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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Lenny Kladenina

Hello… sorry for the slow commentary… on the road.

So Twi-five opened without incident. Any whining about it coming up short domestically is just idiotic. The franchise, like most others, has a finite universe and this film will, given foreign, probably be the biggest of the lot… by a few million to 10s of millions, but not by more. Many seem to feel this is the best movie of the lot… but that doesn’t matter either. Either you is or isn’t a Twilight fan.

Skyfall, already the highest grossing Bond movie worldwide, will be the #1 domestic Bond film before Thanksgiving is over. This will be the biggest film in the franchise by over $100m. The only question is how high it can fly.

Lincoln had a strong expansion to 1775 screens (why not 1776?), significantly better than Munich, which spent two weekends in limited before expanding to 1485 screens and a $7.6m weekend. Some see this putting Lincoln out front of the Oscar race. I think that’s premature pontification. But the film is certainly one of the top 5 nominees.

Speaking of which, those trying to define Silver Linings Playbook and Anna Karenina by their 16 screen openings are, uh, nuts.

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19 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Lenny Kladenina”

  1. antho42 says:

    Why does Wreck-It Ralph have more screens than Skyfall?

  2. Jason B says:

    My guess is because Ralph is taking almost all the 3D screens.

  3. etguild2 says:

    $250 million domestic should still be the goal for SKYFALL. It’s $30 million ahead of BOURNE 3 after two weekends with the holidays coming up…which (I know DP hates this) would make it unquestionably the biggest domestic Bond film since 1967, inflation and Imax premiums included.

  4. waterbucket says:

    I’m very pleasantly surprised by Lincoln’s performance. Here’s hoping all the upcoming quality Oscar movies have box office success (Silver Linings, Pi, Les Miz, Zero). And here’s to the end of the Twilight: Breaking Hymen saga.

  5. Lynch Van Sant says:

    Isn’t the Twilight total a cheat considering it includes 10pm Thursday shows? Since it made $30mil on Thurs/Friday midnight, it should be at least half of that, $15 mil, smaller for the 3-day weekend total.

    Also, I’m wondering why TV ads for The Sessions never even show the guy was in an iron lung or is disabled in any way. Maybe they though it was a turn off to audiences? From the disastrous expansion, people weren’t enthused about seeing a movie of a guy paying for sex….since that’s all the TV ads conveyed.

  6. Joe Leydon says:

    It is a bit odd that The Sessions — which I really enjoyed, by the way — didn’t gross on 516 screens as much as Jab Tak Hai Jann grossed on just 161 screens.

  7. jerryishere says:

    But what do these numbers MEAN?

  8. Krillian says:

    Who was calling Twilight’s opening disappointing again?

  9. anghus says:

    i dont know how youd ever call Twilight’s opening dissappointing. Unless it’s that mindset of everything having to top the last one. That american mentality that success can only be measured with constant expansion.

    Like this Summer when people were claiming the Dark Knight Rises numbers were ‘dissappointing’.

    $140+ million opening weekend… on a movie they broke into two installments instead of one.

    What i find interesting is the budgets. The first Twilight made almost 400 million against a budget of $37 million. By the time the series ended the reported budget of each Breaking Dawn Installment was $120 million.

    New Moon cost $50 million and went to $700 million.

    Eclipse cost $68 million and made a hair under $700 million

    Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2 will probably end up at exactly the same range and they each cost $120 million.

    I would never call anything about the finances of Twilight disappointing. But the budgets bat that 50 – 70 million dollar range seemed like the sweet spot. Why did they pour so much money into the last two? Did the actors get huge pay bumps for the final installments?

    Even with that question, to call Twilight anything other than an unmitigated success would be dumb. How many movies have ever opened this big? Seven. and one of them is a Twilight movie.

    I don’t know what people expected for Breaking Dawn Part Two. But the outcome was mathematically and historically right where you’d expect. Right up there with New Moon and Breaking Dawn Part One. Do people really believe there was money left on the table here?

    The numbers mean that the Twilight fan base opened three films in mid November right around $140 million dollars. It means these films were ridiculously consistent in this slot.

  10. John says:

    Anghus- the cast were signed to 4 film contracts. When it was decided to split the finale into two films, they had to pay the cast through the nose. You can’t recast the mains for a final chapter. Lautner got 12.5 million for EACH part of BREAKING DAWN. I’m sure Stewart & Pattison got even more.

  11. anghus says:

    John, well that explains the bump in budgets.

    I’d be lying if i said i understood big budget film logic. You spend 68 million and make 700 million. Why are you doubling down to get the same result, unless there are contractual factors beyond your control.

  12. Don R. Lewis says:

    Last night I rolled outta town 30 mins south to the best theater in my area to see LINCOLN and when I got there, 30 mins before showtime, it was sold out. I honestly can’t remember a “non-event film” that was sold out 30 mins early. (By non-event I mean Batman, Lord of the Rings, etc. Probably Twilight had I ever seen one).

    Annoying but I made my way to the art house theater to see HOLY MOTORS and I’m glad I did. 8 walk outs! Granted, 4 of those were a gaggle of tweens who I honestly was stunned to see in there, but yeah, 8 people weren’t having it. I liked the movie well enough, but was a bit bored in parts. I still respect the living shit out of it’s audacity…..amazing.

    Speaking of; with THE MASTER, CLOUD ATLAS, (I haven’t seen it but) ANNA KARENINA and HOLY MOTORS….has there been a better year than 2012 for bold/crazy/not sure what it is cinema??

  13. Joe Leydon says:

    Anghus: I don’t begin to claim I understand the intricacies of film financing. But don’t they also take into account the fact that, every time there’s a new sequel in a franchise, that means new DVD/Blu-Ray sales/rentals for earlier installments? In other words: Do they think the extra money they make from the older films justifies spending a bit more for the new one? (Again, I’m just guessing here.)

  14. bulldog68 says:

    having only seen the first one and glimpses of the others, the comment I have heard is that the effects got better also, so some of the increased budget might have gone there as well. Good Werewolf rendering ain’t cheap I suppose.

  15. Jerryishere says:

    Above the line costs probably hit 60 mil by the end.

    A 120 mil budget is still making it on the cheap.

    True story.

  16. Mike says:

    We saw Lincoln on Saturday matinee and it was indeed packed 20 minutes before the show. With Argo already having been out, and the really great reviews, I think Lincoln is becoming the adult, serious movie everyone wants to see.

  17. Christian says:

    Jeff Wells’ insect antenna (cockroach?) says otherwise…

  18. Proman says:

    There is absolutely nothing surpising that Lincoln did these numbers. It’s got strong appeal. It could have done even more if they started advertising it sooner..

  19. palmtree says:

    My Lincoln was full as well. Good to see given how adult it was and overcame expectations. They relegated it to one of the smaller rooms in the megaplex.

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