MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady

The Weekend Report: March 20, 2011

Josh, Paul, Engorge and … Rango

The mind expanding thriller Limitless debuted at the top of weekend movie charts with an estimated $19 million. The session also saw two other new national entries bow to middling results. The alien comedy Paul ranked fourth with $13.1 million and the legal wrangling of The Lincoln Lawyer was a peg behind at $12.7 million.

A locked week of dance spec Lord of the Dance … in 3D! failed to find post St. Pat’s furor as it hobbled to $318,000 at 536 tap posts and Chinese import The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman served up a thin slice with a $23,100 gross from 37 venues.

Limited and exclusive debuts had a couple of bright spots including the wry Win Win that wrestled $148,000 in just five pins and doc Bill Cunningham, New York on famed photographer that wrested $32,500 in its solo at Manhattan’s Film Forum.

The frame added up to just shy of $115 million and a decline of 11% from last weekend. It was a marginally less severe 10% behind 2010 when the third weekend of Alice in Wonderland added $34.2 million to its larder and debuts of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Bounty Hunter followed respectively with $22.1 million and $20.7 million.

Pundits and trackers generally undervalued the marketplace newcomers with predictions that pegged holdovers Battle: Los Angeles and Rango in the top positions. Limitless was considered the most potent of the freshmen with expectations in the range of $13 million to $17 million. Paul and Lincoln Lawyer both had high end predictions of $12 million.

Tracking clairvoyance has been generally dismal since January and that can be credited in large part to the disappearance of avid, younger movie goers. One suspects that group is providing information of one sort and subsequently reacting to all manner of buzz. The fact that movie going is unquestionably an impulse buy has long plagued predicting the box office.

The erosion of the under 25 crowd continued this week with only Paul registering a 50/50 split for that line in the sand according to exit polling. Limitless was 56% attended by plus 25s and The Lincoln Lawyer had a staggering 85% older audience – 49% of which was 40 years old or greater.

The gender divide also continued to skew female with Lincoln attracting 63% of the fairer sex and Limitless 52%. Paul’s comic antics conversely had 56% male ticket sales.

The radical drop in theatrical movie going both in North America and especially overseas in 2011 has the industry shifting into panic mode. There’s a case to be made that “it’s the product” but movies have hardly been in a renaissance in the past decade.

Distributors are frantically trying to figure out where their core audience has migrated and whether it’s possible to move their movies to that location. Exhibitors are feeling the heat of competition with the CinemaCon (formally ShoWest) annual confab prepped to begin in a week. They’ve already adapted with everything from cup holders and stadium seating to digital everything to stereoscopic gimmickry and frantic enough to bring back dish night if that will plug up the holes in the dikes.


Weekend Estimates – March 18-20, 2010

Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
Limitless Relativity 19.0 (6,900) NEW 2756 19
Rango Par 15.2 (3,950) -33% 3843 92.4
Battle: Los Angeles Sony 14.4 (4,210) -60% 3417 60.4
Paul Uni 13.1 (4,670) NEW 2802 13.1
The Lincoln Lawyer Lionsgate 12.7 (4,700) NEW 2707 12.7
Red Riding Hood WB 7.3 (2,400) -48% 3030 26
The Adjustment Bureau Uni 5.9 (2,070) -49% 2847 48.8
Mars Needs Moms BV 5.3 (1,710) -23% 3117 15.4
Beastly CBS 3.3 (1,660) -35% 1959 22.2
Hall Pass WB 2.6 (1,370) -48% 1905 39.6
Gnomeo and Juliet BV/eOne 2.4 (1,360) -35% 1748 93.7
Just Go With It Sony 2.3 (1,360) -42% 1708 98
The King’s Speech Weinstein Co. 2.0 (1,620) -43% 1249 132.5
Unknown WB 1.3 (960) -60% 1401 61.2
I Am Number 4 BV 1.1 (1,120) -53% 955 52.7
Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son Fox .75 (1,360) -43% 550 36.4
Tangled BV .62 (1,820) -3% 340 197.7
Cedar Rapids Fox Searchlight .53 (1,150) -43% 462 5.5
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never Par .47 (980) -66% 480 72.2
Jane Eyre Focus .46 (17,690) 151% 26 0.7
Lord of the Dance 3D SuperVision .32 (590)   536 0.32
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)   $109.80      
% Change (Last Year)   -10%      
% Change (Last Week)   -11%      
Also debuting/expanding          
Of Gods and Men Sony Classics .29 (3,064) 15% 94 1.5
Win Win Searchlight .15 (29,560)   5 0.15
Kill the Irishman Anchor Bay .14 (6,570) -5% 21 0.33
The Music Never Stopped Roadside Attract. 77,900 (2,430)   32 0.08
Bill Cunningham, New York Zeitgeist 32,500 (32,500)   1 0.05
The Butcher, The Chef, The Swordsman China Lion 23,100 (620)   37 0.02
Winter in Wartime Sony Classics 15,800 (5,270)   3 0.02
Cracks IFC 7,200 (1,200)   6 0.01
Desert Flower National Geo 7,100 (2,370)   3 0.01
Alabama Moon Faulkner 6,700 (940)   7 0.01
La Verite Filmoption 6,300 (900)   7 0.01

Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Mar. 17, 2011)

Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Paramount (9) 372.5 20.70%
Sony (10) 330 18.40%
Buena Vista (60 234.8 13.10%
Warner Bros. (13) 211.1 11.80%
Universal (6) 179.5 10.00%
Weinstein Co. (3) 126.3 7.00%
Fox (5) 85.1 4.70%
Fox Searchlight (3) 78.3 4.40%
CBS (3) 48.4 2.70%
Relativity (3) 31.5 1.70%
Focus (3) 21.1 1.20%
eOne/Seville (7) 13.4 0.80%
Summit (3) 12.1 0.70%
Sony Classics (5) 10.4 0.60%
Other * (83) 40.7 2.20%
  1795.2 100.00%
* none greater than .04%


Top Global Grossers (Jan. 1 – Mar. 17, 2011)

Title Distributor Gross
The King’s Speech * Weinstein/FilmNation 328,422,084
Tangled * BV 257,730,104
Black Swan * Fox Searchlight 233,565,826
The Green Hornet Sony 227,138,037
Tron: Legacy * BV 185,713,030
Little Fockers * Uni/Par Intl 175,012,116
Gulliver’s Travels * Fox 171,150,972
The Tourist * Sony 170,775,451
True Grit * Par 168,291,578
Gnomeo and Juliet BV/eOne/Pathe 145,442,274
Yogi Bear * WB 142,121,587
Just Go With It Sony 141,271,826
Rango Par 131,620,860
Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of Dawn Treader Fox 128,368,458
No Strings Attached Par 125,084,725
I Am Number 4 BV 108,071,913
Unknown WB/Studio Canal 97,383,223
The Fighter * Par/Alliance 85,190,621
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never Par 81,433,968
Rien a declarer Pathe 81,376,457
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 WB 80,483,102
Season of the Witch Relativity/Lions Gate 79,329,246
Sanctum Uni/FilmNation 78,200,004
Hereafter* WB 75,865,149
The Rite WB 71,462,016
* does not include 2010 box office
Be Sociable, Share!

One Response to “The Weekend Report: March 20, 2011”

  1. Proman says:

    “Exhibitors are feeling the heat of competition with the CinemaCon (formally ShoWest) annual confab prepped to begin in a week. They’ve already adapted with everything from cup holders and stadium seating to digital everything to stereoscopic gimmickry and frantic enough to bring back dish night if that will plug up the holes in the dikes.”

    It’s the money, stupid! (not, you Mr. Klady). The exhibitors should lower ticket prices – then the people will come.


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