Write-thru at 8:30AM on PREVIOUS 7:46 AM post: The Zac Efron, Robert De Niro starring comedy Dirty Grandpa, which opened last night at 7 PM in about 2,00o theaters pulled in a respectable $660K. Good enough for the Lionsgate/Bill Block Media R-rated offering. This one’s comp is The Family which opened in September 2013 to a $14M three-day. Different genre, but starred De Niro, too, and the same is expected on this one — if, and this is a big If — the entire East Coast is not shut down by the monster storm. We are expecting mid-teens.
Meanwhile, The 5th Wave, the Chloe Grace Moretz vehicle based on a YA novel, took in $475K from 2,297 locations in early shows this weekend, playing strongly to a teenage girl audience. This weekend is will be a fairly blah weekend and could get even dimmer as the East Coast braces for one of the worst storms of the season which will impact moviegoing. This is the time of year that the box office reporters and distribution executives also become weather forecasters. Even Sony noted this morning, “weather permitting” they are looking at an $8M weekend. We believe that is a low estimate, but again, we have to factor in the weather storm Jonas as 20 states are expected to be impacted.
The Fifth Wave is said to be attracting a similar crowd as Mortal Instruments, which wasn’t anything to write home about: it opened to $9.3M at the end of summer 2013, but unlike this one is anticipated, it had legs.
In terms of social media activity, the best traction of the three in the social media universe goes to Dirty Grandpa. According to RelishMix, Dirty Grandpa interest is feeding off Zac Efron’s fans and has a social media universal divided among 20M FB fans, 14.7 Twitter followers, 13M Instagram and 22.1M You Tube viewers. Efron alone has 38.2M fans across all social channels and about 16.7M are engaged with him on FB. One notable bit of marketing is the FunnyOrDie FB post of De Niro analyzing a movie scene with Efron which is getting some traction.
Probably the worst social media bit of marketing I’ve seen is college-aged kids with their grandfathers doing shots and getting drunk in a series of drinking games, talking about inappropriate things such as first sexual encounters. Very classy stuff there. It was clearly an attempt to cross generational divides. Eye roll.
The Boy from STX Entertainment and Lakeshore, was up in about four theaters didn’t hold Thursday previews and instead is just going out on 2,671 locales tonight. For those of you who saw playdates for the film in L.A., those theaters did not play the film. It was a mistake so no grosses were culled from those. Its social media reach is very light but had a bit of a spike on Twitter a couple of days ago due to the premiere. The distribution pattern is a wise move, given that most of the horror crowd comes out on Friday to see the latest in the genre.
We expect this weekend to play out with Ride Along 2 and The Revenant to ride high in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots. Last night, it was Revenant, then Star Wars and Ride Along 2 in that order topping the nation’s box office.