MCN Originals Archive for January, 2016

The Weekend Report

Po was on the go as Kung Fu Panda 3 led session moviegoing with an estimated $40.6 million debut. Three other national openers struggled to get a marketplace hold. The true life heroism of The Finest Hours slotted fourth with $10.2 million while spoofy Fifty Shades of Black entered the scene with $5.9 million. Belated, entangled western Jane Got a Gun barely registered with $790,000.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Easily the softest launch for a Kung Fu Panda movie… but also the first non-summer release in the series and the first encumbered by a lot of TV/streaming programming around the characters. Po will not save DWA… nor will he sink it. (And $600m overseas – which is possible – could make it a big round hit, regardless of the U.S.) The Finest Hours is the second reminder (after 13 Hours) that the January Warrior niche is not a lock at the box office. That audience is there, waiting… but like the faith audience, you need to hit them just right. And no one was much interested in Fifty Shades of Black… a parody of a parody. This is the softest open for a Wayans (any Wayans) movie in a long time.

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The DVD Wrapup: Burnt, Assassin, New Girlfriend, Patels, Mr. Robot and more

As mouth-watering as Burnt is, I would discourage anyone from assuming that all foodie movies taste the same. The cranky-perfectionist conceit works better in Daniel Cohen’s Le Chef, Jon Favreau’s Chef, Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred-Foot Journey, Campbell Scott and Stanley Tucci’s Big Night and Brittany Murphy’s largely undiscovered gem, The Ramen Girl. Also tempting are Mostly Martha and its Hollywood remake No Reservations, Woman on Top. Tampopo, Ratatouille, Julie and Julia and, of course, Babette’s Feast and Like Water for Chocolate.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Race & Race – Part 3: All Fixed

This has been an unpleasant week. And yet, there should be unrestrained celebration amongst all Academy members and all believers in efforts to seek greater (and ultimately achieve) racial and gender diversity in all film industry organizations, including The Academy.

So what is the problem?

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The Weekend Report

Crippling snow knocked out large parts of the nation’s Northeast Saturday, allowing The Revenant to dredge into first place with an estimated $16.8 million. The session featured three new national releases with Dirty Grandpa the marginal leader in fourth position with $11.6 million. Right behind were chiller The Boy with $11 million and the post-apocalyptic The 5th Wave grossing $10.4 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Blizzards and travel bans along the East coast may well be responsible for 20% – 30% lower overall box office this weekend. But there is no mistaking the weak weekend for what it is. Under the circumstances, The Revenant is holding well. Dirty Grandpa could have managed $15m or more, though the question now is whether audiences like the thing (critics don’t). STX would have had its biggest opening with The Boy… but now has to wonder whether they can postpone the launch in the snowed-in areas next weekend and make it up.

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Gurus o’ Gold: The Week After Nominations

Things seem to be firming up in the top 8 categories. The Gurus offer their Top 2 in each of the categories, except for Picture. (Also worth noting – voting was done before nominee Rampling made her statements about race and Oscar.)

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Race & Race – Part 2: Four Suggestions To “Fix” The Academy

This is where we are… the third season in the last six without a “black” film or black actor nominated. That was background… here is the foreground. Three small but perhaps important suggestions about how to “fix” the problem at The Academy. And then one last suggestion that I think may actually be the most actionable and helpful of the lot.

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The DVD Wrapup: Straight Outta Compton, Diary of a Teenage Girl, Howl, I Am Thor and more

As difficult as it might be for fans of Straight Outta Compton to believe that it was nearly shut out of Oscar competition, it’s just that hard for me be to believe that enough voters in any category actually watched enough of the movie to endorse it. Unlike The Help and 12 Years a Slave, the story behind the rise and fall of the genre-shattering hip-hop group, N.W.A., had several things working against it from the get-go. Not all of them can be attributed to racial insensitivity and the lack of diversity in the academy, although they can’t be discounted out of hand. For example, I can’t imagine any voter over, say, 40, rewarding a movie whose acoustics required them to keep a tight grip on the remote control every time the explosive musical soundtrack kicked in on their state-of-the-art Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo or DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 system.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Race & Race – Part 1: Expectations

This is the first of a series examining the issue of Race and The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. It follows a Gurus o’ Gold special edition that charted the history of the Gurus voting for Best Picture over the course of the season.

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The Weekend Report

The debut of Ride Along 2 shifted into top gear and was ahead of the pack with an estimated $34 million (all figures reflect 3-day portion of weekend). Two other films bowed nationally for the Martin Luther King holiday frame. The torn-from- headlines 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi slotted fourth with $15.7 million while the low-budget animated Norm of the North opened to $6.6 million. Exclusive bows were largely dull, save for The Lady in the Van, which parked $68,400 in four driveways

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The Revenant sticks the landing, as it builds on its strong opening with an excellent hold, guided by its Oscar nomination success. The Big Short is the only other Best Picture nominee in the Top 10, looking to hit $50 million by the end of the weekend. Meanwhile, Ride Along 2 returns to about 16% less than the original did twp years ago in the same slot. Michael Bay’s Benghazi testosterone ride opens pretty well, though not quite as explosively as some thought it might, running at about half the speed of Lone Survivor, which set the standard (after 2002’s Black Hawk Down). Barely on the radar, Norm of the North.

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Gurus o’ Gold Special: The Trajectory Of The Season

With all the controversy around the Oscar voting, we thought we would take a look at how we got to nominations Thursday. The chart shows where the contenders were, in the minds of The Gurus, in the 10 weeks of voting, from August’s pre-festival vote until the week that voting closed. We hope it is enlightening.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Nomination Day (part 1 of 2)

The Gurus (well, most of us) are back with our insta-take on where the Oscar nominees will fall. If The Gurus are right, it looks like The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road will be battling it out for the most wins, while another film wins the big prize.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Nomination Day (part 2 of 2)

back to part 1

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Nomination Morning

This morning is what has been missing from this season so far… this was, in an instant, The Great Settling… which usually occurs in mid-December or so. Or as a director once said (it’s been attributed to so many), they didn’t finish Oscar nominations, they took them away. Another week or two and they could have changed again (by 10% – 20%… not completely).

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The DVD Wrapup: The Walk, Irrational Man, Look of Silence, Bitter Rice, Last Horror Film and more

Absent any physical evidence of the edifice’s longtime mastery of the city’s skyline, Petit’s feat might just as well have been a scene from a movie.

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6 Weeks To Oscar: Parsing, Peak Award Season, and The Alleged Seven

We have all allowed the award season to become a gaping, hungry maw that leads to… the starting line. Which is insane, when you think about it. If we are at Peak Award Season Bullshit, let’s all get out the GPSes and plan a course for a change. The movies deserve it.

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The Weekend Report

Star Wars: The Force Awakens manages/estimates a 3.9x Friday weekend to push past The Revenant‘s 2.6x Friday 3-day result. Also showing strong Saturday upticks, Daddy’s Home (3.6x Friday) and Sisters (3.2x Friday).

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The Revenant arrives with a bear of an opening, thrashing Star Wars to within an inch of its $800-million-at-the-end-of-the-weekend life. The Forest arrives to a mixed number… not a bomb by the standard of the genre in January, but not a hit either. The other holdovers get hit hard by “not a holiday anymore” disease.

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MCN Originals

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Beauty and the Beast 23.8 4210 -63% 252.4
Power Rangers 15 3693 New 15
Life 4.3 3146 New 4.3
Kong: Skull Island 3.7 3666 -49% 122.8
Logan 2.6 3163 -44% 193.9
CHIPS 2.5 2464 New 2.5
Get Out 2.5 2474 -34% 141.3
The Shack 1 2330 -35% 46.3
Katamarayudu 0.67 254 New 0.67
The Belko Experiment 0.55 1341 -64% 6.3
Also Debuting
Wilson 0.1 310
Phillauri 75,200 74
Slamma Jamma 43,200 338
Car Dogs 4,800 10
I Called Him Morgan 4,200 1
The Second Time Around 2,400 3
In Search of Israeli Cuisine 2,400 2
Bokeh 1,800 9
Afterimage 1,200 3
Tuktuq 1,100 2
Dig Two Graves 1,000 7
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