The Hot Blog Archive for December, 2017

BYOB: Globes

byoboscarweek650

7 Comments »

Weekend Estimates by No Top 10 Over $8k Per Screen Klady

Weekend Estimates 2017-12-10 at 9.31.07 AM copy

Only one new wide release this week… from Broad Green with Just Getting Started, which didn’t. But there are expansion success stories in The Disaster Artist, The Shape of Water, Darkest Hour, and Call Me By Your Name, as well as the successful four-screen launch of I, Tonya.

18 Comments »

Friday Estimates By Where Are The Movies? Klady

Friday Estimates 2017-12-09 at 9.18.26 AM

There are five wide releases in a two-day stretch the week after Last Jedi. Three are comedies. Two are action movies. And Fox is counter-programming Jedi with an animated bull, which seems suicidal. (The move, not the bull.)

But hell if they are going to take anything out this weekend!!!

The film business keeps finding new niches for distribution and success where there once was little success, with the basic premise that If Audiences Want It, It Doesn’t Matter When You Release It. Yet, they will leave a full month of the calendar without product (such as August and September of this year). And now, they will abandon two weeks after Thanksgiving because… uh… well… Paramount failed to get big audiences for two comedies on the second weekend after Thanksgiving in the last three years, so it must be a dead zone.

Here is the message that the studios need to get:  if ticket buyers don’t show up, it’s your fault.

There is such a thing as a wrong date. Bad Mom’s Christmas or Daddy’s Home 2 would have probably played better in the month of Christmas than weeks before Thanksgiving. Both overcame the terrible dating enough not to be disasters, but both left, probably, 30% – 50% of their potential domestic grosses on the table.

But if a studio really believed in a movie, Star Wars next weekend shouldn’t scare them off this weekend. There will be damage against a mega-opener. But even the last time, when two studios decided to go up against Force Awakens, the drops for the holdovers was not brutal. And the one major release the weekend before was Heart of the Sea, which arrived as damaged goods.

Did Passengers benefit from being in a December 21 cluster or would it have been better off the weekend before Rogue One? How about Why Him?

I looked at It this last September and I looked at the history and that film’s eventual  opening was a super long-shot. But it happened. 2.5x the opening of any other September film ever and almost 2x the domestic gross.

A teachable moment.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was another. Suicide Squad. Deadpool. American Sniper. Molds broken.

And there is this… a movie that has a soft opening coming is going to have a softer opening in a crowd.

We no longer live in a purchasing universe driven by habit. More than ever, every opening stands alone. Summer is a real thing. Thanksgiving and Christmas-New Years week is a real thing. But four of the Top 10 domestic grossers last year and probably the same this year will come out of other periods.

Will Father Figures survive its release date? Would the sequel to Bad Moms have done better this weekend and played stronger over the Christmas weeks than it did over Thanksgiving? Would Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle have done better before Star Wars than after?

Studios spend a lot of time and people power trying to answer these questions six months, a year, even two years out. Perhaps that is why the answers often end up being more safe than risky. I still believe WB didn’t expect It to do the business it did or they would have put it in August (and would have made more). It proved you could have a $100m September opening. But it also reminded us that, sometimes, these things happen by happenstance as much as planning.

The Disaster Artist is killing it. $8k+ per-screen on 840 for a movie about a failed movie-turned-cult film starring an actor who is not a big opener.

Lady Bird passed $20 million and will get an awards boost on its way to becoming A24’s biggest movie.

Three Billboards is solid, if not spectacular.

Wonder will be just short of $100 million after this weekend.

And Just Getting Started, which braved this weekend, is a $3 million turd in the punch bowl (which has to be about the amount they paid Morgan Freeman).

23 Comments »

Academy’s Doc Short List… & DP/30

Congratulations to all 15 short-listers. Here are DP/30 interviews with seven. There are two more (One of Us and Strong Island) that will be up soon. The other six short-listers are Ex Libris – The New York Public Library (here’s a Fred Wiseman interview from another doc), Faces Places, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, LA 92, Last Men in Aleppo and Unrest.

1 Comment »

Weekend Estimates by Blasé Klady

Weekend Estimates 2017-12-03 at 10.32.28 AM

Very exciting weekend.

$81,600
$69,500
$62,840
$28,460
$26,950

The Shape of Water, Call Me By Your Name, The Disaster Artist, Lady Bird, Darkest Hour.

Three or four of these will be Best Picture nominees. earning their way there. The most remarkable run of the year is Call Me By Your Name, which set the per-screen record for the year last week and killed it again in its second weekend. It’s the most impressive per-screen as Searchlight pushed out The Shape of Water onto only two screens… still a great opening for Guillermo & Co, just not quite as amazing as Call Me.

On the next level down on the per-screen but up on the screen count are Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, each around the $4.5 million mark for the weekend on 1.430 screens and 1.194 screens respectively.

(Added Note 6p – I obviously forgot to include Dunkirk in this piece… which was just stupid of me. Apologies.)

Add The Post and Phantom Thread and you are looking at your Best Picture group, with one or two wild cards (Get Out, The Big Sick, The Florida Project, Victoria & Abdul) filling the playlist with a few super-longshots (Wonder, Blade Runner 2046, Wonder Woman, Mudbound, Downsizing, The Last Jedi) holding hope.

Meanwhile, at the commercial cinema, Coco is doing well. Behind Moana by about $10 million after its second weekend. Coco has made a huge splash in Mexico, but we’re a while from knowing how the rest of the world will embrace the film. A success. Degree to be determined.

Justice League is fading fast. Still, it is closing in on $600 million worldwide. It can still lose money. Or it could make a few bucks, depending on how much the reshoots actually cost. In context, it is a carwreck. Figure it will close out with about $650m – $675m worldwide in the bank, well off of Batman v Superman. WB gained a viable Wonder Woman franchise this year, and now, a potential Flash franchise, but no one is clamoring for Aquaman, Batman is being replaced, Superman is inert and Cyborg may be of value in Teen Titans Go Live. There is nothing easy about building a “universe.” But remember, WB is not just having a hard time now. It’s been struggling with this for decades.

Wonder is the happy story of the season. Who saw this as a $100 million movie? You? Unless you are a producer on the film who spent a decade trying to get it made… LIAR! It is shocking to realize how Julia Roberts’ box office power crashed right after her Oscar-winning role in Erin Brockovich. This will be her first $100 million movie in a lead role since then, a long 17 years ago.

Thor: Ragnarok is still kicking. Disney is in full Star Wars mode now, but if I were them, I would have thrown some new TV spots at Thor this last weekend for the most fun comic book movie around. November is the weaker choice for comic book and animated movies, even though there have been massive hits from there in recent years. Still, Thor: R is now in the Marvel Extended Universe Domestic Top 10 and still may move up a slot or two. It’s already #7 worldwide and may well get past Guardians 2. My point? Thor: R would have probably generated another $100 million if it had opened in the summer and made the Marvel Top 5.

And how much did Coco leave on the table by opening in November?

Daddy’s Home 2 and Murder on the Orient Express chug towards $100 million domestic. Murder is over $200 million worldwide, making it a solid money-maker for Fox.

Finally… documentaries.

Twelve million-dollar docs so far this year. Five were niche religion releases from Fathom.

In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem – $2.5m
Is Genesis History? – $1.8m
Mully – $1.5m
Genesis: Paradise Lost – $1.4m
Chonda Pierce: Enough – $1.3m

Disney’s nature docs are not released like other docs, and as a result, Born in China leads all docs with $13.9m.

Of the rest, only I Am Not Your Negro was a 2016 awards qualifier.

I Am Not Your Negro – $7.1m
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – $3.5m
Kedi – $2.8m
Jane – $1.3m
Steve McQueen: American Icon – $1.2m
Step – $1.1m

72 Comments »

Friday Estimates by Dead Week Klady

Friday Estimates 2017-12-02 at 8.52.30 AM

On one of the weeks that’s a Hollywood dead zone, no new wide releases. The story, aside from the ongoing deterioration of Justice League, is the small pictures, most of which have awards ambitions. A24’s The Disaster Artist leads the pack with $26,000 per screen on 19 in its debut. That’s about what Lady Bird started with, but on 19 screens instead of four. Impressive, though on a quicker burn. Searchlight’s The Shape of Water also debuts at roughly the same per-screen, but on two. Wonder Wheel is looking at a per-screen in the 20s in a five-screen debut. Three Billboards more than doubles its screen count, leaping to 1430 screens, while Lady Bird expands to 1194, with the films neck-and-neck for the weekend.

4 Comments »

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Would I like to see Wormwood in a theater on a big screen? You betcha. I’d be disingenuous to argue otherwise. But we’re all part of, like it or not, an industry, and what Netflix offers is an opportunity to do different kinds of films in different ways. Maybe part of what is being sacrificed is that they no longer go into theaters. If the choice is between not doing it at all and having it not go to theaters, it’s an easy choice to make.”
~ Errol Morris

“As these stories continue to break, in the weeks since women have said they were harassed and abused by Harvey Weinstein, which was not the birth of a movement but an easy and highly visible shorthand for decades of organizing against sexual harassment that preceded this moment, I hope to gain back my time, my work. Lately, though, I have noticed a drift in the discourse from violated rights to violated feelings: the swelled number of reporters on the beat, the burden on each woman’s story to concern a man “important” enough to report on, the detailed accounting of hotel robes and incriminating texts along with a careful description of what was grabbed, who exposed what, and how many times. What I remember most, from “my story” is how small the sex talk felt, almost dull. I did not feel hurt. I had no pain to confess in public. As more stories come out, I like to think that we would also believe a woman who said, for example, that the sight of the penis of the man who promised her work did not wound her, and that the loss she felt was not some loss of herself but of her time, energy, power.”
~ “The Unsexy Truth About Harassment,” by Melissa Gira Grant