The Hot Blog Archive for February, 2018

Weekend Estimates From Down Wakanda Way

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BYOSpoilers – BLACK PANTHER

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Friday Box Office Estimates

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BYO Wakanda (Hold Those Spoilers, Even Tiny Ones)

Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..Okoye (Danai Gurira)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

Can we start without spoilers? End of the weekend, after more people have had a chance to see the film, there will be a place to freely spoiler!

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Weekend Estimates by Finally Closed Shades Klady

Weekend Estimates 2018-02-11 at 9.18.42 AM

The final 50 Shades movie looks like the first that will fail to gross $100 million domestic. Still, $250 million worldwide seems likely, so Universal can still make a bundle and the Chinese can get their money out. Peter Rabbit delivers an Emoji Movie opening, sans Poop. And The 15:17 to Paris chugs out of the station slowly. Jumanji and Greatest Showman continue to hold, their 2018 numbers outgrossing any 2018 release to date.

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Friday Estimates

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Jóhann Jóhannsson Was 48

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Black Panther: The Math, Objectively

Here is where we are heading on Black Panther.

Tracking indicates, roughly, a $150 million opening.

Huge number. 10% bigger than Deadpool. About 15% less than Beauty & The Beast.

But I am interested in the long term: people are focused on this as a breakthrough for black cinema. But I think it is a normal comic book movie with a not-the-norm visual look and style that can be seen in the ads… plus the extra commercial kick of a unique appeal to black moviegoers. That is, in theory, where the big opportunity is.

The comp would be Wonder Woman, which behaved like most good comic book movies, plus – I estimate – 20% to 25% added domestic gross from women who would normally not go to a comic book movie. There may have been some kick overseas as well, but in the rest of the world, the film was the lowest-grossing of the four DC films in 2016/2017.

The interesting element on Black Panther is that the potential group of ticket buyers who are African American who don’t normally go to comic book movies is smaller than the potential group of female American ticket buyers.

There are roughly 5.5 million African American frequent moviegoers (12 or more movies a year).

There are roughly 21 million frican American occasional moviegoers (between 2 and 11 movies a year).

If Black Panther draws, say, 25% more black occasional moviegoers than the approximate 5% of normal attendance in that group and all the frequents, that’s about 10.5 million black ticket buyers domestically… or about $120 million (roughing in IMAX, 3D, a lean to evening and weekend shows, and heavy viewing in cities) coming from black ticket buyers, over perhaps $75 million otherwise.

Then add to that, African Americans who rarely, if ever, go to the movies, the same way conservative whites came out for Passion of the Christ or American Sniper. 35 million opportunities. Find just 5% and that’s another $20 million. Of course, with something like The Passion, that opportunity was nine times bigger… reaching white and brown audiences, as well as religious black audiences.

egardless of opening, that Black Panther will be end up past Deadpool domestically… and probably just short of Wonder Woman, although $400 million is a real possibility. And I think $75 million – $100 million of that will be African Americans inspired to see a film led by African Americans in front of, and behind the camera.

The reality overseas is going to be the reality overseas. It will not likely be the same smash internationally. Anything over $400 million will be a win. Anything over $350 million will not be a disappointment. And if it’s over $450 million, it will be a breakthrough, important commercial moment for international box office for a movie driven almost exclusively by black faces.

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BYOB: Super Bowl

byob super bowl 2018

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Weekend Estimates by Wardrobe Malfunction

Wknd Est 2018-02-04 at 11.35.37 AM

Aside from single-screen releases of Oru Nalla Naal Paathu Soiren and Kiarostami’s final film 24 Frames, A Fantastic Woman is the only opening over $4,100 per screen this weekend.

Seven of the nine Best Picture nominees are still in theaters (limited releases of Get Out and Dunkirk lasted only a week),

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 11.50.01 AM

The Shape of Water chugged past Three Billboards and Lady Bird, but is in no immediate danger of cracking the Top 3 of the nine (#1 Dunkirk, #2 Get Out, #3 The Post), which would put it in the danger zone, where no film has won Best Picture since the expansion from 5 BP nominees. Box office film #4 of the BP nominees has won the big award twice in eight years… 25%. Could leap to 33.3% this year.

Only The Post and The Shape of Water are on over 1,500 screens.

Darkest Hour had a small expansion, and it and Shape should be over $50 million by the end of next weekend.

I, Tonya is a big hit for Neon, getting a film to the high end of A24 business in just its first year, when it took A24 three years. (A24, of course, is cracking their ceiling with Lady Bird, which could do close to double what the distributor’s previous top title did.)

Hostiles also is over $20 million for Entertainment Studios, though this isn’t close to the new distributor’s one hit so far, 47 Meters Down.

International worked magic for Ferdinand, which didn’t quite land here for Fox, but is nearing $300m worldwide, running just behind The Greatest Showman.

Jumanji will pass $900 million in a couple weeks, making it Top 5 for 2017, but coming short of the next level at $1 billion. Notably, that will leave only one comic book movie in the Top 5. (Star Wars, Beauty, F&F, Despicable 3.)

Enjoy the Super Bowl. I was born in Philly and am a Dolphins fan, so I should hate The Pats. But I don’t. They have earned their success, even if they cheat sometimes. I’d like an Eagles win, but I won’t be comfortable with the idea, even if they have a big lead, until the clock is under a minute or Tom Brady gets crushed in a horrible wardrobe malfunction and Timberlake has to play for him. And if the Pats win another, God bless ’em… it’s been an amazing run… and even if they keep it together for another couple years, the agony of being in their division is almost over. Hope it’s a great game!

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Friday Estimates by Super Bored Klady

Friday Estimates 2018-02-03 at 10.52.21 AM

This is the Friday the studios worked so hard to have.

The studio business starts again next weekend after a month off, essentially.

So here is the question… does Disney have responsibility to balance out the year for the film industry?

Black Panther would have opened nearly as well two weekends ago and perhaps played even better in the long run, with almost nothing in the marketplace to contend with for a couple weeks. Why is Disney waiting until February 16?

Ironically, Black Panther is already an aggressive move for Disney as is. March has been the month of non-summer/non-holiday triumphs for Disney in recent years, with Beauty & The Beast and Zootopia. They took BP halfway into February.

And I have to tell you, at risk of social media abuse, that Disney is using Black Panther to try to slingshot the launch of A Wrinkle in Time, which is in a category in which Disney has flailed in recent years, and which is not expected to be as well received critically as Black Panther. Disney looks for at least a six week window between movies that the studio sees as having blockbuster potential. Wrinkle is opening three weekends after Panther. And they only have opening weekend before the new, girl-powered Tomb Raider. Don’t assume I am pre-judging the movie. I’m just telling you what the factual tea leaves of history tell us about how Disney must see the film. (August has gone from a wasteland last summer to overripe this summer, with at least eight studio/”big” releases.)

Searchlight appears to have decided they want The Shape of Water to win Best Picture over Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. They have expanded Shape more aggressively and probably don’t want to deal with the PC squad that keeps slapping at Three Billboards for what it isn’t. Either way, a great season for the distributor.

Sony Classics’ A Fantastic Woman will be over the $10k per-screen mark, presumably less slowed by Super Bowl tomorrow. Could come up just short. Nothing else will come close.

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The Hot Blog

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“Film festivals, for those who don’t know, are not exactly the glitzy red carpet affairs you see on TV. Those do happen, but they’re a tiny part of the festival. The main part of any film festival are the thousands of people with festival passes hanging on lanyards beneath their anoraks, carrying brochures for movies you have never and will never hear of, desperately scrabbling to sell whatever movie it is to buyers from all over the world. Every hotel bar, every cafe, every restaurant is filled to the brim with these people, talking loudly about non-existent deals. The Brits are the worst because most of the British film industry, with a few honourable exceptions, are scam artists and chancers who move around from company to company failing to get anything good made and trying to cast Danny Dyer in anything that moves. I’m seeing guys here who I first met twenty years ago and who are still wearing the same clothes, doing the same job (albeit for a different company) and spinning the same line of bullshit about how THIS movie has Al Pacino or Meryl Streep or George Clooney attached and, whilst that last one didn’t work out, THIS ONE is going to be HUGE. As the day goes on, they start drinking and it all gets ugly and, well, that’s why I’m the guy walking through the Tiergarten with a camera taking pictures of frozen lakes and pretending this isn’t happening.

“Berlin is cool, though and I’ve been lucky to be doing meetings with some people who want to actually get things done. We’ll see what comes of it.”
~ Julian Simpson 

“The difference between poetry and prose, and why if you’re not acculturated to poetry, you might resist it: that page is frightening. Why is it not filled? The two categories of people who don’t feel that way are children and prisoners. So many prison poets; they see that gap and experience it differently. I’m for the gap!”
~ Poet Eileen Myles