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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by 3-Day Klady

Weekend Esitmates 2016-07-03 at 10.08.33 AM

One of the least interesting box office summers continues to be uninteresting.

July 4 weekend is fool’s gold for Hollywood. There’s never been a $100 million opening over this holiday, but it’s not for lack of trying. Transformers 2 got closest, but it may never happen. As big openings got really, really big, distributors figured out that opening on the holiday was not the best money choice. In July, the biggest openings are a week after July 4 or the weekend after. Christmas monsters tend to open at least a week before Christmas. Opening Memorial Weekend has become a show of weakness, requiring serious players to roll out the week before. And even Thanksgiving, the last holdout, is now a date that begs for an opening weekend before the 5-6 day weekend for films looking to do mega-numbers.

That’s no excuse, by the way, for this weekend’s lame launches. Finding Dory is doing great. It’s the #8 third weekend grosser after being the #8 second weekend grosser. If this continues, expect Dory to be around $250m next weekend.

Tarzan (by any other name would no one remember) didn’t die as fiery a death as people assumed it would. People are silly. Greystoke opened, back in 1984 (when the best opening was of the year was $25m and #2 was $16m), as the #2 movie of the weekend, ahead of Romancing The Stone. There is an audience for Captain Loincloth (wait… that would have been a good title!!!) in every generation. $37 million is not setting off fireworks over the WB lot, but we live in an era where media hungers for failure and premature analysis based on numbers not intended for playing Guess The Box Office.

The Purge: Election Day (aka Election Day For All POC In Trump’s America), opened to 10% less than The Purge and 3% better than the sequel, The Purge: Anarchy. Predictable… even if the guessers didn’t predict it. In the horror-thriller market, no one really knows if sequels are going to go up or down. There is a built-in audience… but there is clearly a bloody glass ceiling. Domestic gross will fall in Purge range… $65m – $75m. Everyone goes home happy.

As previously noted, The BFG‘s opening is not going to cause PG-13 orgasms at Disney. But it’s not a terrible Spielberg opening. Spielberg has one movie with an opening over $73 million. And the movie closest to BFG that opened better was AI… which only opened to $29 million. This actually his best opening in eight years… since the Indiana Jones big hit.

Don’t get me wrong. The hope for this movie is that Disney could turn it into one of its “comes to life” smash hits. Didn’t happen. But clearly, there were title recognition problems. Legendary stage actor Mark Rylance, Oscar winner or not,  is an unfamiliar face. Disney made things worse, in my opinion, by changing the angle on the story too many times, muddying the water instead of finding a reason why people had to see this film. (Expect fart jokes to show up in tv spots this week.) And where was the IMAX Experience?

I would argue that this is the best use of 3D since the shock of the new that was Avatar and that Spielberg should be a Best Director contender. It’s a big step forward in the form. But it is far from universally beloved. Still, I expect it to be a family classic. Think The Polar Express… ended up doing 7x opening. And this film’s friendly giant is a 100x more accessible than the many Hankses of the uncanny valley era of motion capture. Rylance is great… and he also deserves serious Oscar consideration. But this film will not have Christmas re-releases for years or do 7x opening domestically. It could, however, do much better than Polar internationally.

Independence Day: Reheated Hash got all the way down to a 60% drop for the weekend. Still sucks. Red ink.

Back-to-back openers The Conjuring 2 and Central Intelligence will be WB’s 3rd and 4th $100m domestic grossers of the last very difficult year. (The others were Creed and BvS.) The studio has to be thinking/praying that Suicide Squad, War Dogs, and Sully — only one of which seems on traditional WB brand — can continue the upswing.

In indie world, no one got to $10k per screen for the weekend. Weiner continues to be a strong doc player, Genius has found a legit indie audience, and The Neon Demon is doing better than the naysayers want to believe, but could not make the Spring Breakers conversion of Broad Green and Amazon Studios’ neon dreams.

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14 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by 3-Day Klady”

  1. Sideshow Bill says:

    Off-topic: I watched Green Room last night. I gasped out loud about 4 times. Then I had nightmares about it. What a movie. RIP Anton Yelchin. You were bad-ass. A24 has my #1 and 2 films of the year so far; The Witch and Green Room.

  2. Movieman says:

    Liked “Green Room” and “The Witch,” but another A24 (their pick-up “The Lobster”) is my #2 movie of the year so far.

  3. EtGuild2 says:

    I didn’t care for Green Room, but “The Witch,” “Krisha” and “Lobster” are high on my list while “DePalma” is One of the best docs.

  4. Sideshow Bill says:

    The Lobster and the DePalma doc are must-sees for me, when I can.

    On topic: a bit surprised Tarzan overtook The Purge. But one is more family friendly than the other I suppose. Still, I’m sure The Purge 4 is coming together as we speak.

  5. Stella's Boy says:

    Love The Witch and Swiss Army Man, and like but don’t love The Lobster and Green Room. Still, A24 is amazing. You have to love a studio that’s released that lineup in 2016. They are fascinating.

  6. EtGuild2 says:

    STILL confused by why they’re allowing LOBSTER to shed theatres faster than it’s making money. It still might overtake AMY as their #5 but they seem bound and determined to rip it from screens beforehand.

    Their upcoming schedule is typically interesting, though I’m a bit confused by whether or not they’re dropping EQUALS (which I could care less about) or BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER (which I want to see) in 2 weeks. Regardless, pumped to see the divisive INTO THE FOREST, MORRIS FROM AMERICA which looks hilarious, and AMERICAN HONEY in the next few months.

    Speeking of Lobster legging it, LOVE & FRIENDSHIP is rolling up its knickers and continuing to make money. It’s getting close to making as much as Whit Stillman’s entire previous filmography combined. As long as it helps people discover METROPOLITAN and LAST DAYS OF DISCO I’m okay with this. Roadside has had some way out of left fielders this year, continuing this weekend with “Our Kind of Traitor.”

  7. PappaShango says:

    “I would still argue that this is the best use of 3D since the shock of the new that was Avatar and that Spielberg should be a Best Director contender for this film. It is a big step forward in the form.”

    I have not seen BFG, but if the use of 3D in it is better than how it was expertly executed in Gravity I would be pretty surprised.

  8. Movieman says:

    Yes, “L&F” is one of the year’s happiest indie hits–along w/ “The Lobster” (wow; who ever thought it would outgross “Everybody Wants Some!!”?), “Hello, My Name is Doris” and “Eye in the Sky.”
    I also happen to think it’s the most purely pleasurable Jane Austen adaptation I’ve ever seen. Could start a whole new chapter in Whit Stillman’s career (if he wants it, that is).
    As somebody who actually enjoyed “The Legend of Tarzan,” I’m happy to see it exceeding b.o. estimates.

  9. Geoff says:

    So Finding Dory does $50 million over the four day weekend while Tarzan does $45 million over the same period and that equates to ‘Dory “dominating the box office” according to Deadline?? It’s small potatoes but it’s pretty damn obvious at this point how much of a pro-Disney bias there is coming from the entertainment media at this point.

  10. EtGuild2 says:

    Well, to be fair, if DORY had debuted to below $60 million, I think it would have been labeled a screaming disaster.

  11. Bitplaya says:

    Geoff it’s Dory’s third weekend. This is just a victory lap for Disney at this point. A movie like Tarzan is a flop if it can’t beat a three week old movie. If that movie makes money it will be by the skin of its teeth.

  12. Stella's Boy says:

    Purge: Election Year is an interesting mess. It’s a really well-made B movie. It’s never dull and some of the set pieces are fairly tense. Frank Grillo is good as is the supporting cast, especially Williamson. Of course it wants to have it both ways with the violence, condemning vengeance and senseless killing while also glamorizing revenge and mass slaughter, making it appear righteous and fun. I was amused by its attempt to be political, with conservatives and white supremacists cartoonishly evil. I can’t say it’s a great movie, but I was entertained.

  13. Geoff says:

    Yeah I get that it’s Dory’s third weekend but it beat the number 2 film by less than $5 million….not exactly “dominating” based on the numbers. And even if you want to say that it’s DISNEY who dominated this weekend, that really doesn’t work either since The BFG pretty much flopped.

  14. bodhizefa says:

    Hi Dave,

    Have you ever thought of putting up a Thursday blognostication post where you (and any of your commenters) post your prognostications for the upcoming weekend? Or if you’re not interested in doing so yourself, perhaps you could post a Weekend Projections post where your commenters can chime in with their own thoughts?

    Just throwing stuff out there to help boost commenter activity here! Love the site, and it’s just been a little slow here for a spell.

    Thank you!

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