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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Kladyrine

Wknd Estimates 651 2017-03-05 at 11.07.07 AM copy






I’m interested in 1974 this weekend. Here are the top grossers that year (according to Box Office Mojo).

top grossers 1974

Blazing Saddles, the #1 movie that year, opened on February 7. And only 3 of the 12 Top grossers on this chart opened in the summer that Nixon resigned. None of the Top 6 opened in the summer (#6 was The Longest Yard, which opened Labor Day Weekend.) Benji was the top summer movie, grossing just under $40 million.

Death Wish was the #1 movie in America the weekend before Nixon’s resignation and the weekend after Nixon’s resignation. The film owned the second highest grossing weekend of the year (just under $7 million) behind only The Godfather, Part II (just over $7m). There was no noticeable box office drop (or rise) caused by the resignation of the president.

For the record, I doubt the reported total domestic gross of $22 million, given that the four weekends for which there are reporting add up to $20.6 million in four weekends, the last of which grossed $3.9m… and given the longer runs of the period, hard to see how the film grossed less than $30m domestic. Another note on the suspicion with which we should be looking at old box office stats.

Blazing Saddles was in its third weekend at #1 on this weekend in 1974. And Nixon was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in an indictment against seven former presidential aides.

Now… as for this weekend…

Moonlight didn’t get a big Oscar bump with a $2.4m gross, but this will be its biggest grossing weekend, adding more than 20% to the film’s overall domestic gross.

Logan did great. The estimate is kinda funny, as it slides right in between X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X2: X-Men United. It’s probably above or below them both. But that is the magic of Sunday.

Get Out doesn’t quite get to the teens for its second weekend drop, but close. It will become the #4 Jason Blum movie ever (domestically) and will surely be the #2… or even #1, as it chases Blum’s current career best, this year’s Split. I am particularly impressed by the current run by Blum at Universal. It’s an amazing story which seemed to be losing steam. But this year, he and his team and filmmakers have found the zeitgeist and exploded (in a good way) again.

The Shack outdid all of the “Christian movies” of the last couple years with this opening. This is Lionsgate’s first shot at one of these and it did well in context. God bless.

Open Road couldn’t find the teen girls to follow Zoey Deutsch into its quirky romantic thriller. The difficulty I had coming up with a way to describe it in that sentence explains why.

Searchlight excreted Table 19… they were clearly happy to see it go. Wilson is coming next and is quirky and challenging and may not do much box office, but everyone will be proud to be associated with that one.

Not much to get excited about in the limited/exclusive market.

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27 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Kladyrine”

  1. Sideshow Bill says:

    To my eyes Get Out’s week day grosses were something special. Maybe they don’t rank with Star Wars but for this film they are impressive. And I still haven’t seen the fucking thing.

  2. alynch says:

    Having trouble seeing any scenario where Get Out won’t end up the #1 Blumhouse movie (domestically, at least). It opened to $10 million less than Split yet their 10-day totals are now nearly even. It’ll probably pull ahead mid-week.

    It’s pretty remarkable when you consider Split had really good week-to-week holds, yet Get Out is still holding way better.

  3. djk813 says:

    Hopefully the lesson learned is that this “Blumhouse renaissance” happened with original properties and not sequels.

  4. Stella's Boy says:

    The many defensive “see horror is socially conscious and important” think pieces are amusing. They popped up all over the place this week. As a diehard horror fan I do think the genre is an easy whipping boy and too often dismissed with haste, but studio horror has been pretty damn white and tame and dull lately. One movie, as good as it is (and I do love Get Out and am thrilled it’s been so successful), doesn’t change history. And that’s a good point djk813.

    On a related note, anyone else see AICN’s review of Get Out? Guy’s biggest problem with it is that there isn’t a nice white person in it. Makes it “too divisive.”

  5. Sideshow Bill says: did TWO of those pieces, Stella’s Boy. I think you’re spot on. I’m also a huge horror fan but the genre is clogged
    with junk. For every Get Out there are 5 Bye Bye Mans (Men? Lol). The
    fans bring the criticism on themselves by supporting so much junk.
    I’m very discerning in what I watch. You can be a good genre fan and
    not give time or $$ to Rings. If you do then you’re gonna be looked at as
    a lesser genre even though you and I know what it can be.

  6. Stella's Boy says:

    I saw both of them Bill, and they aren’t the only ones. I’m sure more are on the way. One of those BD pieces insists that Saw VI is socially conscious horror. I haven’t seen it, but I’d never heard that claim before. Strikes me as a little dubious. Some revisionist history here.

  7. Sideshow Bill says:

    I personally hate the Saw series so the suggestions that any of it is “socially conscious horror” makes me cringe.

    There are good points to be made, and it doesn’t hurt to remind people that the genre has power and possibilities. Just no need to be so defensive. Enjoy the moment for a bit. Maybe it’s the cranky old man in me.

  8. Joe Leydon says:

    I’m trying to imagine a serious non-sequel drama as demanding as Chinatown ranking so high on a Top Ten Grossers list these days. Trying very hard. I’m not sure American Sniper really counts.

  9. EtGuild2 says:

    One aspect of THE SHACK that is underrated is its weirdness. Octavia Spencer plays God, and Sam Worthington spends the movie calling her Papa. Then, God transforms from a black woman into a white man who is credited as playing “Male Papa,” an interesting character descriptor to say the least.

    Worthington also kicks off the movie by murdering his father, and his father’s ghost later visits him to beg HIM for forgiveness. This angers Worthington, because it interupts an important conversation he’s having with Jesus Christ and Male Papa.

  10. Triple Option says:

    What do you mean by demanding, Joe?

  11. Christian says:

    EtGuild: Isn’t Male Papa played by Graham Greene? Does he count as a “white man”?

  12. EtGuild2 says:

    I believe in the book, which I read a Cliff Notes version of, he’s a white dude, so yes Graham Greene appears to play a white man, but that’s about the most mundane aspect of this movie.

  13. Joe Leydon says:

    Triple Option: Well, for openers, a movie that doesn’t rely on CGI or name-brand source material. And doesn’t feel the need to supply a happy ending.

  14. Geoff says:

    Yeah that Top 10 list for 1974 is pretty mind-blowing actually – adjusted for inflation, below are the top films in TODAY’S dollars:

    Blazing Saddles $547 million
    The Towering Inferno $531 million
    Young Frankenstein $395 million
    Earthquake $365 million

    So wow, you have two films from 33 years ago in the PRE-BLOCKBUSTER era (just a year before Jaws coined the phrase) that sold more American tickets than Rogue One…..yes I realize that this was before cable, WWW, and video as well but still pretty damn impressive when you realize that these films did not have the aggressive marketing or release plans that today’s bigger films do. Not only that but apparently Mel Brooks and Irwin Allen Disasters were successful franchises to rival the MCU and Pixar back in the day! 😉

    Fun exercise, go back a year to 1973 and here is the Top Three domestic adjusted for inflation:

    The Exorcist $957 million
    The Sting $771 million
    American Graffiti $568 million

    WOW indeed – so for perspective, compare that to the top three for 2015: The Exorcist sold a few more tix than The Force Awakens, The Sting did significantly more than Jurassic World as did American Graffiti more than Age of Ultron. Much less hullabaloo, much less hype, much less cross promotion, and MORE tickets sold as a result……

  15. Pete B. says:

    Really amazing is that Blazing Saddles couldn’t get made today in our current PC climate. There’s something in there to offend everyone.

  16. Thorough Henry says:

    “Blazing Saddles couldn’t get made today in our current PC climate.”

    Did you see Sausage Party?

  17. Mostly Lurking says:

    I’m trying to imagine a serious non-sequel drama as demanding as Chinatown ranking so high on a Top Ten Grossers list these days. Trying very hard. I’m not sure American Sniper really counts.”

    Triple Option: Well, for openers, a movie that doesn’t rely on CGI or name-brand source material. And doesn’t feel the need to supply a happy ending.”

    Not sure why American Sniper doesn’t fit that. Is it because the source material was known (i.e., a lot of people might not have read the books upon which it was based, but already knew who Chris Kyle was)? Would The Passion of the Christ count or is that also name-brand source material? Lincoln (same problem)?

    Gran Torino made $148,000,000 in 2008. That’s the closest I could come to meeting your parameters.

  18. Joe Leydon says:

    Mostly Lurking: You may be right: I can’t think of another original drama (not a biopic, not based on pre-existing property) since Gran Torino that fits the bill.

  19. Movieman says:

    The most distinguishing characteristic of all the movies that bagged huge bucks back in the day (adjusted for inflation) is that they made their money over the long haul rather than in 2-4 weeks like most contemporary blockbusters.
    “The Exorcist,” “American Graffiti,” “The Sting,” “Blazing Saddles,” “The Godfather,” “The Graduate,” “The Sound of Music,” et al were in theaters for a year, even longer in some cases. Not to mention the frequent reissues (an oxymoron in these days when movies are released on home video three months after their theatrical bow). The classic Disney ‘toons are a perfect example of that.
    Take “Blazing Saddles.” It was platformed like most films were back then, and very slowly made its way into the hinterlands. The initial engagements were meh, but WOM brought it back into theaters again and again where it became a phenomenon. Ditto movies like “Billy Jack,” “Harold and Maude” and “Walking Tall.”

  20. Mostly Lurking says:


    It does seem that when taking action movies out of the equation and focussing solely on dramas, removing biopics from consideration is just as significant as removing CGI fests. Although it was rather ridiculously classified as a comedy at the Golden Globes, The Martian is more dramatic than action and would also come close to fitting the bill had it not been based on a popular book.

  21. EtGuild2 says:

    The LOGAN and GET OUT numbers were low. LOGAN nearly matched DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, which is crazy, and GET OUT has already overtaken SPLIT with a -15% drop, which is a miracle.

  22. Bulldog68 says:

    Looks like Get Out is taking us back to the box office days of March 1997 when Liar Liar posted a $31m opening weekend, dropped 19% to $25m for it’s 2nd weekend, and went on to do $181m.

    Can Get Out keep that momentum up in this blockbuster filled March? Only time will tell, but in the face of Logan, to have this small of a drop says a lot.

  23. EtGuild2 says:

    Not sure a high-concept big studio movie fronted by the biggest star in comedy is a great comp, but I don’t think there’s a great comp for this. For the moment, there’s SPLIT, but not sure for how long. TAKEN is decent I guess, though it’s a week ahead….THE MATRIX?..for Universal, BRIDESMAIDS?

  24. Bulldog68 says:

    Just in terms of box office trajectory EtGuild. And not all high concept movies fronted by a big comedy star backed by a major studio is a guarantee of success these days.

  25. EtGuild2 says:

    Seems like GONE GIRL might actually be the best recent comparison at this point.

  26. Bulldog68 says:

    That works. Gone Girl really slipped through the radar for me. For some reason I thought it just squeaked past $100m. Didn’t realize it got to $167.

  27. EtGuild2 says:

    Now, with the “GET OUT CHALLENGE” sweeping social media, the movie’s obtaining the kind of press studio chiefs have wet dreams about. Maybe $170 million isn’t far-fetched. Cracking Blumhouse’s Top 5 worldwide, without a freaking international release would be pretty crazy.

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