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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Floating Klady II

Friday Estimates  2013-10-12 at 8.49.04 AM

The snowball is rolling downhill for Gravity. (no pun intended… and if it was meant to be a pun, what the hell kinda pun would it be?) Looking at the next 5 biggest October openers of all time, 6s & 7s on the 2nd Friday… Shark Tale almost got to 8. Gravity is near 13. Basically 50%-66% better 2nd Friday than any of the other big October openers. And that is the real story of this film. Brilliantly opened by Warner Bros, it is now the official must-see of the season. And while there are some good movies 0 like Captain Phillips – that will score in the next month, the box office is pretty much open road for Gravity until Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Solid launch of Captain Phillips. Aside from those titles, October is really the realm of horror movies and action and kids films. If you are looking for October comps, look to dramas The Departed, which opened to $27m in 2006, and Training Day, which opened to $23m in 2001. Then there’s Scott Rudin’s other October hit, The Social Network, which opened to $22.5m in 2010. So this is really quite a strong opening for this film.

Not so strong, Machete Kills isn’t going to get to $4 million for the weekend. There’s such a small niche for this film… and Gravity ain’t helping, even with the core audience. Look for a Rodriguez rebound with Sin City 2.

Prisoners is holding nicely, though there is little doubt that it too is suffering the event that is Gravity. And Insidious 2 is holding surprisingly well for a scare flick.

The indie weekend is not knocking anyone down. When movies like Blue is The Warmest Color (aka Life of Adele) are just barely going to top $2k per screen for the weekend – even taking the length into consideration – one has to wonder what’s going on at the art house. The question of whether VOD and the focus on home rather than theatrical is cannibalizing indie theatrical is getting all too easy to answer, even with occasional exceptions.

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28 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Floating Klady II”

  1. movieman says:

    That’s a terrible opening for (the poorly reviewed) “Romeo and Juliet.”
    I guess Relativity was smart to open on just 461 screens.
    Ditto Lionsgate’s paltry screen count for “Mister & Pete.” Not even solid reviews could help that one, alas.

  2. Etguild2 says:

    If someone had said, a few months ago, that GRAVITY would need 9 days to surpass the total grosses of ELYSIUM and PACIFIC RIM, their sanity would have been questioned. Consider that the record gross for a film released in September or October is $166 million…GRAVITY is going to blow that to smithereens. Too early to know for sure, but it has a legitimate chance of catching STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, and will be the top grossing Best Picture nominee in 3 years.

    Another great hold for INSIDIOUS 2, with zero horror competition less than 20 days from Halloween. Again, FilmDistrict should double down on its screen count next week, on the chance that teen boys refuse to see CARRIE.

  3. Janine says:

    It’s a holiday weekend. Why is anyone surprised at this? Most people have Monday off. It is a federal holiday.

  4. Chris says:

    After three weeks, maybe stop copy/pasting “Cloudy With a SENSE of Meatballs 2?”

  5. Etguild2 says:

    David, I’m assuming BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR is a Quebec exclusive. It’s not scheduled to open in the U.S. for almost a month…in fact, its Facebook page doesn’t mention Quebec either (it did open in Iceland…is that part of North American box office totals?), but assuming that’s where it’s playing, this opening is better than THE INTOUCHABLES’ Quebec opening last year.

    @Janine, most people have Columbus Day off? I work for a government contractor, and I don’t even have it off with the government shut down.

  6. Janine says:

    Yes but most people do. It is a FEDERAL holiday. Yes with the government shutdown that means a little less but when I worked for an ad firm we had Columbus Day off because again it is a FEDERAL holiday. It’s the same as 4th of July and MLK. They are all federal holidays

  7. jesse says:

    It’s the same as the 4th and MLK in name only. My current employers gives us Columbus Day off and it’s the first time I’ve worked someplace that gives it off since, well, ever. Since I was in high school. Federal holidays are not universally observed, especially in the private sector. Pretty much everyone (beyond retail, etc.) gets the 4th off. I’d say MLK is next, then Presidents, then Columbus.

    Can’t believe how silly the (lack of) Halloween programming is this year. Were studios that scared of Paranormal 5 that they didn’t have anything they could hastily shuffle into October?

    Obviously I was wrong in thinking that Insidious Chapter 2 should’ve held off until October to get some post-Conjuring distance AND the Halloween crowd but at the same time… I can’t imagine it would have done less opening in October and might’ve had softer drops on bigger grosses in those last few October weekends.

    But given that Insidious didn’t move, CARRIE is the only wide release horror movie in the six weeks or so between Insidious and Halloween. Seems like a mistake, especially when Carrie seems like far from a sure thing.

    Looking ahead, I bet the Jackass movie will do well. Apart from that, it’s pretty open (Ender’s Game will get a huge push, and I like the book, but I don’t see it doing a big number) — except I wouldn’t exactly call it “clear” for Gravity between now and Hunger Games! Thor 2 will probably do pretty big numbers, especially with such a clear field. And even with great legs for Gravity, can anything really still pack in crowds after a month-plus in wide release?

  8. Janine says:

    No it isn’t in name only. Again it is a federal holiday it is not hard to understand. Your individual experience has nothing to do with it being a recognized holiday by the federal government. Banks, post offices, etc. are closed.

  9. Etguild2 says:

    Just to make sure I don’t live in an alternate universe, where no non-government/bank/school workers I’ve ever encountered have Columbus Day off, I looked it up, and polls of individual states show that less than 10% of private sector workers get Columbus Day off. Many states, like California, don’t even recognize Columbus Day anymore for state employees….26 states in fact. Same for private sector workers with Veterans Day, also a Federal holiday. In fact, schools here and where I grew up at least had Veterans Day off…but schools are in session on Columbus Day throughout Virginia.

  10. Janine says:

    Umm, my cousins live in Richmond, VA and they have the day off.

  11. Etguild2 says:

    Weird, so does my nephew and he has to go to school, though he does have early dismissal for parent conferences. I guess it varies from district to district in Central Virginia…anyway, point being, it’s increasingly disappearing as a holiday, federal status or not, and it’s never been a strong box office weekend regardless.

  12. BoulderKid says:

    Outside of federal and state government, most people who have off for Columbus day are union employees who had the day off forty years ago and just carried it over from year to year in their CBA.

  13. Joe Leydon says:

    One of my students wanted to know if Monday would be a class holiday. I told her no. She seemed genuinely surprised.

  14. Botner says:

    What a scintillating discussion on Columbus Day!

  15. Ray Pride says:

    Where is the Columbus Day Spoiler Thread?

  16. Anthony says:

    The USA is the only country in the OECD that does not require employers to provide paid vacation days. Check out the graphic:

  17. Bulldog68 says:

    The movie I feel most sorry for is Rush. It did not open well, and the audiences did not seem to find the subject matter interesting despite good reviews. It got pummeled by Gravity. Too bad. I really enjoyed Rush and would have at least liked it to crawl to $50m. Where were all those NASCAR fans?

  18. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Metropole is a Quebec based distributor DP.

  19. Pete B. says:

    Um, NASCAR is stock car racing and has nothing to do with the open wheel racing in Rush. Maybe one reason why they didn’t show up.

  20. GexL says:

    NASCAR fans are watching college and pro football.

  21. tbunny says:

    Rush was a good movie with good acting and a very nice script. I can’t explain box office results but maybe the limited fanbase for formula 1 plus some truly terrible open wheel racing movies was a problem. Maybe the problem was the rather original angle for a sports movie of having it be about two complex and somewhat unlikable characters, neither of which is the clear “good” guy. As a story about the psychology of racecar drivers I thought it was very good. The big question I had is why did it look like most of the movie was filmed through a half inch of gauze? This excessively gritty “70s” look to the image, combined with an excess of Tony Scott style hyper-editing, made the movie fairly ugly to look at in my opinion.

  22. Bulldog68 says:

    But if you like to see fast cars drive in circles why would a NASCAR fan say “No. It’s Formula 1 racing, so not interested.” I’m not a racing fan myself so I’m surely speaking from a point of ignorance, but I thought at least a few of them would show up. I wonder if the Marketing Dept made any kind of appeal to that demo in order to get them out.

    Tbunny, I get what you’re saying about the look of the movie, even though I liked the look.

    Also, this second weekend of Gravity if the estimates hold at $45m will be either the second biggest second weekend this year, behind only Iron Man 3, or if it’s 3rd, behind Monsters University. Wow.

  23. anghus says:

    also sad to see Rush crash and burn. Loved the movie, wish more people had gone to see it.

    Saw Machete Kills in a theater with four other people. I practically fell asleep halfway through. It was like watching an unproduced Austin Powers script. The first one felt so campy and brutal. This one felt like a cartoon.

  24. brack says:

    Rush had a tough release date IMO, though I’m not sure it would have done well regardless. I just don’t think people care about car racing movies unless a big star is attached. It came off as a movie that looks good, but not necessarily a must see on the big screen. But I feel that way about a lot of movies that look like crap and still do well, so what do I know.

    Gravity is the best film-going experience I’ve had in years. The IMAX 3D was exhilarating. Why can’t studios get behind the idea of actually making movies that really make 3D shine instead of just doing 3D conversion? I know it’s cheaper, but my god, look at how well Avatar and Gravity came off because they just looked so good in 3D. You need an engaging story, true, but it’s not like Gravity needed a riveting back story to be a riveting film.

  25. Etguild2 says:

    It seems as though you also need demanding and obsessive directors who have the authority to articulate their demands. The greatest non-doc/animated 3D films in recent years? Ang Lee, Alfonso Cuaron, Marty Scorsese, James Cameron. Cuaron has joked recently that “Gravity” almost killed him…but it’s an uneasy joke, because it rings true.

    As per usual, there are a slew of superhero 3D films, animated films and seemingly assembly line-3D orders for several months. Next one I’m down for is Liman’s Tom Cruise Sci-Fier

  26. leahnz says:

    when i came out of the cinema after 3D ‘gravity’ i felt so weird, a little disoriented, like i’d just been through a cycle in a tumble clothes dryer and was trying to get my footing on solid, stable, non-spinning ground – a pretty cool parallel to Ryan Stone’s first footsteps back on terra firma really. i’ve never had that disoriented ‘land legs’ feeling coming out of the theatre before. my friend sitting next to me grabbed my wrist so hard during the intense re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere sequence that she made marks in my flesh with her fingernails, also a first.

  27. movieman says:

    …Ang Lee, Alfonso Cuaron, Marty Scorsese, James Cameron.

    I’d personally add Guillermo del Toro to that list, Et.
    Even this 3-D hater had an exhilarating blast at “Pacific Rim,” in large part due to del Toro’s unabashed enthusiasm for the 3-D process.

  28. hcat says:

    As for Rush and Nascar fans, the whole film takes place in Europe featuring Europeans, this might be too much of a generalization but the down home fans of Nascar could probably care less about a European sport. There would be the same amount of dismissial for a historical soccer movie.

    And its likely the story arc might not appeal to them as the main characters are a hedonistic deathwalker and a cold clinical genius, which is miles away from the way Nascar markets their ‘Everyone’s an Eagle Scout’ racers.

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