UPDATED, Thursday, 10:33 AM: Regal has another 60 theater closures today as the winter storm is affecting millions of Americans. This ice and snow storm is knocking down power lines and also knocking out movie going. It is also challenging snowfall records in some states. But it looks like it will be breaking on Friday afternoon for most spots (not the Northeast). Just received Cinemascore on RoboCop … overall a B+ with an A- rating by those under 25 and an A for those under 18. But it’s not going to stop The Lego Movie and About Last Night from rolling right over it. And that has nothing to do with the weather. So this weekend, it’ll be 1980s remake with choices of violence and/or sex. Ain’t that America … like, totally for sure. But yesterday and today is certainly grody to the max. Lego will rule once again.
UPDATED, Thursday 8:45 AM: Power outages, theater closures … all of AMC’s 12 theaters were closed in Atlanta, GA last night … and that is just a sampling of what RoboCop‘s opening and all mid-week plays for films faced last night. Another 30 theaters were either shut down early or shuttered altogether on the East Coast from the Carolinas up through Baltimore with Philadelphia and D.C. reporting similar problems. And more of the same is expected today. Updated estimates have arrived this AM showing RoboCop took in only $2.75M, just ahead of Warner Bros.’ The Lego Movie‘s $2.1M. Not good all the way around, esp. for MGM/Sony … but Friday numbers should pick up for everyone.Meanwhile, the MPAA released Winter’s Tale New York budget numbers showing that the Warner Bros.’/Village Roadshow production spent $41,465,577 in total local expenditures breaking down as, $26,998,940 paid in wages over 5,000 people and “over $15 million with local vendors on housing, catering, wardrobes, construction, and many other services required to make a major motion picture.” And then there’s a little thing called marketing and distribution costs.
PREVIOUS Wednesday, 11: 15 P.M.: What an unfortunate day to open at the nation’s theaters — the day of one of the worst winter storms in recent memory that has blanketed a substantial part of the country in snow and heavy ice. RoboCop, MGM/Columbia Pictures’ rebooted actioner starring Joel Kinnaman as the part-human, part-robot police officer, trudged into 3,366 theaters to take in around $3M, or only $891 per screen. The storm has affected moviegoing over a wide swath in major markets from Texas to the Carolinas and is expected to travel up the East Coast, hitting some of the nation’s biggest cities tomorrow. Fingers crossed that West Coast attendance will raise the estimate in the morning. The potential downside is that storm may linger into Valentine’s Day Friday, bringing significantly lower attendance across the board in the affected areas. RoboCop opened on February 1 overseas and last weekend was No. 1 in 10 markets. It has grossed $28.7M to date and is expanding this weekend. Directed by José Padilha and written by Joshua Zetumer and Edward Neumeier & Michael Miner, the film also stars Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. The producers are Marc Abraham and Eric Newman.
RoboCop is one of three 1980s remakes scheduled to open this weekend. The others are Universal’s Endless Love, remembered more fondly for its Oscar-nominated theme song in 1981 than its content, and the Sony (Screen Gems) reboot of the 1986 romancer About Last Night, starring Kevin Hart, who has been on a hot streak since Universal’s Ride Along opened to massive numbers last month. (It’s already grossed over $100M and is still playing). The other film opening this weekend is Warner Bros/Village Roadshow’s ironically titled Winter’s Tale. starring Colin Ferrell and directed by Akiva Goldsman. However, nothing is expected to top The Lego Movie from Warners, which is snapping easily into place with a wide demo.