MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Number 911…

February 25, 2007
Weekend Finals
Domestic Market Share

Despite a not unexpected 57% box office decline, Ghost Rider continued to hold the top spot on weekend movie going charts with an estimated $19.5 million gross. The frame saw a quartet of new openers but none rated better than passable commercial grades. The chiller The Number 23 ranked second with $15.3 million while TV transplant Reno 911!: Miami charted fourth with $10.5 million.

The other national freshmen were The Astronaut Farmer at $4.5 million and the historical dramaAmazing Grace grossing $4.2 million. Limited release offerings including Starter for 10 and Gray Matters were a dim blip on the movie going radar screen.

With the cinematic Super Bowl looming, Sunday business is expected to take a steeper than usual drop though pundits are predicting low ratings for this year’s Oscars. Overall revenues for the frame should slightly exceed $115 million for a 26% decline from last weekend’s three-day portion of the President’s Day holiday frame. It was also down a modest 2% from 2006 when Medea’s Family Reunion bowed to $30 million.

The focus of the weekend was The Number 23 and audience response to Jim Carrey in a non-comic role. While tracking was tepid and reviews downbeat, its ultimate gross of $15.3 million nonetheless translated into sticker shock. Since Dumb and Dumber in 1994, only 2001’s The Majestic ($10.1 million) and Man on the Moon ($7.5 million) in 1999 had a lower opening weekend.

The low brow antics of television’s Reno 911 translated to its core audience more potently than last year’s effort for Larry the Cable Guy. While the modest effort should turn a nice profit, it’s far from a slam dunk to spawn a sequel.

Returns were better than expected for Amazing Grace, a biopic of 19th Century abolitionist William Wilberforce. Its niche appeal had many questioning a national release but theaters were chosen well and translated into solid averages and very good word-of-mouth.

Exit polls were also upbeat for The Astronaut Farmer but marketing and promotion failed to draw in much of a crowd. The picture failed to find an attractive hook for movie goers and now appears to be headed for the celluloid scrap heap.

Holdover titles generally experienced 40% to 50% drops with most of the major Oscar contenders experiencing less severe declines. Still they were declines and historically the last spurt prior to broadcast has reflected a surge in interest that can’t be palpably seen among this year’s slate of movies. The best one can glean in the closing hours is that the public believe Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker will take best acting honors.

The appropriately titled The Abandoned slipped onto 1,000 screens and barely registered an audible sound with a $780,000 gross. By comparison the indie efforts Starter for 10 and the gender bender comedy Gray Matters were robust in limited exposure. Otherwise their expansion prospects also remained limited.
– Leonard Klady

Weekend Finals – February 23-25, 2007

Title
Distrib
Weekend % Chan Theate Cume Wks
1 1 Ghost Rider
Sony
20,067,443 -56% 3620 79,027,540 2
2 New The Number 23
New Line
14,602,867 2759 14,602,867 1
3 2 Bridge to Terabithia
BV
14,157,645 -37% 3139 46,805,679 2
4 New Reno 911!: Miami
Fox
10,273,477 2702 10,273,477 1
5 3 Norbit
Par
9,825,021 -41% 3145 74,763,394 3
6 4 Music and Lyrics
WB
7,652,433 -44% 2955 31,715,552 2
7 6 Breach
Uni
5,994,950 -43% 1493 20,304,675 2
8 5 Daddy’s Little Girls
Lions Gate
4,815,337 -57% 2111 25,132,757 2
9 New The Astronaut Farmer
WB
4,454,319 2155 4,454,319 1
10 New Amazing Grace
IDP
4,054,542 791 4,054,542 1
11 8 Because I Said So
Uni
2,758,815 -46% 1936 38,269,240 4
12 9 Night at the Museum
Fox
2,170,661 -41% 1371 241,640,806 10
13 7 Hannibal Rising
MGM
1,706,165 -68% 1596 25,863,475 3
14 10 The Messengers
Sony
1,603,570 -57% 1492 33,400,113 4
15 11 Pan’s Labyrinth
Picturehouse
1,278,420 -42% 682 32,356,624 9
16 15 The Queen
Miramax
1,105,665 -16% 662 52,862,098 22
17 12 Dreamgirls
Par
835,251 -47% 593 101,233,784 11
18 17 The Last King of Scotland
Fox Searchlig
783,758 -11% 334 14,009,273 22
19 New The Abandoned
Lions Gate
782,000 1000 782,000 1
20 16 Letters from Iwo Jima
WB
707,311 -31% 530 12,834,854 10
21 18 Notes on a Scandal
Fox Searchlig
579,054 -32% 322 16,267,488 9
22 21 Babel
Par Vantage
443,475 -25% 289 33,806,170 18
23 28 The Lives of Others
Sony Classics
441,256 26% 58 1,315,931 3
24 22 Ma Fille, Mon Ange
Alliance
400,543 -36% 87 1,365,986 2
25 14 Epic Movie
Fox
400,236 -71% 553 38,941,409 5
26 13 Smokin’ Aces
Uni
390,650 -74% 352 35,232,966 5
27 26 Volver
Sony Class/S
319,511 -16% 250 12,900,104 17
28 27 Venus
Miramax
308,136 -18% 168 2,858,520 10
29 19 The Pursuit of Happyness
Sony
275,325 -62% 287 162,586,036 11
30 25 Blood Diamond
WB
242,611 -37% 142 56,220,154 12
31 30 Happy Feet
WB
221,523 -24% 230 194,254,584 15
32 24 Factory Girl
MGM
214,240 -58% 292 1,400,704 4
33 31 The Departed
WB
214,213 -38% 274 131,805,297 21
34 32 Casino Royale
Sony
210,077 -34% 267 167,007,184 15
35 29 Children of Men
Uni
198,660 -45% 154 34,905,193 10
36 33 The Painted Veil
WIP
184,645 -41% 140 7,214,892 10
37 20 Eklavya – The Royal Guard
Eros
182,246 -74% 80 1,100,762 2
38 23 Stomp the Yard
Sony
172,501 -70% 198 60,623,618 7
39 34 Charlotte’s Web
Par
162,465 -31% 226 81,733,289 11
40 38 Deep Sea 3-D
WB
156,569 -23% 36 23,775,558 52
41 37 Flushed Away
Par
150,037 -29% 202 64,459,316 17
42 New Nos Voisins dhamtsu
Christal
140,460 59 140,460 1
43 39 Eragon
Fox
133,365 -31% 219 74,573,402 11
44 40 We Are Marshall
WB
108,374 -41% 270 43,459,122 10
45 44 Breaking and Entering
Weinstein Co.
77,076 -47% 36 444,327 5
46 36 Arthur and the Invisibles
MGM
75,822 -62% 192 14,244,764 7
47 67 Days of Glory (Indigenes)
Weinstein Co.
69,093 255% 18 101,288 2
48 45 2006 Academy Awards Shorts
Magnolia
69,055 -35% 28 240,110 2
49 69 Little Miss Sunshine
Fox Searchlig
65,468 232% 31 59,831,476 31
50 42 Little Children
New Line
64,275 -55% 61 5,071,224 21
51 50 Magnificent Desolation
Imax
60,218 -22% 12 17,491,350 74
52 46 Unaccompanied Minors
WB
60,128 -32% 119 16,614,132 12
53 48 Roving Mars
BV
52,452 -25% 19 6,134,378 57
54 35 Catch and Release
Sony
50,800 -83% 113 15,388,860 5
55 43 Freedom Writers
Par
50,267 -65% 111 36,358,137 8
56 51 Borat
Fox
43,205 -28% 70 128,449,559 17
57 New Starter for 10
Picturehouse
37,141 20 37,141 1
58 RE Primeval
BV
33,606 118 10,576,486 7
59 49 Apocalypto
BV
32,851 -56% 73 50,829,674 12
60 47 Work and the Glory III: A Hous
Excel
30,934 -50% 38 1,150,155 14
61 New Gray Matters
FreeStyle
25,711 15 25,711 1
62 54 The Good Shepherd
Uni
24,390 -46% 61 59,873,825 10
63 53 Happily Never After
Lions Gate
23,453 -64% 39 15,719,534 8
64 57 Perfume: Story of a Murderer
Par
22,686 -41% 42 2,208,939 9
65 56 Alpha Dog
Uni
22,628 -38% 47 15,265,078 7
66 RE Black Christmas
MGM
22,349 69 16,171,703 9
67 55 The Holiday
Sony
21,203 -53% 34 63,732,877 12
68 58 Avenue Montaigne (Orchestra
Thinkfilm/Sevil
20,752 -29% 2 297,513 23
69 68 Hurricane on the Bayou
MacGillevry/Fr
19,507 -23% 5 115,925 5
70 71 Code Name: The Cleaner
New Line
19,127 -13% 30 8,307,795 8
71 75 God Grew Tired of Us
Newmarket
16,990 -41% 10 203,312 9
72 60 Sweet Land
Libero
16,679 -33% 20 1,479,192 20
Source: Nielsen EDI; MCN

Estimates – February 23-25, 2007

Title
Distributor
Gross (averag
% chang
Theaters
Cume
Ghost Rider
Sony
19.5 (5,390)
-57%
3620
78.5
The Number 23
New Line
15.3 (5,560)
2759
15.3
Bridge to Tarabithia
BV
31.6 (4,340)
-40%
3139
46.3
Reno 911!: Miami
Fox
10.5 (3,890)
2702
10.5
Norbit
Par
9.8 (3,120)
-42%
3145
74.7
Music and Lyrics
WB
8.1 (2,730)
-41%
2955
32.1
Breach
Uni
6.2 (4,130)
-41%
1493
20.5
Daddy’s Little Girls
Lions Gate
4.9 (2,310)
-57%
2111
25.2
The Astronaut Farmer
WB
4.5 (2,100)
2155
4.5
Amazing Grace
IDP
4.2 (5,330)
791
4.2
Because I Said So
Uni/TVA
2.9 (1,480)
-44%
1936
38.4
Night at the Museum
Fox
2.3 (1,660)
-39%
1371
241.7
Hannibal Rising
MGM
1.8 (1,110)
-67%
1596
25.9
The Messengers
Sony
1.6 (1,090)
-57%
1492
33.4
Pan’s Labyrinth
Picturehouse
1.2 (1,820)
-44%
682
32.2
The Queen
Miramax
1.2 (1,770)
-11%
662
52.9
Dreamgirls
Par
.88 (1,480)
-45%
593
101.4
The Last King of Scotland
Fox Searchligh
.82 (2,460)
-7%
334
14.1
The Abandoned
Lions Gate
.78 (780)
1000
0.78
Letter from Iwo Jima
WB
.71 (1,340)
-31%
530
12.8
Notes on a Scandal
Fox Searchligh
.61 (1,840)
-29%
322
16.3
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)
$111.40
% Change (Last Year)
-2%
% Change (Last Week)
-26%
Also debuting/expanding
Babel
Par Vantage
.45 (3,850)
-24%
117
33.8
The Lives of Others
Sony Classics
.38 (7,640)
82%
50
1.25
Venus
Miramax
.31 (1,850)
-16%
168
2.9
Days of Glory
Weinstein Co.
75,200 (4,180)
18
0.11
Starter for 10
Picturehouse
45,500 (2,280)
20
0.05
Gray Matters
FreeStyle
26,800 (1,790)
15
0.03
Glastonbury
Thinkfilm
1,360 (1,360)
1
0.01

Domestic Market Share: Jan 1 – February 22, 2007

Distributor (releases) Gross Percentage
Sony (10) 259.6 21.10%
Paramount (7) 198.4 16.10%
Fox (8) 183.6 14.90%
Universal (6) 155.4 12.60%
Warner Bros. (11) 107.9 8.80%
MGM (8) 71.4 5.80%
Buena Vista (9) 56.1 4.60%
Lions Gate (4) 36.7 3.00%
Picturehouse (1) 30.5 2.50%
Miramax (2) 26 2.10%
Fox Searchlight (4) 25.7 2.10%
Focus (1) 16.4 1.30%
Par Vantage (1) 13.5 1.10%
Sony Classics (4) 13 1.10%
New Line (3) 12.3 1.00%
Warner Independent (2) 6.7 0.50%
Other * (32) 16.8 1.40%
1230 100.00%
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Klady

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon