UPDATE, FRIDAY, 8:08 AM: Universal Pictures released its late-night numbers this AM. The first offering from its deal with Legendary Pictures, the horror film As Above, So Below, scared in $470,000 in late shows starting at 8 PM. Oculus, released in April at 10 PM, opened to late nights with $475,000 and went on to gross $12M for the three-day. As Above, So Below was in 1,805 theaters last night. That gross, of course, will be added to their Friday gross number this evening and presented as the Friday numbers. Standard industry practice now.
Meanwhile, looking at estimates last night, November Man came in fifth behind Guardians Of The Galaxy with $1.5M, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with $1M, If I Stay with $1M and Let’s Be Cops with $850K. November Man, from Relativity, garnered $820K.
PREVIOUS, THURSDAY, 8:56 AM: It’ll likely be Guardians Of The Galaxy as No. 1 again this weekend, while Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles should continue to play hard throughout the long Labor Day holiday. IMAX was smart to book Guardians in its theaters for as long as it has … a new franchise that is likely to become the biggest box office grabber of the year after this weekend. Great foresight on a picture that was a big question prior to opening. The August kings and leaders in the midweek box office are facing off against November Man, the spy thriller directed by Roger Donaldson and starring Pierce Brosnan. It opened last night to $862K, coming in No. 5 among the midweek numbers, but could come in the Top 3 this weekend as this summer winds to its end. It received a B+ CinemaScore last night, which usually translates into a little over a 3 multiple.
Relativity acquired November Man for roughly $3M and is expected to be a modest opening — somewhere in the $9M-$12M range the distributor hopes — as it swings into 2,750 theaters this weekend hoping to get interest from older audiences and make a little profit. It was produced via Irish Dreamtime and Das Films in association with The Solution Entertainment Group (which is overseeing international and Canadian distribution) as well as Palmstar Media Capital and Merced Media Partners.
Also debuting is Legendary Pictures’ horror flick As Above, So Below for Universal this weekend in 2,637 theaters after already bowing overseas. The small-budgeted horror film which marks the first release in the Legendary/Universal relationship, already opened in France, French-speaking Switzerland and Belgium and will continue its rollout in other territories this weekend, including the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates and the UK. The expectation from tracking for this horror film is low-teens as it starts scaring audiences tonight at 8 PM, however the studio is thinking more in the $8M-$10M range, saying that it will make a profit with that amount.
Legendary helped handle marketing of this picture which included a partnership with YouTube’s 29M-follower powerhouse PewDiePie, which the studio said generated more than 15M views. It also bought heavily into Hispanic media as tracking showed Latinos were more interested in this film, so the studio is boasting social media engagement.
Speaking of the Hispanic market, Lionsgate is opening Cantinflas, the biopic about the beloved Mexican actor-producer-screenwriter, in a moderate release.
Also, we’re going to have three rereleases coming into the marketplace: TWC’s Begin Again, which stars Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightley and Adam Levine, Open Road Films’ Chef which is currently at $29.5M and will dish it up past the $30M mark on 757 locales.; and the beloved Ghostbusters. Sony is putting the classic comedy into 775 theaters this weekend to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film. The comedy stayed No. 1 for seven weeks in a row when it originally opened, ending up with a domestic haul of $253M (in 1984, no less). The re-release is also being done to help the sales of the special anniversary Blu-ray version which starts selling September 6. The picture was directed by Ivan Reitman from a script by co-star Dan Aykroyd and the late great Harold Ramis. This is one that Sony has talked about remaking with Paul Feig who was saying he wanted to re-boot with an all-female cast. That led to some pretty chauvinistic comments in columns from my colleagues Mike Fleming (here) and Jeremy Gerard (here), who bemoaned the employment of actresses in such roles as Ghostbusters and The Odd Couple (on stage). That prompted me to write a column bemoaning the fact that this is even discussed in this day and age.