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By Daniel Garris

Kung Fu Panda 3 easily led the box office this weekend with $41.28 million. However, the 3D computer animated sequel from Fox and DreamWorks Animation opened below expectations, which had been boosted a bit as a result of strong online pre-sales heading into the weekend. Kung Fu Panda 3 debuted 21 percent below the $52.11 million debut of last year's Home and 13 percent below the $47.66 million opening weekend take of 2011's Kung Fu Panda 2 (which was deflated a bit from opening on a Thursday). Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Kung Fu Panda 3 did register the third largest January debut of all time (behind only American Sniper and Ride Along).

Kung Fu Panda 3 opened with $10.45 million on Friday, was up a strong 74 percent on Saturday to gross $18.16 million and declined 30 percent on Sunday to gross $12.67 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.95 to 1. With no new family films going into wide release during the month of February, Kung Fu Panda 3 will have a strong chance of holding up well going forward. The film's strong A rating on CinemaScore is a good sign for Kung Fu Panda 3 going forward as well.

Fellow Fox release The Revenant placed in a distant second with $12.78 million. The Alejandro González Iñárritu directed western starring Leonardo DiCaprio was down a slim 20 percent, as holdovers in general benefited this weekend from last weekend's grosses being deflated by both Winter Storm Jonas and last Sunday's NFL Conference Championship Games. The Revenant continues to exceed expectations with $138.55 million after 24 days of wide release (and an additional two weeks of platform release). The film is currently running an impressive 28 percent ahead of the $108.01 million 24-day take of 2010's Shutter Island.

Disney's Star Wars: The Force Awakens claimed third place with $11.12 million. The seventh chapter of the Star Wars franchise was down just 21 percent from last weekend's deflated performance. This weekend's hold was especially impressive given that The Force Awakens was playing in 809 fewer locations this weekend than it was last weekend. With a record-breaking 45-day gross of $895.76 million, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now just $4.24 million away from becoming the first film ever to reach the $900 million unadjusted domestic mark.

Fellow Disney release The Finest Hours followed closely behind in fourth place with a $10.29 million debut. The 3D action drama starring Chris Pine debuted towards the higher end of its modest expectations, but performed softly with its price tag in mind. The Finest Hours opened 7 percent below the recent $11.05 million debut of In the Heart of the Sea. However, The Finest Hours is likely to hold up significantly better than In the Heart of the Sea did, thanks in part to not opening the weekend before The Force Awakens. The Finest Hours received a healthy A- rating on CinemaScore.

Ride Along 2 rounded out the weekend's top five with $8.43 million. Universal's PG-13 rated comedy sequel starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart was down 32 percent, as the film held up much better this weekend than it did last weekend. Ride Along 2 has grossed $70.86 million in 17 days. That is below expectations and places the film 24 percent behind the $92.70 million 17-day take of 2014's Ride Along (which fell 43.5 percent in its third weekend to gross $12.04 million).

Last weekend's three new wide releases all held up nicely this weekend and all three films remained fairly bunched together. Lionsgate's Dirty Grandpa declined 32 percent to take sixth with $7.59 million; STX Entertainment's The Boy was down just 30 percent to place in seventh with $7.56 million and Sony's The 5th Wave decreased 31 percent to land in eighth place with $7.14 million. Respective ten-day grosses stand at $22.84 million for Dirty Grandpa, at $21.19 million for The Boy and at $20.33 million for The 5th Wave.

Meanwhile, Open Road's Fifty Shades of Black disappointed this weekend with a tenth place start of just $5.90 million. The Marlon Wayans led R-rated comedy debuted below its already scaled back expectations and a very underwhelming 33 percent below the $8.84 million start of 2014's A Haunted House 2. Given the performances of Wayans' more recent films, Fifty Shades of Black is likely to fall off extremely quickly going forward. The film's lackluster C rating on CinemaScore won't do it any favors either.

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By Alex Edghill

Monday Morning Update: After graciously lending the weekly Facebook title to Suicide Squad last time out Deadpool reclaimed the top spot last week. Its total now sits at 2,881,290 likes which is one of the largest pre-release Facebook totals for any recent film. Notable comparisons are The Hunger Games which had 3.2 million, and Guardians Of The Galaxy which has under 1 million on the eve of their releases. I'm curious to see just how its buzz is going to ramp up leading into its release, especially on Twitter. Films such as this with such a vocal fanbase can often have huge prerelease numbers coming into their release week only to see numbers not increase as is normal for the days before opening. This is generally a sign of films which are well received by their core demographics but fail to substantially cross over to additional audiences. This is my main worry about Deadpool. A big test for just how its going to appeal to non-core demographics such as women in general is its expansion Monday through Thursday of next week. I'm definitely a believer in the Merc' With A Mouth but big increases Monday and Tuesday on both Twitter and Facebook would go a long way towards cementing its prospects for breakout which I've been singing for many moons now.

The other standout in the top 10 this past week with that of The Secret Life Of Pets which debuted a new trailer which saw it rise a very strong 215,004 likes. This is especially huge considering that the core demographic here will be family audiences and kids who are generally not mainstays of the movie social media footprints. A sign that it is reaching out to a broader audience which is really good news for the film. This is another strong candidate for a top 10 finish on the year and with numbers like this so far from release its clear to see why. To put just how strong a number this is consider that the official Inside Out Facebook page had a shade over 80,000 likes by the end of January 2015.

Facebook Top 10 Movies by Like Increase for the last week Ending Sunday January 31st

Rank Release Movie Likes Change
1 02/12/16 Deadpool 2,881,290 300,569
2 07/08/16 The Secret Life of Pets 1,346,764 215,004
3 05/20/16 Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising 1,274,484 86,200
4 08/05/16 Suicide Squad 1,577,820 51,269
5 02/12/16 Zoolander 2 1,411,849 46,214
6 02/26/16 Gods of Egypt 137,484 44,167
7 03/11/16 10 Cloverfield Lane 81,282 39,733
8 02/19/16 The Witch 145,348 39,522
9 02/19/16 Risen 154,841 30,967
10 05/20/16 The Angry Birds Movie 226,731 30,816

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PRESS RELEASE

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NEW YORK - Feb. 1, 2016 -- IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) today announced a distribution and marketing partnership, which provides Discovery Communications' (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) flagship network Discovery Channel with 18 months of exclusive paid global television rights for up to 10 IMAX documentary films to be released through the IMAX Original Film Fund (Fund), following the titles' theatrical release across the IMAX institutional theatre network. The alliance marks IMAX's first television distribution agreement for original content.

Under the partnership agreement, Discovery Channel will air IMAX documentaries worldwide following their theatrical IMAX release, and consult on development, production and marketing. The IMAX Original Film Fund was established in 2014 to deliver new educational documentaries for the Company's institutional partners, which include many of the world's most prestigious museums, science centers and aquariums. The Fund will finance an ongoing supply of educational documentaries that push the envelope of traditional documentary filmmaking for a new generation of moviegoers.

"As content is created and consumed across multiple platforms we continue to innovate and look for new ways to maximize the reach of our original films. We are delighted to partner with Discovery to help us achieve this goal," said IMAX CEO Richard L Gelfond. "From content creation and capture to distribution and presentation, IMAX is a diversified company involved in every aspect of the entertainment ecosystem. As today's agreement shows, we will continue to invest in all parts of our business to drive long-term, sustainable growth and bring IMAX to more and more consumers worldwide."

"Discovery is dedicated to nourishing our global audiences with the most compelling and highest-quality content on the planet," said David Zaslav, President & CEO, Discovery Communications. "IMAX is a terrific company and partner, and we are proud to come together to ensure these important documentary films are given, through Discovery's unmatched global distribution platform, the expanded viewership they deserve."

"Both IMAX and Discovery have reinvested in our legacy business of producing family-focused entertainment - a responsibility that we both hold near and dear to our hearts," said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President of IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. "This partnership is the coming together of two pioneering brands in the documentary space to deliver a new breed of IMAX original content to billions of viewers across Discovery's global networks following the initial exclusive IMAX theatrical release."

"This partnership signifies the importance that Discovery is placing on documentary filmmaking that spurs action. Working with IMAX, we can provide audiences multiple global platforms to experience these important stories," stated Rich Ross, Group President, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Science Channel. "We are thrilled to be in business with IMAX to bring socially important films to the world."

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Kung Fu Panda 3 won the international box office with plus-sized victories in the world’s two largest film industries — the US where it bowed to an estimated $41.0 million and China where it opened to the largest opening weekend for an animated film with $58.3 million. In total, the threequel grabbed $75.7 million from 6 overseas markets.

China’s haul is impressive on paper, but many in the industry had predicted a much larger debut and DreamWorks Animation has been criticized in the local press for its choice of release date. Most Chinese travel home the weekend before the Lunar New Year and parents are too busy preparing for the holiday or visiting relatives to accompany their children to the cinema. Three potential blockbuster local films will open next Monday giving Panda a limited amount of time to run up its numbers.

South Korea opened to $11.4 million while Russia scored $5.1 million in its debut. Most territories will see openings in march.

The Revenant earned $24.3 million on 7,363 screens across 61 overseas markets, lifting its international total to $136.5 million and its worldwide total to $274.8 million. Top territories this weekend were UK/Ireland ($3.3M/$23.5M cume), Germany ($2.7M/$18.8M cume), Mexico ($2.1M/$9.1M cume), Italy ($2.1M/$12.1M cume), and South Korea ($1.4M/$12.7M cume). Openers this weekend include Holland ($1.2M), Belgium ($0.92M), Argentina ($0.9M), Sweden ($0.9M), Poland ($0.4M), Finland ($0.3M), Slovenia ($0.063M), Venezuela ($0.041M), and Lithuania ($0.032M).

Rolling into 6 new markets including Mexico ($1.7M on par with The Maze Runner and Divergent openings) and France ($2.4M on par with The Maze Runner), The 5th Wave grossed $13.0 million in 66 total overseas markets. Top market performances to date include Australia ($4.4M), Brazil ($3.4M), Russia ($3.1M), Germany ($2.8M), Malaysia ($2.3M), Spain ($2.3M), and the Philippines ($1.7M). The YA film has only grossed $45.1 million overseas and $65.3 million worldwide. Italy opens next weekend. 

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip drove off with $12.8 million this frame. China had a 6-day $4.8 million opening. The sequel’s overseas total is $69.5 million and it has grossed $152.7 million worldwide.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens posted an estimated $12.6 million in its seventh weekend of overseas release from all territories worldwide. The film has grossed $83.3 million in Japan where it is the #1 Western release for the 7th consecutive weekend. Other top territories are: UK/Ireland ($176.4M), China ($121.1M), Germany ($106.1M), and France ($86.3M).

Creed grossed an estimated $7.5 million this weekend in 42 markets, bringing the overseas cume to $51.7 million and the global total to $160.4 million. Spain opened in first with $1.6 million while Mexico’s debut outperformed Rocky Balboa by 4% with $1.0 million. 

The Big Short grossed $6.8 million from 57 markets. Strong holdover territories include UK/Ireland ($1.4M/$4.3M cume), South Korea ($683K/$2.3M cume), Spain ($655K, $2.1M cume), Australia ($599K, $3.7M cume), and Venezuela ($510K/$1.5M cume).

Daddy’s Home opened this weekend in first place in Mexico with $2.1 million and in fourth place in Brazil with $767K. The Mark Wahlberg/Will Ferrell comedy grossed $6.4 million from 50 total overseas markets, bringing the international total to $67.6 million and the global tally to $210.6 million. Next week sees an opening in Venezuela. 

Ride Along 2 opened in several new territories this weekend including Sweden ($211K), Norway ($161K), German-Switzerland ($214K), Panama ($150K), and Peru ($127K). The buddy cop’s $5.1 million overseas weekend pushed the early international box office total to $17.8 million and the worldwide box office to $88.6 million. The Netherlands opens next weekend on February 4.

The Danish Girl expanded into 7 overseas markets for $2.7 million total this weekend with Russia ($95K) and New Zealand ($84K) leading the pack. The romantic drama has grossed $24.2 million overseas and $34.5 million worldwide. It opens next weekend in 9 territories including Denmark.

Joy mopped up $2.6 million taking its overseas cume to $39.8 million. Italy opened with $1.3 million on 323 screens. David O. Russell’s film has earned $95.1 million worldwide.

The Peanuts Movie picked up another $2.4 million from 31 holdover markets this weekend. The animation has earned $112.8 million overseas and $242.7 million worldwide. Top markets are UK ($14.3M), Germany ($9.2M), Brazil ($6.7M), and Australia ($5.6M).

Goosebumps pulled in an estimated $2.1 million from 13 total markets this weekend. The overseas total is now $54.7 million and the worldwide gross is $135.8 million. Spain claimed the #2 spot with $1.1 million from 350 screens. Germany, the UK, and France open next weekend.

Films earning less than $2 million overseas this weekend and local language films

The Finest Hours

Overseas Weekend: $1.6M

Overseas Total: $1.6M

Global Total: $11.9M

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Overseas Weekend: $1.5M

Overseas Total: $1.5M

Global Total $44.1M

Point Break

Overseas Weekend: $1.1M

Overseas Total $87.9M

Global Total: $116.2M

Sisters

Overseas Weekend: $0.86M

Overseas Total: $15.1M

Global Total: $101.2M

Room

Overseas Weekend: $0.14M

Overseas Total: $0.41M

Global Total: $10.3M

L’Abbiamo Fatto Grosso (Italy)

Overseas Weekend: $3.8M

 

Overseas Total: $3.8M

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By Daniel Garris

Academy Award nominees for Best Picture, currently in limited release held up very nicely this weekend.

Paramount's The Big Short took in an estimated $3.00 million from 983 locations, for a per-location average of $3,052. The Adam McKay directed Best Picture nominee was down just 6 percent upon playing in 368 fewer locations this weekend than last weekend. In addition to continuing to benefit from awards season buzz and strong word of mouth, The Big Short (and holdovers in general) also benefited this weekend from last weekend's grosses being deflated by both Winter Storm Jonas and last Sunday's NFL Conference Championship Games. The Big Short passed the $60 million mark this weekend and has grossed $60.90 million in 52 days.

Fox Searchlight's Brooklyn took in an estimated $1.72 million from 748 locations, for a per-location average of $2,293. The John Crowley directed Best Picture nominee starring Saoirse Ronan was essentially unchanged from last weekend's performance, when it was playing in 214 more locations. Brooklyn passed the $30 million mark this weekend and has grossed $30.39 million through 87 days of release.

A24's Room grossed an estimated $1.22 million from 795 locations, for a per-location average of $1,532. The Lenny Abrahamson directed Best Picture nominee starring Brie Larson was down a slim 9 percent from last weekend, when it was playing in 67 more locations. Room is now on the verge of surpassing the $10 million mark with an 108-day take of $9.88 million.

Open Road's Spotlight performed similarly with an estimated $1.12 million from 715 locations, for a per-location average of $1,567. The Tom McCarthy directed Best Picture nominee starring Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo was down 12 percent from last weekend, when it was playing in 315 more locations. The 87-day total for Spotlight stands at $34.69 million.

In other Academy Award related box office news, ShortsHD's The 2016 Oscar Nominated Short Films opened with an estimated $505,000 from 112 locations, for a per-location average of $4,509. That was 21 percent stronger than the $416,850 debut of last year's The 2015 Oscar Nominated Short Films from 118 locations. Last year's collection of Academy Award nominated short films went on to gross $2.41 million during its entire domestic run.

Well Go USA's Ip Man 3 remained strong this weekend with an estimated $503,200 from 115 locations, for a per-location average of $4,376. The third installment of the Donnie Yen led martial arts series was down a solid 36 percent from last weekend's debut. Ip Man 3 has grossed $1.62 million in ten days of release. The film has already easily out-grossed the $205,675 total North America gross of 2011's Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster.

45 Years took in an estimated $472,000 from 94 locations, for a per-location average of $5,021. The critically acclaimed drama from IFC Films' Sundance Selects division, starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay was up a terrific 195 percent over last weekend, when the film was playing in 55 fewer locations. 45 Years has grossed $1.25 million in 40 days.

Sony Pictures Classics' The Lady in the Van grossed an estimated $321,972 from 50 locations, for a per-location average of $6,439. The critically acclaimed Nicholas Hytner directed film starring Maggie Smith was up a healthy 84 percent upon expanding into an additional 20 locations this weekend. The Lady in the Van has grossed $743,265 through 17 days (and an additional one-week Oscar qualifying run back in early December).

Also of note this weekend was Rooster Teeth's Lazer Team. The sci-fi action-comedy took in an estimated $114,950 from 35 locations over the weekend, for a per-location average of $3,284. This weekend's performance came on the heels of the film's $1.01 million performance over the Tugg on-demand distribution platform on Wednesday and Thursday. Lazer Team has grossed $1.12 million to date and will receive an expansion next weekend.

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