Warner Bros.' If I Stay grossed $1.1M in late nights which began at 7 PM -- a strong showing for this picture based on a YA novel and starring Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass 1 and 2, Carrie). For comparisons, last weekend's YA offering The Giver opened at 8 PM, grossed $750K and went on to gross $12.3M for the weekend. The Fault In Our Stars, which opened in June and had a phenomenal social media presence and two stars coming off of a big movie (Divergent), had a late-night opening of $8.5M in the heart of the summer. Two other newcomers -- Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame To Kill For and When The Game Stands Tall -- ended up significantly below the young, female-driven pic, which was produced by MGM (who acquired rights to the best-seller by Gayle Forman) with New Line and Warner Bros.
Sin City 2 took in about $475K on late nights that began at 9 PM. There is no comparison to make to the first Sin City as the industry practice of late nights wasn't in existence in 2005. The first Sin City opened in April and the visual effects were considered quite groundbreaking at the time. The visual stunner opened to $29.1M, was R-rated and ran over 2 hours. This one from the same director Robert Rodriguez runs a little over an hour and a half and the effects are still mesmerizing. However, the story doesn't seem to be there as critical reviews on the second installment are likely to hurt word-of-mouth. It's R-rated. Tonight's numbers will be telling.
Meanwhile, When The Game Stands Tall which also opened at 7 PM, grossed $425K from 2,180 locales. The point of comparison for this title about a winning football team would be Draft Day, which took in $350K in late nights and ended up with only $9.7M. The other sports-based picture Million Dollar Arm which bowed from Disney this past May via sneaks a week ahead of the picture's debut and didn't hit in its 416 theaters. Million Dollar Arm ended up making $10.5M. So Sony's football pic could end up somewhere in the same territory but could possibly be lifted by interest from the faith-based crowd over this weekend. It's a smaller-budgeted movie so these late-night numbers are OK.
In terms of social media presence, If I Stay has a 10-to-1 lead over Sin City on hashtag activity over the past two days, both of which had premieres. If I Stay also leads Sin City with Facebook engagements 4 to 1; Moretz has 1.2M Twitter followers responding to her every tweet. Sin City's YouTube momentum, which translates to sales, doubled on Wednesday, topping the three newcomers into the weekend.
However, according to RelishMix, holdover Guardians Of The Galaxy has still been leading daily activity across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter topping Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and all three of this week's newcomers. Interesting that Guardians has been trumping Turtles in mid-week numbers this week. Meanwhile, Sin City's social all-star cast is clearly led by an on-tour Lady Gaga's 67M Facebook and 41M Twitter followers, proceeded by super social-savvy Jessica Alba whose 7.5M Twitter followers are connected and engaging, says Marc Karzen, CEO of RelishMix, which tracks the big three -- Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. The total reach for all Sin City cast and the movie adds up to 135M across Facebook and Twitter.