MCN Originals

The Weekend Report

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 the 3-day portion of the weekend) and the spy thriller The November Man was a jot behind at $7.6 million.

The frames top grosser were Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with respectively $16.3 million and $11.7 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Guardians of the Galaxy, now the top domestic grosser for the summer, returns to the top of the box office chart in one of the weakest movie weekends of the year. And the newcomers assure that status will remain with two sub-$9m 3-day openings. On the indie side, Cantinflas will crack the Top Ten for the weekend with around $6k per-screen on 382 screens.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Pre-Venice/Telluride/Toronto Best Picture Field

It’s time for another award season to begin. And The Gurus o’ Gold are back. This week, a look at the field before the fall festivals launch. Each Guru was asked to pick 15 titles, in no order, that they see as the top contenders for Best Picture this season. Besides setting the field, it is worth noting that in the last four seasons, every film that has gone on to win Best Picture has been selected on this chart by all the Gurus or by all Gurus except for one. Take that for what it’s worth.

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The Weekend Report

Guardians of the Galaxy rocketed back to the top of the movie going hart with an estimated $17.7 million, fending off a trio of foes. Of the freshmen, only the YA adaptation of If I Stay demonstrated any real commercial strength with a third place entry of $16.4 million. The combo of football and “inspiration” tallied $8.8 million for When the Game Stands Tall and mostly firing blanks, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, plugged $6.3 million.

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The Gronvall Report: Ira Sachs On LOVE IS STRANGE

Irony is a weapon that’s most effective when wielded lightly, rather than with sledgehammer force. In the engrossing, richly textured indie drama Love is Strange, directed, co-written, and co-produced by Ira Sachs, Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina), New Yorkers who’ve been lovers for 39 years, tie the knot under their state’s recent Marriage Equality Act. But shortly after their nuptials George loses his teaching job at a Manhattan parochial school because of that institution’s opposition to gay unions. Instead of binding them closer, their wedding now drives Ben and George apart, as their sudden financial hardship forces them to sell their co-op and find separate, temporary lodgings with others.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The weekend winner will be Girls Gone Weepy entry If I Stay, Chloe Moretz’s 2nd film as a big-head poster lead. Opening day is 5% ahead of Carrie. Meanwhile, things are rough for The Weinsteins, as When the Game Stands Tall, a last drop of the pre-Rothman Tri-Star miscellaneous releasing arm, out opens Sin City 2, which is 78% off the first film on opening day.

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The DVD Wrapup: Only Lovers Left Alive, Spider-Man 2, Fading Gigolo and more

If you plan to watch only one more vampire movie this year, make it Only Lovers Left Behind. Like Tomas Alfredson and John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In and Neil Jordan’s Byzantium, Jim Jarmusch’s dreamy undead romance stands apart from the crowd of horror pictures whose sole intention is to make audiences cringe.

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The Weekend Report

A trio of new releases couldn’t unseat last weekend’s top titles, resulting in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy leading the session with estimated respective box office of $27.9 million and $24.6 million. Newcomers lined up right behind with Let’s Be Cops grossing $17.6 million, The Expendables 3 with $16.1 and YA adaptation The Giver trailing at $12.7 million.

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The DVD Wrapup: Railway Man, Boredom, Cold Lands and more

It’s not that Americans don’t already assume the worst about the CIA and mostly don’t care about the techniques used to glean useful intelligence, with much disinformation thrown in to save another beating. Fact is, our elected officials simply don’t want their constituents to know how little control they had over what happened in the execution of the war on terrorism. I was reminded of this by Jonathan Teplitzky’s The Railway Man, which graphically describes the application of torture on British POWs in World War II by Japanese soldiers and officers. In a very real sense, it serves as a companion piece to The Bridge on the River Kwai.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

We are in the dregs of summer as the movies open that look, smell, and feel like franchises, but are either on the decline or were never meant to ascend. The Expendables 3 is falling off twice as fast from the sequel as the sequel did off the original. Let’s Be Cops, despite real-world events, looks like a money-maker in spite of what reads as a weak start. And audiences have given up on the YA wannabe, The Giver. Meanwhile, Guardians passes $200m on the way to top domestic gross of the summer (still likely under $300m) and the turtle who are mutant and ninja have the expected second Friday drop and will pass $100m today.

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The Weekend Report

Ever try to put a stake through a turtle’s heart? Just when you thought the franchise had gone moribund Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stunned with an estimated $65.1 million debut that led session moviegoing. Three other films opened nationally to varying results including predictable returns of $17.8 million for the tornado commandos of Into the Storm, a soupçon better than expected $11.2 million for The Hundred-Foot Journey and a franchise-killing $6.2 million for Step Up: All In

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Wilmington on Movies: The Hundred-Foot Journey

Helen Mirren, of Great Britain is a great movie actress and Om Puri, of India, is a superb actor—and together, as they share the stage and the kitchens for their new film The Hundred-Foot Journey, they whip up quite a tasty dish: a lip-smacking love story and a culinary comedy treat.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

A big Friday for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. How strong will Saturday hold? Also, a decent drop for Guardians… the best of this summer for the $90m+ openers. And three other new entries open wide and get a kick in the teeth, the biggest of which is the effects actioner Into The Storm, which won’t manage $20 million for the weekend. The Hundred Foot Journey may survive the overly aggressive release… if it is still in theaters in a couple weeks when its audience tends to turn up. And Step Up is stepping down as a franchise.

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The DVD Wrapup: Finding Vivian Maier, Around the Block, Ping Pong Summer, L’amore in Citta, Without Warning, Need for Speed, I’ll Follow You Down, Bitten … More

The thing to remember about Vivian Maier is that, while something of a hoarder, she wasn’t a recluse. Not only was Chicago her oyster, but she also travelled internationally and recorded the habits and fashions of people representing all social classes.

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The Weekend Report

Add a franchise to the list. Guardians of the Galaxy swept up roughly half of weekend box office biz with a commanding estimated $93.2 million debut. That left the other national newcomer Get On Up working hard to secure third position with $14.1 million. Among exclusive bows there was encouraging initial response for the dark Irish walk along the Via Doloroso, Calvary, with $71,600 from four confessionals. The frame also featured noteworthy expansions for Boyhood and Magic in the Moonlight.

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Wilmington on Movies: A Most Wanted Man

Bachmann is a cynic, a spoiled idealist, an addict who chain smokes cigarettes, downs whiskey after whiskey and speaks in a rumbling monotone glib growl laced with world-weary innuendo. For his sins, he’s been assigned to the anti-terrorist office in Hamburg, a snake pit of spying and double-dealing in which murder runs rampant and catastrophes like the 9/11 World Trade Center attack are planned. You could not possibly see this part performed better than Philip Seymour Hoffman does here.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Guardians of the Galaxy opens strong. James Brown works about half as hard as Jackie Robinson. Calvary charges into the top-ten indie opening.

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The DVD Wrapup

Noah, Herzog, Grace Kelly, Deneuve, Curtains, Cuban Fire, Yellow Sun, U.S. of Secrets and more.

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The Weekend Report

Lucy had the brains and the brawn to lead weekend box office with an estimated debut of $44 million. That left that other new muscleman Hercules in the bridesmaid slot with $29 million. The third national release—Rob Reiner’s senior rom-com And So It Goes—took $4.4 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The power of Scarlett Johansson’s brain on drugs outdoes The Rock’s muscles. And FreeStyle Entertainment takes out a Michael Douglas/Diane Keaton without telling anybody, while Woody #45 opens modestly.

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MCN Originals

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Guardians of the Galaxy 3.8 3462 -21% 262.1
As Above/So Below 3.2 2640 NEW 3.2
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.7 3543 -41% 153.3
If I Stay 2.6 3003 -62% 23.1
The November Man 2.2 2776 NEW 3.9
Let's Be Cops 2 3010 -39% 51.1
When the Game Stands Tall 1.4 2673 -52% 12.1
The Giver 1.3 2805 -37% 27.6
The Hundred-Foot Journey 1.1 1918 -30% 35.9
The Expendables 3 0.85 2564 -55% 30.5
Also Debuting
Cantinflas 0.81 382
Ghostbusters - 30th Anniversary 0.49 784
Rabhasa 0.1 86
Double Di Trouble 38,300 33
Life of Crime 30,600 35
Kundo: Age of Rampant 28,900 26
Swearnet 28,300 88
Raja Natwarlal 22,100 74
Peruchazhi 14,100 13
The Congress 7,560 13
The Last of Robin Hood 7,100 2
Starred Up 2,900 2
Temporary Family 2,800 5
Through a Lens Darkly 2,750 1
Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie 2,700 7
Last Weekend 1,350 1
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
It was supposed to be a horse race (notwithstanding Belmont) but at the finish line the singular teen romance The Fault in Our Stars left the competition in the dust with an estimated $48.1 million debut. Conversely, the frame’s other major release Edge of Tomorrow proved disappointing in a distant second at $28.9 million.
Exclusive newcomers were strong, including a solo Manhattan campaign of $9,400 for Citizen Koch. Much-ballyhooed abortion-themed rom-com Obvious Child proved fertile with $84,100 at four dispensaries.
In the niches, Indian import Holiday partied fair at $373,000 while Pinoy romantic comedy Maybe This Time grossed an impressive return of $552,000 on a trifling 51 screens.
Revenues for the session exceeded $160 million and ebbed 3% from last weekend’s tally. It was 8% improved from 2013 when the debut of The Purge posted $34 million and holdovers of Fast & Furious 6 and Now You See Me duked it out for place position with respective box office of $19.6 million and $19 million.
Industry tracking pitted The Fault in Our Stars against Edge of Tomorrow with the former demonstrating a slight edge as it picked up momentum toward opening day. The adaptation of John Green’s YA novel of teens who strike sparks in a cancer support group had a prognosis of $35 million.
The tide truly turned when Fault generated $8.2 million and Edge took in $1.8 million from Thursday previews. Crystal ball-gazers upped the ante to $55 million but the picture took another surprise turn with an unexpected 31% drop from Friday to Saturday business. Strong WOM in exit polling bodes well to broaden the opening weekend crowd, a predictaly 82% of women and was 79% aged 25-years and younger.
Edge of Tomorrow appeared to suffer from the amusement park factor with the movie crowd opting to skip this particular fun ride. Tracking had pegged the pic to open at between $32 million and $34 million. Reviews were upbeat for the futuristic mayhem with a Groundhog Day twist that opened a week earlier in 27 international territories to $18.7 million.
Exit demos also indicated that the sci-fier wasn’t particularly stepping on Fault’s toes with a 61% male tilt and 73% of the audience aged 25-years and older. A studio spokesman expressed confidence for a strong second weekend hold but history and upcoming competition definitely have the picture bucking considerable odds. International prospects are already ahead of Edge of Darkness’s likely final domestic tally with a second weekend estimated at $82 million that included a $25 million bow in China, $16.6 million in South Korea and Russia with $8.6 million.
Open Road's Chef expanded effectively again, prepping $10 million domestically.
Weekend (estimates) June 6 - 8, 2014
Title
Distributor
Gross (average)
% change *
Theaters
Cume
The Fault in Our Stars
Fox
48.1 (15,160)
NEW
3173
48.1
Maleficent
BV
33.6 (8,520)
-52%
3948
127.5
Edge of Tomorrow
WB
28.9 (8,280)
NEW
3490
28.9
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Fox
14.9 (4,090)
-54%
3639
189
A Million Ways to Die in the West
Uni
7.2 (2,270)
-57%
3160
30.1
Godzilla
WB
6.0 (1.920)
-50%
3110
185.1
Neighbors
Uni
5.2 (1,940)
-36%
2674
137.8
Blended
WB
4.0 (1,370)
-51%
2928
36.5
Chef
Open Road
2.5 (1,940)
32%
1298
10.3
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Sony
1.9 (1,290)
-46%
1481
196.3
Million Dollar Arm
BV
1.8 (1,120)
-49%
1643
31.4
Belle
Searchlight
.75 (1,580)
-40%
476
7.6
Rio 2
Fox
.72 (1,030)
-35%
702
125.6
Maybe This Time
ABS
.55 (10,820)
NEW
51
0.55
The Other Woman
Fox
.48 (980)
-65%
489
83.2
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
BV
.43 (1,360)
-31%
317
255.9
Holiday
Big Pictures
.37 (2,590)
NEW
144
0.37
Heaven is for Real
Sony
.37 (830)
-54%
446
88.8
Words and Pictures
Roadside Attractions
.29 (2,940)
269%
98
0.54
Grand Seduction
eOne
.28 (3,020)
-13%
97
0.82
The Lego Movie
WB
.26 (960)
-5%
274
255.8
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Fox Searchlight
.24 (1,280)
-37%
185
57.8
Ida
Music Box
.21 (2,540)
-10%
84
1.3
The Immigrant
Weinstein
.19 (1,320)
-39%
145
1.4
Divergent
Lionsgate
.19 (650)
-43%
298
149
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)
$156.60
% Change (Last Year)
8%
% Change (Last Week)
-3%
Also debuting/expanding
Fed Up
Weinstein Co.
83,600 (950)
-49%
88
1.2
Obvious Child
A24
84,100 (21,030)
4
0.08
Cold in July
IFC
68,900 (970)
-38%
71
0.25
Night Moves
Cinedgm
48,500 (1,520)
126%
32
30,800
Lunchbox
Sony Classics
50,700 (1,100)
-9%
46
4.1
Filmistaan
UTV
35,500 (1,480)
24
0.04
WolfCop
Echolands
34,900 (4,360)
8
0.03
Ping Pong Summer
Gravitas
26,400 (1,760)
15
0.03
Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon
Weinstein Co.
23,200 (5,800)
4
0.02
Only Lovers Left Alive
Sony Classics
22,800 (760)
-53%
30
1.6
Tracks
Mongrel
13,800 (2,760)
5
0.01
Citizen Koch
Variance
9,400 (9,400)
1
0.01
Trust Me
Paladin
5,100 (565)
9
0.01
Burning Blue
Film Arcade
4,600 (380)
12
0.01
The Case Against 8
Submarine
4,300 (1,430)
3
0.01
Test
Variance
2,400 (800)
3
0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 - June 5, 2014)
Distributor
Box Office
Market Share
Warner Bros. (12)
728.5
16.80%
Buena Vista (11)
677.1
15.60%
20th Century Fox (11)
615.2
14.20%
Sony (11)
577.7
13.30%
Universal (10)
540.5
12.50%
Paramount (8)
322.2
7.40%
Lionsgate (13)
285.4
6.60%
Open Road (6)
95.1
2.20%
Fox Searchlight (5)
83.7
1.90%
Weinstein Co. (12)
76.5
1.80%
Relativity (5)
75.5
1.80%
FreeStyle (6)
68.9
1.60%
Focus (6)
39.2
0.90%
eOne/Seville (14)
35.3
0.80%
Other * (142)
107.9
2.60%
4328.7
100.00%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Domestic Grossers (Jan. 1 - June 5, 2014) *
Title
Distributor
Box Office
The Lego Movie
WB
255,590,340
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
BV
255,447,104
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Sony
194,388,396
Godzilla
WB
179,093,006
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Fox
174,401,266
Divergent
Lionsgate
148,811,524
Frozen *
BV
137,534,677
Ride Along
Uni
134,965,071
Neighbors
Uni
132,600,495
Lone Survivor
Uni/eOne
125,026,404
Rio 2
Fox
124,909,565
Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Fox
110,162,081
300: Rise of an Empire
WB
106,601,189
Noah
Par
100,950,258
Maleficent
BV
93,846,968
Non-Stop
Uni
91,869,306
Heaven is for Real
Sony
88,412,645
American Hustle *
Sony/eOne
82,661,672
The Other Woman
Fox
81,725,819
The Monuments Men
Sony
78,132,865
* does not include 2013 Box Office