6TH UPDATE, Monday: Weekend Actuals Even though Super Bowl annually line drives Sunday’s business, it doesn’t completely knock out the box office permanently with most moviegoing occurring on Friday and Saturday. Even the most male-oriented titles in the past, i.e. last year’s American Sniper ($30.7M FSS) and 2009’s Taken ($24.7M opening) can dynamite the majority of males away from the TV set before kickoff. However, the studio’s frosh offerings of Universal’s Hail, Caesar! , Lionsgate’s The Choice and Screen Gems/Cross Creek’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies really didn’t stir up any excitement with ComScore’s Rentrak counting total weekend ticket sales at $95.4M, off 6% from Super Bowl weekend XLIX’s $101.8M FSS.
DreamWorks Animation/20th Century Fox’s Kung Fu Panda 3 held No. 1 with $21.2M, down 49% with a 10-day cume of $69.3M. Family titles typically hold better than adult ones on Super Bowl Sunday and KFP3 was only off 57%. At the same point during its run, KFP2 had already clicked past $100M, but that was during June when more people are available. KFP3 will receive an extra bounce next weekend when kids are off during the Presidents’ Day four-day holiday.
Even though Universal’s Coen Brothers movie Hail, Caesar! was stigmatized by an overall C- CinemaScore with older demos scoring it in the D-range, the yesteryear Hollywood comedy beat those grades at the box office with $11.36M, a bit better than Uni’s $10M projection last week. That over-performance was attributed to two things: great word of mouth spurred by critics (79% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and Coen Brothers fans who showed up at 37%. While this lightweight Coen comedy will likely fall short of Intolerable Cruelty ($35.3M) and The Ladykillers ($39.8M), both of which earned C grades, Caesar‘s all-star ensemble of Channing Tatum, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin and Jonah Hill could will this $22M production toward break-even when you factor in overseas. According to iSpot.TV, Uni spent $21M on ads and media; which is more than the $11M that Lionsgate spent on The Choice and the $12M that Sony shelled out on PPZ.
Both those titles came up short of their studio projections with weekend openings, respectively, of $6.05M and $5.3M. The Choice‘s FSS marks the lowest debut for a Nicholas Sparks’ property at the B.O., charting below 2014’s The Best of Me which opened to $10M. Lionsgate had very little skin in The Choice: It was a $10M pick-up. However, Sparks’ adaptations at the B.O. have become as tired as Stephen King’s big screen titles did during the 1980s when Hollywood ODed on them. Rather than build a Sparks title with the best cast possible (read Tatum for Dear John or Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams for The Notebook), Hollywood has settled on developing these weepy romance novels for a dime, and audiences aren’t stupid. They can smell it. Even though the title received a B+ CinemaScore, with a start this low, any good word of mouth isn’t likely to resonate. On the upside, The Choice drew the lions share of women, 83% to PPZ‘s 61%.
You can’t say that Sony didn’t get the word out on PPZ. The studio took the title and cast to Comic-Con last year to show off footage and even dropped a trailer as early as last October. During the Christmas season, PPZ spots ran during FX’s American Horror Story: Hotel in an effort to hit its prime under 25 demo. Sony screened this movie extensively and achieved great responses, so it’s too ironic that audiences would ax this title’s head off, which vied to up the stakes of the zombie genre. Pic was based on the New York Times bestseller by Seth Grahame-Smith, who co-billed himself with Jane Austen. It turns out no one was screaming for a cinematic zombie-Jane Austen mashup, as clever as it may have appeared on paper. If one was looking for a backstop on PPZ‘s greenlight, they should have noticed the B.O. failure of another period genre mix, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, which died with a $16.3M opening and final take of $37.5M stateside. What financier Cross Creek did was make PPZ cheaper than that Timur Bekmambetov movie, $28M to a $69M production cost.
According to RelishMix, the social pushes on PPZ and The Choice were light, a potential factor to their slowdowns. Few of those in PPZ‘s cast, from Lily James to Doctor Who‘s Matt Smith, have a wide social media swath. The social media universe for The Choice at 13.1M was smaller than PPZ‘s 34.4M. Sparks was the largest social champ for The Choice, reaching out to his 3.4M fans across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, seconded by co-star Alexandra Daddario at 1.9M. The social conversation on Choice per RelishMix was a mix of snark and how much fans adore Sparks’ canon.
This Friday, three titles will split a variety of the Valentine’s Day weekend audience: Fox’s R-rated Marvel title Deadpool is making a play for guys at 3,400 sites. Warner Bros./New Line’s How to Be a Single is looking to make a date with women at 3,250, while Paramount’s Zoolander 2 is eyeing the under 25 set at 3,200.
For a box office look at the weekend’s Specialty offerings, check out Brian Brooks’ Deadline report here.
Top 20 Films and notables as compiled by Deadline’s Amanda N’Duka for the Feb. 5-7, 2016 Super Bowl Weekend from ComScore data:
1). Kung Fu Panda 3 (DWA/FOX), 3,987 theaters (+32) / /3-day cume: $21.2M (-49%)/Per screen avg.: $5,328 /Total cume: $69.3M/ Wk 2
2). Hail, Caesar! (UNI), 2,232 theaters /3-day cume: $11.4M / Per screen: $5,087 /Wk 1
3). Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DIS), 2,262 theaters (-294) /3-day cume: $7M (-37%)/ Per screen: $3,083 /Total cume: $906M / Wk 8
4). The Revenant (FOX), 3,018 theaters (-312) /3-day cume: $6.9M (-46%) / Per screen: $2,299 /Total cume: $149.5M / Wk 7
5). The Choice (LG), 2,631 theaters /3-day cume: $6.1M / Per screen: $2,300 / Wk 1
6). Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (SONY), 2,931 theaters /3-day cume: $5.3M / Per screen: $ 1,817/Wk 1
7). The Finest Hours (DIS), 3,143 theaters (0) /3-day cume: $4.8M (-53%) / Per screen: $1,536 /Total cume: $18.5M / Wk 2
8). Ride Along 2 (UNI), 2,172 theaters (-240) /3-day cume: $4.6M (-46%) / Per screen: $2,100 /Total cume: $77.2M / Wk 4
9). The Boy (STX), 2,214 theaters (-457) /3-day cume: $4.1M (-46%) / Per screen: $1,845 /Total cume: $26.9M/ Wk 3
10). Dirty Grandpa (LGF), 2,567 theaters (-345) /3-day cume: $4M (-47%)/ Per screen: $1,574 /Total cume: $29.4M /Wk 3
11). The 5th Wave (SONY), 2,346 theaters (-562) /3-day cume: $3.7M (-47%) / Per screen: $1,609 /Total cume: $25.7M/ Wk 3
12). 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (PAR), 2,059 theaters (-744) /3-day cume: $2.9M (-55%) / Per screen: $1,384 /Total cume: $47.7M / Wk 4
13). Fifty Shades of Black (OR/IMG), 2,075 theaters /3-day cume: $2M (-65%)/ Per screen: $1,003 /Total: $9.4M/ Wk 2
14). The Big Short (PAR), 860 theaters (-123) /3-day cume: $1.7M (-44%)/ Per screen: $1,989 /Total cume: $63.7M / Wk 9
15). Daddy’s Home (PAR), 1,018 theaters (-700) / 3-day cume: $1.5M (-52%)/ Per screen: $1,452 / Total cume: $145.2M / Wk 7
16). Brooklyn (FSL), 703 theaters (-45) /3-day cume: $1.2M (-33%)/ Per screen: $1,678 /Total cume: $32.4M / Wk 14
17). Spotlight (OPRD), 668 theaters (-47) / 3-day cume: $836K (-30%)/ Per screen: $1,251 /Total cume: $36.1M / Wk 14
18). Room (A24), 631 theaters (-164) /3-day cume: $731K (-41%)/ Per screen: $1,159 /Total cume: $11.2M / Wk 17
19). 45 Years (IFC), 155 theaters (+62) /3-day cume: $476K (0%)/ Per screen: $3,090 /Total cume: $2M / Wk 7
20). 2016 Oscar Shorts (MAG), 170 theaters (+47)/3-day cume: $427K (-24%)/ Per screen: $2,514 / Total cume: $1.2M /Wk 2
The Monkey King 2 (CLE) 38 theaters/3-day cume: $166K/ Per screen: $4,379 /Wk 1
Jane Got a Gun (TWC), 1,031 theaters (-179) /3-day cume: $138K (-84%)/ Per screen: $133 /Total cume: $1.4M/ Wk 2
Regression (RAD-TWC) 100 theaters /3-day cume: $34K/ Per screen: $339 /Wk 1
Sanam Teri Kasam (EROS) 32 theaters /3-day cume: $22K/ Per screen: $691 /Wk 1
Rams (CMG) 3 theaters /3-day cume: $13K/ Per screen: $4,430 /Total cume: $16K /Wk 1
Eisenstein In Guanajuato (STRAND) 4 theaters /3-day cume: $10K/ Per screen: $2,456 /Wk 1
I Knew Her Well (JANUS) 1 theaters /3-day cume: $9K/ /Wk 1
The Club (MBF) 2 theaters /3-day cume: $7K/ Per screen: $3,257 /Wk 1
4TH UPDATE, 8:55AM Saturday AM: Updated chart As much as distributors would like to blame the Super Bowl for the sluggish weekend, it’s really about the lackluster screen offerings, with two of the three entries — Lionsgate’s The Choice and Screen Gems/Cross Creek’s Pride And Prejudice And Zombies — respectively charting well below their estimates with $5.7M and $5.2M and Universal’s Hail, Caesar! getting lambasted by audiences with a C- CinemaScore and a lowly 66% ComScore PostTrak.
In recent years, the box office has proven its strength against the Super Bowl, which can steal away as much as 65% to 70% of Sunday’s business. While the prevailing notion is that it’s better to counter-program the weekend with female flicks and teen/twentysomething fare, that’s not necessarily a surefire recipe for success. Guys will head out to the cinema if you deliver the goods, and in the past we’ve seen such testosterone titles as American Sniper ($30.7M FSS) and 2009’s Taken ($24.7M opening) win the weekend.
What also may be contributing to the current B.O. slowdown is that everyone’s holding their cash for next weekend’s double whammy of Valentine’s Day and the Presidents’ Day four-day holiday. That’s when 20th Century Fox will unleash its R-rated Marvel superhero Deadpool which is currently generating heat.
Holdovers to date in 2016 are king, with DreamWorks Animation/20th Century Fox’s Kung Fu Panda 3 winning both its second Friday with an estimated $5.22M and No. 1 weekend with $21.1M, a 49% decline. That’s a few million shy of KFP2‘s second FSS of $23.9M, which was a -50% dip. Matinees are expected to push KFP3 up 100% on Saturday over Friday per one industry estimate. Total cume by Sunday is projected at $68.3M. Internationally, insider estimates have
KFP3 crossing $100m in China through Saturday; we’ll have numbers in our international report tomorrow.
Currently Hail, Caesar! is the second highest grossing film on Friday and the weekend with $4.3M and $11.1M. Should those numbers stick, they’ll be coming in above the $10M that Uni was expecting for the Coen Brothers-directed film. Even though this wasn’t the Coens at their zenith (that was obvious from the movie’s release date far from the onset of awards season), critics took to Hail, Caesar! like cats to yarn, giving it a 79% Fresh Rotten Tomatoes score. That was certainly a catalyst for business, particularly for an auteur film such as this. Forty-seven percent of those polled by CinemaScore said that they came to watch Hail, Caesar! because it was a comedy, while 38% said it was because of the male ensemble cast (Channing Tatum, George Clooney, Josh Brolin and Jonah Hill), 37% cited the Coens as their primary reason while 18% were Scarlett Johansson fans. But once the audience got inside the theater, it was all downhill from there. Fifty-two percent of the audience were males and 84% were over 25 and they both gave Caesar a D+. The over 50 crowd who turned up at 37% nearly yelled “Fail, Caesar!” as they gave it a D-. In regards to demos, not grades, Caesar has a similar audience makeup to 2000’s O Brother, Where Art Thou?.
PostTrak reports that a small portion of the audience at 40% wants to recommend Hail, Caesar! to their friends. “The Coens need to think about their next picture,” said one rival distribution insider tonight. Granted, the Coens’ fare is typically built for an arthouse platform release. They don’t often go wide. However, they’ve seen slightly better openings with previous star-studded, comedic fare, i.e. Burn After Reading ($19.1M), The Ladykillers ($12.6M) and Intolerable Cruelty ($12.5M). But with a cost of $22M, Uni might have the last laugh for Hail, Caesar! overseas as Burn After Reading made $103.4M abroad to $60.4M in U.S./Canada, and Intolerable Cruelty posted $85M foreign to $35.3M stateside.
Lionsgate’s feature adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ The Choice is inching out Pride And Prejudice And Zombies. What’s going on here is that two female-targeted titles are essentially pulling each other’s hair and stealing each other’s business. Choice drew more women than Zombies, 83% to 61% per CinemaScore, with each skewing 61% over 25. Most audiences preferred The Choice with a B+ versus PPZ’s B-. Sixty-six percent bought tickets to PPZ because they like their British period romance with some zombie action in it. The Choice did win over the under 18 set at 13% with an A and middle age folk 35-49 with an A-.
A pity for PPZ. It’s really a hysterical, sexy, head-chopping romp. Critics didn’t get it at 42% rotten, but a PG-13 horror satire wasn’t intended to please them. Part of the problem here according to RelishMix, especially with a title that’s banking on the under 25 set, is that PPZ has half the social media universe of Hail, Caesar! (34.4M to 78.5M). The Coens have Tatum working in their favor, with 36.1M followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Fan social chatter for PPZ is upbeat fueled by lovers of the book. However, PPZ is greatly challenged in that most of the cast isn’t social. Main beauty Lily James has 353K Instagram followers, but doesn’t practice Twitter or FB. Subject matter was the main draw for PPZ over cast and director per CinemaScore. PostTrak shows audiences recommending PPZ more than The Choice, 51% to 41%, but that’s not earth shattering.
— Channing Tatum (@channingtatum) February 1, 2016
Weekend estimates for Feb. 5-7, 2016 based off of Saturday AM figures:
1). Kung Fu Panda 3 (DWA/FOX), 3,987 theaters (+32) / $5.22M Fri. (-49%)/3-day cume: $21.1M (-49%)/Total cume: $69.2M/ Wk 2
2). Hail, Caesar! (UNI), 2,232 theaters / $4.3M Fri. /3-day cume: $11.1M / Wk 1
3). The Revenant (FOX), 3,018 theaters (-312) / $2.08M Fri. (-36%) / 3-day cume: $6.9M (-46%) / Total cume: $149.5M / Wk 7
4). Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DIS), 2,262 theaters (-294) / $1.86M Fri. (-26%) /3-day cume: $6.6M (-41%)/ Total cume: $905.6M / Wk 8
5). The Choice (LG), 2,631 theaters / $2.56M Fri. /3-day cume: $5.7M / Wk 1
6). Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (SONY), 2,931 theaters / $2M Fri. /3-day cume: $5.2M / Wk 1
7). The Finest Hours (DIS), 3,143 theaters / $1.5M Fri. (-54%) /3-day cume: $4.57M (-56%) / Total cume: $18.2M / Wk 2
8). Ride Along 2 (UNI), 2,172 theaters (-240) / $1.36M Fri. (-40%) /3-day cume: $4.36M (-48%) / Total cume: $77M / Wk 4
9). Dirty Grandpa (LGF), 2,567 theaters (-345)/ $1.32M Fri. (-40%)/3-day cume: $3.9M (-49%)/Total cume: $29.3M /Wk 3
10). The Boy (STX), 2,214 theaters (-457) / $1.29MFri. (-44%)/3-day cume: $3.8M (-50%) /Total cume: $26.6M/ Wk 3
11). The 5th Wave (SONY), 2,346 theaters (-562) / $1.06MFri. (-44%)/3-day cume: $3.6M (-49%) /Total cume: $25.5M/ Wk 3
NOTABLES & OSCAR NOMINEES:
The Big Short (PAR), 860 theaters (-123) / $524K Fri. (-33%)/3-day cume: $1.69M (-45%)/ Total cume: $63.6M / Wk 9
Fifty Shades of Black (OR/IMG), 2,075 theaters / $685K Fri. (-74%)/3-day cume: $1.9M (-68%)/Total: $9.2M/ Wk 2
Brooklyn (FSL), 703 theaters (-45) / $327K Fri. (-28%) / 3-day cume: $1.08M (-39%)/ Total cume: $32.3M / Wk 14
Spotlight (OPRD), 668 theaters (-47) / $227K Fri. (-12%)/ 3-day cume: $770K (-36%)/ Total cume: $36.1M / Wk 14
Room (A24), 631 theaters (-164) / $202K Fri. (-32%)/3-day cume: $659K (-45%)/ Total cume: $10.9M / Wk 17
Jane Got a Gun (TWC), 1,031 theaters (-179) / $46K Fri. (-83%)/3-day cume: $135K (-84%)/Total cume: $1.4M/ Wk 2
Date With Miss Fortune (IND), 3 theaters / $13K Fri. /3-day cume: $33K/ Wk 1
Regression (RAD-TWC) 100 theaters/$12K Fri./3-day cume: $31K/Wk 1
2ND UPDATE, 12:45 PM: Friday matinees aren’t really showing a bright picture here. Currently, among the new stuff, one set of estimates has Universal’s Hail, Caesar! and Screen Gems’ Pride And Prejudice And Zombies in a tie for Friday with about $3.5M, and this calculation is giving the edge to the Coens over the Jane Austen parody for FSS, $9.5M to $9M. Cross Creek financed PPZ for an estimated $28M. Lionsgate’s The Choice is the third option among wide entries for audiences. It’s currently projected to make $2.8M for a $6.5M opening weekend. Hopefully all of this improves by nightfall. As expected, DreamWorks Animation/20th Century Fox’s Kung Fu Panda 3 is reigning supreme at No. 1 with a non-Fox estimate of $4.5M-$5M for Friday and a $20M-$21M second weekend, which would bring its 10-day total to $69.1M.
PREVIOUS, 7 AM: Given the limited amount of moviegoers during the winter, some titles recently have opted not to preview on Thursday night. But with Super Bowl Sunday on the horizon, this weekend’s wide entries spared no expense by getting out in front early. Universal reports this morning that its critics’ darling (76% fresh Rotten Tomatoes) Hail, Caesar! drew $543K last night at 1,815 theaters from showtimes starting at 7 PM. The Coen Brothers’ movie will open in 2,231 theaters today and is projected to make around $10M largely from older females.
Coming in second among previews was Sony Screen Gems/Cross Creek’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies with $300K from 2,286 theaters. The hysterical Jane Austen-zombie hybrid is on course to make $8M-$12M this weekend at 2,931. On Wednesday night, Sony held a tastemaker screening at the Burbank AMC hosted by Youtuber Chachi Gonzales who played a round of trivia and handed out PPZ prizes before the movie began. There were hysterical laughs throughout the screening. The film stars Lily James of Disney’s Cinderella and PBS’ Downton Abbey fame.
Meanwhile, Lionsgate’s Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Choice made an estimated $290K last night. The film starring Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer is looking at high single digits at 2,631.
The top title last night was DreamWorks Animation/20th Century Fox’s Kung Fu Panda 3 which made an estimated $1.32M for a first week’s cume of $48M. It is expected to hold No. 1 again this weekend with $22M-$24M. Fox/New Regency’s The Revenant was second with $930K and a total running cume of $142.6M before its seventh weekend. However, all eyes are on Disney’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens today as it’s poised to pass $900M after ranking third last night with $805K.
Just because the Super Bowl steals 100M-plus moviegoers away on Sunday, that doesn’t mean that audiences avoid going to the movies. Kids films like Kung Fu Panda 3 will sustain the most amount of business on the day of The Big Game with an average -50% drop from Saturday (vs. other titles’ -65% to -70%). But for the most part, moviegoers will head to the cinema in bulk today and tomorrow. Further evidence that Super Bowl weekend isn’t the worst time for moviegoing: Rentrak reported that total weekend ticket sales during last year’s Big Game frame were $101.4M, +18% from the same frame in 2014. The most the domestic box office ever made during Super Bowl was 2008 with $128M; that’s when Disney’s Hannah Montana concert movie topped the charts. That title still reigns as the highest opener for the period with $31.1M.