By Alex Edghill

With big name films such as Minions, Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Returns dominating social media of late it came as a big surprise (to me anyway) that a relative unknown stepped up to the plate yesterday and hit the biggest home run (best goal, ran the fastest lap...insert whatever sport metaphor you want) ever on Twitter. No I'm not making that up, Unfriended had a gargantuan 261,941 tweets yesterday which makes it the most talked about trailer ever on Twitter.

To frame that number a little bit, Fifty Shades Of Grey held the record prior to yesterday with 240,697, the next best to that was Jurassic World with 224,111, then Avengers: Age Of Ultron's 205,739. Now I'm not suggesting that this little film from Universal is going to be a $100 million opener but this number right away cements it as a force to be reckoned with for the horror genre in early 2015. To reiterate, the Saw franchise or the Paranormal Activity franchise never got anywhere close to these numbers for their trailers.

Cyber-bullying has been in the spotlight in local and global media for quite a few years now, and with the coinciding (and alarming) increase in teen-suicides it is quite rightly receiving a lot of focus from young and old alike. Take a film such as this which provides a timely mashup of cyber-bullying, horror, Skype, and the ever popular found-camera-footage genre and it has created a perfect storm of online buzz amongst its target demographic, female-skewing young teens and twenty-somethings. No matter what its box office returns, Unfriended will go down as one of the biggest social media successes of 2015.

Top 5 Trailers by Twitter Buzz

Date Title Release Tweets
01/14/2015 Unfriended 04/17/2015 261,941
07/24/2014 Fifty Shades of Grey 02/13/2015 240,697
11/25/2014 Jurassic World 06/12/2015 224,111
10/22/2014 Avengers: Age of Ultron 05/01/2015 205,739
11/01/2014 Furious 7 04/03/2015 172,059

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masterimage.pngNew Installs Include Famous Empire Leicester Square and New Walthamstow Multiplex

CITY OF WESTMINSTER, LONDON - (January 15, 2015) - Empire Cinemas announced an extended partnership with MasterImage 3D in a commitment to have more light on screen for 3D movies across their most premium venues. MasterImage 3D's diverse line of 3D systems enables Empire to satisfy varying 3D requirements when outfitting their flagship Empire Leicester Square and the new Walthamstow multiplex. This continued partnership allows Empire to standardize on MasterImage 3D recyclable eyewear across all of their theatres.

"Five years ago, we installed our first 3D system with MasterImage 3D, and our customers have thoroughly enjoyed the immersive presentation and sharp 3D images," said Justin Ribbons, CEO of Empire Cinemas. "Whether we are refurbishing The Empire Leicester Square or opening state-of-the-art new theatres like Walthamstow, we look to MasterImage 3D as our 3D partner to outfit our ever-changing needs."

The Empire Leicester Square features a mix of systems which include the dual-projection, DUAL3D, and several WAVE3Ds for smaller screens that benefit from ease-of-installation. As part of Empire's continued refurbishment program, they are outfitting the large-format main auditorium with MasterImage 3D's DUAL3D to play on their immersive IMPACT screen for maximum light-efficiency and a premium experience.

The new-build Walthamstow site features the latest HORIZON3D system and the WAVE3D. The contemporary theatres with wide-screen, auditorium-seating equipped the HORIZON3D for its industry-leading 33% light-efficiency and 0.8 low-throw ratio.

Andre Mort, Technical Director of Empire Cinemas said, "When managing a chain of theatres with a range of needs, we selected a 3D partner that can balance technology quality and system flexibility. A one-size-fits-all approach just won't cut it."

Across all Empire theatres, they provide MasterImage 3D recycled polarized eyewear for quality of 3D experience and to minimize operational challenges of washable glasses from other 3D suppliers.

"When you go see a 3D movie at any Empire theatre, you know that it is going to be a great experience," said Adam MacDonald, European Director of MasterImage 3D. "It is an honor to be the 3D system provider to an organization like Empire Cinema that is so committed to the absolute best in digital cinema."

Empire Cinemas: is the largest independently owned cinema chain in the UK. Currently operating 162 screens in 16 cinemas across the United Kingdom. Empire Cinemas screens everything from mainstream blockbusters to art-house classics in quality cinemas, staffed by individuals who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about film. In 2012, Empire Cinemas opened its doors to 7.6 million customers, showing over 500 different films across its estate. Operating since 2005, Empire Cinemas takes its name from the Empire Leicester Square, the flagship location within the group which celebrates its 117th birthday this year, with the company drawing on a rich heritage of over a century of experience bringing moving pictures to the public.

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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jan9.pngFox reports that Taken 3 grabbed $2.13 million in first place on Wednesday, giving it a six-day domestic haul of $47.04 million. The Liam Neeson franchise three-quel is currently pacing 24 percent behind its predecessor.

Fresh off its Best Picture Oscar nomination this morning, Paramount's Selma took in $0.997 million in second place yesterday. The Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic has earned $16.55 million domestically thus far and is expected to post a strong hold at the upcoming 4-day weekend box office.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies added $0.79 million yesterday, down 45 percent from the same day last week. The Middle-earth finale's domestic gross stands at $238.97 million through 29 days of play.

The Imitation Game posted $0.75 million in fourth place on Wednesday, giving it $42.78 million in all so far. The Alan Turing biopic scored eight Oscar nominations earlier this morning, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director. With a similar theatrical rollout since its late November debut, the film is pacing 23 percent ahead of The King's Speech at the same point in release.

Unbroken was off 42 percent from last Wednesday to $0.74 million yesterday. Its domestic total now stands at $103.7 million.

Just outside the top five, Into the Woods claimed $0.63 million on Wednesday for a 37 percent week-to-week drop. The Disney musical has accumulated $107.1 million to-date.


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With $173 million in the bank globally, The Grand Budapest Hotel is the strongest earner of the eight Best Picture nominees. Yet it's clear that with a promising nationwide expansion coming this weekend--BoxOffice.com predicts $57 million over four days--American Sniper has the most to gain commercially now that the nominations are out. BoxOffice projects that the eight nominees could earn more than $340 million domestically post nods. 

Selma is positioned well since its expansion only started last weekend. The Imitation Game is in the middle of its run, but it could end up doubling its current total thanks not only to the Best Picture nomination but also publicity from Benedict Cumberbatch's Best Actor nod. (The Theory of Everything will benefit in a similar way.) Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel will gain the least theatrically since they are already available on home-viewing platforms.

The eight Best Picture nominees have grossed a combined $209.2 million as of Tuesday. In 2013, the Best Picture nominees had already earned $648.7 million domestic before nominations, and then posted a combined $164 million in domestic gains earned after nominations. 2012 delivered bigger gains with $376.5 million after nominations were announced. The 2012 crop of nominees had $625.6 million in the bank before nomination morning. 

Here are key stats for this year's Best Picture nominees:

American Sniper
Domestic Gross as of 1/12/15: $3.3 million
Projected Final Domestic Gross (by BoxOffice.com): $200 million
Global Gross as of 1/11/15: $14.6 million

Domestic Gross as of 1/12/15:
$26.5 million
Projected Final Domestic Gross: $45 million
Global Gross as of 1/11/15: $34.4 million

Domestic Gross as of 1/12/15:
$24.3 million
Projected Final Domestic Gross: $35 million
Global Gross as of 1/11/15: $45.2 million 

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Domestic Gross as of 1/12/15:
$59.1 million
Projected Final Domestic Gross: $65 million
Global Gross as of 1/11/15: $173.8 million

The Imitation Game
Domestic Gross as of 1/12/15:
$42.0 million
Projected Final Domestic Gross: $80 million
Global Gross as of 1/11/15: $73.1 million 

Domestic Gross as of 1/12/15:
$15.5 million
Projected Final Domestic Gross: $75 million
Global Gross as of 1/11/15: $15.5 million

The Theory of Everything
Domestic Gross as of 1/12/15:
$26.1 million
Projected Final Domestic Gross: $45 million
Global Gross as of 1/11/15: $46.4 million

Domestic Gross as of 1/12/15:
$6.0 million
Projected Final Domestic Gross: $15 million
Global Gross as of 1/11/15: $10.6 million 

Expected Combined Domestic Gains from all 8 films after nominations: $346.4 million


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By Daniel Garris

Fox's Taken 3 grossed $3.29 million on Tuesday to easily lead the daily box office for a fifth straight day. The third installment of the Liam Neeson led franchise was up 36 percent over Monday. Daily percentage increases were especially strong in general on Tuesday due in part to Monday's grosses being deflated a bit by the College Football Playoff National Championship game. Taken 3 has grossed a stronger than expected $44.91 million in five days. That places the film a reasonable 24 percent behind the $58.97 million five-day start of 2012's Taken 2.

Paramount's Selma held steady in second place with $1.16 million. The modestly budgeted Ava DuVernay directed awards season hopeful was up a healthy 46 percent over Monday. Selma has grossed a softer than expected $15.55 million after five days of wide release. The film will likely hold up very nicely over the next week, especially with aid from the upcoming Martin Luther King holiday weekend and strong word of mouth.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies took in $1.00 million to remain in third. The third installment of Warner's The Hobbit trilogy was up 39 percent over Monday and down a sharp 48 percent from last Tuesday. The Battle of the Five Armies has grossed $238.18 million in 28 days and is now running just 2 percent ahead of the $234.20 million 28-day gross of 2012's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

The Imitation Game was up one spot and an impressive 63 percent over Monday to take fourth on Tuesday with $0.987 million. The awards season hopeful from The Weinstein Company continues to display very strong holding power thanks in part to strong word of mouth and continued awards season buzz. The Imitation Game has grossed $42.02 million to date and should continue to hold up very well going forward.

Unbroken was down one spot from Monday to round out Tuesday's top five with $0.941 million. The Angelina Jolie directed war drama from Universal was up a strong 54 percent over Monday and down 43 percent from last Tuesday. Unbroken continues to exceed expectations with $102.96 million in 20 days.

Disney's Into the Woods took in $0.826 million to continue to claim sixth place. The Rob Marshall directed musical increased 39 percent over Monday and was down a very solid 37 percent from last Tuesday. Into the Woods has grossed a healthy $106.49 million through 20 days of release.

In other box office news, Fox's Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb surpassed the $100 million domestic mark yesterday after placing in seventh for the day with $0.447 million. The 26-day total for Secret of the Tomb stands at $100.31 million.

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