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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
Alexaander 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 Majeur|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||

The Weekend Report

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Despite considerable heat from new releases, Gone Girl held onto the top spot for the current frame with an estimated $26.8 million. Four new films entered the marketplace with Dracula Untold coming closest with $23.4 million. The remaining trio included family-friendly Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day that grossed $18.9 million, courtroom/bedroom drama The Judge at $13.3 million and the steamy Addicted fogging up an impressive $7.5 million.

In limited wide release Meet the Mormons played extremely well to believers with a $3.2 million opener while ripped-from-headlines Kill the Messenger managed to smuggle $920,000.

Exclusive bows ranged from out-of-luck One Chance, which streamed for free on Yahoo! Movies last week, with a $33,100 tally at 43 venues to the decidedly on-tempo Whiplash with a $138,000 box office from six  gigs and a potent $119,000 for the curmudgeonly St. Vincent at only four locations.

Also of note was the two-day $3.2 million tally for the concert film One Direction: Where We Are Now.

Revenues for the session surpassed $152 million that provided a 2% bump from seven days back. It was an impressive 31% boost from 2013 when the second weekend of Gravity prevailed with $43.2 million with the bow of Captain Phillips on deck with $25.7 million.

Gone Girl was expected to lead weekend sales though Dracula Untold clearly built interest in the days leading up to release. Tracking pundits were predicting the Impaler would debut between $20 million and $22 million and trail the leader by several million dollars. Most of this week’s estimations also appear to have underestimated the impact of Canadian Thanksgiving.

Dracula Untold got a jump start on domestic with a hefty $21 million box office in 25 territories. Its domestic bow also got a boost from IMAX and other “Premium Large Screens” that accounted for roughly 27% of its business. The film skewed male at 57% with an audience that was 61% aged 25-years and older.

Also weighing in above expectations was Alexander…, based on a kidlit fave, that most pundits saw trailing The Judge with a $15 million opener. Studio exit polls identified the crowd as 67% families with a 54% female tilt. The audience was 56% aged 25-years and younger.

While tracking was far from enthusiastic for The Judge, its star power was perceived to translate into a $16 million to $18 million box office launch. It also skewed female with 55% of the audience but wound up with a very high older crowd that was 85% aged 25-years and older.

The biggest surprise was clearly Addicted that many were skeptical would even draw strongly from a targeted Afro-American audience and was given no more than a $5 million bow from industry analysts. The audience was significantly urban at 72% per its distributor and 82% female and skewing oldish.

Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
Gone Girl Fox 26.8 (8,150) -29% 3284 78.3
Dracula Untold Uni 23.4 (8,120) NEW 2887 23.4
Alexande… Day BV 18.9 (6,120) NEW 3088 18.9
Annabelle WB 16.1 (5,010) -54% 3215 61.9
The Judge WB 13.3 (4,420) NEW 3003 13.3
The Equalizer Sony 9.6 (3,090) -49% 3117 79.8
Addicted Lionsgate 7.5 (8,910) NEW 846 7.5
The Maze Runner Fox 7.3 (2,380) -37% 3072 83.7
The Boxtrolls Focus 6.7 (2,600 -44% 3270 41.1
Meet the Mormons Purdie 3.2 (1,050) NEW 317 3.2
One Direction: Where We Are Now Fathom 3.1 (4,910) 635 3.1
Left Behind FreeStyle/eOne 2.8 (1,500) -55% 1887 10.8
Guardians of the Galaxy BV 1.8 (1,390) -40% 1291 326.1
This is Where I Leave You WB 1.6 (1,050) -60% 1511 32.1
Dolphin Tale 2 WB 1.3 (850) -63% 1505 39.9
No Good Deed Sony .94 (1,170) -62% 801 51.7
Kill the Messenger Focus .92 (2,470) NEW 374 0.92
The Good Lie WB .54 (1,160) -36% 461 1.7
Bang Bang Fox Intl .45 (1,690) -65% 265 2.2
The Skeleton Twins Roadside .42 (1,570) -41% 268 4.2
A Walk Among the Tombstones Uni/eOne .38 (680) -81% 558 25.7
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par .36 (840) -51% 429 188.9
My Old Lady Cohen Media .32 (1,600) -34% 198 2.8
Let’s Be Cops Fox .30 (950) -59% 319 81.5
Mommy Seville .24 (3,300) -33% 73 2
Pride CBS/Remstar .22 (2,290) 78% 97 0.55
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $145.80
% Change (Last Year) 31%
% Change (Last Week) 2%
Also debuting/expanding
Breakup Buddies China Lion .19 (8,080) -16% 24 0.53
Whiplash Sony Classics .14 (23,000) 6 0.14
St. Vincent Weinstein .12 (29,820) 4 0.12
Hector and the Search for Happiness Relativity/eOne .10 (1,010) -56% 100 0.8
Boyhood IFC/Mongrel 93,200 (1,290) -35% 72 23.6
The Two Faces of January Magnolia 86,400 (2,100) 97% 43 0.22
Tracks Weinstein 64,100 (1,010) -31% 64 0.34
Love is Strange Sony Classics 53,600 (770) -53% 70 2.1
Men, Women & Children Par 43,700 (1,560) -9% 28 0.13
One Chance Weinstein 33,100 (770) 43 0.03
La belle et la bête Niagara 23,400 (1,380) 17 0.02
Christian Mingle Rocky Mountain 22,900 (1,530) 15 0.02
The 100 Year Old Man … Metropole 22,500 (3,210) 87% 7 0.04
Awake: The Life of Yogananda Abramorama 16,200 (16,200) 1 0.02
Tu veux ou tu veux pas? Remstar 11,900 (1,700) 7 0.01
You’re Not You eOne 9,100 (1,820) 5 0.01
Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead Well Go USA 6,300 (480) 13 0.01
The House October Built Image 6,100 (610) 10 0.01
Automata Millennium 5,600 (560) 10 0.01
The Overnighters Drafthouse 4,500 (4,500) 1 0.01
I Am Ali Focus 4,500 (410) 11 0.01
The Devil’s Hand Roadside 4,350 (260) 17 0.01
#Stuck GoDigital 4,300 (480) 9 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Oct. 9, 2014)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
20th Century Fox (16) 1394.7 17.40%
Buena Vista (14) 1272.6 15.90%
Warner Bros. (21) 1216.1 15.20%
Sony (20) 1071.1 13.40%
Universal (16) 852.6 10.70%
Paramount (13) 829.9 10.40%
Lionsgate (18) 363.7 4.60%
Weinstein (21) 159.3 2.00%
Relativity (8) 137.3 1.70%
Open Road (7) 120.5 1.50%
Fox Searchlight (8) 103.4 1.30%
FreeStyle (9) 95.6 1.20%
Focus (9) 77.9 1.00%
eOne/Seville (25) 50.9 0.60%
Other * (278) 248.8 3.10%
7994.4 100%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Domestic Grossers * (Jan. 1 – Oct. 9, 2014)
Title Distributor Box Office
Guardians of the Galaxy BV 324,269,904
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 240,660,849
X-Men: Days of Future Past Fox 233,921,534
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox 207,943,345
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Sony 202,870,044
Godzilla WB 200,710,493
22 Jump Street Sony 191,164,392
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par 188,559,771
How to Train Your Dragon 2 Fox 176,144,220
Divergent Lionsgate 151,341,699
Neighbors Uni 150,203,932
Frozen * BV 137,645,361
Ride Along Uni 134,986,540
Rio 2 Fox 131,538,435
Lucy Uni 125,911,715
Lone Survivor Uni/eOne 125,026,404
The Fault in Our Stars Fox 124,872,350
* does not include 2013 box office

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Dracula Untold|8.9|2887|NEW|8.9
Gone Girl|8.1|3284|-38%|59.6
Annabelle|15.4|3215|-60%|51
Alexander… Day|5.2|3088|NEW|5.2
The Judge|4.4|3003|NEW|4.4
Addicted|3|846|NEW|3
The Equalizer|2.8|3117|-50%|72.9
The Maze Runner|2.1|3072|-40%|78.4
The Boxtrolls|1.7|3270|-39%|36
Meet the Mormons|1.2|317|NEW|1.2

Also Debuting

Kill the Messenger|Focus|0.31|374
Whiplash|Sony Classics|37,200|6
St. Vincent|Weinstein|30,900|4
Christian Mingle|Rocky Mountain|10,700|15
One Chance|Weinstein|8,900|43
La belle et la bête |Niagara|6,500|17
Awake: The Life of Yogananda|Abramorama|6,050|1
Tu veux ou tu veux pas?|Remstar|3,200|7
You’re Not You|eOne|2,700|4
#Stuck|GoDigital|2,500|9
The House October Built|Image|2,200|10
Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead|WellGo|2,100|10
I Am Ali|Focus|1,600|10
Automata|Millennium|1,600|10
The Overnighters|Drafthouse|1,550|1
The Devil’s Hand|Roadside|1,300|13

The Weekend Report

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

The session proved to be a horse race between Gone Girl and horror prequel Annabelle. Initial estimates gave the fatal housewife of the former a slight edge of $38.1 million with the less than cuddly title doll not far behind with $37.1 million. The frame’s other wide debut, the less-than-Rapturous Left Behind, grossed a less-than-inspirational $6.7 million.

The ripped-from-headlines saga of Sudanese refugees in The Good Lie bowed in 461 theaters to a disappointing $920,000. Other limited misses  included the animated The Hero of Color City with $23,300 at 68 venues and the saga of Simon Bolivar in The Liberator with a $66,100 tally from 78 screens.

Holidays in India saw torrid activity in that niche with Bang Bang at the top with $1.2 million and Haider also solid with $504,000. The Telegu Govindudu Andarivadele got hurt by the competition and finished with $352,000.  Chinese import Breakup Buddies generated a buoyant $243,000 from a mere 20 locations.

Exclusive newcomers were largely DOA including internet scare tale Men, Women & Children that bowed to $47,800 at 17 sites.

Overall the frame generated roughly $152 million for a sizable 42% boost from the prior weekend. It was also 20% better than the 2013 session when Gravity bowed to $55.8 million with the second weekend of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in the bridesmaid spot with $20.9 million.

Leading up to the weekend one could see the gap narrowing between Gone Girl and Annabelle in tracking studies and some pundits pondered the notion of an upset. However in the end the bestseller took bragging rights with numbers of the high side of expectations. Studio exit polling identified an opening crowd that was 60% female with 75% of the audience aged 25-years and older.

Gone Girl also opened in 39 international territories with initial estimates of more than $24 million.

Annabelle’s prequelling of The Conjuring clarified pundit crystal balling that set its opening at no higher than $30 million. It showed a slight 51% female tilt but attracted a considerably younger demo with 54% of viewers aged 25-years and younger. It also stepped out internationally in 21 nations and grossed $20 million.

Gone Girl provided the narrative of the upcoming award season with a vibrant start and set a high bar for the flood of movies to follow.

Weekend (estimates) October 3 – 5, 2014
Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
Gone Girl Fox 38.1 (12,630) NEW 3014 38.1
Annabelle WB 37.1 (11,660) NEW 3185 37.1
The Equalizer Sony 18.7 (5,770) -45% 3236 64.2
The Maze Runner Fox 12.0 (3,320) -31% 3605 73.9
The Boxtrolls Focus 12.4 (3,590) -28% 3464 32.6
Left Behind FreeStyle 6.7 (3,660) NEW 1825 6.7
This is Where I Leave You WB 4.0 (1,460) -42% 2735 29
Dolphin Tale 2 WB 3.5 (1,260) -26% 2790 38
Guardians of the Galaxy BV 3.0 (1,590) -20% 1894 323.4
No Good Dead Sony 2.5 (1,570) -45% 1580 50.1
A Walk Among the Tombstones Uni/eOne 2.0 (890) -52% 2226 24.5
Bang Bang Fox Intl 1.2 (4,580) NEW 265 1.4
The Good Lie WB .92 (2,000) NEW 461 0.92
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par .74 (890) -49% 834 188.3
Let’s Be Cops Fox .73 (940) -52% 781 80.9
The Skeleton Twins Roadside Attractions .71 (1,540) -42% 461 3.5
Haider UTV .50 (4,230) NEW 119 0.54
My Old Lady Cohen Media .47 (1,780) -18% 263 2.2
If I Stay WB .40 (720) -58% 555 49.8
Goviindudu Andarivadele CineGalaxy .35 (2,550) NEW 138 0.65
The Hundred-Foot Journey BV .31 (870) -49% 360 53.2
Mommy Seville .31 (3,790) 47% 82 1.5
The Drop Fox Searchlight .26 (600) -75% 429 10.4
The Giver Weinstein Co. .25 (680) -40% 371 44.2
Breakup Buddies China Lion .24 (12,150) NEW 20 0.24
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $144.80
% Change (Last Year) 20%
% Change (Last Week) 42%
Also debuting/expanding
Hector and the Search for Happiness Relativity .22 (1,200) 7% 183 0.6
The Song IDP .21 (610) -63% 340 0.9
Boyhood IFC/Mongrel .15 (1,070) -34% 138 23.4
Pride CBS/Remstar .12 (3,560) 22% 34 0.26
Love is Strange Sony Classics .12 (870) -35% 134 2
The Trip to Italy IFC/eOne 94,600 (680) -55% 139 3.3
Tracks Weinstein Co. 92,800 (1,390) 31% 67 0.23
Jimi: All is By My Side Xlrator 91,500 (1,220) -6% 75 0.23
The Liberator Cohen Media 66,100 (850) 78 0.07
Men, Women & Children Par 47,800 (2,810) 17 0.05
The Two Faces of January Magnolia 41,700 (2,450) -3% 17 0.1
Nas: Time is Illmanic TriBeCa 29,300 (5,860) 5 0.11
16 Stones Candlelight 25,400 (1,020) 25 0.03
The Hero of Color City Magnolia 23,300 (340) 68 0.02
The Blue Room IFC 21,200 (7,030) 3 0.02
A Good Marriage Screen Media 8,300 (640) 13 0.01
The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window … Metropole 7,200 (1,800) 4 0.01
Slow Video Fox Intl 6,300 (6,300) 1 0.01
The Decent One Kino 4,600 (4,600) 1 0.01
Copenhagen Level 33 3,700 (1,850) 2 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Oct. 2, 2014)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
20th Century Fox (16) 1328.5 17.00%
Buena Vista (14) 1267.8 16.30%
Warner Bros. (20) 1160.6 14.90%
Sony (20) 1042.8 13.40%
Universal (15) 848.3 10.90%
Paramount (12) 828.6 10.60%
Lionsgate (18) 363.3 4.70%
Weinstein Co. (20) 158.6 2.00%
Relativity (8) 137.1 1.80%
Open Road (7) 120.5 1.50%
Fox Searchlight (8) 102.9 1.30%
FreeStyle (8) 87.6 1.10%
Focus (9) 63.7 0.80%
eOne/Seville (25) 49.5 0.60%
Other * (270) 241.8 3.10%
7801.6 100%
* none greater than 0.4%

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

Annabelle|WB|15.4|3185|NEW|15.4
Gone Girl|Fox|13.2|3014|NEW|13.2
The Equalizer|Sony|5.6|3236|-55%|51.1
The Maze Runner|Fox|3.5|3605|-34%|65.4
The Boxtrolls|Focus|2.7|3464|-44%|22.8
Left Behind|FreeStyle|2.4|1825|NEW|2.4
This is Where I Leave You|WB|1.2|2735|-45%|26.2
Dolphin Tale 2|WB|0.8|2790|-37%|35.2
Guardians of the Galaxy |BV|0.8|1894|-23%|321.1
No Good Deed|Sony|0.75|1580|-46%|48.4
|||||
|||||
Also Debuting|||||
Bang Bang|Fox Intl|0.35|265||
The Good Lie|WB|0.3|461||
Haider|UTV|0.13|119||
Goviindudu Andarivadele|CineGalaxy|0.11|138||
Breakup Buddies|China Lion|83,300|20||
The Liberator|Cohen Media|16,900|78||
Men, Women & Children|Par|13,200|17||
16 Stones|Candlelight|12,900|25||
Nas: Time is Illmanic|TriBeCa|10,700|5||
The Blue Room|IFC|5,700|3||
A Good Marriage|Screen Media|3,000|13||
The Hero of Color City|Magnolia|3,000|55||
Slow Video|Fox Intl|1,700|1||
100 Yr Old Man Who Climbed…|Metropole|1,400|4||
Copenhagen|Level 33|1,350|2||
The Decent One|Kino|1,200|1||

The Weekend Report

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

The Equalizer vanquished the opposition with an opening tally estimated at $35.2 million. The session’s other national deb, Laika’s stop-motion animation The Boxtrolls, bowed to $17.3 million, ranking third overall.

The wave of incoming exclusives largely got washed away with only a pair of Brit imports posting encouraging results. The twisty thriller The Two Faces of January, based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, generated $41,100 from six screens while the fact-based Pride—an odd but effective mix of gay rights and the 1984 Welsh miner’s strike—grossed $106,000 from 12 engagements.

In limited wide release, The Song didn’t quite find a voice, with a $670,000 debut while Mexican spooky import Mas Negro Que la Noche had limited success with a $530,000 box office. The frame’s Indian imports Loukyam and Madras  opened to just OK business with $144,000 and $88,400, respectively. And early Hendrix proved disappointing with Jimi: All is By My Side grossing $98,300 from 34 venues.

Overall revenues for the weekend rose to roughly $110 million for a modest 5% boost from seven days back. It was an even slimmer 2% down from 2013 when the opening of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 led all comers with a $34 million initial rainfall.

The new, more graphic and decidedly more physical The Equalizer proved attune to contemporary tastes and exceeded pundit predictions that had pegged opening numbers in the low $30 million range. The film skewed ever so slightly female at 52% with 65% of the audience aged 30-years old and mature according to studio exit polling.

The allegorical The Boxtrolls also topped estimates that predicted a $15 million top end. A stop-motion yarn with adult appeal, it tilted female at 57%.

The opening of Jimi: All is By My Side provided an interesting contrast to another recent musical bio, Get On Up. Both films deserve a critical thumbs up but obviously the ability to reach the largest possible audience differs greatly for a small indie distributor and a major. It also affects media exposure, especially in regard to the award worthy performance of Andre Benjamin that unfortunately is apt to be swamped by considerably more aggressive campaigns for performances and performers who had less demanding challenges.

Weekend (estimates) September 26 – 28, 2014
Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
The Equalizer Sony 35.2 (10,870) NEW 3236 35.2
The Maze Runner Fox 17.4 (4,780) -47% 3638 57.9
The Boxtrolls Focus 17.3 (4,990) NEW 3464 17.3
This is Where I Leave You WB 7.0 (2,430) -40% 2868 22.5
Dolphin Tale 2 WB 4.8 (1,420) -46% 3376 33.6
No Good Dead Sony 4.6 (2,150) -53% 2130 46.6
A Walk Among the Tombstones Uni/eOne 4.2 (1,550) -54% 2714 20.9
Guardians of the Galaxy BV 3.8 (1,550) -28% 2451 319.2
Let’s Be Cops Fox 1.5 (990) -44% 1534 79.6
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par 1.4 (900) -46% 1585 187.2
The Skeleton Twins Roadside Attractions 1.3 (3,300) 194% 385 2.4
The Drop Fox Searchlight 1.1 (950) -48% 1131 9.7
If I Stay WB .93 (730) -50% 1272 49.1
The Song IDP .67 (1,980) NEW 340 0.67
The Hundred-Foot Journey BV .61 (850) -47% 719 52.6
My Old Lady Cohen Media .56 (2,210) 16% 255 1.5
Mas Negro Que la Noche Lionsgate .53 (2,990) NEW 178 0.53
When the Game Stands Tall Sony .50 (630) -54% 794 29.2
The Giver Weinstein Co. .43 (610) -55% 702 43.8
Lucy Uni .36 (740) -51% 488 125.5
Dr. Cabbie eOne .33 (5,840) -49% 57 1.3
Boyhood IFC/Mongrel .28 (1,290) -34% 215 23
Tusk A24 .26 (440) -69% 602 1.4
Mommy Seville .25 (3,910) -42% 65 0.97
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox .22 (940) -18% 232 207.6
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $103.40
% Change (Last Year) -2%
% Change (Last Week) 5%
Also debuting/expanding
The Trip to Italy IFC/eOne .21 (1,050) -32% 200 3.1
Hector and the Search for Happiness Relativity .20 (2,110) 383% 94 0
Love is Strange Sony Classics .19 (1,400) -9% 138 1.8
Loukyam Dream Media .14 (2,530) 57 0.14
Pride CBS/Remstar .11 (8,850) 12 0.11
Jimi: All is By My Side Xlrator .10 (2,890) 34 0.1
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Weinstein Co, 93,500 (670) -47% 139 0.44
Madras ATMUS 88,400 (2,390) 37 0.09
Magic in the Moonlight Sony Classics 72,700 (650) -47% 111 10.3
Tracks * Weinstein Co. 71,300 (2,550) 241% 28 0.1
The Guest Picturehouse 52,200 (2,480) -38% 21 0.2
The Two Faces of January Magnolia 41,100 (6,850) 6 0.04
Field of Lost Shoes Bosch Media 28,600 (1,100) 26 0.03
A Matter of Faith Five & Two 27,300 (4,550) 6 0.03
Believe Me Headline 19,300 (1,280) 15 0.02
Two Night Stand eOne 14,000 (2,800) 5 0.01
Maria Leonora Teresa ABS 8,500 (2,830) 3 0.01
Days and Nights IFC 7,600 (7,600) 1 0.01
Advanced Style Bond 360 6,300 (3,150) 2 0.01
La Ritournelle Metropole 4,400 (880) 5 0.01
The Little Bedroom Cinema Libre 3,150 (3,150) 1 0.01
Print the Legend Netflix 2,200 (1,100) 2 0.01
Hellaware Factory 25 1,500 (1,500) 1 0.01
Top Global Grossers * (Jan. 1 – Sept. 25, 2014)
Title Distributor Box Office
Transformers: Age of Extinction Par 1,082,174,859
Maleficent BV 756,154,669
X-Men: Days of Future Past Fox 746,192,697
Frozen BV 724,189,603
Captain America: The Winter Soldier BV 713,778,940
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Sony 708,705,271
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox 688,757,717
Guardians of the Galaxy BV 635,785,520
Godzilla WB; Toho 523,345,942
How to Train Your Dragon 2 Fox 522,580,413
Rio 2 Fox 496,560,792
The Lego Movie WB 472,173,863
Lucy Uni; Europa 382,736,598
Edge of Tomorrow WB 368,667,083
Noah Par 362,164,780
The Wolf of Wall Street * Par; Red Granite 350,418,304
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par 337,481,848
300: Rise of an Empire WB 331,624,640
22 Jump Street Sony 324,846,706
The Fault in Our Stars Fox 301,972,452
Divergent Lionsgate 289,044,408
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug * WB 277,256,540
Neighbors Uni 269,789,190
Mr. Peabody & Sherman Fox: Dmwks 253,379,783
RoboCop Sony 243,433,366
* does not include 2013 box office
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Sept. 25, 2014)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
20th Century Fox (15) 1303.1 17.00%
Buena Vista (14) 1261.6 16.50%
Warner Bros. (19) 1141.9 14.90%
Sony (19) 990.7 12.90%
Universal (15) 842.1 11.00%
Paramount (12) 826.5 10.80%
Lionsgate (17) 362.4 4.70%
Weinstein Co. (20) 157.7 2.10%
Relativity (8) 136.6 1.80%
Open Road (7) 120.5 1.60%
Fox Searchlight (8) 101.4 1.30%
FreeStyle (8) 87.6 1.10%
eOne/Seville (25) 47.6 0.60%
Focus (8) 43.5 0.60%
Other (254) 233.8 3.10%
7657 100%
* none greater than 0.4%

 

 

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

The Equalizer|12.5|3236|NEW|12.5
The Maze Runner|5.2|3638|-54%|45.7
The Boxtrolls|4.9|3464|NEW|4.9
This is Where I Leave You|2.2|2868|-43%|17.7
No Good Deed|1.4|2130|-54%|43.4
A Walk Among the Tombstones|1.3|2714|-73%|17.9
Dolphin Tale 2|1.2|3376|-43%|30.1
Guardians of the Galaxy |1|2451|-27%|316.4
Let’s Be Cops|0.45|1534|-43%|78.6
The Skeletom Twins|0.4|385|208%|1.5
||||
||||
Also Debuting||||
The Song|0.22|338||
Mas Negro Que la Noche|0.17|178||
Loukyam|45,000|57||
Madras|30,200|35||
Jimi: All is By My Side|30,050|34||
Pride|28,300|12||
The Two Faces of January|10,600|6||
Field of Lost Shoes|10,100|26||
Believe Me|8,600|14||
A Matter of Faith|7,800|5||
Days and Nights|4,100|1||
Two Night Stand|3,200|5||
Maria Leonora Teresa|2,500|3||
Advanced Style|2,300|2||
Print the Legend|1,400|2||
The Little Bedroom|1,200|1||
Hellaware|1,100|1||
La Ritournelle|1,000|5||

The Weekend Report

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

It was a week of sweeping out the old and welcoming the new, starting with a trio of new national releases. Youth-targeted adventure The Maze Runner topped the frame with an estimated $32.3 million while the competition played below expectations. Downbeat thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones bowed with $13.1 million while Shawn Levy’s R-rated dramedy of a grieving family, This is Where I Leave You, bantered to $11.7 million.

Kevin Smith was back with Canada-set comic chiller Tusk, which failed to scare up an audience with an $840,000 tally at 602 venues. Also north of the border, Canada’s likely Oscar submission and Cannes-prized Mommy opened with a tempestuous $391,000 in Québec.

There was also a ferocious wave of new exclusive runs with most crashing on the shores. Exceptions included a single screen launch of $23,200 for the Korean gambling comedy Tazza 2 and an impressive $47,700 start for Hector and the Search for Happiness at two locations. Tracks, the Australian saga of author Robyn Davidson’s memoir of crossing Oz’s arid Outback solo, grossed $20,800 following a Canadian release that chalked up $200,000 plus. In the niches there were a handful of Indian imports, including strong starts of $1.1 million for the Telugu Aagadu and the Hindi Khoobsurat with $332,000. Dr. Cabbie, the comedy about an Indian doctor reduced to driving a hack in Toronto, was hitting all the pistons with a $739,000 debut from 55 screens.

Session box office generated roughly $105 million for an 18% boost from seven days earlier. It was also  23% improved from 2013 when the $20.8 million debut of Prisoners topped the charts.

Pundits have been itching to put the nail in the coffin on YA adventure fare but Maze Runner defied their grim assessments that ranged from $25-30 million. The picture get a head start a week back with a solid $8.5 million gross from five international territories and expanded solidly to an estimated $37.5 million box office in 50 foreign climes.

Domestically, Maze Runner attracted an almost even gender split with women at 51% and 64% of viewers aged 25-years and younger per studio exit polling. It also amped up the stakes with 712 enhanced format engagements that accounted for about 9% of the opening box office.

While expectations weren’t overboard for the adaptation of Lawrence Block’s dark thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones, the presence of Liam Neeson pegged expectations of $15-16 million. The film also tilted slightly female at 51% but considerably older with 77% of the crowd aged 25-years and upward.

The ensemble of This is Where I Leave You weren’t sitting shiva as the film opened pretty much on target with its tracking and studio cruncher bottom lines. Exit demos were also on the mark with 63% of the audience composed of women and 86% aged 25-years and more senior.

Weekend (estimates) September 19 – 21, 2014
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
The Maze Runner Fox 32.3 (8,960) NEW 3604 32.3
A Walk Among the Tombstones Uni 13.1 (4,830) NEW 2712 13.1
This is Where I Leave You WB 11.7 (4,090) NEW 2868 11.7
No Good Dead Sony 10.1 (4,640) -58% 2175 40
Dolphin Tale 2 WB 9.0 (2,460) -44% 3656 27
Guardians of the Galaxy BV 5.2 (1,820) -36% 2846 313.7
Let’s Be Cops Fox 2.7 (1,160) -39% 2312 77.2
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par 2.6 (1,120) -46% 2348 186
The Drop Fox Searchlight 2.0 (1,710) -48% 1192 7.7
If I Stay WB 1.8 (770) -54% 2371 47.7
The Hundred-Foot Journey BV 1.1 (900) -53% 1253 51.5
Aagadu Great India 1.1 (8,170) NEW 131 1.1
When the Game Stands Tall Sony 1.1 (620) -55% 1702 28.3
The Giver Weinstein Co. .95 (590) -63% 1607 43
Tusk A24 .84 (1,400) NEW 602 0.84
Dr. Cabbie eOne .74 (13,440) NEW 55 0.74
Lucy Uni .72 (920) -53% 788 124.8
The November Man Relativity/VVS .68 (460) -75% 1478 24.4
As Above/So Below Uni .67 (630) -68% 1070 20.6
My Old Lady Cohen Media .47 (2,780) 278% 170 0.67
The Skeleton Twins Roadside Attractions .43 (8,710) 12% 49 0.94
Boyhood IFC/Mongrel .41 (1,210) -53% 335 22.6
Mommy Seville .39 (6,300) 62 0.39
Khoobsurat UTV .33 (5,820) 57 0.33
Into the Storm WB .32 (560) -65% 570 46.4
The Trip to Italy IFC/eOne .28 (1,440) -43% 197 2.7
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $98.40
% Change (Last Year) 23%
% Change (Last Week) 18%
Also debuting/expanding
Daawat-e-Ishq Yash Raj .23 (2,250) 101 0.23
Love is Strange Sony Classics .22 (1,980) -35% 112 1.6
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Weinstein Co, .17 (1,230) 151% 136 0.26
Magic in the Moonlight Sony Classics .15 (730) -65% 203 10.2
A Most Wanted Man Roadside Attractions .12 (640) -72% 193 16.9
The Zero Theorem Amplify 85,400 (1,360) 63 0.09
The Guest Picturehouse 84,300 (4,440) 19 0.08
The Pirates Well Go 75,800 (4,210) -36% 18 0.3
Hector and the Search for Happiness Relativity 47,700 (23,850) 2 0.05
Pump Submarine 36,600 (12,200) 3 0.04
Yellow Day Providence 30,400 (30,400) 1 0.03
Tazza 2: The Hidden Card CJ 23,200 (23,200) 1 0.02
Art and Craft Oscilloscope 21,300 (10,650) 2 0.02
Tracks * Weinstein Co. 20,800 (5,200) 4 0.02
Not Cool Starz 14,100 (14,100) 1 0.01
Aranmanai ATMUS 13,900 (1,160) 12 0.01
Keep on Keepin’ On Weinstein Co. 11,300 (5,650) 2 0.01
20,000 Days on Earth Drafthouse 10,200 (5,100) 2 0.01
Fort Bliss Phase4 5,400 (1,800) 3 0.01
Iceman Well Go 3,300 (660) 5 0.01
Holidaysburg Starz 1,800 (1,800) 1 0.01
Top Limited Releases * (Jan. 1 – Sept. 18, 2014)
Title Distributor Box Office
Boyhood IFC/Mongrel 22,153,916
A Most Wanted Man Roadside/eOne 16,784,447
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 10,043,581
Inside Llewyn Davis * CBS/Mongrel 8,107,748
Island of the Lemurs: Madagascar WB 7,309,433
Cantinflas Lionsgate 5,824,372
Cesar Chavez Lionsgate 5,571,497
The Wind Rises BV 5,209,580
Jerusalem NationalGeo 5,112,550
Journey to the South Pacific Imax 4,552,877
Snowpiercer Weinstein Co. 4,535,541
The Railway Man Weinstein Co. 4,438,438
Hubble 3D * Imax 4,261,073
The Lunchbox Sony Classics 4,231,500
Fading Gigolo Millennium 3,769,873
Ida Music Box 3,698,434
Wish I Was Here Focus 3,591,299
* does not include 2013 box office
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Sept. 18, 2014)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
20th Century Fox (14) 1258.3 16.70%
Buena Vista (14) 1252.6 16.60%
Warner Bros. (18) 1112.6 14.80%
Sony (19) 976.7 13.00%
Universal (14) 824.6 11.00%
Paramount (12) 822.6 10.90%
Lionsgate (17) 361.7 4.80%
Weinstein Co. (20) 155.9 2.10%
Relativity (7) 135.6 1.80%
Open Road (7) 120.3 1.60%
Fox Searchlight (8) 98.4 1.30%
FreeStyle (8) 87.5 1.20%
eOne/Seville (23) 44.2 0.60%
Focus (8) 43.5 0.60%
Other (247) * 226.2 3.00%
7520.7 100%
* none greater than 0.4%

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

The Maze Runner|11.2|3604|NEW|11.2
A Walk Among the Tombstones|4.7|2712|NEW|4.7
This is Where I Leave You|3.8|2868|NEW|3.8
No Good Deed|2.9|2175|-67%|32.8
Dolphin Tale 2|2.1|3656|-50%|20.2
Guardians of the Galaxy |1.4|2846|-35%|309.9
Let’s Be Cops|0.75|2312|-41%|75.3
The Drop|0.65|1192|-56%|6.3
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|0.6|2348|-47%|183
If I Stay|0.55|2371|-54%|46.4
||||
||||
Also Debuting||||
Aagadu|0.39|121||
Tusk|0.37|602||
Dr. Cabbie|0.36|55||
Khoobsurat|0.11|57||
Mommy|0.11|62||
Daawat-e-Ishq|70,700|101||
The Guest|25,400|19||
The Zero Theorem|28,400|55||
Hector and the Search for Happiness|16,900|2||
Yellow Day|11,700|1||
Pump|11,600|3||
Art and Craft|8,550|2||
Tazza 2: The Hidden Card|6,550|1||
Aranmanai|5,200|11||
Not Cool|5,000|1||
20,000 Days on Earth|3,800|2||
Keep on Keepin’ On|3,100|2||
Fort Bliss|1,650|3||
Holidaysburg|1,200|1||

Confessions of a Film Festival Junkie: It’s a Wrap

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Officially there were 366 features shown at the just completed edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. I saw about 30. So it should come as no surprise that few of this year’s public and jury prize winners managed to elude my grasp.

The Audience award went to The Imitation Game, the tragic saga of mathematician Alan Turing who cracked the  Enigma Code during World War II and fell into disrepute in the following decade when he was convicted of homosexual acts. Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance is already being touted for award’s consideration.

Among juried winners were Time Out of Mind and its star Richard Gere portraying a homeless man and the emotional love story Felix and Meira set in Montreal’s Hasidic community which received the prize as best Canadian feature of the fest.

Biography seemed a significant aspect of TIFF’s selections. Two that I caught were a testament to its challenge. In Love & Mercy, Paul Dano and John Cusack play, respectively, the younger and older Beach Boy Brian Wilson. The parallel intertwining stories focus on the already successful musician quitting touring and concentrating on writing and producing what would become the group’s most accomplished work. The later period deals with his recovery from emotional and physical meltdown, his relationship with the Svengaliesque Eugene Landy (a vampirish Paul Giamatti) and the flowering of a new relationship. Unquestionably bold and nuanced, Love & Mercy nonetheless hasn’t found the balance between its two realms. It’s at its best in scenes with younger Wilson creating in the studio and maybe that deserves a film all of its own.

The Theory of Everything is the story of Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane beginning with their meeting as students. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the balance of his genius as a physicist countered with his physical deterioration would render something emotionally potent. The accomplishment is that neither the filmmakers nor the performers push the drama inherent in the situation. And it’s hard to imagine that Eddie Redmayne who plays Hawking won’t be on the circuit come award season.

Mention was made in an earlier column about TIFF’s Telluride position and the prospect of a less front loaded Canadian event. To some extent that did occur but the industry was quick to react with a spate of private screenings targeted primarily at acquisition folk during the opening days.

By Tuesday morning one could sense the absence of buyers as well as junket press in the corridors and screening rooms just as has occurred for decades in Toronto. I got out of “Dodge” Wednesday evening just as the rains literally arrived and temperatures shifted from summer to fall.

The consensus was that it was not a banner film year for TIFF and that appeared to be less the result of selection than simply what was available to be screened. One of the last film’s I caught prior to flight time was Tom McCarthy’s The Cobbler that might best be described as a trainwreck. Adam Sandler plays a fourth generation shoe repairman that discovers he can transform into the possessor of the clogs he repairs with an ancient stitching machine. It’s a bit of whimsy not unlike the comic’s similarly themed Click but the notion of walking in someone else’s shoes … proves to be a strained metaphor. It runs right off the cliff in a horrid fashion that’s unique to intelligent and accomplished filmmakers making very bad decisions.

Let me wrap it up with Electric Boogaloo, a documentary on the making and unmaking of Cannon Films, the brainchild of Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus that had Hollywood on its ear for a healthy chunk of the 1980s. From Chuck Norris to John Cassavetes, this was a company that churned out movies like stuffed sausage. Golan was systematic of someone that realized he was losing money on most pictures but believed he could compensate for that with volume. Ultimately it caught up with him and this valentine is enormous fun even if it can’t quite come to grips with how the patients took over the insane asylum. It reminds me of the motto of fictional Miracle Pictures: “If It’s a Good Picture, It’s a Miracle.”

The Weekend Report

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

It was anticipated as a close race between debuting movies No Good Deed and Dolphin Tale 2 with the former given the edge. In the end Deed exceeded expectations with an estimated debut of $24.4 million and the sea tail opening to $16.6 million in what’s being viewed as a depressed market in need of a pick me up. The crime meller The Drop opened to fair results of $4.4 million that ranked fifth overall.

In the niches several Indian imports bowed including OK starts of $511,000 for the Hindi Finding Fanny and $345,000 for the Telugu Power. Also bowing was the final Rand chapter Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt that sputtered to a $509,000 conclusion.

There was torrid activity among incoming exclusives with a few weathering the storm. The oddball drama My Old Lady grossed $129,000 from 11 screens while the uncoupling saga The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby tallied $74,300 at four venues. And strongest was the unhinged sibling yarn The Skeleton Twins with $360,000 from 15 playdates.

Session revenues topped $90 million for a 45% upturn from last weekend’s dismal record. However it once again trailed 2013 b.o. by 13%. Twelve months back the bows of Insidious 2 and The Family led the pack with respective openings of $40.3 million and $14 million.

No Good Deed’s narrative of criminal on the run and family in thrall echoes myriad films including most recently Labor Day and was given top end prospects of $20 million. Its extra utz appeared to come from an urban setting and real chemistry from its leads. Studio exit demos identified the audience as 60% female with 59% aged 25-years and older.

The sequel to the family friendly eco story Dolphin Tale 2 was tracking in the $16 million to $18 million range; slightly less than its inspiration that got the stereoscopic treatment. It also skewed female with 63% of the opening audience and was a bit more youth oriented with 56% of the crowd aged 25-years and older.

The past month has been gloomy for the industry with distribs and exhibs waiting for the picture to affect a switcheroo. The fall suggests plenty of prospects and ultimately a reversal of fortunes could turn simply on volume … but it would be so much better if enthusiasm took hold.

Weekend (estimates) September 12 – 14, 2014
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
No Good Dead Sony 24.4 (11,230) NEW 2175 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 WB 16.6 (4,540) NEW 3656 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy BV 7.9 (2,550) -23% 3104 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par 4.8 (1,630) -26% 2957 181.1
The Drop Fox Searchlight 4.4 (5,480) NEW 809 4.4
Let’s Be Cops Fox 4.3 (1,570) -22% 2755 73
If I Stay WB 4.0 (1,320) -28% 3040 44.9
The November Man Relativity/VVS 2.8 (1,030) -36% 2702 22.5
The Giver Weinstein Co. 2.5 (1,120) -26% 2253 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey BV 2.5 (1,270) -21% 1943 49.4
When the Game Stands Tall Sony 2.4 (990) -29% 2435 26.6
As Above/So Below Uni 2.1 (920) -46% 2283 19.1
Lucy Uni 1.5 (1,440) -21% 1068 123.5
The Expendables 3 Lionsgate .92 (710) -49% 1302 38.3
Into the Storm WB .88 (840) -40% 1040 45.8
Boyhood IFC/Mongrel .87 (1,320) -25% 659 21.8
Cantinflas Lionsgate .54 (1,270) -49% 424 5.6
The Trip to Italy IFC/eOne .52 (3,050) 31% 171 2.2
Finding Fanny Fox Intl .51 (4,220) NEW 121 0.51
Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? Atlas .51 (2,100) NEW 242 0.51
A Most Wanted Man Roadside Attractions .44 (1,120) -23% 393 16.6
Magic in the Moonlight Sony Classics .44 (1,110) -30% 399 9.9
The Identical FreeStyle .41 (320) -74% 1274 2.6
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox .37 (1,040) -28% 361 206.8
The Skeleton Twins Roadside Attractions .36 (23,870) NEW 15 0.36
Love is Strange Sony Classics .36 (3,500) 40% 102 1.25
Power CineGalaxy .34 (3,910) NEW 88 0.34
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $84.95
% Change (Last Year) -13%
% Change (Last Week) 45%
Also debuting/expanding
The Captive eOne .26 (2,000) -34% 131 0.83
Calvary Fox Searchlight .18 (890) -47% 206 3.3
My Old Lady Cohen Media .13 (11,740) 11 0.13
Goreyan Nu Daffa Karo Speed .13 (4,700) 27 0.13
The Pirates Well Go .11 (4,480) 25 0.11
But Always China Lion 92,400 (4,620) -36% 20 0.31
The Remaining Sony 84,700 (1,260) -47% 67 0.3
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Weinstein Co, 74,300 (18,570) 4 0.07
The Gifted ABS 40,600 (2,030) 20 0.04
The Green Prince Music Box 33,500 (8,370) 4 0.03
Believe Excel 22,100 (600) 37 0.02
Take Me to the River Abramorama 20,300 (1,690) 12 0.02
Anukshanam Vega 10,800 (675) 16 0.01
Born to Fly Aubin 9,700 (9,700) 1 0.01
Bird People IFC 8,100 (8,100) 1 0.01
The Quitter Goodface 5,500 (5,500) 1 0.01
I Am Eleven Intl Film Circuit 4,900 (2,450) 2 0.01
Honeymoon Magnolia 4,100 (2,050) 2 0.01
108 Stitches FreeStyle 3,600 (300) 12 0.01
Smiling Through the Apocalypse First Run 2,700 (2,700) 1 0.01
The Man on Her Mind Paladin 2,450 (350) 7 0.01
Top Domestic Grossers * (Jan. 1 – Sept. 11, 2014)
Title Distributor Box Office
Guardians of the Galaxy BV 297,884,832
Captain America: The Winter Soldier BV 259,788,645
The Lego Movie WB 257,760,692
Transformers: Age of Extinction Par 244,803,687
Maleficent BV 239,368,784
X-Men: Days of Future Past Fox 233,713,155
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox 206,435,479
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Sony 202,870,044
Godzilla WB 200,710,493
22 Jump Street Sony 190,864,693
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par 176,241,491
How to Train Your Dragon 2 Fox 174,864,272
Divergent Lionsgate 151,341,699
Neighbors Uni 150,203,932
Frozen * BV 137,645,361
Ride Along Uni 134,986,540
Rio 2 Fox 131,538,435
Lone Survivor Uni/eOne 125,026,404
The Fault in Our Stars Fox 124,749,171
Lucy Uni 121,950,375
* does not include 2013 box office

Friday Box Office Estimates

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

No Good Deed|Sony|8.8|2175|NEW|8.8
Dolphin Tale 2|WB|4.2|3656|NEW|4.2
Guardians of the Galaxy |BV|2.1|3104|-23%|300
The Drop|Searchlight|1.4|809|NEW|1.4
Let’s Be Cops|Fox|1.3|2755|-19%|69.9
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|Par|1.2|2957|-22%|177.4
If I Stay|WB|1.2|3040|-27%|42.1
The November Man|Relativity/VVS|0.85|2702|-34%|20.6
The Giver|Weinstein Co,|0.75|2253|-25%|39.4
When the Game Stands Tall|Sony|0.7|2435|-26%|24.9
|||||
|||||
Also Debuting|||||
Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt?|Atlas|0.17|242||
Finding Fanny|Fox Intl|0.17|121||
Power|CineGalaxy|0,11|88||
The Skeleton Twins|Roadside|0.1|15||
My Old Lady|Cohen Media|33,300|11||
Goreyan Nu Daffa Karo|Speed|31,800|27||
The Pirates|Well Go|26,800|25||
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby|Weinstein Co,|21,000|4||
The Gifted|ABS|12,200|20||
Take Me to the River|Abramorama|9,900|11||
Believe|Excel|8,400|37||
The Green Prince|Music Box|7,000|4||
Born to Fly|Aubin|2,950|1||
The Quitter|Goodface|2,900|1||
108 Stitches|FreeStyle|2,200|12||
Anukshanam|Vega|2,200|13||
Bird People|IFC|1,950|1||
Honeymoon|Magnolia|1,700|2||
I Am Eleven|Intl Film Circuit|1,550|2||
Smiling Through the Apocalypse|First Run|1,500|1||
The Man on Her Mind|Paladin|1,100|7||

Confessions of a Film Festival Junkie

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

It’s kinda official. To be honest I really haven’t noticed anyone taking notice of the fact that Toronto mayor Rob Ford hasn’t shown his face at the Toronto International Film Festival. Granted the local attendees don’t appear to be his constituency and there is a mayoral race coming up before the end of the year. In fact, there either was a debate scheduled (there are three others on the ballot) or one that went forward that Ford opted out of without extending much of a reason.

Regardless, I bumped into TIFF CEO Piers Handling and ask whether his worship Ford had or would poke his pug nose into this year’s event. Handling gave a shrug and said that Ford had not RSVPed for any events. He also noted that he’d attended in past years, presumably in an official capacity.

So, I’ve been busy.

The highlight of the festival personally has been Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson’s A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence. The filmmaker, whose earlier movies include Scenes from the Second Floor, has a truly idiosyncratic take on life and art and speaks to me in a fashion that’s impossible to explain. It would be foolhardy to assay a narrative description; his sequences have a tonal cohesion though only a couple of characters pop up through the course of the film and while largely set in the present it manages to incorporate Sweden’s King Charles and a band of 19th Century colonialists.

On the flip-side, there have been a lot of films with a conventional narrative that ultimately emerge as nonsensical. Veteran playwright Israel Horovitz arrived with his first feature, My Old Lady. The 75-year-old deb’s film features Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith and Kristen Scott Thomas. The gist of the story is that a man inherits a rather capacious apartment in Paris and arrives in the City of Lights to sell it only to learn that its elderly inhabitant has literally been given tenancy for life. It’s something peculiarly French and while the scenery and performers are all highly watchable, the story twists in a most unconvincing trajectory.

Also of note were a couple of films that explore social issues with rather unusual and unsettling approaches. Force Majeure begins with a family skiing holiday. Early on the couple and their two pre-teen children believe they are about to become avalanche victims. The husband bolts from the scene while the wife grabs for the kids in hopes of shielding them with her body. It quickly turns out to be a false alarm but the damage has been done. He has an explanation for his action that’s so transparently ludicrous you wonder whether this relationship has any hopes of surviving and while director Ruben Ostlund has a tendency to overplay his hand, mostly one squirms and grapples with the pain and shame.

Closer to home, Kevin Costner has to deal with a custody battle in Black and White. The film opens with the death of his wife in a car crash and we learn in short order that they were raising their 7-year old granddaughter as their daughter died in childbirth and the father is a no-good crackhead. He also happens to be black and the tyke is mocha and precocious. The birth father’s mother moves to take custody and instructs her good son, a lawyer, to play the race card. Objectively, it has comparable naivety to Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and maybe a jot or two a more nuanced appreciation of color, shame and ingrained prejudice. That said, not many people seem to want to talk about it and truly believe if ignored it will just disappear. So however inelegant Black and White may be (is), it has sufficient skill to make some points and, hopefully, elicit some dialogue.

It’s worth mentioning at this point that my second home at the festival is the press room which has about ten computers should you want to get on the net, a printer and lots of spots to set up your personal laptop. In order to get to the press room you have to get your press pass scanned by a volunteer. Nosey parker that I am, I asked why the need for this process and was told that it was to ensure that the room didn’t get over crowded.

Naturally that begged the question: how many people are currently there? Wouldn’t you know it, they had no idea. I should also point out that via the same entrance is the video library and I’ve yet to be asked my exact destination when I’ve passed through the screeners. The other thing that might complicate a number count is the fact that should you require a bathroom break, go get a coffee or snack or just stretch your legs, you must go through the scanner procedure again. It a wonder mayhem isn’t breaking loose so I offer up this potential solution. Should the press room reach capacity, the volunteer in that space could take the fifteen-second walk to the scanner station and inform them.

The Weekend Report

Sunday, September 7th, 2014
Guardians of the Galaxy BV 10.2 (3,180) -40% 3221 294.6
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par 6.4 (1,960) -46% 3273 174.6
If I Stay WB 5.8 (1,830) -38% 3157 39.7
Let’s Be Cops Fox 5.4 (1,850) -35% 2932 66.6
The November Man Relativity/VVS 4.1 (1,480) -48% 2776 17.8
As Above/So Below Uni 3.7 (1,400) -57% 2650 15.6
When the Game Stands Tall Sony 3.6 (1,290) -41% 2766 23.4
The Giver Weinstein Co. 3.5 (1,370) -33% 2576 37.8
The Hundred-Foot Journey BV 3.2 (1,470) -33% 2167 45.7
Lucy Uni 1.9 (1,660) -29% 1171 121.2
The Expendables 3 Lionsgate 1.8 (910) -49% 1978 36.7
The Identical FreeStyle 1.5 (780) NEW 1950 1.5
Into the Storm WB 1.4 (1,070) -44% 1345 44.5
Boyhood IFC/Mongrel 1.2 (1,540) -22% 775 20.5
Cantinflas Lionsgate 1.0 (2,380) -62% 429 4.7
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Weinstein Co. .68 (560) -69% 1204 12.9
Magic in the Moonlight Sony Classics .64 (1,210) -26% 530 9.2
Ghostbusters – 30th Anniversary Sony .60 (850) -66% 708 3.3
A Most Wanted Man Roadside Attractions .58 (1,380) -12% 421 15.9
How to Train Your Dragon 2 Fox .54 (810) -54% 666 174.7
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox .51 (1,220) -41% 419 206.2
Chef Open Road/VVS .47 (1,390) -35% 337 31.2
The Captive eOne .42 (3,160) NEW 134 0.42
The Trip to Italy IFC/eOne .42 (3,990) 5% 106 1.6
Mary Kom Eros .41 (2,920) NEW 141 0.41
Forrest Gump (reissue) Par .40 (1,190) NEW 337 0.4
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $58.25
% Change (Last Year) -26%
% Change (Last Week) -44%
Also debuting/expanding
Calvary Fox Searchlight .34 (1,210) -35% 285 3
Love is Strange Sony Classics .25 (5,750) 0% 44 0.81
Innocence Spotlight .18 (3,610) 490 0.18
The Remaining Sony .15 (2,220) 67 0.15
But Always China Lion .14 (7,470) 19 0.14
Last Days in Vietnam American Experience 26,800 (13,400) 2 0.03
Supercondriaque Equinoxe 20,200 (2,250) 9 0.02
God Help the Girl Amplify 13,400 (6,700) 2 0.01
The Longest Week Gravitas 11,800 (1,070) 11 0.01
Frontera Magnolia 11,300 (3,770) 3 0.01
Falcon Rising FreeSTyle 9,400 (940) 10 0.01
Wetlands Strand 7,100 (7,100) 1 0.01
Kelly and Cal IFC 6,300 (6,300) 1 0.01
Levitated Mass First Run 5,200 (5,200) 1 0.01
Rocks in My Pocket Zeitgeist 4,450 (4,450) 1 0.01
Memphis Kino 3,200 (3,200) 1 0.01

Friday Estimates

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy|BV |2.7 |(830) |3221 |-30% |287.1
If I Stay| WB |1.6 |(510)| 3157| -62% |35.5
Let’s Be Cops |Fox |1.6| (540)| 2932| -23%| 62.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles |Par |1.5 |(460) |3273 |-45% |169.6
The November Man |Relativity/VVS |1.2 |(440)| 2776 |-45%| 14.9
As Above/So Below |Uni |1.2| (430) |2650| -63%| 13
The Giver |Weinstein |.95 |(370) |2576 |-26%| 35.2
When the Game Stands Tall |Sony| .95 |(340)| 2766| -33% |20.7
The Hundred-Foot Journey| BV| .85| (400) |2167 |-23%| 43.3
Lucy |Uni| .55 |(450) |1171 |-18% |119.8

Also Debuting
The Identical |FreeStyle| 0.52 |1950
The Captive |eOne |0.13 |134
Mary Kom| Viacom 18 |0.12| 145
Innocence |JSC|78,400 |490
But Always |China Lion |51,400 |19
The Remaining |Sony |50,100 |67
Last Days in Vietnam |American Experience |6,850 |2
Supercondriaque |Equinoxe |4,500 |9
God Help the Girl |Amplify| 3,990| 2
Frontera |Magnolia |3,650| 3
Falcon Rising |FreeStyle |3,550 |10
The Longest Week |Gravitas |3,200 |11
Kelly and Cal |IFC |2,700 |1
Wetlands |Strand| 2,200| 1
Rocks in My Pocket |Zeitgeist |1,440 |1
Levitated Mass |First Run| 1,300 |1
Memphis |Kino Lorber| 1,050| 1

Confessions of a Film Festival Junkie: Toronto 2014 – Getting Started

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

The time has come the Walrus said to think of many things
Of shows and slips and entertainment tax
Of Cabbagetown and King Street

Let’s just dub this ditty Blabberwocky. Somehow it felt apt as I girded myself for the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. Naturally my Canadian content level has risen in recent days and came into focus last week when Telefilm Canada hosted a pre-fest event for journalists and buyers in Los Angeles.

Apart from product reels and a limited bar the ‘do also had a healthy supply of TIFF’s program book … or rather tome. To the event’s credit it’s developed a rather good system of press and industry screenings that run parallel to the public showings. The veteran TIFFer can keep to the P&I projections with a couple of regular screenings tossed in to mingle with the hoi polloi.

The daunting aspect is that there are roughly 300 features screened with the majority world or North American premieres. So I’ve become rather adept at avoiding a game strategy until the very last moment. That and thoughts of maple leafs brought back memories of (Winnipegger) Richard Condie’s brilliant animated short Getting Started. For the uninitiated the focus is on a pianist prepping for a big concert. Except he finds endless reasons not to prep from adjusting the ideal height of his piano bench to snack breaks, telephone calls and gazing out at the view outside his window. Many of us are convinced Condie is a peeping tom who found a metaphor for our lives.

Toronto it’s fair to say has the product. The list of auteur offering – domestic and foreign – runs the gamut from (Roy) Andersson to Zanussi. It would be a cake walk to see three or four films a day by filmmakers with a track record such as Godard, Cronenberg, Bennet Miller, Francois Girard, Jason Reitman, Raoul Peck, Bent Hamer, Nuri Bilge Ceylan … you get the picture. The discoveries are a little harder to unearth but circumstances this year may help out in that department; certainly the dozens of email entreaties from more publicity firms than our in the heavens only go so far to that end.

Rather dramatically in late July Toronto artistic director Cameron Bailey announced (along with the unveiling of its initial slate) that any films debuted during the Labor Day weekend Telluride Film Festival would not be screened during TIFF’s opening weekend.

It’s not revealing any secrets that Toronto has evolved into a very front-loaded festival. It also doesn’t take a brain surgeon to suss out that producers, filmmakers and studios with the greatest heft want their picture screened early for maximum attention from the international media. Toronto runs 11 days but historically around day six there’s already a palpable exodus of the mainstream industry and press contingents.

Confessions Of A Film Festival Junkie: TIFF 2014 Opening Days

Friday, September 5th, 2014

The first thing you notice, or, rather, sense about Toronto is there is no recession. In the midst of festival village and all around there is massive construction. A couple of natives (and former TIFF employees) told me they hadn’t seen this level of building activity in the downtown district for at least two decades. So it’s noisy. Traffic, human and vehicular, is very stop-start. And to up the ante, the festival got the city to agree to closing off about four blocks and turning the area around the Bell Lightbox into a temporary mall with art and live music events.

Day One turned into what I missed by not going to Cannes. But let me back up slightly. I arrived Wednesday night about 20 minutes too late to get my press pass. Bright and early I got into the lineup and in what has become an annual tradition got put into the wrong line and spent an extra 10 minutes sorting things out. It’s weird that this happens virtually every year in light of the fact that Toronto otherwise is attuned to the public and industry needs and has one of the best trained volunteer staff I’ve ever encountered.

At this point I finally had a hard copy of the press and industry screening schedule and about 15 minutes to get to a movie. The old cinephile in me saw a 9 a.m. projection of Winter Sleep, this year’s Cannes Palme d’or winner by … Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the great Turkish filmmaker. How could I ignore that?

I’ll just say that the story of a famous actor in retreat to a remote part of Anatolia where his family owns property including a hotel has a fabulous opening 40 minutes (it’s 3 hours). Unfortunately the momentum seizes up from time to time with long, philosophical exchanges between the central character, his sister and his wife. It’s still well worth the effort and, need I say it, exquisitely filmed.

The other day I meant to give a brief idea of what an average day might involve. If you’re really here to watch movies, you will see three or four a day. It can be a grind and you should stop from time to time for a meal or just to catch your breath … or go to a social event. I’ve been very bad in that respect in the opening two days and sat through 10 films … believe me this has nothing to do with bragging.

Certainly near the bottom rung of my initial choices was the opening night Gala, The Judge. For the uninitiated opening nighters are often terrible because they’re targeted at patrons and the company behind the selection also has to pay for the opening night party. The Judge isn’t terrible, it’s just mediocre; a tale of a son come home (Robert Downey Jr.) to a small Indiana town for his mother’s funeral and his strained relationship with his title father (Robert Duvall). The twist is an accident that puts the old man on trial (in his former courtroom) with his son becoming his attorney. There’s also some cutesy stuff with an old flame and it’s all just a sloppy mess of emotion, humor and pathos.

Then there was the left curve I mentioned as a possibility in the last column. The tip came from Steve Gravestock, a TIFF programmer and the man who invited me to be on the Canadian jury several years ago. It’s called Corbo and centers on a high school lad who gets involved with Quebec’s radical FLQ movement back in 1966. It’s a first film of exceptional promise by Mathieu Denis with albeit some small flaws in tempo and narrative but otherwise handsomely produced and emotionally gripping. It was produced by Felize Frappier, the daughter of one of Québec’s premiere filmmakers, Roger Frappier.

Then there was the weird, the Ukrainian social thriller The Tribe about teenage hooligans. What pushes it over the edge is that they’re all from a school for the deaf and the film’s done entirely in sign language without sub-titles. The problem ultimately is that the filmmaker doesn’t quite have the skill to employ the device organically and that imbues the film with an erratic quality that keeps the action at a distance.

And briefly a thumbs up for Belgium’s amazing Dardenne frères with Deux jours, une nuit that arguably was worthy of a third Palme d’or in their trophy room. Marion Cotillard once again amazing in a tick…tick…tick tale of a woman trying to keep her factory job in unusual circumstances. Be surprised. It was also nice to see some vets back in action including Barry Levinson with The Humbling, casting Al Pacino as an actor who just can’t do it anymore. Based on a Phillip Roth short story it is lightweight fun. Conversely Polish master Krzysztof Zanussi is back with Foreign Body, the sort of complex moral tale that established him in the 1970s. It grapples with a thorny intrigue of business chicanery and manages to waft in religious piety of a decidedly Catholic nature. It’s wildly circuitous but well worth the journey.

I could say more … but I need the sleep.

The Weekend Report

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Traditionally one of the industry’s slowest sessions, the Labor Day weekend provided the usual summer’s end blahs with two new genre pics. The horror yarn As Above/So Below opened in fourth spot with an estimated $8.3 million (all figures represent only the three-day portion of the weekend) and spy thriller The November Man was a clue behind at $7.6 million.

Top grossers this skein were Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with respectively $16.3 million and $11.7 million.

Incoming exclusives were generally unimpressive with the possible exception of The Last of Robin Hood with a $23,100 tally at two venues.

New titles included a clutch of Indian titles primed to local holidays. Best of the bunch were the Hindi Rabhasa with a $303,000 tally from 86 locations and the Punjabi Double Di Trouble that grossed $153,000 at 33 screens. In Canada the venerable Trailer Park Boys generated a disappointing $72,800 for their lastest, Swearnet, from 92 playdates.

The last of the summer whine also saw a number of films including How to Train Your Dragon 2, Chef and Begin Again expending to get the last drop of seasonal b.o. juice.

The 4-day holiday should wind up with close to $135 million in ticket sales that reps a whopping 36% decline from 2013 when the third weekend of The Butler was still going strong with $20.2 million and the concert film One Direction: This is Us bowed with $18.5 million.

Based on preliminary data the summer 2014 tally will be approximately $3.92 billion. The good news is that the season managed to sidestep the sort of financial fiasco such as The Lone Ranger that invariable occurs in the hot months. The bad news is that with rare exception the major releases didn’t quite reach the box office heights anticipated and the alternative successes such as Chef and Boyhood were fewer than in past sessions.

That balanced out to the bad with a 14% box office decline from last year. Preliminary and final summer market share charts will be forthcoming in the coming days.

Weekend (estimates) August 29 – 31, 2014
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
Guardians of the Galaxy BV 16.3 (4,710) -5% 3462 274.6
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par 11.7 (3,310) -30% 3543 162.4
If I Stay WB 9.2 (3,080) -41% 3003 29.8
As Above/So Below Uni 8.3 (3,150) NEW 2640 8.3
Let’s Be Cops Fox 8.2 (2,730) -24% 3010 57.3
The November Man Relativity/VVS 7.6 (2,740) NEW 2776 9.3
When the Game Stands Tall Sony 5.6 (2,080) -34% 2673 16.2
The Giver Weinstein Co. 5.2 (1,850) -19% 2805 31.5
The Hundred-Foot Journey BV 4.6 (2,410) -13% 1918 39.4
The Expendables 3 Lionsgate 3.5 (1,380) -46% 2564 33.2
Cantinflas Lionsgate 2.6 (6,880) NEW 382 2.6
Lucy Uni 2.6 (2,040) -24% 1293 117.7
Into the Storm WB 2.5 (1,570) -34% 1603 42
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Weinstein Co. 2.1 (740) -66% 2894 10.7
Ghostbusters – 30th Anniversary Sony 1.6 (2,080) NEW 784 1.6
Boyhood IFC/Mongrel 1.4 (2,250) -13% 640 18.4
How to Train Your Dragon 2 Fox 1.1 (1,010) 122% 1096 173.4
Magic in the Moonlight Sony Classics .83 (1,890) -32% 438 8
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox .81 (1,730) -25% 468 205.2
Begin Again Weinstein Co. .78 (2,330) 2083% 335 15.3
Chef Open Road/VVS .66 (870) 368% 757 30.2
Maleficent BV .65 (1,920) 10% 338 238.5
A Most Wanted Man Roadside .61 (1,830) -29% 333 14.9
Hercules Par .59 (1,560) -31% 377 70.8
Get On Up Uni .55 (950) -41% 579 29.6
Calvary Fox Searchlight .52 (1,610) 1% 322 2.3
Planes: Fire & Rescue BV .48 (810) -17% 589 57.7
X-Men: Days of Future Past Fox .44 (560) 204% 794 233.2
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $100.10
% Change (Last Year) -36%
% Change (Last Week) -10%
Also debuting/expanding
The Trip to Italy IFC/eOne .43 (6,540) 163% 66 0.85
Rabhasa Classics .30 (3,520) 86 0.3
Love is Strange Sony Classics .26 (9,580) 121% 27 0.42
The Admiral: Roaring Currents CJ .22 (5,690) -49% 39 2
Double Di Trouble White Hill .15 (4,630) 33 0.15
Frank Magnolia .11 (2,760) 105% 41 0.21
Kundo: Age of Rampant Well Go .10 (3,900) 26 0.1
Life of Crime Roadside 94,700 (2,710) 35 0.09
The One I Love Weinstein Co, 86,300 (1,760) 79% 49 0.15
Raja Natwarlal UTV 77,200 (1,040) 74 0.08
Swearnet eOne 72,800 (790) 92 0.07
Land Ho! Sony Classics 68,800 (1,060) -11% 65 0.46
Peruchazhi Fox Star 41,400 (3,180) 13 0.04
The Congress Drafthouse 26,500 (1,890) 14 0.03
The Last of Robin Hood IDP 23,100 (11,550) 2 0.02
Starred Up TriBeCa 10,300 (5,150) 2 0.01
Temporary Family Asia Releasing 9,200 (1,840) 5 0.01
Through a Lens Darkly First Run 8,900 (8,900) 1 0.01
Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie Eleven Arts 6,300 (900) 7 0.01
The Notebook Sony Classics 3,100 (1,550) 2 0.01
Last Weekend IFC 2,700 (2,700) 1 0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Aug. 28, 2014)
Distributor (releases) Box Office Market Share
20th Century Fox (14) 1225.9 17.20%
Buena Vista (14) 1183.6 16.60%
Warner Bros. (17) 1060.5 14.80%
Sony (16) 924.8 12.90%
Universal (13) 793.3 11.10%
Paramount (11) 787.6 11.00%
Lionsgate (16) 346.1 4.80%
Weinstein Co. (19) 132.8 1.90%
Open Road (7) 118.1 1.65%
Relativity (7) 115.9 1.65%
Fox Searchlight (7) 91.3 1.30%
FreeStyle (7) 84.4 1.20%
Focus (8) 43.5 0.60%
eOne/Seville (22) 41.3 0.60%
Other * (217) 199.2 2.70%
7148.3 100%
* none greater than 0.4%