Box Office Break Down is a New Column Looking Over the Past Weekend's Numbers and Predictions from BoxOffice.com and Moviepilot. 

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By Alex Edghill

Kung Fu Panda 3 topped the box office this past weekend with an estimated $41 million, besting the aging Revenant which was relegated to second place and $12.4 million. In fact, the Panda grossed as much as the rest of the top 5 films combined and its $10,367 per theater average was also tops and miles ahead of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which sat in second in the category with a $4,218 average. Both BoxOffice (predicted $51 million) and Moviepilot (predicted $47 million) were a tad high in their predictions for the Panda's third outing. While this was the lowest opening number in the Kung Fu Panda series (and the second successive decline) one has to consider that January is not typically a month rife with huge openers, and its $41 million estimate puts it in third place all time for the month. 

Word of mouth has been exceedingly strong for Panda, receiving an A grade from CinemaScore and its Rotten Tomatoes rating being 79% fresh so far. BoxOffice's Twitter numbers for Kung Fu Panda 3 were stellar through its opening weekend, seeing growth everyday from Friday through to Sunday, exceedingly rare amongst wide releases. Only 4 wide release films in the past year have managed to accomplish that feat: American Sniper, Kingsman: The Secret Service, War Room and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip: each of which had very leggy runs at the box office. When looking at the release week's overall Twitter numbers, however, Moviepilot notes that Kung Fu Panda 3 received half as many mentions as last year's Home (52.1M Opening Weekend), Spongebob Squarepants: The Movie ($55M Opening Weekend), and How to Train Your Dragon 2 ($49M Opening Weekend). 

The period coast guard thriller The Finest Hours opened in fourth place with $10.3 million. BoxOffice and Moviepilot just about nailed the opening with their predictions of $9 million and $9.2 million respectively. This was the lowest opening of Chris Pine's career for films in over 3,000 theatres (9 films total). While its CinemaScore was strong at A- and it had a fresh Rotten Tomatoes grade of 61% its marketing campaign never really caught on with moviegoers as was evident by its lackluster Twitter and Facebook performances. It didn't even have 40,000 likes before its release on Facebook which hinted at it missing the boat completely with younger audiences. Twitter had lackluster totals as well with its highpoint on Friday of just over 5,500 tweets being a far cry for other similar targeted films such as 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi which had over 26,000 tweets on opening day. Moviepilot's search data reveals that the film came up with only two thirds of the figures for Chris Pine's star-turn in Jack Ryan, indicating lower interest in the actor from older audiences. The lone bright spot here is that the film had a very solid CinemaScore, a fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating and its Twitter positive to negative ratios were the best of the new openers (even that of Kung Fu Panda 3). 

50 Shades Of Black flopped to the tune of 9th place on the weekend and $6.2 million. The Marlon Wayans spoof of 50 Shades Of Grey never really took off, its Twitter numbers were even below that of The Finest Hours and considering that its target audiences was much younger this was bad news from the outset. Moviepilot notes the film amassed less than half of the Twitter mentions as Marlon Wayans's previous spoof, A Haunted House 2, indicating lower buzz from fans among young people.

Facebook was equally disappointing with only ~150k likes by release day. To put that into perspective, A Haunted House had over six times the Twitter traffic on its opening weekend and three times the likes. YouTube views also came up short according to Moviepilot, 2.2 million against AHH2's 5.3 million. It's possible the Pro Bowl and other football and basketball sporting events kept eyes from target audiences away from this one. Moviepilot anticipated a stronger connective tissue from box office sensation Fifty Shades of Grey --but that didn't pan out.

While it was never going to be a critical darling, its CinemaScore was tied for worst on the year with a C and its Twitter positive to negative ratio was indeed worst on the year for wide releases at 4:1. The writing was on the wall that it was not going to be making it anywhere near to the $18 million that A Haunted House made but was just a question of how low it would slide. BoxOffice had predicted $8.5 million on the weekend while Moviepilot had gone a bit higher with a $12.5 million total. 

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PRESS RELEASE:

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Acquisition Adds 22 Screens with Luxury Seating

COLUMBUS, Georgia (February 1, 2016) - Carmike Cinemas, Inc. (NASDAQ: CKEC) ("Carmike"), a leading digital cinema, alternative programming and 3-D motion picture presenter, today announced that it has entered into definitive purchase agreements under which Carmike acquired two movie theatres from a subsidiary of AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AMC) ("AMC")" for a total of $5.4 million in cash. The transactions simultaneously closed upon signing of the purchase agreements. AMC recently acquired these theatres from Starplex Cinemas ("Starplex") and sold them to Carmike pursuant to a Consent Order with the Department of Justice in connection with its review and approval of the AMC/Starplex transaction. Upon completion of these two transactions, Carmike now operates 275 theatres with 2,942 screens across 41 states.

Carmike's President and Chief Executive Officer David Passman stated, "We are pleased to welcome these two outstanding theatres to the Carmike family. Both the East Windsor Town Center 10 and the Berlin 12 Theatre have been successful in creating a compelling movie-going experience for the residents ofEast Windsor and Berlin, incorporating the latest technology in picture, sound quality and seating."

"The two theatres are located in markets with limited geographic overlap with our existing theatre circuit, and are a perfect complement to our growing presence in the Northeast. We look forward to providing a world-class guest experience to movie-goers in East Windsor and Berlin by creating a premier movie-going experience and family destination with great amenities and outstanding customer service."

Both locations have undergone recent renovations with new seating. Town Center Plaza Multiplex incorporated 100% digital projection and new spacious recliner seating in 2015, while the Berlin 12 incorporated plush-rocker luxury seating in 2014.

 

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By Daniel Garris

Kung Fu Panda 3 easily led the box office this weekend with $41.28 million. However, the 3D computer animated sequel from Fox and DreamWorks Animation opened below expectations, which had been boosted a bit as a result of strong online pre-sales heading into the weekend. Kung Fu Panda 3 debuted 21 percent below the $52.11 million debut of last year's Home and 13 percent below the $47.66 million opening weekend take of 2011's Kung Fu Panda 2 (which was deflated a bit from opening on a Thursday). Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Kung Fu Panda 3 did register the third largest January debut of all time (behind only American Sniper and Ride Along).

Kung Fu Panda 3 opened with $10.45 million on Friday, was up a strong 74 percent on Saturday to gross $18.16 million and declined 30 percent on Sunday to gross $12.67 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.95 to 1. With no new family films going into wide release during the month of February, Kung Fu Panda 3 will have a strong chance of holding up well going forward. The film's strong A rating on CinemaScore is a good sign for Kung Fu Panda 3 going forward as well.

Fellow Fox release The Revenant placed in a distant second with $12.78 million. The Alejandro González Iñárritu directed western starring Leonardo DiCaprio was down a slim 20 percent, as holdovers in general benefited this weekend from last weekend's grosses being deflated by both Winter Storm Jonas and last Sunday's NFL Conference Championship Games. The Revenant continues to exceed expectations with $138.55 million after 24 days of wide release (and an additional two weeks of platform release). The film is currently running an impressive 28 percent ahead of the $108.01 million 24-day take of 2010's Shutter Island.

Disney's Star Wars: The Force Awakens claimed third place with $11.12 million. The seventh chapter of the Star Wars franchise was down just 21 percent from last weekend's deflated performance. This weekend's hold was especially impressive given that The Force Awakens was playing in 809 fewer locations this weekend than it was last weekend. With a record-breaking 45-day gross of $895.76 million, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now just $4.24 million away from becoming the first film ever to reach the $900 million unadjusted domestic mark.

Fellow Disney release The Finest Hours followed closely behind in fourth place with a $10.29 million debut. The 3D action drama starring Chris Pine debuted towards the higher end of its modest expectations, but performed softly with its price tag in mind. The Finest Hours opened 7 percent below the recent $11.05 million debut of In the Heart of the Sea. However, The Finest Hours is likely to hold up significantly better than In the Heart of the Sea did, thanks in part to not opening the weekend before The Force Awakens. The Finest Hours received a healthy A- rating on CinemaScore.

Ride Along 2 rounded out the weekend's top five with $8.43 million. Universal's PG-13 rated comedy sequel starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart was down 32 percent, as the film held up much better this weekend than it did last weekend. Ride Along 2 has grossed $70.86 million in 17 days. That is below expectations and places the film 24 percent behind the $92.70 million 17-day take of 2014's Ride Along (which fell 43.5 percent in its third weekend to gross $12.04 million).

Last weekend's three new wide releases all held up nicely this weekend and all three films remained fairly bunched together. Lionsgate's Dirty Grandpa declined 32 percent to take sixth with $7.59 million; STX Entertainment's The Boy was down just 30 percent to place in seventh with $7.56 million and Sony's The 5th Wave decreased 31 percent to land in eighth place with $7.14 million. Respective ten-day grosses stand at $22.84 million for Dirty Grandpa, at $21.19 million for The Boy and at $20.33 million for The 5th Wave.

Meanwhile, Open Road's Fifty Shades of Black disappointed this weekend with a tenth place start of just $5.90 million. The Marlon Wayans led R-rated comedy debuted below its already scaled back expectations and a very underwhelming 33 percent below the $8.84 million start of 2014's A Haunted House 2. Given the performances of Wayans' more recent films, Fifty Shades of Black is likely to fall off extremely quickly going forward. The film's lackluster C rating on CinemaScore won't do it any favors either.

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By Alex Edghill

Monday Morning Update: After graciously lending the weekly Facebook title to Suicide Squad last time out Deadpool reclaimed the top spot last week. Its total now sits at 2,881,290 likes which is one of the largest pre-release Facebook totals for any recent film. Notable comparisons are The Hunger Games which had 3.2 million, and Guardians Of The Galaxy which has under 1 million on the eve of their releases. I'm curious to see just how its buzz is going to ramp up leading into its release, especially on Twitter. Films such as this with such a vocal fanbase can often have huge prerelease numbers coming into their release week only to see numbers not increase as is normal for the days before opening. This is generally a sign of films which are well received by their core demographics but fail to substantially cross over to additional audiences. This is my main worry about Deadpool. A big test for just how its going to appeal to non-core demographics such as women in general is its expansion Monday through Thursday of next week. I'm definitely a believer in the Merc' With A Mouth but big increases Monday and Tuesday on both Twitter and Facebook would go a long way towards cementing its prospects for breakout which I've been singing for many moons now.

The other standout in the top 10 this past week with that of The Secret Life Of Pets which debuted a new trailer which saw it rise a very strong 215,004 likes. This is especially huge considering that the core demographic here will be family audiences and kids who are generally not mainstays of the movie social media footprints. A sign that it is reaching out to a broader audience which is really good news for the film. This is another strong candidate for a top 10 finish on the year and with numbers like this so far from release its clear to see why. To put just how strong a number this is consider that the official Inside Out Facebook page had a shade over 80,000 likes by the end of January 2015.

Facebook Top 10 Movies by Like Increase for the last week Ending Sunday January 31st

Rank Release Movie Likes Change
1 02/12/16 Deadpool 2,881,290 300,569
2 07/08/16 The Secret Life of Pets 1,346,764 215,004
3 05/20/16 Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising 1,274,484 86,200
4 08/05/16 Suicide Squad 1,577,820 51,269
5 02/12/16 Zoolander 2 1,411,849 46,214
6 02/26/16 Gods of Egypt 137,484 44,167
7 03/11/16 10 Cloverfield Lane 81,282 39,733
8 02/19/16 The Witch 145,348 39,522
9 02/19/16 Risen 154,841 30,967
10 05/20/16 The Angry Birds Movie 226,731 30,816

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PRESS RELEASE

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NEW YORK - Feb. 1, 2016 -- IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) today announced a distribution and marketing partnership, which provides Discovery Communications' (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) flagship network Discovery Channel with 18 months of exclusive paid global television rights for up to 10 IMAX documentary films to be released through the IMAX Original Film Fund (Fund), following the titles' theatrical release across the IMAX institutional theatre network. The alliance marks IMAX's first television distribution agreement for original content.

Under the partnership agreement, Discovery Channel will air IMAX documentaries worldwide following their theatrical IMAX release, and consult on development, production and marketing. The IMAX Original Film Fund was established in 2014 to deliver new educational documentaries for the Company's institutional partners, which include many of the world's most prestigious museums, science centers and aquariums. The Fund will finance an ongoing supply of educational documentaries that push the envelope of traditional documentary filmmaking for a new generation of moviegoers.

"As content is created and consumed across multiple platforms we continue to innovate and look for new ways to maximize the reach of our original films. We are delighted to partner with Discovery to help us achieve this goal," said IMAX CEO Richard L Gelfond. "From content creation and capture to distribution and presentation, IMAX is a diversified company involved in every aspect of the entertainment ecosystem. As today's agreement shows, we will continue to invest in all parts of our business to drive long-term, sustainable growth and bring IMAX to more and more consumers worldwide."

"Discovery is dedicated to nourishing our global audiences with the most compelling and highest-quality content on the planet," said David Zaslav, President & CEO, Discovery Communications. "IMAX is a terrific company and partner, and we are proud to come together to ensure these important documentary films are given, through Discovery's unmatched global distribution platform, the expanded viewership they deserve."

"Both IMAX and Discovery have reinvested in our legacy business of producing family-focused entertainment - a responsibility that we both hold near and dear to our hearts," said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President of IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. "This partnership is the coming together of two pioneering brands in the documentary space to deliver a new breed of IMAX original content to billions of viewers across Discovery's global networks following the initial exclusive IMAX theatrical release."

"This partnership signifies the importance that Discovery is placing on documentary filmmaking that spurs action. Working with IMAX, we can provide audiences multiple global platforms to experience these important stories," stated Rich Ross, Group President, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Science Channel. "We are thrilled to be in business with IMAX to bring socially important films to the world."

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