By Daniel Garris

Spectre grossed $4.34 million on Thursday to lead the daily box office for a seventh consecutive day. The latest installment of Sony and MGM's James Bond franchise was down 45 percent from Wednesday's Veterans Day performance. Spectre was the week's top film with a solid, but unspectacular seven-day start of $95.30 million. That places Spectre a significant 20.5 percent behind the $119.84 million seven-day start of 2012's Skyfall and 16 percent ahead of the $82.08 million seven-day take of Quantum of Solace.

The Peanuts Movie rounded out its first week of a release with a second place take of $1.53 million. The 3D computer animated adaptation from Fox and Blue Sky declined a sharp 80 percent from Wednesday. The Peanuts Movie placed in second for the week with a healthy seven-day start of $58.29 million. The film is currently running just 4 percent behind the $60.63 million seven-day take of 2012's Wreck-It Ralph and 4 percent ahead of the $55.87 million seven-day start of 2007's Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Fellow Fox release The Martian held steady in third place with $0.673 million. The blockbuster Ridley Scott directed 3D sci-fi film starring Matt Damon was down 55 percent from Wednesday and down 29.5 percent from last Thursday. The Martian took third place for the week with $12.92 million. That was down only 21 percent from the previous frame and brings the film's six-week domestic total to a very impressive $200.68 million.

Disney and DreamWorks' Bridge of Spies was up one spot from Wednesday to move into fourth with $0.546 million. The critically acclaimed Steven Spielberg directed thriller starring Tom Hanks fell 42 percent from Wednesday and 26 percent from last Thursday. Bridge of Spies placed in fifth this week with $8.52 million. The film was down 27 percent from the previous week and has grossed a healthy $57.41 million in four weeks.

On the platform front, Open Road's Spotlight took in $30,157 for the day, while Fox Searchlight's Brooklyn took in $24,799. Both awards seasons hopefuls played in 5 locations yesterday, which gave Spotlight and Brooklyn respective daily per-location averages of $6,031 and $4,960. Spotlight has grossed $446,770 in five days, while Brooklyn has taken in $347,996 in nine days. This weekend Spotlight will be playing in 61 locations and Brooklyn will be playing in 23 locations.

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By Alex Edghill

Friday Morning Update: No surprise that Star Wars: The Force Awakens continued its stranglehold on Twitter over the past week with a massive 526,248 tweets. Things are heating up for the film as its release approaches as this figure is its second highest week tally on the entire year. This upward trend should continue in the coming weeks and I wouldn't be surprised if tops 1 million tweets in a single week the week before release. Only the Twilight franchise has seen those types of numbers leading up to release. $100 million+ on opening weekend is looking more like a probability than a possibility at this point.

Zoolander 2 turned heads over the past week with a couple new posters which were dropped that generated a lot of interest and nostalgia about the first film. It jumped 23 spots to 3rd place with 136,947 tweets, almost a 3000% increase over last week. Its been close to 15 years since the first film debuted and it would appear as though Derek and Hansel still have many fans eager to watch their silly adventures.

Ths rest of the top 5 were largely made up with familiar faces, all of which were in the top 5 last week as well. The most notable was The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 which rose over 100% in its leadup week to release. By comparison, Part 1 had just over 250k tweets the same distance before its release last year.

Twitter Top 5 Movies for the week of November 6th to November 12th

Date Movie Tweets Rank Change
12/18/15 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 526,258 1 (-) 36.95%
11/20/15 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 219,614 2 (+1) 109.72%
2/12/16 Zoolander 2 136,947 3 (+23) 2839.41%
5/27/16 X-Men: Apocalypse 120,984 4 (-2) 12.85%
2/12/16 Deadpool 48,772 5 (-1) -41.59%

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

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Mexican fighter Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (pictured) will face off against Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto on November 21. Fathom will be broadcasting the event to select cinemas across the United States. Photo courtesy of Fathom Events.

by Daniel Loria  

There are moments that are just meant to be seen on the big screen. The score was tied after 118 minutes of a grueling playoff final between soccer archrivals Mexico and the U.S. played on October 10, with the winner set to qualify for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. Two minutes before the end of extra time, Mexican defender Paul Aguilar chased down a ball as it innocently floated inside the U.S. 18-yard box. There was nothing U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan could do as the resulting volley hit the back of the net and broke the hearts of U.S. fans everywhere. There are few things that passionate Mexico fans (such as, for example, the author of this article) could enjoy more on the big screen. Fortunately, those moments promise to become more common in the coming years, not only because of Mexico's on-field dominance against the United States, but also due to the growing adoption of alternative content by North American exhibitors and its embrace by audiences.  

The Mexico-U.S. match was made available live in North America through Fathom Events, the inaugural program in its partnership with Fox Sports 1. Live sport has long been considered the golden goose of alternative content, its overwhelming potential mired in the legal swamp of broadcast rights. "The rights are a minefield, but we're slowly getting it figured out," says Fathom CEO John Rubey. "We've done British Premier League soccer, we've done several events with Floyd Mayweather Jr., the NHL stadium series. You see a lot of audiences coming out for those who want to experience the scale of the cinema together as a family; parents don't want to take their kids to a bar with people smoking and drinking. We can provide an experience where there's scale in a family-friendly environment."  

Fathom's business has grown since spinning out from its previous majority owner, NCM, in late 2013. While NCM still owns a minority share of the company (4%), the majority is split between top exhibitors Regal, AMC, and Cinemark. "In 2013 we had 2 million admissions, in 2014 we had 2.5 million, and we've already blown through 3 million this year with an entire quarter left to go," says Rubey, addressing the rapid rise of alternative content in North America. The pace of growth is in line with the global growth of the business as a whole. The latest IHS report on alternative content (termed "event cinema" in the report) signals a 32.1 percent year-over-year growth in 2014 that resulted in a global gross of $277.2 million. At that pace it will reach $1 billion worldwide by 2019.  

Alternative content found a foothold in North America through arts and culture programming like live opera and theater. In many ways, Fathom's transformation into a market leader can be traced to its fruitful partnership with the Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD series. Already in its 10th season, The MET: Live in HD combines core content (live opera performances) with special features exclusive to cinemas, becoming an experience in itself as opposed to a simple broadcast. "They give you an experience that you can only see in the theater," says Rubey. "It really sets the standard for the live cinema experience."  

Several other companies are following a similar blueprint, approaching alternative content as an event and experience in its own right. Arts Alliance, specializing in arts and culture programming and events with a broader popular appeal, scored a huge hit working with boy band One Direction. Brad Carroll, managing director of North America at Arts Alliance, cites the band's "passionate and engaged fan base" as crucial to the event's success. "Their fans were eager to get to the theater and share an experience with other fans as soon as they were aware the opportunity was available. It did not take a lot of convincing that they wanted to go; they just needed to know it was there."  

Bud Mayo, president of Carmike's Alternative Programming and Distribution division since Digiplex, the circuit he founded, was acquired by the Georgia-based exhibitor last year, has also been busy offering viewers a premium, exclusive event experience at the movies. Carmike has recently paired up with distributor Nehst Out to create DigiNext, a direct-to-consumer movie-release platform that can be a key to the further growth of alternative content in North America. DigiNext will be screening the concert film American Saturday Night: Live from the Grand Ole Opry, a country music show featuring backstage moments for cinema audiences, in select cinemas December 4-10. Mayo points out that these special events are quickly expanding beyond the opera and concert stage. "We are seeing traction with Bollywood and other ethnic product," says Mayo, adding that "anime and faith-based features" are also making an impact. Rubey sees the same trend with Fathom: "Our audience has never been wider or more diverse."  

Gaming is one of those new, surging categories. "We think gaming potentially offers more promise than anything else we're looking at right now," says Rubey. U.K. exhibitor Vue Entertainment took a bold stance in its support of competitive gaming, or eSports as it's come to be known, earlier this year with the opening of a dedicated eSports gaming arena in London's Fulham neighborhood in alliance with GFinity, one of the biggest eSports companies in the world. "Thirty of our sites are committed to showing that content," said Johnny Carr, content manager of Vue, at a panel at CineEurope this summer. Vue partners with gaming companies that already come in with significant sponsorships, like League of Legends-sponsored by Coca-Cola. "We can't just put it on screen and expect people to turn up. We have to give them an incentive to come out of their bedrooms. We have to partner a gaming company; we have to create an event."  

Despite the diversity of product, alternative content at the cinema doesn't have to stray too far from traditional moviegoing fare to find success. Fathom partnered with Fox to present The Night Before our Stars, a special screening event of The Fault in our Stars, on the eve of the film's release in 2014. The event included a live Q&A with stars Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and Nat Wolff, along with author John Green and director Josh Boone, with audiences submitting questions via a Twitter hashtag; performances by artists from the soundtrack; and a commemorative charm bracelet for all those in attendance. The $25 ticket price contributed to at least $5 million in additional box office for Fox, according to Fathom. The company returned to the concept this summer with a similar prerelease event for Disney Pixar's Inside Out.  

Bud Mayo still believes there is room to grow in the immediate future. "Progress is being made with major, well-marketed releases," he explains, citing several high-performing programs, "but theaters have not fully committed to marketing and audience building for smaller, more targeted titles." He considers 2 to 3 percent of admissions in North America to be a realistic benchmark for alternative content, setting the bar on his team at Carmike higher, 4 to 5 percent of admissions, as goals to reach in the coming years. John Rubey echoes that sentiment in his own analysis of what alternative content can mean for the industry. "It's not going to overtake theatrical," he says, "but if you put a good alternative content title on Monday through Thursday, it will likely make more money than all the other auditoriums combined." 

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nov6.pngSony and MGM report that Spectre bagged $7.9 million on Veterans Day Wednesday, bringing its six-day domestic total to $90.96 million. That puts the 24th installment of the James Bond franchise 21 percent behind the pace of 2012's Skyfall and 15 percent ahead of 2008's Quantum of Solace.

Fox and Blue Sky's The Peanuts Movie posted $7.8 million in a close second place yesterday, giving it a healthy $56.8 million total since opening last Friday. That puts the well-received pic just 3 percent off the pace of Wreck-It Ralph.

In third place, The Martian took in another $1.5 million yesterday. In the process, the blockbuster film hit the $200 million domestic threshold.

Goosebumps moved up to fourth place for the holiday with $1.4 million yesterday. Its total now stands at $68.55 million.

Filling out the top five, Bridge of Spies added $0.94 million on Wednesday. Its domestic haul is now $56.9 million.


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Included among the five winners of the 2015 HPA Engineering Excellence Award, sponsored by the NAB Show and being recognized tonight, is Dolby Laboratories, for its Dolby Vision projection system. In recognition of this outstanding achievement, the HPA acknowledged the technical brilliance as follows:

The Dolby VisionTM projector displays high dynamic range (HDR) images with a contrast ratio greater than 1,000,000:1 and projects a color gamut of Rec2020.

"Christie congratulates Dolby on this award, which reflects the close working relationship between Dolby and Christie, culminating in 2014 with the two parties co-designing new, proprietary HDR technology leveraging customized, high-frame-rate (HFR) capable Christie 4K laser projection heads," said Craig Sholder, EVP Business Development and Strategic Planning for Christie.

"Combined with Christie's 6P modular laser light sources, this technology delivers the high-contrast images and ultra-brightness that define Dolby Vision - the visual manifestation of Dolby CinemaTM - a premium cinema offering that combines spectacular image and sound technologies with inspired design to make every visit a completely captivating cinematic event," added Sholder.

The HPA Awards recognizes outstanding achievement in editing, sound, visual effects and color grading for work in television, commercials and feature films. A number of the Special Award winners have been announced previously, including Leon Silverman, recipient of the 2015 HPA Lifetime Achievement Award. ESPN Digital Center 2 will also be recognized with the HPA Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation, and five companies will be honored with Engineering Excellence awards; Canon, Dolby, Panasonic, Quantel and Sony Electronics.

The award will be presented to Dolby at the HPA Awards gala this evening - November 12th, 2015 - at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles, California.


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