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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend 4-Day Estimates by Things Change Klady

Wknd 4 day Esimtates 2016-12-26 at 11.27.12 AM

So the controversy here yesterday was over Fences, which was clearly underestimated in its expansion. We’re already looking at an estimate on today’s box office for the film, which is $4.9 million, which could easily be high… or not. How much of an effect will Christmas Day football have? How heavy was the must-see factor yesterday? Even if the film does $15 million in its first three days, that’s soft for Denzel… but it’s not a weekend launch… but it is Christmas/New Year’s week… but but but… Let’s take a deep breath and see where this goes.

Rogue One rolls along, pacing the big Marvel movies more than Episode 7. No one is going to die from a $1.2 billion-grossing Rogue One. And because it truly is a stand-alone film that fits in a very specific niche of the Star Wars Universe, no one is sweating sequels. So… great… success… not world-beating… but fine. IP wins again.

As noted before, Sing is a complete freak when it comes to animated releases. Doing okay.

Passengers remains soft, but looking for answers outside of American airspace. I don’t think it brings down Rothman at Sony. And in fact, it probably reinforces his position on being cheap and not chasing big stars with big price tags. But not a happy Christmas in Culver City.

The hard part is that the big studio has seven weeks before their next release, the next two coming from Screen Gems. And there is some risk. Life will have a lot on its shoulders. Then a four-film summer of a Scarlett Johansson comedy (Rock That Body), Spider-Man: Homecoming, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, and Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver. Spider-Man is a gimme. The other three are not, at least commercially. And if the studio goes one for four or broderline successes for the non-Marvels, there will be serious pressure.

Why Him? and Assassin’s Creed are stuck together on the box office chart like a cruel joke. The comedy isn’t burying the studio. No biggie, even if it never really picks up. Assassin’s Creed really needs help from overseas. But either way, they both go on the prior regime’s list.

The expansion party is led by Fences, which went wide, then not-quite-wide expansions for La La Land, Jackie and Lion, plus a strong limited open (25 screens) for Hidden Figures, as well as exclusives for Patriots Day, Silence and Live By Night, and A Monster Calls.

Honestly, there is a bit of self-delusion in doing a deep analysis of this group based on this weekend. Obviously, La La Land should be happy. Fences did fine, if not overwhelmingly. Manchester by the Sea is still out there, solid, and really exceptional for the kind of film it is without a major box office star. The rest?  Some of these titles are seriously commercial and will get a full studio release. Others will never be as strong as they were this weekend. Next Monday will offer a clearer picture.

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18 Responses to “Weekend 4-Day Estimates by Things Change Klady”

  1. Naller says:

    David,,,,,you are being incredibly ungracious with the Fence write-up. You got it wrong. You screwed up. Admit it and move on. “Soft for Denzel”…..bwhahaha! Fences is a one-set stage play on celluloid with a 20 million budget. This isn’t Safe House, Unstoppable or even Flight…..Fences is incredibly uncommercial. To do 11 million in 2 days, and possibly 15 million in 3 days is INCREDIBLE! Fences beat Passengers in it’s first day….think about how astonishing that is. Who else could pull this off but Denzel. Maybe Dicaprio….and that’s still a big maybe. Fences is overperforming for what it actually is.

    I’ve always rated you as one of the most level headed industry analysts, but you really sound like a hater with this one. It’ll be a hard one to live down, but people will forget your initial forecast eventually.

  2. Doug R says:

    I see Dangal is doing well here. I was tempted to take my daughter, but 160 minutes of subtitles would be a hard slog for her, although she did sit through CJ7.
    Probably wait for Netflix for that one.
    She liked Rogue One as well.

  3. EtGuild2 says:

    “So… great… success… not world-beating… but fine”

    I get what you’re going for here, but probably not the best term given that $1.2 billion would be the literal definition of world-beating in 2016. Is there a world beating success this year if this isn’t one? I guess the closest thing is THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS or DEADPOOL….$900 million for what I thought was an aggresively obnoxious original cartoon, and $750 million without a Chinese release for an R-rated, bargain basement superhero.

  4. Geoff says:

    Et, do you think that Rogue One might even fall below $1 billion worldwide? Apparently that’s the trajectory right now unless it holds very well domestically or explodes in Asia, which is a distinct possibility.

  5. EtGuild2 says:

    It’s too hard to say really. Many think that it will hold up incredibly well in China compared to TFA, because STAR WARS wasn’t really a known property there until last year. For argument’s sake, let’s say it is down -20% in China but down -50% in Korea. That puts the international at $360, plus $475 domestic for $835 WW. I would definitely assume it has enough in the tank from existing territories to get to $1B, though CIVIL WAR’s mark is definitely not guaranteed.

    Regardless, from just a purely box office perspective, it will be more profitable than CW if it really did cost $50 million less to make (plus the higher domestic %).

  6. YancySkancy says:

    Surely Donnie Yen can’t hurt it in China. Which may even have been the thinking behind his casting, I suppose.

  7. spassky says:

    Don’t count out Jiang Wen getting some bonafide adults into mddle kingdom theaters

  8. EtGuild2 says:

    Just like that, ROGUE ONE jumps from the 6th to 4th fastest pace of all-time in a day.

    MOANA is making waves again too, the one November holdover not to get the crap kicked out of it this holiday period. It passed RALPH’s domestic cume yesterday and will topple TANGLED Friday.

  9. EtGuild2 says:

    Strange results continue….ROGUE ONE now at $375 million, and will pass CIVIL WAR tomorrow. Mojo is guessing ROGUE at $435 million through Sunday, and SING at nearly $170 million, with Monday still a holiday. That seems high…but who knows. Pretty much no way that ROGUE falls short of TDK if that’s the case.

  10. Sideshow Bill says:

    I love Fassbender but I’m glad Assassin’s Creed is dying. That might not be nice to say but I hate video game movies. I love video games, but the movies are a doomed enterprise almost every time. The best video game movie I’ve ever seen, and a genuinely great movie, was called Speed Racer.

  11. EtGuild2 says:

    Fassbender had a very rough year. He sleepwalked his way through CREED and APOCALYPSE (yes, the material can be faulted) and got saddled with one of the most preposterous weepie plots I can recall with LIGHT BETWEEN THE OCEANS.

    I’m still not sure there’s a single video game movie in existence in which 51% of people would say was good after having seen it.

  12. Mike says:

    Speed Racer wasn’t a video game movie. It was based on an old cartoon. The Wachowskis just brought video game visuals to it.

  13. Sideshow Bill says:

    I know that Mike. But to ME it’s a better “video game movie,” in essence, than anything made based on a video game. I’m 45 years old. I know what Speed Racer is my friend.

  14. palmtree says:

    The greatest video game movie is Wreck It Ralph. It not only uses video game visuals, but is specifically about video game characters in a video game world. And it’s pretty damn sharp about all of this too.

  15. Pete B. says:

    It’s hard to believe now, but the glorious slice of cheese that was the first Mortal Kombat movie was #1 for 2 straight weekends in August 1995.

  16. Mike says:

    Sideshow Bill: I got you now. I didn’t realize we were counting ones with video game elements. How about The Beach? Or Last Star Fighter? Tron?

  17. EtGuild2 says:


  18. Sideshow Bill says:

    Those are good choice, Mike. I remember seeing The Beach and when that scene happened there was a collective “WTF” throughout the theater.

    And yea, Wreck-It Ralph, I forgot. And Hardcore Henry IS a video game. Level to level, Sharlto Copley as your A.I. help. I forgot how much I enjoyed that despite the headache.

    Crank is a good choice. Interestingly it probably fits better than Neveldine/Taylor’s Gamer.

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