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Sunday Update: Fox's Gone Girl was able to successfully hold off four major newcomers this weekend to remain in first place with an estimated $26.8 million. The critically acclaimed David Fincher directed film starring Ben Affleck held up extremely well this weekend, as it was down just 29 percent from last weekend's already stronger than expected start. Gone Girl is benefiting from strong word of mouth, strong critical reviews and from skewing heavily towards older moviegoers. The film also received an added boost this weekend from expanding into an additional 270 locations. Gone Girl has grossed an impressive $78.28 million through ten days. The film is currently running 70 percent ahead of the $46.02 million ten-day take of 2010's The Social Network and 82 percent ahead of the $43.01 million ten-day gross of 2012's Argo.

Dracula Untold was the weekend's top new release with an estimated second place start of $23.46 million.  Universal's action horror film starring Luke Evans exceeded pre-release expectations and represented a rebound for action horror after the poor performance of I, Frankenstein back in January. The opening weekend performance of Dracula Untold was much more in line with the $25.31 million start of 2012's Underworld Awakening. Coming on the heels of last weekend's stronger than expected performance of Annabelle; audiences are clearly in the mood for horror themed fair at the moment. Universal will hope to ride that wave again later in the month when it releases Ouija on October 24.

Dracula Untold opened with $8.9 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.3 million from late night shows on Thursday), fell a slim 2 percent on Saturday to gross $8.7 million and is estimated to decline 33 percent on Sunday to gross $5.86 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.64 to 1. The film received a very solid A- rating on CinemaScore.

While it had to settle for third place this weekend, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was off to a very solid start of its own with an estimated $19.1 million. The family film from Disney starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner opened in line with expectations. Alexander opened 14 percent below the $22.13 million debut of 2010's Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but going forward could very well display stronger holding power in comparison to Wimpy Kid.

Alexander started out with $5.23 million on Friday, increased a healthy 52 percent on Saturday to take in $7.94 million and is estimated to decline 25 percent on Sunday to gross $5.92 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.65 to 1. Like Dracula Untold, Alexander also received an encouraging A- rating on CinemaScore. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards female moviegoers (54 percent) and towards moviegoers 25 years and under (57 percent). Family audiences made up 67 percent of the film's overall audience.

Fellow new release The Judge debuted in fifth place with an estimated $13.33 million. The Robert Downey Jr. led drama opened towards the lower end of expectations. Despite the drawing power of Downey, potential for The Judge was ultimately limited in part by lackluster critical reviews and in part by the break-out performance of Gone Girl with older moviegoers. On the bright side, The Judge did open 37 percent ahead of the $9.72 million launch of 2009's The Soloist and the film's A- rating on CinemaScore suggests that the film is going over significantly better with moviegoers than it is with critics.

The Judge opened with $4.43 million on Friday, increased 22 percent on Saturday to gross $5.39 million and is estimated to decline 35 percent on Sunday to gross $3.51 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at a solid 3.01 to 1. The audience breakdown for The Judge skewed towards female moviegoers (55 percent) and heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (85 percent).

Fellow Warner Bros. release Annabelle claimed fourth place with an estimated $16.37 million. On the heels of last weekend's stronger than expected start, the low-budget spin-off to The Conjuring was down 56 percent from last weekend. While that was a sizable second weekend decline, it was also still a respectable decline given the film's genre, its strong start and the stronger than anticipated performance of Dracula Untold. Annabelle has grossed an impressive $62.16 million in ten days. That places the film a slim 3 percent ahead of the $60.16 million ten-day start of last year's Insidious Chapter 2 (which fell 66 percent in its second weekend to gross $13.80 million).

In its third weekend of release, Sony's The Equalizer placed in sixth with an estimated $9.73 million. The Denzel Washington led action thriller fell 48 percent from last weekend, as the film continues to be somewhat front-loaded thus far. With that said, The Equalizer is still performing in line with its lofty expectations with a 17-day take of $79.89 million and is still very likely to surpass the $100 million domestic milestone before the end of its run.

Addicted opened in seventh place with an estimated $7.6 million. The low-budget thriller from Lionsgate and Codeblack Films performed reasonably well, especially given that it was only playing in 846 locations this weekend. That gave Addicted a healthy per-location average of $8,983 for the frame. Addicted opened with $3.01 million on Friday, fell 5 percent on Saturday to gross $2.86 million and is estimated to decline 39 percent on Sunday to gross $1.74 million. That gives Addicted an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.53 to 1. Lionsgate will expand the film into additional locations next weekend.

In other box office news, Meet the Mormons grossed $2.44 million from just 317 locations on Friday and Saturday. That gave the documentary an impressive two-day per-location average of $7,633. It should be noted that distributor Purdie Distribution is not releasing an official three-day estimate for the film today. All net proceeds from the film will be given to the American Red Cross.

Saturday Update: Universal reports that Dracula Untold won the Friday box office with an estimated $8.9 million. The first edition of their planned cinematic universe revolving around classic monsters and villains had been selling well in advance of release, blowing past many early expectations for the flick. By comparison, Dracula Untold's opening day alone amounted to more than I, Frankenstein's opening weekend ($8.6 million) earlier this year, as well as topping Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters' $6 million first day. Early word of mouth is fair enough at 62 percent on Flixster, while critics unfortunately haven't taken to the pic (26 percent Rotten Tomatoes). BoxOffice projects a strong $24.9 million opening frame.

Fox reports that Gone Girl nabbed another estimated $8.15 million on Friday, off just 38 percent from opening day one week prior. The David Fincher-Ben Affleck thriller has earned $59.6 million through eight days of release. BoxOffice projects a $26 million sophomore frame in first place.

WB/New Line's Annabelle slid 66 percent from last Friday to $5.24 million yesterday, bringing its eight-day total up to $51 million. BoxOffice projects the film will take in $15 million for its second weekend.

Disney's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day brought in an estimated $5.23 million on opening day yesterday. The Steve Carell-led adaptation bested the opening days of Muppets Most Wanted ($4.7 million) and Blended ($4.4 million). Family fare has been somewhat lacking in the post-summer market, giving Alexander a great opportunity to capitalize. The early Flixster score is a respectable 75 percent, while critics have given it a fresh rating at 64 percent. BoxOffice projects an $18 million opening weekend.

The Judge posted $4.42 million on opening day, topping This Is Where I Leave You's recent $3.9 million first day bow, as well as The Ides of March's $3.4 million Friday three Octobers ago. The film's CinemaScore was an encouraging "A-", and with a 75 percent Flixster score, legs could still be in the film's future thanks to strong adult appeal and Robert Downey, Jr.'s increased star power in recent years. BoxOffice projects $13.2 million for opening weekend.

Meanwhile, Addicted took in $3.0 million on Friday from 846 locations. The pic's Flixster audience score stands at 73 percent this morning, while critics have given it a 20 percent score. BoxOffice projects $7.5 million this weekend.

Opening in platform release this weekend, The Weinstein Company's St. Vincent bagged $30,920 from 4 locations on Friday for a $7,730 per-theater average. BoxOffice projects a weekend close to $100,000.

Check BoxOffice on Sunday morning for official weekend estimates from the studios.

Friday Update: Sources report that Gone Girl and newcomer Dracula Untold are in a tight race for first on Friday. Trending for about $7 million each today, that would give Gone Girl a likely second weekend victory with close to $23 million. The Friday figure for Dracula could land the pic about $19 million.

Meanwhile, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is eyeing a $6 million Friday and $20 million+ weekend.

The Judge is pulling modest business so far. A reported $4 million Friday would send it to approximately $15 million for the weekend. It looks to be in a close race with holdover Annabelle, eyeing $5 million today and $16 million for the weekend.

Addicted may take in around $3 million today for an $8 million frame.

Thursday Night Report: Sources report that Dracula Untold bagged an estimated $1.3 million from 2,133 locations on Thursday night.

By comparison, that more than doubles the $500,000 earned by Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters back in January 2013. That film went on to earn $19.7 million over opening weekend.

If Dracula Untold can hold up well outside the early bird genre fans who turned out last night, a weekend in the mid-to-high teen millions looks very likely at this point.

More as it comes.

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By Daniel Garris

Fox's Gone Girl took in $3.28 million on Thursday to lead the daily box office of a sixth straight day. The critically acclaimed David Fincher directed film starring Ben Affleck was up a slim 1 percent over Wednesday's performance. Gone Girl surpassed the $50 million mark on Thursday and was the week's top film with a stronger than expected seven-day start of $51.48 million. The film has also displayed strong initial holding power throughout the week, which is a good sign for the film as it heads into its second weekend of release.

Annabelle rounded out its first week of release with a second place take of $1.89 million. Warner's low-budget spin-off to The Conjuring was up a very solid 6 percent over Wednesday. Like Gone Girl, Annabelle also exceeded expectations this week with a strong seven-day start of $45.79 million. Annabelle placed in second for the week and is currently running just 1 percent behind the $46.36 million seven-day take of last year's Insidious Chapter 2.

Sony's The Equalizer held steady in third with $1.24 million. The Denzel Washington led action thriller fell a sharp 10 percent from Wednesday, which represented one of the day's poorer daily percentage holds among wide releases. The Equalizer surpassed the $70 million mark yesterday and has grossed a healthy $70.16 million in two weeks. The film placed in third for the week with a weekly take of $24.67 million, which was down 46 percent from the film's opening week performance.

The Maze Runner claimed fourth for the day with $0.689 million. Fox's successful young adult adaptation increased a healthy 11 percent over Wednesday. The Maze Runner edged out The Boxtrolls for fourth place this week with a weekly take of $14.42 million. The film was down just 33 percent from the previous frame and has grossed a strong $76.34 million in three weeks of release.

The Boxtrolls rounded out the day's unchanged top five with $0.548 million. The stop motion animated film from Focus and Laika was up 8 percent over Wednesday. The Boxtrolls placed in fifth for the week with $14.24 million. That was down a slim 29 percent from last week and brings the film's two-week total to $34.36 million. Like 2009's Coraline and 2012's ParaNorman before it, The Boxtrolls is displaying strong holding power thus far.

Freestyle's Left Behind took sixth place with $0.376 million. The faith based thriller remake starring Nicolas Cage was up 1 percent over Wednesday. Left Behind placed in sixth for the week with a seven-day start of $8.01 million. The film continues to perform towards the lower end of its modest pre-release expectations.

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By Alex Edghill

Friday Morning Update: Our top performer for all upcoming films over the last week was none other than Ouija as it accounted for 97,673 tweets. The comparison on my mind here is of course Annabelle which had just 59,310 tweets the same week before its release. Of course because Annabelle was such a success it has driven more traffic to Ouija no doubt as thrill-seekers are looking for more screams but however you slice it the numbers it has been posting are massive for a non-franchise film.

Of this upcoming weekend's films The Judge was the cream of the crop as it came in in second place with 80,146 tweets, beating out Dracula Untold (49,338), Addicted (27,523) and Alexander (24,491). For our weekend predictions be sure to check out this week's forecast column.

Two December tentpoles began to flex their muscle on the week in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies and Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb. They are still a long ways away but having them pop up in the top 15 without having a specific trailer release is always good news. The year has not been kind to film in general, especially to the Summer franchise tent poles (I'm looking at you Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Transformers: Age Of Extinction) so studio execs will be praying that the Christmas entries do exceptionally well to backfill.

Twitter Top 20 Movies for the week of October 3rd to October 9th

Date Movie Tweets Rank Peak Change
10/24/14 Ouija 96,673 1 (+2) 1 22.14%
10/10/14 The Judge 80,146 2 (+7) 2 301.49%
10/10/14 Dracula Untold 49,338 3 (+7) 3 189.87%
11/21/14 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 41,961 4 (-2) 1 -52.14%
10/10/14 Addicted 27,523 5 (+8) 5 127.44%
10/10/14 Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day 24,991 6 (+1) 6 17.02%
10/17/14 The Best Of Me 22,099 7 (+5) 7 50.28%
12/19/14 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb 21,774 8 (+36) 8 3265.38%
11/07/14 Interstellar 20,255 9 (-3) 6 -47.17%
5/01/15 Avengers: Age of Ultron 19,816 10 (-2) 8 -5.01%
10/31/14 Before I Go To Sleep 18,387 11 (-) 9 22.91%
1/09/15 Taken 3 15,809 12 (-7) 5 -69.43%
12/17/14 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 12,523 13 (+20) 13 437.24%
12/25/14 Into The Woods 10,916 14 (+4) 12 78.54%
10/17/14 The Book of Life (2014) 8,784 15 (+21) 15 367.48%

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

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Liberty, MO -- B&B Theatres is pleased to announce the acquisition of Dickinson Theatres, a Midwest theatre chain with fifteen locations and 169 screens across seven states. The combined company will retain the B&B Theatres name and brand and has now become the 9th largest theatre chain in America, with 50 locations and 408 screens across eight states.

Bob Bagby, President of B&B Theatres said "We are celebrating 90 years in business and are excited to have acquired these large properties. Many of these locations are in markets in which we are already prevalent. We are excited to grow our footprint, especially in our hometown of Kansas City where we now have eleven locations."

Upgrades and Remodels
Plans are underway to remodel several locations to upgraded luxury seating, B&B's signature full-service Marquee Bar, self-serve soda, butter, and candy, new point-of-sale software, and upgrades to the largest auditoriums to impressive Premium Large Format B&B Grand Screens®. The new locations will also soon afford patrons exclusive access to B&B's Backstage Pass loyalty program.

Dickinson Theatres
Dickinson Theatres is a Kansas City based company founded by Glen W. Dickinson in 1920. Ron Horton, President of the Company at the time of the sale, said "I am happy that a local Kansas City company purchased Dickinson as it ensures that several of my key employees will retain their jobs. Bob and I have discussed a possible deal for several years and I wish everyone at B&B much success." Elmer Bills, Chairman of B&B Theatres, said, "I worked with several members of the Dickinson family over the years on Show-A-Rama and other industry committees and they were always a well-respected family and company. My wife Amy and I are honored to have their theatres join our family of theatres."

B&B Theatres
B&B Theatres has been family owned and operated since 1924 when Elmer Bills Sr. opened a movie house in Salisbury, Missouri where the future Mrs. Bills played the piano for silent movies. During the company's 90 years, and four generations of family involvement, it has seen the coming of sound, color, Technicolor, stadium seating, multiplexes, digital cinema, dine-in theatres, and now luxury seating. With the additional Dickinson screens, B&B Theatres now operates 408 screens in Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. B&B Theatres corporate office is in Liberty, Missouri, and the company has an additional marketing office in Los Angeles, California. B&B Theatres will continue to focus on growth and expansion with the construction of additional new theatres throughout the United States. In 2014 B&B purchased six KC drive-in
screens, added luxury recliners to Wildwood, MO, Harrisonville, MO and Junction City, KS. Plans for 2015 include a new 12-screen theatre in Wentzville, MO and a 9-screen theatre in McComb, MS. B&B Theatres also has plans to replace its Liberty Cinema 12 and office with a new flagship location and corporate offices.

 

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masterimage.pngAsserts Patents Replicate Pre-Existing Techniques

LOS ANGELES, CA - (October 9, 2014) - MasterImage 3D, a worldwide leader in 3D display technologies for digital cinema, challenged the validity of four of RealD's 3D polarization patents by filing five petitions for Inter Partes Review (IPR) with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. MasterImage 3D asserts that RealD's patents claim to have invented techniques that have been well-known for decades and should never have been granted.

MasterImage 3D pursued the IPR as a faster legal resolution than the patent lawsuit filed by RealD against MasterImage 3D. In the opinion of MasterImage 3D, RealD's improper patent protection stalls competition in the 3D business. A correction would encourage innovation in 3D technology to the benefit of both moviegoers and the exhibition industry.

"Per the expert guidance of Matthew Brennesholtz, an independent cinema technology consultant and holder of 23 patents, there is a broad history of prior art techniques to increase the output of digital projection," said Michael Karagosian, principal at MKPE Consulting. "Much of what RealD accomplishes and claims ownership to was previously documented in prior patents and technical literature. It seems clear this prior art invalidates many of their patent claims."

MasterImage 3D's Patent Office challenge diminishes RealD's patent infringement lawsuit filed against MasterImage 3D's new cinema system, HORIZON3D. The HORIZON3D inventive approach utilizes a three-beam, polarization-recovery technology. The HORIZON3D's optical configuration achieves industry-leading brightness (as high as 33% light efficiency), high contrast and clarity, and satisfies contemporary auditorium designs that have very wide-screens with immersive stadium seating (as low as 0.8 throw ratios).

MasterImage 3D has already successfully challenged the validity of RealD's utility model patents in China and Russia for lacking novelty and inventiveness. The company continues to compete with RealD for 3D cinema presentation in every market around the world.

MasterImage 3D, Inc: Leader in optical 3D solutions for cinema and mobile devices. With over 7,000 3D cinema systems in over 70 countries, their technology offers the brightest, sharpest 3D experience with a proven ownership pricing model. Commercializing 3D across multiple platforms, MasterImage 3D invented, patented and mass-produced leading solutions for auto-stereoscopic 3D on smartphones and tablets. Privately held; headquartered in Los Angeles with regional offices in the UK, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Brazil.

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