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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Just Keep Swimming Klady

Friday Estimates 2016-06-18 at 8.32.30 AM

Pixar’s best launch with Finding Dory.

And I have bad news for Disney bashers. I expect that Disney will have a word-of-mouth hit in The BFG, in spite of weak tracking, and a significant surprise hit in Pete’s Dragon, which defines “low key” in terms of big summer profile. BFG is, by a margin, the best of the current Disney run of big-footprint family films. And I suspect that Elliot (the dragon) will also deliver on quality, given the trailer and David Lowery. So even if neither delivers Marvel-like numbers, quality helps extend the remarkable run for Disney.

The question on Dory isn’t whether it will pass Toy Story 3‘s $110m Pixar record, but whether it will pass Disney’s best non-Marvel, non-Star Wars opening ($135.6m), Pirates 2. It could be close.

Central Intelligence didn’t get to Ride Along‘s $14.4m opening day, But it is a tick up from this year’s hit Kevin Hart team-up, Ride Along 2. Kevin Hart is legit, but he does live in 1990s Denzel world. He is guaranteed, but he has a ceiling. This will be his eighth $20m+ opening in four years. That is major. But as with many funny people – and to be honest, black performers – he is not as big overseas and though he and Ice Cube brought in $154m worldwide for Ride Along, Hart can reasonably be projected to be a likely $90m – $110m worldwide grosser every time. That ain’t nothing. But it’s a different equation than, say, Eddie Murphy, who was a consistent $200m+ worldwide player in the 80s and early 90s. Denzel has broken that barrier internationally in recent years. Perhaps Hart will over time.

Not a pretty Friday for holds this week. The exception is Alice Through The Looking Glass, which fell into second-run houses four weekends in, suggesting a film people (especially families) wanted to see, but were not compelled to pay full fare.

I have said this a million times, but third-run theatrical at discounted prices across the board should be part of the MPAA strategy for keeping theatrical healthy. There are a lot of people who would come out to see a film 3 or 4 or 5 weeks into a run for the cost of a VOD buy, but who aren’t going to buy VOD. Going out for movies is an important part of the experience for a lot of people who can’t afford the highest priced tickets, especially in urban centers. With DVD as less of a reason to avoid second run – which the industry really crushed in the 90s – the weeks between first run and post-theatrical can be milked for what I guess could be as much as 4x what it generates now. This used to be a very big business.

Tickled opening strong… in the way a two-screen opening can be strong… $10k per. There are many people excited about this doc. But it’s been three years since Magnolia managed a theatrical with over $1.4 million in theatrical… and even a million has been rare for the VOD-driven distributor.

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8 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Just Keep Swimming Klady”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    Does the ALICE hold indicate some rare sellout-spillover business, or the last minute adding of DORY screens that didn’t change fast enough to be reported? Seems possible.

    DORY could definitely go higher, but right now it looks like it’s around the #15 opening of all-time, which is fantastic…but led me to reflect, SHREK 3 was the 3rd biggest opening ever at the time?! $123 million in 2007, without 3D to boot and in arguably the most competitive environment in box office history (Spidey/Pirates 3). DORY would need a whoping $207 million to match the achievement. The strangest mega-opening of all-time in retrospect, along with SHREK 2. It was overlooked because of the SPIDEY 3 record/subsequent drop-off I guess, and because such openings were so new at the time it seemed like it would be a consistent thing which of course turned out not to be the case as the record stood for almost a decade. Adding to the weirdness is that the movie sucked, but wasn’t as front-loaded on a daily basis as DORY looks to be, meaning it weathered WOM. If DORY played the same it would be looking at $170.

    For DORY, topping FROZEN and TS3 seems like an easy domestic goal here, with SHREK 2’s all-time finally in play.

  2. Stella's Boy says:

    I saw Weiner yesterday, which is fascinating and infuriating. By the end I hated the media much more than him. The low point is when someone says the NY Post accosted his communications manager and told her if she didn’t comment they’d falsely claim she was having an affair with him. As far as political docs go, it’s great. I was glued from start to finish.

    I caught it at a Landmark Theatre here and was disappointed to see a trailer for Vaxxed, which apparently is opening at a Landmark Theatre on Friday. I asked them why and they said they don’t endorse a doc’s views and want people to be able to see it and make up their own mind. Not a surprising response, but tons of highly acclaimed and well-publicized docs never got a theatrical run at either of our Landmark locations, like Cartel Land, so why this one? Controversy sells?

  3. Christian says:

    Was hoping to see how “De Palma” held, having expanded to my market yesterday, but I guess I’ll have to wait for tomorrow’s weekend projections.

  4. EtGuild2 says:

    UGH. If you’re going to go with controversy, why not UNDER THE GUN, which despite a misleading edit, doesn’t use pseudo-science, non-faith based quackery as its starting point. Re: VAXXED, Stella, a good question to ask Landmark staff is agree or not, do they want to feel responsible for a potential disease outbreak and the potential death of schoolchildren in Greater Milwaukee?

    The Vaccine “debate” isn’t a traditional conservative/liberal divide either given who it’s ensnared. It ain’t ideological..its nonsensical. Push Ben Stein’s supply-side, anti-evolution or Obama is a gay Marxist Muslim from Kenya hard-ons all you want…giving publicity to a message that could kill toddlers and kids shouldn’t be part of the discourse.

  5. BoulderKid says:

    The decline of the 2nd run theater has hurt non-event moviegoing. I think a lot of lower to middle budget stuff would appear more viable if studios new that they would have a theatrical revenue stream, however small, for months rather than weeks. How great would it be to see “The Nice Guys” or “The Witch” for $5 in mid July after we have had our fill of CGI?

  6. Ray Pride says:

    Last coverage I recall, VAXXED remains a four-wall deal, bought and paid for by producers.

  7. eric says:

    Dave, you do realize Kevin Hart had a co-star in Central Intelligence by the name of Dwyane-The Rock-Johnson. It is curious how you do not even mention him as if he does not even factor into the box office discussion. He is what got me to see this and I bet many others as the Kevin Hart act was starting to wear really thin. If it had been him and somebody with less star power it would have lucky to do 20 million this weekend. But the Rock made Kevin Hart bearable since he carried the comedy and Hart was the straight man.

  8. Amblinman says:

    This kinda underlines my point the other day about Johnson. People seem to like him but is he a legitimate draw?

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

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