evenly between the sexes with 60% aged 25-years and younger for the videogame fugitives.

Neighbors 2 also got a foreign headstart two weeks ago in selective markets and had about $24 million in its war chest prior to its domestic release. It was evident it would be less potent than its inspiration, but tracking suggested a gross of $25-$26 million. It also was relatively evenly split by gender with a 51/49 male/female split. Viewers were 39% over the age of 25-years old with 78% in the key corridor of 17-34.

Despite a long-lead promotional push,The Nice Guys wasn’t expected to gross more than $15 million. Upbeat reviews provided a boost for mature audiences and again resulted in a viewership evenly divided by gender. The 18-34 year old core accounted for 38% of viewers with an additional 43% trending older.

Weekend (estimates) May 20 – 22, 2016
Title Distributor Gross (average) % chng Thtrs Cume
The Angry Birds Movie Sony 39.1 (9,950) NEW 3932 39.1
Captain America: Civil War BV 32.8 (7,750) -55% 4226 347
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Uni 21.8 (6,430) NEW 3384 21.8
The Nice Guys WB 11.1 (3,880) NEW 2865 11.1
The Jungle Book BV 11.0 (3,170) -36% 3460 327.5
Money Monster Sony 6.9 (2,230) -53% 3104 26.9
The Darkness High Top 2.1 (1,200) -57% 1769 8.2
Zootopia BV 1.6 (1,180) -42% 1377 334.3
The Huntsman: Winter’s War Uni 1.2 (950) -55% 1246 46.7
Mother’s Day Open Road 1.1 (640) -66% 1719 31.3
Barbershop: The Next Cut WB .84 (1,130) -49% 744 52.7
The Meddler Sony Classics .77 (1,650) 106% 464 2
The Boss Uni .59 (880) -51% 672 62.2
Brahmotsavam Classics .58 (3,010) NEW 194 1.2
Love & Friendship Roadside .54 (11,490) 304% 47 0.75
Keanu WB ,52 (740) -73% 707 20
The Man Who Knew Infinity IFC ,51 (1,880) 0% 271 1.6
The Lobster A24 .40 (16,830) 113% 24 0.68
Sing Street Weinstein .34 (660) -45% 520 2.5
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Uni .33 (910) -32% 365 59.5
A Bigger Splash Searchlight .34 (2,630) 77% 128 0.79
Batman v. Superman WB .32 (1,000) -38% 321 328.7
Miracles from Heaven Sony .24 (1,470) 49% 161 60.7
Ratchet & Clank Focus .22 (630) -66% 346 8.6
This Time ABS 21 (2,940) NEW 72 0.21
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $133.05
% Change (Last Year) -11%
% Change (Last Week) 6%
Also debuting/expanding
Eye in the Sky Bleecker/eOne .17 (840) -55% 198 18.2
Sarbjit White Hill .12 (1,250) 98 0.12
Hello, My Name is Doris Roadside .11 (730) -55% 155 14
Kaptaan UTV 89,600 (3,090) 29 0.09
Weiner IFC 81,900 (16,380) 5 0.08
Maggie’s Plan Sony Classics 65,300 (13,060) 5 0.07
A Hologram for the King Roadside 62,700 (450) -73% 138 4.1
Miles Ahead Sony Classics 43,800 (840) -49% 52 2.5
High-Rise Magnolia 42,500 (1,470) -40% 29 0.16
The Abolitionists FletChet 41,200 (2,170) 19 0.01
Ma Ma Oscilloscope 10,700 (10,700) 1 0.01
U-Turn Drishyam 10,200 (2,040) 5 0.01
Manhattan Night Lionsgate 8,800 (730) 12 0.01
Back in the Day West Street 7,100 (360) 20 0.01
Domestic Market Share (January 1 – May 19, 2016)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
Buena Vista (7) 1289.9 31.20%
20th Century Fox (10) 770.2 18.60%
Warner Bros. (11) 477.7 11.60%
Universal (9) 328.9 8.00%
Paramount (8) 316.1 7.70%
Lionsgate (12) 206.1 5.00%
Sony (13) 196.4 4.80%
Focus (7) 128.8 3.10%
Open Road (4) 67.5 1.60%
Weinstein  (7) 53.7 1.30%
STX (3) 42.4 1.00%
A24 (5) 35.9 0.90%
Bleecker Street (3) 17.6 0.40%
Sony Classics (7) 17.6 0.40%
Fox Searchlight (4) 17.3 0.40%
Other * (159) 165.6 4.00%
4131.7 100%
* none greater than 0.35%
Top Global Grossers (January 1 – May 19, 2016)
Title Distributor Box Office
Captain America: Civil War BV 990,958,572
Zootopia BV 973,438,782
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice WB 865,964,224
The Jungle Book BV 838,918,226
Deadpool Fox 762,971,444
Star Wars: The Force Awakens * BV 741,421,311
The Mermaid Alibaba; Sony 552,487,179
The Revenant Fox 530,738,598
Kung Fu Panda 3 Fox; DreamWorks 516,588,902
London Has Fallen Focus; NuImage 202,489,688
The Monkey King 2 China Lion 190,755,793
From Vegas to Macau III Bona; Media Asia 186,923,621
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip * Fox 165,099,630
Allegiant Lionsgate 161,304,055
The Huntsman: Winter’s War Uni 156,004,510
Daddy’s Home * Par 154,763,061
Ip Man 3 * Pegasus; Well Go 147,618,219
Gods of Egypt Lionsgate 143,037,743
The Hateful Eight * Weinstein Co. 140,625,840
Detective Chin Tang Huaxia; China Lion 128,546,903
* does not include 2015 box office

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

The Angry Birds Movie|10.8|3932|New|10.8
Captain America: Civil War |8.8|4226|-55%|323.1
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising|8.7|3384|New|8.7
The Nice Guys|3.8|2865|New|3.8
The Jungle Book|2.7|3460|-34%|319.2
Money Monster|2|3104|-60%|22
The Darkness|0.7|1769|-67%|6.8
Zootopia|0.35|1377|-40%|333.1
The Huntsman: Winter’s War|0.35|1246|-52%|45.8
Mother’s Day|0.3|1719|-66%|30.5
||||
||||
Also Debuting||||
Brahmotsayam|0.26|194||
This Time|69,000|71||
Sarbjit|34,100|98||
Kaptaan|23,700|29||
Weiner|20,400|5||
Maggie’s Plan|16,900|5||
The Abolitionists|16,000|12||
Manhattan Night|4,100|12||
Ma Ma|3,900|1||
U-Turn|3,800|4||
Back in the Day|2,300|15||

Review: The Nice Guys, Maggie’s Plan

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Holland March (Ryan Gosling) is an ex-LAPD detective with a young daughter struggling to get by as a slightly glorified ambulance chaser. The somewhat mysterious Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is an unregistered fixer with a disarming smile that masks an aggressive professional style. The two men “meet cute” over Amelia; a young woman March has been stalking for a client. She’s hired Healy to dissuade him from his pursuit and after the requisite banter he breaks the gumshoe’s arm. Is this the start of a beautiful relationship?

Although unshielded,  The Nice Guys are the newest crew of the buddy cop genre that spawned 48 Hrs., Lethal Weapon, Bad Boys and more recently,Ride Along. They are bigger goofballs than their antecedents and, regrettably, lack the requisite charm to divert attention away from a muddy narrative that involves nefarious shenanigans linking the automobile and porn industries.

Apart from his off-screen antics and past notoriety for wild parties, writer-director Shane Black has long been associated with writing such high-concept thrillers as the Lethal Weapon series to The Last Action Hero and The Long Kiss Goodnight. His earlier directing effort Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was like his current film a send-up of films noir. And as with so many attempts to have it both ways, it fails to deliver on either count.

The film opens with a spectacular car crash through a Hollywood Hills home with the driver, a noted adult film star, expiring on the cliffside. It’s an attention-grabber, and Black and co-scripter Anthony Bagarozzi have a weakness for spectacle over substance. March has been hired by the late actress’s aunt who believes she’s still alive. From there the story meanders along in search of linkage with the two rivals joining forces to resolve the mystery. Needless to say it has something to do with bribery of government officials, blackmail involving a risqué movie and a lot of gunfire and fisticuffs.

For all the wrong reasons, it evokes The Long Goodbye, Robert Altman’s Raymond Chandler adaptation written by Leigh Brackett. Coincidently, or not, Altman’s film was made in 1977 and The Nice Guys is set in that year. But the earlier film wandered with intent; never losing site of who Philip Marlowe was as a person and what he was pursuing with the seeming asides along his route eventually providing a cohesion in resolving an enigmatic tale.

The new film’s diversions are less edifying. There’s a disconnect between Gosling and Crowe’s portrait of working stiffs every time they respond with a clever retort. It’s somewhat mitigated in the former case by the presence of Holly (Angourie Rice), his precocious, whip-smart 12-year old daughter.

Apart from the fact that Crowe has ballooned to a size close to that of John Goodman, the actor comes off as uncomfortable with his character as well as his wardrobe. Gosling, conversely, dives into the deep end and while evincing an unnatural stroke nonetheless swims in these perilous waters. Nonetheless his interplay with his partner is truly flat footed.

The one true shining element is Rice who has the nascent talent of the likes of Dakota Fanning or Natalie Portman at the start. While there’s nothing particular novel of the child who’s smarter with better survival instincts than the adults, she invests her role with a vulnerability that avoids the pitfall of a cloying assurance. In this instance Nice Guys truly finish last

 

Maggie’s Plan is to find a suitable donor and have a child. The college professor in her thirites wants no emotional involvement in the mix, just a means to an end before her time runs out. But things don’t work out as planned.

There’s a giddy quality to Rebecca Miller’s comic perspective of contemporary mores that is at turns refreshing, annoying and comforting. The Manhattan setting inescapably recalls the angst of a Woody Allen scenario. Nonetheless it’s a distaff viewpoint with a more optimistic slant that may be cockeyed but remains valid in context.

Maggie (Greta Gerwig), who teaches at the New School, has lined up a former classmate _ a very masculine Nordic drop out with an upstart pickle company _ as her sperm donor. But a chance meeting with John (Ethan Hawke), teaching a possibly invented anthropologic course, leads to a head-over-heels involvement. They do it the old-fashioned way.

John happens to be married with two young children. His wife Georgette (Julianne Moore) is a noted academic who doesn’t meet his emotional needs. He wants to write a novel and Maggie agrees to read his first chapter. She gives a five star review and that sets the wheels in motion.

Three years later, Maggie and John and darling Lily appear to be the picture of domestic bliss. However there is the nagging fact that he is no closer to completing his novel. The things that made him so open and appealing have been replaced by a self absorption that allows him to brilliantly rationalize his predicament. It’s smart folk’s tsoris.

So, there is a Maggie’s plan 2. In our heroine’s mind she evolves this idea that things would be so much better if John would get back together with Georgette. Again, one has to accept that being bright may not be enough. IQ is not an excuse for developed passive aggressive defenses that ward off being direct about everyday domestic issues.

Maggie is on the one hand eternally positive and on the other averse to any form of confrontation. She will run the marathon to avoid crossing the street. John on the other hand is the perpetual pampered juvenile. Early praise has built up a protective wall impervious to criticism or self awareness.

Georgette is the most complex of the trio. She knows she’s the smartest person in the room and has no compunction about telling others what to do and how to act. Her frosty authoritative exterior masks a crippling insecurity and overpowering fear that someone will manipulate her basic vulnerability.

The film marks a dramatic turn in Miller’s work that has veered toward a darker view of humanity. Despite its obvious humor, Maggie’s Plan is a more nuanced and accessible yarn. In the case of Gerwig and Hawke she’s taken actors with familiar personalities and played on those personas while Moore is allowed to challenge and heighten perceptions and serve as the spoiler to those expectations.

Maggie’s Plan is messy like the lives Miller’s observing and one suspects her intention was sometimes thwarted by emotions that refused to be suppressed.

The Weekend Report

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Captain America: Civil War took a sharp turn but nonetheless maintained a commanding lead  with an estimated $72.6 million. The week’s two national rollout performed roughly as expected, with Money Monster slotting third with $14.8 million and the The Darkness a notch back at $5.2 million.

There were encouraging starts among limited and exclusive openers. Whit Stillman’s Jane Austen adaptation Love & Friendship bowed with $131,000 from four engagements while sci-fier The Lobster dined out on an impressive $192,000 from its quartet. The latter opened two months ago with a current Northern cume of about $330,000. Top Indian import was the Punjabi Azhar with $124,000.

Revenues for the frame were slighter better than $130 million pushing the domestic cume to more than $4 billion. The 2016 pace is 9% better than a year ago while the current weekend dipped 47% from seven days ago. It was also 30% off of 2015 when debuts of Cinderella and Run All Night led, with respective openers of $67.9 million and $11 million.

Despite its heavyweight cast, politically-charged Money Monster was tepid with high-end estimates of $15 million. Reviews were lukewarm but its fortunes may not be so dire with its position as one of the few mature-targeted films in the marketplace. Studio exit demos identified the audience as evenly split between the sexes with 77% aged 25-years and older. Following its Cannes premiere, Money Monster opened day-and-date in 15 foreign climes. Foreign estimates were unavailable.

The Blumhouse fright machine continued with The Darkness and as one industryite observed: “They make ‘em so cheap, a gross of $1.42 puts them in profit.”

The relative lull in the marketplace allowed for modest expansions for a number of titles including Sing Street, The Meddler and The Man Who Knew Infinity. The trio and other alternative options are largely holding their own against stiff competition.

Captain America: Civil War added an estimated $84 million internationally to lead in that arena.

Weekend (estimates) May 13 – 15, 2016
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
Captain America: Civil War BV 72.6 (17,190) -59% 4226 296
The Jungle Book BV 17.6 (4,440) -28% 3970 311.6
Money Monster Sony 14.8 (4,760) NEW 3104 14.8
The Darkness High Top 5.2 (2,950) NEW 1755 5.2
Mother’s Day Open Road/Elevation 3.2 (970) -71% 3291 28.7
Zootopia BV 2.7 (1,420) -15% 1935 331.7
The Huntsman: Winter’s War Uni 2.6 (1,020) -35% 2518 44.5
Keanu WB 1.9 (890) -42% 2120 18.6
Barbershop: The Next Cut WB 1.7 (1,250) -40% 1333 51.4
The Boss Uni 1.2 (860) -39% 1350 62.1
Sing Street Weinstein Co. .63 (1,200) 44% 525 1.9
Ratchet & Clank Focus .54 (430) -63% 1258 8.1
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice WB .52 (700) -51% 744 328.2
The Man Who Knew Infinity IFC .51 (2,630) 132% 194 0.92
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Uni .46 (650) -27% 717 59
Green Room A24/D Films .41 (530) 21% 777 2.7
The Meddler Sony Classics .38 (3,020) 24% 127 1.1
Eye in the Sky Bleecker/eOne .38 (1,050) -33% 360 17.9
Hello, My Name is Doris Roadside Attractions .28 (1,080) -19% 257 13.8
A Hologram for the King Roadside At/eOne .25 (730) -50% 346 3.9
24 CineGalaxy .23 (1,650) -77% 142 1.4
Deadpool Fox .19 (740) -19% 262 362.5
The Lobster A24 .19 (47,700) NEW 4 0.19
10 Cloverfield Lane Par .19 (720) 68% 260 71.7
A Bigger Splash Fox Searchlight .18 (7,080) 61% 26 0.37
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $125.70
% Change (Last Year) -30%
% Change (Last Week) -47%
Also debuting/expanding
Love & Friendship Roadside Attract. .13 (32,800) 4 0.13
AmeriGeddon Forewarned .13 (4,270) 30 0.13
Azhar White Hill .12 (2,040) 61 0.12
Finding Mr. Right 2 Media Asia 86,800 (2,280) -56% 38 1.2
Miles Ahead Sony Classics 84,500 (1,010) -38% 84 2.4
High-Rise Magnolia 71,300 (2,380) 30 0.07
The Family Fang Starz 56,300 (1,150) -40% 49 0.21
Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero Front Row 50,900 (12,720) 4 0.05
Sundown Lionsgate 16,800 (230) 74 0.02
2 Bol Hot Ice 15,600 (870) 18 0.02
Sunset Song Magnolia 14,200 (3,550) 4 0.01
Last Days in the Desert Broad Green 12,600 (1,580) 8 0.01
Kill Zone 2 Well Go 8,850 (800) 11 0.01
Phantom Detective CJ 7,300 (7,300) 1 0.01
Pele IFC 7,100 (2,370) 3 0.01
How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town Gravitas 5,900 (540) 11 0.01
Search Party Focus 3,800 (480) 8 0.01
Domestic Market Share (January 1 – May 12, 2016)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
Buena Vista (7) 1172.6 29.60%
20th Century Fox (10) 769.6 19.40%
Warner Bros. (10) 471.3 11.90%
Universal (8) 321.4 8.10%
Paramount (8) 315.6 8.00%
Lionsgate (12) 205.5 5.20%
Sony (12) 175.7 4.40%
Focus (6) 121.7 3.10%
Open Road (4) 63.4 1.60%
Weinstein Co. (7) 53.8 1.40%
STX (3) 42.4 1.10%
A24 (5) 35.1 0.90%
Fox Searhlight (4) 17.1 0.45%
Bleecker Street (3) 17.1 0.45%
Sony Classics (7) 16.9 0.40%
Other * (148) 159.6 4.00%
3958.8 100%
* none greater than 0.35%
Top Domestic Grossers (January 1 – May 12, 2016)
Title Distributor Box Office
Deadpool Fox 362,318,179
Zootopia BV 329,014,439
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice WB 327,679,243
The Jungle Book BV 293,996,110
Star Wars: The Force Awakens * BV 284,449,924
Captain America: Civil War BV 223,329,078
The Revenant * Fox 182,736,971
Kung Fu Panda 3 Fox 142,283,408
Ride Along 2 Uni 91,205,257
Daddy’s Home * Par 85,902,195
10 Cloverfield Lane Par 71,510,806
Allegiant Lionsgate 65,762,792
London Has Fallen Focus/VVS 62,115,298
Miracles from Heaven Sony 60,153,577
The Boss Uni 59,961,700
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Uni 58,487,890
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghai Par 52,897,721
Barbershop: The Next Cut WB 49,680,702
How to Be Single WB 46,962,319
The Big Short * Par 46,300,694
* does not include 2015 box office

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

Captain America: Civil War|19.5|4226|-74%|242.8
Money Monster|4.9|3104|New|4.9
The Jungle Book|4.1|3970|-27%|298.1
The Darkness|2.1|1755|New|2.1
Mother’s Day|0.9|3291|-52%|26.4
The Huntsman: Winter’s War|0.7|2518|-29%|42.6
Zootopia|0.6|1935|-19%|329.6
Keanu|0.55|2120|-43%|17.2
Barbershop: The Next Cut|0.45|1333|-37%|50.1
The Boss|0.3|1350|-33%|60.3
||||
||||
Also Debuting||||
AmeriGeddon|45,900|30||
Azhar|41,900|58||
Love & Friendship|35,100|4||
High-Rise|21,900|30||
Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero|15,800|4||
Sundown|4,600|66||
Last Days in the Desert|3,900|7||
2 Bol|3,900|18||
Kill Zone 2|2,900|10||
How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town|2,600|9||
Sunset Song|2,300|3||
Phantom Detective|2,200|1||
Pele|1,750|3||
Search Party|1,500|8||

Review: DHEEPAN, THE LOBSTER

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Dheepan, from Jacques Audiard, who made The Prophet (also Cannes-prized), is the assumed name of the title character. He’s one of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels. As the film opens he struggles with his commitment to the cause and knows that what lies ahead is persecution or death. The character chooses to re-create himself as a political refugee and flee the country. At the suggestion of a border representative he “adopts” a young woman and a girl to pose as his family. They only know what they’re escaping cannot be worse than where they will be sent. The latter turns out to be France and one of the more violent banlieus of Paris where he becomes the caretaker of a housing project with an ongoing turf war between drug gangs.

At its heart, Audiard’s film is about identity. In the process of starting a new life his trio of refugees have the additional hurdle of adopting roles that have little bearing on their pasts. Ironically, the scenario playing out in the building among the locals is presented as more tenable to their experience than they are allowed to admit.

It’s also clear that none of them wants to be drawn into the battle. Dheepan and his “wife” Yalini have sufficient difficulty simply sharing quarters as a couple with an even more mysterious school child in the mix. Apart from the domestic dilemmas, his anxiety level builds as it comes clear that survival in the new environment likely means adopting the very things he’d abandoned at the Sri Lanka border.

As shown in his earlier films, Audiard takes on tough subjects and walks the tightrope that threatens to tumble into the banal and exploitive. There’s no denying Dheepan is a precarious perch. Yet amid the terrifying veracity he never loses site of the underlying humanity of his displaced people as well as the culturally dispossessed folk that populate the projects. It’s a grim existence observed under a microscope and, at this time of force migration, a poignant reminder of the plight domestic and foreign that society foolishly hopes will right itself.

The mood of The Lobster is comparably downbeat, albeit muted by an irrepressible strain of black comedy. Set in the near future, Yorgos Lanthimos’ film paints a society where it’s a crime to be single and that applies across the board to those who’ve lost mates to death or new lovers. The compassionate side of this new order is a retreat where other solos reside are hopefully will spark new unions.

All those in such circumstances have 45 days to get connected or…

Failure has steep consequences. New arrivals are asked what animal they’d like to be by the administrators of the facility. David (Colin Farrell), the protagonist, knows all too well what that means as he’s accompanied by a dog who was his brother before being transformed.

It doesn’t really matter what led this future world to adopt this societal norm. It’s the one rule that has no option for debate or compromise. Director and co-writer Lanthimos _ who made his international debut with the audacious Dogtooth _ is in his element observing this oddball milieu, its denizens and the regulations that govern their path to normalization.

The dos and don’ts are genuinely bizarre including, politely, the appropriate employ of masturbation. The comparably peculiar residents have a neediness and desperation that is partly innate, partly the product of the dictates of the world they inhabit_a metaphor for the debate on nurture or nature.

The dilemma with the film is that while rich in instance and observation, its structure thwarts an organic conclusion, save for the underlying dire dictum. Dramatically there’s something basically false about David opting for a “jail break” and going rogue with a handful of other internees. The filmmakers fail to bridge the contrast between the defined and the radical and The Lobster ultimately trips over its ambition.