MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady

A Touch of Clash

April 4 , 2010

Ye Gods! Clash of the Titans felled the competition to take weekend bragging rights with an estimated $61.1 million. The record setting session also saw excellent results of $30.1 million for Why Did I Get Married Too?; a strong hold that generated $29.3 million for How to Train Your Dragon; and a solid $16.1 million bow for weepy The Last Song.

In the niches there were several impressive expansions but the newbies generally had no more than encouraging results. The Manhattan solo for American indie Breaking Upwards was slightly better with $16,100. But other independents ranged from good for The Greatest to ‘over’ for Don McKay and Chinese import The Warlords was fair if you factor in simultaneous video-on-demand revenues.

It was indeed Clash of the Titans in the marketplace as the Greek myth vied with the Norse animated saga for 3D venues. Ultimately How to Train Your Dragon corralled slighted more stereoscopic sites (2,000 to 1,800) while Alice in Wonderland dwindled to about 575 and Avatar clung to roughly 50.

For those sufficiently seasoned to remember the 1981 Clash — an unintended laugh riot — the new edition offers something with a lot of sound and fury … Critical response as well as Cinemascore polling of ticket buyers might be characterized as we got sold the sizzle not the steak. Crowds appeared to be aware that the epic had been retro-fitted with 3D and were not impressed … but it unquestionably proved to be a marketing asset at least for its initial weekend.

The Tyler Perry brand continued (in its own way) to be the Pixar in the non-cel arena. Why Did I Get Married Too? had a first weekend gross about 50% greater than its inspiration and second biggest in his career. The one but in his phenomenal string of successes is that his crossover appeal has been glacial even with the heightened profile provided by The House of Payne skein.

Overall ticket sales approached $180 million; setting a new benchmark for the Easter holiday frame. The gross was 40% better than last weekend and 16% improved from Palm Sunday 2009 when Fast & Furious proved true to its name with a $70.9 million debut with Monsters vs. Aliens in place position with $32.6 million.

The Last Song, the latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation (Remember Him?), got a head start on the weekend clash with a Wednesday bow and a $9.3 million gross in its first two days. The presence of Miley Cyrus further accentuated its appeal to a young, distaff crowd.

Recent alternative fare entries including Greenberg and Chloe already appear to be losing traction while The Runaways skidded off the cliff. However, the slow, steady build of City Island has been working and the big winner in multis is unquestionably Swedish thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The first of three completed films based on bestsellers by the late Steig Larsson, Dragon Tattoo and its backup combo have grossed $170 million to date internationally.

-by Leonard Klady

Weekend Estimates: April 2-4, 2010

Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
Clash of the Titans WB 61.1 (16,170) 3777 63.7
Why Did I Get Married Too? Lions Gate 30.1 (13,980) 2155 30.1
How to Train Your Dragon Par 29.3 (7,230) -33% 4060 92.5
The Last Song BV 16.1 (6,020) 2673 25.5
Alice in Wonderland BV 8.1 (2,720) -54% 2980 309.6
Hot Tub Time Machine MGM 7.9 (2,860) -44% 2754 27.7
The Bounty Hunter Sony 6.2 (1,980) -49% 3118 48.9
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Fox 5.4 (1,740) -47% 3083 46.1
Sutter Island Par 1.5 (1,120) -52% 1356 123.5
She’s Out of My League Par 1.5 (1,060) -58% 1390 28.7
Green Zone Uni 1.2 (960) -65% 1242 33.1
The Ghost Writer Summit 1.1 (1,690) -35% 656 11
Avatar Fox 1.0 (1,900) -53% 511 742.3
Our Family Wedding Fox Searchlight .74 (1,020) -69% 722 18.8
Greenberg Focus .72 (3,870) -30% 186 2.3
Repo Men Uni .53 (610) -82% 873 13.1
Chloe Sony Classics/E1 .52 (1,460) -42% 355 1.8
Remember Me Summit .49 (540) -75% 906 18.2
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Music Box .46 (5,320) 36% 87 1.4
Hubble 3D WB .43 (10,750) 12% 40 2
Percy Jackson & the Olympians Fox .36 (870) -47% 412 86.7
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $173.50
% Change (Last Year) 16%
% Change (Last Week) 40%
Also debuting/expanding
The Runaways Apparition/E1 .18 (2,150) -60% 84 2
City Island Anchor Bay .14 (5,420) 194% 26 0.25
Vincere IFC 77,800 (3,110) 62% 25 0.18
Mother Magnolia 58,100 (2,070) -29% 28 0.33
The Greatest Paladin 33,200 (4,150) 8 0.03
Max Manus D Film 16,300 (5,430) 3 0.02
Breaking Upwards IFC 16,100 (16,100) 1 0.01
Warlords Magnolia 10,400 (3,470) 3 0.01
Don McKay Image Ent. 9,500 (1,360) 7 0.01
Thorn in the Heart Osciloscope 6,400 (6,400) 1 0.01

Domestic Market Share: January 1 – March 28, 2010

Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Fox (6) 737.4 28.10%
Warner Bros. (11) 471 18.00%
Buena Vista (5) 358.2 13.70%
Paramount (6) 283.9 10.80%
Universal (7) 203.3 7.80%
Sony (11) 171.3 6.50%
Lions Gate (5) 87 3.30%
Overture (4) 65 2.50%
Fox Searchlight (3) 58.2 2.20%
Summit (5) 42.8 1.60%
Weinstein Co. (4) 34.6 1.30%
Sony Classics (8) 24.1 0.90%
MGM (1) 14 0.50%
Other * (195) 69.3 2.70%
* none greater than 0.45% 2491 100.00%

Top Global Grossers: January 1 – Aprl 1, 2010

Title Distributor Gross
Avatar * Fox 1,640,936,254
Alice in Wonderland BV 691,286,223
Sherlock Holmes * WB 304,763,633
Shutter Island Par 249,199,787
Percy Jackson & the Olympians Fox 220,433,446
Valentine’s Day WB 216,111,980
Alvin & the Chipmunks: Squeakquel * Fox 205,739,161
It’s Complicated * Uni 162,701,912
The Book of Eli WB/Summit 141,423,653
The Wolfman Uni 137,977,273
The Princess and the Frog * BV 137,899,466
Up in the Air * Par 128,709,969
How to Train Your Dragon Par 105,864,658
The Tooth Fairy Fox 100,160,177
Invictus * WB 96,996,268
The Lovely Bones * Par 92,475,508
Dear John Sony/Alliance/LGF 90,590,605
The Blind Side * WB 81,201,468
Edge of Darkness WB/GK 78,664,631
Green Zone Uni 61,881,814
* does not include 2009 box office
Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.


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