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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by 3-Weekend Klady

Weekend Estimates 2018-05-13 at 11.48.57 AM

I still don’t have much to say about the weekend.

Avengers: Infinity War is a big, fat hit… as it must be.

Opening the second weekend of May is, as it has long been, fraught. Last year, it was $19.5m and $15.4m million for Snatched and King Arthur, respectively… almost exactly what the 2 new wide openers launched to this weekend.

There have been bigger openings in this slot. Neighbors opened to $49 million. The Great Gatsby opened to $50 million. Dark Shadows to $30 million. Bridesmaids to $26m. Robin Hood to $36m. And the first Star Trek reboot opened to $75 million a decade ago.

Who knew, when Tammy got slapped for opening to $21.6 million in the summer of 2014, that it would be on the high end of WB comedy opens from then on. Only Get Hard and Central Intelligence, out of 19 comedy releases by WB since Tammy, opened better. Those films were 3 and 2 years ago. And specifically, Life of the Party is the best WB comedy opening since Central Intelligence since June 2016.

None of this makes this opening look heroic. But context matters. And somehow, one gets the feeling that this same film opened by Universal would have launched in the high 20s. WB still opens certain films well. But comedy is hit or miss.

Warners has opened 23 movies to $30 million or more in the last 4 years (out of 92 total releases). The 3 Conjuring Universe movies were the cheapest. As mentioned before, 2 comedies. 5 were DC movies. 8 were reboots or existing franchise sequels (It, Godzilla, Kong, Hobbit, Fantastic Beasts, Mad Max, Tarzan, Blade Runner) 2 were The Rock (San Andreas/Rampage). Plus The Veteran 3: Sully, Ready Player One, and Dunkirk.

This is out of 92 WB releases in these last 4 years. For perspective, Universal has has 25 $30m launches out of 69 total releases in the same 4 years. Fox hit $30m opens on 22 of 63 releases. Sony has gone 11 of 81 in the last 4 years, which is the real reason Amy Pascal lost her job, no matter how many stolen e-mails Ben Fritz wants to analyze. (If you think I am blaming Ms. Pascal for what Tom Rothman has done, she was 6 of 34 in this category when you go back another 2 years, to 2012. So, Summer 2014 – 2018, 14%. 2012 – 2014, 18%. And now that you are playing with that stat, the Summer 2014 – Summer 2018 stat for WB is 25% and U is 36%. Of course, Disney is at a stoopid 64%. And Paramount comes in at a round 20%.)

The opening, in context, for Life of the Party is okay. McCarthy/Falcone is, when budget is in check, still a good bet. If I were them, I would set a deal at one studio where they feel great about a specific marketer who gets them and give up a few bucks to make a permanent home work. Their next film together is scheduled for WB in late 2019. The entire studio may be flipped by then.

Breaking In is from Universal’s new second favorite producer, Will Packer, who delivered this on a #1 Son (Blumhouse) budget. As such, good opening. Packer flipped between thrillers and comedies for Sony/Screen Gems for years. This was a start on the Universal future. Not the brightest launch… but okay. The studio has two films a year with him for the next while.

Holds, overall, were good. RBG expanded from 34 theaters to 180 and did $6,060 per screen and $1.1 million for the weekend. The per-screen king of indie was Magnolia’s brilliant doc, Sara Driver’s Boom for Real, charting the rise of Basquiat with great footage from the era and real insight not only in the artist, but the New York art scene of the 80s. It’s only on 1 screen and that would be in downtown New York City. So this makes sense. But the movie is a treat for anyone interested in the last great art scene.

Close by is Roadside’s Beast, a modern, non-singing version of the classic Beauty tale. Right on its per-screen heels is a period location-heavy version of The Seqgull, starring Saoirse Ronan and Annette Bening, which by some count would be a better opening, given that it is on 50% more screens (even if that’s just two in this case).

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42 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by 3-Weekend Klady”

  1. Bulldog68 says:

    Finally got to see IW and it was well worth the entertainment buck. I avoided the spoiler blog at all cost. Gotta say I loved the main henchmen, especially the white walker looking one. One nitpick I have with this and other movies that give especially the bad guys so much power, and Thanos has so much of it, and definitely the best bad guy in the MCU, is with so much power, why fight when it’s proven you can end lives so easily? Don’t really need an answer as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone else that hasn’t seen it yet on this thread, aside from that however, thought with all the characters they had to juggle, it was well done.

  2. JS Partisan says:

    No spoilers. If you fight with your hands, then you want to get them dirty. He could have had anything else… But Thanos chose a gauntlet for a reason.

    Outside of power gloves, Infinity War may become #2 all time. Thats insane, but Iger isn’t fucking around.

  3. Bulldog68 says:

    I think it’s a crap shoot to pass BP for #3 domestic but it’s not getting to $760 to pass #2 Avatar. And it needs another $450m ww to pass The Force Awakens for #3. Not sure how many markets it has left so that is also a tall order I think.

  4. palmtree says:

    I think JS meant internationally #2 all-time. This past weekend, it just had a $200m+ opening in China. Insane.

  5. Bulldog68 says:

    Even big openers traditionally drop like a rock in China, most achieving around double their opening weekend gross. Ready Player One had great legs though. It still has more than a half billion left to go to catch Titanic in pure overseas numbers. We’ll see. I love a good horse race.

  6. Aaron Aradillas says:

    BLAKC PANTHER needs $3.8 million. Will it happen?

    Finally saw TULLY. Man, did Focus drop the ball on that one. Anyone want to tell me why they didn’t platofrm this one? Why didn’t they screen it at SXSW? If there was any justice in the world the two leads would be talked about for Oscar nominations right now. As it stands, this movie is going to be forgotten by fall. It’s as if Focus treated it like it was a Netflix movie.

  7. movieman says:

    Aaron’s comment about Focus treating “Tully” like a “Netflix movie” (eek!) is the most brilliant film biz writing I’ve read all year.
    Bravo, sir.

  8. Chucky says:

    Focus dumped “Tully” because the trailer contains the deadly phrase “Academy Award Winner” above the star’s name. The kiss of death!

  9. JS Partisan says:

    BD, I meant internationally, and it’s totally getting in that rarified air. Which would be insane, but it’s not. Marvel Studios are the #1 franchise now. It totally eclipsed SW… With movies 18 and 19! A franchise, that as we all remembered… peaked with Guardians of the Galaxy according to Geoff :)! All kidding aside, China is in the Disney business, Marvel Studios makes their American franchise, so it’s possible there’s another 300 million to be made in China alone.

  10. Michael Bergeron says:

    Beast is not a non-singing version of the beauty tale … it takes place on an island in the English channel and deals with a young woman’s relationship with the island outcast who may have committed a murder … the girl has anger issues herself ….

  11. Hcat says:

    Shame Tully didn’t catch, it will end up in Nocturnal Animals/Danish Girl territory. That was enough for those to garner awards attention but they were released at the height of the season. We complain about studios crowding all the award contenders in the fall/winter slot, but here is another example why they do that. Hopefully Theron’s star power will make sure that she remains in the conversation at years end, even though Focus will be pushing Queen of Scots and Basis hard for that best actress slot.

  12. Chucky says:

    Probably with the help of a few well-placed bribes, not unlike AT&T to Trump’s lawyer.

    Back in the present we come across next week’s release schedule and find an early contender for the Razzies. “Book Club” has it all … Academy Award Winner … Academy Award Winner …Academy Award Winner … Academy Award Nominee. BRRRRT!

  13. Hcat says:

    I don’t have a problem ripping on broad comedies, but picking on Every Shade of Gray seems sorta mean. Happy to see all of them back on screen, the few episodes of Frankie that I saw made me realize how much I missed Ms. Fonda. And that is an embarrassment of riches as far as Oscar Gold goes, the cast has 15 nominations and 5 wins between them. C’mon Chuck, a little attention must be paid!

  14. JS Partisan says:

    Okay… Name your favorite SAGAS or TRILOGIES! We don’t always discuss older films we love, so why not ask what SAGAS or TRILOGIES you folks love.

    Mine: Back to the Future, The LOTR, and the first three Die Hards. There’s more, but I just wanted to through something out there, to get a discussion going.

  15. Hcat says:

    Apes (all 8) and Aliens (all 6 sans predators). Even when they went off the rails they had interesting ideas and never ran on Lethal Weapon 3 type autopilot. And while I will always make it see anything from the Bond and Jurassic camps, I never think they are really going to take me anywhere new like Xeno and Ceaser.

    Any Die Hard is always watchable, but have diminished returns (like Indy, LOTR, and Bourne which peaked at second installment).

    And while I will get audible “ughs” for writing this, I fully expect Cameron to deliver something spectacular with the Avatar sequels.

  16. Hcat says:

    and the Oceans series might be raising their stock this summer, so that has the potential to make the list.

  17. JS Partisan says:

    I adore the Ocean movies, to a watching them dozens of time level. The moment Linus goofy ass shows up in Ocean’s 8. The happier I will be.

    Also, rewatch RotK. I felt Two Towers was better for the longest time, then I watched the extended edition again. My god, RotK is really some quality filmmaking, that PJ hasn’t touched since.

    And those Avatar sequels will be derivative as the days is long, and the kids who saw Avatar when it was released. Have grown past caring about that film. I’m sure they will be fine, but generational divides are a thing again. I’m not sure millennials or younger… Will care.

    I’ve stated this once, and I will state it again. Cameron had a window, and instead of following up the Barry Bonds’ of box office movies. He decided to hang in the Ocean. That’s cool, but he missed his shot at having Avatar become something more.

  18. Stella's Boy says:

    All of mine are horror. Love all the Aliens. Hulu has all the Nightmare on Elm Streets and I’ve been watching them out of order. Quality varies but they all have their charms. Some really talented writers and directors worked on the sequels. I rewatch Friday the 13th movies all the time. Big fan of the Halloween series. I like The Exorcist trilogy. Three is underrated.

  19. Aaron Aradillas says:


    The first three LETHAL WEAPON movies.

    The Damon BOURNEs

    The Baldwin/Ford JACK RYAN movies.

    The DIRTY HARRY series.



    THE THIN MAN movies.


    The first three KARATE KID movies.

    And, of course, all the ROCKY movies, including CREED.

  20. Stella's Boy says:

    Also all the Jaws movies. Only the first is good, but I’m irrationally scared of sharks and enjoy the sequels in all their increasing ridiculousness.

  21. movieman says:

    Nobody’s mentioned “The Godfather” trilogy.
    Is it because Part 3 is somehow considered damaged goods?
    I’ve always thought 3 was hugely underrated. (And yes, I liked Sofia Coppola’s performance. Her awkwardness actually worked for the role.)
    Of course, 1990 was the year of unfairly dissed sequels. “Texasville” was equally poo-poohed that year and I still think it’s a masterpiece.

    As far as 21st century trilogies go, I was fairly passionate about the “Rings” trilogy at the time. Too bad Jackson spoiled them w/ pretty much everything he’s done since.
    Also a big “Ocean’s” fan, esp. the under-loved “12” which is kind of brilliant. Actually watched it three times in a row during a red eye from Newark to Rome in April 2005.
    Next to “Schizopolis,” it’s probably Soderbergh’s most puckishly meta movie.

  22. Mike says:

    The Before Sunrise series. And I hope they keep doing more.

  23. Hcat says:

    Puckish is a perfect way to describe it.

    If we are going to mention gidfarher and exircist 3 and Texasville, I would be remiss to not bring up The Two Jakes another four and a half star sequel to a five star film but suffered by comparison.

    And the mention of Jaws brings about the other cunundrum, getting jazzed by a favorite and watching the subpar sequels even though you know their no good. This ranges from not bad Beverly Hills Cop 2 to the cringeworthy Smokey and the Bandit 2.

    Now as for the most cruelly maligned sequel, nowhere near as good as the original but with its own b movie charm, Grease 2

  24. JS Partisan says:

    1) I fucking love Godfather 3. I curse, because it’s a Godfather movie, that has to exist in a post Goodfellas world. It does the best that it can do, and it’s entertaining.

    2) The Before series is tremendous, I hope the next trilogy deals with them being divorced and slowly growing back together.

    3) Ocean’s 12 is.suave, as a young Eugene Levy. It’s tremendous.

  25. palmtree says:

    Surprised no one mentioned Mad Max yet.

    And I’m a sucker for a Bond movie, good or bad.

  26. Pete B says:

    The latest installment hasn’t come out yet, but unless Chapter 3 really craps the bed, the John Wick Trilogy could be an all time great one.

    As for a trilogy that did crap the bed, is Blade 3 looked upon more favorably now? Maybe in a post-Deadpool & Golden Globe nominated The Sinner world, Ryan Reynolds & Jessica Biel weren’t so bad. (The first 2 are still far superior though.)

    And going old school & foreign for a saga, hard to beat the Lone Wolf & Cub series with Tomisaburō Wakayama. I’d even throw in the Roger Corman distributed mash-up of Shogun Assassin as a bonus due to the cool soundtrack from the lead singer from Paul Revere & the Raiders.

  27. Hcat says:

    I am sure that 2031s Before Cremation is going to be heartbreaking.

    And as we are talking series I have to bring up the Leone’s

  28. Hcat says:

    I know we probably already listed our most anticipated film of the summer but I would like to revise my answer after seeing the trailer for BlacKKKlansman.

    Yes and Please.

  29. movieman says:

    Yes! The Linklater trilogy, of course.
    Am I the only one who loves the third chapter most of all?

    Agree w/ Hcat about the “Klansman” trailer.
    I wish Focus would move it up from its August date.
    Would make a perfect Independence Day movie!

  30. Stella's Boy says:

    That Klansman trailer is something else. Have to second that Hcat. I’m also enjoying The House That Jack Built reviews and the delicate sensibilities it offended. Not that Lars isn’t a tool, but the hysterics are a bit much.

    Blade 3 is not good, and I don’t think too many people have revisited it and found it better than bad. I tried rewatching it a year or so ago and didn’t finish it. The behind-the-scenes drama is more interesting.

    I have to throw in the Predator series (not the AVPs). The first one is a classic and Predator 2 is a total blast. Predators is decent. Solid cast, bonkers Fishburne, and some good action. Can’t wait for The Predator.

  31. Mike says:

    The Before series is interesting in that I don’t remember much about them because there’s so much talking and it’s like a great conversation, where you don’t remember what it was about, but you remembered being engaged in it. But there are moments that just shine through, such as the time machine at the end of the third chapter or him refusing to leave at the end of chapter 2. He also had a line about how when you have little kids, you become mostly childcare partners with your wife, which I have found very true now that I’ve hit that stage in my life. I might need to watch them again soon.

  32. Hcat says:

    I have a strong aversion to Ethan Hawke, I am willing to take it as a personal failing since so many other people seem to be impressed by his body of work, and even though I find him obnoxious (he practically sunk Mag 7 for me, though I thought he was used well in Maggie’s Plan since he was playing a pompous tool) I do enjoy the Before Trilogy and am interested in what comes next. Its like Two for the Road in real time.

  33. amblinman says:

    Pirates 1, 2, and 3. I know lots of folks got turned off or flat out hated 2 & 3 but I completely fell into the mythology of Davy Jones. (The two films released since are total garbage.) I’m kinda shocked no one has tapped Verbinski for a superhero film. It would seem to be right in his wheelhouse (I would have loved to see what he’d have done with Justice League).

    To digress: I know it’s always been referred to as a franchise, and sure enough it has several films in the series, but does anyone…I meany ANYONE have a soft spot in their heart for any Jurassic movie outside of the first one? Lost World might be Spielberg’s worst film, and 3 comes across as completely hack.

  34. Hcat says:

    I thought Park paled in comparison to Speilberg’s best works and the sequels pale in comparison to Park. In all the sequels they seem to have figured out the set pieces and forgotten to create the connective tissue.

    In the second there are some ideas they could have had more fun with, the rounding up of the Dinosaurs and T Rex loose in the city, but they seemed to have lost the inspiration.

    The third for all the issues, another goddamn kid on the island, and an ending that could only be more abrupt if they simply stopped the film and turned on the lights, I found to be enjoyable. It was too short but moved at a good clip, I felt real moments of tension during the action sequences, and whether stop motion, projected lizards, puppets, or CGI I will always love watching two dinos fighting on screen. Admittedly my huge crush on Tea Leoni helps my overlook some of the flaws.

    Not that any of the sequels are much better than say, the first two Mummy movies, but if you were to rank all the Universal blockbuster action films in your lifetime (try it, wont take long at all) you will be surprised at how far up the list Jurassic World lands.

  35. Dr Wally Rises says:

    The Lost World could have been great if Spielberg hadn’t panicked when he saw Independence Day in a packed house in July ’96 and then reconstituted the whole third act of the film at the eleventh hour. The film was supposed to conclude with the pteranadon attacking the helicopters (which is why a pteranadon appears at the end of the movie – ILM had already locked down the CG models) instead of the goofy San Diego sequence. The Lost World is hugely flawed, but the middle hour (from about the point of the roundup sequence up to the raptor in the maintenance shed) has some of his most flat-out exhilarating action adventure filmmaking.

  36. movieman says:

    “Under the Silver Lake” sounds fantastic.
    The comparisons to Lynch at his most outre intrigue the hell out of me.
    Mitchell has been one of my heroes since his amazing first film (which had one of the greatest titles in the history of movies), “The Myth of the American Sleepover.”
    Also super-psyched for the von Trier and Noe films.
    So happy to see A24 taking the Smart Critic Mafia’s advice by acquiring a foreign language film that’s (hopefully) marketable to their built-in hipster millennial fanbase. (Do indie production companies/distributers have fanbases? If you’re A24, yep.)

  37. leahnz says:

    i hope von trier gets a nasty case of syphilis

    go RBG, notorious

  38. Hcat says:

    Syphilis would entail at least some fun first. Perhaps you could wish him Tetanus, plus that would come with the added possibility of lockjaw which granted would come at least a decade too late, but you know, its something.

    I look at him like I look at Eminem, massive talent but not really on board with what he uses it to say.

    And nothing ages worse than an Effant Terrible.

  39. palmtree says:

    Hcat, re: Eminem, I do get it, but I think Eminem has definitely matured. He’s taken on the current administration. He even apologizes to his mother in Marshall Mathers 2. And also in his earlier work, Stan never fails to move me. And never forget, bringing it back to film, he’s an Oscar winner for one of the most deserving songs in recent memory.

  40. Hcat says:

    I do love the song and the movie itself. I thought he had a decent acting presence. Would have liked to see him in more roles. He was the funniest person in Funny People.

  41. leahnz says:

    haha ok tenanus it is then! (boy there’s a lot of jagoffs in serious need of lockjaw right now, can i expand my list)

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