Posts Tagged ‘Country Strong’

The Weekend Report – February 6

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Where Have All the Avids Gone …
Long Time Passing

The debut of The Roommate led an anemic field at the weekend box office with an estimated $15.5 million. Second ranked was another newcomer – the 3D adventure Sanctum – with a disappointing $9.2 million.

Anticipating steep Sunday admission drops from the Super Bowl both national and niche debuts were generally directed to strong single quadrant audiences. Opening day-and-date with Mainland China, the Sino version of What Women Want generated a dull $58,900 at 29 venues; the family oriented The Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec struggled to $51,300 at 27 screens in Quebec; and the inspirational Midway to Heaven was stuck in the middle with $42,400 at 10 playdates. Best of the new exclusives was American indie Cold Weather with a $14,800 tally on a single screen.

Continuing the first quarter cold spell ticket sales experienced double digit declines that have left both the exhibition and distribution sectors in a very blue funk.

The Roommate, a remake in all but name and credit of Single White Female, bucked recent viewing trend with exit polls showing strong younger appeal. Its 65% female crowd was not unexpected and its 61% under 21 makeup was encouraging … at least for an opening weekend gross that was largely predicted by tracking pundits.

Sanctum wasn’t as lucky with, again, a distaff skewing set of viewers, albeit largely plus 25s. The sizzle was all about its stereoscopic qualities and reviewers skewered its artistic elements. Still tracking indicated a bow of $10 million to $12 million that audiences weren’t willing to make come true.

Overall business fell short of $90 million for a 20% decline from the prior weekend. It was a slightly steeper 22% drop from 2010 when the $30.5 million opening of Dear John toppled Avatar’s reign with that film taking the bridesmaid spot with $22.8 million.

The industry is now inured to Super Bowl’s clobber but the more serious concern is the sudden disappearance of the avid audience that falls between ages 17 and 25. Recent movie releases are largely being blamed with no relief in sight for the first quarter of 2011 and certainly no possibility of Oscar fare bringing up the slack.

The official line is that the avids will return but somewhere in the dark recesses are concerns that a significant portion of that audience has opted out of the theatrical experience in favor of new technologies and platforms. Theater owners are buckling down for additional experimentation in “windows” that will cut into their bottom line.

Historically the majors have been slow to respond to change and if logically an aging population would suggest adopting more mature content, don’t expect that penny to drop for three to five years. Independents could move in to fill the gap though one can be certain their deep pocket brethren will out spend them to ensure market share dominance rather than address real business issues.


Weekend Estimates – February 4-6, 2011

Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
The Roommate Sony 15.5 (6,130) NEW 2534 15.5
Sanctum Uni 9.2 (3,300) NEW 2787 9.2
No Strings Attached Par 8.3 (2,730) -38% 3050 51.7
The King’s Speech Weinstein Co. 8.1 (3,150) -27% 2584 83.9
The Green Hornet Sony 6.3 (2,070) -44% 3033 87.4
The Rite WB 5.6 (1,880) -62% 2985 23.7
The Mechanic CBS 5.3 (1,970) -53% 2704 20
True Grit Par 4.8 (1,650) -36% 2902 155
Dilemma Uni 3.4 (1,340) -40% 2545 45.7
Black Swan Fox Searchlight 3.4 (1,710) -34% 1977 95.9
The Fighter Par/Alliance 2.9 (1,730) -27% 1662 82.4
Yogi Bear WB 2.3 (1,260) -28% 1807 95.4
Tangled BV 1.8 (1,330) -28% 1369 192
127 Hours Fox Searchlight 1.4 (1,510) -36% 899 15.7
Tron: Legacy BV 1.4 (1,320) -46% 1040 168.8
Little Fockers Uni 1.2 (910) -52% 1355 146.5
Blue Valentine Weinstein Co. .79 (1,760) -33% 450 7.3
From Prada to Nada Lionsgate .69 (2,640) -38% 261 2
Biutiful Roadside .63 (3,560) 38% 177 1.4
Country Strong Sony .61 (640) -52% 948 19.8
The Company Men Weinstein Co. .55 (2,380) -17% 231 2.3
Chronicles of Narnia: Dawn Treader Fox .53 (1,030) -40% 514 102.6
Gulliver’s Travels Fox .67 (1,030) -42% 495 41.14
Another Year Sony Classics .48 (2,030) 55% 236 1.7
Barney’s Version eOne/Sony Classics .43 (3,570) -13% 119 2.7
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $84.70
% Change (Last Year) -22%
% Change (Last Week) -20%
Also debuting/expanding
The Illusionist Sony Classics .19 (2,850) 46% 68 0.77
Incendies eOne/Seville .14 (3,050) 30% 47 2.8
Rabbit Hole Lionsgate .12 (890) -32% 131 1.7
What Women Want China Lion 58,900 (2,030) 29 0.06
Adele Blanc-Sec Seville 51,300 (1,900) 27 0.05
Midway to Heaven Excel 42,400 (4,240) 10 0.04
Cold Weather IFC 14,800 (14,800) 1 0.01
Troubadours PBS 13,200 (4,400) 3 0.01
Waiting Forever FreeStyle 8,700 (2,900) 3 0.01
The Other Woman IFC 5,800 (2,900) 2 0.01

Top Domestic Grossers – 2010

Distributor Gross Market Share
Paramount (7) 163.5 20.90%
Sony (7) 130.7 16.70%
Universal (4) 103.7 13.30%
Buena Vista (3) 79.6 10.20%
Warner Bros. (10) 70.1 9.00%
Weinstein Co. (3) 66.2 8.50%
Fox Searchlight (2) 55.7 7.10%
Fox (4) 45.1 5.80%
Relativity (2) 24.1 3.10%
CBS (2) 15.1 1.90%
Alliance (5) 4.9 0.60%
Other * (46) 22.3 2.90%
781 100.00%
* none greater than 0.4%

The Weekend Report — January 16

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Weekend Estimates – January 14-16, 2010

Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
The Green Hornet Sony 33.2 (9,270) NEW 3115 33.2
Dilemma Uni 17.4 (5,910) NEW 2940 17.4
True Grit Par 10.8 (3,130) -26% 3459 126
The King’s Speech Weinstein Co. 9.0 (5,810) 40% 1543 44.5
Black Swan Fox Searchlight 8.0 (3,450) -1% 2328 72.9
Little Fockers Uni 7.3 (2,140) -46% 3394 134.4
Tron: Legacy BV 5.7 (2,350) -43% 2439 157
Yogi Bear WB 5.3 (1,950) -21% 2702 82
The Fighter Par/Alliance 5.1 (2,100) -28% 2414 65.7
Season of the Witch Relativity 4.5 (1,600) -57% 2827 18
Tangled BV 4.0 (1,940) -22% 2048 181
Country Strong Sony 3.6 (2,550) -51% 1424 13.2
Chronicles of Narnia: Dawn Treader Fox 2.3 (1,340) -51% 1704 98
Gulliver’s Travels Fox 2.0 (1,220) -56% 1666 37.6
The Tourist Sony 1.6 (1,150) -57% 1420 64.2
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows, Part 1* WB 1.4 (1,460) -42% 1507 289.8
Blue Valentine Weinstein Co. 1.4 (5,910) 93% 230 2.8
Megamind Par .62 (1,820) 125% 341 145.4
The Heart Specialist FreeStyle .48 (1,140) NEW 422 0.48
Yamla Pagla Deewana Eros .43 (5,270) NEW 82 0.43
How Do You Know Sony .41 (660) -78% 615 29.9
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $123.70
% Change (Last Year) -27%
% Change (Last Week) 15%
Also debuting/expanding
Barney’s Version * Sony Class/eOne .37 (8,270) 259% 45 0.8
Rabbit Hole Lions gate .26 (2,620) 138% 100 0.9
Somewhere Focus .25 (4,680) 52% 53 0.73
Mirapakaya Bharat .23 (8,820 26 0.13
Another Year Sony Classics .12 (9,380) 40% 13 0.34
Anaganga o Dheerudu Blue Sky 66,500 (2,290) 29 0.07
The Illusionist Sony Classics 63,400 (9,060) 92% 7 0.25
Aadukalam Big Cinemas 25,600 (4,270) 6 0.03
Kaavalan Big Cinemas 21,800 (1,680) 13 0.02
Siruthai Bharat 18,200 (2,020) 9 0.02
Every Day Image 8,800 (2,930) 3 0.01
Ong Bak 3 Magnolia 5,500 (1,830) 3 0.01
A Somewhat Gentle Man Strand 5,100 (5,100) 1 0.01

Friday Estimates — January 15

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

The Green Hornet|10.8|3584|NEW|10.8
The Dilemma|6.0|2940|NEW|6.0
True Grit|3.1|3459|-29%|118.3
The King’s Speech |2.4|1543|35%|37.9
Black Swan|2.3|2328|-4%|67.2
Little Fockers|2|2414|-33%|62.1
The Fighter |2.1|2528|-21%|52.9
TRON: Legacy|1.4|2439|-50%|152.6
Season of the Witch |1.2|2827|-67%|14.7
Country Strong |1.1|1424|-58%|10.7
Also Debuting
The Heart Specialist|0.35|422||0.35
Yamla Pagla Deewana|0.12|82||0.12
Barney’s Version *|0.09|45||0.09
Every Day|3,501|3||3,501
* in millions

Friday Estimates: January 8

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

True Grit|4.4|3124|-46%|99.8
Little Fockers|4.2|3675|-46%|114.4
Season of the Witch |3.6|2816|NEW|3.6
TRON: Legacy|2.7|3013|-46%|140.8
Country Strong |2.5|1424|NEW|2.7
Black Swan|2.4|1584|24%|55.5
The Fighter |2.1|2528|-21%|52.9
The King’s Speech |1.7|758|-31%|28.2
Yogi Bear|1.3|3288|-69%|70.1
Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader|1.2|2814|-66%|91.1
Also Debuting
No One Killed Jessica|0.65|67||0.65
* in millions

Critics Roundup: January 6

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Country Strong|||||Yellow
Season of the Witch |||||Yellow
True Grit |Green|Green|Green|Green|Green
Black Swan|Green|Green|Green|Green|Green
The Fighter|Green|Green||Green|Green
127 Hours |Green|Green|Green|Green|
The Social Network|Yellow|Green|Green|Yellow|Green

MW on Movies: Season of the Witch and Country Strong

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Season of the Witch (Two and a Half Stars)

U.S., Dominic Sena

It’s good to find a big movie super production that has a little literary-dramatic ambition — and the new Nicolas Cage picture, Season of the Witch, certainly has some of that.

Produced to a fare-thee-well, flashily directed (by Dominic Sena of Kalifornia), jam-packed with lavish technological trimmings, and massive historical recreations, battles and hell-raisings, the movie also boasts an excellent cast (Ron Perlman, Ulrich Thomsen and Christopher Lee, as well as Cage) , spectacular location shooting in vast, gloomy Austrian and Hungarian forests and huge castles, and fantastic CGI supernatural imagery — as well as the best pustules money can buy.

Witch is set during the 14th century in the time of the Crusades and of the Black Plague in Europe, and it‘s the strange, mini-epic tale of idealistic knight Behmen (Cage) and cynical pragmatist Felson (Perlman), two heroic soldiers, decade-long buddies and veterans of the Crusades, and now deserters, who are captured by the guardsmen of the dying Cardinal d’Ambroise (Lee).

The two — whose objections to the war are moral — are summoned to the Cardinal’s deathbed, where he is wasting away, oozing pestilence, surrounded by weirdo doctors in medieval beak-masks. And they are ordered to transport an accused witch (Claire Foy), suspected of having caused the Plague, in a wagon and cage, accompanied by a weird troop that includes Debelzaq, an obsessed young priest (Stephen Campbell Moore), Echhart, another soldier (Ulrich Thomsen), Hagemar, a swindler-turned-guide (Stephen Graham) and Kay, an altar boy who wants to be a knight (Robert Sheehan). Their destination: a distant monastery, where the captive girl will be tried and burned at the stake by appropriate monks.

Now, this is something you don’t often see in a multiplex: a combination artsy medieval quest movie and slam-bang action adventure show. Though the movie‘s extensive press notes never mention it, the major influence on Bragi Schut, Jr.’s script is clearly one of the great art films of the twentieth century: Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 Swedish masterpiece The Seventh Seal.

That film also was set during the Plague years — and it also had a quest, a knight and his sidekick back from the Crusades, an accused witch, priests, monks, a seminarian, lots of corpses, a traveling wagon, a castle and a grandiose supernatural heavy. (The demon in Season of the Witch; Death himself, with his chessboard, in Seventh Seal). Cage’s reflective Behmen (the actor’s hairdressing and wig allotment looks like it might rival Seventh Seal’s whole budget), and Perlman’s tough-guy Felson are the new movie’s equivalents for Max Von Sydow’s philosophical Knight Antonious Block and his cynical Squire Jons (Gunnar Bjornstrand).

Unfortunately, Season of the Witch is no masterpiece — though the actors and filmmakers, in some ways, treat it as if it were. It’s more like an over-expensive knock-off of Seventh Seal that’s had mad globs of The Exorcist, Kingdom of Earth, The Name of the Rose, The Masque of the Red Death, some Indiana Jones cliffhangers, and The Crucible jammed down its throat, with the wolf scenes in Twilight as a chaser.

If that almost makes Season of the Witch sound like wild, crazy fun, you should be advised that the movie, though quite good-looking (as Sena’s movies usually are) is done with a weird mix of sobriety and gaudy spectacle, and a straight-faced kitschiness that tends to be as grim and cloudy as the heavy Austrian-Hungarian skies above. The movie takes itself too seriously to be all that much fun, and it’s often too kitschy and outlandish to be believably serious.

There are laughs and merriment (and even some wild strawberries) in Seventh Seal, believe it or not — and also one of the cinema‘s all-time sexiest actresses in Bibi Andersson. But, in Season of the Witch, the only (intentional) comic parts among the traveling ensemble are Hagemar the grinning swindler-guide (played by Stephen Graham, who actually looks like the roguish Plog, played by Ake Fridell in The Seventh Seal), and Perlman as the hard-guy, wised-up Felson.

Graham’s part seems to get almost lost somewhere — he’s established almost immediately as comic relief, but his jokes seem to have mostly died of the Plague. Perlman though gets his chuckles — at several points, he bets Behmen a lot of post-battle drinks he‘ll kill more hundreds of soldiers that day — and the movie would be poorer without him. Perlman gets a mood of jocular, soldierly irreverence, and it matches well against Cage’s dreamy, far-away wonderment. They’re a good team, if understandably dwarfed by the memories of Max and Gunnar (who had better lines).

Cage has been mocked by some critics for those meditative far-away looks, and for his blonde wig, but actually he establishes the kind of rapt mood the movie could use if the story and the script made more sense. Screenwriter Schut has some good ideas, and he‘s obviously seen some good movies. (The opening ten minutes — the witch-hangings and the battles, are quite exciting.) But he takes too many short cuts. The script of Witch seems incomplete and a little skimpy, even though it won the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship from the Academy.

How are we supposed to handle the idea that Cardinal D’Ambroise, faced with a decision that he thinks might actually end the Black Plague, recruits as the witch’s main guards to her trial, two deserters who don’t believe in witches? And then backs them up with a swindler, a wispy priest and an altar boy who wants to be a knight? That‘s about as buyable as the movie’s main cliffhanger: with that 3,000 pound wagon pulled by Behmen gingerly across a ragged suspension bridge menacingly waving between two mountains — a loose, swaying, wind-buffeted span that looks as if it couldn’t survive Elle Fanning, skipping. That scene though, at least does have some wild and crazy fun.


And what of Foy’s task as the nameless alleged witch, who spends a lot of energy vamping Behmen? The movie sometimes acts a bit like Vincent Price’s Witchfinder General, suggesting, for an uncomfortable amount of time, that Foy’s character might actually be a witch, or at least witchy, or that witches are all around us, somehow. The opening lynching scene, where three alleged Handmaidens of the Devil, are hanged with chains and drowned, begins as tragedy and then turns into Hammer Horror.

And without going into too much detail, the movie’s last Apocalyptic brawl, with Priest Debelzaq chanting the rites from a huge holy tome, monks bursting into flame, Behman battling devils and Felson head-butting Satan, is ludicrous without being hilarious. It actually might have worked better with Donovan’s original song Season of the Witch, with its killer vamps and wails — which I kept waiting for and missing — was played over it.


I’ve liked some of Dominic Sena’s movies — Gone in Sixty Seconds as well as his Cannes prize-winner Kalifornia — and he can be quite a snazzy pictorialist, though he also suffers from the habitual music video director’s addiction to zap. Here, thanks to the film’s spectacular, windswept European scenery, he almost always delivers something eye-catching, from the sandy sieges of the opening Crusades scenes, to the sight of that disintegrating bridge, laden with that huge wagon, slats popping, rope fraying.

Prize or no, the script needed work. But what else is new? Scripts usually need work, more than the deal. As Donovan Leitch once said (I finally got it in): “Oh No…Must be the season of the witch!”

Anyway, Season of the Witch has its moments, just not always the right ones. I could have watched Cage and Perlman Con Sydowing-and-Bjornstranding it up some more, maybe in another movie, with a different ending. And I wish Ingmar Bergman had, once or twice or several time more in his life, gotten a few budgets like this one, or even a healthy fraction of this movie‘s. Then we might have gotten more than one Fanny and Alexander, and maybe seven more like The Seventh Seal.

Country Strong (Two Stars)

U. S.: Shana Feste, 2010

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill. He sounds too blue to fly. The Midnight train is whinin’ low. I’m so lonesome, I could cry,”
-Hank Williams

It’s hard to put your heart on your sleeve, and make it stick. Buffeted by memories of that brilliant 2009 Country & Western tearjerker Crazy Heart, — and other similar movies from Tender Mercies to Sweet DreamsCountry Strong tries to muster up the same sense of simple homespun beauty and back roads music and sometimes hellbound self-destruction, and doesn’t really make it.

I think it’s too obvious, formula-bound, twisted up in standard-issue heartstring stuff. The actors are very good (at both acting and singing). But they’re trapped in telegraphed heartache. It means well. It’s a movie with good moments, and some moments that seem like they should be good, and one great scene that delivers what the rest of the movie should but doesn’t: that sweet-chords-in-a-dark-bar knockout blow that is obviously part of Country Strong’s game plan.

Gwyneth Paltrow is the star — and she should have been a knockout, sometimes is. Paltrow plays (and sings) the part of alcoholic six-time Grammy winning country star Kelly Canter– recovering from a catastrophe at a Dallas concert, enduring a stay in rehab and forced back on the road for a comeback tour by her loving but pushy husband James. (She also has a hurt little bird that she takes care of.)

James (played very well, but frustratingly, without a song, by country star Tim McGraw) is a good man who’s learned too well to play the game, and maybe becomes more concerned with Kelly’s career than he is with Kelly.

There are two younger players who complete the quadrangle. Garrett Hedlund (Tron Legacy) plays (and sings) a part time (but extremely good) C&W singer named Beau Hutton who works at Kelly’s clinic and has an affair with her. Leighton Meester (Gossip Girls) plays (and sings) Chiles Stanton, a self-conscious beauty queen prone to stage freeze-ups, who’s trying to start a C&W career, and who becomes James‘ protégé and has an affair with him.

All four of them wind up on the comeback tour, where three of them sing, sparks fly, concerts are canceled, and hearts are, well, put on sleeves. (I never found out what happened to that hurt little bird. Anybody catch something I missed?)

Director-writer Shana Feste — a seemingly very good-hearted filmmaker who also made the 2010 domestic drama The Greatest, just couldn’t have asked for a better cast. The songs are good. The singers move us. The actors are all good and sincere, even when the scenes don’t quite work, or slide into cliché. This is Feste’s vision of country music — as we’d maybe like it to be.

And she’s right. This country world has two sides. It is sad. It does hurt.

Unfortunately, I mostly didn’t believe a word of this movie, or at least most of the words. I didn’t believe the relationships, the affairs, the crises, the instant reactions of the crowd to the two new-comers, didn’t believe the final resolution (which I won’t reveal, spoiler-alerted or not). I didn’t believe Kelly’s loving husband and friends and interested co-workers would leave Kelly alone so often, at such crucial moments. I didn’t even believe I was in Texas. (I wasn’t; the movie was shot in Nashville.)

Now, I don’t want to make fun of Country Strong. I’d like movies like this to be tried and to be made far more often. But better.

I should say though that Country Strong has one great scene. In that scene, Kelly goes to an elementary school on a “Make a Wish” visit and sings to a little boy who has leukemia. The boy is quiet and frail-looking, but still feisty. She lifts him in her arms, dances with him, sings sweetly. It’s wonderful — exactly that the rest of the movie should have been. It may sound like something a little forced, sound like obvious heart-tugging, my problem with the rest. But it works. I believed it.

And you know, I believed Hank Williams. I believed Patsy Cline. I believed Tammy Wynette. I believed Johnny Cash. I believed Waylon Jennings. I believe Willie Nelson. I believe Merle Haggard. I believe k.d. lang. I believe Kris Kristofferson. Hell, when the lights are low, and the beer spills a little, and the jukebox is playing a real sad song with a slide guitar, I want to believe ‘em all.

“The silence of a falling star lights up the purple sky. And, as I wonder where you are, I’m so lonesome I could cry.”

Box Office Hell: January 6

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Our Players|Coming Soon|Box Office Prophets|Box Office Guru|EW|Box Office . com
Little Fockers |16.8|14.5|14|15|15.5
True Grit|16.6|17.6|15.0|16.0|16.5
TRON: Legacy |10.9|11.4|10.0|11.0|11.5
Season of the Witch|9.3|11.1|12|10.0|7.5
Yogi Bear|7.7|5.8|n/a|n/a|7.2
The Fighter |6.2|6.5|n/a|n/a|7.3
Country Strong |6.2|7.0|9.0|7.5|8.5

Weekend Box Office Report –January 2

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Haply New Year

True Grit closed the gap with Little Fockers but couldn’t quite overtake the seasonal gag fest. Fockers emerged at the top of the charts with an estimated $26.2 million with Grit a trot behind at $24.5 million.

The closing frame of 2010 provided no new national releases and just two additions to the last gasp of the awards season. The searing drama Blue Valentine provided an opening weekend of $174,000 from four screens while the acclaimed Brit import Another Year bowed on six screens with $117,000.

Estimates for the year peg domestic box office at $10.52 billion, which translates into a 1.5% downturn from 2009. Admissions declined by a more sizable 7% drop largely as a result of premium pricing for 3D and large format movies. Eight of the top 10 top grossing movies of the year fell into that category and 2011 promises even more stereoscopic offerings.

Theater owners are scrambling to convert screens to digital 3D to capitalize in what no one can yet proclaim as either a temporary craze or the future of film going. The enhancements have been a finger in the dike of the eroding audience but with the arrival of 3D home entertainment this year that nagging recession may not abate. And there’s little doubt that the “windows” issue — the time between theatrical and ancillary release — will intensify with exhibition making grudging concessions that can only ramp up bad blood with major suppliers.

This year’s New Year weekend box office experienced a 13% uptick from the Christmas holiday session. However, it was 29% less fulsome than the same period last year when weekend three of Avatar grossed $68.5 million with Sherlock Holmes and Alvin: The Squeakquel adding $36.6 million and $35.2 million respectively.

Adult/awards fare, which includes The Fighter, Black Swan and The King’s Speech — all likely Oscar contenders — held their own with the holiday frivolity. That still leaves seven slots for films as diverse as Toy Story 3 and Blue Valentine in year that most film reviewers have characterized as overall sub-par.

True Grit has already become The Coen Brothers biggest grossing domestic release and actor Jeff Bridges can claim the rare distinction of having two holiday films (Grit, TRON: Legacy) that will gross in excess of $100 million. He’s easily the comeback kid in a year where seemingly more audience-friendly performers (and filmmakers) have taken it on the chin.


Weekend Estimates – December 31-January 1, 2010

Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
Little Fockers Uni 26.2 (7,380) -15% 3554 103.1
True Grit Par 24.5 (7,960) -1% 3083 86.7
Tron: Legacy BV 18.4 (5,480) -4% 3365 131
Yogi Bear WB 12.6 (3,580) 62% 3515 65.7
Chronicles of Narnia: Dawn Treader Fox 10.3 (3,500) 9% 2948 87
The Fighter Par/Alliance 10.0 (3,960) 32% 2534 46.4
Tangled BV 9.9 (3,820) 53% 2582 167.9
Gulliver’s Travels Fox 9.0 (2,910) 42% 3089 27.1
Black Swan Fox Searchlight 8.4 (5,420) 35% 1553 47.3
The King’s Speech Weinstein Co. 7.5 (10,760) 67% 700 22.7
The Tourist Sony 6.7 (2,420) 25% 2756 54.7
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows, Part 1* WB 4.5 (2,580) 32% 1732 283.4
How Do You Know Sony 4.5 (1,800) 28% 2483 24.9
Megamind Par .57 (750) 56% 764 144.1
Unstoppable Fox .53 (1,180) 61% 450 79.5
The Social Network Sony .47 (1,890) 71% 249 93.2
Burlesque Sony .42 (1,270) 19% 330 37.8
Due Date WB .31 (770) 10% 404 98.8
127 Hours Fox Searchlight .27 (2,620) 42% 103 10.4
Red Summit .26 (860) 44% 303 89.5
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $153.60
% Change (Last Year) -29%
% Change (Last Week) 13%
Also debuting/expanding
Blue Valentine Weinstein Co. .17 (43,500) 4 0.27
Another Year Sony Classics .12 (19,550) 6 0.17
Somewhere Focus .14 (17,870) 20% 8 0.44
Rabbit Hole Lionsgate .13 (3,850) 52% 34 0.42
Casino Jack IDP 79,700 (4,430) 63% 18 0.23
The Illusionist Sony Classics 50,200 (16,730) 30% 3 0.13
Country Strong Sony 42,600 (21,300) 40% 2 0.12

Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Dec. 23, 2010)

Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Warner Bros. (30) 1900.7 18.30%
Paramount (20) 1684.9 16.20%
Fox (20) 1470.5 14.10%
Buena Vista (17) 1408.5 13.50%
Sony (26) 1258.5 12.10%
Universal (19) 844.2 8.10%
Summit (11) 522.8 5.00%
Lionsgate (16) 519.6 5.00%
Fox Searchlight (8) 119.5 1.20%
Overture (8) 87.5 0.80%
Focus (8) 75.3 0.70%
CBS (3) 72.7 0.70%
Weinstein Co. (9) 72 0.70%
Sony Classics (22) 59.7 0.60%
MGM (1) 50.4 0.50%
Other * (324) 257.5 2.50%
10404.3 100.00%
* none greater than .04%

Weekend Box Office Report — December 26

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Grit and Bear It

Little Fockers and True Grit led the Christmas charge with respective opening debuts estimated at $34 million and $25.5 million that topped weekend movie going. The session also featured a Christmas day bow for the animated Gulliver’s Travels, which netted a two-day gross of $6.9 million.

Bollywood’s seasonal offering Tees Maar Khann rang up an impressive $700,000. However, several other Hindi, Telegu and Tamil releases were non-starters. China’s If You Are the One 2 opened up day-and-date (a first) with its Mainland release and chimed in with a potent $208,000 launch.

The frame also featured a clutch of last-minute releases for award season consideration. Best of the bunch was Venice-prized Somewhere with $148,000 from seven venues. The animated The Illusionist displayed comparable strength with a two-day tally of $52,600 on two screens and a four screen push for Barney’s Version in Canada proved effective with $64,400 (a single U.S. Oscar qualifying run was unreported). Lastly, Country Strong lilted $33,800 from two sneak peeks.

Overall the Christmas session got clobbered with calendar positioning that landed the eve on Friday (expect something similar with New Years). And while an estimated $155 million weekend provided an 11% boost from the prior weekend it translated into a pounding 45% drop from 2009. As the door quickly closes on the year, box office gross has slipped behind the prior year and admissions are approaching close to double digit erosion. A year ago Avatar’s second weekend grossed $75.6 million and debuts of Sherlock Holmes and The Alvin Squeakquel added $62.4 million and $48.9 million respectively.

All that said, tracking wasn’t exactly on target for new entries and holdovers. The third in the Fockers series was expected to render a first weekend of between $40 million and $45 million while the sophomore edition of TRON: Legacy was pegged at $25 million. Conversely True Grit outperformed pundits soothsaying that had it shy of $20 million.

Holiday crowds clearly voted for The Fighter, Black Swan and The King’s Speech as their Oscar favorites. Still there are seven additional slots to fill and the campaigning is apt to intensify in the upcoming weeks.

Weekend Estimates – December 24-26, 2010

Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
Little Fockers Uni 34.0 (9,610) NEW 3536 48.2
True Grit Par 25.5 (8,360) NEW 3047 36.6
Tron: Legacy BV 20.6 (5,960) -53% 3451 88.7
Chronicles of Narnia: Dawn Treader Fox 10.9 (3,240) -12% 3350 63.9
The Fighter Par/Alliance 8.6 (3,430) -29% 2511 27.7
Yogi Bear WB 8.4 (2,380) -55% 3515 36.3
Gulliver’s Travels * Fox 6.9 (2,700) NEW 2546 6.9
Tangled BV 6.7 (2,590) -24% 2582 143.8
Fox Searchlight 6.4 (4,390) -23% 1466 28.9
The Tourist Sony 5.6 (2,020) -35% 2756 41.1
The King’s Speech Weinstein Co. 4.6 (6,530) 317% 700 8.4
How Do You Know Sony 3.7 (1,480) -51% 2483 15.1
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 1* WB 3.3 (1,920) -34% 1732 273.1
Tees Maar Khan UTV .70 (6,780) NEW 103 0.7
Due Date WB .37 (910) -71% 404 98.3
Unstoppable Fox .36 (920) -80% 393 78.5
Megamind Par .35 (460) -49% 764 142.6
Burlesque Sony .33 (660) -77% 501 36.7
The Social Network Sony .31 (1,230) 9% 249 92.3
If You Are the One 2 China Lion .21 (9,040) NEW 23 0.21
127 Hours Fox Searchlight .20 (1,720) -64% 115 9.8
* Christmas Day opening
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $145.90
% Change (Last Year) -45%
% Change (Last Week) 11%
Also debuting/expanding
Somewhere Focus .15 (21,140) 7 0.2
Rabbit Hole Lionsgate 88,700 (2,610) 65% 34 0.16
Barney’s Version eOne 64,400 (16,100) 4 0.06
Casino Jack IDP 60,500 (4,030) 75% 15 0.11
The Illusionist * Sony Classics 52,600 (26,300) 2 0.05
Country Strong Sony 33,800 (16,900) 2 0.05
The Tempest Miramax/Maple 32,700 (2,520) -44% 13 0.19
Toonpur Ka Superhero Eros 9,600 (400) 24 0.01
Isi Life Mein Rajshri 4,500 (250) 18 0.01

Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Dec. 23, 2010)

Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Warner Bros. (30) 1861 18.40%
Paramount (19) 1634.7 16.10%
Fox (19) 1442.4 14.20%
Buena Vista (17) 1349.1 13.30%
Sony (26) 1239.1 12.20%
Universal (18) 798.7 7.90%
Summit (11) 522.2 5.20%
Lionsgate (16) 519.3 5.10%
Fox Searchlight (8) 105 1.00%
Overture (8) 87.4 0.90%
Focus (7) 75.2 0.70%
CBS (3) 72.5 0.70%
Weinstein Co. (9) 65.5 0.60%
Sony Classics (22) 59.5 0.60%
MGM (1) 50.4 0.50%
Other * (317) 253.5 2.50%
10135.5 100.00%
* none greater than .04%

Top Limited Releases * (Jan. 1 – Dec. 23, 2010)

Title Distributor Gross
Hubble 3D WB 19,359,509
The Ghost Writer Summit 15,569,712
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Music Box/Alliance 11,287,817
The Young Victoria * Apparition/Alliance 11,131,232
127 Hours Fox Searchlight 9,321,571
Get Low Sony Classics 9,106,802
Fair Game Summit 8,650,388
A Single Man * Weinstein Co. 7,935,872
The Girl Who Played with Fire Music Box/Alliance 7,848,496
Cyrus Fox Searchlight 7,461,082
Babies Focus 7,444,272
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus E1/Sony Classics 7,394,171
Conviction Fox Searchlight 6,768,063
City Island Anchor Bay 6,671,036
The Last Station Sony Classics 6,617,867
Waiting for “Superman” Par Vantage 6,410,257
The Secret in Their Eyes Sony Classics 6,391,436
It’s Kind of a Funny Story Focus 6,362,514
Winter’s Bone Roadside Attraction 6,237,371
Under the Sea 3D * WB 5,732,362
* does not include 2009 box office

Friday Estimates — December 25

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Little Fockers|5.0|3536|NEW|19.3
True Grit|4.8|3047|NEW|15.9
TRON: Legacy|4.0|3451|-77%|72.2
Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader|2.2|3350|-38%|55.3
Yogi Bear|2.1|3515|-54%|30.1
Tangled |1.8|2582|-17%|139.1
The Fighter |1.3|2511|-68%|20.3
Black Swan|1.1|1457|-58%|23.5
The Tourist |0.85|2756|-67%|36.3
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt 1 |0.75|1732|-45%|270.6
Also Debuting
Tees Mar Khann|0.17|104||0.17
Barney’s Version|14,200|4||14,200
Country Strong|3,300|2||3,300
Toonpur Ka Superhero|2,100|24||2,100
Isi Life Mein|1,100|18||1,100
* in millions

Critics Roundup: December 24

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Country Strong|||||
Gulliver’s Travels |||||Red
Little Fockers |Yellow||||Red
Secret Sunshine||||Green|
True Grit |Green||Green|Green|Green
The Illusionist |Green||Green|Green|Green

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