feb5.pngSaturday Update
By Shawn Robbins

Fox reports this morning that Kung Fu Panda 3 held onto first place against this weekend's trio of new releases. The well-received animated sequel scored $5.2 million on Friday, down just 50 percent from opening day last week. That brings its domestic tally up to a healthy $53.25 million after eight days of release as it aims to continue cornering the family market through February. BoxOffice is projecting a sophomore frame around $21.5 million.

The Coen Brothers' star-studded Hail, Caesar! opened to an estimated $4.31 million on Friday, including Thursday night's $543,000 launch. Unfortunately, the film proved to be more front-loaded than expected, which will probably result in a weekend finish closer to pre-release expectations. By comparison, The Monuments Men earned over $6.9 million on its opening day with a near identical Thursday night figure of $545,000 included. Although critics have generally approved of the film with a 79 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, early word of mouth among audiences doesn't appear to be nearly as positive judging by the disappointing 51 percent Flixster score this morning. BoxOffice and Universal are both projecting an opening weekend around $11.6 million. Hopefully the pic will find legs after Super Bowl Sunday and in the weeks ahead.

Lionsgate reports that The Choice took in an estimated $2.48 million in third place for its opening day. Unfortunately, that fell 40 percent short of fellow Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Best of Me, which bowed to a $4.1 million opening day in October 2014. While critics have given the film just a 6 percent score, word of mouth is more middling (relative to most romantic drama scores) at 54 percent. The one bit of good news for the film is that it could prove back-loaded as it will aim to benefit from Valentine's date crowds next weekend. For now though, it's looking at an opening weekend around $5.5 million.

The Revenant came in fourth place on Friday with an estimated $2.08 million, off just 35 percent from last week. That brings the 12-time Oscar nominee's domestic total to an excellent $144.7 million and counting. Look for a weekend finish around $6.5 million.

Sony's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies landed in fifth place with its debut yesterday, pulling in a disappointing $2.035 million. The film had been tracking fairly well via social media outlets, but that unfortunately didn't translate to the box office despite the studio hoping to duplicate past teen/young adult-friendly openers on Super Bowl weekend. On the plus side, the film claims the best Flixster score (61 percent) among this weekend's openers despite a poor 41 percent critics' score. Sony is projecting a $5.3 million weekend, although we're a bit more conserative at $5.1 million.

Finally, Star Wars: The Force Awakens officially became the first movie in history to cross the $900 million threshold domestically on Friday with another $1.76 million in its 50th day of release. With a total of $900.8 million in the bank, the all-time domestic box office champion continues to hold strongly in the post-holiday winter season as it eased just 29 percent from last Friday. We're projecting a weekend tally around $6.6 million, which would put it in a close race against The Revenant for third place this weekend.

Updated weekend estimates from the studios will be posted on Sunday morning.

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Friday Update: Sources report that Hail, Caesar! bagged an estimated $543,000 from Thursday night's first shows, a very encouraging start to the weekend that's in line with The Monuments Men's $550,000 Thursday start in 2014. Caesar has the distinction of opening on Super Bowl weekend though, so the comparison isn't completely straight, but the film could net an opening weekend in the $17-20 million range based on last night's performance.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies scored $300,000 last night, a fair start for the film targeting teens and young adults this weekend. That's noticeably behind the $530,000 of Warm Bodies' Thursday launch before Super Bowl weekend three years ago. Look for a weekend around $10-12 million.

Meanwhile, The Choice earned $290,000 last night -- considerably behind the $630,000 of fellow Nicholas Spark adaptation The Longest Ride ($630,000). An opening weekend between $6-9 million looks feasible.

All around, Kung Fu Panda 3 will likely repeat as the top film this weekend, but Hail, Caesar! has a slim outside chance to unseat it should the Coen Brothers film over-perform today and/or Saturday.

BoxOffice will have weekend estimates based on official Friday estimates from the studios on Saturday morning.

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By Daniel Garris

Kung Fu Panda 3 took in $1.32 million on Thursday to lead the daily box office for a seventh straight day. The 3D computer animated sequel from Fox and DreamWorks Animation slid 6 percent from Wednesday. Kung Fu Panda 3 was easily the week's top film with a seven-day start of $48.05 million. That is a bit below expectations and places the film 16.5 percent behind the $57.54 million seven-day take of last year's Hotel Transylvania 2. Kung Fu Panda 3 is widely expected to remain in first place this weekend.

Fellow Fox release The Revenant held steady in second place with $0.926 million. The Alejandro González Iñárritu directed western starring Leonardo DiCaprio declined 3 percent from Wednesday and 39 percent from last Thursday. The Revenant placed in second for the week with $16.83 million. That was down just 25.5 percent from the previous frame and brings the film's total to an impressive $142.60 million through four weeks of wide release (and an additional two weeks of platform release).

Disney's Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed $0.804 million to remain in third. The seventh chapter of the Star Wars franchise was up 1 percent over Wednesday and down 40 percent from last Thursday. With a record-breaking seven-week gross of $899.07 million, The Force Awakens is set to surpass the $900 million domestic mark today, making it the first film ever to do so. Star Wars: The Force Awakens placed in third for the week with $14.43 million, which was down 26 percent from the previous frame.

Fellow Disney release The Finest Hours rounded out its first week of release with a fourth place take of $0.727 million. The 3D action drama starring Chris Pine fell 4 percent from Wednesday. The Finest Hours landed in fourth place this week with a modest seven-day start of $13.67 million. That places the film 10 percent behind the recent $15.14 million seven-day take of In the Heart of the Sea, though going forward The Finest Hours is expected to hold up better than In the Heart of the Sea did.

Lionsgate's Dirty Grandpa rounded out the day's unchanged top five with $0.560 million. The R-rated comedy starring Robert De Niro and Zac Efron fell 5 percent from Wednesday and 41 percent from last Thursday. Dirty Grandpa took sixth place this week with a weekly gross of $10.09 million. The film was down just 34 percent from the previous week and has grossed $25.34 million in two weeks.

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forceawakens5.jpgThe official press release from Disney:

Today, in its 50th day of release, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is expected to cross the $900 million mark at the domestic box office. It is the only film in history to reach this milestone.

In addition, on Saturday (53rd day of global release), Star Wars: The Force Awakens is expected to reach the $2 billion mark worldwide, becoming only the third film ever to do so and just the second to do it in original release.

"This is a historic moment for Star Wars, for Lucasfilm, and for Disney, and all of us here are extremely gratified to be a part of this journey with fans around the world who have made Star Wars: The Force Awakens such an extraordinary success," said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. "The film's achievements are truly astounding, and it's our great honor to relaunch this cinematic galaxy not only for all the devoted decades-long fans but for a new generation who will keep the Star Wars legacy alive for many years to come."

Through February 4, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has earned an estimated $899.1 million domestically and $1,095.6 million internationally for a global total of $1,994.7 million. Opening internationally December 16 and domestically December 18, Star Wars: The Force Awakens posted the all-time biggest global and domestic debuts with $528.9 million and $247.9 million respectively. Over the course of its eight-week run, it has set numerous other records, including:

· Biggest domestic preview gross ($57 million)
· Biggest opening day domestically ($119.1 million)
· Biggest domestic second weekend ($149.2 million)
· Biggest domestic third weekend ($90.2 million)
· Biggest opening week domestically ($390.8 million)
· Biggest opening weekend in 18 territories: U.K. (4-day), Australia, Russia, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Austria, Poland (3-day), Denmark (5-day), Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Ukraine, Iceland, Serbia, New Zealand
· Fastest film to $1B globally (12 days)
· Biggest film of all time in the U.S. and the U.K.

Directed by J.J. Abrams, written by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt, and produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was named one of AFI's top ten films of 2015 and has received five Academy Award nominations, for film editing, visual effects, sound editing, sound mixing, and for series composer John Williams' original score.

The Star Wars Saga continues December 15, 2017, in Star Wars: Episode VIII, picking up in the wake of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Later this year, Rogue One, a new adventure detailing events prior to Star Wars: A New Hope, takes flight on December 16, 2016.

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By Alex Edghill

Friday Morning Update: So in its last week of eligibility for my Twitter Futures column (as it opens next Friday), Deadpool did what it has done so well in recent times: obliterate the competition. Punching in with 326,090 tweets, it easily bested fellow Valentine's Day opener Zoolander 2 which had 84,133. How does Deadpool's numbers stack up with other recent comic adaptations you might be wondering? Guardians Of The Galaxy had 153,414 tweets the same period before its release, Avengers: Age Of Ultron had 325,348 while Kingsman: The Secret Service had just 26,919. What is clear at this point is that the marketing for the film has done an excellent job at leveraging the built-in fanbase of Deadpool and used some very creative Deadpool-esque ways of generating buzz. Those clever tactics have been devoured readily by social media and plays perfectly into some of its core constructs. Namely, offering a quick laugh to generate interest. No other film in recent history, or really ever, has so effectively used memes and mashups to its advantage. Thinking about the Valentine's parody posters, Ryan Reynolds early tweets about the film, the carefully planned irreverent pictures like Deadpool on the toilet or by the fireplace. Whether the film is a huge success at the box office or not, the marketing for this film has built the brand up substantially which will lead to huge merchandising revenue rewards.

Certain films in the past greatly changed social media marketing. When I think back to the first Paranormal Activity, it introduced the whole idea of generating interest for the film by having people vote to see which cities it expanded to on future dates. Was a runaway success. Others include Inception which benefitted greatly from the buzz it received post-release on Twitter and Facebook to help give it some of the most impressive legs of a Summer blockbuster in this century. Unfriended tapped into an exceedingly popular application (Skype) and its usage amongst teens to create a horror frighteningly relatable to a large percentage of that particular target audience. Then we have Deadpool which has leveraged the brand of its main protagonist more effectively that ever by a combination of gorilla marketing and unconventional methods. Deadpool's trailer received loads of buzz yes, but I can think of 10+ other events which also generated substantial upticks in traffic before release. So hats off to those at Fox for their handling of the film, we are very high on its potential here at Box Office and our early predictions have it opening to $76 million over the holiday period.

Zoolander 2 also opens up next weekend and saw a nice increase last week to 84,133. Initially I wasn't so high on its potential but it has turned in strong returns over the last few weeks. Comparisons are tough for this but the best I can think of would be Anchorman 2 which had 55,808 tweets the same period before its release. We are predicting $25 million for it over the long weekend.

Last thing I wanted to mention was Me Before You which debuted its trailer this past week which helped it to move into the top 10 for the first time. Though it wasn't a huge trailer debut (16,498 tweets on Wednesday), considering the stars involved: Emilia Clarke and Sam Claffin, it has a strong chance of snowballing in buzz as its approach nears and has the potential to be this year's Paper Towns.

Date Movie Tweets Rank Change
2/12/16 Deadpool 326,090 1 (-) 17.96%
2/12/16 Zoolander 2 84,133 2 (+3) 72.95%
5/27/16 X-Men: Apocalypse 75,816 3 (-) -11.27%
8/05/16 Suicide Squad 56,330 4 (-2) -56.96%
7/15/16 Ghostbusters (2016) 37,889 5 (+9) 187.39%
6/03/16 Me Before You 35,597 6 (+11) 208.17%
3/25/16 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 34,630 7 (-3) -38.28%
5/06/16 Captain America: Civil War 34,388 8 (-1) -6.95%
3/04/16 Zootopia 26,461 9 (-1) 1.53%
4/01/16 God's Not Dead 2 14,734 10 (+2) 2.35%

Subscribe to BoxOffice for more social media insights/coverage.

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

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jan29wknd.pngKung Fu Panda 3 handily led the field again on Wednesday with $1.4 million, bringing its six-day domestic tally up to $46.7 million. With healthy word of mouth and a strong lack of competition through February, we remain confident that the animated sequel will continue playing strongly for weeks to come.

The Revenant claimed second place yesterday with another $0.955 million. That gives the 12-time Oscar nominee a domestic total of $141.7 million so far as it continues to benefit from strong awards buzz and word of mouth.

Meanwhile, Star Wars: The Force Awakens rounded out the top three with $0.8 million yesterday. The all-time domestic record holder now stands at $898.3 million stateside as it continues rolling toward the $900 million threshold, which it will surpass on Friday.

Last but not least, The Finest Hours added $0.76 million yesterday in fourth place for a new six-day cume of $12.9 million. Fifty Shades of Black sat in tenth place with $0.3 million and a six-day total of $7.0 million.

 

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