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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Kung 3 Klady

Weekend Estimates 2016-01-31

Ah… the butt crack of January… when Super Bowl dreams remain a week away and the market for films leans on holdovers.

It was a bit of a daring choice for DreamWorks Animation and Fox to put Kung Fu Panda 3 on this date. It seems – have gone back 15 years – that this is the highest gross on this weekend (the specific dates of which move a bit annually) ever. The previous best ever and the previous best opening? Both from Fox. Avatar, which did 34.9 million in its 6th weekend and Big Momma’s House 2, with a $27.7 million opening in 2006. American Sniper also had a $30.7 million weekend just last year (its 6th) via Warner Bros. Also doing well, relatively, with what were considered surprisingly strong openings were Open Road’s The Grey, Paramount’s Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, and Fox’s Hide and Seek.

That said, this is still the weakest drop of Panda po yet. Domestically. And as much as this franchise has been a grower, not a shower, it’s unlikely to catch up here at home. But internationally, Panda grew from the 1st to the 2nd and may well grow again in the third round, more than making up for the domestic drop-off and assuring Panda 4.

The Revenant and Star Wars: The Force Awakens both had reported rock star drops of 24%, with the former on track for $175m domestic (unless it wins Best Picture) and the latter cracking $900 million domestic this week and probably settling in around $940 million or so… which as was noted here to much abuse months ago, has gotten it past Titanic‘s initial release worldwide and may take it to that film’s worldwide total of $2.19 billion. But Avatar remains not only on top, but on top by over 18% ($500 million… could be more). This is a testament to the power of Star Wars in America… and it’s softness internationally, given that it will just squeak by Furious 7 on the international side. It’s usually the opposite.

We had our first ever non-Cameron billion dollar international films this year… three of them… all pretty close in range, $1b – $1.2b. There are still only 20 films ever that have done over $700 million internationally. The 3 outliers were the 2 Camerons and Rings 3 in 2003. All of the other 17 were in the last 5 years. In 2011, a 7, an 8, and Potter almost rang the billion-dollar bell. In 2012, two 7s and two 8s. In 2013, a 7 and two 8s. In 2014, just one 7 and one 8 in a summer that was moaned about by the press for months. And this last year, an 8, a 9, and three billions.

Until this year, none of these big international numbers represented less than 2/3 of the overall gross. This year, two of the five were under 66% international. In both cases (Jurassic World and Star Wars 7), the domestic gross was more than $150m higher than any of the other three mega-grossers. No one is crying for either film, but one has to wonder whether the worldwide movie future is as interested in our nostalgia as we are in North America. Avengers and Minions are all franchises of this last decade and F&F, though relatively old, have been rebooted severely in recent years to make it “current.”

People may get exhausted by Marvel for other reasons, but in principle, the effort to engage the world with what feels new may be a much better strategy than re-booting a lot of 70s and 80s hits in an effort to find a hot franchise.

But I digress…

The Finest Hours/13 Hours: Secret Soldiers of Benghazi are the weak siblings to significant hits like American Sniper, Lone Survivor, and even Black Hawk Down. Much like the religious-audience-chasing films after The Passion of The Christ, there is obviously a wiling audience there… but you really have to hit their mark or you get… okay… $30 million… maybe 40.

Ride Along 2 is flailing, compared to the first. Hard to argue with a $90m – $100m gross for what should be a fairly cheap movie to make. But I would expect a third element to be added to Ride Along 3 to try to give it a boost again. Teh Rock? Wahlberg? A baby?

The Boy made up for the snow days last weekend, staying within 10% of STX’s biggest release, The Gift. But one wonders whether it would have been out ahead were it not for the snow. $40m domestic on a $10m movie is still a decent business. But by this time next year, the STX dream team (truly a group of veterans, many of whom I have known and liked for more than a decade) is going to have to step it up outside of the starter kit of horror… or Tad Friend may be writing a follow-up.

Daddy’s Home is just $10m away from being Will Ferrell’s biggest worldwide movie as a lead ever. Domestically, it will not catch Elf. But The Wahlberg influence (this won’t crack his Top 6 internationally) makes a big difference and the duo have already passed their international on The Other Guys.

Jane Got A Gun, a movie whose making makes The Revenance look like a Beverly Hills bar mitzvah, landed with a thud. No spend. No audience. 1210 screens for no good reason other than contractual… and you felt that. Not good. Sad for all involved… those who left and those who stayed.

And then there are the contenders for Best Picture…

OScar BP noms 2016-01-31

Box office means little in the race since the expansion to more than 5 slots. $38m, $50m, $130m, $32m, $114m, $15m, These are the domestic grosses of the Best Picture winners of these previous 6 seasons, before they won. So the contenders for this year have 3 more weeks and a Friday and Saturday to add their totals before this year’s winner’s domestic pre-win gross gets added to this list.

As you can see, we have 3 $100m+ movies and 5 below. None of the last 6 expanded group winners have come from anywhere between $50m and $100 million. The sample size makes this negligible as a stat, but it looks great if you are Spotlight, not so good if you are The Big Short… and not upsetting if you are The Revenant or Mad Max: Fury Road. (Sadly, The Martian gave up on itself early on and would be in a great spot to try for the win now had they not. You live, you learn… I hope.)

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10 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Kung 3 Klady”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    I guess this is a good opening for PANDA 3, given the reduced budget and early worldwide haul? $400 million looks doable for the venerable (I like all 3) franchise…and I guess DWA’s realignment of strategy from 2 years ago is already showing signs of paying off.

    That, of course, isn’t taking into account the trailer for TROLLS, which looks like execrable garbage. I haven’t felt such physical waves of revulsion from an advertisement since JACK & JILL.

  2. Glamourboy says:

    No commentary from DP? Does he even work here anymore?

  3. cadavra says:

    As was pointed out on another site, the fact that JANE got a theatrical release at all, much less 1200+ screens, is a miracle, given that it could well have ended up as a VOD or worse, permanently on the shelf. A Pyrrhic victory to be sure, but one nonetheless.

    Also, KFP3’s opening has to be tempered in view of the fact that the first two did not open in January.

  4. alynch says:

    A VOD release probably would’ve been more dignified. At least then you’re allowed a nice and quiet death, rather than being marched through the town square.

  5. Eric says:

    kind of stretching the definition of “abuse” up there imho

  6. Frankos says:

    I think it was your predictions on TFA opening weekend that rightly caused the abuse, for a box office expert you couldn’t have been more wrong, rather than the domestic or WW total.

  7. EtGuild2 says:

    Jeez, DP, now you’re going the other way on TFA projections. Not only is TITANIC’s worldwide cume safe (with the re-release it should be noted), F7’s intl is as well barring a trailer surprise (Disney has hinted the ROGUE trailer will be attached to CIVIL WAR). Still, 2 billion is fantastic, and fantastic news for Harrison Ford, who apparently has a big back-end kicker when that level is reached.

    Btw…REVENANT probably broke even this weekend at $274 million worldwide! Still can’t believe the budget on it, considering no one could have believed it’d be Leo’s #3 grosser.

  8. pat says:

    Too bad about Ridley not getting nominated. With the blockbuster success of Star Wars, and Hollywood’s Reliance on science fiction in general, The Martian could really have pushed an “It’s about time” campaign for the Academy to give Best Picture to a sci-fi film. The Martian would have been an ideal acceptable candidate to finally recognize the genre.

  9. EtGuild2 says:

    The hidden plus in Scott not being nominated though, is George Miller getting an Oscar (I hope).

  10. John says:

    Hope you’re right EtGuild2.

    Dave, the gross for AVATAR was also certainly helped by the dollar value at the time. Those Cameron sequels (if they happen) will be interesting to watch play out.

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4