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Sunday Update: Home surprised in a big way this weekend with a significantly stronger than expected estimated first place start of $54.0 million. The 3D computer animated film from Fox and DreamWorks Animation had been widely expected to find itself in a close race for first place with Get Hard heading into the weekend. Instead, Home led the weekend box office with ease, which was very welcome news for DreamWorks Animation after a string of softer than expected performers that started back in July of 2013 with Turbo. The opening weekend performance of Home represented the largest opening weekend performance for DreamWorks Animation since the $60.32 million debut of Madagascar 3 back in June of 2012. Home opened an impressive 68 percent stronger than the $32.21 million start of last year's Mr. Peabody & Sherman and 24 percent stronger than the $43.64 million debut of 2013's The Croods.

Despite mixed critical reviews, Home proved to be critic proof this weekend, thanks in part to the relatively small amount of animated releases in the marketplace since December and in part to the star power of the film's vocal cast, which includes Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez.

Home opened with $15.70 million on Friday (which included an estimated $650,000 from Thursday evening shows), increased a healthy 39 percent on Saturday to take in $21.88 million and is estimated to decline 25 percent on Sunday to gross $16.43 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.44 to 1. The film received a strong A rating on CinemaScore, which suggests that the film is going over much better with moviegoers than it has with critics and is a good early sign going forward. Home should also be helped out going forward by no new animated films entering the marketplace between now and the June 19th launch of Disney's Inside Out.

While it settled for second place this weekend, Warner's Get Hard was off to a good start with an estimated $34.61 million. The R-rated comedy starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart opened toward the higher end of pre-release expectations. The combined drawing power of Ferrell and Hart was clearly able to make up for both largely negative critical reviews and a relative lack of online buzz for the film heading into the weekend. Get Hard may have also received a boost this weekend from moviegoers who wanted to catch the film before Universal's highly anticipated Furious 7 enters the marketplace next weekend. Get Hard opened just below the $35.54 million start of 2010's The Other Guys.

Get Hard started out with $12.94 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.8 million from Thursday evening shows), increased a slim 1.5 percent on Saturday to take in $13.14 million and is estimated to fall 35 percent on Sunday to gross $8.54 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.67 to 1, which could be an early sign of front-loading going forward. The film received a so-so B rating on CinemaScore, which also isn't the greatest early long-term sign (especially with the mentioned Furious 7 quickly approaching). The audience breakdown for Get Hard skewed towards male moviegoers (54 percent) and towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (61 percent).

Lionsgate's The Divergent Series: Insurgent was down two spots this weekend to place in third with an estimated $22.08 million. The second installment of the young adult series starring Shailene Woodley fell a sharp 58 percent from last weekend's first place debut. Insurgent experienced a sharper second weekend decline than last year's Divergent did; as that film fell 53 percent in its second weekend to gross $25.62 million. While Insurgent is having a solid box office run of its own so far with a ten-day start of $86.39 million, the film is running 8.5 percent behind the $94.38 million ten-day take of Divergent. It should be noted that the overseas start for Insurgent continues to be significantly stronger than that of Divergent.

Cinderella was also down two spots this weekend to place in fourth with an estimated $17.52 million. Disney's blockbuster fairy tale adaptation was down a sharp 50 percent from last weekend. Despite strong critical reviews and good word of mouth, direct competition from both Home and Insurgent have clearly taken a toll on the film's holding power so far. With that said, Cinderella has still grossed a very strong $150.02 million through 17 days of release. That places the film 8 percent behind the $163.02 million 17-day take of last year's Maleficent. Cinderella may still stabilize going forward, especially given the limited amount of new options for family audiences in April.

It Follows continued its noteworthy performance this weekend with an estimated fifth place take of $4.02 million. The critically acclaimed horror thriller from RADiUS-TWC expanded into semi-wide release this weekend after two weeks of platform release. It Follows has grossed $4.76 million in 17 days and could hold up better than usual for its genre going forward thanks to its strong word of mouth and critical reviews.

On the platform front, A24's While We're Young was off to a very nice start this weekend with an estimated $242,152 from 4 locations in New York and Los Angeles. That gave the Noah Baumbach directed comedy starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts a per-location average of $60,538 for the frame. While We're Young will expand into additional locations next weekend and is scheduled to receive a nationwide expansion on April 10th.

Saturday Update: Fox reports that DreamWorks' Home shocked with a huge $15.6 million opening day yesterday, easily distancing itself in first place. The first-day figure represents a 34 percent improvement over The Croods' first day two years ago ($11.65 million) and 95 percent stronger than last year's Mr. Peabody & Sherman ($8.02 million). Despite a generic title and DreamWorks' wavering reputation over the past few years, Home was able to capitalize on voice talent that appeals to young and old audiences alike with Jim Parsons, Rihanna, and Steve Martin taking center stage. While early word of mouth isn't much to write home about (68 percent audience score, 48 percent critic score), the minimal number of family options in theaters right now should help the flick enjoy a healthy lifespan. BoxOffice projects a stunning $58 million opening weekend.

Warner Bros. reports that Get Hard bowed to a strong $12.91 million in second place on Friday. The Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart comedy superstar team-up opened in line with the likes of The Other Guys ($13.1 million opening day), Blades of Glory ($12.4 million), and just 10 percent behind Ride Along ($14.4 million). With few successful comedies in the market over recent months, the teaming proved to be an irresistible one for Ferrell and Hart fans. Unfortunately, early word of mouth isn't positive: the film registered a lackluster "B" CinemaScore, while the Rotten Tomatoes audience has given it a disappointing 66 percent rating through Saturday morning (on top of critics' 33 percent). Even still, BoxOffice is projecting a hearty $34.5 million opening weekend.

The Divergent Series: Insurgent posted $6.85 million in third place yesterday, down 68 percent from its first day last Friday. That drop is slightly sharper than Divergent's 64 percent second Friday drop last year, and puts Insurgent at an eight-day total of $71.2 million (about 7.5 percent behind Divergent). BoxOffice projects $21.6 million for its sophomore frame.

Disney's Cinderella was off 50 percent from last Friday to $4.73 million yesterday. With $137.24 million in the bank domestically, the film is eyeing a third weekend total around $17.5 million.

Buzzy horror hit It Follows cracked the top five and pulled $1.4 million on Friday as it expanded into semi-wide release across 1,218 screens for an $1,160 per-theater average. That gives the flick $2.15 million in all so far. BoxOffice projects $4.5 million this weekend.

Check BoxOffice on Sunday for official weekend estimates from the studios.

Friday Update #2: Sources tell BoxOffice that Home and Get Hard are both off to strong starts.

Home will easily win the weekend with a total that could end up between $45 million-$50 million based on early Friday results. That would mark a huge win for DreamWorks following the disappointing performance of How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Penguins of Madagascar last year.

Get Hard is headed for a $35 million debut. Kevin Hart continues to be a solid earner, while Will Ferrell receives a much-needed boost.

Check back tomorrow for official studio numbers and updated projections.

Friday Update #1: Warner Bros. reports that Get Hard started with $1.8 million from early shows last night. That easily tops the $800,000 Thursday night of The Wedding Ringer back in January, as well as Ride Along's $1.06 million last year. The Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart comedy team-up will have to fend off poor reviews, but this indicates a strong opening weekend ahead.

Also opening this weekend is Fox/DreamWorks' Home, although no early figures had been reported at the time of publishing.

Check back for further updates today and throughout the weekend.

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By Daniel Garris

Lionsgate's The Divergent Series: Insurgent took in $2.56 million on Thursday to lead the daily box office for a seventh consecutive day. The second installment of the young adult series starring Shailene Woodley is widely expected to fall out of first place this weekend with both Fox's Home and Warner's Get Hard entering the marketplace. Insurgent was down just 1 percent from Wednesday, which represented a very solid daily hold, especially given that Home and Get Hard both had healthy debuts on Thursday evening. Insurgent was the week's top film with a seven-day start of $64.32 million. That was just below pre-release expectations and was 6.5 percent below the $68.76 million seven-day take of last year's Divergent.

Cinderella also held up well on Thursday with a close second place take of $2.24 million. Disney's blockbuster fairy tale adaptation was up 1 percent over Wednesday and down 50 percent from last Thursday. Cinderella placed in second place for the week with $44.96 million. That represented a sizable, but understandable 49 percent decline from the film's opening week performance. Cinderella has grossed a strong $132.51 million in two weeks. That places the film 8 percent behind the $144.52 million 14-day take of last year's Maleficent.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel placed in third with $0.394 million. The ensemble comedy from Fox Searchlight was down 6 percent from Wednesday and down 39 percent from last Thursday. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel placed in sixth for the week with $5.27 million. The film was down 37 percent from the previous frame and has grossed a solid $25.95 million in three weeks of release.

Warner's Run All Night followed closely behind in fourth with $0.386 million. The Liam Neeson led action thriller fell a sizable 15 percent from Wednesday and 49 percent from last Thursday. Run All Night placed in third for the week with $7.01 million. That was down 52 percent from last week and brings the film's two-week total to a lackluster $21.62 million.

Fellow action thriller The Gunman rounded out its first week of release with a sixth place take of $0.327 million. The Sean Penn led film from Open Road was down a sharp 17 percent from Wednesday. Both The Gunman and Run All Night clearly took sizable hits on Thursday from the Thursday evening start of Get Hard. The Gunman took fourth place for the week with a soft seven-day start of $6.76 million.

Do You Believe? landed in seventh place for the day with $0.299 million. The faith-based drama from Pure Flix was up 1 percent over Wednesday. Do You Believe? placed in seventh for the week with a softer than expected seven-day start of $4.90 million. The film will hope to hold up well going forward with aid from the upcoming Easter holiday.

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An Interview with:

Joe Spurling, Co-Founder, Director

Richie Power, Co-Founder, Director

Paul Lynch, Co-Founder, CTO

Showtime Analytics is launching this year. Can you tell us what was behind the creation of the company and what role it plays in big data for the cinema industry?

Joe Spurling: Richie, Paul, and I have worked for over 15 years each as management consultants in the areas of analytics, software development, and performance improvement. We have been fortunate to work across a breadth of industries with big brands here in Europe, the U.S., and Canada where we get the opportunity to understand from a data perspective the best practices, emerging trends, and methodologies that work best for clients.

I myself happen to have a family connection in the exhibition industry, whereby my father and grandfather run small independent cinemas in Ireland. In early 2014 at a family gathering, I got asked the typical question of "What exactly is it that you do?" and upon explanation of how data analytics can reduce costs, increase sales, and improve customer experience, it became apparent to me that this was an alien concept to what is, essentially, a data-rich exhibition sector. From there, Showtime Analytics was born with the goal of supporting the sector to unlock value from data.

Can you tell us more about your data-consultancy services and guided-analytics platform for cinemas?

Richie Power: At Showtime we recognize that as a client you will be at a different stage of maturity depending on your company size and exposure to analytics; however, irrespective of your starting point, the analytics market is changing at an enormous pace, and for any company it will be a struggle to keep up with the latest best practice or new innovative products.

It is simply not realistic to expect individuals or teams to have all the requisite skills to build out a high-functioning analytics practice, when these can be used in an on-demand capacity or capability basis.

Showtime Analytics brings in big data external factors; can you tell us what some of them are and why they are so important in a system like yours?

Paul Lynch: There are two important aspects to the question. Firstly, why are external data sources important? Irrespective of the industry we work in, nearly every conversation starts with the perceived client need for big data; more often than not, someone mentions social media as being the "killer requirement," without really knowing why or what use this information has.

When designing our analytics data model, we looked at a variety of data sources to bring into our structure, ranging from movie-critics' reviews, release dates, weather patterns, local events calendars, customer demographics, and, of course, social media.

These are all interesting data points in their own right, but ultimately in isolation to each other provide only silos of information as opposed to real insights. To achieve insight from external data sources, we believe that the killer proposition is to link these sources with transaction data from sources like point of sale, ultimately providing the context for insights: impact of campaign X was 10 percent more successful in ticket sales based on the time of day we targeted.

Can the Showtime Analytics services be customized to cater specifically to a range of exhibitors-from single screens to multiplex chains?

Richie Power: To be honest, this has always been a guiding principle for us at Showtime. Our experience of the wider analytics-software market is that it is both exploitative and a class-based system, in the respect that if you are large enough with perceived budget to spend, then the costs gets higher, and if you are a small company, you are limited to what you can do in terms of capability by being priced out of the market. Our solution is what we are calling a mass user-consumption model, whereby you sign up on a per-site basis, which caters to both the small and very large organization.

 

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cinemacon.png"THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 2" DIRECTED BY LAWRENCE TO BE RELEASED ON NOVEMBER 20, 2015

WASHINGTON D.C. (March 26, 2015) - Francis Lawrence will receive the "CinemaCon® Director of the Year Award" it was announced today by Mitch Neuhauser, Managing Director of CinemaCon. CinemaCon, the official convention of The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), will be held April 20 - 23, 2015, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Lawrence will be presented with this special honor at the "CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards" ceremony to take place on Thursday, April 23, in the evening at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The Coca-Cola Company, the official presenting sponsor of CinemaCon, will host the final night gala awards program.

"Since making his feature film debut ten years ago, Francis Lawrence has mesmerized moviegoing audiences with his own unique and inventive style," noted Neuhauser. "A true visionary, Lawrence is sure to captivate audiences next fall when ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2,' the eagerly anticipated finale of the box-office franchise, hits our theaters. We couldn't think of a more deserving director and are thrilled to be honoring him with the ‘CinemaCon® Director of the Year Award.'"

Lawrence's work can be seen this fall in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2," which is set to be released by LIONSGATE, on November 20, 2015. The blockbuster Hunger Games franchise has taken audiences by storm around the world, grossing more than $2.2 billion at the global box office. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 now brings the franchise to its powerful fourth chapter in which Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) now fully realizes the stakes are no longer just for survival -- they are for the future.

With the nation of Panem in a full scale war, Katniss confronts President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the final showdown. Teamed with a group of her closest friends - including Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin), and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) - Katniss goes off on a mission with the unit from District 13 as they risk their lives to stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become increasingly obsessed with destroying her. The mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in The Hunger Games.

A director and producer of film, music videos, and television, Lawrence made his feature film debut in 2005 with "Constantine," following that up with the hit movie, "I Am Legend" in 2007 and " "Water for Elephants," in 2011. Lawrence most recently directed the last two installments of the hugely popular Hunger Games franchise, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" and "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire."

On the small screen Lawrence served as director and executive producer on the pilot and several episodes of the acclaimed series "Kings" and directed the pilot for FOX's "Touch" which he continued on as executive producer for both seasons of the show. He is also a noted music video director, having won a GRAMMY®, Latin Grammy and multiple VMA awards. In addition Lawrence has also directed commercials for many high profile clients including The Gap, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, L'Oreal, Bacardi, McDonald's, Disneyland, Oldsmobile, Covergirl, and Maybelline.

About CinemaCon

CinemaCon will attract upwards of 5,000 motion picture professionals from all facets of the industry -from exhibition and distribution, to the equipment and concession areas - all on hand to celebrate the movie-going experience and the cinema industry. From exclusive Hollywood product presentations highlighting a slate of upcoming films, to must-see premiere feature screenings, to the biggest stars, producers and directors, CinemaCon will help jumpstart the excitement and buzz that surrounds the summer season at the box office.

CinemaCon is delighted to have both the International Cinema Technology Association (ICTA) and National Association of Concessionaires (NAC) as its tradeshow partners. CinemaCon is also delighted to have as its official presenting sponsor The Coca-Cola Company, one of the industry's greatest, highly regarded and respected partners in the world of the movies.

About NATO

The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) is the largest exhibition trade organization in the world, representing more than 32,000 movie screens in all 50 states, and additional cinemas in 81 countries worldwide. NATO's membership includes the largest cinema chains in the world and hundreds of independent theatre owners, too.

Additional information on CinemaCon can be found at www.cinemacon.com.

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mar20wknd.pngLionsgate reports that The Divergent Series: Insurgent claimed first place again on Wednesday with $2.58 million. That puts its six-day domestic total at $61.76 million, 6 percent off the pace of last year's Divergent.

Disney's Cinderella easily held onto second place with another $2.22 million yesterday, off 51 percent from last week. Their latest fairy tale remake has grossed an impressive $130.3 million through 13 days of release.

Run All Night took third yesterday with $0.46 million, down 44 percent from last week. The Liam Neeson thriller has totaled $21.2 million through 13 days.

Continuing to display strong legs, Kingsman: The Secret Service held fourth place on Wednesday as it eased 34 percent to $0.43 million. The graphic novel pic's total stands at $116.0 million.

Filling out the top five, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel bagged $0.42 million yesterday as it eased 35 percent from last week. The sequel's total is now $25.56 million.

Meanwhile, Do You Believe? took in $0.297 million in eighth place. The faith-based film's six-day haul is $4.6 million, 62 percent behind where God's Not Dead stood.

 

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