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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Klady of the Apes


I’m trying to figure out something much worth saying about this weekend at the box office… but it’s pretty uneventful.

Apes opened well, not spectacularly. Now we will see what kind of legs it has… and wait a few weeks for international to start throwing money around the cage.

The one thing that is striking is that much-maligned Fox has 3 of the Top Ten films of the summer with Apes likely to make it 4 of 10 by next Friday. Fox also has 3 of the Top 10 worldwide for the year so far with Apes likely to make it 4 of the Top 11 pretty soon.

Currently, Sony and Warner Bros each has 2 in the summer Top 10 with single titles from Paramount, Disney, and Universal.

I guess I am missing all the “attaboy” stories on Fox’s great summer. Truth be told, I don’t think this is a “great” summer for any of the studios… but Fox is the top dog and has a real story in the international explosion of X-Men, the low budget return on Fault, and the risky recreation of the Apes franchise, which they tried before with Tim Burton and saw it fail.

The issue of animation at Fox needs its own story, with Rio 2 looking lame at home, but nearing $500m worldwide and the DreamWorks Animation relationship looking a little soft. Truth be told, Dragon 2 is the first of Fox’s 4 DWA releases that wasn’t an original/first of series. And if you look at the DWA run with Paramount, the big numbers are almost all for sequels or threequels. Given the big number for The Croods, driven by Fox’s international team, things look a lot better. Only the first Panda film did better amongst first-time titles… and only by $45m worldwide. And there is a good amount of international money still out there for Dragon 2.

Disney’s summer will really be defined by Guardians of the Galaxy, with Maleficent a success, but not a knock out.

The bulk of Universal’s summer starts next week, with 3 movies in 3 weekends on the way, though none of them are expected to be significant… though Purge 2 could be high profit.

Paramount also has its summer bulk in August, with Brett Ratner’s Hercules, in partnership with MGM and the Michael Bay-driven Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, co-funded by Platinum Dunes.

Fox has a little comedy coming starring 2 of the New Girl cast. Sony has Sex Tape. And Warner Bros has the oddball, starless Into The Storm, which will try to bring in the Roland Emmerich big-screen disaster audience.

Oh yeah… Transformers: Age of Extinction is now the #1 summer movie worldwide. If it keeps falling 50% a weekend, it will not pass Cap2’s domestic box office. It will be about $15m short. And at least $150m bigger worldwide.

Regardless of reviews and controversy, Tammy is heading to over $75m domestic and a nice profit for WB and Melissa McCarthy. Hopefully, the media will both to write that story.

The Obama-hating America did another $2.4 million… putting it at about half the earning power of its predecessor, 2016: Obama’s America, reminding us yet again that you can fool some of the people some of the time, but even the extremists are getting tired of the single note being played over and over again.

The happy story of the weekend is Boyhood, estimating a $74,800 per screen on 5, which is award-season strong. It pretty much guarantees that the film will be profitable. The question, as indieland sets off fireworks too close to the kids like a drunken parent on the 4th of July, is how big the film can get. Is it $8 million, $16 million, $24 million… $32 million? These are all legitimate possibilities. And no one knows the answer.

Oscarwise, the only non-Weinstein, non-Lionsgate, non-studio Best Picture nomination in the last decade was Roadside Attraction’s success getting Winter’s Bone nominated in 2010. But if you go back to the late 90s and 2000, USA, Grammercy, and October were all independent and getting films in… and that was the 5 nominee era. So with a film this well-liked, this unique, and potentially profitable, there is clearly a legit chance of a nomination.

Also making noise with over $9k per screen was Land Ho!, a Sony Classics release that should be very leggy, if not with huge numbers, as its audience – over 50s – takes a little longer to turn out, but turn out when they get a sniff of a “must see” and there is a distributor that knows how to work that angle well.

Begin Again had a nice expansion. $3 million for Ida is a reason to celebrate. And Snowpiercer smashes into a wall on this expansion as the VOD glass ceiling does it no favors.

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60 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Klady of the Apes”

  1. movieman says:

    The b.o. performance of “Ida” hasn’t received nearly the amount of attention it deserves. Particularly in an era when subtitled movies have difficulty attracting even art house habitués.
    The fact that a fairly austere B&W Polish language film has grossed over $3-million (and counting) on American screens is rather astonishing in this day and age.
    Bravo to Music Box for their superb handling of a brilliant film.

  2. Pete B. says:

    I’m surprised Dawn/Apes didn’t do even better. Amazing film that should have long legs. I went in with high expectations and it surpassed them all. So good it even washed out the bad taste of Godzilla.

  3. Rob says:

    …And Snowpiercer PSA crumbles as soon as it hits VOD. What a coincidence.

  4. Christian says:

    I want to second movieman: the ‘Ida’ performance is remarkable on many levels. That an artistic achievement of that level broke out to reach wider than expected audiences is very surprising.

  5. Amblinman says:

    I liked most of Apes, but it ended with a fucking Kung fu fight and more city destroying. Yawn.

    Also, do modern reveiwers actually *watch* the movies they review? How many people have referred to Oldman’s character as the villain of the piece when the movie actually did a decent job of making him a reasonable character with an understandable POV? EW’s reviewer even refers to him as a facisf dictator. Wha? Granted he goes a bit batshit at the end, but that’s why I didn’t like the film’s climax. It basically throws away most of the attempts at shading that had gone on previously.

  6. PcChongor says:

    What seems to be the final consensus on “Edge of Tomorrow”? It’s definitely not the flop some were initially painting it out to be, but it’ll be lucky to break even when international is all said and done. This one might’ve been the final death knell for “original,” non-preexisting franchise based blockbusters until the bubble finally pops in a couple years.

  7. Gus says:

    Seriously – the complaints about a dearth of originals can just end after Edge’s performance. One of the best ‘big’ movies of the past five years is a terrific, clever, moving, thrilling original and everyone in America mostly shrugs. Kills me.

  8. brack says:

    Amblinman – Oldman’s character was hardly evil, but he had no qualms about killing all the apes for the generator. But you’re right, he’s not sinister at all.

  9. doug r says:

    Most of the money’s in video anyway. Just wait til they start saturation coverage of Emily Blunt arching her back on the TV spots.

  10. Ray Pride says:

    The belief Music Box Films had in IDA was there from the beginning. They’d been looking for Polish films to add to their library, and they’ve said it was a no-brainer. They’ve got taste and believe in their taste.

  11. JoJo says:

    “I’m trying to figure out something much worth saying about this weekend at the box office… but it’s pretty uneventful.”

    Some variation of this statement appears in roughly 75% of your box office columns, it seems like.

  12. Ray Pride says:

    There are four bars on my block in Chicago and a street fest right now. Street fest a sun-bright ghost town and roars rise intermittently from the at-capacity taverns. None if them are thinking about movies. I can’t imagine the Cup not being a large drag on b.o. In the US the way it was in the rest if the world four years ago. That’s an under-analyzed box-office factor that stands out the past couple months, leading to this weekend.

    The end of this match surely has the multibillion-viewers-worldwide the Oscars claim. And no time delay anywhere.

  13. chris says:

    Gus, $94 million is “not everyone in America mostly shrugs.” The movie just cost too much to be very, if at all, profitable, and maybe had the wrong male lead.

  14. movieman says:

    I wonder how long before distribs begin releasing VOD (rental fee) totals alongside theatrical b.o.
    Or, like Netflix not wanting to reveal the exact # of viewers for their original series (and the Oscars not revealing vote totals), is that strictly verboten?

  15. Ray Pride says:

    This will be quiet for a while. No upside yet to putting the data out. A couple Brit arthouse distribs are releasing figures.

    Anytime I find coverage of VOD developments, I link it on the front page.

  16. brack says:

    I don’t buy the World Cup having a significant effect on domestic box office. Just four years ago, we had The Karate Kid, Toy Story 3, Grown Ups, Twilight Saga: Eclispe, The Last Airbender, and Despicable Me all becoming moderately to severely popular during the 2010 World Cup both domestically and internationally.

  17. Chucky says:

    Well, brack posted just after Germany won the World Cup in extra time.

  18. brack says:

    I posted that originally hours ago Chucky in the Friday estimates. I still stand by my assertion given 2010’s box office grosses.

  19. Ray Pride says:

    Four years ago. Not this year. Popularity of futbol has taken off at an unseen level in a larger swath of this country. When public squares across the country were thronged to watch on a big screen to watch the US match? Anecdotal, yes, but I hope to read some figures in someone’s analysis.

  20. J says:

    ‘Snowpiercer’ may be adding screens, but it’s losing showings. The local ‘plex cut it back to two/day after only having it for a week.

  21. Amblinman says:


    Oldman’s willingness to kill all the apes at the generator isn’t fantastic but considering the circumstances something that’s somewhat understandable. He doesn’t yet buy into their evolved state, and he’s dealing with the potential extinction of that colony without the generator. It’s actually a fairly rational and justifiable course of action.

  22. brack says:

    The highest audience any of the US matches got was about 25m; that’s good but not spectacular. I’m sure the final match today had some good ratings for ABC, but let’s not pretend that this whole World Cup this past month really hurt movie box office, when the story is more likely that these movies released this June and early July were never going be huge. Believing Transformers 4 won’t hit $300m because of the World Cup is nonsense. The new Apes movie had a very strong opening, and anyone thinking that the World Cup final took away a $100m opening is living in a dream world.

    Soccer, America’s sport of the future…since 1970.

    This coming from a soccer fan in the US, but a realistic one who’s seen how much the sport continues to struggle. Americans don’t care about any sport we’re not good at. And who’s going to be the next Landon Donovan? The under 17 US team is pretty shabby.

  23. brack says:

    Considering these apes are riding on horses and speaking English, it only makes Oldman’s character that much dumber.

  24. movieman says:

    Anytime I find coverage of VOD developments, I link it on the front page.

    I’ll be keeping an eye out, Ray.

  25. J says:

    “The bulk of Universal’s summer starts next week, with 3 movies in 3 weekends on the way, though none of them are expected to be significant… though Purge 2 could be high profit.”

    I suspect that LUCY will be a pretty sizable win, as it’s tracking well. Uni seems to thinks so, having moved up the release date and put more money into marketing. If so, I imagine the story of that weekend will be some simplification on the lines of “Scarlett knocking out The Rock at the Box Office”…

  26. JS Partisan says:

    Brack: four years ago the World Cup took place in South Africa. This time, it took place in Brazil, and the time difference led to huge ratings. You can go on about 25m, but countless watched it in bars and restaurants. You are also ignoring the app, that made this particular World Cup blow up even more in this country.

    You can quote Keith all you want, but both of you are wrong (Not as wrong as referring to the World Cup as nonsense). Football, is the sport of the future in this country, and has more of a foothold now then it has ever had before. You and he can go on about the MLS, but the MLS does not sum up the passion people have for watching this sport. It’s a beautiful game, and a lot more beautiful than all the games we play with the exception Basketball.

    That aside, it’s a preamble year. Next year will be box office lunacy, and people will forget that Summer 2014 was an off year. They will only remember it, when they write their columns about the baffo 2015 Summer box office.

  27. Pete B. says:

    Have to argue about your beautiful games comment. The most beautiful game is baseball. No time limits, no penalty kicks, a game lasts as long as it needs to – nine innings or 90. That’s why it’s timeless.

  28. Joe Leydon says:

    Have to agree with Ray: I don’t remember a previous World Cup capturing wide US attention like this one.

  29. Hallick says:

    “Football, is the sport of the future in this country, and has more of a foothold now then it has ever had before.”

    Toenail hold maybe, and the nail has grown, but lets see how it does without this World Cup fever over the next couple of years.

  30. Hallick says:

    “Have to argue about your beautiful games comment. The most beautiful game is baseball.”

    No, it’s women’s beach volleyball. Come on people!

  31. brack says:

    Wow JS, I never called the World Cup nonsense, way to go at misreading what I wrote. It’s no wonder no one here takes you seriously. The ratings weren’t huge by most measures, bars and an app included or not. And how do you explain the international box office that was very strong in 2010 (and still pretty good internationally this year)? Are you going to talk about it being in South Africa as another reason? And the number I talked about was the US matches, which were the highest rated for any of the matches here in the US. Their first game was on a Monday, then a Sunday, a Thursday, and then a Tuesday. None of those days are prime movie-going days. And all the matches were broadcast only on ESPN. ABC had no faith in broadcasting the matches on the network with the biggest potentional audience. Only the World Cup final was on ABC.

    And you’re wrong about the MLS not being indicative of the US’ passion for the game. Yes, some people watch the English Premier League on TV in the US, but it’s nothing compared to how many here watch the NFL, MLB, NBA, or NHL. Attendance has gone up a little because of the WC, but its not going to last. They just have too much competition.

    I love soccer, I love the MLS, but it’s not all of a sudden going to sweep over America after this World Cup. Like I said before, Americans care about sports they’re good at and ignore others like soccer/football, which is the world’s game (I never denied that).

    The US hosted the WC in 1994. It really hurt the domestic box office, didn’t it? The Lion King, Forrest Gump, Speed, and True Lies really got hurt by the WC, right?

    The most popular soccer ever has been in the US was in the late 70s to early 80s with the NASL, most popular with and the biggest crowds being the New York Cosmos, which averaged over 28,000 a match, with three of their seasons topping 40,000 a match. That’s unheard of today. But the league had the biggest names in the world like Pele, who played for the Cosmos. And due to a lot of overspending in the league, it eventually fell apart.

    Like I stated earlier JS, Soccer has been the sport of the future for 44 years. It’s the Dippin’ Dots of sports here. I wish that wasn’t true, but it is, which is a shame since more youth play soccer in the US than any other sport. And again, the U-17 team looks shabby. And there’s no players like Landon Donovan coming up in the foreseeable future.

    I have no idea what Keith (Olbermann?) stated, I don’t watch his show.

  32. Stella's Boy says:

    It does seem like soccer has been the sport of the future in the U.S. for a long time now. And it also seems like, by and large, people care about it for a month or so every 4 years during the World Cup before returning to care about football, baseball, and basketball while basically ignoring soccer.

  33. Bulldog68 says:

    First off, it’s football, not soccer. Americans would need to change the name of what they currently call football to be taken seriously. It’s god damn arrogant.

    Secondly, they need to stop calling themselves “world champions” at sports that don’t include the rest of the world. So the NFL, NBA and MLB champions can just go fuck themselves if they claim to be the world’s best. Here’s my argument made for me.

  34. Stella's Boy says:

    Sorry, football. Some people sure are touchy about that.

  35. brack says:

    Soccer was first used by the English. Americans didn’t invent the word. There’s your history lesson Bulldog. Blame the English.

  36. Bulldog68 says:

    Don’t give two shits who invented the word. 🙂 And based upon these right wing nut cases, wasn’t everything invented in the US of A?

  37. Hcat says:

    This might be nit picky but abc broadcast at least two games each weekend they played. I am pretty sure Stadium attendance for MLS outdoes hockey and basketball, and if you look at the demographic breakdown it was 20somethings and Latinos that were following th cup closest and those are pretty reliable moviegoers.

    I’m not saying it took a half billion out of the box office, but I can certainly see how it was some sort of factor.

  38. Etguild2 says:

    People love the Olympics when they’re in the Western Hemisphere a lot more than when they’re on tape delay. This isn’t rocket science, is it?

    6 years ago golf’s mega ratings made it the next big sport: 6 years before that it was tennis. Other than the fading of hockey and rise of college football, there hasn’t been a seemingly permanent ratings trend in Americsn sports this century.

  39. Ray Pride says:

    Hockey in Chicago is a mania.

  40. David Poland says:

    Maybe 15%, Jo Jo.

  41. Etguild2 says:

    Hockey has obsessive niche markets….like soccer. But since the lockout it no longer is nationally viable from a TV standpoint. It is: NFL, NBA, MLB, college FB, college bb …..then a big drop off

  42. brack says:

    No way that the MLS beats the NHL or NBA in attendance. Most MLS stadiums are too small. Even if all matches were sold out, it wouldn’t even come close to NHL or NBA attendance.

  43. brack says:

    Etguild2 – tennis isn’t going to be big in America again without good American men’s players. There are no American stars on the horizon. Not that it’s that big of a deal. Roger Federer is the biggest tennis player of all time, and is much loved in the US. His matches rate better than any other tennis player still.

  44. brack says:

    “This might be nit picky but abc broadcast at least two games each weekend they played.”

    Who played, US during the WC? Um, no, they broadcast not a single US match. They were all on ESPN.

  45. Etguild2 says:

    Brack, that’s why I said 12 years ago. Agassi and Sampras as the vets with Roddick and Blake as their heirs…but like so many sports predictions, it didn’t happen.

  46. Hcat says:

    From Forbes via Wikipedia
    ‘MLS owners built soccer specific stadiums and the average attendance is the third highest of American sports. 18.6 thousand to NHLs 17.6 and NBAs 17.4.’. (Though soccers fewer games might play into that).

    Misread that you were talking only about us matches on abc.

    And the World Cup hosting in 94 didn’t effect lion king, but it destroyed North.

  47. chris says:

    Being godawful destroyed “North.”

  48. Greg says:

    In America we already have Football. It’s Soccer here. Plain and simple. We have fries, they have chips. Why does it have to be the same name? Anyway, we now go into four year hibernation where people don’t care AT ALL about the World Cup. And if the U.S. loses in the first stage, the rest of it wouldn’t have mattered to this country a lick.

  49. Bulldog68 says:

    “In America we already have Football. It’s Soccer here. Plain and simple. We have fries, they have chips. Why does it have to be the same name?”

    No problem. And the rest of the world that plays the game of cricket should change that sports name to baseball. That way when they have World Championships, and truly World Championships because different countries play each other, then the winner will be the Baseball Champion of the World. 🙂

  50. Amblinman says:

    MLB doesn’t have other countries as part of the schedule because 1.) the level of play is not on par with US teams and 2.) baseball’s schedule structure would not work traveling across global time zones.

    I’m guessing you entertain your coworkers all day with about 5 billion ‘MURICA jokes.

  51. Bulldog68 says:

    My only beef is calling yourself “World Champions”. You’re so proud of America. What’s wrong with calling yourself American Champions?

    If that “Murica” comment was meant for me, I actually had to google it. 5 billion is lowballing it.

  52. Jermsguy says:

    Into the Storm is almost here, and the marketing’s been pretty subdued. Shouldn’t it be seen as an EVENT? Super-tornadoes! I’d be surprised if it musters a $12 million weekend.

  53. SamLowry says:

    “A group of high school students document the events and aftermath of a devastating tornado” …and it was shot around Detroit.

    I get the feeling there’s a message there.

    (Since the Michigan Film Office site hasn’t been updated in two years, I think that message is “Go away.” Thanks, state Republicans, and your evaporating tax benefits for scaring Hollywood away.)

  54. chris says:

    Didn’t Michigan just hand “Batman v Superman” something like 35 million?

  55. Amblinman says:

    “Bulldog68 says:
    July 16, 2014 at 2:31 pm
    My only beef is calling yourself “World Champions”. You’re so proud of America. What’s wrong with calling yourself American Champions?”

    I don’t know. The next time the American Baseball Cabal gets together over slurpies and Taco Bell AM Crunch wraps I’ll ask.

    “If that “Murica” comment was meant for me, I actually had to google it. 5 billion is lowballing it.”

    It was. Lucky co-workers.

  56. SamLowry says:

    Chris, when the new Republican governor took over in 2011, he drastically cut film tax incentives in the state. One look at the page I previously linked to showed dozens of movies in production in 2011 and early 2012, but the number fell dramatically after the films already in production when the new law took effect wrapped.

    Under the previous governor, a Democrat, incentives were a flat percentage: “A commissioned report, authored by Ernst & Young, found that 2,631 film industry jobs had been created in 2009 and 3,860 jobs in 2010. Ernst & Young also found that economic activity was increased 6 to 1 for every incentive dollar spent.”

    The Republicans, however, replied in the typical know-nothing manner: “Nixon says that every dollar spent brings in only 28 cents, not enough to justify such a high tax incentive.” (Yes, rather than sending someone to check the state’s books, the morons fell back to a quote from 1974 that actually referred to Social Security.)

    So they capped the incentive at $25M per year, total, which means Warner must have received a sweet under-the-table deal if they won the entire kitty plus an extra $10M more.

    Considering all the money that was actually being made, one can’t help but think that we’ve become a casualty in the Culture Wars, with the Republicans cutting off Michigan’s nose to spite Liberal Hollywood’s face.

  57. brack says:

    Hcat – that attendance stat from Forbes is useless without other information like the average cost of tickets. NHL and especially NBA tickets are on average way more expensive than going to MLS games. On top of that, the attendance in places like the Northwest part of the country is amazingly high because they love soccer so much.

    Look how much the average MLS player makes compared to the average NHL or NBA player. It’s $5.5m for NBA, $2.4m for NHL.

    You know what the average salary is for MLS players? I’ll tell you, it’s roughly $207k, up from just $165k last year, and something like 76% make less than the average.

  58. SamLowry says:

    “something like 76% make less than the average”

    Okay, I know I flunked out of calculus, but, hmm….

    (I was going to mention the Lake Wobegon Effect, but that somehow is about overconfidence, rather than the statistical impossibility of all their children being above average.)

  59. Hcat says:

    35%, that would be the combined market share of a fox/wb would be for the film side today. Not that movie studios are anything more than shuffled around school children in these mega media mergers (just ask universal), but a combination of the two would be such an oversized behometh in the amount of content produced both in television and film, not to mention the vast combined library of fox Warner’s and MGM they would literally own half of hollywoods history, if I were Netflix or encore or a theater owner this move would make me very nervous.

    Seems like it might actually happen though, Warner’s met with Chase Carrey and was offered 80 billion, a heart, a brain, and courage.

  60. brack says:

    SamLowry – you don’t need to know calculus to know what average means. You might be confusing the term with median.

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