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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Box Office: Disapointments and Kladys

weekend estimates  2014-12-14 at 10.26.25 AM

Not a ton more to draw from today’s estimates than from Friday’s estimates. Nothing really did anything unexpected over the rest of the weekend. Openings seen as disappointments can be made to look a lot better by the upcoming holiday… or not. We’ll see.

Mockingjay 1 remains the very strong ($611m ww) weak sibling of the franchise. Interstellar passes $600 million, at an almost 3-1 international-to-domestic ratio.

The big holiday warhorses land next weekend: The Hobbit finale, the allegedly final Night At The Museum, and the Annie remake.

BP contenders 2014-12-14 at 11.17.14 AM

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30 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Box Office: Disapointments and Kladys”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    There have been 9 wide release pushes by studios since the first week of November. 6 have missed domestic expectations (Penguins, Horrible Bosses, Hunger Games, Interstellar, Beyond the Lights and seemingly Exodus), 2 have met them (Big Hero 6 and Dumber) and Top Five…we’ll see.

    That’s pretty worrisome overall, but as Poland notes…this is not an appealing slate. The HUNGER GAMES hold is indicative of just that.

  2. Daniel says:

    Saw Top Five in Berkeley last night with a sold out crowd that was 90% white and probably 90% over age 60. This was on opening weekend. If that doesn’t suggest this film can play to a wide audience, I don’t know what can. Then again, most of them didn’t seem to know who any of the musical references were or why DMX’s cameo was so funny. Smile though your heart is hurting. What? I think this movie will leg out in a big way, well past $50 million, despite it’s major structural problems. The truth is it has more knockout scenes than Bridesmaids and that was a phenomenon. If this had been released in summer with a lot of buzz and an edgier marketing campaign, it would easily pass $100 million and maybe even $150.

  3. movieman says:

    Does anyone else think this is going to be one of the saddest, lowest-grossing holiday seasons in years?
    “Hobbit” will do what “Hobbit”s do, but is anyone (besides hardcore Tolkien-ites) really excited about seeing it?
    “Museum 3” will do fine as “Museum”s go, I suppose.
    But everything else seems to have the potential for disaster, or at least soul-sucking disappointment.
    Early reviews of “The Interview” handicap it as a potential catastrophe.
    “The Gambler” already feels like damaged goods. (Paramount better count their lucky stars they’ve got “Selma” around the bend to save their indecisive asses.)
    The recent history of B’way-to-screen tuners isn’t terribly encouraging re: “Woods.”
    For every “Chicago” or “Les Miz” there’s been a “Rock of Ages” and/or “Nine.” Best case for “Woods” is to fall somewhere in between.
    Speaking of damaged goods, the title of Angelina Jolie’s passion project is starting to look pretty damn ironic. It was broken the day it was first unveiled to the press. And its deafening lack of awards traction since then doesn’t bode well for its chances at the (domestic anyway) b.o.
    “Unbroken” is just the sort of “this is good for you” movie that needs critical huzzahs, thunderous Oscar buzz…
    or, at the very least, a marquee-friendly lead actor to make it out of the gate.
    No, no and nope.
    “Annie” alone seems like a potential wild card. But I can see it going straight down the crapper–or performing like a thoroughbred. The fact that there’s hardly a dearth of kid-friendly options out there certainly won’t help its chances, though.

  4. matt says:

    I think this last Hobbit installment has the potential to do really well, especially if the international numbers from this weekend are any indication-

    The trailers are doing a good job at selling the movie as the “culmination” of the LOTR trilogy AND the Hobbit trilogy, and showcasing dramatic scenes with large-scale, epic battles. Personally, I haven’t seen the first two Hobbit films but I’m ready to see this one.

  5. Hallick says:

    “The trailers are doing a good job at selling the movie as the ‘culmination’ of the LOTR trilogy AND the Hobbit trilogy, and showcasing dramatic scenes with large-scale, epic battles.”

    Isn’t that last part 87% of every Rings movie Jackson ever made?

  6. cadavra says:

    WOODS is a masterpiece by our greatest living theatrical songwriter. ANNIE is an unnecessary remake that looks like a desperate attempt to squeeze some bucks out of a library title by pandering to families and praying for “urban” crossover.

    Do we even need to guess which one will gross more? Hint: It won’t be the one with people who can actually sing.

  7. spacesheik says:

    The fact that an under the radar indie such as ST. VINCENT can sputter quietly to $42 million is pretty impressive.

  8. Ray Pride says:

    The early reviews aren’t kind to the one with people who don’t sing.

  9. Glamourboy says:

    Don’t know what you are thinking, but INTO THE WOODS is going to be huge. I used to show the dvd of the stage version to kids in my family, and even without special effects and an all star cast, they all fell in love with the story. This is a Disney film with TWO Princesses in it…Jack in the Beanstalk, a witch and two giants. Not only has the early buzz been great but it has been placing in many top tens and year end awards. I can’t drive a mile without seeing two billboards and bus stop posters. Plus, this is the movie that parents WANT to take their kids to see–they get to see a Meryl Streep movie and get to take the kids too. All this talk about musicals being iffy–you have to remember that last year the musical was Frozen (also with a broadway pedigree), and that didn’t do so badly.

  10. Stella's Boy says:

    This is completely anecdotal, but I’m a parent, and my wife and I have zero interest in taking our kids to see Into the Woods. I asked my sister if she was planning on taking her kids and she replied “What’s Into the Woods?”

  11. Breedlove says:

    But Rob Marshall directed it.

  12. Smith says:

    Yup, the Christmas movies are all looking pretty second tier,which is fitting since this was basically a second tier year for the studios. I frankly can’t remember a more miserable, uninspiring year for mainstream filmmaking. There were, of course, exceptions here and there (and I’m sure everyone’s mileage will vary as to what those are), but overall, pretty weak. Thank goodness there were a lot of great indie and foreign films this year to pick up the slack. And thank God 2015 is looking absolutely stacked with great films and filmmakers.

  13. Ryan says:

    Movieman-I think ‘Unbroken’ gets to $100 million easy. ‘Seabiscuit’ did $120 million without a huge name (I wouldn’t call Tobey Maguire post Spidey a box office draw). This has a popular book, a World War II story and gets tons of free press because of Jolie.

    I don’t have kids, but based on the trailers, I would take my niece and nephew to Into the Woods before I would take them to Annie.

    Everything else looks pretty mediocre. I’m sure I’m going to get creamed for saying this, but I thought Exodus was pretty solid for what it was, which was a Biblical story meets ‘Gladiator’ style effects/acting. If people were expecting something way different, I’m not sure why. You got pretty much exactly what the trailer advertised, so I’m unsure why Gladiator got lots of props, and Exodus gets trashed.

  14. Stella's Boy says:

    Unbroken has a lot of competition, and reviews seem pretty mixed. Seabiscuit went up against the Tomb Raider sequel and a Spy Kids movie. I’m not convinced it’s a lock for $100 million.

  15. Mike says:

    Seabiscuit also got better reviews than Unbroken is going to get. Flags of Our Fathers seems a better comparison.

  16. cadavra says:

    “This is a Disney film with TWO Princesses in it…Jack in the Beanstalk, a witch and two giants.”

    It’s also dark and scary; half the cast ends up dead and the other half live unhappily ever after. Anyone who takes their young’uns to this expecting another FROZEN deserves to have their kids sleeping with the lights on for the next ten years.

  17. Glamourboy says:

    Yet, somehow kids saw the broadway show and loved it. And weren’t traumatized by it. Look, I’m a big fan of the source material and Sondheim is the best creator of musicals we have out there–Into the Woods is dark and complex, but it also completely works for kids.

    Frozen…hmmm, let’s see…one sister is cursed with the power of turning everything into ice and becomes a shut in, BOTH of their parents die, one sister is traumatized by turning everything to ice in a party and runs to the hills to escape, there is a prince that say she loves a princess but turns out to be a villain….plus the forest trolls. Frozen isn’t such a light story either….and how did that one do?

  18. Bulldog68 says:

    The parents die in every Disney movie.

  19. EtGuild2 says:

    Is it just me, or is Will Gluck exactly the wrong person you’d want for a black re-imagining of “Annie.” I know it’s supposed to be relatively light-hearted, but for God’s sake, this is the guy who made “Fired Up!,” “Easy A” and “Friends With Benefits,” three of the whitest studio movies released in the last 5 years (and I say that as someone who loved “Easy A” and found “Friends” tolerable).

    The material, at first glance, does actually seem appropriate for a remake, but Gluck plays is SO safe, essentially deciding the only updating should involve lingo and auto-tune, that is comes off as crassly superficial.

    And yeah…the tracking on this is bad. Among recent pre-Christmas kiddie fare, it’s well below ERAGON or GOLDEN COMPASS, in the same range as YOGI BEAR.

  20. Pete B. says:

    Just my 2 cents, but having seen The Battle of The Five Armies – its easily the best of the 3 Hobbit films and at 2 & 1/2 hours its the shortest. Hmmm… coincidence? It should do fine at the box office.

    And the singing trailer for Into The Woods played before The Hobbit Marathon and was met with silence. And these were folks prepared to sit through 9 hours of fantasy.

  21. YancySkancy says:

    Not sure I’d expect a bunch of Hobbit die-hards to be into musicals.

  22. Glamourboy says:

    Gluck has a reputation for HATING his source material…he trashed the original script for FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS and claims to have rewritten most of it on his own and improved it with his cast (but as someone who had read an early version of the script pre-Gluck, they are almost the same scripts.) He obviously HATES Annie. You can tell from each scene in the movie that he is not only trying to revitalize the story but trash the original. (In the very opening, a more typical Annie is making a presentation for school and gets moved aside for our newer, more ‘relevant’ Annie. And, as Arthur Laurents would say, Will Gluck definitely does NOT have the musical in his bones.

  23. Bulldog68 says:

    “And yeah…the tracking on this is bad. Among recent pre-Christmas kiddie fare, it’s well below ERAGON or GOLDEN COMPASS, in the same range as YOGI BEAR.”

    Just so you know though, Yogi Bear did outgross both Eragon and The Golden Compass, the former crossing $100m, and the latter two titles $75m and $70m respectively. So as we have become quite accustomed to, tracking don’t mean shit sometimes.

  24. Glamourboy says:

    Am I the only one that thinks that Boyhood will get all the early critics awards but that Selma will walk away with the Oscar? Every once in a while there’s one of those, ‘right time/right place’ movies that tap into something that is going on in the country. Selma seems like it.

  25. palmtree says:

    I’m a huge fan of Into the Woods the musical, and having seen the movie, I can say that it is solid but not great.

    There are a number of reasons people either will or won’t see it. I think not only have a lot of people seen the show and/or the excellent concert film version, but a lot of people have been in local productions of it as well. There’s a lot of fondness for the material.

    Similarly to LOTR, it comes down to how right does Rob Marshall & Co. get the show. I’d have to say that they get right more things than they get wrong. It feels truly adapted for film, and the things I didn’t like about the movie were when it felt more stage-y. But even then, I’m not sure if it was Marshall’s fault because Disney got really stingy with the budget for this. I think it’s something like $50 million when this is an epic story.

    So I think people will show up on opening, but I’m cautiously optimistic about how leggy it will be.

  26. cadavra says:

    Glamourboy, a Broadway show is not comparable to a movie. The people who take their kids are upscale and intelligent, and know the kids are mature enough to handle what they’re seeing. (In fact, there’s a fanily-friendly version available to schools that simply omits the second act, so everyone goes home happy.)

    As for FROZEN, it’s a cartoon. You can accept almost anything when the characters are drawings. Watch any episode of FAMILY GUY and imagine if they could get away with it if it were live-action. (Answer: They couldn’t. Look at the uproar over 2 BROKE GIRLS, which is just old burlesque jokes spoken by women.)

    I think WOODS is the best movie I’ve seen this year and hope it’ll be a monster success. But I’m enough of a realist to expect that it’ll probably end up another SAVING MR. BANKS.

  27. Glamourboy says:


    I think kids can handle more than you give them credit for. As someone else pointed out, the play is the third most performed play in high schools.

    Saving Mr. Banks was never intended for kids. INTO THE WOODS casts a much bigger net. According to Box Office Mojo, SMB made around 80 million. Into the Woods will do much more than that.

    Looking forward to checking back on this once the film is released and the dollars are counted.

  28. Glamourboy says:

    Also, (and I don’t know the answer to this–haven’t checked)….is there any other competition from the family film market besides Annie (which is going to die a well-deserved death)?

  29. movieman says:

    “Museum 3”?

  30. cadavra says:

    Glamourboy, I would be delighted to be proven wrong!

    And BTW, I did note that WOODS is popular with schools, but they only perform the first act–because they think the second would freak out the kids. And also BTW, when I say kids, I’m talking 8 and under. I know they can handle stuff that we couldn’t at their age, but they’re still pretty vulnerable under the wrong circumstances.

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