erik lundegaard

Movies - Box Office posts

Sunday March 01, 2015

Box Office: Moviegoers Not Conned (Much) By 'Focus'

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Focus

Smith's movie career is lacking focus.

Here’s how Will Smith’s mass-release (3,000+ theaters) openers have done since 2007: 

Year Title Opening BO Thtrs
2007 I Am Legend $77,211,321 3,606
2008 Hancock $62,603,879 3,965
2012 MIB 3 $54,592,779 4,248
2013 After Earth $27,520,040 3,401
2015 Focus $19,100,000 3,323

Remember the joke that kept Eddie Murphy off “SNL” for 20 years? Like that.

Even so, “Focus” won the weekend with $19.1, followed by the third weekend of “Kingsman” at $11.7, the fourth weekend of “SpongeBob” at $11.2, and the third weekend of “Fifty Shades” at $10.9. The opening weekend of “The Lazarus Effect” was in fifth place with $10.6. 

“Fifty Shades” has plunged, boy. It dropped 50 percent on top of the near-record 72 percent drop the week before. It’s the highest-grossing movie of the year so far (at $147) but looks like it’ll have trouble even doubling its opening weekend total of $85. There’s a sexual metaphor here I’ll ignore out of politeness.

A lot of movies—most Oscar winners—increased theater count, including “Birdman” (+806) and “Still Alice (+553); but the oddest increase came from Paramount, whose “Hot Tub Time Machine 2” died in its debut last weekend, receiving abysmal reviews (15% RT) and garnering abysmal box office ($5.9, seventh place). So what does Paramount do? Adds 21 theaters. Result? Movie drops 59.8 percent to 10th place. Ad wizards.

Meanwhile, “American Sniper” keeps on. It dropped only 23.4 percent for another $7.7 million. It’s now grossed $331.1 million. Next weekend it looks set to surpass “Mockingjay–Part 1” ($336.7) as the highest-grossing film of 2014.

Weekend numbers here

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Posted at 11:12 AM on Mar 01, 2015 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday February 22, 2015

Box Office: 'Fifty Shades' Goes Down

Fifty Shades of Grey

Three new movies opened this weekend, grossing $11 million (“McFarland, USA”—nice '70s-era title), $11 million (“The DUFF”), and $5.8 million (“Hot Tub Time Machine 2”). The less said about this last the better, other than the usual “ad wizards” talk. Was any sequel less wanted? Clamored for nowhere?

As a result, the top three spots remained unchanged: 1) “Fifty Shades of Grey” with $23 (down 72.7%), 2) “Kingsman” at $17 (down 51%) and 3) “SpongeBob” at $15 (down 50%).

That 72.7% second-weekend drop for “Fifty Shades,” btw, is the 39th-biggest drop ever. If you discount movies that opened in fewer than 2,000 theaters, it's the 11th-biggest drop ever. For movies in more than 3,000 theaters? Tied for second worst. Only the 2009 “Friday the 13th” remake dropped faster (80.4%). The aptly named “Doom,” from 2005, dropped at the same rate as “Fifty Shades,” and it had the aptly named “Rock” to accompany its fall. Apparently we're done with Mr. Grey now. It was all over so fast, wasn't it?

Among the Oscar nominees, “American Sniper” grossed another $9.6 for a $319 domestic gross and a $406 worldwide gross, while “The Imitation Game” pulled in $2.5 for $83 domestic gross and $160 worldwide. More on Oscar box office in a moment. 

As for what should win the box-office headline sweepstakes this weekend?

  • “Fifty Shades” Goes Down
  • “Fifty Shades” Drops To Its Knees
  • “Fifty Shades” Shoots Wad
  • You Won't See Mr. Grey Now

You have my pick. 

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Posted at 09:39 AM on Feb 22, 2015 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday February 15, 2015

Box Office: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Earns 81 Million in Green

Fifty Shades of Grey

Money shot.

Remind me never to become the head of a movie studio.

I assumed nothing much would happen with Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” and it blew away all competition. This weekend, on only its 31st day of wide release, it earned another $16 million to pass the $300 million mark. The current No. 1 movie of 2014, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1,” took 36 days to reach that mark, so unless “Sniper” stumbles badly near the finish, it will soon take over that mantle. I’m guessing before the end of the month.

I also assumed “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the movie based upon the scandalous (or scandalously written) novel, wouldn’t do much business. Soft porn is all well and fine when it’s on your Kindle, but showing up in theaters for it? I could imagine the movie bombing after all that hype. 

Instead, it’s grossed $81 million over three days, which is the second-highest-grossing February release ever, after “The Passion of the Christ” ($83 million in 2004)—with which, you could say, it shares certain thematic elements: bondage, whipping, a hint of redemption. So studio heads take note. Maybe this will be our regular February fare in the future.

The other wide-release opener, “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” a kind of teenage James Bond reimagined through a “Mad Men” lens, grossed $35 million in 3,204 theaters to finish second. The second weekend of “SpongeBob” finished third, with $30 million. “Sniper” was fourth, while “Jupiter Ascending” continued to descend, grossing $9 million for a total gross of $32.

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Posted at 11:09 AM on Feb 15, 2015 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday February 08, 2015

Box Office: 'SpongeBob' Soaks It in; 'Sniper' Has Plenty of Bullets Left

The new SpongeBob movie, “Sponge Out of Water,” won the weekend with a $56 million haul, which is the 25th-biggest opening for an animated feature, and the fifth-biggest opening for any February release, but the story continues to be Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper.” It fell only 21%, grossed another $24 million domestic (good for second place), and is now ahead of where 2014’s biggest box office hit, “The Hunger Games—Mockingjay: Part 1” was at the same time during its run. 

Here’s how:

Wknds THG—Mockingjay American Sniper
1st $121 million $89 million
2nd $57 (-53%) $64 (-27%)
3rd $22 (-61%) $30 (-52%)
4th $12 (-42%) $24 (-21%)

“Mockingjay” started out hot and cooled fast. “Sniper” started out less hot but is taking longer to cool. On its 24th day of release, “Mockingjay” stood at $276 million. “Sniper,” on its 24th day of wide release, stands at $282 million. Given these number, it would take a lot for it not to surpass “Mockingjay”’s tally ($335 million and counting) to become the biggest hit of 2014. 

So when was the last time Clint Eastwood had the No. 1 movie for the year? He’s never had the No. 1 movie for the year. Now he’s done it. At age 84.

Elsewhere, the Wachowski’s so-bad-it’s-supposed-to-be-good-but-I-doubt-it sci-fi flick “Jupiter Ascending” managed to ascend to only third place, grossing $19 million. That’s similar to what the Wachowski’s “Speed Racer” did in 2008. “Seventh Son,” another sci-fi fantasy flick that managed even worse reviews (10% on RT, to “Jupiter”’s 22%), finished in fourth place with $7 million.

Did you make it to the movies this weekend? What did you see? 

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Posted at 10:29 AM on Feb 08, 2015 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday February 01, 2015

'American Sniper' Is Still Picking Them Off at the Box Office

American Sniper: No. 1 movie of 2014?

Still on target to be the No. 1 box-office hit of 2014.

Here are the first three weekend box-office totals for “The Hunger Games; Mockingjay—Part 1,” which is currently the No. 1 movie of 2014:

  • $121 million
  • $56 million (-53.3%)
  • $22 million (-61.3%)

Here are the first three wide-release weekend totals for Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper,” which is currently the sixth-highest grossing film of 2014:

  • $89 million
  • $64 million (-27.6%)
  • $31 million (-50.7%)

“THGMP1” opened big, stumbled; “Sniper” opened less big but lost less ground, day to day, andweekend to weekend.

So can “Sniper” over take “Mockingjay” to become the No. 1 movie of 2014? It’s only $10 million behind where “Mockingjay” was after its third weekend ($258 million to $248), so it’s got a real shot. “Mockingjay,” though, got a big boost from the Christmas/holidays season. “Sniper” won’t get that, unless it wins big at the Oscars, or unless folks think of “Sniper” as a nice Valetine’s Day movie. And it’s still about $90 million away ($335 to $248). But the odds right now are in its favor.

I wouldn’t mind. While I think the movie is problematic, it would still be the first serious film to attain that height since “Saving Private Ryan” in 1998. There are issues to discuss with the film that you don’t get from a discussion of “Mockingjay” or “Spider-Man 3” or “Shrek 2.” But is it repeatable? That’s the question for Hollywood. They tried to repeat Mel Gibson’s success with “The Passion of the Christ” (ex: “The Nativity Story”) with less luck ($37 million, as opposed to $370 million). You need more than God and patriotism to propel folks off their couch and into the theaters; you need a sense of outrage. Sadly, for Hollywood, Hollywood is one of the things these folks are outraged about.

For the rest of this Super Bowl weekend, “Paddington,” the kindertransport bear, finished second with $8.505 million, “Project Almanac” (teenaged time-travel/found footage flick) opened to $8.5 million and third place, and the Kevin Costner/Octavia Spencer/“Not without my grandchild” legal drama, “Black or White,” opened to $6.4 million and fourth place.

Rounding out the top 10: J Lo’s “The Boy Next Door” dropped 59% to $6 million, Kevin Hart’s “The Wedding Ringer” grossed another $5.7 million, the Oscar-nominated “The Imitation Game” grossed another $5 million for seventh place, followed by “Taken 3,” “Strange Magic” and “The Loft.”

Are we finally tired of Liam Neeson’s “Taken” movies? The first grossed $145 in 2009, the second $139 in 2012, and this one $81 so far in 2015. Maybe “Sniper” is picking off its audience?

BTW: Michael Mann’s “Blackhat” has been all-but-pulled from theaters after only two weekends: it’s down from 2,568 theaters on Thursday to 236 today. Johnny Depp’s “Mortdecai” fared even worse. It remained in 2,648 theaters and still fell by 66.1% to gross only $1.4 million in its second weekend.

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Posted at 09:57 AM on Feb 01, 2015 in category Movies - Box Office
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