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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Santa After Hours Klady

Friday Estimates 2014-12-27 at 9.45.15 AM

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will pass $170m domestic and $500 million worldwide this weekend. It’s hard to get a legit comparative handle on the day-to-day between this one and the other two Hobbit films as this was the only one with a Wednesday opening. But it is ahead of the second one by most standards and it’s close to the first, ahead or behind, however you measure. Don’t cry for he, Peter Jackson.

The newcomers, Unbroken and Into The Woods, are still neck-‘n’-neck. Unbroken is a bit ahead. If there is a family audience for Into The Woods, that could flip today. Or not. As noted yesterday, both films are likely headed past $100 million… but probably not too far past.

Also opening on the wide track was The Gambler, which is doing modestly, benefiting from the holiday. Big Eyes on the ambivalent number of 1307 screens did an ambivalent (worse, really) $765 per.

The Imitation Game expanded from 34 to 747 screens on Christmas Day and did a very nice $4,9 per-screen on Thursday and $3,882 per yesterday.

Wild took a different route, leaping to 1,061 screens last week and doing a small expansion on Christmas Day to 1,285. Still, Friday-to-Friday the film had a 57% jump, which is impressive and suggests that Searchlight is getting nice word-of-mouth.

Opening in exclusive runs, American Sniper was the story, averaging a round $50k per screen on four yesterday. It’s slightly down from Opening Day, but not in a way that is remotely negative.

Selma took a steeper drop from opening Thursday to Friday, but is still doing well with a bit over $11k per screen on 19.

The Interview‘s indie-theater-only run on approximately 331 screens is doing fine under the circumstances. It’s really hard to read these tea leaves without a proper count on showings and, really, seat count, given that these are often small houses (and occasionally gigantic). For instance, LA’s Cinefamily is only 171 seats. So a five-screening day maxes out at 1,055 tickets or $14,770. And as noted before, American Sniper is averaging $50k per screen for Friday, so obviously there are at least 3x as many seats available in each of those theaters (by average). Add to this, that the $2,175 per screen on Friday doesn’t account for theaters where there may be only 1 or 2 screenings on the day.

The biggest question that seems to be on the media’s mind is how the day-and-date VOD for The Interview is affecting the theatrical numbers. And that too is pretty hard to guess at accurately without a lot of detailed information. That said, the claim that this is a big step for day-and-date VOD is as absurd as comparing any part of the experience of releasing The Interview to any other movie in modern history.

(CORRECTION: Typo in the first sentence corrected, “$170M” instead of “$179m”)

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15 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Santa After Hours Klady”

  1. movieman says:

    Fantastic (limited) bow for “American Sniper.”
    A career high for Clint?
    I hope that it begins to figure more prominently in discussions of the Oscar race.

  2. EtGuild2 says:

    Looks like Katniss is going to hunt down the elusive Star-Lord after all. Interesting that Marvel Studios has managed to claim the domestic throne only once in total, while YA adaptations have four times.

    Btw this is the sixth straight year a YA title has managed to hit $300 million domestic. It looks like that streak will come to a close in 2016 though, with “Divergent” not really catching fire (hah!). Or is something about to come crashing out of nowhere? I think “Goosebumps” is about 20 years too late.

    Too be fair, “Maze Runner” might be able to pop its way into $500-600m worldwide territory. It’s somehow the biggest live-action release of all-time in September worldwide (#2 behind Hotel Transylvania), but 2015 is so jam-packed they’re leaving it there which really hurts its domestic potential.

  3. cadavra says:

    A more interesting comparison would be VERONICA MARS, the last studio film to open same-day as VOD (and DVD to boot, as Kickstarter contributors at a certain level received screeners timed to opening day). Of course, Warners chose to release it that way, and cost themselves a lot of dough by not holding VOD back even two weeks. Sony might have done likewise, but they likely felt WOM would be poisonous except for those knuckle-draggers who find Rogen funny.

  4. EtGuild2 says:

    One problem with the “Mars” comparison is that it was still playing in multiplexes. As Poland notes, seating capacity might be an issue…and even if it isn’t given that VM was probably playing on smaller screens, pricing probably is. In my area, the indie house playing “Interview” is $8, $6.50 for matinee. My local plexes are $10 and $11 evening, and $8/$8.50 matinee, respectively.

    That means for every 100 people through the door, that’s at least $200 less.

  5. Geoff says:

    Was it ever really in doubt that Mockingjay would catch ‘Guardians?? EACH of the previous two also dive-bombed after opening weekend then recovered somewhat long-term – folks DIG these movies I don’t know people keep underestimating them.

    That said, I don’t think Marvel is really crying about this – ‘Guardians really over-performed domestically.

  6. EtGuild2 says:

    @Geoff, if it had followed the trajectories of the first two after first or second weekend, it would have come up slightly short…around $325. It caught several lucky breaks (underperformers, a wide release getting pulled, and a bizarrely low theatre count for “Into the Woods” come to mind) that have allowed it to hold more screens than “Catching Fire” despite a lower per-screen average.

    So I don’t think the cat was in the bag, but yeah, Marvel wasn’t expecting a race anyway.

    So yeah…what’s up with that “Into the Woods” screen count? Below Le Miz, “Burlesque,” and “Jersey Boys,” and right in line with “Rent.” It’s in fewer theatres than “The Gambler,” week 6 of “Mockingjay,” and barely more than week 8 of “Big Hero 6.” I know Sondheim isn’t mainstream, but seems there’s a lack of confidence. Not sure where all these missing screens are, but that family bounce might not come.

  7. Joshua says:

    The chart should say 2,440 screens for “Into the Woods” rather than 244.

  8. Geoff says:

    Etguild, it didn’t catch every break… was literally locked out of just about EVERY Imax screen thanks to the Interstellar deal – Mockingjay probably lost at least $10 million from that bit of unluckiness.

  9. EtGuild2 says:

    Yeah wasn’t going by the chart. 2,440 still seems very low by the standards of a major Disney musical.

  10. brack says:

    I’d be very surprised if Unbroken or Into the Woods didn’t clear $125m domestically. Usually Christmas releases like these do quite well, and since school is out, the daily grosses for both should be good as well. The theater count for Into the Woods is about right for live-action musicals, and one that’s based on a musical nearly 30 years old, it seems wise on Disney’s part to not aim too high. Plus you have to remember there’s another musical out too, Annie, and another Night at the Museum, so it’s a bit crowded. It also is probably the least expensive major Disney movie to be released in a while (unless you count stuff like Million Dollar Arm, which was just a counter-programming release).

  11. cadavra says:

    SAVING MR. BANKS cost $35 million.

    Also, the WOODS budget was deliberately “low” because Disney felt it was a fairly specialized property and might not cross over, thus they wanted to minimize their risk. Delighted to see it’s paying off.

  12. brack says:

    So we are counting stuff like Million Dollar Arm. No one honestly thought either film would do well, certainly not big Disney numbers well, which was ultimately my point. Oscar bait stuff doesn’t have to be big budget necessarily, which is what they were hoping with SMB. Disney has been on a rool with fairytale stuff (when does it not really?), so it was a gamble for sure, but a mild gamble. I liked the movie quite a bit, it definitely deserves an audience. I never saw the stage show, but the songs are fun and easy to follow compared to some Sondheim stuff (i.e. a couple of songs from Sweeney Todd).

  13. The Hey says:

    Before the hack and the flack I thought that The Interview was going the way Walk Hard did in ’07. ($4M opening – $20M domestic) and the major chains probably saw the same thing and was glad to be able to drop it.

    The road it took was totally unnecessary but I like where it ended. A lot of indie theaters got a nice windfall for the holiday week instead of running something second run.

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