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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Disappointing Success Klady

Wekend Estimates 2016-08-14 at 9.22.17 AM

So… in spite of everything, Suicide Squad had a normal second weekend drop for a huge opening. There is nothing shocking or even disappointing about 67%.

Sausage Party is right there with the best Rogen/Goldberg openings (Superbad/Green Hornet), so anything less than joy around this opening seems silly.

Pete’s Dragon is a mediocre opening in the perspective of the success of The Jungle Book. But if you look at the history of Disney family films released in August, you see Planes opening at $22.2 million, The Princess Diaries opening at $22.8 million, and Freaky Friday (2003) opening at $22.2 million. In other words… Pete’s Dragon, which has no cult following of the size that would drive nostalgia box office, did the number you would expect.

And it’s not just Disney. You will find no family films opening in August to more than $23 million… ever. (That is, unless you choose to include the very violent GI Joe II or Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as family films… which I would not.) Even Princess Diaries 2 came in within a few hundred thousand of the launch of the original, stuck under $23 million.

Also worth noting… the worst performance by a Disney family August opener was $90m domestic. So expect the Pete’s multiple to be strong (added leg value for being a great film). They have a teen problem, in that many seem resistant because the film seems young to them. But if they can get some word of mouth going, there could be a Frozen slingshot, though the domestic ceiling is probably around $130 million.

And Florence Foster Jenkins sung her way into the hearts of more than half a million people this weekend, which should be the start of a surprisingly solid run for the Paramount title. The film is on the fewest screens in the Top 10 this weekend, as Paramount wades in a bit. The meat of the audience for this film – older people – will start attending next weekend and the weeks after based on word of mouth. Four times opening is doable here. That would be a big success, given the material, in the eyes of most observers. So… this opening has got to be seen as a success.

Meanwhile, Hell or High Water slid out on 32 screens to a pretty good result ($9930 per screen). I don’t know that this film is particularly scalable.

Likewise, the rest of the limited space was soft, not a single $10k per-screen title. Little Men, Disorder, and Equity were the strongest of a weak group.

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40 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Disappointing Success Klady”

  1. Dr Wally Rises says:

    I always love it when an authentic duel develops between two major studio tentpoles. I have Bourne and Trek finishing at about $165-170 million each. I give a slight edge to Bourne, but it’ll be a very close race which I’ll watch with interest.

  2. Movieman says:

    Sorry that Disney’s pretty terrific “Pete’s Dragon” reboot didn’t open better.
    But it should hold nicely through Labor Day.
    And will likely become a DVD perennial for years (decades) to come.

  3. EtGuild2 says:

    6 of the top 12 PG-movies of all time were now released last year or this year. A big comeback for PG-fare, and for the first time in six years, PG-13 films look to make up less than half of the annual box office haul. Is this the start of a trend, or a blip?

    TRAIN TO BUSAN is the new LOBSTER. Healthy per theater average, raking in the money…time to leave theatres ASAP! I can’t recall seeing specialty movies shedding theatres like this with $4,000-$5,000 per screen averages.

  4. Hmmm says:

    PETE’S cost 65 and had a much much smaller P&A compared to their other releases. It will do fine.

  5. Kevin says:

    Why is the (great) BLOOD FATHER on only 52 screens? When does it go wide?

  6. Movieman says:

    That “Hell or High Water” per screen is actually $18,500.
    Pretty decent.
    Not sure how it’ll fare when it widens next weekend; or even how “wide” it’s really going to go.

  7. JohnP says:

    @ Kevin: Blood Father probably won’t go any wider as it hit iTunes and other VOD platforms on the 26th.

  8. Kevin says:

    Really? Wow. I know Mel Gibson’s rep is toxic, but otherwise, this had potential to be a breakout hit.

  9. Bulldog68 says:

    His name but not his talent seems to be toxic. Take a gander at all the promotional materials for his upcoming directorial effort Hacksaw Ridge. The trailers do look good, but the movie posters and trailers all say “From the acclaimed director of Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ.” Without even mentioning the name Mel Gibson once. Kind of surreal actually.

  10. John E. says:

    Sausage Party – The best R-rated cartoon movie since South Park: BLU.

  11. John E. says:

    Anthropoid… I know it’s the name of the operation, but did they really think people would look at that title and think ‘Sounds like a WWII spy thriller’ and not ‘Is it about an alien invasion? Does a guy turn into a monkey?’

  12. EtGuild2 says:

    TJB will pass DEADPOOL at the box office in the next few days…it trails by about $70,000, which will give Disney the Domestic #1-3…for now. PETS’ continued run may make the #3 slot obtainable. Could PETS even catch DESPICABLE ME 2 and become Illumination’s #1/Universal’s #2 first-run release? It’s on track, but KUBO will probably leave it short.

  13. Bulldog68 says:

    Finally saw Suicide Squad and I just have to disagree with the level of hate that critics levelled at this one. A flawed movie no doubt, and I agree that the villain was weak. It just seems the knives were out early for this one.
    On RT, that 27% is unexplainable to me when Amazing Spider-Man 2 sits at 52%. Audience reviews are 70% and 65% respectively. Godzilla got 74% Critic reviews and 66% Audience reviews. Superman Returns got 76% critic and 61% audience.
    I’m with the audience on these.
    Do you guys who didn’t like SS actually think that Amazing Spider-Man 2 was twice as good?
    Or that Godzilla or Superman Returns deserves a Fresh certification?
    I liked SS more than both Thors, Ironman 2 and The Incredible Hulk.

  14. Bulldog68 says:

    One more thing, the critics gave Independence Day Resurgence a score of 32%. A complete bore of a movie. Can you honestly say that deserves a higher score than Suicide Squad? Is the 27% SS score an honest critique of the movie or more based in a disappointment that it didn’t live up to expectations?
    Ironically, the audience agreed with the critics on ID:R. The audience score is 34%.

  15. Sideshow Bill says:

    I watched The Nice Guys last night and had a weird experience with it. It was exactly as good as I expected it to be considering all involved. So I enjoyed it. Yet I also felt a bit disappointed in that it didn’t exceed my expectations. Does this make any sense? It’s a perfectly fine Shane Black movie. Crowe and Gosling are great. It was funny. I just kept expecting it to kick into another gear or go somewhere truly surprising and it didn’t. Doesn’t mean I didn’t like it though. I’ll buy the Blu Ray. Weird.

  16. amblinman says:

    “Do you guys who didn’t like SS actually think that Amazing Spider-Man 2 was twice as good?
    Or that Godzilla or Superman Returns deserves a Fresh certification?
    I liked SS more than both Thors, Ironman 2 and The Incredible Hulk.”

    Why do we have to be held accountable for RT ratings? I thought SS was a giant pile of shit, and that Spidey 2 was a pile of shit as well. Just a different smell. Your point about ID 2 vs SS probably lends to the fact that the audiences for geek properties is a lot more rabid than regular fare. Everything is either the greatest thing ever or something that ruins their lives.

    @Sideshow – I had a similiar reaction until I watched it again, which in and of itself told me something different was going on there just due to a desire to want to see it again a day after first viewing. It’s great. Gosling’s character is going to become a huge cult favorite.

  17. EtGuild2 says:

    Jesus, people really really like Rotten Tomatoes on this blog, when it’s barely a step above Fandango. Here’s Metacritic’s ranking of summer wide releases with lines between good, mixed and bad and ties broken by user votes:

    Kubo and the Two Strings
    Finding Dory
    Pete’s Dragon
    Florence Foster Jenkins
    The Nice Guys
    Star Trek
    Sausage Party
    The Infiltrator
    The BFG
    The Conjuring
    The Secret Life of Pets

    Bad Moms
    The Shallows
    Jason Bourne
    Neighbors 2
    Lights Out
    Money Monster
    The Purge 3
    X-Men: Apocalypse
    Central Intelligence
    Me Before You
    Mike and Dave
    NYSM 2
    Free State of Jones
    Angry Birds
    Suicide Squad
    TMNT 2


    Alice 2
    Ice Age 5
    Nine Lives

    Seems about right (though overall things are higher than I’d rate). Most egregious to me are DORY too high and WARCRAFT too low. But Suicide Squad at 40, on the verge of bad, but mediocre, right with TMNT 2? Yeah, seems right. And yeah, ASM2 is a mess as well, but the acting is like Shakespeare in the Park next to SS (everyone is better…Garfield/Stone>Smith/Robbie, DeHaan>Davis, even Fox>Eyebrow Enchantress)

    And yeah, same reaction to NICE GUYS.

  18. palmtree says:

    I would think a difference between 32% and 27% on RT is well-within their margin of error. It’s hardly scientific and not very nuanced.

    And in fact, the more nuanced score on Metacritic has SS at 40% and IDR at 32%.

    I personally don’t pay any attention to RT unless the score is unusually high, which might make me think twice about a film I had written off. Otherwise, I just assume that it is a flawed system that is as susceptible to groupthink as any other.

  19. YancySkancy says:

    Yeah, it’s not like a Rotten Tomatoes score of 32% means the critics rated it on a 100-point scale and their scores averaged out to 32%. I thought everyone understood that these percentages aren’t “scores” at all, but based on an aggregate of positive and negative reviews. As far as I know, some human determines whether a mixed review falls into the positive or negative camp. In theory, a film could get 100% mildly negative reviews, resulting in a 0% fresh rating. This would make the film seem widely reviled, when in fact everyone just thought it was “meh.”

  20. EtGuild2 says:

    @yancy, This is how, according to RT, INSIDE OUT is the best movie since THE GODFATHER and is the 2nd best movie to be released since 1950. I liked Bing Bong, but he’s no Vito Corleone.

  21. Pete B. says:

    Guess I was the only one who liked Warcraft, and saw it multiple times.

    But Godzilla (2014) sucked so bad my wife wouldn’t speak to me after we left the theater. (I forced her to see it.) And she enjoyed SS.

  22. YancySkancy says:

    You gotta love this Hollywood Reporter article linked on the home page, about “the Summer of Steep Second-Week Drops,” which posits that “Aggregated reviews seem to have contributed to the decline.” “Seem to” based on what? Is there anything that measures what percentage of the public, if any, decides to stay away from a film based on its RT fresh rating, as opposed to bad word of mouth, reading an actual bad review or two, or simply a lack of interest? And if there is a correlation, why doesn’t it seem to work the other way? Star Trek Beyond has a great fresh rating, but it dropped big anyway (as the article points out).

  23. Ray Pride says:

    It is a scatty article, to be sure. A firmer hand could have been applied to the edit.

  24. Chris says:

    “On RT, that 27% is unexplainable to me when Amazing Spider-Man 2 sits at 52%…

    Do you guys who didn’t like SS actually think that Amazing Spider-Man 2 was twice as good?”

    That’s not how Rotten Tomatoes works.

    On RT, Amazing Spider-Man 2 has an average rating of 5.8 out of 10, whereas Suicide Squad has a rating of 4.7 out of 10, and that actually sounds about right to me.

  25. Monco says:

    Warcraft was my favorite of the summer.

  26. Pete B says:

    Hopefully Monco, we’ll get a director’s cut DVD with the 45 minutes that got cut out.

  27. Tracker Backer says:

    “Warcraft was my favorite of the summer.”

    Was it the only movie you saw?

  28. Monco says:

    For sure Pete. I hope Duncan Jones is allowed to make a sequel.

    And no, Tracker I did see other films this summer. Of major studio releases this summer I’d rank: Warcraft, The Nice Guys, and The BFG as my top 3. But Warcraft was by far the best time I had at the movies.

  29. EtGuild2 says:

    Sadly, the box office is only enough to cover the production budget, since over half the worldwide haul was from China. It’s a case where Chinese exhibitors have to be pissed over their country’s policy with returning money to Hollywood studios, since it’s the 4th biggest Hollywood movie ever in the country, but the policy will likely prevent Universal from greenlighting a sequel, hurting their own business in the end. If China was a regular country, Universal would have taken in an extra $50 million, which would have maybe been enough, depending on video.

  30. Movieman says:

    What John said about “Anthropoid” can be applied to this week’s “Imperium” as well.
    What about that title tells you it’s really about crazy Drumpf supporters?
    It sounds as sci-fi-ish as “Anthropoid.”

  31. Stella's Boy says:

    Is Ben-Hur actually opening this weekend? I’ve been seeing TV spots for War Dogs & Kubo and the Two Strings for weeks. This week I’ve seen a ton of spots for Hands of Stone. Yet to see a single one for Ben-Hur. Did Paramount just give up on it? It feels strangely and suspiciously quiet for a $100 million movie opening in two days.

  32. CG says:

    I saw a behind-the-scenes thing about Ben Hur before a showing of Star Trek Monday night, but other than that I have seen literally no publicity for it.

  33. Bulldog68 says:

    Suicide Squad is one hell of a funny blockbuster. Getting creamed on the weekend by the other superhero films this year, but kicking the shit out of them during the week. It’s weekdays are better than Captain America and may be 2nd only to Finding Dory thus far this year. If it can only stop the bleeding it can possibly equal Captain America’s 44% Opening Weekend/ Total Gross ratio and get to $302m. If it equals Xmen, it gets to $314. I think both may still be possible. It’s a foregone conclusion that it will avoid the dreaded curse of not at least doubling your Opening Weekend gross the way BvS and Warcraft did.

  34. YancySkancy says:

    Am I dense? How do you parse this quote from the Hollywood Reporter article about “Film Czar” Ken Ziffren’s state-of-the-industry address? —

    “Of the 600 features last year, only about 90 of them were shown on 2,000 or more screens — compared to about 400 films shown wide last year.”

    So which was it last year — 600 features in wide release or 400? What am I missing? Is 2,000 screens not wide release? Is that second “last year” supposed to be “the year before”?

    Anyway, if the number of wide release films decreased from 400 to 90 in the course of a year, that’s quite a stat.

  35. Ray Pride says:

    Now I wonder if that was a THR typo or what Ziffren truly said. Didn’t check the math.

  36. leahnz says:

    “…can be applied to this week’s “Imperium” as well.
    What about that title tells you it’s really about crazy Drumpf supporters?”
    haha sick burn movieman, get out the salve

  37. EtGuild2 says:

    @Bulldog, comps are hard, but it’s a bit similar to STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, which wasn’t impressive at all on weekends given the reviews (it dropped 50%+ every weekend in the top 20 except for Labor Day) but managed a 2.67 multiple on a huge R-rated opening. SS’s weekend drops are likely to be steeper given the larger opening and critical drubbing (it would do $380 million at 2.67), but I think the weekdays can be accounted for by the “hard PG-13” nature of the movie. It’s playing more like an R feature than BvS, Cap, etc. Just my theory.

    Off-topic, but KRISHA is finally on video! I demand everyone see it immediately.

  38. Movieman says:

    Don’t you mean video on demand, Ethan?
    Planning to check “Krisha” out this weekend. Thanks for the head’s-up. I would’ve never known to look for it.
    No idea when an actual video release is forthcoming, though. Seems long overdue.

  39. EtGuild2 says:

    It’s on iTunes and Amazon for streaming…I assume it’s hit VOD. Stuff like this does frustrate me, as my love of film and theater is from my dad, and I’ve connected him to DVD Netflix, but this streaming-only stuff is more and more prevalent so I end up waiting months or even a year to recommend stuff. I am excited that the excellent TAKE ME TO THE RIVER finally got a DVD release date (9/6).

    THE FITS and MEASURE OF A MAN which I am going to see tonight, both got a DVD date at least but not until 9/13. First-world problems, but it’s like cars and laptops removing CD/DVD players. How the hell am I ever supposed to deal with the fact my uncle has 500 CDs worth of music, videos, files and pictures when he goes to me for computer advice? Or recommend a car for an older relative to rent if they like to drive with music? Things are moving too fast to the point it’s marginalizing people.

  40. Pete B. says:

    EtGuild2, I did a double take after reading your post and then had to Google it. No CD players in new cars? WTF? Then the article in Bloomberg referred to them as “relics”. God, I am old.

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