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By Alex Edghill

Monday Morning Update: Fast 7 was locked in a tight race for top spot this past week with the upstart Unfriended, managing to eek out a victory by less than .5% of a percent. As news of its plot, marketing, and promo material flood the worldwide web the film has been doing well across all forms of social media, and Facebook is no different. This is pretty remarkable when you think that over 55 million people have already liked the page, one would think it was already at saturation point but it keeps expanding. Harry Potter's eight record setting films drove that franchise to just over 76 million likes, a record in the film industry on Facebook, and one that the Furious franchise will have a shot at sometime during its 9th or 10th installment no doubt. Part 7 is set to be the biggest of them all, in part because they have been trending upwards over the recent releases and due to the fact that Paul Walker's passing in real life will likely bring out just about anyone who has seen any of the previous films to bid their farewell. This is truly a global film and as such it should explode as its release date approaches and after. 62 million plus likes by the end of the box office run is likely.

Unfriended went toe to toe with a giant worldwide heavy hitter this past week which was shifting into top marketing gear and almost came out on top. Of course its overall numbers are miniscule by comparison but this just further cements it as a breakout waiting to happen this April. Its now tracking way ahead of virtually every other horror breakout in the past five years (yes even Paranormal Activity), which is hugely impressive. Whether this hype will translate to box office dollars is up for debate as films targeting to teen demographic have been known to explode on social media and underperform at the box office as many are quick to point out. I'm less reserved and think that $20 million is in the bag here, with upside to $30+. That might be crazy numbers but with the type of buzz it is dragging its a can't miss hit at this point.

Facebook Top 5 Movies by Like Increase for the last week Ending Sunday March 15th

Rank Release Movie Likes Previous Change % Change
1 04/03/15 Furious 7 55,119,420 54,938,013 181,407 0.33%
2 04/17/15 Unfriended 684,215 503,050 181,165 36.01%
3 03/20/15 The Divergent Series: Insurgent 4,651,331 4,517,706 133,625 2.96%
4 09/25/15 Hotel Transylvania 2 8,895,546 8,795,491 100,055 1.14%
5 12/18/15 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 13,552,189 13,476,237 75,952 0.56%

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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 Alex Edghill

Sunday Morning Update: Its not a common occurrence to see a film lead the weekly Twitter list for three out of four weeks but that is exactly what The Divergent Series: Insurgent managed over the past month leading up to its release. In fact the only reason it didn't lead all four weeks is that Avengers: Age Of Ultron's new trailer last week pushed it to #2. Now I will admit that traffic in general over the past month has been light (only Insurgent and Ultron have managed 100k+ tweet weeks) and despite all the big numbers and first places Insurgent is actually running just neck and neck with its predecessor Divergent. Over the same period before release Divergent had 209,466 tweets. Insurgent does have a lot of its buzz thanks to the first film so the fact that it is running so close in numbers to that film really leads me to think that we are not going to see a big opening bump (if at all) come next weekend.

Furious 7 has started its TV campaign and has mounted an impressive International marketing effort including actor-led intros for different channels. I have seen few other worldwide pushes as impressive as this over the last five years and I think regardless of how good or bad the movie ends up being that it is going to make a real push for $1 billion worldwide. Its come a long way from its underdog beginnings almost 15 years ago.

Paper Towns made its way into the top 5 as well thanks to news surfacing about its release (was pushed back a few weeks), and John Green (the author of the novel) released news about other adaptations in the works for his past novels. He also said that a first trailer would be on the way shortly. I'm anxious to see just how well the trailer is received because Green's The Fault In Our Stars was the most talked about movie of 2014 and as such Paper Towns has some big shoes to fill.

Twitter Top 10 Movies for the week of March 6th to March 12th

Date Movie Tweets Rank Change
3/20/15 The Divergent Series: Insurgent 226,948 1 (+1) 24.76%
5/01/15 Avengers: Age of Ultron 94,386 2 (-1) -77.41%
4/03/15 Furious 7 74,891 3 (-) 59.09%
7/24/15 Paper Towns 29,560 4 (+3) 58.45%
12/18/15 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 27,031 5 (+5) 104.24%

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

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Cinderella welcomed $132.4 million global day-and-date debut this weekend. The film brought in $132.4 million from 31 territories, including a $25 million haul from China where it posted the biggest March opening of all time. Other significant premieres came in Russia ($7.3M), Mexico ($5M), and Italy ($4.6M).
     
Big Hero 6 became the top animated title released in 2014 this week. The film grossed $17 million over the weekend, bringing its overseas haul up to $411.1 million. Japan continues to lead all overseas markets with a $75.8 million, followed by China's $66.5 million, UK's $29.2 million, Russia's $20.2 million, and South Korea's $20.1 million. Big Hero 6 has grossed a total of $632.7 million worldwide.

Kingsman: The Secret Service earned $13.7 million from 56 markets this weekend, taking its overseas haul up to $169.9 million. Kingsman has grossed $277.2 million worldwide.
 
Focus earned $13.5 million from 61 markets, including a $1.9 million debut in Brazil. Top markets include the UK ($8.7M), Russia ($7.7M), and Mexico ($5.2M). Focus has grossed $57.7 million overseas and $101.7 million worldwide.

Jupiter Ascending continues to benefit from its Chinese release. The film grossed $8.7 million from 37 markets this weekend, with $8.1 million of that figure coming from China alone. China has now earned a total of $40.6 million after only two weekends. Other top markets for the sci-fi flick remain far behind; Russia ($9M), the UK ($6.7M), France ($6.6M), Brazil ($6.2M), and Germany ($5.2M). Jupiter Ascending has grossed a total of $125.2 million overseas and $171.1 million worldwide.

Fifty Shades of Grey passed Despicable Me to become Universal's tenth highest grossing film worldwide with a $546.5 million global total. The weekend brought in another $8.3 million from 50 territories, making it Universal's sixth highest grossing film of all time overseas with $385.1 million. The film is Universal's highest grossing film ever in Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Serbia/Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Venezuela.

American Sniper collected $8 million from 57 markets, taking its overseas total up to $175.7 million. Top overseas markets include Italy ($23.3M), the UK (20.5m), France ($19.3M), Australia ($15.3M), and Japan ($14.8M). The Clint Eastwood movie has now grossed $513.2 million worldwide.

Run All Night took a day-and-date debut across 19 markets overseas, bringing in a global total of $17.6 million. The overseas haul contributed $6.6 million of that figure, including a $1.3 million opening in the UK.

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water soaked up $4.3 million from 49 territories this weekend. The film has now grossed $116.2 million overseas and $271.3 million worldwide.  

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel welcomed $4.1million from 17 markets, taking its overseas total up to $28.9 million. The UK held on to the top spot this weekend with $2 million, lifting the market total to $17.5 million. The film has grossed $46.9 million globally.

Into the Woods opened in Japan over the weekend, bringing in $3.6 million to make it the biggest opening weekend for a Western release in 2015. Into the Woods has now grossed $64.8 million overseas and $192 million globally.

Seventh Son grossed $1.7 million in 14 territories to reach an overseas total of $90.9 million. The film has grossed $108 million worldwide.

Birdman caught $1.7 million from 28 markets to to take its overseas cume to $56.1 million.  The Best Picture winner has grossed $98.1 million worldwide.

The Theory of Everything discovered $1.4 million from 46 territories over the weekend. The film's overseas haul is up to $81.5 million, while its global total is now at $117.2 million.

 

 

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Sunday Update: Cinderella was off to a strong start this weekend with an estimated $70.05 million. Disney's well-received fairy tale adaptation opened just above its already lofty pre-release expectations. Cinderella also added some much needed life to what had been a slow start to the overall March box office. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Cinderella delivered the sixth largest debut ever for the month of March. The film opened just ahead of the $69.43 million start of last year's Maleficent, which was especially impressive given that unlike Maleficent, Cinderella didn't receive a bump from higher priced 3D admissions (though it did receive a bit of a bump from playing in IMAX locations, as IMAX grosses represented 7 percent of the film's overall gross).

Cinderella opened with $23.03 million on Friday (which included an estimated $2.3 million from evening shows on Thursday), increased 17.5 percent on Saturday to take in $27.06 million and is estimated to decline 26 percent on Sunday to gross $19.97 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.04 to 1. Opening weekend business for Cinderella likely skewed higher than usual towards Friday for a family film due in part to some areas being on spring break and from the film skewing heavily towards female moviegoers (66 percent of the film's audience was female). The film's audience also skewed towards younger moviegoers (55 percent of the film's audience was 25 years and younger), with family audiences representing 66 percent of the film's overall audience.

Cinderella received a strong A rating on CinemaScore. That is a very good early sign for the film going forward, especially in combination with the film's strong critical reviews. However, in the short-term Cinderella will be facing major new competition next weekend from Lionsgate's The Divergent Series: Insurgent.

Warner's Run All Night opened in a distant second place with an estimated $11.02 million. The Liam Neeson led action thriller opened a bit below expectations. As the fourth Neeson-led action thriller in just over a year, Run All Night clearly had its potential limited by over-saturation. Run All Night likely also took a hit from male moviegoers waiting for both Warner's Get Hard and Universal's Furious 7 instead at this point. Run All Night opened 14 percent below the $12.76 million start of last year's A Walk Among the Tombstones, though going forward Run All Night may hold up better than A Walk Among the Tombstones did.

Run All Night started with $3.86 million on Friday (which included an estimated $455,000 from evening shows on Thursday), was up 16 percent on Saturday to take in $4.47 million and is estimated to fall 40 percent on Sunday to gross $2.69 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.85 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film skewed heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (86 percent) and slightly towards female moviegoers (52 percent). Run All Night received a healthy A- rating on CinemaScore, though positive word of mouth may not help the film all that much with Insurgent, Get Hard and Furious 7 all on the horizon.

It was an extremely tight race for places third through sixth this weekend, with third place and sixth place currently separated by just an estimated $500,000.

Fox's Kingsman: The Secret Service continued to hold up very nicely this weekend with an estimated third place take of $6.20 million. The Matthew Vaughn directed graphic novel adaptation starring Colin Firth was up one spot and down just 25 percent from last weekend, as the film continues to be aided by both strong word of mouth and by lackluster direct competition. Kingsman: The Secret Service has grossed a stronger than expected $107.37 million through 31 days of release.

Warner's Focus placed in fourth with an estimated $5.81 million. The romantic heist film starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie was down two spots and a solid 42 percent from last weekend. Focus has grossed $44.03 million in 17 days. That places the film 19 percent behind the $54.52 million 17-day take of 2013's After Earth, but that percentage gap will continue to close going forward.

Sony's CHAPPiE finished very closely behind Focus in fifth with an estimated $5.80 million. After leading the box office last weekend, the Neill Blomkamp directed sci-fi film was down four spots and a sharp 57 percent this weekend. In addition to poor critical reviews and mixed word of mouth, CHAPPiE also took a hit this weekend from losing IMAX screens to Cinderella. With a ten-day start of just $23.41 million, CHAPPiE is running a disappointing 58 percent behind the $56.00 million ten-day take of 2013's Elysium.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel placed in sixth with an estimated $5.70 million. The ensemble comedy sequel from Fox Searchlight was down three spots and just 33 percent from last weekend, though it should be noted that the film did expand into an additional 449 locations this weekend. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has grossed a very solid $18.06 million in ten days, which places it 24 percent behind the $23.69 million ten-day gross of last year's The Hundred-Foot Journey.

On the platform front, It Follows was off to a healthy start with an estimated $163,453 from four locations in New York and Los Angeles. That gave the critically acclaimed horror thriller from RADiUS-TWC a promising per-location average of $40,863 for the frame. It Follows will expand into additional locations next weekend.

Saturday Update: Disney reports that Cinderella bowed to an excellent $23.03 million on Friday, claiming the sixth best ever opening day in March behind The Hunger Games, Alice In Wonderland, 300, Watchmen, and Oz the Great and Powerful. Early word of mouth is solid as the film scored an 87 percent Rotten Tomatoes audience score as of this morning, alongside an 84 percent score from critics. Friday's figure was just under last summer's Maleficent ($24.3 million) and the $24.1 million first day of 2013's Oz, also from Disney. There's no questioning the studio's reborn drawing power with fairy tale flicks in the wake of films like that one, Maleficent, Into the Woods, and Frozen -- the latter of which was revisited with a brand new short film in front of Cinderella, playing to the strong debut. With the promise of family audiences turning out over the weekend and healthy legs ahead, Cinderella is set to land around $72 million for its opening weekend.

Bowing in second place was the latest Liam Neeson thriller, Run All Night. Unfortunately though, the pic pulled a tame $3.855 million in its debut, 19 percent less than A Walk Among the Tombstones earned last September. Between this film's disappointing 66 percent audience score and 59 percent critic score, there's undoubtedly some burnout among audiences from what is the third Neeson action flick to open in the last six months. Warner Bros. does report, however, that the film nabbed an encouraging "A-" CinemaScore. BoxOffice is projecting a debut weekend around $10.3 million.

Focus claimed third place yesterday as it eased 41 percent from last Friday to $1.7 million. The Will Smith flick's total stands at $39.9 million. Look for a weekend around $5.9 million.

Kingsman: The Secret Service landed in fourth yesterday as it dropped just 25 percent from last Friday to $1.67 million. The hit graphic novel adaptation has earned an impressive $102.84 million to date and should take in around $6.2 million this weekend.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel filled out the top five yesterday with $1.625 million, off just 40 percent from opening day last week. The well-received sequel has tallied $13.99 million through eight days of release and is eyeing a $5.7 million sophomore frame.

Moving down to sixth place, CHAPPiE was off 66 percent from opening day last week to $1.55 million yesterday. The Neill Blomkamp sci-fi actioner has tallied $19.2 million through eight days of release. BoxOffice projects a $5.2 million sophomore frame.

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

Friday Update #2: Sources tell BoxOffice that Cinderella is on pace for a $70 million debut, which  would be enough for it to squeak past the $69 million opening Maleficent managed last Summer.

Run All Night is eyeing $15 million--a solid start considering that Cinderella is hogging the spotlight.

Check back tomorrow morning for updated projections and official studio estimates.

Friday Update #1: Sources report that Disney's Cinderella posted a great start to opening weekend with $2.3 million from Thursday night shows. By comparison, the studio's Oz the Great and Powerful pulled $2.0 million as part of a $79.1 million weekend bow two years ago this month, while Maleficent took a $4.2 million Thursday as part of its $69.4 million opening weekend. It should be noted, however, that the latter film opened during summer when preview grosses typically skew higher thanks to young audiences being out of school.

Also opening this weekend is Run All Night from Warner Bros., starring Liam Neeson and Ed Harris. That flick pulled $455,000 from last night's shows, according to the studio. That figure falls in line with Neeson's previous original flick, A Walk Among the Tombstones, which landed a $430,000 start last September as part of a $12.8 million weekend.

Stay tuned for more updates today and throughout the weekend.

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bighero6.pngThe officlal press release from Disney:

Today, Walt Disney Animation Studios' Academy Award®-winning Big Hero 6 became the #1 animated title of 2014 with more than $620 million globally. The film, which has earned $221 million domestically, also surpasses $400 million at the international box office this weekend.

Big Hero 6 continues to perform strongly in China, where it opened Feb. 28 and has brought in over $51 million, surpassing Frozen to become the highest grossing animated release ever from Disney or Pixar. In Japan, it has earned more than $75 million and is the second highest grossing Disney animated release ever. It's the second biggest Disney or Pixar animated movie ever released in Korea and Russia, and it's the biggest animated release of all time in Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Last weekend, Big Hero 6 surpassed Tangled to become the third biggest Walt Disney Animation Studios release ever globally, behind only Frozen and The Lion King. It is also Walt Disney Animation Studios' third biggest domestic release of all time.

Big Hero 6 debuted in the U.S. on November 7, 2014. Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams and produced by Roy Conli, this action-packed comedy-adventure, inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, centers on the special bond that develops between Baymax, a plus-sized inflatable robot, and prodigy Hiro Hamada as they team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.

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