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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Jurassic Klady Again

Weekedn Estimates 2015-06-21 at 9.35.10 AM

As I have been saying for nearly two decades now, there is no standard that we can realistically use to project the way the numbers on uber-blockbusters will go. The numbers are just beyond the statistical models. This was true in the opening of Jurassic World and it remains so on this second weekend. Does it make any sense, in a traditional model, that the Friday drop (excluding Thursday) was 55% and the weekend is 46%… especially with another big movie with a heavy Saturday appeal coming into the market? No. But did it happen? Well… as I also like to note… it hasn’t happened yet. These are estimates of Saturday and a guess at Sunday, which is just starting matinees on the west coast. But it should be pretty close to these guesses.

I don’t hear many people raving about Jurassic World. But I hear a lot of people (civilians) saying they had a good time… that they took young teens… that it was very violent… but that, again, they had a good time. And I am not going to argue with any of them. They had their experience and the sincerity is clear. Clear at the box office too. Personally, I think Jurassic World is as disposable as a used Kleenex, but I do feel that it is the first summer movie since Guardians last year that has a kind of broad pop appeal that defines “a summer movie” for normal human beings. The numbers for Avengers 2 and Fast Fur 7 are extraordinary, but by their second weekends, I was not getting this, “yeah… that’s what we are going to see the next time we go to the movies” vibe. I am getting it on J-World.

And the upcoming movie that I think is in real danger of being plowed under is Terminator: Genisys. Paramount, which has a great marketing department and has had time to work on this push, really has to convince people that they want to go see this reboot and not go see Jurassic World a second time or to just go see a new comedy (Ted 2 or Trainwreck) or Magic Mike XXL. The shadow will to be cast, though thanks to time a bit less, on Ant-Man, which is not getting the hard push yet, but has to convince potential ticket buyers.

J-World has also been good for an estimated $583 million internationally, $162 million of it from asterisked China, but still, pushing it to break a billion by mid-week.

And the 3D business community would like you to know – and you should – that 48% of domestic audiences chose to see Jurassic in 3D on opening weekend and that continues with a 47% rate on weekend two. They want you to know this because this is a very, very strong showing for what has been a slipping 3D marketplace. Internationally, it was 65%. And in China… 95%. Germany digs the format as well, with 89% of tickets sold for the dino-ride last weekend going 3D.

3D is not dead, though it is a high 20s, low 30s thing in the US for most live-action in that format these days. But internationally – where the big money is – it’s key. Movie tickets in China average around $6, but the cost of 3D and IMAX in the big cities can be a multiple of that, inflating the perception about Chinese numbers, as well as the reality.

Meanwhile… Inside Out didn’t win the weekend. But winning the weekend is a bullshit construct created by bored journalists who prefer a horse race to being curious or insightful about box office, so…

It’s hard to get a read on whether Inside Out is a beneficiary of the evolving theatrical box office model or an earlier acceptance of complex Pixar ideas by parents of younger kids or a uniquely interesting premise for adults. I do think it is kind of crappy to read things about this being a comeback for Pixar. The brand and success never went away. Their biggest film was in 2010. They skipped last year. And in between, Monsters University did big business, Cars 2 was solid but boring but will spawn Cars 3 because the companies are choking on the merchandising cash, and Brave, which was within 20% of all the original Pixar films but Up and Finding Nemo. If there is any show of mojo issues at Pixar to fear, it isn’t Brave, but the wave of sequels they are now planning on delivering for the next five years.

$91 million is about what one thinks all Pixar movies should open to each year. But mostly, the company has been opening originals in the 60s and low 70s. Inside Out is a happy opening… but not a fireworks event (although the movie itself is). It feels more like progress than a leap. But Pixar and Disney have everything to celebrate with it.

Minions is the wildcard for Inside Out. Will it do Despicable Me 2 numbers and chew at IO‘s long legs or will it be Penguins of Madagascar and disappear onto streaming before we know it? Or, of course, something in between. Truth is, the story will be told by the kids. Many will have seen both films by July 15 and when they scream to go back to the movies in late July and August, it will be one or the other… or both.

Here’s another interesting angle… the Chinese summer blackout on American movies just started. Is Minions dated in mid-July so that it can stay close to the Chinese door re-opening and avoid piracy issues there? Despicable Me 2 did only $52 million in China back in 2013, but how many times might the Chinese taste for the minions multiply that number? And what role does the impression of worldwide box office play in the legs of an animated film?

The third wide opener this weekend was Sundance hit, Dope, which opened right in line with Rick Famuyiwa’s run of films. Brown Sugar (2002 – $10.7 million), Our Family Wedding (2010 – $7.6 million) and now Dope with $5.8 million. He clearly has commercial appeal… and it seems, a glass ceiling. Searchlight, the primary Famuyiwa supporter, abandoned the black comedy space for the most part, dipping its toe back in with Baggage Claim in 2013. But the DVD market declined faster in “urban” America than overall and then the whole thing slowed to a crawl, really damaging all but a high-profile sliver of this part of the business… leaving Dope to smaller, new-ish, quality-hungry distributor like Open Road. I suspect that the hope of Open Road is that young people will see Dope and good word of mouth will spread, leading to a $20 million-ish gross as opposed to an $13 million-ish gross.

Interestingly, even with all the firepower at the top of the box office chart, the holdovers were pretty good and great in some cases. There is some second-run tiering involved with the May movies.

On the indie side, pretty weak. But Love and Mercy did nicely in another expansion. Roadside Attractions is holding this one’s hand tightly and they have their third straight weekend over $1.5 million while still on a modest number of screens with a modest marketing budget. This movie seems headed confidently to be the #3 grosser for Roadside in their history, with a big hat tip to their partners on this at River Road and Battle Mountain.

Searchlight is out there with its big Sundance buy, Me, Earl, And The Dying Girl, which isn’t dead, but is struggling at 68 screens. They’re really looking to build word-of-mouth with this low screen count… and it’s unclear whether it’s taking. The film hasn’t gotten the support from critics I imagine the distributor was expecting.

Sundance premiere flick #4 this week is The Overnight, which is doing nicely for newcomer distributor The Orchard on only 3 screens.

Sony Classics launched yet another Sundancer (2014 premiere), Infinitely Polar Bear, to good numbers that may well be all Mark Ruffalo fans.

Also launching from the festival circuit are Eden (pretty good #), Manglehorn (okay, but not so much for the great combo of David Gordon Green and Pacino) and The Tribe.

Lots of people out there shrying about mega-movies, but who is writing about the number of top festival films being thrown at the f-ing wall, hoping something will stick in June and August every year? Painful to watch, man. Painful.

Also staying solid are I’ll See You In My Dreams and Testament of Youth. And attention must be paid to the now-$32.5 million run of Woman in Gold, which is the lowest key indie mega-hit I have seen in a long time.

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37 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Jurassic Klady Again”

  1. doug r says:

    Looking at those per screen averages, did some theaters run out of seats/ sell out on Inside Out? I know The Simpsons movie seemed to catch our local theater by surprise when they booked it into their smaller auditoriums.

  2. tbunny says:

    Guardians of the Galaxy looks incredible on Blu-ray.

  3. Pj says:

    I find it interesting that despite the gaudy numbers, IO followed the typical Pixar IM. And if it further follows the typical Pixar multiple then it’ll be a hair over 300M when all is said and done. Plenty of room for Minions to do what Minions do.

  4. Aaron Aradillas says:

    Man, CINDERELLA just needs $200,000 and it’ll hit $200 million. Can it do it? Stay tuned…

    Also, will Mirren get a nomination for WOMAN IN GOLD? (She should.)

  5. JS Partisan says:

    Here’s hoping, that Disney/Pixar doesn’t view Inside Out as a fucking win, because it is. If not, then here’s to more gender weirdness out of the mouse house, but fuck that dinosaur movie for this alone.

  6. Jerryishere says:

    @JS not sure what you mean re:Dismey/Pixar. Honestly didn’t get your point.
    I’d say they are quite happy.

    And man, JW is biggest phenomenon in ages. Folks are digging it. 102mil woulda been a great first weekend.
    I also suspect Uni didn’t break the bank making it. It kinda looks cheap. A few big sets. But not really an “epic” scope feel.
    And by cheap I mean 150ish instead of 250ish.

    The next one is gonna cost them. Pratt alone…

  7. Bulldog68 says:

    Was thinking that they may have estimated it higher as many studios do, seeing that it so close to breaking the 2nd weekend record. They would have grabbed the “false” headlines and then by the time the actuals come in, it would be a moot point. Now there’s a chance the opposite could happen. Good on them.

  8. Bulldog68 says:

    “Here’s hoping, that Disney/Pixar doesn’t view Inside Out as a fucking win, because it is.”

    Also not sure what this means JS.

  9. brack says:

    I think JS meant to write does instead of doesn’t.

    And I’m glad to see JS hadn’t committed suicide over the second weekend take for JW.

  10. JS Partisan says:

    Brack, how goes your MRA meetings? I am sure you and all the other neck beards, have a great time with thing. Seriously, stop fucking kidding about suicide. What the fuck is wrong with you?

    Yes, it was a typo, and here’s what I mean:

    Frozen Merchandise.


    Black Widow.

    I can go on and on, but Disney are a weird fucking company. Pixar is a weirder fucking company, and Leah can go on and on about how their films lack female protagonists.

    My thing is this: Jurassic World is wildly fucking popular for some reason, and it probably has to do with little fucking boys. If 91 million doesn’t win a weekend. I sure as shit do not trust Disney, the weird sexual politics studio, to react to it as A WIN. Which it is, but I am sure some fucking dude over there is thinking, “If Inside Out was about a boy!”

    Seriously, Jurassic World can fucking suck it, for the possibility that Inside Out is not viewed as a success, and possibly leading to more animated movies with little boy protagonists.

  11. EtGuild2 says:

    The most similar phenomenon in the last decade seems to be “Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” which racked up $423 million nine years ago after breaking the opening weekend record.

    If JW were to perform like CHEST from here on out: $652 million. That would seem to be a reach given that PIRATES’ competition was weaker and front-loading has gotten worse, but who knows….the extreme low which i mentioned is DEATHLY HALLOWS 2 (or SPIDER-MAN 3…same track) which would leave it with $553 million. So still a big range…an AVENGERS 1 track would leave it with $665 million, but July 4th isn’t Memorial Day so that seems crazy.

  12. brack says:

    JS – your nerd rage is disturbing. I wasn’t kidding about suicide. You’re the most disturbed individual here outside of Lex, who isn’t around here anymore. You got so bent out of shape about a movie opening bigger than The Avengers. I love that movie too, but legitimately getting angry about it is childish and pathetic.

  13. Jerryishere says:

    Disney is a “weird sexual politics” company?
    How so?

  14. Hcat says:

    JS, as a father of two girls I can assure you that Disney is not taking their hand out of my wallet anytime soon. They are still making GOBS of money off of frozen merch and they are going to try to replicate that as many times as possible. Even though Brave did less box office than other Disney films I’m sure it outdid ratatouille and wall-e on the toy front so if you are worried about any Disney moves its that they will stop making anything that won’t look good on a lunchbox. They no longer have to worry about little boys buying tickets to the animated movies, they bought Marvel to lock up that crowd.

  15. Mike says:

    He’s talking about how a lot of girls love the Marvel movies, but Disney hasn’t done a good job of making the toys for them that feature Gamora and Black Widow. The moms on my Facebook feed complain about this quite a bit.

  16. Hcat says:

    Wait, so Gamora isn’t a giant galactic laser turtle?

  17. Bulldog68 says:

    Looks like JW may have gotten the 2nd biggest weekend after all. Sorry JS.

  18. Bulldog68 says:

    So exactly what would the 2nd weekend have been if there was no Inside Out to take some of that family audience. That $106m number is really insane when you consider the competition.

  19. palmtree says:

    And JW is now the fastest to $400m in 10 days, a whopping four days faster than Avengers!

    Can someone explain this phenomenal success? Avengers breaking records made sense. But this? Are people watching it ironically or something that I don’t know about?

  20. Matt P. says:

    Kids love dinosaurs in action. It was an adage that was true in 93 and it’s true now. That final fight was a five year old boy’s dream come true.

  21. Bulldog68 says:

    If they had put the King Kong versus two dinosaurs battle in the movie trailer, I’m sure they would’ve at least scored $50m more.

  22. palmtree says:

    Interesting how there are so many CG reptile-like creatures that attack in every action/fantasy movie these days (Godzilla, anyone?), but bring in dinosaurs, and you have yourself a record-breaking blockbuster. Well played.

  23. Hcat says:

    I think scale has something to do with pacific rim and Godzilla. The threat becomes too big and it becomes impersonal. The raptors look you in the eye. They are going to Eat You ( or at least who you dientify with onscreen). Much more fun than just crushing real estate.

  24. Bulldog68 says:

    I think you may be on to something there Hcat. They’ve become so good and showing massive destruction that it’s basically about characters running away from falling debris.

    I thought they missed the boat with World War Z. Had the chance to create a seriously suspenseful blockbuster and they didn’t IMO. The swarm looked really great, but zombies are about that personal danger. Those confined spaces that you have to squeeze into and get out off. They still did good at the box office though so people liked it.

  25. Mike says:

    I don’t know, as a dad, I am more likely to be pestered by my kid to take him to the dinosaur movie (or superhero movie) than the monster movie. Dinosaurs just seem less scary but more interesting, sight unseen.

  26. Pete B. says:

    Can’t speak for JW as I haven’t seen it, but it could be doing better than last year’s Godzilla due to that one being a huge steaming pile of disappointment.

  27. storymark says:

    As far as the popularity of Dinosaurs, I think a lot has to do with them still being somewhat tangible. A ton of kids have seen the skeletal remains in museums – something that they simply never will with a Kaiju of Superhero. And even those kids who never have, understand that they, at least in theory, could walk right up to one.

  28. EtGuild2 says:

    The weekday numbers continue to astound. $427 million through Tuesday…today it will surpass E.T. to become Universal’s all-time domestic #1 in raw dollars. AVATAR still seems out of reach, but can’t pretend AVENGERS isn’t in play anymore…

  29. Hcat says:

    So in thirteen days JW will have doubled Sonys total slate for the year.

    What’s the estimated date for Univeral crossing 2 bil domestic? I would say mid October, but Labor Day isn’t out of the question.

  30. EtGuild2 says:

    Is it too soon to start calling it the BIG FOUR studios if Sony loses Bond? By this weekend the top six movies of the year domestically will all be Universal or Disney (and 7 of the top 8) Together, Uni, Disney, Fox and WB account for about 77% of this year’s overall domestic haul, which is what the Big 6 used to do.

  31. Jerryishere says:

    JW’s 13m+ Tuesday in week TWO was bigger than ANY non holiday weekday in ALL of 2014.
    Stunning when you look at in comparison to Avengers — on its equivalent day it did 8.4m. And it’s nearest competition was a bomb like dark shadows with 2m+ not a monster hit like inside out.

  32. EtGuild2 says:

    It’s easy to get carried away with daily comparisons…the week in May for AVENGERS that we’re comparing is typically Exam week for colleges in addition to kids all being still in school. Hence why studios see the 2nd weekend of May and the days following as dead. (though since you believe the biggest PPV event in US history didnt contribute to the strangest Saturday box office result of Marvel superhero movies, I guess college exams aren’t an excuse either, no matter what the studios think).

    Still…the overall performance is very strong. I can’t believe we might have three 50 million+ grossers this weekend.

  33. EtGuild2 says:

    TERMINATOR 5 is as bad as it looks. Actually, it’s even worse, as it attempts to re-write stuff from the first two movies.

    The tracking is terrible. Yeah, is it too soon to call it the Big FOUR studios?

  34. Smith says:

    So Jurassic World will be the fifth highest grossing movie of all time, and be in the neighborhood of $500m domestic, by Sunday? I’m finally seeing it tonight. Can’t wait to be mystified as to why it has turned into such a runaway smash hit.

  35. Jerryishere says:

    True about weeks in May vs June. BUT — the disparity is so huge it’s worth noting.
    Forgetting about Avengers, just the fact that JW’s midweek gross was larger than ANY non holiday day last year… Including during the Christmas season is remarkable.
    And those 25 million dollar days last week?
    And did any one have gross on that movie? Spielberg? Does he get it as a producer only?

  36. Bulldog68 says:

    Another interesting stat on the phenomenal BO of JW. As the Thursday figues roll in, it has now posted the best second week performance @ $149m from last Friday to Thursday, down just 49.5% from the opening week. It moves Avatar into 2nd place which put up a previously unbeaten $146m. Just for reference, Avengers failed to best Avatar in it’s 2nd week with a $132m take.

    That $623m Avengers final number is definitely in jeopardy at this point. Avengers ended week 3 with $476m, a number that JW will outgross by Saturday, and will most likely be above the $500m mark. With July 4th on the horizon, that is bound to aid in keeping the drop offs low, and maybe the fact that the early reviews on Terminator are not very kind.

    Even with a very robust Inside Out, JW still managed to pull off an amazing 2nd weekend, and the reverse is also true as well, that Inside Out posted these numbers with JW in the markeplace. I think we are looking at new #3. Is Titanic’s $658 now achievable?

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