MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady

The Weekend Report: March 27, 2011

Burger King

Rodrick indeed ruled as Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 trumped fellow debutante Sucker Punch to take the weekend box office crown with an estimated $24.5 million. The visually bombastic head game Sucker settled in the second slot with $19.2 million.

The session was chock-a-block with entries in limited and exclusive debuts. The inspirational sports-themed The 5th Quarter proved to be a low scorer with $208,000 tally from 123 courts while in Canada the local vigilante carnage of Hobo With a Shotgun blew away $168,000 at 47 box cars. Also in Canada, Brit import West is West (following up on East is East) compassed to $39,800 from 17 venues.

Exclusives saw good results for the controversial Palestine-set Miral of $65,600 from four screens and $84,300 at seven locales for French comedy Potiche. Also Gallic, animated prize winner Mia and the Migoo rang up $16,400 from a single reported engagement.

Weekend revenues topped $120 million for a slim 5% boost from seven days earlier and sank a further 7% from the 2010 comparable. A year ago the bow of How to Train Your Dragon led with $43.7 million and newcomer Hot Tub Time Machine slotted third with $14 million.

With only a single weekend bettering last year’s record, Q1 domestic box office is running an alarming 23% behind 2010. That’s a lot of catching up to do and certainly a daunting challenge to generate comparable admission stats.

Tracking pegged the weekend as an easy win for Sucker Punch with pundits convinced young males would propel the slightly salacious fantasy of young femme warriors to low to mid-$20 million box office. Indeed exit polling showed the audience as 64% male and 45% under the age of 25. A further 29% were aged 26 to 35 and should those kind of demos continue as they have this year, the summer tentpoles won’t be quite at the level of past seasonal fare.

The second installment of kid lit fave Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Rodrick Rules was pegged to gross between $18 million to $22 million, or at the high end slightly less than what the first episode grossed its opening weekend. Rather it bettered the original by 11% with males edging out females with a 51% slice if the audience. The target audience of youth and families resulted in a crowd comprised 59% under the age of 25. Mars Needs Moms notwithstanding, pictures aimed at the very youngest movie goers have been least effected by viewing declines in 2011.

The other resilient audience segment has been plus 25 women and this weekend that translated into strong holds for the likes of The Lincoln Lawyer and The Adjustment Bureau. As for the elusive four quadrant movie, the only evidence of its existence in Q1 was True Grit.

Weekend Estimates

Weekend (estimates)
March 25 – 27, 2011
Title Distributor Gross (average) % change Theaters Cume
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules! Fox 24.5 (7,730) NEW 3167 24.5
Sucker Punch WB 19.2 (6,340) NEW 3033 19.2
Limitless Relativity 15.2 (5,410) -20% 2805 41.2
The Lincoln Lawyer Lions Gate 10.7 (3,960) -19% 2707 28.7
Rango Par 9.9 (2,710) -35% 3645 106.4
Paul Uni 7.5 (2,660) -43% 2806 24.6
Battle: Los Angeles Sony 7.4 (2,370) -49% 3118 72.4
Red Riding Hood WB 4.3 (1,570) -41% 2715 32.4
The Adjustment Bureau Uni 4.2 (1,840) -27% 2282 54.8
Mars Needs Moms BV 2.2 (1,000) -59% 2170 19.1
Beastly CBS 2.1 (1,350) -33% 1585 25.3
Hall Pass WB 1.7 (1,400) -35% 1204 42.3
The King’s Speech TWC 1.6 (1,480) -23% 1062 134.9
Gnomeo and Juliet BV/eOne 1.5 (1,080) -36% 1364 95.8
Just Go With It Sony 1.5 (1,330) -34% 1116 100.2
Jane Eyre Focus .96 (10,670) 106% 90 1.9
Unknown WB .62 (900) -51% 688 62.2
Tangled BV .52 (1,730) -16% 301 198.5
I Am Number 4 BV .48 (940) -52% 512 53.5
Win Win Searchlight .46 (20,040) 207% 23 0.67
Cedar Rapids Searchlight .41 (1,200) -22% 342 6.1
Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son Fox .37 (910) -48% 406 36.9
Of Gods and Men SPC .35 (2,960) 26% 120 2
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)   $115.60      
% Change (Last Year)   -7%      
% Change (Last Week)   5%      
Also debuting/expanding          
The Fifth Quarter Rocky Mtn .21 (1,690)   123 0.21
Hobo With a Shotgun Alliance .17 (3,570)   47 0.17
Kill the Irishman Anchor Bay .14 (3,440) 1% 41 0.5
Potiche Music Box 84,300 (10,540)   7 0.08
Miral TWC 65,600 (16,400)   4 0.07
West is West D Film 39,800 (2,340)   17 0.04
Winter in Wartime SPC 26,200 (3,270) 75% 8 0.05
White Irish Drinkers ScrnMedia 17,900 (2,980)   6 0.02
Jaloux Seville 17,700 (2,210)   8 0.02
Mia and the Migoo Gkids 16,400 (16,400)   1 0.02
My Perestroika INFC 14,600 (14,600)   1 0.01
Catch Me I’m in Love ABS 6,200 (6,200)   1 0.01
Peep World IFC 5,800 (1,940)   3 0.01
Bal (Honey) Olive 4,300 (4,300)   1 0.01
Domestic Market share
(Jan. 1 – March 24, 2011)
Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share      
Paramount (9) 393.3 20.20%      
Sony (10) 352.5 18.10%      
Buena Vista (6) 246.8 12.60%      
Warner Bros. (13) 227.2 11.60%      
Universal (7) 204.5 10.50%      
Weinstein Co. (3) 129.3 6.60%      
Fox (5) 86.1 4.40%      
Fox Searcchlight (4) 79.5 4.10%      
Relativity (4) 57.8 3.00%      
CBS (3) 52.6 2.70%      
Lions Gate (6) 23.5 1.20%      
Focus (3) 21.9 1.10%      
eOne/Seville (7) 13.9 0.70%      
Summit (3) 12.2 0.60%      
Sony Classics (5) 11.1 0.60%      
Other * (83) 38.3 2.00%      
  1950.5 100.00%      
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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