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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by “What The Shell?” Klady

weekend estimates 2014-08-10 at 9.10.07 AM

So pretty happy weekend for both Paramount and Disney – and Michael Bay and Marvel – as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles launches about as well as Paramount could have hoped for the reboot and Guardians drops a solid-for-a-second-weekend-after-a-mega-opening 56%. Win-win.

In fact, the Guardians drop is dead on with the Captain America 2 drop from April, which in finals was 56.6%. Might be the same for Guardians as today has not happened yet. Could be better. Previous best drop this summer from a $90m+ opener was Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s 61.2%. (Don’t let that stop you from presuming that audiences hated it because you don’t like it, journalistic seekers of truth.)

The Ninja Turtles open is right there between 22 Jump Street and Maleficent for the summer. Of course, this means absolutely nothing, aside from spin over word of mouth, to the people who paid for and made the movie. Each film comes into the market within its own universe of cost and potential returns and each one will be right back there within 6 weeks. Between now and then, sound and fury signifying hype.

The real story of this weekend is the three movies from three different studios who thought they had some room to work. This date for Into The Storm suggests that WB must not have expected Guardians or Turtles to do these numbers. The movie is not Grade A, but you can fool some of the people some of the time yet this was not that time. I have no idea what the real budget of the film is, but it claims to be rather cheap, so maybe it will be able to find enough cash internationally to get into the black based on the effects, which are not unimpressive.

The Hundred-Foot Journey seeks to counterprogram with food and Indian culture and Helen Mirren getting her groove back in what used to be the Meryl Streep summer romance slot. What Disney found out the hard way is that Helen Mirren isn’t Meryl Streep or Julia Roberts and no amount of Oprah thrown at the marketing – which by the way, is not selling what the movie IS, which is a problem – could make her so. Of course, the last Meryl Streep effort in this slot opened to $14 million, which is why there hasn’t been one in a couple years. This open is “only” 20% off that.

And Step Up: All In, a franchise discarded by Disney after 3, picked up as a piece of business by Lionsgate, took another step backwards that couldn’t have been too much of a surprise to LGF. It’s kind of fascinating. There has been a drop with each film in the series and the drop on opening weekend has grown each time, from 8% to %16% to %25% to 44% this time. This suggests that “Step Up 6 would open to something like $2.6 million… which is why VOD beckons.

Lucy‘s hold looks pretty good considering the hurricane of the last two weekends in its target demo. Universal can’t love 49% in weekend three, but it could be a lot worse. It should hit $100 million on Wednesday or Thursday.

Hercules is also holding reasonably well against the August rush, but at a lesser level with a higher budget. There’s already $73m in from international. They’ll need more. But that is the route.

Get On Up is done. No one likes to talk about it, but black audiences, when they turn out in numbers, are heavily first weekend customers… often opening day heavy. So when you see a 63% drop for a well-reviewed film about a great performer, you know that the white audience just isn’t showing up much and much of the black demand has been sated. Universal also got smacked by the media distraction over Guardians. This should have been a fall or spring movie. Just got lost here, except with its core constituency.

A Most Wanted Man crosses the $10m plateau running neck-n-neck with Boyhood. It’s only fair to point out that And So It Goes, Rob Reiner’s summer rom-com for over 50s released by newcomer Clarius and FreeStyle Releasing, is ahead of both of those films. I wonder what that film could have done with a more mainstream distributor.

Also, Open Road’s Chef is a million away from $30 million. Impressive.

Soft weekend for new indies. Jim Cameron’s latest undersea exploration didn’t draw much. What If, which has a lot of love and goodwill floating around it (including Zoe Kazan charming the sweet bejeezus out of everyone), found a modest $6700-per on 20. And The Dog, which has taken about a year to land in theaters from the festival circuit, managed just $5050-per on 2.

And a very strong single-screen number for South Korean film, The Admiral: Roaring Currents… for the record.

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28 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by “What The Shell?” Klady”

  1. PeanutButter says:

    And So It Goes was a terrible movie. I was surprised at just how bad it was. That’s the reason it was released by an unknown studio.

  2. PcChongor says:

    Considering I have no idea who “Tammy” was made for, it still managed to clean up pretty nicely at $83 million.

    And why even bother with reporting blockbuster/event film box office receipts when all the true flops and successes are decided at the Walmart toy aisles, not the theaters. In terms of raw box office profit-to-cost ratios, “22 Jump Street” and “The Purge: Anarchy” are easily the summer’s biggest winners.

  3. cadavra says:

    PB: Right, because as we all know, the majors NEVER release terrible movies.

  4. Hcat says:

    Pc, you have to take marketing into consideration at least a bit, which makes purge seem less successful, though stablemate Neighbors is still a resounding success. The twenty to thirty million dollar comedy is still a cash cow, as long as you don’t spend 80 million to make one (Mr. McKay?).

  5. Chucky says:

    The arthouse has become the repository for Quote Whores, Name-Checking and the nefarious Academy Award Winner/Nominee. These hard-sell tactics help contribute to Hollywood’s summer of woe — and nobody in the industry dares make the connection.

    With that in mind, it is good to see “Boyhood” and “Magic in the Moonlight” collapse as they go national. Heck, the mainstream theaters in the Hamptons don’t have the Woody Allen pic yet!

  6. EtGuild2 says:

    If you’re mentioning profit-to-box office ratios, you have to mention 22 JUMP STREET, because it has a slew of territories left to open in (including Brazil, France, Mexico) which make $350 million a practical certainty and $400 million a possibility. Still, obsession with China numbers aside, TRANS4MERS is going to end up as the most purely profitable movie this summer in raw dollars, though if you want to go by “movie the studio is most ecstatic about” it has to be MALEFICENT or GUARDIANS (or maybe even LUCY, PURGE or TMNT). On the flipside, SPIDEY, EDGE, and DELIVER US FROM EVIL have to be the most depressing, though DRAGON 2 is the strangest oddity of the season IMO.

    Chucky, yes, in the first summer in ages to go without a $300 million hit or a $200 million grossing cartoon, let’s blame Richard Linklater and Woody Allen for the year to year comparisons. Again, we would have finished with an average summer at the box office if Pixar had managed to get its shit together.

  7. spassky says:

    Considering 21 Jump St. made a combined 5 mil or so in Brazil, France, and Mexico, I would be very very surprised if this even got to 320 mil. Still, a great success and one that I’m sure will only be shinier when rentals start coming in.

  8. Smith says:

    Don’t forget The Fault in Our Stars – $266m WW and counting off a $12m budget.

  9. YancySkancy says:

    I’m mystified by the success of TMNT. Had no idea there was any interest in it at this point in time. I assume with a property of this age it’s all parents who grew up with it turning their kids onto it? Scratch that: Just did two minutes of research and found out there were subsequent TV series that ran from 2003-09 and 2012 to the present. I used to work at DIC/Cookie Jar and Disney Channel, but I haven’t paid any attention to the kids’ market for several years.

  10. Joe Leydon says:

    Yancy: If you check, you’ll see several people (here and elsewhere) were equally amazed when Alvin and the Chipmunks was a smash back in 2007. But here’s the thing: Some kid-skewing properties never really go away. They’re kept alive through toys, home video, CDs, TV reruns, even bath towels and bed linens. The challenge for producers is telling the difference between something with enduring cross-generational appeal, and something that is, was and forever will be a limited cult fave. Choose right, and you make Ninja Turtles. Choose wrong, and you make Thunderbirds.

  11. EtGuild2 says:

    What’s interesting is that Dreamworks has had several successful television series based on well received movie properties like “Dragon” and “Kung Fu Panda” that have run for years on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. But they didn’t seem to help its movie sequels from declining by nearly $50 million while stuff like “Monsters U” and “Despicable Me 2” has done great without such support. 3rd time’s the charm with “Penguins of Madagascar?”

    EDIT: The PANDA series apparently debuted after the 2nd film, so they will have a crack next year when the 3rd film debuts.

  12. Sam says:

    How much do you think you’d have to pay to commission Nate Silver to do an article studying the statistical correlation (or lack thereof) between box office grosses and use of name-checking and awards-checking in movie marketing? I would kill to see a smackdown like that, but dollars to doughnuts the study would go unacknowledged by Chucky, who would post another incarnation of his one comment the following day.

  13. PcChongor says:

    Completely forgot about “The Fault in Our Stars.” Definitely the best profit multiple of the bunch, and it’ll be interesting to see how they’re going to try and franchise out the film given the fact that it’s based on a single novel. Either they’ll go the cast route and get Shailene Woodley to star in another John Green adaptation, or they’ll just go with Green’s name alone and try to turn him into the next “Nicholas Sparks” schlocky romance conveyor belt.

  14. SamLowry says:

    EtGuild, when the TV show looks identical to the movie, it feels like a waste of money to see the same thing in a theater. Yet when it looks cartoony (TURBO, especially) it just reminds you of how banal the whole concept seems.

  15. Joe Leydon says:

    EtG: Well, there’s also this to consider — if a property is too new, maybe that means it appeals to only one generation. Look, I don’t pretend to be any kind of marketing genius here, I’m just theorizing. And, yeah, extrapolating from personal experience. Not sure if I’ve already posted this story here — and I apologize in advance to anyone reading this a second or third time — but I will always remember driving my then-11-year-old son to see Mr. Magoo. I asked: Did he ever watch Mr. Magoo cartoons? Answer: No. (I found out later: They were no longer in steady syndication.) Did he ever hear his friends talk about Mr. Magoo? No. Did he have any idea who Mr. Magoo was? No. That’s when I knew: Disney was screwed.

  16. movieman says:

    It’s easy to be myopic about what kiddie phenom does, or doesn’t, have enduring juvenile appeal if a particular kid fave rave like “TMNT” arrived a generation (or two) after you.
    It’s even easier if you don’t (or never had) any small kids in the house re: reading the pop cult tea leaves.

  17. movieman says:

    it is good to see “Boyhood” and “Magic in the Moonlight” collapse as they go national.

    Is Chucky really Armond White?
    Rooting for Richard Linklater and/or Woody Allen to fail could be the most insensible blog entry yet from Mr. New Jersey.

  18. Joe Leydon says:

    You know, I would not be surprised to eventually learn that Chucky actually is a filmmaker whose one and only film got totally trashed by critics. Wait a minute: Is S. Lee Pogostin still alive? Let me check: No, he died a few months ago. Never mind.

  19. Chucky says:

    I’m no Film Snob and I’m not a reactionary. I’m just an ordinary person who sees things for what they really are.

    I had planned to see “Magic in the Moonlight” until it opened in New York and the ad in the New York papers featured … are you ready? … a pullquote from Peter Travers. Sony’s arthouse division found it necessary to get approval from the biggest Quote Whore of them all. He also happens to be a right-wing hack. [Travers denounced “Rendition” because that movie, released in October 2007, correctly depicted the US government as vicious and authoritarian.]

    As the song goes, you’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.

  20. Bulldog68 says:

    So now we lose Robin Williams. WTF!

  21. cadavra says:

    Saw GET ON UP today and thought it was fine: performances, period detail and of course the music were all aces, and the non-linear structure (actually “circular” would be more accurate) was kind of a refreshing change from the usual rise-fall-rise trajectory of most biopics. And the eloquent final scene cleared up any doubts about who the real love story was about.

    I’m saddened that the boomers didn’t come out in force for this, just as they failed to turn up for JERSEY BOYS (and the new Reiner and Woody movies, for that matter). I fear we may have arrived at that point where they’ve simply thrown in the towel when it comes to theatre-going and have decided to wait the 90 days for Netflix. And thus the knuckle-draggers have achieved victory in the battle for the silver screen, clearing the way for even more farts and explosions. Depressing, but perhaps inevitable.

  22. Sam says:

    “I had planned to see “Magic in the Moonlight” until it opened in New York and the ad in the New York papers featured … are you ready? … a pullquote from Peter Travers.”


    Yes, Chucky, Peter Travers is a hack, and Sony’s marketing division shouldn’t have gotten a pull quote from him. But…Woody Allen had nothing whatsoever to do with the marketing of the film. Neither did Sony’s marketing division have anything to do with the making of it!

    The movie is as good or bad as it would have been without Peter Travers’ pull quote. Why you continue to base your movie-watching decisions on factors that have ZERO impact on what any given movie is and what your experience would be watching it, I continue to have no idea.

    If a movie is a good time, it’s a good time whether Peter Travers weighs in or not.

  23. Gustavo says:

    “I had planned to see “Magic in the Moonlight” until it opened in New York and the ad in the New York papers featured … are you ready? … a pullquote from Peter Travers.”

    Yeah, sure, a pullquote from a critic on a poster actually impacts the FILM.

  24. YancySkancy says:

    I don’t know where else to put this, but: is it possible to get that damn Daily Show clip on the Hot Blog home page to stop auto-playing? It can’t be paused, nor can the volume be controlled (at least not on my comp, unless I turn down or mute my comp volume).

  25. Ray Pride says:

    Is it still happening? I couldn’t find an autoplay in the embed code.

  26. YancySkancy says:

    Ray: It’s still autoplaying on my comp. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not having the issue with any other videos here or elsewhere. Thanks for taking a look.

  27. SamLowry says:

    And the sidebar is having issues, too; doesn’t appear at first but only after I post a comment.

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