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By Daniel Garris

Fox's Exodus: Gods and Kings took in $1.97 million on Monday to lead the daily box office for a fourth consecutive day. The pricey Ridley Scott directed biblical epic starring Christian Bale fell 67 percent from Sunday. Exodus: Gods and Kings is performing on the low end of expectations, but is off to a lackluster start nonetheless, especially with its price tag and likely front-loading in mind. The film has grossed $26.09 million in four days. That places Exodus: Gods and Kings 4 percent behind the $27.07 million four-day start of the much less expensive Son of God earlier this year.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 placed in second on Monday with $1.11 million. The third installment of Lionsgate's blockbuster franchise fell 65 percent from Sunday and a healthy 23 percent from last Monday. Mockingjay - Part 1 has grossed $277.99 million through 25 days of release. That makes the film the second highest grossing release of 2014 thus far domestically and places it 22.5 percent behind the $358.82 million 25-day take of last year's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Paramount's Interstellar took third place on Monday with $0.523 million. The Christopher Nolan directed sci-fi film was down 65 percent from Sunday and down only 19.5 percent from last Monday. While Interstellar has been holding up nicely as of late, the film is likely to take a big hit this week from losing IMAX screens to Warner's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Interstellar has grossed $167.28 million after 39 days of wide release.

Fellow Paramount release Top Five followed very closely behind in fourth with $0.518 million. The critically acclaimed comedy starring and directed by Chris Rock was down 66 percent from Sunday. Top Five is performing towards the low end of expectations with a four-day start of $7.41 million. The film 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.

Warner's Horrible Bosses 2 rounded out the day's top five with $0.507 million. The under-performing comedy sequel was down 55 percent from Sunday and down 30 percent from last Monday. The 20-day total for Horrible Bosses 2 stands at just $44.09 million.

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Filmgoers in Boston and Denver will be able to have a more seamless experience in attending AMC Theatres locations using MoviePass. The two companies will begin a pilot partnership called MoviePass Premium in both cities starting in early 2015. It will be available as a limited trial for AMC guests on a first-come, first-served basis. The premium pass will allow AMC patrons to attend up to one screening a day for any film at any time, including IMAX and 3D releases, for $45 a month.

"This is the first time a premium level subscription service has been launched in the U.S. and marks a significant step forward by offering passionate movie lovers the premium sight and sound experiences available in movie theatres," said Stacy Spikes, CEO and Co-Founder of MoviePass. "We believe this premium tier subscription, combined with a new online ticketing feature, will appeal to our largest demographic, 18-34-year-old moviegoers. Our goal is to keep people coming out to the movies again and again."

MoviePass is a subscription service that allows audiences to attend up to one screening a day for a fee of $30 or $35 a month (depending on the area). The company not been able to land a major exhibition partner for their service since their launch in 2011, however, instead relying on a multi-step system in order for viewers to attend screenings. The AMC partnership will allow easier convenience and integration between the subscription service and the exhibitor’s screenings. Moviegoers will also be able to enjoy the traditional MoviePass membership at AMC Theatres for $35 month, without the inclusion of IMAX or 3D films.

"AMC Theatres leads the way in the movie exhibition industry in offering innovations that ‘wow' our customers," said Christina Sternberg, senior vice president of Corporate Strategy and Communications. "This pilot will provide more convenience for our guests, and responds to the preference of many consumers for monthly entertainment subscriptions such as music and magazines, which we believe will increase the frequency of movie going." AMC plans to add more cities to the partnership in 2015 if the pilot program proves to be successful.

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By Alex Edghill

For the second week in a row its been relatively quiet on Facebook in terms of like increases, and just like last week these wacky Minions came out on top by a healthy margin. Their performance has really been remarkable since their first trailer debuted back in early November. Since then they have added close to 1.5 million new likes, bringing their total to over 27.5 million, the largest ever for a non-sequel. Ok so they are a spin off but they are not reusing Despicable Me's Facebook page which means all of its likes were earned by themselves. To put it into perspective, the most liked film franchise of all time on Facebook is Harry Potter with just over 75 million likes - but that has been around since the beginning of Facebook and is about a franchise that spawned 8 movies.  

The rest of the top five was taken up by other big franchises/names who are simply churning out their usual numbers - Insurgent, Cinderella, Furious 7  and Fifty Shades Of Grey. In other words not too much out of the ordinary with their presence here. Perhaps the bigger worry (especially in light of the underwhelming opening of Exodus: Gods And Kings) is that no December releases are in the top 5. The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies,  Unbroken, Into The Woods came in at 7th, 10th and 11th respectively with 57k, 31k and 25k like increases. Considering the lower totals for Unbroken and Into The Woods these increases aren't half bad but I can't help but think that The Hobbit getting just a .4% bump in likes in the week leading up to release is a foreshadowing of it not meeting the opening numbers of the previous two films domestically. The first two made around $1 billion each worldwide so its not like $800-$900 million here would see people out on the streets looking for work but on a year that is so starved for revenue at the box office it seems like nothing is having much upside.

Facebook Top 15 Movies by Like Increase for the Week Ending Sunday December 14th

Rank Release Movie Likes Previous Change % Change
1 07/10/15 Minions 27,544,841 27,297,259 247,582 0.91%
2 03/20/15 The Divergent Series: Insurgent 3,977,215 3,844,580 132,635 3.45%
3 03/13/15 Cinderella (2015) 12,847,704 12,719,730 127,974 1.01%
4 04/03/15 Furious 7 54,129,450 54,011,374 118,076 0.22%
5 02/13/15 Fifty Shades of Grey 6,751,439 6,660,874 90,565 1.36%

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By Daniel Garris

Fox's Exodus: Gods and Kings debuted in first place this weekend with $24.12 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 45 percent below the $43.72 million start of Noah and 6 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 $8.87 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.2 million from late night Thursday shows), increased 4 percent on Saturday to take in $9.25 million and declined 35 percent on Sunday to gross $6.00 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.72 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 weekend with $12.69 million. The third installment of Lionsgate's blockbuster franchise was down a respectable 42 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 $276.88 million. While Mockingjay - Part 1 is displaying slightly stronger holding power than Catching Fire, the film is still running 23 percent behind the massive $357.50 million 24-day gross of Catching Fire.

Paramount's Top Five debuted in fourth place with $6.89 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 $7,043 for the frame. Top Five debuted 21.5 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 $2.52 million on Friday, jumped 14 percent on Saturday to take in $2.88 million and fell 48 percent on Sunday to gross $1.50 million. That gave Top Five an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.74 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 weekend takes of $7.21 million and $6.06 million. Fox's Penguins of Madagascar was down 34 percent from last weekend, while Disney's Big Hero 6 was down a slim 25 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 $185.24 million for Big Hero 6 in 38 days and at an underwhelming $58.75 million for Penguins of Madagascar in 19 days.

Turning towards the platform front, Fox Searchlight's Wild took in $1.53 million from 116 locations. That gave the critically acclaimed drama starring Reese Witherspoon a healthy per-location average of $13,198 for the frame. Wild has grossed a promising $2.40 million in 12 days of platform release.

The Weinstein Company's The Imitation Game continued its slow expansion with $850,262 from 25 locations. The awards season hopeful starring Benedict Cumberbatch generated a strong per-location average of $34,010 for the frame. The 17-day platform total for The Imitation Game stands at $1.97 million.

Elsewhere in platform release, Warner's Inherent Vice debuted with $328,184 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 $65,637 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).

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Armies notched over 14.5 million admissions from more than 15k screens in 37 markets over the weekend. The film finished its overseas debut with $117.6 million. IMAX contributed $6.4 million of that figure from 160 screens, registering a per-screen average of $40k. IMAX screens will jump to 419 next weekend, including 360 in North America.

The new Hobbit film scored the biggest opening weekend of the year in Germany with $19.5 million. The UK posted a $15.1 million debut while France finished the weekend with $14.5 million. Russia was the only other market to post an eight-figure weekend, culminating its opening frame with a $13.4 million bow. Other top markets include Brazil ($6.9M), Mexico ($6.4M), Japan ($2.4M), and New Zealand ($1.8M). Five Armies expands to Italy, Spain, and South Korea on December 17. A Chinese release is slated for January 23.

Exodus: Gods and Kings earned $18.8 million from 6,096 screens across 27 markets. The film claimed the top spot in 13 of those markets, including a $3.2 million debut from 665 screens in South Korea. The film held well in Mexico, where it took $2.2 million from 1,676 screens. Other top holds include Spain ($1.7 million from 643 screens), and Australia ($1.4 million from 516 screens). Several major markets are still left, with dates in Belgium and the Netherlands coming next weekend. Brazil, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom scheduled for later this month. Exodus has grossed $50.1 million overseas and $74.6 million worldwide.

The Hunger Games: Mockingly - Part 1 hit a $334 million overseas cume after taking $16 million from 86 markets over the weekend. Top markets for the film include the United Kingdom ($42.9M), Germany ($32.7M), Australia ($24.8M), France ($22.7M), (Mexico $22.3M), and Brazil ($22.3M). Mockingly Part 1 has grossed $610.7 million worldwide.

Penguins of Madagascar collected $14.7 million from 9,626 screens in 51 markets. The film finished its box office run in China with a $40.6 million cume. The film has grossed a total of $116.7 million overseas and $175.5 million globally ahead of its debut in Mexico and France next weekend.

Interstellar added $11.4 million to its overseas haul after bringing in 1.44 million admissions from nearly 6,200 screens in 62 territories. The sci-fi flick has now grossed $455 million overseas and $621.8 million globally.

Horrible Bosses 2 took the top spot in its Australian debut, grossing $2.2 million from 355 screens (including previews). The comedy finished the weekend with $5.9 million from 50 overseas territories. Horrible Bosses 2 has grossed $32.3 million outside of North America and $75.9 million worldwide.

Big Hero 6 brought in $3.9 million from 32 territories. It is the second biggest Disney release of all time in Russia with $20.1 million, only behind Frozen. Other top markets include Mexico ($15.2M), Malaysia ($5.7M), the Philippines ($4.4M), and Singapore ($3.7M). Big Hero 6 expands to Italy, Spain, Japan, Portugal and Switzerland next weekend. The film has grossed a total of $68.2 million overseas and $253.5 million worldwide.

The Theory of Everything took fourth place in its debut in South Korea, bringing $1.5 million from 280 dates. The biopic finished the weekend with a $1.8 million haul overseas, putting the film’s cume outside of North America at $2.3 million. The film has grossed $19.4 million worldwide.

The Pyramid took $2 million from 1,338 screens across 20 markets to take its overseas total up to $8 million. The film has grossed $10.4 million worldwide.

Gone Girl premiered in Japan with a $1.9 million take from 321 screens. The film has now grossed a total of $180.5 million outside of North America and $345 million worldwide.

Ouija grossed $1.2 million from 12 territories to take its overseas total to $23.4 million. The film has grossed a total of $74.2 million worldwide.

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