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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Sad Face Happy Critic Face Klady

Weekend Estimates 073017

We come not to bury The Emoji Movie, but to remind that a $25m start isn’t so bad for a Sony Animation movie. In this, the worst summer for animation in many years, neither film managed to do 3x Friday for their opening weekend and Emoji, like it or not, opened behind only the Hotel Transylvanias (Dracula & Friends), Angry Birds, Sausage Party, and the Cloudy films on opening, making it the top non-R-rated, original launch by Sony Animation. In perspective, it is a successful launch. Dunkirk wins the weekend by default with a good hold. Girls Trip, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Wonder Woman all have great holds. Atomic Blonde can’t get to $20 million, but out-opened the first John Wick.

Okay… so Dunkirk takes the weekend because Emoji comes up short. Survival. Ironic.

A 45% drop off opening weekend is solid, though The Martian (which opened to $54m), dropped just 32%. And in NolanLand, both Inception and Interstellar held better. I have ZERO proof, but my intuition on this is that the “See It In 70mm/IMAX” of it all puts up a roadblock for some of the audience that doesn’t want to spend the extra money or doesn’t have ready access to those formats and doesn’t want to see an “inferior” showing of the film.

So what happened to Emoji? Nothing, really. Nearly universally despised by critics, the movie still opened well by Sony Animation standards. It nearly doubled the launch of Smurfs: The Lost Village back in April. Emoji is likely to get to $75 million and could get to $100 million. And Sony has made sequels to a number of films that have done less business, albeit mostly direct to DVD. What would really be scary is if this film somehow blows up internationally, where they are years ahead of the US on the emoji love.

Atomic Blonde was the other new wide release this weekend and it… arrived. As noted yesterday, it opened better than John Wick and not as well as John Wick 2. But with the muscle of Universal marketing leaning into this one, it’s got to be seen as a disappointment. The estimate for the weekend seems to intentionally put the opening just past the 2 bottom openers for Universal this year so it’s not on the bottom. This would be a strong opening for a Lionsgate movie (they released Wick). But not for U. How the media treats a launch that is almost the same as The Great Wall… we’ll see. This opening is not a problem for Charlize Theron, who was the entire sell of this movie and she showed she is still a $10-million-a-film level opening star. But that her much-touted nipples on ice couldn’t come close to the girl power vacation of Girls Trip must be noted. (And my guess is that Ms. Theron’s nipples will play like gangbusters internationally, so make that too.)

Speaking of Girls Trip, it outgrossed Blonde domestically in its second weekend. This one could have legs like Latifah and Tiffany Haddish combined.

Detroit arrives early, as Annapurna launches as a distributor and breaks the rules right out of the gate. What the 20-screen launch says to me is that they are flexible, which is great, but that the film must need the word-of-mouth help, which is unfortunate. I keep hearing that people are afraid of experiencing the movie. And in the most simplistic way, they should be. The movie is tough. But it is deep and rich if you are open to self-reflection. A $17,900 per-screen is pretty good. Not life-changing. But it does mean that 30,000+ people are out there talking to their friends and family about the film. Next week, we will see if it helped. (In my view, the Atomic Blonde open would be a legit success for Detroit.)

An Inconvenient Sequel is the per-screen leader of the weekend, with $33k on four. The opening is about half of the original, which isn’t bad at all, considering much less media attention to this film.

Also strong in per-screen is A24’s Yiddish-language Hasidic drama, Menashe, with almost $19k per on three.

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12 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Sad Face Happy Critic Face Klady”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    A week ago I thought GOTG2 still had a slight shot at the summer crown. Hah!!

    DM3 looks ready to speed past PETS (supposedly the most profitable movie of 2016) and break $900 million at this point. Illumination, as an animation shingle, has turned more of a profit in the last 13 months than two majors…stupid money.

  2. Hallick says:

    “We come not to bury The Emoji Movie…”

    Because it would barren the soil, poison the water table, and do a China Syndrome straight through the Earth’s crust?

  3. bxt says:

    I may be wrong but Lionsgate didn’t really spend a lot of money marketing John Wick. The first trailer was released barely six weeks before the movie premiered. Universal has a lot more invested in Atomic Blonde. $19 million is a solid start for a movie in this genre but they will need big numbers from overseas markets if they want to continue with their franchise plans.

  4. Chucky says:

    Per-theater average (NOT “per-screen”) isn’t a reliable indicator for upmarket product. The Algore sequel will sink because people in red states don’t like him, plus there’s the Academy Award Winner manner of marketing to Murica. “Menashe” will be strictly arthouse due to its subject matter.

    Separately, “Lost in Paris” is from Oscilloscope.

  5. Sideshow Bill says:

    That Variety piece on The Dark Tower would seem to confirm it might be the last great disaster of the Summer. It’s seems to have been woefully miscalculated.

  6. Mike says:

    Yeah, I think the makers of the Gunslinger got confused by the volume of the Stephen King fan base and didn’t realize it’s lack of depth. That and it’s not an easily sellable series to non-fans.

  7. Bulldog68 says:

    Say it ain’t so Sideshow, say it ain’t sooooooo…..

  8. hcat says:

    The Variety article paints a brutal picture of what seems like an impossible task, to take an intricate set of books and be both an origin to newcomers and a conclusion to fans and in only 90 minutes. When they saw the problems arising they should have pushed the release date back so they would be open a month or so after IT when King’s name will carry a little more weight with audiences (especially younger ones).

    After the success of Homecoming Sony might want to consider outsourcing all their films to other studios. I am sure Summit can provide them with some modestly priced Oscar bait.

  9. Sideshow Bill says:

    They should have stuck with the plans to turn it into a TV series. I’ve never read the books but it seems like that would have been the best bet. Sounds like they may have ended up making a movie that satisfies nobody, especially fans of the books.

  10. hcat says:

    In other trade news, that HBO hack seems awful. I thought the whole point of HBOGO was to disincentive pirating but it looks like they are still a huge target.

    I’m sure they have done an internal analysis but I would be curious to see how HBOGO has affected DVD sales, cable subscriptions, downloads of their pirated programs etc.

  11. Bulldog68 says:

    Maybe Dark Tower could have been HBO’s next GoT.

  12. hcat says:

    May have been a better idea than what they are currently pitching as their next GOT. I wonder if when the Confederate producers heard about Amazon’s similar show they kicked themselves with a “shit that’s a much better way to approach it”?

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3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
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The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4