Sunday Update: Fox's Taken 3 led the box office with ease this weekend with an estimated debut of $40.4 million. The third installment of the Liam Neeson led franchise outpaced pre-release expectations; marking the third time that the Taken franchise has exceeded expectations. Taken 3 hadn't been expected to open anywhere near as strong as 2012's Taken 2, but instead opened a reasonable 18 percent below the $49.51 million debut of Taken 2. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Taken 3 delivered the second largest opening weekend ever for the month of January (behind only the $41.52 million take of last year's Ride Along). The film's debut was especially impressive given that so many holdovers came back down to earth this weekend; due in part to the end of the holiday season and due in part to the strong performance of Taken 3.

Taken 3 opened with $14.8 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.6 million from late night shows on Thursday), increased 5 percent on Saturday to take in $15.6 million and is estimated to decline 36 percent on Sunday to gross $10.0 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.73 to 1. Taken 3 received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore. It is possible that Taken 3 could take a significant hit next weekend from the nationwide expansion of Warner's highly anticipated American Sniper.

Paramount's Selma placed in a distant second with an estimated $11.2 million. While Taken 3 outpaced expectations this weekend, Selma debuted below expectations, which were ultimately inflated due in part to the film's exceptional critical reviews and a larger than originally anticipated location count this weekend. While the Ava DuVernay directed awards season hopeful didn't light the box office on fire this weekend, the film could still hold up extremely well going forward thanks in part to strong word of mouth (the film received an exceptional A+ rating on CinemaScore) and continued awards season buzz. It is also very possible that many initial moviegoers are waiting until the Martin Luther King holiday weekend next weekend to see the film. With that said, that Selma debuted 54.5 percent below the $24.64 million start of 2013's Lee Daniels' The Butler is certainly underwhelming. Selma has grossed $13.49 million to date.

Selma grossed $3.78 million on Friday, increased a healthy 24 percent on Saturday to gross $4.7 million and is estimated to decline 42 percent on Sunday to gross $2.72 million. That gives the film an estimated weekend to Friday ratio of 2.96 to 1. It should be noted that the reported production budget for Selma was a modest $20 million.

Holdovers occupied positions three through six this weekend with the four films fairly bunched together with one another. Disney's Into the Woods claimed third with an estimated $9.75 million. The Rob Marshall directed musical featuring Meryl Streep was down a significant 48 percent. This weekend's hold was lackluster given that the film expanded into an additional 295 locations. Into the Woods surpassed the $100 million mark this weekend and has grossed $105.27 million in 18 days. That places the film 6 percent behind the $111.93 million 18-day take of 2012's Les Misérables.

Warner's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies followed closely behind in fourth place with an estimated $9.44 million. The third installment of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy was down a sharp 57 percent from last weekend. The Battle of the Five Armies has grossed $236.52 million through 26 days of release and is now running just 2 percent ahead of the $231.93 million 26-day gross of 2012's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Unbroken rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $8.37 million. The Angelina Jolie directed war drama from Universal fell 54 percent from last weekend. Like Into the Woods, Unbroken also surpassed the $100 million domestic milestone this weekend. Unbroken continues to exceed expectations with $101.60 million in 18 days. The film is running 8 percent ahead of the $94.09 million 18-day gross of 2008's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

The Imitation Game placed in sixth with an estimated $7.62 million. The awards season hopeful from The Weinstein Company held up much better than other films in the marketplace this weekend, as it was down just 2 percent. However, the film did expand into an additional 812 locations this weekend, so its location average did see significant slowing over the frame. The Imitation Game surpassed the $40 million mark this weekend and has grossed a promising $40.84 million to date.

Warner's Inherent Vice took in an estimated $2.9 million this weekend to place in eleventh among all films. The Paul Thomas Anderson directed film generated a respectable per-location average of $4,496 from 645 locations. The film performed on the higher end of expectations, which were subdued from the film's modest performance in platform release. Inherent Vice performed 34 percent softer than the $4.39 million take of 2012's The Master during its first weekend of major release (in 788 locations). Inherent Vice has grossed $4.48 million to date.

Fellow Warner Bros. release American Sniper continued to impress in platform release with an estimated $550,000 from just 4 locations.  That gave the Clint Eastwood directed awards season hopeful starring Bradley Cooper a massive per-location average of $138,750.  American Sniper has grossed $3.15 million to date.  As mentioned, the film will expand into nationwide release this coming Friday.

Saturday Update: Fox reports that Taken 3 grabbed $14.7 million on opening day, including Thursday night's $1.6 million start. The Liam Neeson action sequel was off 20 percent from Taken 2's $18.36 million opening day in October 2012, although these early numbers are still at a more-than-healthy level for the franchise entry. Unfortunately, critics haven't warmed to the film (giving it an 11 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), although early audience word of mouth is relatively stronger with a 73 percent Flixster score this morning (by comparison, The Equalizer was at 81 percent one day after release). It could be argued that franchise fatigue has set in for the series, but Fox's marketing team (alongside Neeson's drawing power) gave audiences enough reason to come back again with the promise of advancing the story by killing off a major supporting character to drive the plot . BoxOffice is projecting a solid opening weekend of $39.5 million.

Paramount's Selma expanded into wide release this weekend with $3.8 million from 2,179 theaters on Friday. The Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic had been performing well in limited release for the past two weeks on the heels of excellent reviews -- it current stands at 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Selma's audience score is at a strong 87 percent this morning, indicating mainstream crowds are slowly but surely beginning to embrace the drama. CinemaScore was an "A+". With MLK Day to follow next week, and the film's timely nature following recent real world events, expect some back-loading that gives Selma an enduring run beyond this weekend. BoxOffice is projecting a $12 million weekend.

Unbroken added $2.6 million yesterday, boosting its total to $95.8 million as it approaches the $100 million domestic threshold (which it will cross by the end of this weekend). BoxOffice projects an $8.5 million frame.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies fell out of first place for only the second day since its opening in December. The finale took in $2.47 million yesterday, giving it a 24-day total of $229.55 million. BoxOffice projects $9.5 million this weekend.

Into the Woods brought in $2.46 million on Friday, bringing its total up to $98 million. The Disney musical will cross $100 million domestically on Saturday. BoxOffice projects a $9.4 million weekend.

In its expansion to 1,566 theaters (nearly double its previous count), The Imitation Game continues to maintain strong momentum as it earned $2.15 million yesterday. The film's run is closely mirroring that of The King's Speech four years ago (both films were release by The Weinstein Company). To date, Imitation has tallied $35.4 million and should total $8 million this weekend.

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

Friday Update #2: Sources tell BoxOffice that Taken 3 is on pace for north of $35 million during its debut frame. That's a drop from the $49 million that Taken 2 posted, but its very healthy on its own terms. We expect overseas returns to make up for any domestic dip.

Selma should hit at least $15 million this weekend--a solid haul for the drama's wide expansion. The opening weekend is not as important for Selma because word of mouth will keep it alive for weeks to come.

Check back tomorrow for official studio estimates and updated projections.

Friday Update #1: Sources report that Taken 3 bowed to $1.6 million from early shows last night, a strong start for the Liam Neeson action sequel to lead off the weekend.

By comparison, Taken 2 earned $1.5 million from preview shows, as part of a $49.5 million weekend, back in October 2012. Taken 3's initial haul is also in line with last September's The Equalizer ($1.5 million Thursday night / $34.1 million weekend). Based on early results and strong online tracking, Taken 3 looks poised to top $30 million through Sunday.

Also opening this weekend in wide release is the critically acclaimed Selma, which took in a healthy $400,000 last night. The film started in limited release two weeks ago and has accumulated $2.2 million from just 22 theaters during that time. Selma currently boasts an impressive 99 percent Rotten Tomatoes score from 115 critics.

More updates as they come.

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By Alex Edghill

Friday Morning Update: The Twitter story of the week was definitely Marvel's upcoming Ant-Man as the film debuted its first full trailer. It accounted for over 55,000 tweets as a result of the trailer which was simply massive, especially when you consider that Guardians Of The Galaxy had 50,239. Now of course Ant-Man gets to benefit from the hard work that Guardians did (and others before it in the Marvel Universe) but this number is still hard to ignore, especially since Ant-Man is perhaps the least known of all the Marvel character to date who have made it to screen in a starring role. With Avengers: Age Of Ultron coming before it by 6 weeks or so and it no doubt offering a continuation of its storyline in some form this is well placed to be yet another breakout hit for the Marvel pantheon.

On the eve of its release Taken 3 came in second on the week with 97,250 tweets. This is miles ahead of Taken 2 but I'm not that sold on its ultimate box office potential since eye-balling the tweets shows a lot of not so glowing remarks. Regardless of its critical reception and early buzz the $50 million opening of the last installment will be enough to see a hefty opening here but look for a swift decline afterwards and a final total no where near the ~$150 million that the first two managed.  

Twitter Top 5 Movies for the week of January 2nd to January 9th

Date Movie Tweets Rank Change
7/17/15 Ant-Man 138,761 1 (+18) 2318.70%
1/09/15 Taken 3 97,250 2 (+2) 240.96%
2/27/15 Focus (2015) 62,095 3 (-2) -0.49%
5/01/15 Avengers: Age of Ultron 46,363 4 (-2) -10.86%
12/18/15 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 40,300 5 (-2) 4.37%

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Please check the methodology page for information about our Twitter project or here for historic data.

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By Daniel Garris

Warner's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies grossed $1.34 million on Thursday to remain in first place at the daily box office. The third and final installment of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy has led the daily box office for 22 of the past 23 days, but will fall out of first place today with the unleashing of Fox's Taken 3. The Battle of the Five Armies was down 7 percent from Wednesday and down 86 percent from last Thursday's New Year's Day inflated performance. The film claimed first place for the week with $28.21 million. That was down 61 percent from the previous frame and brings the film's 23-day total to $227.08 million.

Unbroken held steady in second place with $1.23 million. The Angelina Jolie directed war drama from Universal fell 4 percent from Wednesday and 82 percent from last Thursday. Unbroken placed in second for the week with $23.75 million. That represented a 56 percent decline from the previous week and places the film's 15-day total at a stronger than expected $93.23 million. Unbroken continues to run neck and neck with Disney's Into the Woods, as current total grosses for the films are separated by only $2.29 million.

Disney's Into the Woods took in $1.02 million to remain in third. The Rob Marshall directed musical featuring Meryl Streep increased 1 percent over Wednesday and was down 87 percent from last Thursday. Into the Woods finished just behind Unbroken for the week with a third place take of $23.38 million (the two films were separated by just $373,900 for the frame). The 15-day total for Into the Woods stands at a strong $95.52 million. Into the Woods will be expanding into an additional 295 locations this weekend.

The Imitation Game continued to claim fourth with $0.673 million. The awards season hopeful from The Weinstein Company was up a healthy 4 percent over Wednesday and down 76 percent from last Thursday. The Imitation Game placed in seventh for the week with $10.52 million. The film was down 34 percent from the previous week and has grossed a very promising $33.22 million to date. The Imitation Game will be expanding into an additional 812 locations this weekend.

Fox's Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb rounded out the day's top five with $0.617 million. The third installment of the Ben Stiller led franchise was unchanged from Wednesday and down 90 percent from last Thursday. Secret of the Tomb took fifth place for the week with $17.49 million. That was a 57 percent decline from the previous week and brings the film's three-week total to $92.82 million.

The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death wrapped up its first week of release with an eighth place take of $0.448 million. The PG-13 rated horror sequel from Relativity was down a sharp 16 percent from Wednesday. While The Woman in Black 2 has been very front-loaded throughout the week, the film still exceeded expectations this week with a fourth place seven-day start of $17.51 million.

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regalentertainmentgroup.pngNew theatre includes RPX: Regal Premium Experience

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), a leading motion picture exhibitor owning and operating the largest theatre circuit in the United States, is celebrating the grand opening of Three Rivers Mall 12 & RPX in Kelso, Washington. Activities include preview events Sunday, January 11 through Tuesday, January 13 with $3 movies, popcorn and soft drinks to benefit local charities. The official grand opening will be Thursday, January 15 with first-run features including The Wedding Ringer, Paddington and Blackhat. Moviegoers who belong to the Regal Crown Club will also enjoy free popcorn and soft drinks with each paid admission Thursday, January 15, through Thursday, January 22.

"Three Rivers Mall will be attracting moviegoers from around the region. Our new entertainment destination includes the impressive Regal Premium Experience," says Rachel Lueras, western region marketing manager for Regal Entertainment Group. "RPX is the very best way to view a movie with picture perfect presentation. It's our gift to all of our loyal moviegoers in the Longview-Kelso area."

The preview events include recently released films with themed days where all proceeds benefit local charities. On Sunday, January 11, the theme is "Regal Family Fun Day," benefiting Habitat for Humanity of Cowlitz County including recent family-friendly film selections. On Monday, January 12 "Regal's Recipe for Hope" features recent food-focused film selections benefiting Neighbors in Need. Tuesday, January 13 benefits the Lower Columbia Community Action Program with Superhero films for "Regal Superheroes for a Cause."

"We are excited to kickoff 2015 by showing our community spirit and giving back to local organizations during these charity events," says Russ Nunley, vice president of marketing and communications for Regal Entertainment Group. "Regal is thrilled to be replacing our two existing theatres nearby with this magnificent new one and I'm certain moviegoers are going to love it. We invite everyone to help celebrate this new theatre by trying us out."

At Regal Three Rivers Mall 12, the Regal Premium Experience (RPX) presents movies the way filmmakers intended with powerful, uncompressed surround sound and bright eye-popping images in 2D and 3D. Guests will enjoy the custom-built premium environment featuring elegant and luxurious seats. Regal managers express their confidence in the presentation with the RPX Guarantee: "You'll agree it's the best experience or your next movie is free."

Three Rivers Mall 12 also offers the Regal Crown Club to reward frequent guests. Regal fans can access their card through their mobile device for easy access on-the go by downloading the Regal Movies app. Users can program their favorite theatre, gather movie information, select showtimes and purchase tickets. The Regal Crown Club is the number one theatre loyalty program in the country, allowing patrons to accumulate credits at the box office and concession stand to earn free popcorn, soft drinks and movies. Free membership is available at the theatre or online. Moviegoers can also stay connected through Regal Cinemas' Facebook page and Twitter account, @RegalMovies.

The 12-screen theatre can accommodate more than 2,400 moviegoers. Patrons will enjoy digital projection in every auditorium, stadium seating, with each row elevated for an unobstructed view, and high-back rocking chairs featuring cupholder armrests which move out of the way to form seats for two. For more information about the Regal Crown Club program, grand opening activities and showtimes, please visit www.REGmovies.com.

Available at all new and existing Regal Entertainment Group theatres is a cutting-edge technology, the Sony Entertainment Access System, to assist moviegoers who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or low vision. The system includes specially designed lightweight eyewear for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing to privately view closed captioned text directly in their line of sight for both 2D and 3D movies. This assistive technology also includes a wireless receiver that provides access to descriptive audio tracks via headsets for guests who are blind or have low vision. The access glasses and audio headsets allow moviegoers to individually enjoy the cinema experience in a relaxed, natural way without the inconvenience of separate screening times or special seating. Regal also offers caption displays which can be mounted in cup holders as an alternative to the caption glasses. Guests desiring such accommodations need only request them at Guest Services or from any manager. Presentations offering this technology will be noted online with the phrase: "Accessibility devices available."

About Regal Entertainment Group:
Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) operates the largest and most geographically diverse theatre circuit in the United States and, as of January 1, 2015, operates 7,367 screens in 574 theatres throughout 42 states along with the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam and Saipan. The Company operates theatres in 46 of the top 50 U.S. designated market areas. We believe that the size, reach and quality of the Company's theatre circuit not only provide its patrons with a convenient and enjoyable movie-going experience, but is also an exceptional platform to realize economies of scale in theatre operations.

- See more at: http://investor.regmovies.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=222211&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2005464#sthash.kgUZcfCj.dpuf

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