Sunday Update: Fox's Exodus: Gods and Kings debuted in first place this weekend with an estimated $24.5 million. While the Ridley Scott directed epic starring Christian Bale did open on the low end of expectations, the film's opening weekend performance left a bit to be desired given the film's price tag and its high profile nature. Compared to recent high-profile biblical epics, Exodus: Gods and Kings debuted 44 percent below the $43.72 million start of Noah and 4 percent below the $25.60 million start of the far less expensive Son of God (neither of which had the advantage of higher priced 3D admissions). Given its December release date Exodus: Gods and Kings will likely hold up better going forward than both Noah and Son of God did. However, the film is also unlikely to display strong holding power given its lackluster critical reviews and the upcoming launch of Warner's highly anticipated The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies on Wednesday.

Exodus: Gods and Kings opened with $8.78 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.2 million from late night Thursday shows), increased 4 percent on Saturday to take in $9.15 million and is estimated to decline 28 percent on Sunday to gross $6.58 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.79 to 1, which isn't the most encouraging early sign. Exodus: Gods and Kings received an underwhelming B- rating on CinemaScore.

After leading the box office with relative ease for three consecutive weeks, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 fell to second this week with an estimated $13.2 million. The third installment of Lionsgate's blockbuster franchise was down a respectable 40 percent from last weekend. In comparison, last year's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire fell 48 percent in its fourth weekend to gross $13.67 million (though it should be noted that The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opened that weekend). The 24-day take for Mockingjay - Part 1 stands at $277.39 million. While Mockingjay - Part 1 is displaying slightly stronger holding power than Catching Fire, the film is still running 22 percent behind the massive $357.50 million 24-day gross of Catching Fire.

Paramount's Top Five debuted in fourth place with an estimated $7.21 million. The critically acclaimed comedy starring and directed by Chris Rock opened towards the lower end of expectations, though it should be reminded that the film's location count likely muted its potential a bit this weekend. Top Five opened in a modest 979 locations, which gave the film a promising per-location average of $7,365 for the frame. Top Five debuted 27 percent ahead of the $5.67 million start of the Chris Rock led I Think I Love My Wife back in 2007. Top Five will hope to see its strong critical reviews transfer into strong word of mouth going forward. Paramount will be expanding the film into additional locations over the next two weeks.

Top Five grossed an estimated $2.52 million on Friday, jumped 14 percent on Saturday to take in $2.89 million and is estimated to fall 38 percent on Sunday to gross $1.80 million. That gives Top Five an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.86 to 1. The film's rating on CinemaScore will be released after the film expands into wider release.

Computer animated films Penguins of Madagascar and Big Hero 6 claimed third and fifth place respectively with estimated weekend takes of $7.3 million and $6.15 million. Fox's Penguins of Madagascar was down 33 percent from last weekend, while Big Hero 6 was down a slim 24 percent. Both films likely got an extra boost this weekend from family audiences who wanted to catch either film before The Battle of the Five Armies, Fox's Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Sony's Annie all enter the marketplace in the next week. Respective total grosses stand at a strong $185.33 million for Big Hero 6 in 38 days and at an underwhelming $58.84 million for Penguins of Madagascar in 19 days.

Turning towards the platform front, Fox Searchlight's Wild took in an estimated $1.55 million from 116 locations. That gave the critically acclaimed drama starring Reese Witherspoon a healthy per-location average of $13,362 for the frame. Wild has grossed a promising $2.42 million in 12 days of platform release.

The Weinstein Company's The Imitation Game continued its slow expansion with an estimated $875,136 from 25 locations. The awards season hopeful starring Benedict Cumberbatch generated a strong per-location average of $35,005 for the frame. The 17-day platform total for The Imitation Game stands at $2.00 million.

Elsewhere in platform release, Warner's Inherent Vice debuted with an estimated $330,000 from 5 locations in New York and Los Angeles. While that gave the Paul Thomas Anderson directed film a very solid per-location average of $66,000 this weekend, it also represented a much slower start out of the gate than the $736,311 5 location launch of 2012's The Master. Inherent Vice may still have more mainstream appeal as it expands than The Master did, but this weekend's start wasn't the most promising initial sign. Anticipation for Inherent Vice has likely been limited somewhat by the film's mixed critical reviews (especially by Anderson's lofty standards).

Saturday Update: Fox's Exodus: Gods and Kings bowed to $8.63 million on Friday, including Thursday's $1.2 million evening gross. Not only does that fall behind Noah's $15.2 million opening day, it also trails the $9.5 million first day take of Son of God (also from Fox).

All things considered, this is a slow start for the estimated $140 million production, although it can be argued that holiday legs and overseas returns still have some potential to help out matters. Unfortunately though, early word of mouth is struggling with a 40 percent Rotten Tomatoes user score and an even weaker 28 percent from critics. Given the slew of competition ahead in the coming weeks, Exodus may struggle to reach $100 million domestically before the end of its run.

This early performance could be indicative of some push-back from faith-based audiences, who were turned away by the controversial Noah flick after a string of other Christian-themed box office hits this year. Notably, the most "Hollywood" of these faith-based films have proven to be the ones dividing audiences.

For Exodus: Gods and Kings' opening weekend, BoxOffice is currently projecting $24.4 million. In fairness, that's not too far below pre-release industry expectations.

In second place yesterday, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 added $3.79 million, off 43 percent from last Friday. The blockbuster's total now stands a hair under $268 million. BoxOffice projects a $12.5 million frame.

Paramount's Top Five started with a solid $2.5 million from 979 locations yesterday. The Chris Rock pic has garnered very positive reviews (89 percent), and early word of mouth (78 percent audience score) suggests the film could be finding an audience as well. BoxOffice projects a $7 million opening weekend. Paramount plans to expand the film over the next two weeks, at which time CinemaScore demographic information will be provided.

Penguins of Madagascar took in $1.57 million to start its third weekend, down 35 percent from last Friday. The toon spin-off's domestic haul now stands at $53.1 million. BoxOffice projects a $7.1 million weekend.

In fifth place, Interstellar added $1.49 million yesterday. Christopher Nolan's film now stands at $162.8 million domestically. BoxOffice projects a $5.4 million weekend.

Meanwhile, The Theory of Everything expanded into semi-wide release in 1,220 locations and pulled $737,000 on Friday. Its current total is $15.36 million. BoxOffice projects a $2.5 million frame.

The Imitation Game moved into 25 locations yesterday and took in $247,000 for a healthy $9,880 per-theater average. The film's total now stands at $1.37 million. BoxOffice projects an $890,000 weekend.

Last but not least, Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice bowed in 5 locations to the tune of $128,000 for a $25,570 per-theater average. That's noticeably behind The Master's $242,127 opening day in 5 theaters two years ago, but generally in line with Birdman's $135,602 first day (4 theaters) back in October. BoxOffice projects a weekend close to $390,000.

Follow BoxOffice on Sunday for official studio weekend estimates.

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Friday Update #1: Sources report (early) that Exodus: Gods and Kings is pacing for an opening day figure around $9 million. If that holds, the Ridley Scott Biblical epic will likely net around $25-26 million this weekend.

Sources also report that Top Five could land around $2.5 million on Friday, possibly more. Based on that trajectory, look for the Chris Rock pic to bow around $7 million for the weekend.

Thursday Gross Report: Sources report that Exodus: Gods and Kings took in an estimated $1.2 million from 2,500 locations on Thursday night.

That gross is slightly behind Noah's $1.6 million Thursday bow earlier this year, a pic which went on to earn a $43.7 million opening weekend. It is, however, in line with Son of God's $1.2 million ($25.6 million opening weekend).

Meanwhile, Top Five brought in $191,324 from 800 locations last night. The ensemble film led by Chris Rock has earned strong reviews and is hoping to expand its audience in the days ahead via word of mouth.

More as it comes.

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By Daniel Garris

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 grossed $1.43 million on Thursday to lead the daily box office for a 21st straight day. With the release of Fox's Exodus: Gods and Kings today, Mockingjay - Part 1 is expected to fall to second place this weekend. The third installment of Lionsgate's blockbuster franchise was up 3 percent from Wednesday and down a solid 38 percent from last Thursday. Mockingjay - Part 1 was the week's top film with a weekly take of $28.07 million. That was down 58 percent from the previous week and brings the film's three-week total to $264.19 million. Mockingjay - Part 1 is running 23 percent behind the $343.83 million 21-day take of last year's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Paramount's Interstellar was up one spot from Wednesday to move into second on Thursday with $0.694 million. The Christopher Nolan directed sci-fi film was up 1 percent over Wednesday and down a healthy 21 percent from last Thursday. Interstellar took fourth place this week with $10.64 million. The film was down 45 percent from last week and has grossed $161.29 million after 35 days of wide release. Interstellar will likely hold up well this weekend, before taking a significant hit from the arrival from Warner's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies on Wednesday.

Warner's Horrible Bosses 2 was down one spot from Wednesday to land in third with $0.688 million. The R-rated comedy sequel fell 5 percent from Wednesday and 35 percent from last Thursday. Horrible Bosses 2 placed in third for the week with $11.49 million. That was down a respectable 43 percent from the previous frame and brings the film's 16-day total to $38.97 million. Horrible Bosses 2 is running a very disappointing 51 percent behind the $79.14 million 16-day take of 2011's Horrible Bosses.

Penguins of Madagascar held steady in fourth with $0.511 million. The 3D computer animated film from Fox and DreamWorks Animation was unchanged from Wednesday and was down just 21.5 percent from last Thursday. Penguins of Madagascar claimed second for the week with $13.05 million. That represented a 54 percent decline from the previous week and brings the film's 16-day total to $51.54 million. The film is running 12 percent behind the $58.76 million 16-day take of 2011's The Muppets.

Fellow 3D computer animated film Big Hero 6 rounded out Thursday's top five with $0.429 million. The successful Disney release was up 6 percent over Wednesday and down a slim 11 percent from last Thursday. Big Hero 6 placed in fifth for the week with $9.76 million. The film was down 53.5 percent from last week and has grossed a strong $179.18 million in 35 days.

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hobbit3.pngThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies took home #1 openings in all of its 17 new markets. The film finished Thursday with $13.7 million from 28 overseas markets and is currently reporting a $26.6 million cume outside of North America.

The film scored the biggest opening of all time for a Warner Bros. release in Russia, hauling in $2.5 million from 2,285 screens. The Brazilian debut accounted for $1.3 million from 1,037 -a figure that goes up to $1.8 million after including previews. Mexico brought in $1.1 million from approximately 2,775 screens -not a bad figure considering the first leg of the country's soccer league final was broadcast on Wednesday night. Five Armies is already tracking 39% higher than Desolation of Smaug in Mexico. The film recorded the biggest opening day of the year in New Zealand with $529k. Eastern Europe rounds out new openings with a collective $1.5 million haul from 9 markets.

Second day results continue to bring good news as well. Germany added another $2.1 million from 1,442 screens to reach a $5.3 million two-day total. France brought in $1.5 million from 914 screens to reach a two-day total of $4.2 million.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in the United Kingdom on Friday and expands to Japan on Saturday.


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movio.pngShowcase Cinemas Becomes First UK cinema Exhibitor To Sign Up for Movio Cinema, Movio's Analytics and Targeted Marketing Software-as-a-Service Solution Integrated with NCR's Cnema Point-of-Sale

London, UK - December 12th, 2014 - Movio, the global leader in marketing data, analysis, insights, and campaign creation and management for theatrical exhibitors and distributors, is proud to announce the signature of Showcase Cinemas UK.

Global exhibitor National Amusements was an early adopter of the Movio Cinema platform in the US, resulting from Movio's agreement with NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) earlier this year.

The extension of this partnership, from the United States to the United Kingdom, demonstrates National Amusements' confidence in the Movio Cinema solution, and its abilities to better understand consumer behaviour and deliver personalised offers to moviegoers through their preferred communication channels.

"We are thrilled to be the first exhibitor in the UK to leverage the extensive capabilities of the Movio platform," says Amber Stepper - Global VP, Marketing & Advertising of National Amusements. "We have seen great insights and optimisations from utilising Movio Cinema for our US circuit, and we are very much looking forward to delivering our UK customers the most timely and relevant offers and communications, based on a data and analytics-centred approach."

As a long-standing leader in exhibition, National Amusements understands what it means to build and maintain customer loyalty over time. Long before CRM and loyalty became popular marketing tools, National Amusements made customer service the primary focus, believing that an extraordinary experience in the theatre is fundamental to success. Technology is now a critical piece of their strategic approach to the entire customer journey.

Sarah Lewthwaite, Strategic Partnerships Director, EMEA at Movio, observes: "As moviegoers are faced with a growing number of choices for how, where and when they watch films, the cinema industry's use of consumer data is becoming increasingly more important. National Amusements UK is on the forefront of using such data and we are thrilled to be working with them to help advance their business."

Companies interested in learning more about Movio's Software-as-a-Service solution can visit .

About National Amusements

Showcase and Showcase Cinema de Lux are owned and operated by National Amusements, Inc., a world leader in the motion picture exhibition industry operating more than 940 screens in the US, UK, Brazil and Argentina. National Amusements delivers a superior entertainment experience under its Showcase, Showcase Cinema de Lux, Multiplex and UCI brands. Based in Massachusetts, National Amusements is a closely held company operating under the third generation of leadership by the Redstone family. National Amusements is also an equal partner in the online ticketing service,, and is the parent company of both Viacom and CBS Corporation.

About Movio

Movio is the global leader in marketing data analysis and campaign management for cinema exhibitors and distributors. A company of Vista Group International Ltd (NZX:VGL), Movio's mission is to revolutionise the way the film industry interacts with moviegoers. Movio maintains real-time, authoritative data on the loyalty activity and transactions of over 26 million customers.
Twitter: @MovioHQ


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