MCN Weekend

Friday Box Office Estimates

This is the weekend where Split opened to $40 million last year and xXx3 to $20 million. Nothing like that this year. Although a horror film, Split had a strong appeal to women. 12 Strong and Den of Thieves, no. The one female reach-out, Forever My Girl, looking like warmed-over Nicholas Sparks, is on only 1,115 screens and may be adversely affected by The Women’s March. These three new titles will not gross as much this weekend as the opening of Split last year. Oscar expansions should turn up in the Top 10 next week, following nominations. But there’s no big opener until February 9.

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The DVD Wrapup: Matinee, Crooked House, Jawbone, Cook Off!, Blue World Order, Into the Amazon, Tuxedo Park and more

I wonder if kids today, are being prepped for the possibility of a nuclear strike. I haven’t read any reports of people stockpiling goods or hurriedly digging holes in their backyards for bomb shelters, as was the case during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. It’s possible that Americans not only have convince themselves that cooler heads will prevail, as they did then, or they no longer can be conned into believing that ducking underneath a desk and covering their heads could protect anyone from becoming toast. Fifty-five years ago, however, that’s all the hope American school children were given. In Joe Dante’s wonderfully nostalgic Matinee, kids living in Key West, Florida – 90 miles from Cuba, where Soviet missiles were being pointed directly at them – were allowed to take a break from ducking-and-covering exercises long enough to enjoy a movie about a man who turns into a giant ant after a botched X-ray exam at the dentist.

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The Weekend Report

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle took top spot for the holiday frame with an estimated $27.1 million. Not far behind with $18.6 million was The Post that went wide after three weeks in exclusives. (All figures reflect 3-day figures; chart will be updated tomorrow). Three national debuts opened respectably. Ticking-clock The Commuter landed third with $13.2 million while family-targeted Paddington 2 cuddled up to $10.5 million. Proud Mary, advertised as kin of John Cassavetes’ 1980 thriller Gloria, bowed to $9.8 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Jumanji continues as king of the jungle. The Post expands pretty much as expected. Liam Neeson and Jaume Collet-Serra team up again and do a little better than Run All Night, but not as well as Non-Stop. Proud Mary comes up short of tracking, but not as badly as it probably deserves. And Paddington 2 starts slow, but should pop up to #4 for the weekend as kids flood the room today and tomorrow.

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The DVD Wrapup: 68 Kill, Bad Day for the Cut, Friend Request, Tiger Hunter, CERN, Conduct!, Macon County Line and more

January is also prime time for studios to dump disappointments and question marks into theaters, before a fast turnaround on video. Occasionally, an overlooked gem will sneak into circulation – last year’s The Founder and Split, for example — but it won’t be because anyone saw it coming. I’ve found a few titles that fit that description.

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The Weekend Report

Unlike Blade Runner 2049 moviegoers were undeterred that they hadn’t seen 1995’s Jumanji (both were box office disappointments at the time of their respective releases) and put its sequel Welcome to the Jungle on top of the weekend chart with an estimated $36.1 million. The session’s sole new wide release – from a more vigorous franchise – Insidious: The Last Key was close behind with a $29.2 million debut.

With the Golden Globes hours away, a number of titles did strategic expansions including such contenders as Darkest Hour, I, Tonya and Molly’s Game. The trio maintained strong commercial momentum.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The first weekend of 2018 is already stronger than the first weekend of 2017, led by a single newcomer, Insidious 4, whose Friday gross is about 2.5x last year’s first release, Underworld 5. Likewise, top holdover Jumanji 2 is about 25% stronger than last year’s Hidden Figures. And Star Wars: The Last Jedi is about 10% ahead of Rogue One, both on their 22nd day, as TLJ heads to something around $625 million domestic, aka #5 all-time domestic. Molly’s Game and Darkest Hour expand significantly while a few still-limited awards hopefuls expand incrementally.

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The DVD Wrapup: Chavela, Teacher, Shadowman, Shock Wave, Laugh-In and more

After getting sober, with the help of natural healing agents introduced to her by an Indian family that took her in, Vargas returned to the stage in 1991, performing at a bohemian Mexico City nightclub called “El Hábito.” Many fans of her recorded music, including Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, had assumed that she had succumbed years earlier. When he learned that Chavela was performing in Mexico, Almodóvar arranged for his personal muse to headline sold-out concerts in Madrid, Paris and New York’s Carnegie Hall. Although she had long dreamed of singing in such venues, her “overnight success” came late in her life. In her autobiography, Vargas also came out, which opened the door to a new demographic.

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The Weekend Report 4-Day Chart

The 4-day holiday doesn’t vary much from expectations set in the 3-day estimates, aside from Pitch Perfect 3 being softer and All The Money In The World, Molly’s Game and Darkest Hour being stronger. It’s all within a couple percentage points and not really a story to worry about on New Year’s Day.

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The Weekend Report

The final weekend of 2017 was a horse race between Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle with the former grossing an estimated $52.7 million and the latter close behind with $50.9 million. There were no new national releases but All the Money in the World and Molly’s Game had their first full weekends, with the poker opus surprisingly strong in its limited wide exposure.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Star Wars: The Last Jedi becomes the second fastest release to pass $500 million domestic today, ahead of Jurassic World and showing no signs of negative drag, aside from not matching the phenomenal opening of The Force Awakens, the first Star Wars movie in a decade. Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle is living up to box office expectations, heading to over $175 million domestic through the holiday, making it the biggest non-F&F Dwayne Johnson movie ever. Things are less happy after these two, with Pitch Perfect 3, The Greatest Showman, Ferdinand, All The Money In The World, Darkest Hour, and Downsizing are all underperforming even modest hopes.

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The DVD Wrapup: The Year’s Top Titles, plus True Love Ways, Killing Gunther, Rock Docs, Unabomber and More

Titles that received a limited release in theaters or none at all make up my year-end list of DVDs and Blu-rays. Some are restored classics, while others are genre specimens that got lost in the crowd.

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The Weekend Report

Star Wars: The Last Jedi dominated with an estimated $68.8 million box office for the three-day portion of the weekend (all figures reflect three-day grosses). Five new movies leapt into the holiday melee to mixed results.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The arrival of five, count ’em, five wide releases looking to take advantage of the Christmas window with one more landing on Christmas Day means… well… there are two more wide releases than last year in this window, and in limited releases meant to go wide, one fewer than last year’s five. So as the marketplace shows that people are willing to go see movies they are interested in on virtually any date, the industry keeps packing them into the traditional windows. Theatrical isn’t in trouble… but myopia causes problems, even on the holiday weekend. It’s not that the market can’t expand to allow for multiple big hits. It’s that the messaging is getting so thin with so many titles in play at one time, it can’t get an attentive foothold to propel bigger numbers.

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The DVD Gift Guide 3: 100 Years Olympics Films, One Day at a Time, Monterey Pop, 4K UHD/HDR Action Editions, Coens, Nutcracker, Stronger, mother!, Leatherface… and more

If the Olympics could bounce back from two world wars, there’s no reason to think peace isn’t be possible in our time. “100 Years of Olympic Films” spans 41 editions of the Olympic Games, from 1912-2012, in 53 surprisingly comprehensive and impeccably restored movies.

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The Weekend Report

Four decades have not tarnished the Star Wars universe as The Last Jedi debuts domestically with an estimated $219.6 million. More than three of every four tickets sold this past weekend were spent on the eighth installment of the series. Efforts to counterprogram put Ferdinand, the animated bull, in the ring, where he landed a distant second with $13.3 million.

There were no significant exclusive debuts but previously limited titles had significant expansions. Wonder Wheel added 489 playdates and fizzled with a $460,000 box office. Slow rollouts of awards contenders The Shape of Water, Darkest Hour and Call Me by Your Name maintained strong five-figure averages.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

In what should not be a shocker, Star Wars: Episode 8 The Next Of Many did not have the explosive launch that Star Wars: Episode Seven – The First In a Decade. Still, the best December opening ever – aside from the aforementioned last Star Wars Mainframe – and a 30%+ bump from Rogue One, aka, the first offshoot episode. We know that Empire did a third less than Star Wars, right? Let’s not be surprised and horrified if The Last Jedi grosses only $600 million domestic, making it the sixth biggest domestic grosser of all-time. Attempting to counterprogram, Fox released a Blue Sky animated movie that will skew young, Ferdinand, to a brutal level of disinterest. The irony of the two openers this weekend is, also, brutal.

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The DVD Wrapup: Trip to Spain, Lucky Goat, Viceroy House, Victoria & Abdul, Manolo and more

I wonder how much, if at all, estimable Brit director Michael Winterbottom was influenced by Louis Malle’s indie sensation My Dinner With Andre – or, for that matter, Andy Kaufman in My Breakfast with Blassie – before embarking on the first BBC mini-series, The Trip. In Malle’s film, quintessential New York City raconteurs Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory meet for dinner at a fancy restaurant to reconnect after one of them disappeared for a few years. The don’t particularly like each other, but they manage to share two hours in each other’s company, engaged in the lively art of conversation. Dinner was so convincing that many, many viewers assumed that their conversation played out in real time and was wholly improvised. In fact, it was scripted, rehearsed and shot in a chilly Virginia restaurant that was closed for the winter. It still holds up. In The Trip, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are asked by the Observer to tour the finest restaurants in the Lake District and document the experience. Their goofy exchanges, impersonations and kvetching only occasionally detract from the magnificent scenery.

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The Weekend Report

It was a Coco three-peat as the animation led weekend biz with an estimated $18.5 million in a not-terribly festive frame. In one of the lowest-attended weekends of 2017, the sole new national opener was Just Getting Started, at tenth with $3.2 million.

The national expansion of The Disaster Artist laughed up $6.4 million. Also continuing slow roll-outs were Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.  Among exclusives, I, Tonya pulled off the box office equivalent of a triple axel with a $248,000 debut from four rinks.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

A second consecutive abandoned weekend by the majors. Broad Green tries to take advantage of the hole by quietly rolling out Just Getting Started as the only wide release, but can’t come close to numbers that majors saw as failing when they opened this date in years past (including last year’s Office Christmas Party, which opened to $16.9m). As a result, soft drops across the board for holdovers and room for expanding awards hopefuls. The big winner is The Disaster Artist, which had a strong launch last weekend on 19 screens and expanded to 840 this weekend with a $6 million-plus weekend coming. Lady Bird passes $20 million today. And I, Tonya launches with a likely $70k-ish per-screen on four.

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MCN Weekend

Antoine Ratliff on: The DVD Wrapup: Letter From An Unknown Woman, Despicable Me 3, Crucifixion, Maurizio Cattelan, A New Leaf, Silent Night and more

Fernando on: The DVD Wrapup: King George, Cars 3, Overdrive, Afterimage, Glass Castle, Whisky Galore, The Journey, Into the Night, Sissi, Stay Hungry and more

Sam on: The Weekend Report

Peter on: The Weekend Report

Woody on: 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

Isah Adomoc on: The Weekend Report

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K. Bowen on: The Weekend Report

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
12 Strong WB 5.6 3002 NEW
Den of Thieves STX/VVS 5.6 2432 NEW
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Sony 4.8 3704 -21%
The Post Fox 3.5 2851 -41%
The Greatest Showman Fox 3 2823 -2%
The Commuter Lionsgate 2 2892 -57%
Insidious: The Last Key Uni 1.8 2546 -48%
Paddington 2 WB 1.8 3702 -27%
Star Wars: The Last Jedi BV 1.6 2456 -41%
Forever My Girl Roadside Attractions 1.5 1115 NEW
Also Debuting
Mary and the Witch's Flower Gkids 0.31 149
Hochelaga, Terre des ames Seville 40,900 32
Colao Caribbean 36,100 7
A Better Tomorrow 2018 Media Asia 19,900 31
The Final Year Magnolia 18,900 28
The Road Movie Oscilloscope 5,800 14
Mom and Dad Momentum 5,500 50
Beuys Kino 3,400 1
Small Town Crime Saban 2,100 9
A Ciambra IFC 1,700 1
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