MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady

The Weekend Report: January 30, 2011

Tune Down

The debut of the ExoRcIsT-lite The Rite possessed the top of the weekend box office charts with an estimated $14.7 million. In another soft film going frame the other national opener The Mechanic ranked fifth with an $11.1 million bow.

The session also saw the Hispanic-targeted release of From Nanda to Prada register OK results of $1 million at 256 haciendas – continuing the elusive pursuit of tapping into the nation’s fastest growing viewing demographic.

Niche and specialized debuts included a disappointing $103,000 launch for Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji on the Bollywood circuit and a dull $332,000 bow of Funkytown on 79 Quebecois screens. Also new, sorta, was Mexican Oscar submission and nominee Biutiful (following a December qualifying run) that recorded a solid $432,000 weekend at 57 venues. And of the exclusives only the American indie Kaboom created a stir with a solo screen gross of $14,700.

The first month of 2011 certainly suggests that multiplexes are losing ground with its traditional base of youthful avids. Overall box office experienced an upward weekend flutter from seven days earlier but on going double digit drops from 2010.

Exit polls indicated that both The Rite and The Mechanic’s ticket buyers were about two-thirds comprised on plus 25s. Add in the decidedly older appeal of Oscar contenders and the big picture appears decidedly grayish. The two films also debuted relatively close to tracking estimates and both, if not technically remakes/updates, toed to expectations implanted from earlier films.

Weekend revenues clocked in just shy of $110 million for a 4% hike from the immediate prior frame. It was 15% behind last year’s session when week seven of Avatar continued to hold sway with $31.3 million. Bows of Edge of Darkness and When in Rome followed with respective tallies of $17.2 million and $12.3 million.

Last week’s observation of The Social Network fatigue factor in the lingering award season manifested itself in Saturday’s Directors Guild award to The King’s Speech Tom Hooper. With Oscar four weeks in the offing the momentum for its top award now is clearly listing toward Speech with its chief competition coming from True Grit. Regardless, unlike last year most of the films with a clutch of nominations have generated $100 million at the domestic box office or are within striking distance of that benchmark.

It’s also the case that the majority of late December Oscar qualifiers that had token or were absent of nominations are struggling to stand on their own merits. The Way Back, Country Strong, Somewhere and Rabbit Hole are rapidly losing screens and The Company Men is only faring slightly better.


Weekend Estimates:  January 28-30, 2011

Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
The Rite WB 14.7 (4,930) NEW 2985 14.7
No Strings Attached Par 13.6 (4,490) -31% 3022 39.7
The Green Hornet Sony 11.5 (3,270) -35% 3524 78.8
The Mechanic CBS 11.1 (4,110) NEW 2703 11.1
The King’s Speech Weinstein Co. 10.4 (4,080) 33% 2557 71.5
True Grit Par 7.2 (2,320) -1% 3120 148
Dilemma Uni 5.4 (1,870) -40% 2905 40.6
Black Swan Fox Searchlight 4.9 (2,110) -17% 2315 90.5
The Fighter Par/Alliance 3.9 (2,020) -7% 1914 78.2
Yogi Bear WB 3.1 (1,440) -20% 2133 92.4
Tron: Legacy BV 2.5 (1.670) -31% 1505 166.7
Little Fockers Uni 2.5 (1,200) -43% 2051 144.6
Tangled BV 2.4 (1,520) -22% 1589 189.5
127 Hours Fox Searchlight 2.0 (2,200)   916 13.4
Country Strong Sony 1.2 (960) -41% 1287 18.8
Blue Valentine Weinstein Co. 1.1 (2,720) 29% 415 6
From Prada to Nada Lions Gate 1.0 (3,980) NEW 256 1
Chronicles of Narnia: Dawn Treader Fox .87 (1,190) -36% 732 101.8
Season of the Witch Relativity .73 (660) -68% 1110 23.7
Gulliver’s Travels Fox .67 (1,030) -42% 653 40.9
The Company Men Weinstein Co. .64 (3,030) -1% 211 1.5
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows, Part 1* WB .57 (1,220) -37% 465 292.2
The Way Back Newmarket/Alliance .52 ((860) -57% 602 2.2
Barney’s Version eOne/Sony Classics .50 (4,190) 12% 118 2
Megamind Par .47 (1,570) -18% 300 146.9
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)   $103.00      
% Change (Last Year)   -15%      
% Change (Last Week)   4%      
Also debuting/expanding
Biutiful Roadside .43 (7,580)   57 0.59
Funkytown Remstar .33 (4,200)   79 0.033
Another Year Sony Classics .31 (3,410) 49% 91 1.1
Rabbit Hole Lions Gate .16 (1,310) -8% 124 1.5
The Illusionist Sony Classics .13 (5,360) 66% 25 0.53
Somewhere Focus .11 (1,780) -47% 60 1.5
Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji Viva .10 (2,460)   42 0.1
Incendies eOne/Seville 91,500 (6,100) 142% 15 2.6
Ip Man 2 Variance 57,400 (2,870)   20 0.06
Kaboom IFC 14,700 (14,700)   1 0.01
When We Leave Olive 5,600 (5,600)   2 0.01
Rage Strand 3,800 (3,800)   1 0.01
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One Response to “The Weekend Report: January 30, 2011”

  1. skycapitan says:

    The “cume” section of the chart isn’t visible. Fix it?


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