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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by G3 Klady0

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 9.26.54 AM

Gravity. Getting into a bunch of people who don’t see 3D movies about now.

And Gravity is now the highest grossing movie in history to open in October… 3 weekends in.

Kinda amazing that the only movie likely to beat it before Thor 2 (aka “Thorer”) is Bad Grandpa… which will be the subject of many “world is coming to an end” pieces next weekend when the Jackass brand scores $30m and change and Sandy drops to $24 million or so.

The success of the fall that isn’t getting enough headlines is Captain Phillips, holding strong in its second weekend, not set in space with amazing 3D effects, but on boats with Somali pirates. This should shut off the faucet on “movies for adults” whining… at least until next weekend. As it seems to always be the case, the first release after a studio’s top markietng spot was emptied (in this case, Sony’s Marc Weinstock) turns out to be a hit at a surprising level. Of course, even with a studio marketing chief at 100% power, Scott Rudin movies are relentlessly piloted by Scott Rudin and his chief award season strategist, Cynthia Swartz.

It’s a little odd that we now throwing blood on genre movies that open to $16.4 million, but not only has $20m become a pretty clear standard for a successful genre opening, but it felt like Carrie should be something more. It wasn’t.

I am sad for The Fifth Estate. I am friendly with Bill Condon, but that’s not my issue. It’s a good, smart, audience-engaging movie. It isn’t a spectacle. And it just never got traction… even if the Time Magazine cover meant you had traction when we were all younger… at least 5 years younger… more like 10. This is exactly the kind of movie that will have people wondering why they missed it when it first arrived in theaters. It wasn’t an easy sell from the start… not a lot of “torn from the headlines” hits… mostly torn from old headlines and allowed to simmer for a long while.

As noted yesterday, the 12 Years A Slave opening doesn’t tell us a lot about what its box office future will look like, but it puts it right in the box office launch area that screams “Oscar nominee!” (even if everyone int he media was already screaming the same). The number is slightly higher than you would expect from the Friday number, but my guess is that Searchlight is anticipating a lot of people going from church to the film today.

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23 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by G3 Klady0”

  1. Etguild2 says:

    Still pretty tough to know where the ceiling is with “Gravity.” $250 million seems guaranteed at this point. $300 million is certainly possible, if it continues to descend at “Apollo 13” type levels (Apollo is at $322 millionish for inflation…I know, I know, but it’s the most similar movie comp and it was 18 years ago so you have to adjust).

    “Gravity” topping (the admittedly non-3D) “Inception” would be pretty shocking.

  2. BoulderKid says:

    I think Gravity’s total will largely hinge on what kind of release or expansion Warners does after the holidays. The movie will have banked 250-300m by the new year. If the studio can get the film back on to a bunch of 3D screens, with a fresh marketing push, as the awards notices heat up I could see the film adding another 50m in the early months of 2014. Obviously Avatar is the ceiling, but when you consider how expensive the average ticket for Gravity has been (maybe the most expensive ever?), it’s not like attendance levels are at historic levels, meaning that there is still huge potential for audience growth as word of mouth is passed around Thanksgiving and Christmas tables.

  3. Etguild2 says:

    AVATAR was a 4-quadrant film though. Dragged my 11 year old nephew (who liked LIFE OF PI…he’s a smart kid) and 2 friends to see it. He kinda liked it but his friends were bored out of their minds…didn’t see any other kids in the theater either time I saw it. AVATAR screenings were packed with families…getting this movie to $350 million would actually be more impressive to me, despite the high ticket cost.

  4. movieman says:

    “Estate” should have been platformed for a week or two on the coasts where it might have posted nice per-screen averages, thereby giving it the appearance of a “hot” movie.
    Of course, it would have probably still dropped dead in the flyover states.
    It’s nicely done and exceedingly well-acted, but a wee bit drowsy… especially if you just saw the Gibney WikiLeaks doc (which pretty much tells the same story) a week earlier like I did.
    Caveats aside, I still preferred it to the overrated/underwhelming “Captain Phillips.”

  5. LexG says:

    FACE THE ESTATE. Went in with NO expectations, ended up really enjoying it, especially Condon’s bonkers direction… Probably the last movie I ever expected to have alternate-backstage universe fantasy world sequences out of The Matrix or Upside Down. Bruhl and esp. Cumberbatch are great and the girlfriend from Anna Karenina is LOOK AT HER!!!

    Since you guys know things, what on EARTH is “Paradise”? It’s playing one of the AMCs in Burbank and is directed by DIABLO CODY (!) and stars Russell Brand and Julianne Hough (one of my favorites)… What IS that? Usually when Cody’s involved, it’s pretty hyped. Have never heard ONE mention of this movie anywhere in the movie blogger universe, never heard of it in the trades, never seen a single preview… Anyone see it?

  6. Bulldog68 says:

    The Fifth Estate does deserve better. But less than $2m on opening weekend has to be an embarrassment for a once touted Oscar nominee. It’s like everyone who even casually liked the movie just abandoned it. That $969 screen average is really the equivalent of saying no one went to see this movie.

    We’ve talked about marketing on this blog on numerous occasions. What did they do (or didn’t do) for this movie to caused it to bomb so badly? Over at Mojo, there are only two movies in top 117 that had a worse per screen average in their opening weekend than Estate. Ouch.

  7. movieman says:

    Have only heard negative things about “Paradise,” Lex.
    Which probably explains the, er, low-key opening and less-than-major distributer.
    Pretty sure it’s currently available as a VOD.

  8. Ira Parks says:

    Good to see SESSIONS OF GRAY increasing its cume by 7% from Friday’s take, but it needs a bigger push. It could be two quadrant material with the right push.

  9. LexG says:

    HAHAHA! That Parks post somehow inadvertently almost written in Sanj-prose. Or at least I read it that way. But nowadays I hear everything in Sanj-prose.

  10. movieman says:

    Wait a minute.
    Isn’t “Sessions of Gray” really the Christian flick “Seasons of Gray”?

  11. BoulderKid says:

    I think “The Fifth Estate” is one of those situations where people either don’t know who Assange is and thus don’t care; do know him but find his tactics despicable and thus won’t see a film about him; or support him but are not the type of person to go to the theater and plop down $10 to sit through the movie. It’s hard to imagine those embroiled in hacker culture submitting to this when their the same types who probably just torrent anything they watch.

  12. Ray Pride says:

    PARADISE’s first appearance was on DIRECTV.

  13. Ira Parks says:


    if i have to choose between SESSIONS OF GRAY and red bell peppers, it’s peppers.

    i’m not facing the SESSIONS.

  14. anghus says:

    Two months ago I wrote this column about fifth estate.

    Not hard to see this coming.

  15. Gus says:

    If Paradise is bad, fine, but how has it had no premiere to speak of? I read plenty about it when it was called LAMB OF GOD… Amazed there wouldn’t be room for it at Toronto at least. Has anyone here seen it? I’m amazed that something with so much advance mention (relatively speaking) is just drifting out there.

    I was also surprised that the ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW guys couldn’t turn more than $1.2k per screen last week despite appearances on the Today Show etc. So what can you do.

  16. YancySkancy says:

    Cloudy with a Sense of Gray, maybe?

    I think Fifth Estate would’ve made an extra couple million if Cumberbatch wasn’t saddled with Assange’s hair for the role.

  17. bulldog68 says:

    Anghus said “The Fifth Estate may be the best film of 2013 that no one sees.”

    Man is that the truth. Looking at the movie, there really isn’t a bad performance. I felt their mistake was trying to pack to much in instead of a main focus, much like the problems Wikileaks had itself with so much cables, so Assange decided to release them all.

    Daniel Bruhl must really hate Sandra Bullock right now. Two quality movies, Rush and Estate, and he gets railroaded by Gravity.

  18. cadavra says:

    Wasn’t PARADISE shot like two years ago? Probably just sneaking out now for the write-off.

    Shame about CHINESE ZODIAC. I don’t know how they expect people to see these things when there’s literally zero marketing. At least WOM is keeping YOUNG DETECTIVE DEE alive in Monterey Park.

  19. movieman says:

    Did I miss the press release?
    According to B.O. Mojo, “Wolf of Wall Street” is no longer dated for November 15th.
    Or anytime in 2013 for that matter.
    Paramount’s “Nebraska” is now sitting on the 11/15 date as a limited release, however.

  20. Gus says:

    Another really puzzling BO story to me is AFTERNOON DELIGHT. Opened with an average over $17k for a four-day weekend and was somehow out of theaters three weeks later. Was WOM so bad on this that it collapsed immediately? Hard to believe, but what other explanation could there be? It won the directing prize at Sundance this year, I was interested to see it. Tarantino called it one of his favorites of the year. Odd.

  21. Chucky says:

    “The Fifth Estate” deserved its fate. The kiss of death was a pullquote from Mr. Quote Whore himself, Peter Travers. He should be forced to watch “Rendition” for 24 hours straight.

    Besides, why should grown-ups pay big money to see overhyped crap? This was a weekend full of college football upsets and great NFL games.

  22. Etguild2 says:

    Test Post:

    FYI Ray or Dave, I think there’s something wrong with the BYOB thread. Can no longer post in it.

  23. Ray Pride says:

    Comments are turned on for that entry…

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