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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Kladysworth

weekend estimates 651w 31917 930a

Be our ticket buyers, be out ticket buyers, put our movie to the test. Buy 15 million tickets plus, and Disney does the rest. Potter girl, CG beast, why, the song count has increased! Set some records, mock the shouters, don’t believe them, ask bean counters!

And most interesting of all, the big number for Beauty & The Beast didn’t get in the way of pretty decent holds for the big, more adult action stuff that was already doing business, suggesting (however unintentionally) that some balance in the market can actually work.

The biggest opening of all time without a Marvel character or a dinosaur. It’s pretty amazing.

You can’t really qualify it as an original, as it uses the materials of a hit film. In an odd way, it shares commercial DNA with Jurassic World, which used none of the original characters… except for the one “classic” dino. (SPOILER ALERT TOO LATE!) You know, there were more than 5 Disney-made Beauty & The Beast psuedo-sequels featuring the voices of Paige O’Hara and Robby Benson that were released on video (not to mention a Broadway musical) over the 26 years between the original and now. Unless you have kids the right age, you probably heard of none of them. But they kept the heartbeat alive, much as the Jurassic sequels did. And of course, there have been many other versions of the classic public domain story over the same 26 years.

Still, studios bet on IP that seems to have staying power all the time and rarely does anything hit the way this film is hitting. It begs the Frozen 2 issue… can the next set of songs be as compelling as the first set of songs? Jim Cameron’s challenge on Avatar 2-4 isn’t just continuing the story effectively, but capturing the sense of the new that the first film did for more than a hundred million people.

Of course, this opening weekend is (wait for it) not… about… the… movie. Never is. It is about what people are anticipating about the movie based on ads and publicity. Audiences clearly wanted this “revival” to happen and animation set in live action is really the variation on the original that makes it safe to revisit. Bill Condon has also taken the film to places that are uniquely in his skill set and brought some new twists. Most difficult, I think, was trying to infuse the literal nature of live action cinema with the magic that existing in the animated version. Mostly, he succeeded… not by imitating, but by finding a paradigm that fit his film first and then paid homage to the original.

So… $172 million domestic. The worst performance by a $150m+ opener (there are only 10) was $330m by Batman v Superman. But $400m domestic seems like the absolute bottom for B&TB. The film did $180m internationally this week, in 44 markets, including China. $500 million seems like the bottom there. So, a billion is well within range. Topping Alice in Wonderland‘s $1.03b record for Disney adaptations is a distinct possibility, if not a probability.


Kong: Skull Island, a terrible piece of junk, didn’t die an ignoble 2nd weekend death. 54% is pretty respectable, given a strong launch and the genre element. Warner Bros. should be happy with this result, though the film is still in danger of being a money loser for Legendary.

Logan, the hard-R X-Men movie that probably signals the end of the current generation of X-actors, is still hanging tight, heading past the $200m domestic mark next weekend, already past $500m worldwide. Big victory for people who like good movies, even when they are genre.

Likewise, Get Out had a 36% hold in weekend 4. Wow. Should pass Split on Thursday as Jason Blum’s biggest film ever domestically, though it has a lot of work to do overseas to catch up with Split‘s $120m or so.

I guess we are supposed to be talking about how theatrical needs to transform in 2017… not good enough anymore… no one wants to go to the movies…


The “Oscar bump” for Moonlight is pretty much over. A24 has the film on 280 screens and those screens averaged less than 10 people per screening this weekend. The Best Picture winner has been on DVD and streaming for 3 weeks already, so there is no shame or surprise in this. If you haven’t seen it on a big screen, go.

La La Land is now over $425m worldwide. Hidden Figures is at $215m. Arrival, $198m. Hacksaw Ridge, $175m. Lion, $122m. So for everyone who thought this was a weak year commercially for Oscar movies.. surprise.

The Salesman, the Oscar-winner for Foreign Language, added another $100k to get to $2.2 million. I Am Not Your Negro, which didn’t win Best Documentary, is winning in the theatrical release category, now at an amazing $6.4 million. It’s not quite as big as last year’s Amy, but outside of Disney Nature, IMAX, and Democrat-bashing, it is at the very top of the charts over these last 5 years.Successful doc releases like the Ron Howard Beatles doc, Michael Moore’s 2016 film, and The Eagle Huntress just didn’t come close.

T2: Trainspotting manages $29,500 per screen on 6… which will earn it some more screens… but don’t expect too much. Sony doesn’t seem to want to spend too much to get this one on its feet.

Song To Song, the latest from Malick, manages $13k per on 4, which is not going to get it much of an expansion. This may be one of his best films to watch on your big screen at home in a while.

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15 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Kladysworth”

  1. Christian says:

    “After the Storm” wasn’t quite as disastrous as I feared when posting in the Friday-results thread, but $4,300 per screen on 4 screens still, I would think, jeopardize a wider release.

    Meanwhile, “Personal Shopper” made slightly less per screen on 35. Seems disappointing as well, considering it stars Kristen Stewart and is, frankly, great.

  2. David Poland says:

    I can only tell you, Christian, that I have shot Assayas for each of his last 4 or 5 movies and the way they handled this one drove me away from covering. And I really like the movie a lot. I shot him for Clouds (which I loved passionately) in spite of bungled handling of the film along the way.

    Can’t imagine I am alone. IFC doesn’t spend money to throw away publicity and have their movies play theatrical anyway.

  3. Michael says:

    A correction. You say the biggest opening without a Marvel character or a dinosaur. I think you forgot The Force Awakens. The biggest opening of all.

  4. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Yep, I must have missed those Marvel characters and dinosaurs in TFA. In all seriousness though, this is a stunning result for Disney, and I don’t see anything topping it until The Last Jedi at Christmas. Guardians 2 and Spidey Homecoming? Possibly but unlikely.

    One other note looking further down the chart – is that a second run / dollar theater bump for Rogue One, or a bit of mendacity from Disney to pick up the $5 million or so it still needs to pass TDK on the all time chart?

  5. Frankos says:

    Of course a self certified box office expert would forget the biggest opening weekend of all time!!

  6. Arisp says:

    Saw GET OUT this weekend. Can’t honestly say I feel the love. It had a half dozen glaring plot holes. and what was that third act exactly? A well made film, and I’m all for small horror movies, but there’s a bit of kool aid here.

  7. Heather says:

    Dave…nice combination of reporting, analysis, and reviewing wrapped into one

  8. Movieman says:

    IFC seems as disinterested in theatrical anymore as Magnolia.
    Ironically, Mag had one of their biggest (theatrical) hits in recent years w/ the Baldwin doc.
    Hope they rush “Shopper” out on home vid since it’ll never play ANYWHERE remotely near me.
    Equally frustrating: the IFC films that stream day-and-date w/ “limited theatrical” (which are most of their “releases” these days) aren’t even available through my cable company’s “On Demand” service.

  9. EtGuild2 says:

    Can a studio only release seven movies in a calendar year and claim the box office crown? Disney is putting that to the test, and is the favorite. Originally I thought WB would be the biggest competition, but Universal has a shot given the wild overperforming of its Blumhouse titles.

    It depends on Universal’s post-summer to Christmas slate, as FAST 8/DESPICABLE ME 3/MUMMY should roughly match GUARDIANS/CARS 3/PIRATES 5. If COCO turns out to be fantastic, they have it in the bag.

  10. EtGuild2 says:

    KEDI, finally expanding last weak, will at least end as Oscilloscope’s #2 grosser ever, and may catch SAMSARA for #1. Given they’ve dropped 70 movies, it’s both a remarkable accomplishment, and remarkably depressing that they have only a single $2 million grosser.

  11. pat says:

    The Star Wars characters appeared in a long-running Marvel Comic book series in the 1970s and 80s.

  12. JS Partisan says:

    Guardians will beat this, by a couple of bucks. Do not undervalue, the power of that first movie. Geoff, might forget these movies two weeks after they come out, but people watch them online all the damn time. Guardians will be fucking huge, like I told all of you Beauty and the Beast would be huge. Seriously. Huge.

    And he forgot TFA. Why? He’s David fucking Poland! That’s why!

  13. Triple Option says:

    Saw Logan this w/e, it was very good. Put some respec’ on Dafne Keen, who plays the girl mutant. I liked the genre crossing. Like, it had been discussed here, The Dark Knight was a crime thriller ala The Untouchables, set in the world of superheroes. I also thought Spidey II was pretty much a romance movie set in the world of superheroes. Logan was a western done with superheroes. They could’ve gone even more spaghetti western than they did but the skillful fighter who doesn’t talk was pretty cool. The Shane cut ins were great. It reminded me of a French film, Farewell, that came out about 6-7 years ago. (Man, has it been that long??). It was a cold war espionage film that drew a parallel with cut ins from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of those types of films. It would be a way of keeping the re-hashed titles fresh, maybe.

    I really enjoyed the first Trainspotting, though it lost a bit of steam for me when it turned into Shallow Grave. I had been hearing about the film for quite some time. More, actually, than Beauty & Beast. I guess those algorithms are improving over the days of every man over the age of 35 gets hair growth and bedroom performance enhancing drug ads. I do plan on seeing this second one but have to admit I’m not as eager to see it as I have been w/other Danny Boyle film. IMDB let me down. I tend to look for showtimes through that site but it didn’t show any theaters for LA. I may have gone Sat morning if I had saw it was out.

    Until looking at this chart, I didn’t realize Moana was still in theaters. Do you think they’re targeting $250 Mil or did they have a set period of release in mind. Like, ‘let’s see 2-3 weeks post Oscars what it can pull?’ kind of thing?

  14. Geoff says:

    Hey if it’s good for you and your Disney stock JS – up 6 points YTD, pretty good. 🙂

    And like I said in a point I think I conceded almost two years ago now: the ongoing MCU franchise clearly isn’t going anywhere any time soon – they’re going to keep bringing in cash and have that formula locked down….just like The Walking Dead on AMC.

    And wow it must say a lot about how strong the Jason Blum branding has become that I could have sworn that – or maybe I just assumed this – that he was also behind The Conjuring franchise as well.

  15. EtGuild2 says:

    BOTB has closed the gap with CIVIL WAR on the weekdays, which makes it look like it may have the legs of a beast.

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