By Phil Contrino, Jonathan Papish, and EntGroup Consulting

Avengers: Age of Ultron (复仇者联盟2:奥创纪元) will boost its already impressive global haul with what’s sure to be a healthy tally in China. Early reports indicate that Avengers: Age of Ultron earned nearly $5 million from midnight shows in the Middle Kingdom, which is less than Furious 7 ($8.7 million), but higher than Transformers: Age of Extinction ($3.4 million) and quite remarkable for a work/school night. There’s little doubt that Age of Ultron will shatter the performance of recent Disney/Marvel films in China such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($118.3 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy ($96.1 million). Disney reports that Ultron’s global total is already well past $875 million. 

According to EntGroup’s EFMT Marketing Index, Age of Ultron boasts the strongest awareness and intent to purchase levels of any new release this week. While it will be tough for Age of Ultron to top the record-setting run of Furious 7 (Furious had a clear month with little Hollywood competition, but Tomorrowland comes out on May 26 and San Andreas on June 2), it could end up getting pretty close behind Disney's strong marketing push.

Local titles this week will have to fight for any business left over. Mr. Deng Goes To Washington (旋风九月) is a state-sponsored documentary on Deng Xiaoping's 1979 visit with Jimmy Carter that could garner a fair amount of attention. The Beloved (重生爱人) and Death Trip (夺命旅行) will be going after young crowds, while The Light (永远的守望) will appeal more to families. 12 Citizens (十二公民), an adaptation of Sydney Lumet's classic 12 Angry Men, could connect with adults who aren’t interested in loud summer blockbusters.

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The National Association of Concessionaires (NAC) has announced that Dan Kroeger; President, CEO and Chairman of Gold Medal Products Company has been named the 2015 Mickey Warner Award recipient. Kroeger will be honored on Thursday, July 23 at the NAC Membership Luncheon during The Concession & Hospitality Expo at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati.

The Mickey Warner Award is bestowed upon an individual each year to recognize leadership and significant accomplishments in the non-theatre concession industry by NAC. The award honors the late Mickey Warner, the father of the NAC Concession Manager Certification Program and one of the greatest innovators and educators of the concessions industry.

Dan Kroeger has spent nearly his entire professional career at Gold Medal Products Company, a manufacturer and distributor of concession equipment and supplies. He joined the company in 1979 as an assistant zone sales manager. He held the positions of zone manager, national sales manager and vice president of sales before his promotion to president in 1991. In 2000 he was named president and chief executive officer.

Kroeger has been an active member of NAC for almost 20 years. He was named the prestigious Bert Nathan Memorial Award recipient in 2008. He is only the sixth member of NAC to receive both the Bert Nathan and Mickey Warner honors.

He has served in various NAC leadership positions over the years such as the Al Lapidus Golf Committee, Sponsor of the NAC website, and Gold Sponsor of the NAC Expo, National Sponsor of the Regional Seminar Series, NAC News Advertiser and Platinum Sponsor of the Lapidus Golf event. Kroeger originated the very popular Mentorship Program at the NAC Expo and its predecessor NAC Annual Convention and Trade Show. He has also served the NAC Duffer's Day at ShowEast Golf Tournament committee, securing sponsors and attendees.

Kroeger is extremely active in the industry and in local and regional business. He has served as chairman of the Employers Resource Association, treasurer of the Outdoor Amusement Business Association (OABA), a member of the Trade Show Space Allocation Committee of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), member of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. He is also a past chairman of the Evendale Chamber of Commerce and has been active at the Goering Center for Family and Private Business.

In addition to NAC Mickey Warner and Bert Nathan Awards, Kroeger has received many honors and distinguished service citations. He was named to the People to Know in Manufacturing by the Cincinnati Business Courier. He has also been recognized by the Office of the Secretary of Defense & Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve for, "Contributing to national security and protecting liberty and freedom by supporting employee participation in America's National Guard and Reserve Force." Kroeger has also been inducted into the Tri State Independent Theatre Association Hall of Fame and been bestowed the Outstanding Service Award by the Evendale Chamber of Commerce.

He received his Bachelor's Degree in Business from the University of Cincinnati and continued his education through Executive Programs at both the University of Cincinnati and Syracuse University.

Dan and Janet Kroeger have been married for 40 years in October 2015 and reside in the Cincinnati area. The couple has three children: Andy (Cindy), Tony (Suzy) and Jenny (Victor) and five grandchildren: Luke, Ben, Addy, Anna and Mia (arriving in June).




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By Daniel Garris

Disney's Avengers: Age of Ultron remained in first place this weekend with $77.75 million. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, that represented the second largest second weekend gross of all-time (behind only the $103.05 million second weekend take of 2012's Marvel's The Avengers). However, Avengers: Age of Ultron was down a sharp 59 percent from last weekend. That represented a significantly sharper decline than the 50 percent The Avengers fell in its second weekend and was much more in line with the 58 percent second weekend decline of 2013's Iron Man 3.

This weekend's hold isn't the most encouraging sign going forward for Avengers: Age of Ultron, especially given that last Saturday's performance was deflated by that day's much talked about sports events and that the film will be facing much tougher competition throughout the rest of May than The Avengers did back in 2012. With that said, Avengers: Age of Ultron has already grossed a massive $313.40 million in ten days, which stands as the third largest ten-day start ever (behind only The Avengers and 2008's The Dark Knight). Avengers: Age of Ultron is currently running 16 percent behind the $373.07 million ten-day take of The Avengers and 10 percent ahead of the $284.95 million ten-day gross of Iron Man 3.

Warner's Hot Pursuit debuted in a distant second place with $13.94 million. The comedy from MGM and New Line starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofía Vergara opened below pre-release expectations. The film had hoped to receive an added boost from opening on Mother's Day weekend, but the film's potential was clearly limited by very poor critical reviews and by opening only one week before Universal's highly anticipated Pitch Perfect 2 arrives in theatres. Hot Pursuit debuted 20 percent below the $17.41 million three-day take of 2012's This Means War and essentially on par with the $13.95 million start of 2011's Something Borrowed.

Hot Pursuit opened with $4.19 million on Friday (which included an estimated $450,000 from Thursday evening shows), increased 17 percent on Saturday to gross $4.93 million and declined just 2 percent on Sunday to gross $4.82 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at a strong 3.32 to 1, though the Mother's Day holiday obviously aided that figure. In addition to facing tough competition from Pitch Perfect 2, Hot Pursuit is likely to be hurt by poor word of mouth going forward, as the film received a soft C+ rating on CinemaScore.

It was a fairly close three-way race for third place this weekend between Lionsgate's The Age of Adaline, Universal's Furious 7 and Sony's Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. The Age of Adaline ultimately had the edge for third between the three thanks in part to its Mother's Day performance.

The Age of Adaline took in $5.82 million this weekend. That represented a decline of just 6 percent from last weekend, as holdovers in general were helped out this weekend by last Saturday's deflated grosses, Mother's Day and the limited amount of new competition that entered the marketplace. The Age of Adaline has grossed $31.75 million in 17 days. The romantic drama starring Blake Lively is running 5 percent ahead of the recent $30.29 million 17-day take of The Longest Ride.

Furious 7 placed in fourth with $5.41 million. The sixth installment of the blockbuster action franchise was down a very healthy 19 percent from last weekend. Furious 7 has grossed $338.56 million through 38 days of release. That places the film an exceptional 45 percent ahead of the $233.35 million 38-day take of 2013's Fast & Furious 6.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 followed closely behind in fifth with $5.31 million. The Kevin James led comedy sequel was down a slim 10 percent from last weekend. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 has grossed a solid $58.19 million in 24 days. The film is running 15.5 percent behind the $68.83 million 24-day gross of 2011's Zookeeper.

A24's Ex Machina held up very nicely upon expanding into wider release this weekend. The critically acclaimed Alex Garland directed sci-fi film placed in sixth with $3.51 million. Thanks in part to strong word of mouth and expanding into an additional 725 locations, Ex Machina was up an impressive 54 percent over last weekend. Ex Machina has grossed $15.76 million in 31 days.

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With Mad Max: Fury Road hitting theaters nationwide on Thursday evening, we decided to take a closer look at how some of Hollywood's recent attempts at reinvigorating popular brands have performed on opening weekend. It's hit and miss. Man of Steel is an example of a best-case scenario, while Robocop and Dredd failed to catch on. 

Buzz plays a huge role in any reboot's success or failure. Are fans reacting to the trailers in a positive way? Do critics like it? For Mad Max, the answer is a resounding "yes" on both fronts. Critics, who tend to react to many reboots with snark, are already tripping over each other in order to praise the action flick. 

The success or failure of Mad Max--and we're betting on success for this one--will set the tone for a summer that's full of reboots. Coming up we have Poltergeist (May 22), Jurassic World (June 12), Terminator Genisys (July 1), Vacation (July 29), and The Fantastic Four (August 7).

Domestic Opening Weekends for Reboots | Create infographics


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By Alex Edghill

Monday Morning Update: Occupying what would seem to be its permanent spot Star Wars: The Force Awakens led all films over the past week in Facebook like increases with 209,002. Despite all the hype surrounding Avengers the buzz attributed to Awakens continues to build. More details are slowly surfacing about the film, including set photos, and behind the scenes looks and its fanboys are eating it all up. There is no doubt in my mind this is going to be the biggest opening Star Wars of all time, beating out Episode III's $108 million start but just how high it can go remains to be seen. Holiday releases such as this are characterized moreso by their strong legs and impressive final tallies than their opening weekend clout (December has never had even an $85 million opener) but if ever a film was to defy odds it would be this. Records will tumble in December no doubt, and while Avengers: Age Of Ultron's gaudy $191 million opening should be safely out of reach for The Force Returns I believe it will give it a run for its money when it comes to the overall box office crown.

Pitch Perfect 2 was once again runner-up on the week with a 204,893 jump in likes. With its release just around the corner its marketing efforts are in full stride and with a Facebook-friendly core demographic it has truly excelled in recent weeks.

Magic Mike XXL released a new trailer last week which saw a nice bump of almost 75k new likes so far. Speaking of Facebook-friendly core demographics, this is perfect for the social-media giant and has done very well over the releases of its first couple trailers. With the big expansion of well known actors that the sequel brings and bigger marketing spend this should have no troubles exceeding the impressive $39 million take that the first film took home.

Facebook Top 5 Movies by Like Increase for the last week Ending Sunday May 10th

Rank Release Movie Likes Previous Change % Change
1 12/18/15 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 13,658,032 13,449,030 209,002 1.55%
2 05/15/15 Pitch Perfect 2 5,018,427 4,813,534 204,893 4.26%
3 07/01/15 Magic Mike XXL 1,778,330 1,703,840 74,490 4.37%
4 05/22/15 Poltergeist (2015) 312,553 259,774 52,779 20.32%
5 05/15/15 Mad Max: Fury Road 646,176 596,969 49,207 8.24%

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