2015q1.pngBy Shawn Robbins

With March behind us, the first quarter of 2015 officially rang up a hearty $2.47 billion at the domestic box office -- slightly improving 3 percent over 2014. This also marks the third best yearly start on record, landing behind 2010 ($2.64 billion) and 2012 ($2.59 billion).

Driving much of 2015's early success were unexpected smash hits -- most obviously American Sniper, which has earned $344 million since its wide release in January. Officially considered a 2014 film due to its limited opening on Christmas Day, Sniper stands as that year's highest grossing movie (the first non-franchise film to do "win a year" since 1998's Saving Private Ryan).

February delivered its share of surprises, too. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water has claimed over $160 million to-date, while Kingsman: The Secret Service stands at $120 million through yesterday -- impressive hauls for films that weren't generally expected to top $100 million or much more. Of course, the reigning champion of 2015 (for now) remains Fifty Shades of Grey with just over $165 million in the bank. The adaptation lived up to its pre-release box office hype by generating a February record $85.2 million opening weekend.

Other notable hits include Cinderella, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, Taken 3, and last weekend's expectation-shattering debut from Home.

As is usual this time of year, several 2014 holdovers also performed well during the post-holiday/awards season. The Imitation Game and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ranked among the first quarter's top ten calendar grosses.

Unfortunately, March itself couldn't keep up the pace as it generated a relatively lackluster $703.1 million -- down nearly 13 percent from last year and marking the weakest March market since 2011's $682.1 million. Over the last ten years, last month ranks in the middle of the pack.

This year has proven a few things: family flicks are hot during the "slower" months of the year (as already evidenced by last year's LEGO Movie, among other), and the hits seem to hit bigger while the misses miss a little harder. Key releases that just couldn't land their marks over the past three months were Mortdecai ($7.7 million), Blackhat ($7.9 million), and Unfinished Business ($10.2 million)... just to name a few.

Things should begin turning around again quickly, though. Furious 7 is aiming to claim the best April opening of all-time (set by last year's Captain America: The Winter Soldier) with its imminent debut over Good Friday/Easter weekend. And of course, one of the most anticipated sequels in a very long time drops exactly one month from today when Avengers: Age of Ultron begins its inevitable box office dominance.

The year has only just begun.

Movie / Release Date / 2015 Gross

1. American Sniper / December 25 (limited) / $344.2 million
1. Fifty Shades of Grey / February 13 / $165.1 million
3. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water / February 6 / $160.4 million
4. Cinderella / March 13 / $153.3 million
5. Kingsman: The Secret Service / February 13 / $120 million
6. The Divergent Series: Insurgent / March 20 / $89.7 million
7. Taken 3 / January 9 / $89 million
8. Paddington / January 16 / $74.8 million
9. The Imitation Game / November 28 / $70.6 million
10. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies / December 17 / $65.6 million
11. The Wedding Ringer / January 16 / $64.4 million
12. Into the Woods / December 25 / $63.8 million
13. Home / March 27 / $60.3 million
14. Unbroken / December 25 / $53.1 million
15. Focus / February 27 / $52 million 

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mar27.png

By Daniel Garris

Home grossed $4.60 million on Tuesday to lead the daily box office for a fifth consecutive day. The 3D computer animated film from Fox and DreamWorks Animation featuring the voices of Jim Parsons and Rihanna was up a very solid 28 percent over Monday. Home surpassed the $60 million mark yesterday and has grossed a significantly stronger than expected $60.32 million in five days. The film is running 62 percent stronger than the $37.24 million five-day start of last year's Mr. Peabody & Sherman and 14 percent stronger than the $52.87 million five-day take of 2013's The Croods.

Warner's Get Hard held steady in second place with $3.04 million. The R-rated comedy starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart increased 17 percent over Monday's performance. Get Hard continues to perform towards the higher end of pre-release expectations with a healthy five-day take of $39.43 million. The film is running 53 percent ahead of the $25.75 million five-day start of this year's The Wedding Ringer and 13 percent behind the $45.29 million five-day take of 2010's The Other Guys.

Lionsgate's The Divergent Series: Insurgent took in $2.17 million to remain in third. The second installment of the young adult series starring Shailene Woodley was up 30 percent over Monday and down 42 percent from last Tuesday. Insurgent has grossed a very solid $89.69 million through twelve days of release. That places the film 8.5 percent behind the $97.98 million twelve-day gross of last year's Divergent.

Cinderella continued to claim fourth place with $2.12 million. Disney's blockbuster fairy tale adaptation was up a healthy 34 percent over Monday and down just 30 percent from last Tuesday. With a 19-day gross of $153.25 million, Cinderella is running 9 percent behind the $168.13 million 19-day take of last year's Maleficent.

It Follows rounded out the day's unchanged top five with $0.406 million. The critically acclaimed horror thriller from RADiUS-TWC was up 11 percent over Monday, which represented the day's smallest daily percentage increase among wide releases. It Follows has grossed $5.32 million to date and will hope to hold up well going forward with the aid of strong word of mouth and critical reviews.

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furious7longrange.pngLOS ANGELES - April 1, 2015 - According to Fandango, the nation's leading moviegoer destination, "Furious 7" is tearing up the record books with the biggest pre-sales for any April release in Fandango history. The highly-anticipated seventh installment in the "Fast and Furious" franchise tops Fandango's Fanticipation movie buzz indicator this week with a smashing 98 out of 100 points -- and is pacing significantly ahead of April 2014's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" at the same point in that film's ticket sales cycle on Fandango. It also represents more than 80% of all Fandango sales this weekend.

"'Furious 7' is leaving the competition in the dust with the hottest ticket sales we've ever seen for an April release," says Fandango Chief Correspondent Dave Karger. "‘Furious 7' is firing on all cylinders. With its exciting, diverse cast and insane action set-pieces - which somehow manage to top the over-the-top stunts from the last ‘Fast and Furious' movie - it's currently pacing to crush the record for the biggest April opening ever."

According to a Fandango survey of more than 1,000 "Furious 7" moviegoers:
· 96% identify themselves as fans of the "Fast and Furious" franchise;

· 95% have been looking forward to the film's over-the-top stunts;

· 89% have seen at least one of the "Fast and Furious" films on the big screen;

· 83% will see the film on opening weekend;

· 67% picked Jason Statham as the new cast member they most wanted to see;

· 65% follow "Furious 7" on social media.


On Fandango's movie recommendation show, "Weekend Ticket," Karger breaks down this weekend's new releases and interviews "Furious 7" stars Michelle Rodriguez and Chris ‘Ludacris' Bridges. The full episode can be found at http://www.fandango.com/WeekendTicket. Fandango Movieclips has put together an epic car mash-up as a tribute to the "Fast and Furious" franchise at http://www.fandango.com/movie-trailer/epiccarmashup-trailer/172963?autoplay=true&mpxId=2661054668.

About Fandango's Fanticipation
Known for having its finger on the pulse of moviegoers, Fandango's movie buzz indicator, Fanticipation, provides statistical insight into the movies fans are planning to see in a given weekend. Fanticipation scores (based on a 1 to 100-point scale) are calculated via an algorithm of Fandango's advance ticket sales, website and mobile traffic, and social media engagement. Fanticipation is not intended as a forecast of the weekend box office; it is a snapshot of movie fan sentiment.

 

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movieticketscom.pngAdvance Ticket Sales via Mobiles Devices Up 38%

MovieTickets.com, a leading global provider of remote movie ticketing, announced today that the number of tickets sold by the company in the first quarter of 2015 were up 29% when compared to the same time period in 2014. Additionally, MovieTicekts.com reports that tickets purchased on mobile devices were up 38% this in Q1 of 2015 when compared to Q1 of 2014.

This growth over the past three months was led by advance ticket sales on American Sniper, Fifty Shades of Grey, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, and Furious 7 which comes to theaters this weekend.

· Advance domestic ticket sales of Furious 7 via MovieTickets.com are currently 31% ahead of ticket sales the company had for Fast & Furious 6 at the same point in each film's sales cycle. Furious 7 is also trending #1 for MovieTickets.com with 50% of all tickets sold in the last 24 hours being from moviegoers wanting to see the seventh film in the franchise.


· Internationally, advance ticket sales of Fast & Furious 7 via MovieTickets.com are over two times greater than the company's ticket sales for Fast & Furious 6 when compared at the same point each film's sales cycle leading up to each respective territory's opening date.


For the most current data, be sure to check the company website's "Trending Now" feature found at www.movietickets.com. You can also follow the company on Twitter for updates as well: @MovieTickets.

About MovieTickets.com
MovieTickets.com is the leader in advance movie ticketing with 240 theater chains, representing over 28,000 screens worldwide in its group, offering moviegoers a quick and convenient way to purchase tickets online, via mobile devices and at 877-789-MOVIE. The company currently enables remote ticketing for consumers across 21 countries/territories including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Argentina, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean. Fans can stay connected with MovieTickets.com through Facebook (facebook.com/MovieTicketscom), Twitter (twitter.com/movietickets) and YouTube (youtube.com/MovieTicketsTrailers).

 

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imax.pngIMAX to Debut New Laser Projection Technology at Furious 7 Worldwide Premiere Event

LOS ANGELES - April 1, 2015 - IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX) and Universal Pictures, a division of Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) today announced that Furious 7 will receive the widest-ever IMAX release globally. The film begins its global launch on Wednesday, April 1, before rolling out domestically and in the majority of overseas markets on April 3. Throughout its global run, Furious 7 will screen at more than 800 IMAX® theatres, including approximately 445 international and 365 domestic IMAX locations.

Additionally, IMAX will be launching its revolutionary new laser projection system at the Furious 7 global premiere event to be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Los Angeles. This marks IMAX's U.S. debut of the new technology as well as the first film ever to receive a global premiere with laser projection. IMAX has undertaken a significant R&D investment to develop its next-generation projection and sound system, which incorporates the laser digital intellectual property IMAX exclusively licensed from Eastman Kodak and Barco's unique laser innovations. IMAX with laser represents a quantum leap forward in cinema technology - providing audiences with the sharpest, brightest, clearest and most vivid digital images ever, combined with a whole new level of immersive audio.
"Not only are we excited to be releasing Furious 7 globally in record-setting fashion, we are delighted to be partnering with Universal Pictures on the first-ever movie premiere event screened with laser," said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. "As the most action-packed Fast and Furious installment yet, Furious 7 deserves to be seen in the most awe-inspiring and intense way possible across IMAX screens worldwide."

The IMAX® release of Furious 7 will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX's customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

About IMAX Corporation
IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you've never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX's network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.

IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. As of Dec. 31, 2014, there were 934 IMAX theatres (809 commercial multiplexes, 19 commercial destinations and 106 institutions) in 62 countries.

IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience®, The IMAX Experience® and IMAX Is Believing® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).

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