MCN Originals

Friday Estimates

Kingsman 2 lands, delivering another strong opener in, most likely, the best September ever. Content, content, content. Also arriving, The Lego Ninjago Movie, a rare miss for WB these last few months, a signal that the Lego Movie Universe has a more narrow scope than the studio had hoped. Tough drops for American Assassin and mother!. Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios has its first wide-release flop with Friend Request. And Stronger has a soft start on an odd screen count of 574 screens.

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The DVD Wrapup: ET, Vietnam, Big Sick, Glory, Certain Women, The Hero, Hana-Bi, By the Time It Gets Dark, The Prison, The Flesh, Moderns … More

I wonder how many kids and young adults have only watched E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Close Encounters of the Third Kind on screens smaller than a Mini or Fiat. There probably have been plenty of opportunities to catch a special screening at a plus-size theater with state-of-the-art visuals and sonics, but the temptation to watch something with less mileage probably outweighed the advantages of seeing these masterpieces the way Steven Spielberg intended.

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23 Weeks To Oscar: Actors!!!

This is a good year for movies. It may become the most boring Oscar race in living memory. Why? Because even though the answers are not 100% clear in any category yet… the reason that no one has taken “absolutely winning” position is not a lack of great performances, but a distinct lack of “must win” candidates.

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The Weekend Report

The nation definitely has It as horror held sway in its second weekend with an estimated $59.4 million. That left a pair of newcomers scrambling for scraps. The high octane thriller American Assassin was a distance second with OK response of $14.6 million while parable paradise mother! had a chilling response of $7.5 million.

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Confessions of a Film Festival Junkie: Shape of Water, The Florida Project

I was in line for a French film when it was cancelled and this was its replacement. A fellow queuer said, it’s the new Sean Baker, and people love it. I’d seen Baker’s earlier MTV series “Greg the Bunny” and his L.A.-by-iPhone Tangerine but they didn’t prepare me for this: a documentary-like view of poor people who inhabit a residential motel in Orlando, only a few miles from Disney World.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

It remains the story. It’s starring Michael Keaton? No, that’s on second. Does it star Jennifer Lawrence? No, that’s on third. It is on third? No, that’s on first. Let me get this clear. Reese Witherspoon is up for an Emmy… Yes. And she’s home? She’s going to The Shrine. Not home? Right. It’s not home. It’s on first. You muther… Second base!

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The DVD Wrapup: Beatriz at Dinner, The Mummy, Soul on a String, The Resurrected, Spider, The Apology, Glen Campbell and more

Although Miguel Arteta and Mike White have proven perfectly capable of creating edgy dramedies of their own — HBO’s “Enlightened,” The Good Girl, Chuck and Buck – I can’t help but see Neil LaBute’s darkly comic influence in their latest collaboration.

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24 Weeks To Oscar: Where We Are After TIFF

Only two movies came out of North American premieres at TIFF (which is essentially over, even though it goes on for five more days) with legitimate Best Picture hopes, Molly’s Game and the Venice premiering Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

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Docs on Box: “Abacus: Small Enough To Jail” and “100-Year-Old Lovebirds”

Portraying the drawn-out trial, so many socioeconomic factors and issues are introduced, discussed, argued. Larger implications abound.

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The Weekend Report

It‘s a boy! A VERY BIG BOY.

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Confessions of A Film Festival Junkie: Opening Toronto

Still all that bonhomie threatened to come undone as I entered the Scotiabank Theatre multiplex for my first screening. Last year, its up escalator broke down opening day and was out of commission for four days after. It broke again and a volunteer chirped, “It was working fine yesterday.” And by the time I’d finished watching a double header, it seemed to be working just fine.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

How ’bout It?

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25 Weeks To Oscar: What Happened In Telluride

Twenty-nine new films premiered (or close to it) at Telluride. About half figure in the award season. The two clear winners – at a festival without a competition – were Lady Bird (which gets first billing as the less-expected smash) and Darkest Hour, a movie highly anticipated for the performance of Gary Oldman… and then overdelivered. Expect Best Picture nominations for both. From there, it gets complicated.

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The DVD Wrapup: Band Aid, First Kill, Iron Protector, All Eyez, Wedding Plan, Maurice, Big Knife, Narcos 2 and more

In her directorial debut, Zoe Lister-Jones walks the razor-thin line separating relationship dramedy and millennial mockumentary. The 35-year-old Brooklyn native maintains her balance throughout Band Aid, while continually switching the hats typically worn by writers, actors, producers and lyricists. It demonstrates how well she’s paid attention to her environs – not to mention, dues — on the long road to prominence in a cutthroat business. Lister-Jones isn’t there quite yet, but her face should be familiar to viewers of such sitcoms as “Life in Pieces,” “Whitney,” “New Girl” and “Friends with Better Lives.”

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Four-Day Weekend Estimates

The gravity of the situation demands an industry initiative equivalent to the Manhattan Project.

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The Weekend Report

Labor Day celebrations steered clear of the multiplex as The Hitman’s Bodyguard shot up its third weekend, with an estimated $10.3 million for the three-day portion of the extended weekend. There were no wide national releases but a couple of films debuted in a limited wide in what’s traditionally the year’s lowest-grossing holiday. The fortieth anniversary release of the 4K Close Encounters restoration opened in the lucky 13 spot with $1.8 million while the period thriller (as in the suspense over how long it’s taken to reach theaters) Tulip Fever grossed $1.2 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The lame remains the same: Hitman’s Bodyguard and Annabelle top the charts for a second Friday.

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The DVD Wrapup: Ronin, Wedding Banquet, The Stranger, Baywatch, Bring It On, Dean, Born in China and more

On a rain-swept night in Paris, an international crack team of professional thieves, weapons buffs and a computer geek assembles in an old-fashioned neighborhood bistro, summoned by a shady crime syndicate fronted by the enigmatic Deirdre. None of the crooks appear to know each other or the special skills they’re bringing to the table. They will be handsomely paid to steal an aluminum briefcase, handcuffed to the arm of their mark, who’s guarded by several armed men – presumably, ronin, themselves, — and safely make the transfer to Deirdre’s employers. It serves as Ronin’s McGuffin. No matter what the briefcase contains, its theft will inspire two unquestionably great car chases, one through the narrow streets of Nice, the other in Paris; a shootout in and around the centuries-old Arles Amphitheatre and Café Van Gogh; and a sniper attack inside a Paris skating rink. If it sounds confusing, it’s only because viewers aren’t supposed to be able to separate the white hats from the black hats until the final reel.

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Premiere: “Raising Bertie” On POV

One of my favorite docs of the year, Margaret Byrne’s long-in-the-works Raising Bertie, is a behaviorally rich and visually ravishing six-year immersion into the largely African-American North Carolina farming community of Bertie County.

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The Weekend Report

The second weekend of The Hitman’s Bodyguard led  with an estimated $9.9 million as summer ticket sales plunged to their lowest level in a decade. Among new releases, animated Leap! ranked third in the lineup with a $4.8 million debut and Bruce Lee biopic Birth of the Dragon struggled to $2.5 million. In medium-wide release, a crisis of faith and viewers for All Saints gave a $1.6 million kneel. The revival of Terminator 2 also failed to melt with a $572,000 tally from 386 stereoscopic engagements. There was a significant expansion for Wind River that held up comparatively well.

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MCN Originals

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Kingsman: The Golden Circle 15.1 4003 New 15.1
It 9 4007 -53% 245.4
The Lego Ninjago Movie 5.7 4047 New 5.7
American Assassin 1.9 3154 -68% 21.8
mother! 1 2368 -67% 11.2
Home Again 1 2685 -41% 20
Friend Request 0.7 2569 New 0.7
Stronger 0.5 574 New 0.5
The Hitman's Bodyguard 0.5 2037 -52% 72.2
Wind River 0.4 1431 -52% 30.8
Also Debuting
Jai Lava Kusa 0.27 179
Battle of the Sexes 0.16 21
Nikka Zalidar 2 95,600 45
Victoria & Abdul 55,800 4
Bhoomi 15,100 37
Les Rois mongols 14,200 34
The Tiger Hunter 9,600 42
Woodshock 5,550 3
The Tag-Along 2 3,800 7
Bobbi Jene 3,000 1
Unrest 2,950 1
Axis 2,700 1
I Can Speak 2,200 2
The King's Choice 2,100 2
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4