Sunday Update: Spectre remained in first place at the box office this weekend with an estimated $35.4 million. The latest installment of Sony and MGM's James Bond franchise was down a solid 50 percent from last weekend's debut. This weekend's hold came as welcome news after the film opened on the very low end expectations last weekend. The second weekend percentage hold for Spectre was stronger than both the second weekend percentage hold of 2012's Skyfall (which fell 53.5 percent to gross $41.10 million) and the second weekend hold of 2008's Quantum of Solace (which fell 60 percent to gross $26.71 million). While this weekend's hold was helped by the relative lack of new competition in the marketplace, it also suggests that Spectre is going over better with moviegoers than it has with critics and is a positive sign for the film going forward. Spectre has grossed $130.70 million in ten days. That places the film 19 percent behind the $160.94 million ten-day take of Skyfall and 20 percent ahead of the $108.79 million ten-day gross of Quantum of Solace.
The Peanuts Movie placed in second with an estimated $24.2 million. The 3D computer animated adaptation from Fox and Blue Sky was down 45 percent from last weekend. That represented a hefty second weekend decline for a computer animated film outside of the summer season and came as a bit of a surprise, especially given the strong critical reviews for The Peanuts Movie. This weekend's hold suggests that the pre-existing Peanuts fanbase led to some built-in front-loading for the film last weekend. The Peanuts Movie is still having a solid run so far with a ten-day take of $82.49 million. That places the film 12 percent behind the $93.65 million ten-day take of 2012's Wreck-It Ralph (which fell 33 percent in its second weekend to gross $33.01 million). It will be very important for The Peanuts Movie to stabilize next weekend, especially with Pixar's highly anticipated The Good Dinosaur entering the marketplace on Wednesday, November 25th.
Love the Coopers was the weekend's strongest new wide release with an estimated third place start of $8.40 million. The ensemble holiday comedy from CBS Films and Lionsgate opened slightly ahead of its modest pre-release expectations. Without taking into account ticket price inflation, Love the Coopers opened 33 percent below the $12.52 million start of 2005's The Family Stone. Like that film, Love the Coopers will hope to have a lengthy run at the box office with help from the holiday season. On the other hand, Love the Coopers has been received poorly by critics and received an underwhelming B- rating on CinemaScore, so it remains to be seen whether or not the film will prove to be critic proof going forward.
Fox's The Martian took fourth place this weekend with an estimated $6.73 million. The blockbuster Ridley Scott directed 3D sci-fi film starring Matt Damon continued to hold up very well, as it was down just 26 percent from last weekend. The 45-day total for The Martian stands at a very impressive $207.41 million. That places the film 21 percent ahead of the $171.54 million grossed by last year's Interstellar after 45 days of wide release and 14 percent behind the $240.38 million 45-day gross of 2013's Gravity.
The 33 rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $5.85 million. The Warner Bros. drama starring Antonio Banderas opened below expectations, which were modest to begin with. Audiences ultimately weren't interested in the theatrical re-telling of the 2010 Copiapó mining accident and mixed critical reviews didn't help matters either. The film opened an underwhelming 47 percent below the $11.02 million debut of McFarland, USA earlier this year. The 33 did receive an encouraging A- rating on CinemaScore and registered an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.19 to 1, so it is possible that the film could hold up well going forward.
My All American made even less of an impact in wide release this weekend with an estimated debut of just $1.39 million. The Aaron Eckhardt led sports drama from Aviron Pictures opened a disappointing 65 percent below the recent $4.00 million debut of Woodlawn and wasn't helped out by being released so soon after Woodlawn. My All American received a strong A rating on CinemaScore, but that likely won't mean much going forward given the film's soft start.
Fox International Productions' Prem Ratan Dhan Payo opened strong in limited release with an estimated $2.40 million from 286 locations, while Open Road's Spotlight remained strong in platform release with an estimated $1.40 million from just 60 locations. Respective total grosses stand at $2.79 million for Prem Ratan Dhan Payo in four days and at $1.85 million for Spotlight in ten days.
Meanwhile, Universal's By the Sea had an unsuccessful platform launch with an estimated $95,440 from ten locations. That gave the poorly reviewed Angelina Jolie Pitt directed film starring Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt a per-location average of just $9,544, which is obviously soft for a higher profile platform release and will make it even tougher for the film to receive significant expansions going forward.
Saturday Update: In observance of Friday's tragic events in Paris, France, we will not be publishing a traditional report today. You may find this weekend's estimates here.
On behalf of the entire BoxOffice team, we offer our deepest condolences to those impacted by yesterday's events.
Regular box office reporting will resume later this weekend.
By Daniel Garris
Spectre grossed $4.34 million on Thursday to lead the daily box office for a seventh consecutive day. The latest installment of Sony and MGM's James Bond franchise was down 45 percent from Wednesday's Veterans Day performance. Spectre was the week's top film with a solid, but unspectacular seven-day start of $95.30 million. That places Spectre a significant 20.5 percent behind the $119.84 million seven-day start of 2012's Skyfall and 16 percent ahead of the $82.08 million seven-day take of Quantum of Solace.
The Peanuts Movie rounded out its first week of a release with a second place take of $1.53 million. The 3D computer animated adaptation from Fox and Blue Sky declined a sharp 80 percent from Wednesday. The Peanuts Movie placed in second for the week with a healthy seven-day start of $58.29 million. The film is currently running just 4 percent behind the $60.63 million seven-day take of 2012's Wreck-It Ralph and 4 percent ahead of the $55.87 million seven-day start of 2007's Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Fellow Fox release The Martian held steady in third place with $0.673 million. The blockbuster Ridley Scott directed 3D sci-fi film starring Matt Damon was down 55 percent from Wednesday and down 29.5 percent from last Thursday. The Martian took third place for the week with $12.92 million. That was down only 21 percent from the previous frame and brings the film's six-week domestic total to a very impressive $200.68 million.
Disney and DreamWorks' Bridge of Spies was up one spot from Wednesday to move into fourth with $0.546 million. The critically acclaimed Steven Spielberg directed thriller starring Tom Hanks fell 42 percent from Wednesday and 26 percent from last Thursday. Bridge of Spies placed in fifth this week with $8.52 million. The film was down 27 percent from the previous week and has grossed a healthy $57.41 million in four weeks.
On the platform front, Open Road's Spotlight took in $30,157 for the day, while Fox Searchlight's Brooklyn took in $24,799. Both awards seasons hopefuls played in 5 locations yesterday, which gave Spotlight and Brooklyn respective daily per-location averages of $6,031 and $4,960. Spotlight has grossed $446,770 in five days, while Brooklyn has taken in $347,996 in nine days. This weekend Spotlight will be playing in 61 locations and Brooklyn will be playing in 23 locations.
There are moments that are just meant to be seen on the big screen. The score was tied after 118 minutes of a grueling playoff final between soccer archrivals Mexico and the U.S. played on October 10, with the winner set to qualify for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. Two minutes before the end of extra time, Mexican defender Paul Aguilar chased down a ball as it innocently floated inside the U.S. 18-yard box. There was nothing U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan could do as the resulting volley hit the back of the net and broke the hearts of U.S. fans everywhere. There are few things that passionate Mexico fans (such as, for example, the author of this article) could enjoy more on the big screen. Fortunately, those moments promise to become more common in the coming years, not only because of Mexico's on-field dominance against the United States, but also due to the growing adoption of alternative content by North American exhibitors and its embrace by audiences.
The Mexico-U.S. match was made available live in North America through Fathom Events, the inaugural program in its partnership with Fox Sports 1. Live sport has long been considered the golden goose of alternative content, its overwhelming potential mired in the legal swamp of broadcast rights. "The rights are a minefield, but we're slowly getting it figured out," says Fathom CEO John Rubey. "We've done British Premier League soccer, we've done several events with Floyd Mayweather Jr., the NHL stadium series. You see a lot of audiences coming out for those who want to experience the scale of the cinema together as a family; parents don't want to take their kids to a bar with people smoking and drinking. We can provide an experience where there's scale in a family-friendly environment."
Fathom's business has grown since spinning out from its previous majority owner, NCM, in late 2013. While NCM still owns a minority share of the company (4%), the majority is split between top exhibitors Regal, AMC, and Cinemark. "In 2013 we had 2 million admissions, in 2014 we had 2.5 million, and we've already blown through 3 million this year with an entire quarter left to go," says Rubey, addressing the rapid rise of alternative content in North America. The pace of growth is in line with the global growth of the business as a whole. The latest IHS report on alternative content (termed "event cinema" in the report) signals a 32.1 percent year-over-year growth in 2014 that resulted in a global gross of $277.2 million. At that pace it will reach $1 billion worldwide by 2019.
Alternative content found a foothold in North America through arts and culture programming like live opera and theater. In many ways, Fathom's transformation into a market leader can be traced to its fruitful partnership with the Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD series. Already in its 10th season, The MET: Live in HD combines core content (live opera performances) with special features exclusive to cinemas, becoming an experience in itself as opposed to a simple broadcast. "They give you an experience that you can only see in the theater," says Rubey. "It really sets the standard for the live cinema experience."
Several other companies are following a similar blueprint, approaching alternative content as an event and experience in its own right. Arts Alliance, specializing in arts and culture programming and events with a broader popular appeal, scored a huge hit working with boy band One Direction. Brad Carroll, managing director of North America at Arts Alliance, cites the band's "passionate and engaged fan base" as crucial to the event's success. "Their fans were eager to get to the theater and share an experience with other fans as soon as they were aware the opportunity was available. It did not take a lot of convincing that they wanted to go; they just needed to know it was there."
Bud Mayo, president of Carmike's Alternative Programming and Distribution division since Digiplex, the circuit he founded, was acquired by the Georgia-based exhibitor last year, has also been busy offering viewers a premium, exclusive event experience at the movies. Carmike has recently paired up with distributor Nehst Out to create DigiNext, a direct-to-consumer movie-release platform that can be a key to the further growth of alternative content in North America. DigiNext will be screening the concert film American Saturday Night: Live from the Grand Ole Opry, a country music show featuring backstage moments for cinema audiences, in select cinemas December 4-10. Mayo points out that these special events are quickly expanding beyond the opera and concert stage. "We are seeing traction with Bollywood and other ethnic product," says Mayo, adding that "anime and faith-based features" are also making an impact. Rubey sees the same trend with Fathom: "Our audience has never been wider or more diverse."
Gaming is one of those new, surging categories. "We think gaming potentially offers more promise than anything else we're looking at right now," says Rubey. U.K. exhibitor Vue Entertainment took a bold stance in its support of competitive gaming, or eSports as it's come to be known, earlier this year with the opening of a dedicated eSports gaming arena in London's Fulham neighborhood in alliance with GFinity, one of the biggest eSports companies in the world. "Thirty of our sites are committed to showing that content," said Johnny Carr, content manager of Vue, at a panel at CineEurope this summer. Vue partners with gaming companies that already come in with significant sponsorships, like League of Legends-sponsored by Coca-Cola. "We can't just put it on screen and expect people to turn up. We have to give them an incentive to come out of their bedrooms. We have to partner a gaming company; we have to create an event."
Despite the diversity of product, alternative content at the cinema doesn't have to stray too far from traditional moviegoing fare to find success. Fathom partnered with Fox to present The Night Before our Stars, a special screening event of The Fault in our Stars, on the eve of the film's release in 2014. The event included a live Q&A with stars Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and Nat Wolff, along with author John Green and director Josh Boone, with audiences submitting questions via a Twitter hashtag; performances by artists from the soundtrack; and a commemorative charm bracelet for all those in attendance. The $25 ticket price contributed to at least $5 million in additional box office for Fox, according to Fathom. The company returned to the concept this summer with a similar prerelease event for Disney Pixar's Inside Out.
Bud Mayo still believes there is room to grow in the immediate future. "Progress is being made with major, well-marketed releases," he explains, citing several high-performing programs, "but theaters have not fully committed to marketing and audience building for smaller, more targeted titles." He considers 2 to 3 percent of admissions in North America to be a realistic benchmark for alternative content, setting the bar on his team at Carmike higher, 4 to 5 percent of admissions, as goals to reach in the coming years. John Rubey echoes that sentiment in his own analysis of what alternative content can mean for the industry. "It's not going to overtake theatrical," he says, "but if you put a good alternative content title on Monday through Thursday, it will likely make more money than all the other auditoriums combined."
Sony and MGM report that Spectre bagged $7.9 million on Veterans Day Wednesday, bringing its six-day domestic total to $90.96 million. That puts the 24th installment of the James Bond franchise 21 percent behind the pace of 2012's Skyfall and 15 percent ahead of 2008's Quantum of Solace.
Fox and Blue Sky's The Peanuts Movie posted $7.8 million in a close second place yesterday, giving it a healthy $56.8 million total since opening last Friday. That puts the well-received pic just 3 percent off the pace of Wreck-It Ralph.
In third place, The Martian took in another $1.5 million yesterday. In the process, the blockbuster film hit the $200 million domestic threshold.
Goosebumps moved up to fourth place for the holiday with $1.4 million yesterday. Its total now stands at $68.55 million.
Filling out the top five, Bridge of Spies added $0.94 million on Wednesday. Its domestic haul is now $56.9 million.
By Daniel Garris
Spectre grossed $7.32 million on Tuesday to lead the daily box office for a fifth consecutive day. The latest installment of Sony and MGM's James Bond franchise was up 38 percent over Monday's performance. Daily percentage increases were especially strong in general on Tuesday thanks in part to the eve of the Veterans Day holiday. Spectre has grossed a solid, but unspectacular $83.04 million in five days. That places Spectre a significant 24 percent behind the $109.11 million five-day start of 2012's Skyfall and 10 percent ahead of the $75.71 million five-day take of Quantum of Solace.
The Peanuts Movie held steady in second place with $3.05 million. The 3D computer animated adaptation from Fox and Blue Sky was up a very strong 76 percent over Monday. Family films experienced especially strong daily percentage increases yesterday. The Peanuts Movie is on the verge of reaching the $50 million domestic mark with a healthy five-day start of $49.00 million. The film is running 14 percent behind the $56.75 million five-day take of 2012's Wreck-It Ralph and a slim 1 percent behind the $49.45 million five-day start of 2007's Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Fellow Fox release The Martian took in $1.05 million to remain in third. The blockbuster Ridley Scott directed 3D sci-fi film starring Matt Damon was up an impressive 70 percent over Monday and down just 29 percent from last Tuesday. The Martian has grossed $198.51 million in 40 days, which leaves the film just $1.49 million away from reaching the $200 million domestic milestone.
Disney and DreamWorks' Bridge of Spies continued to claim fourth place with $0.728 million. The critically acclaimed Steven Spielberg directed thriller starring Tom Hanks was up 53 percent over Monday and down 31 percent from last Tuesday. Bridge of Spies has grossed $55.93 million through 26 days, which gives the film a current total gross to opening weekend ratio of 3.64 to 1.
On the platform front, Open Road's Spotlight took in $33,370 for the day, while Fox Searchlight's Brooklyn took in $22,536. Both awards seasons hopefuls are currently playing in 5 locations, which gave Spotlight and Brooklyn respective daily per-location averages of $6,674 and $4,507. Spotlight has grossed $363,487 in five days, while Brooklyn has taken in $289,462 in seven days. Both films will expand into additional locations this coming Friday.