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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Magic Saturday Klady

Wekend Estimates 2016-01-10 at 9.06.02 AM

Star Wars had a surprising 78% increase from Friday to Saturday, which suggests… who the hell knows anymore? Is it now playing to the younger kids that parents were afraid to take right off the bat? I don’t know. Is it what all the kids are doing on date night now? Is it people who were afraid of being able to walk in without pre-sale tickets catching up now? Likely all of the above and more.

The Revenant number surprised me for different reasons, until I watched some of the Fox ads for the film, which do an excellent job of making it look like a straight action movie. Leo doesn’t hurt. (The 6% Saturday increase can’t be thrilling to Fox, but they are far ahead of their own expectations.) That said, if you told most people in the business that Revenant was heading to $100m domestic, they would have laughed at you a couple weeks ago… but now, it looks like it’s heading – with an added bump from Oscar noms on Thursday – to $100m-plus domestic. And foreign has topped domestic on all of Iñárritu’s major studio releases (yes, I include the Dependents), so that bodes well. (Interesting stat of which many probably are not aware… 12 Years A Slave did more than two-thirds of its business overseas, grossing $188 million in theatrical… a massive hit on a $20m budget that is about an American historical event and which was centered on Black people not doing anything funny. And if you were wondering, the connective tissue is New Regency and award movies.)

Daddy’s Home also had a nice uptick on Saturday and pushed over $115m.

Here is a weekend look at just the Oscar hopefuls currently in theaters…

Oscar hopefuls in theater 2016-01-10 at 9.49.41 AM

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48 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Magic Saturday Klady”

  1. js partisan says:

    198 to go.

  2. movieman says:

    Gotta believe that “Room”‘s poor b.o. showing to date will adversely effect its Oscar chances.
    Even Brie Larson’s win seems in jeopardy at this point.
    What went wrong?

  3. palmtree says:

    Billion is definitely possible. SW fans are gonna give it legs for at least another couple months if not longer.

  4. eldrick says:

    188 to go.

  5. Dr Wally Rises says:

    One subplot in the chart I keep morbidly following is that of Spectre wheezing and spluttering it’s way to $200 million. Just 1.5 million to go and the home video release is just four weeks away. Can it do it? It’ll be very close.

  6. Movielocke says:

    Of the big five, the December movies play in theatres much much longer. Star wars will still be in theatres in week 24, jurassic world was not, and it will probably be making avatar numbers of 250,000 to 500,000 a week at that point. Dave wrote like six anti star wars box office stories before it opened, never wrote a positive one after it opened, stubbornly ignoring the biggest box office story in 6 years, and then waited until it had a day beaten by avatar before waiting to publish another anti star wars box office story.

  7. js partisan says:

    No, Eldrick. It’s about that to go, because that’s where things line right now. I’m thinking 1.1bn, but Dave will convince it that it will struggle to make another 20 bucks :D!

  8. Geoff says:

    Movielocke, you’re almost dead-on about Dave for sure – when movies he liked (Pirates 2, Avatar) broke records, he posted almost daily updates on their box office progress while he was very dismissive of the box office records for films he didn’t like (The Dark Knight, The Avengers). For any of us who are STILL on his blog after all of these years, this isn’t news anymore…..just like any other critic or prognosticator, he has his biases and this is who he is. 🙂 We just have to take it or leave it at this point…..

    That said, I can’t get over how many folks on the web are literally thumping their chests about these ‘Force Awakens box office numbers – it actually reminds me of just about a year ago when every Tea Party/Conservative guy was SUDDENLY a box office reporter and proclaiming their views VALIDATED by the break-out success of American Sniper. I mean come on folks, I grew up on Star Wars too…..but Disney marketing the shit out of this movie! 🙂 They probably spent at least $50 million to launch it in China alone, they used prime time commercial real estate with Monday Night Football to hype pre-sales and the final trailer, they spared no expense to have the stars appear EVERYWHERE with appearances at every major convention (including even having John Williams perform a special concert at Comic Con), they had a 24 hour international webcast just to hype the “unboxing” of the TOYS back in September, there were cross-promotions arranged with every kind of product from Covergirl to Tag Heur, they locked in EVERY single IMAX screen on the planet for a full month, and arranged for not one not two but THREE red carpet premiers in the United States alone! 🙂 I’m not saying this as a criticism but with admiration because it will probably be looked upon as the most effective marketing campaign ever done for a blockbuster and it was a good movie at the end of the day. But let’s not pretend that this was some Buster Douglas-like upset of the fanboys over every one else – this was a relaunch of a Star Wars movie – literally FOUR of the top 17 biggest ticket sellers in domestic box office were STAR WARS movies, yes including The Phantom Menance. 😉 And it was a Star Wars movie backed by the most aggressive marketing campaign we are ever likely to see in our lifetimes.

    Disney spent at least $300 million on production and easily the same amount promoting this thing – NOTHING was left to chance on this one guys! Enjoy the movie, enjoy the follow-ups, buy all of the gear you want, but let’s not get crazy here. 😉

  9. js partisan says:

    Geoff, what are you on about? This is nothing like American Sniper. Unlike that movie, this is an actual phenomenon, and something that has not happened at this level before. Sniper, has the precedent predecessor with Passion of the Christ, but what franchise/film has ever come close to a BILLION… ONE BILLION DOMESTIC? Nothing, but here we have Star Wars doing, so we should all be in awe of this ridiculous feat. Why? Who knows when it will happen again.

  10. palmtree says:

    DP did seem to have massive blinders on this one, but this blog post was his most positive one yet.

    And yes, Disney marketed this movie, but they also market every big movie. Doesn’t mean people show up.

  11. Geoff says:

    That’s the point Palmtree, yes they marketed a GOOD movie which helps…..Tomorrowland was NOT a good movie nor was it a Star Wars movie.

  12. lazarus says:

    I kind of see what Geoff is saying. If you asked me 5 years ago what film could possibly topple Avatar and hit 1B domestic, “Star Wars sequel featuring original cast” would be an obvious choice. You throw Disney’s marketing saturation behind it and it’s a slam dunk.

  13. Geoff says:

    JS so a movie HAS to gross this much to be considered a “phenomenon” nowadays?? That’s a pretty high bar. 😉

    And yes I just thought it was a solid movie but American Sniper was a “phenomenon” in the truest sense of the term – nobody saw a depressing and low-key military drama going wide in JANUARY and making almost $100 million in its first weekend….and it was the highest domestic grossing film of 2014 made at a cost that was less than a third of the budgets for the other films near the top (Mockingjay, ‘Guardians) so I would categorize that as a phenomenon, probably more surprising than a HUGELY anticipated and HEAVILY marketed relaunch of the most successful film franchise of all time.

  14. Geoff says:

    Lazarus you actually said it a lot better than I did, and more concisely. 😉

  15. Geoff says:

    Here this chart is all you need to look at – notice how there are FOUR other films ranked among the top 18 with “Star Wars” in the title??

  16. EtGuild2 says:

    REVENANT budget is pegged at $135 million. It’s a miracle it’ll probably break even.

    Billion domestic is just not going to happen. 2 billion worldwide is almost a certainty now though….is FURIOUS 7’s overseas total?

  17. leahnz says:

    “REVENANT budget is pegged at $135 million”

    ??? for real? that’s big bucks, i’m gobsmacked

  18. Geoff says:

    The Revenant costs about the same as Wolf of Wall Street and The Great Gatsby.

  19. leahnz says:


    wow that golden globes was some kind of shitshow. i sometimes get a perverse kick out of cringe-worthy ‘entertainment’ but that was just next level sad and embarrassing, and i felt genuinely bad for a few people (a couple bright spots, jim carrey was good plus his head hair was upside down, adding to the amusement)

  20. mariamu says:

    The worst for me with the Golden Globes tonight was watching Jennifer Lawrence win for “Joy”. If “Joy” was a musical or comedy I’ll shave my head like Jim Carrey’s. I thought of walking out of “Joy” many times but didn’t do it.
    I hadn’t watched the Golden Globes all the way thru in years. This was the wrong time to go back.

  21. leahnz says:

    oh no it really was. just that horrible set alone gave me a headache with all the vertical lines and coloured lights and geometric patterns, like it was designed by 1970’s pre-schoolers before naptime. and at some basic level using logic and reason the outrageous category fraud must end, it’s just absurd

  22. Amblinman says:

    I tried watching the Globes but gave up after the 80th time Gervais “warned” the crowd about himself. He so edgy he cut my teevee screen!!

  23. EtGuild2 says:

    “If “Joy” was a musical or comedy I’ll shave my head like Jim Carrey’s.”

    You should have watched the acerbic black comedy THE MARTIAN instead.

  24. Mostly Lurking says:

    “One wonders whether, with the December seal cracked, whether Disney would not be better off the other way around (meaning spin-offs in the more forgiving summer and Star Wars fighting only itself in Decembers.)”

    That was from Dave’s last post on Friday’s numbers, but I’m posting this here because the comments on that one seem to have run their course.

    I think this is a pretty interesting observation and can’t help but wonder if a switch would be considered at this point. I don’t know the business well enough to know if the logistics would work, but is it too late to push Rogue to Summer 2017 and push Episode 8 a few months to December 2017? Would that not work because then you’d have two Star Wars movies in the same year? Would doing as Dave suggests require that Episode 8 doesn’t come out until December 2018?

  25. EtGuild2 says:

    According to movieman’s theory, this would mean the end of cinema as we know it (jk movieman). It definitely would scare the chains from releasing anything too significant in the holiday season. The big-budget cartoon in December might be a thing of the past if there’s an annual SW Episode.

    On the other hand, we are definitely entering a void for big franchises in the late fall/holiday season if FANTASTIC BEASTS doesn’t take hold. This will be the first time in 9 years(!!!) that the Holy Trinity of YA franchises, POTTER/TWILIGHT/HUNGER GAMES doesn’t have a holiday offering based on a popular book, not to mention HOBBIT is done.

    So a lot riding on spinoffs…in 2007, a vacuum, I AM LEGEND, ALVIN 1 and NATIONAL TREASURE 2 were the big movies. It’ll be interesting to see how ROGUE ONE does, and if it affects the gross for MOANA as well, given the more gritty subject matter and narrower appeal.

  26. Ben Kabak says:

    Abrams did his job. Don’t screw it up. An unoriginal movie with 100 plot holes and a lead who has zero depth and no weaknesses. I hope Rian Johnson doesn’t remake Empire on #8.

  27. mariamu says:

    Yes Abrams did his job. I had zero confidence in him handing in a good SWTFA movie. But he did and I will admit that. Probably will see it a second time soon. I do have some confidence in Rian Johnson and will be eager to see his take.

  28. js partisan says:

    A 100 plot holes? More like a lack of inference! [rim shot]

    Geoff, no. We already have plenty of examples, that Sniper isn’t a phenomenon. It’s just another Passion of the Christ, because those people come out for certain movies. That’s just what they do. If it were something more than this, it would matter. Seeing as there is a sequel to GOD is NOT DEAD, then I am going to stick with, “no.”

    Oh yeah, Ethan, it keeps breaking things, that you don’t believe it can. I would imagine, that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

  29. EtGuild2 says:

    Hey I went with 800 million domestic. The only surprise on my end is if it tops the F7 overseas number, which it looks like it can now.

  30. Gus says:

    It is truly astonishing to see that SW became the biggest domestic film in history in only 20 days. To me, that is just amazing.

    Almost as amazing is that it’s still more than a billion behind Avatar. The scope of that film’s reach is mind-boggling.

  31. js partisan says:

    Gus, it’s reach? It was one of the first HOLLYWOOD films to hit China. Too bad they got stuck with Avatar. You know Avatar? Oh I forgot. Seven year old kids have never heard of the movie, kids older than them don’t care about the movie, and the rest of us no longer have to worry about that film holding any domestic records. International records? For now. Seriously, Avatar has no reach, but it represents a moment where we all collectively lost our shit over nothing. Nothing that matters anyway.

  32. Hcat says:

    Why should a seven year old be aware of a pg13 film? You need to stop hanging around with all those kids.

    People responded to Avatar because it was a familiar tale placed in a new imagined universe told with eye popping special effects. I remember another film that broke box office records using the same strategy.

  33. js partisan says:

    Hcat, I am just pointing out how kids know Star Wars, they know Marvel, but know kid today who will be a teenager tomorrow… will give a shit about an Avatar sequel. Why? The movie, like in 2010, doesn’t fucking matter. It’s the biggest fluke in the history of flukes, and thank god Star Wars is putting it in it’s place.

    Also, that last paragraph is really funny. Which one is still an American Franchise, and the other an after thought? Keep guessing.

  34. Hcat says:

    Of course kids know what Star Wars is, with that marketing blitz Jacob Trembley knew Star Wars was coming out, I just don’t know why you are setting the bar for success at the q rating of the little league crowd.

    Avatar was a monster, the sequel will be a monster, but taking such personal offense at a films success is strange. Like force awakens has restored order to an unsure planet (when everyone knows what keeps the global engine running is Tom Cruise’s stardom).

  35. YancySkancy says:

    Well, in fairness, a big reason that kids know Star Wars and Marvel is that Disney has marketed the shit out of it to them. Cameron has been in no rush to get those Avatar sequels out, so there’s been no equivalent promotion for that property. We won’t really know what the Avatar franchise is capable of until the next one is completed, scheduled and promoted.

  36. PcChongor says:

    I didn’t think it was possible, but with all the “Star Wars” vs. “Avatar” box office talk Disney fanboys have finally unseated drunk Philadelphia Eagles fans as the most obnoxious group of shit talkers on the entire planet. Congrats, you’re truly godawful.

  37. Amblinman says:

    JS is going Full Poland on Avatar 2’s box office.

  38. Hcat says:

    Is this where we can comment on the nominations tomorrow AM? Or a guru of golds slot? maybe even heaven forbid a new thread?

  39. Mike says:

    RIP – Alan Rickman

    His Hans Gruber and Snape will be the most remembered, but his torturer in Closet Land was truly an amazing performance. One of the most nimble actors I’ve ever seen.

  40. Hallick says:

    Dammit. The last thing I watched him in was “Love Actually”. And he is so wonderfully relaxed in it: breezy, strange and playful. His moments with Laura Linney are nothing but bliss. I’m still surprised that those two characters weren’t paired up in the end.

    He was also sublimely awesome in “Galaxy Quest” to the point where I can get choked up a little simply remembering the last time his recites his “by Grabthar’s hammer…” catchphrase.

    Shit. Why did 2016 have to be cancer’s renaissance year?

  41. js partisan says:

    Damn right, man. If you think the Avatar sequel will be a monster, then you aren’t paying attention to the culture. Also, they are going up against another Star Wars movie, and a Marvel movie that year. Seriously, Cameron should just make Battle Angel: Attila, and stop wasting his time on a world that will never be Star Wars. It will never even be Guardians of the Galaxy for fuck’s sake.

    Also, the Rickman news adds to a shit week, and those Oscar Noms are WHITE PRIVILEGED TO THE NINES! The OSCARS: STILL SO WHITE!

  42. Mostly Lurking says:

    Seeing as how Disney will be opening an Avatar Land section in its Animal Kingdom Park in the next couple of years, it stands to win even if Avatar 2 flirts with TFA’s domestic record. That’s a studio that appears to be playing on an entirely different level than anyone else.

  43. Hcat says:

    Rickman was easily the best villian of my lifetime, Die Hard, Quigley, Snape, only thing that made Robin Hood watchable “I will carve your heart out with a SPOOOON”

    And then he turns around a gives lovely perfs in Truly Madly Deeply and the overly messy Love Actually. Even liked him in Bottle Shock and Snowcake. Thought he was underutilized, he had the comic potential to be another John Cleese (another talent left to wither for lack of oppurtunity).

    As for the Oscars, ouch for Uni and Sony. Shut out of the best picture race while A24 and Open Road get in. SPC used to be able to put one in the race since the expansion to ten, same with Focus. Was Universal too busy swimming in their Scrooge McDuck vault of money to mount campaigns? After Jobs and Everest hit the wall they just seemed to shrug and hope that Danish caught fire.

    On the other hand Fox has got to be pretty happy with 3 of the eight slots. I know there has been studios that have won three in a row, but if has there been any producer to get the title? or is Arnon a vote away from the title.

  44. EtGuild2 says:

    “but it represents a moment where we all collectively lost our shit over nothing. Nothing that matters anyway.”

    This is the same with many movies throughout history, but AVATAR will stand out in comparison to biggest grossers of other eras for its sheer technological advancement. Does anyone remember FOUR HOURSEMAN OF THE APOCALYPSE? How about DUEL IN THE SUN? THE BELLS OF ST MARY’S? THE ROBE? THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH? SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON? etc etc etc

  45. Hcat says:

    As for Avatar, how can you possibly bet against Cameron pulling out a strong sequel given his track record with them. His previous two have also been after a number of years, all it needs to reignite the interest is a strong trailer and people will remember the “Oh Shit” feeling of watching it in the theater compared to the “Ho Hum” feeling of watching it at home.

    And besides you can not even be sure you like The Force Awakens yet, at this time of the Phantom Menaces release fanboys still loved it, it took awhile to turn. A year from now you might be anticipating Avatar having turned on Star Wars like you did Watchman

    or Batman

    or Spider-man

    or the other Spider-man

  46. Hcat says:

    Actually my kids made me watch Swiss Family just this last year, they loved it.

    But Avatar will hold up a hell of a lot better than Around the World in 80 Days, dear lord what a slog, nothing more than a travelouge. One of the others I cant pitch to the younger generation is Beverly Hills Cop. They can see why Ghostbusters is special, but don’t see how Cop was a phenonemon over say 48 Hours or Fletch.

  47. EtGuild2 says:

    IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD and SMOKY AND THE BANDIT age particularly poorly as well.

  48. Hcat says:

    I am sure Smokey was just as uncomfortably hillbilly upon its release as it is today. Same as the Clint every which way movies. But I’m with you with Mad Mad Mad. Something about those bug eyed mugging movies of the sixties that just doesn’t translate to today. I watched Magnificent men in their flying machines recently and Christ that was a chore to sit through. And I’m one of the few who prefers the sixties to the seventies, but most of the comedies, ehhhhh.

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