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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Klady – April 26

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The opening of Obsessed brings up another interesting anomaly of the niche era of studio distribution. Of the 7 films with a higher opening gross and the one just below it – within a million dollars on opening – 4 have hit $100 million… but only one of those (Blart!) didn’t open much bigger than the other 6 titles we’re talking about. (Fast, Monsters, and Watchmen all opened over $55m… the next biggest opening is $41m for Medea Redux.)
So – sorry this is getting too numbery – the sample we’re looking at comes down to 5 films. Blart is the outlier with better than 4.5x opening. Medea in Jail is the second best multiple… at about 2.25x opening. The other two are the Friday The 13th re-do and Hannah Montana 1-D. Friday is already out of theaters and did just over 2x its strong opening. Hannah has another $10m – $15m left in the tank… which looks to make it around 2.5x opening.
Go back just 4 years to 2005 and you see the openers in that $28m – $40m range:
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As you can see… nothing happening now is all that different than what was happening then… except that the Young Teen and Pre-Teen Girl money has shifted from horror to Hannah, The Jonases, and HSM.
And so the question of the weekend is, what niches are Obsessed working with? Is it an “Urban” hit or a Teen Girl thriller? Both niches are likely to lead to a low multiple. Did they find anyone outside of these “love it and leave it” niches? I don’t know. But the question of what next weekend’s drop and ultimately, it’s domestic total – will be is not so much about “is it good?” but about who the audience for the film is. My guess is a $65m domestic total… which is a great day for Screen Gems, though you must know they are trying to figure out how to make Obsessed 2 work following this natural one-off.
Fighting, The Soloist, and Earth are all in a similar opening boat, though there is a very good chance that the best opener of the trio, Fighting, will be the lowest domestic grosser. Why? Again, niche. Fighting will have some holdover, but 2.5x opening is the best it can expect. The Soloist defines An Adult Picture… so if they can keep screens in Boca, the over 60s will find the film and it could go as much as 3.5x opening, though it will take time. And Earth is a kids play from Disney and we’ll see how they support it. There’s nothing much new for the younger kids until Night At The Museum 2. Are parents going to indulge their 8-year-olds’ demands to see Wolverine… or will they be at Earth, looking at real wolverines?

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32 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Klady – April 26”

  1. the keoki says:

    No matter what, that Obsessed number still boggles my mind. Amazing! Happy for the Earth number, good for them.

  2. jackfly11 says:

    It would be so sweet if Earth did in fact have real wolverines. I’d pay for that.

  3. LYT says:

    Fighting’s even more niche than it looks – it isn’t really an action movie at all, but a street drama with four fights as part of the plot.
    Female fans of Step Up will probably be bored. Male fight fans will wonder why there’s so much talking.

  4. Hallick says:

    “And so the question of the weekend is, what niches are Obsessed working with? Is it an “Urban” hit or a Teen Girl thriller?”
    Idris Elba is 36, Ali Larter’s 33, and Beyonce Knowles is 27. Does it threaten to qualify as a Teen Girl thriller because Beyonce’s a pop star or just because this is the type of flick that’s usually pointed at that audience?
    The more important question of the weekend is, what great need was going unsatisfied until “Obsessed” came along?

  5. LexG says:

    “Fighting” kinda ruled.
    I would’ve enjoyed the NEVER BACK DOWN-style “bonehead” movie I was expecting as well, but color me completely surprised that it’s a New York-legit character drama with a really weird/entertaining Terrence Howard performance, solid lead work by Tatum, and some S M O K I N G H O T chick. Zulay = AWESOME.
    (Anyone else notice they got the grandma from RAISING VICTOR VARGAS to repeat her performance from that film 100%)?
    Anyway, the young-skewing ‘plex audience seemed kinda bored in between fights, and it was nothing new or innovative, but had a nice New York vibe and atmosphere: I didn’t even know movies were still ALLOWED to film on the streets of NYC after all the second-unit looking shit we get from big studios. Everything was pitched at a nice, earnest level and all the actors were in good form.

  6. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Screen Gems is promoting “Obsessed” with separate banner ads for black women (“Don’t touch my man!”) and white women. Both of those ads obviously work.
    Boca Raton is a high-income city with a quasi-arthouse, so the real test for “The Soloist” will be Allentown and Fredericksburg.

  7. David Poland says:

    Beyonce’ is a pop star and Ali Larter (aka The Crossover Ingredient) is on Heroes. Teen girls don’t go to thrillers just to see themselves.

  8. Hallick says:

    “Beyonce’ is a pop star and Ali Larter (aka The Crossover Ingredient) is on Heroes. Teen girls don’t go to thrillers just to see themselves.”
    Re:The Crossover Ingredient – Two or three years ago, you would have been right; but at this point, Ali Larter’s “Heroes” cache probably has just about as much crossover appeal as Jerry O’Connell’s leftover “Sliders” mojo.

  9. Ju-osh says:

    I don’t mean to pile on Dave, but the majority of Beyonce’s fans are not teen girls — they’re women in their 20’s & 30’s.

  10. David Poland says:

    Not feeling piled on… just not a relevant (or misunderstood) stat.
    Do you think that 30 year old women were the driver for this opening? If so, maybe it is relevant.

  11. Joe Leydon says:

    David: I would bet they were at least one of the drivers. Seriously. And, as I posted elsewhere: A lot of African-American women of all ages who wanted to see a white lady suffer for fucking a black guy. Again, seriously. The truth is seldom pure, and never simple.

  12. Hallick says:

    “Do you think that 30 year old women were the driver for this opening? If so, maybe it is relevant.”
    They seem more likely to be the driver than teenage girls, considering how this kind of story was part and parcel for a certain cable channel whose motto is “Television For Women” and not “When You Wish Upon A Star”.

  13. I would think the 20-35yo female demo (or whatever the official demographic is that that section of the audience falls into, so tricky to tell sometimes) were the ones who made it a success. It does read a bit old for the teens (who propelled When a Stranger Calls to a similar opening). And trust me when I say white people are just as uninterested in Ali Larter as any other race.
    How did Friday the 13th to 2x it’s opening? It opened to $40m and grossed $65m. Or is my maths wrong.
    What a miserable showing for The Informers, too.

  14. I actually just noticed the number of screens that Obsessed is on. Probably a clearly sign that they targeted “urban” markets.

  15. bulldog68 says:

    I dont think the race element was as big a factor as Joe is making this out to be. Being black myself and knowing a few black women who want to see this movie, the white Ali Larter is irrelevant, its more the set up and the star that are the drivers here. I think if it was an all black cast with a recognizable female in the Ali Larter rols, like a Gabrielle Union or Rosario Dawson, (my mouth is watering at the prospect of seeing the three of them just rolling around,) it would not have impacted on the box office negatively, in fact, I think it may even have enhanced it, as it would have been something of a showdown between two popular black actresses, and as we all know, a black chic fight is all sorts of good. (Excuse me while I towel off.)

  16. bulldog68 says:

    ‘rols’ should be ‘role’.

  17. chris says:

    …and, incidentally, he doesn’t “fuck her.” The movie would probably be more interesting if he did.

  18. storymark says:

    For what it’s worth, being a High School teacher, I hear a lot from teen girls – what they want to see, hear, etc. I’ve yet top hear any of them mentioning wanting to see obsessed. None of them watch Heroes or have the slightest clue who Idris Alba is. I’d also doubt the teen-girl demo on this one because a lot of schools had Prom this weekend, whichmean that a semi-sizable chunk of the audience would have not been at the theatre Saturday night.
    I have heard women in their 30’s talking about the movie, though.
    Stringer Bell Forever!

  19. storymark says:

    Incidentally – I don’t teach typing skills… obviously.

  20. Josh Massey says:

    “A lot of African-American women of all ages who wanted to see a white lady suffer for fucking a black guy.”
    Of course, that would have been more apparent if they’d stuck with the original title: Oh No She Didn’t. (Seriously, check IMDB. That’s not a joke).

  21. chris says:

    And, as I mentioned, if there were any white women getting fucked by black men in the film. There aren’t.

  22. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Kami@1029: Senator promoted “The Informers” by name-checking an 80’s novel/movie. The UA East Hampton correctly passed on that and picked up baseball documentary “Sugar”.

  23. jeffmcm says:

    Sugar is not a documentary and Bret Easton Ellis has a dedicated fanbase which they considered to be the best way to sell The Informers.

  24. Chucky in Jersey says:

    The 80’s are ancient history, jeff. Dig it?

  25. Hallick says:

    I was listening to a San Francisco radio station this morning, and the DJ talked about how he used his cellphone during “Obsessed” in the only appropriate way I’ve ever heard – to record the women in the audience who were yelling at the screen throughout the movie and telling Beyonce, “Yeah – you kick that white bitch Britney Spears’ ass!”. It was hilarious and I wished I’d been at that screening.
    But the funniest thing about it was, if the roles were reversed, and a movie had somebody like Sanaa Lathan trying to steal the white husband of a white wife, if white women in the audience were recorded shouting, “yeah – you kick that black bitch Beyonce Knowles’ ass!!”, it would have been considered one of the most racist recordings since Michael Richards’ famous flame out.
    The KWYD tape was funnier to me than offensive, but it’s odd how the reverse would’ve been an outrage.

  26. jeffmcm says:

    Chucky, I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not.
    Let me ask you this, in your expert opinion: How would you have marketed The Informers?

  27. mysteryperfecta says:

    “The KWYD tape was funnier to me than offensive, but it’s odd how the reverse would’ve been an outrage.”
    You don’t mean odd; sad, maybe.

  28. Joe Leydon says:

    This tape does not surprise me in the least.

  29. Josh, that’s almost as good as when the American remake of One Missed Call was to go by the title Don’t Pick Up the Cell Phone! in Australia ( Thankfully they chose to keep the original title. I say thankfully because we don’t even call them “cell” phones here so I’m not sure who came up with that name, but it’s there on IMDb.

  30. Chucky in Jersey says:

    @jeff: That dedicated fanbase sure helped — 1 week and OUT!

  31. jeffmcm says:

    Chucky, you’re obnoxious. I never said it was a large fanbase, and I guarantee most Ellis fans never even heard of the movie because the marketing push was so small.
    I’ll ask again: How would you, marketing expert extraordinaire, have marketed that movie? I will mail you $20 bucks if you answer in a non-crazy manner.

  32. Stella's Boy says:

    I used to like Ellis and have read most of his stuff (not Lunar Park), including The Informers. Until I saw a trailer for it before Adventureland on April 11, I completely forgot it existed. Even after seeing the trailer I had no idea when it actually opened because there was no mention of the release date. I never saw a TV spot or web ad. Was it Senator’s first theatrical release? Definitely a small marketing push.

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
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