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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Ernst (& Not So Young) Klady

Weekend Estimates 2015-11-08 at 9.50.11 AM

Interesting Spectre result this weekend. It is more like the traditional Bond-to-Bond growth we have come to expect over decades… but only if you take the surprisingly outsized numbers of Skyfall out of the equation. The Pierce Brosnan foursome of Bonds started by more than doubling the opening numbers of the previous films… then saw a significant leap in the opening number of his last film, Die Another Day. Daniel Craig’s first Bond, Casino Royale, actually was a step backwards in its opening gross… but made up for it with strong word-of-mouth and legs to match. Than a $27m opening leap… then $21 million. Of course, part of that is how movies are released these days. But Skyfall seemed a real game changer as it almost doubled (increase around 85%) any prior Bond film both in the U.S. and worldwide. Why? Who knows? The leap for Quantum of Solace made sense because of the love of Casino Royale. But Quantum was not so loved and BOOM! Skyfall was quite well liked… but now it looks like we will see the franchise go back to being major league, but not in that billion-dollar range. If I had to guess today, I’d say $700m – $800m worldwide this time… easily the biggest non-Skyfall Bond, but not close to that $1.1 billion anomaly. (Worth noting – China was only $60 million of the Skyfall international windfall.)

Fox had its second best non-DreamWorks Animation, non-Ice Age opening for an animated movie with The Peanuts Movie, topped only by the $74 million launch of The Simpsons Movie (and just 2 of the DWA releases, Home and Dragon 2). Not bad at all. But not close to Pixar or the current Disney run or Universal in the last 6 years. But everything is relative in this arena. Like Sony, Fox’s bar of success is a bit lower than the big boys of animation. Solid start. Legs will be interesting.

The Martian continues to be a killer app. The film passed the domestic total of Interstellar this weekend and seems to have a lot left in the tank. Expect the film to pass $200 million on Wednesday and likely to become the #6 grosser of the year on Thursday (if not, on Friday).

Interestingly, there is a big gap in the domestic box office this year between $202 million and $335 million. No films in between those amounts… until The Martian. All five films that opened to $90 million or better got to over $335 million. None that opened to less got higher than $202m (until TM). Also worth noting, Fifty Shades of Gray did do a big number, but it is the only film this year that opened to over $20 million domestically and failed to at least double its opening. It’s numbers overseas are what makes it a cash cow and likely to stay one for the next two outings.

Also having holds in the 20s were Goosebumps, Bridge of Spies (which has dropped gently in the 20s every week of its release), and The Intern.

In Weekend 5, Universal takes Steve Jobs down to just 421 theaters from 2493, essentially pulling it out of the market as quickly as possible, surely strategizing a compelling reintroduction of the material as we move into awards voting.

Suffragette does a decent $3500 per on 222, also biding its awards time.

A24’s Room is still on just 87 screens and manages $5610 per.

Then there are the three new exclusive players, each on 5 screens. Open Road’s Spotlight does a muscular $60k per. Searchlight’s Brooklyn does a solid $36k per. And Bleecker Street’s Trumbo enlisted $15k worth of viewers per screen.

Nice per screen numbers for docs In Jackson Heights and Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict. But the doc story of the fall so far is Meet The Patels, which has quietly become the fifth biggest doc grosser of the year so far, behind only DisneyNature’s Monkey Kingdom, Amy, Searchlight’s He Named Me Malala, and the Everest-climbing Meru. And Patels has never been on more than 101 screens, many fewer than those above it on the box office charts. One wonders what Fox Searchlight, which has picked up rights to remake the film into a narrative feature, could have done with this doc had they taken its distribution chores on as well.

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21 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Ernst (& Not So Young) Klady”

  1. Kevin says:

    Great start for BROOKLYN! In the Top 10 per theater averages for a limited release this year.

  2. Smith says:

    Seems like a solid spread the wealth kind of weekend – nothing broke records, but all the major releases, wide and limited, pretty much did the numbers they needed to.

    Pretty stark contrast to the rolling weekly blood baths in October.

    Nice to see The Assassin finding a (very niche) audience. $400k for a very slow, relatively opaque art film is pretty good these days.

  3. Eric says:

    They’re probably wishing they’d gotten Adele back for the song.

  4. EtGuild2 says:

    Yeah, THE MARTIAN holds are pretty astonishing. It actually did better than GRAVITY this weekend. GRAVITY, I think, is why the performance of MARTIAN isn’t viewed as being more than a “very good” success (and foreign, though it still has yet to bow in China and Japan).

    There’s a very good chance now that it could pass BOURNE 3 as Matt Damon’s biggest domestic grosser, and it seems like a foregone conclusion that it will be Fox’s 3rd biggest grosser in the last 9 years(!!!) in the States.

  5. bodhizefa says:

    You could probably attribute $100-$200 million of Skyfall’s gross to Adele’s song alone. It was an incredible piece of marketing material for what was already a very good movie — the perfect combination. Whatever she got for writing and performing that song, it wasn’t nearly enough.

  6. chris says:

    $200 million for a song? I don’t think so. I wonder about Bardem’s impact — I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking it’s the villains who make Bond movies and Waltz just isn’t all that interesting — and if there was any increase for “Skyfall” in Spanish-speaking demos.

  7. movieman says:

    Some dollars were definitely left on the table re: “Meet the Patels.”
    In Cleveland, the only theater that played it was an independently owned multiplex that regularly books Bollywood movies as a supplement to standard studio fare.

  8. dinovelvet says:

    Skyfall had something of a perfect storm surrounding it which couldn’t possibly repeat again.

    -The Olympics in summer 2012 featuring the Danny Boyle Bond and the Queen short film. That’s a huge piece of free marketing you can’t buy. A billion people saw it. The Olympics in general led to overall interest in anything British and tourism going way up. And Skyfall featured London/Britain getting massive amounts of screentime.

    -Adele. They landed the hottest singer on the planet at just the right moment, and her song was a massive success, going way beyond what the usual Bond theme does.

    -Bond 50th anniversary hype which had even more marketing partners and tie-ins than usual, pushing the Bond brand everywhere.

    -Strong reviews, possibly the best the series has had. I don’t think reviews ever have too much of an impact on Bond, but probably contributed to bringing a few extra million in.

  9. YancySkancy says:

    Too bad they didn’t get Adele to do a theme song for STEVE JOBS, I guess. Or PAN.

  10. Jason says:

    That seems like an especially good hold for Goosebumps, no? Especially since Halloween has passed and it faced direct competition this weekend. I wonder if Sony is happy enough about its performance to think about a sequel. Word of mouth must be good for it to continue to hold so well.

  11. movieman says:

    I’m a little surprised the “Spectre” reviews weren’t better overall.
    No, it isn’t the “perfect” 007 movie that “Skyfall–the first genuinely great Bond movie in the history of the franchise as far as I’m concerned–was. But it’s still head and shoulders above anything/everything else not starring Sean Connery.
    Even my initial reservations about the seemingly unimaginative casting of Waltz (hasn’t he already played enough Bond villains, even if they weren’t in actual, y’know, Bond movies?) proved to be unfounded. I loved that Waltz’s sadism wasn’t cartoon-sadism like previous Broccoli Co. bad guys, but sociopathic-sadism. I found him genuinely scary.
    And Dave Bautista’s oversized hit man character–unlike, say, Oddjob or Jaws–was flat-out terrifying rather than goofy/silly. (That train fight is a new 007 classic.)
    Plus, I just found it exceedingly cool that the “Bond Women” previously starred (respectively) in “Blue is the Warmest Color” and “Irreversible.”
    Sam Mendes really is some kind of genius. And now that he’s officially left the ship, there’s really nowhere for it to go but back to the same old/same old mediocrity that’s plagued 007 for decades.
    Since Mendes has proven he can do pretty much anything (and do it exceedingly well), I’d love to see him tackle a musical next.
    “Wicked” perhaps?

  12. leahnz says:

    best of the craig bonds: still ‘casino royale’ (aka ‘quarter-pounder casino’ for the non-metric types in the New World)

  13. Triple Option says:

    I saw Spectre and was thoroughly underwhelmed. I didn’t get any real sense of urgency in the action sequences. Thought Daniel Craig was good as cool as cuc under pressure but I wasn’t really interested in what was to happen next in terms of story. The sinister plot to rule the world wasn’t sinister enough and I agree w/Chris that Waltz character wasn’t memorable. I actually thought Bardem’s character was rather dry, too. What are you, a hacker w/a gun? Can’t you at least dress up like it’s Halloween?

    I kinda wonder what direction these films will take. This one to me felt pretty mechanical. There are 4-5 things you know are going to be in every Bond movie. Most you look forward to seeing and in some cases you look to see how they’ll be introduced in a non-traditional fashion but man, that list has to be up to 18 now. It was so redundant. This one’s making a boatload of money so I know they won’t do anything differently. I wish they’d blow up the model since it’s not my father’s cold war any more. Creating fictional characters doing things we’ve come to accept and shrug off just makes for a bland experience.

    But apparently, that’s just me.

  14. Glamourboy says:

    Movieman, Mendes should never be allowed to direct a film musical. His production of Gypsy was considered one of the worst productions of that musical ever. Arthur Laurents wrote almost an entire book trashing Sam Mendes’ musical directing skills…summing it up by saying, ‘he doesn’t have the musical in his bones.’

  15. movieman says:

    Glamour- I’d still prefer to see Mendes’ “Wicked” than Adam Shankman’s. Or Jon M. Chu’s.
    Or even Rob Marshall’s (even though I did finally come around on Marshall w/ “Into the Woods”).

  16. Amblinman says:

    I thought Spectre was perfectly fine up until the lab in the desert. Everything from that point was a shitshow. The movie is just too fucking long, and the final for real climax in London is tedious and stupidly executed. The “whoopsie!” death of C made me want to punch a kitten. Then again I also thought Skyfall was crazy overrated even down to Bardam’s Batman villain. I’ve never liked Sam Mendes. He makes pretty movies that are usually slogs to sit through.

    P.S. What the FUCK was Bond’s plan when he was chasing after Hinx’s caravan in the plane? It was one of the dumbest set pieces I’ve seen recently.

  17. chris says:

    Offtopic but, glamourboy, Laurents said a lot of stupid stuff when people didn’t kowtow to him. That Mendes “Gypsy” was revelatory and not just in my opinion — it was loved by most critics — the New York Times’ Ben Brantley, for starters.

  18. MarkVH says:

    Stephen Daldry is directing Wicked. FWIW.

  19. Glamourboy says:

    Movieman, I also saw that version of Gypsy and thought it was pretty subpar…I think the material is almost bullet proof (proved that when I saw a high school production of it, if you can imagine)….I’d suggest you read Laurent’s book about the matter and it will pretty much convince you that Mendes didn’t have the slightest idea of what he was doing with the material. Even BP admitted in an interview that she felt that her performance improved immeasurably once the director left and she was able to work on the part a bit. In fact, AL went on to direct his own version with Patti Lupone, which many people (including the Times) thought was the definitive version of the play, awarding Lupone with the Tony Award (BP didn’t win for her Gypsy)…Yes, Laurents said a lot of things….but that doesn’t mean they weren’t true.

  20. AdamL says:

    Sam Mendes put on an awesome production of Cabaret fwiw. Maybe Gypsy was an anomaly.

  21. movieman says:

    Daldry? Ehhh. Have never been blown away by any of his film work.

    Wasn’t Mendes’ “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” tuner a big hit
    in the West End not too long ago?

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