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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Still Smaugin’ Klady

wknd estimates (corr) 2013-12-29 at 12.06.31 PM

As noted yesterday, the holiday period is a bit of a mystery every year, if you try to analyze it day by day. We know that Christmas Eve is weak and Christmas Day is strong, but aside from that, it can be a bit of a guessing game… which is also why today’s estimates may turn out to be wrong by a bit as well.

For instance, neither Smaug or Froz is estimating 3x Friday for the weekend. That’s less surprising for Hobbit than for the animated film. But welcome to late December.

Moving down the chart, there is a more aggressive estimate for American Hustle than for The Wolf of Wall Street. They were separated by estimate by only $200k. In today’s estimate, $1.1 million. (And Sony’s released estimate rounds up to another 100k higher than our estimate.) No reason why that can’t be dead on… or off a little… or completely reversed. There is absolutely no importance to the slotting. Utterly meaningless, childish boy posturing. But different studios have different ways of estimating and egos do come into play.

Not a lot else to look at of great interest. Here is the list of awards hopefuls

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 11.28.15 AM

Not any real surprises at the top half of the bottom half of this list. The Wolf of Wall Street will pass Saving Mr Banks on the list this week. You really have to go down to the exclusive or limited releases to find titles with much gas left in the tank (Nebraska, Llewyn, Her, Osage), though I don’t think any of them can be expected to do over $50 million even with Oscar nominations aplenty.

Like it or not, the history of Oscar (even recent history) suggests that either 6 or 7 of the Best Picture nominees will come from the top 7 grossers as of today (noting that the grosses of two of these will double before nomination voting closes in just 10 days). Two or three or four nominees will come from the rest of the list. And there is no time to recover in terms of gross.

Narrowing that group of Realistically Fighting To Get In, it’s Philomena, All Is Lost, Nebraska, Inside Llewyn Davis, Her, and August: Osage County.

The Oscar nomination fates of these films have really already been set. Yes, there are some more days for voters to see these films and to make their minds up. And the fight to get people to see these films will and should continue. But it won’t be marketing or publicity or box office or any outside influencers really changing the game for any of them at this point. Of this group, I would say that Nebraska and Inside Llewyn Davis planted their flags higher and harder than the rest. We’ll soon find how that plays out.

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32 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Still Smaugin’ Klady”

  1. movieman says:

    That “Osage” per-screen is wrong.
    B.O. Mojo has it at $35,900: a far cry from $9,960.

  2. Thehey says:

    With bulk of Xmas openers a lot of theaters reduced Frozen showtimes to matinees otherwise it would have passed Hobbit this weekend. Dummies.

  3. EtGuild2 says:

    Check out those muscular HOBBIT worldwide numbers….$210 million in the last week. $900 mil seems like a good bet now…

  4. David Poland says:

    Now fixed, movieman. Sorry.

  5. alynch says:

    A bit of a random question. One of the trailers at my Wolf Of Wall Street screening was for Monuments Men, but the trailer was still trumpeting the December release date.

    Considering that the Monument’s delay was announced two months ago and Wolf was a Christmas release, how exactly does a screw up like that happen?

  6. cadavra says:

    Wow, those GRUDGE numbers are painful. Not just below RONIN and DINOSAURS but the third weekend of MADEA. Wondering if maybe DeNiro is suffering from over-exposure–this is his sixth movie this year! (Seventh if you include the holdover of SLP.)

  7. movieman says:

    alynch- The theater where you saw “WOWS” probably never got sent the revised “MM” trailer w/ the new February ’14 date.
    That sort of thing happens all the time, trust me.

  8. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, saw Monuments Men trailer with right date today — after seeing one with the December date yesterday at another theater. Go figure.

  9. waterbucket says:

    I think the marketing team for Saving Mr Banks really blew it big time. I am a film fan and read a lot about new films but I am still unsure of the tone of this film. So I am still reluctant to check it out, especially when there are so many other acclaimed films that have made clear what they really are.

  10. movieman says:

    Wait for the dvd, Waterbucket.
    Then you can fast-forward through all of “Banks'” tedious Aussie flashbacks and just watch the 1961 Hollywood scenes that contain the best part of the movie (ie., Emma Thompson’s performance).

  11. Lane Myers says:

    Waterbucket I’ve learned not to base my movie choices based solely on advertising. Osage County is being sold like a wacky family comedy. (I’m pretty sure that isn’t the tone of the film).

    Btw if boxofficemojo is accurate, Banks cost 35 to make and is sitting at 37 after its 2nd weekend. My guess is their final number will be 80+million –with a decent chance it gets a best pic nom. Not sure how that would qualify as a marketing failure.

    Speaking of final numbers, where does WOWS eventually end up? It’ll be interesting to see if Paramount can stoke the “you’ve got to see it to decide for yourself to be part of the conversation” angle. Also does Hustle beat Silver Linings’ final number? Which of the Xmas movies that opened “softer than expected”, end up getting to a solid final number (which happens every December)? For some reason I feel like Grudge Match is going to quietly get over 50million — like Last Vegas quietly got over 60.

  12. LexG says:

    Oddly GRUDGE was 90% FULL at the DREADED BURBANK 16 today, and 42 minutes into the movie, FAT MEXICAN KIDS were still sneaking in with 100 lbs of Nachos, so I had to storm out and get a refund.

    No one in the actual movie review game ever sees movies with paying audiences, but LA is this weird anomaly where WEEK 4 OF DELIVERY MAN still sells out at every AMC…. I’ve tried SIX TIMES now to see GRUDGE MATCH in LA, and at every theater it’s been SOLD OUT or has Mexicans SNEAKING IN for the WHOLE MOVIE and I keep leaving to get a refund like a total CHUMP all because Poland won’t get me on a SCREENINGS LIST for REAL CRITICS.

  13. Joe Leydon says:

    Lane and Waterbucket: I can remember the fleeting period a few years ago when Doubt was being sold in TV spots as a comedy. No joke. The first time I saw one of those spots, I thought I was hallucinating.

    LexG: Actually, I see movies with paying audiences all the time. Sometimes to catch up on something because I missed the screening, other times to take a second look. This past weekend, I saw three movies to have them fresh in my mind as I compile my Top 10 list. And I must say — I know there are some critics of digital projection on this blog, but I’m glad I no longer have to put up with scatchy prints when I pay to watch a film 5-6 weeks into its commercial run.

  14. Bulldog68 says:

    Looking forward to your Top 10 Joe. I’ll tell you one of my per peeves with year end Top 10 lists though. Obviously critics see way more movies than the average movie going public, but then some critics have nine movies out of their top 10 being movies that hardly anyone saw. I’m not talking about say a smaller release like Fruitvale Station, more like something that was released on 5 screens and played for 3 weeks that 99% of us have hardly ever heard of.

    I can understand you want to bring attention to what you consider to be under seen and under appreciated gems, but maybe they could have two lists, one with mainstream movies that had a chance to be seen by most and the other for this kind of stuff.

  15. movieman says:

    Lex- I see a LOT of movies w/ paying audiences, and have many of the same beefs you do (except the one about Mexicans sneaking into the auditorium: that’s not really a big problem in Northeastern Ohio, lol).
    Besides the mad texters and talkers, my #1 complaint about seeing movies during their regular commercial runs are the thirty minutes (or more) of commercials and trailers you have to sit through before the actual movie begins.
    It truly is like dying and going straight to hell.
    But it’s still preferable to my old routine of 3-4 trips to Cleveland every week (where most of those so-called “screenings” are nite-time mass-market promotionals rather than press screenings anyway) since round-trip drives to Cleveland take, on the average, three hours.

  16. chris says:

    Maybe show up 20 or 25 minutes after the posted start time?

  17. YancySkancy says:

    I never quite get the beefs about ads and previews before a movie starts. For one thing, the ads air before show time, and the previews begin right at show time. Personally, if I arrive several minutes before show time to get a good seat, I don’t mind the ads. I can tune them out, or if I’m with my girlfriend we can chat in low voices without worrying about disturbing someone who wants to see the ads (because no such person exists). Before they had these ads, you’d just be sitting there with muzak playing, staring at the curtain or chatting with your companion. That may well indeed be preferable to seeing commercials or puff promo pieces, but you’re just waiting for show time anyway, so what’s the big deal? As for trailers, I like to catch them, so again, no problem for me. Sure, if they’re ones I’ve seen multiple times, it’s annoying, but it comes with the territory. Look on the bright side — after the trailers, it’s only the movie. No ads to sit through or forward through.

  18. Joe Leydon says:

    Before I saw the 3-hour Wolf of Wall Street, I had to sit through more than 20, nearly 25 minutes of trailers. Not complaining too much — I actually like to watch most trailers — but I can only imagine what a major ass-pain this might have been for someone already nervous about whether their bladder would hold up during the movie itself.

  19. christian says:

    Trailers are fine, part of the show. But theater owners expect people to PAY for ads now. Yeah, because a series of obnoxious commercials for “Duck Dynasty” will help kill that deathly communal silence before the film starts. Who knew this was for our benefit? I make it a point to talk loud and mock the commercials.

  20. Bulldog68 says:

    People are talking about the great box office run of Frozen, but what is truly amazing is that it has just posted the 3rd biggest 5th weekend gross in box office history, behind only Avatar and Titanic. Wow.

  21. movieman says:

    The thing that’s most annoying–if you see as many movies as I do in “regular” theaters–is the fact that you have to endure the same litany of trailers at every movie, in every multiplex, every damn time.
    Usually for 6 months or longer.
    I’m already sick of half the movies opening in the first quarter of 2014 (“Jack Ryan,” “Ride-a-Long,” “The Devil’s Due,” etc.), and I haven’t even seen them yet.

  22. leahnz says:

    the thing i find odd about critic top 10 (or whatever) lists is that they’re almost always some homogenous combination of a laundry list of the same seemingly preordained ‘good!/important!’ pet oscar poodle movies released in the last month or two of the year directed by the same 3 guys, while these ‘for your consideration’ movies are rarely the ones i consider the best of the year — i guess i view such homogenous lists with a degree of scepticism, like there’s some insidious pressure to conform to the status quo lest you lose your critic cred and are viewed as some sort of freakish invididual renegade with poor taste if you don’t kowtow to ‘the chosen ones’. just by the law of averages it seems like lists made by individuals couldn’t possibly all be so similar

    anyway of the year-end pet poodles i’m amazingly fairly caught up for 2013 but have yet to see a few like ’12 yrs a slave’, august:OC and AmHus, so with that caveat off the top of my head my ‘best of 2013’ would be (and maybe i’ll think of more/different ones when i’m not actually trying to make a list), in no particular order whatsoever:

    ain’t them bodies saints
    enough said
    the wind rises
    jug face
    the place beyond the pines
    before midnight
    the world’s end

    (oops that’s eleven. oh well)

  23. tbunny says:

    THIRTY MINUTES OF PREVIEWS AND AMC ADVERTORIALS before Anchorman 2 started but after the stated start time, i.e. after the lights dimmed. 30 minutes!

    And then Anc2 was an over 2 hour long bloated and lazy suck fest. I don’t mind previews, even when they are so aggressively loud and dumb, but 30 minutes!!!

  24. christian says:

    And ANCHORMAN 2 was only a feature-length trailer for Durango Trucks ads.

  25. Chucky says:

    Sunday was the final day of the NFL season … and it provided genuine excitement from noon until night. That easily dwarfed this nefarious collection of brand names, product tie-ins, government/military worship, awards pimping, name-checking

  26. EtGuild2 says:

    Interesting Leah:) Liked all your choices, and it’s frusterating haven’t been able to see “WIND RISES” or “SNOWPIERCER” here in the states.

    “JUG FACE” was definitely supremely creepy. The lead actress was great.

  27. christian says:

    Chucky praising the non-stop corporate shilldom that is a Sunday NFL broadcast where they pimp beer, jingoism, Ron Burgundy and real violence while he attacks Hollywood for brand-naming and military worship – goodbye irony 2013!

  28. YancySkancy says:

    What christian said.

    Hey Chucky, I don’t give a crap about sports, so what am I to do? Go to the library or something?

  29. cadavra says:

    “I can remember the fleeting period a few years ago when Doubt was being sold in TV spots as a comedy.”

    How about last year, when Warners crippled DARK SHADOWS by selling it like it was THE ADDAMS FAMILY? Or LONE RANGER, which was promoted as RUSH HOUR GOES WEST. (Depp really needs to get more involved in the marketing of his films.) Audiences can smell the deception ten miles off.

  30. leahnz says:

    ‘jug face’ is pretty cool EtG, in large part because of lauren ashley carter (who plays the lead ada) – i don’t think i’d seen her in anything before, it’s a pity good performances in ‘genre’ flicks are so often overlooked, but i hope she goes on to good things.

    (i see so many movies late/after people here – year-end stuff often not till the following year – and then when once in a blue moon i see good stuff earlier somehow i never know what year to put it in, it makes my lists weird i know. i thought ‘snowpiercer’ was fucking great, can’t wait to see it again, and i hope ‘the wind rises’ isn’t really the last miyazaki but if so it’s a lovely swansong)

  31. chris says:

    Cadavra, the problem with both “Dark Shadows” and “Lone Ranger” was not their marketing. I’d say Depp needs to get more involved with finding scripts.

  32. YancySkancy says:

    Caught THE LONE RANGER on Blu the other night. Thought it was great. A little long — so what? Tonally all over the place — sure. But a lot of that has to do with the deliberately unreliable narrator, Tonto. I can understand it not being everyone’s cup of tea, but there are wondrous sequences and shots of which no true cinephile should be dismissive. Way too much superior filmmaking to end up on so many knee-jerk “worst of the year” lists.

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