UPDATE, MONDAY PM: Could Lionsgate’s The Divergent Series: Allegiant actually turn a profit? Maybe. But what would it matter? Said one foreign sales guru tonight, “What seems to have shareholders upset is that it doesn’t matter if Allegiant profits a little or loses a little, the film was supposed to be part of a pillar on Lionsgate’s slate. That’s what upsets them the most.”
Before Liongate’s $140M-budgeted Gods Of Egypt opened and died with a current $29.5M domestic B.O., Wall Street had braced itself for that disaster following a 3Q earnings call with stocks hitting a then-52-week low of $16.21 prior to the pic’s debut. But the Street had higher expectations for Allegiant last week, and in the wake of its B.O. storm, Lionsgate shares closed today at $22.26 — a six-month, 43% drop.
Once the beholder of a promising cinematic YA franchise, Lionsgate finds itself in a pickle having taken the risk of seperating author Veronica Roth’s final controversial Divergent novel into two movies. Just as readers turned on Allegiant, so did moviegoers on this threequel, giving it a B Cinemascore, down from Divergent‘s A and Insurgent‘s A-. By the laws of box office attrition, the final title Ascendant will no doubt be a victim of sequelitis (read, Mockingjay‘s openings and cumes fell 16% between installments, no thanks to being the least loved title in Suzanne Collins’ series).
This leaves Lionsgate in urgent need of another budding franchise. The studio put its money on a reboot of Power Rangers a year from now, but even that property is a big “if”: At the height of the Power Rangers craze in 1995, the feature film version Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers failed to reel in its supposed legions of fans (final domestic: $38.2M).
Meanwhile, the foreign pre-sales world worries whenever a big whale like Lionsgate belly flops at the B.O. (even though Gods Of Egypt counts $127.8M worldwide, sources say in relation to its cost, it needed to make $350M-plus around the globe to register at breakeven). It makes overseas partners less likely to place their money on ambitious, expensive fare. Someone gets burned abroad, or worse, goes out of business. If anything, the next time Lionsgate comes around a market with a slate, its foreign partners are apt to ask for a haircut when it comes to any cash upfront.
After talking to a number of sources tonight, a potential profit projection of $3.5M was calculated for Allegiant should it hit $75M at the domestic B.O. (2.5x its opening). Still, what good is it for the franchise when profits have plummeted an estimated 57% from $71.87M on Divergent to $30.6M on Insurgent? A $69M stateside cume gets Allegiant to breakeven, and anything below that line is in the red. Essentially, the projection is factored on Lionsgate taking an average 55% theatrical rental. TV revs combined for free TV and pay cable are factored at a near-combined 25% of the domestic B.O (broken out free TV fetches 6%-12% of a film’s B.O.) Foreign pre-sales for big pics can be factored at 80% of the gross budget. Many believe that the reasonable range for Allegiant‘s foreign sales including overages is $75M-$95M. That’s based off an estimated net production cost of $110M after a 10%-plus Georgia tax rebate. A $100M foreign pre-sales and overage figure crinkles a number of sales analysts’ brows; some of them don’t fully believe it could be that high for Allegiant. Studio overhead wouldn’t be accounted for in the case of Allegiant. Here’s the breakdown:
‘ALLEGIANT’ PROJECTED REVENUES & COSTS
Next week, rival box office analysts predict Allegiant will fall 60% to $11.6M as Warner Bros.’ Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice overloads multiplex registers with cash and sends popcorn sales through the roof with an estimated $150M debut. Below are ComScore’s top 20 B.O. actuals for the weekend of March 18-20:
1). Zootopia (DIS), 3,959 theaters (+132)/ 3-day cume: $37.2M (-28%)/ Per screen avg: $9,387 /Total Cume: $200.9M/Wk 3
2).Allegiant (LG), 3,740 theaters/ 3-day cume*: $29M / Per screen: $7,761 /Wk 1
*includes $2.35M in Thursday previews
4).10 Cloverfield Lane (PAR), 3,427 theaters (+36)/ 3-day cume: $12.5M (-49%)/ Per screen: $3,649 /Total cume: $45.2M / Wk 2
5). Deadpool (FOX), 2,924 theaters (-407) / 3-day cume: $8M (-27%) / Per screen: $2,740 /Total Cume: $340.9M / Wk 6
6). London Has Fallen (FOC), 3,011 theaters (-481) / 3-day cume: $6.8M (-37%)/ Per screen: $2,274 /Total Cume: $50M/ Wk 3
7). Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (PAR), 2,079 theaters (-334)// 3-day cume: $2.8M (-40%) / Per screen: $1,348 /Total Cume: $19.3M /Wk 3
8) The Perfect Match (LG), 925 theaters (0)/ 3-day cume: $2M (-54%)/ Per screen: $2,134 / Total Cume: $7.4M/ Wk 2
9.) The Brothers Grimsby (SONY), 2,235 theaters (0)/ 3-day cume: $1.4M(-56%) / Per screen: $635 /Total cume: $5.9M/ Wk 2
10). The Revenant (FOX), 935 theaters (-368) / 3-day cume: $1.2M (-41%) / Per screen: $1,292 / Total cume: $181.1M / Wk 13
11). Risen (SONY), 1,205 theaters (-890) / 3-day cume: $1.1M (-50%) / Per screen: $950 / Total cume: $34.5M / Wk 5
12). Gods of Egypt (LG), 1,075 theaters (-1,231)/ 3-day cume: $1.1M (-56%) / Per screen: $1,047 / Total cume: $29.5M/ Wk 4
13). The Young Messiah (FOC), 1,769 theaters (+8)/ 3-day cume: $1.1M (-67%) / Per screen: $616 /Total cume: $5.4M/ Wk 2
14). Hello, My Name Is Doris (RSA), 128 theaters (+124)// 3-day cume: $998K (+1,074%)/ Per screen: $7,798 /Total Cume: $1.1M/ Wk 2
15). Kapoor & Sons – Since 1921 (FIP), 143 theaters/ 3-day cume: $986K / Per screen: $6,898/ Wk 1
16). Kung Fu Panda 3 (DWA/FOX), 719 theaters (-931) / 3-day cume: $971K (-43%) / Per screen: $1,351 / Total cume: $138.4M / Wk 8
17). Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DIS), 568 theaters (-192) /3-day cume: $966K (-26%)/ Per screen: $1,701/ Total cume: $932.3M / Wk 14
18).Anomalisa (PAR), 573 theaters (+551)/ 3-day cume: $758K (+5,022%)/ Per screen: $1,323 /Total cume: $3.4M / Wk 12
19). Eddie the Eagle (FOX), 682 theaters (-886) / 3-day cume: $602K (-62%)/ Per screen: $883 / Total cume: $14.7M/ Wk 4
20). Spotlight (OR), 443 theaters (-404) / 3-day cume: $423K (-55%) / Per screen: $956/ Total cume: $44M / Wk 20
Eye in the Sky (BLST), 35 theaters (+30) / 3-day cume: $423K (+271%)/ Per screen: $12,077/ Total Cume: $574K/ Wk 2
The Bronze (FIP), 1,167 theaters/ 3-day cume: $386K / Per screen: $331/ Wk 1
Midnight Special (WB), 5 theaters/ 3-day cume: $190K / Per screen: $38,002/ Wk 1
My Golden Days (MAG), 3 theaters/ 3-day cume: $27K / Per screen: $8,949/ Wk 1
Ktown Cowboys (FREE), 4 theaters /3-day cume: $13K / Per screen: $3,131/ Wk 1
The Clan (FIP), 3 theaters /3-day cume: $13K / Per screen: $4,173/ Wk 1
A Space Program (ZEIT), 1 theaters /3-day cume: $10K / Wk 1
Krisha (A24), 2 theaters / 3-day cume: $10K / Per screen: $4,940/ Wk 1
PREVIOUS, SUNDAY AM WRITETHRU: Zootopia, Walt Disney’s original animated animals feature continues to pull in crowds with a third No. 1 hold of $38M, taking its domestic total to $201.8M. Through 17 days, Zootopia is outstripping Frozen ($400M), Disney’s highest grossing non-Pixar toon, by 50%. We noted last week that Zootopia was closely aligned with Finding Nemo in its B.O. stride. Zootopia is now 5% ahead of Nemo, which ended its initial theatrical run at $339.7M. Zootopia‘s Saturday totaled $16.4M, up 71% over Friday.
Beamed Disney distribution honcho Dave Hollis this morning about Zootopia, “Word-of-mouth is fueling the run and we’re seeing it propel us through the latest shows, and across all audience demos in a way that sets us up well as we head into another week of Spring Break. Whether Zootopia is crossing $200M domestically, or being on the cusp of $600M globally this early in its run, both are a testament to the urgency the blistering hot word-of-mouth is creating.” And Zootopia hasn’t even hit the U.K. or Japan yet…
As we predicted heading into the weekend, it was unlikely that Lionsgate’s The Divergent Series: Allegiant would place first; it’s in second, currently with an industry estimated FSS of $29.05M, which is 46% off Divergent‘s $54.6M opening and 44% off Insurgent‘s $52.2M. Overseas, Allegiant is in its second frame where it grossed $53.4M to date, and $82.5M worldwide (Lionsgate has foreign output deals abroad and rivals believe that Allegiant‘s presales are in the neighborhood of $75M-$80M, that figure accounts for overages in excess of the minimum guarantees in each territory). Since the title hit the tracking boards a month ago, it’s been looking to debut in the $30M range, and of course capture its core under-25 female demo. We went into great detail yesterday on whether it was wise for Lionsgate to split Veronica Roth’s novel into two movies, particularly given that the films were never a gangbusters B.O. franchise and the final novel left fans divided. As such, Allegiant‘s decline at the B.O. isn’t a case of sequelitis. Nor is it a scenario where audiences are holding on to their cash this weekend, just so they can blow it next weekend on Warner Bros.’ Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Lionsgate and Ascendant’s reported new director Lee Toland Krieger face an uphill battle in resuscitating Divergent fans. Following a Friday matinee show of Allegiant at Edwards Valencia 12, 30 miles north of L.A., a mother and her teen girls were left confused: They were under the impression that this was the final Divergent movie and that the film’s ending was changed from the book’s controversial finale. As reported yesterday, Allegiant‘s CinemaScore was a B, down from Divergent‘s A and Insurgent‘s A-. ComScore PostTrak’s results were no more positive, showing 69% of Allegiant ticket buyers giving it either a very good or excellent grade. Only 51% said they’d tell their friends to go see it. PostTrak also showed a heavy young female crowd under 25. Imax racked up six of the top 10 engagements for Allegiant with $2.3M at 370 Imax. On Thursday, all those hubs switch over to Batman v. Superman.
On the arthouse side, an unfortunate misfire was Sony Pictures Classics’ Melissa Rauch gymnast dramedy The Bronze which made $421K at 1,167 venues for a per theater of $361. That’s the fifth lowest opening of all-time for a film playing at 1,000-plus locations. The last arthouse movie to bomb wide was IFC’s The D Train which opened last year to $447K and finaled at $673K. The Bronze opened last year’s Sundance Film Festival and was originally acquired by Relativity for $3M, with a nice screen commitment and P&A attached. The film was on the excluded-asset list from the Relativity bankruptcy sale. Sony Worldwide Acquisitions was able to get the movie back from Relativity after terminating their rights, and thereby removing the film from the company’s assets before Relativity filed for Chapter 11. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions’ label Stage 6 Films initially acquired worldwide rights to The Bronze prior to the start of the production and is handling overseas distribution. SPC saw the movie, and felt that it could be a wide release. It’s not often that SPC takes their releases wide.
After getting bruised by Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Brothers Grimsby last weekend (which is looking at a 57% drop in its second sesh with $1.4M and a 10-day total of $5.9M), Sony execs are praising the Lord as their Affirm label’s Miracles From Heaven saw a 49% gain on Saturday with an estimated $6.1M over Friday. This puts the Patricia Riggen faith-based movie on track to make $15M over three days in third and an estimated $18.6M since opening Wednesday. The pic carries a reported $13M price tag. One rival distribution chief made the projection that Miracles From Heaven would hit $20M over five-days. We’ll see. Given the current heat for the title, churchgoers are sure to show up following Sunday services. The latest industry estimate for Sunday is -20% off Saturday’s take. Among those polled by PostTrak, 90% gave Miracles From Heaven a very good or excellent score with 76% of the crowd saying they’d spread the good word about the movie. Older females at 67% women and 75% over 25 took up the majority of seats.
Sony launched the Miracles From Heaven trailer on Nov. 11, generating 85M views in its first week and becoming the most-viewed faith-based trailer of all time. To date the trailer has received 187M total views. The studio employed both a grassroots and general market strategy, not only to hook the faith-based, but to capitalize on Jennifer Garner and Eugenio Derbez’s appeal among wider audiences. As such, when you have a faith-based title like this, it plays beyond the charter busloads sent by parishes, and crosses over to the mainstream demo. Sony reports that the older female faction isn’t confining Miracles From Heaven‘s playability to matinees, and that the film is filling theaters during the evenings as well. Garner graced the cover of Vanity Fair in March, an issue that featured her first tell-all interview. Highlighting the real-life angle, the actual Beam family (which Miracles follows) participated in a number of interviews and features including the cover of Parade magazine, a major story in People, along with appearances on Today and Dr. Oz. In addition to reaching out to faith-based community leaders and pastors, Sony also teamed up with popular faith influencers like Christian rock group Third Day, who were able to tubthump Miracles on their social channels. Derbez, a huge draw for Hispanic audiences, was front and center during the campaign, particularly on social. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, hosted the #1 Spanish morning show Despierta America and had an hour-long special on Sal y Pimienta, the top-rated Spanish-lingo show on Saturday night. There was also a Miami red carpet screening and dedicated Hispanic press day, which included Garner and Riggen. Large scale promo efforts were undertaken on Univision and Unimas , including “Share Your Miracle” custom segments on Despierta America. On BET and OWN, Sony/Affirm implemented custom promotional vignettes featuring interviews with Garner and Queen Latifah, answering “What do miracles mean to you?”
Rory Bruer, Sony’s domestic distribution chief exclaimed, “There’s something very special about Miracles From Heaven and it’s heading into a week of great business with an A+ CinemaScore and Easter next Sunday. We had the right team, from the production of the film to the cast led by Jennifer Garner, Eugenio Derbez and Queen Latifah. We had the same dream team as Heaven Is For Real – Doug Belgrad, DeVon Franklin, Joe Roth and Reverend T.D. Jakes. We’re the leader in the industry with faith-based movies, and I have to give a big shout out on the marketing side to Danielle Misher, Josh Greenstein and Affirms Films’ Rich Peluso.”
In fourth place, Paramount and Bad Robot’s 10 Cloverfield Lane generated $12.5M per studio reported estimates, down a nice 49% from its opening a week ago, moving its 10-day total to an estimated $45.2M. The spinoff’s Saturday grossed $5.4M, +48% from Friday.
20th Century Fox’s Deadpool owns fifth place with $8M in its sixth frame and a running domestic total of $340.9M. Deadpool is $10M away from overtaking Warner Bros.’ American Sniper ($350.1M) as the second-highest grossing R-rated film of all-time. Passion of the Christ continues to hold the all-time total for the adult rating 12 years after its release with $370.78M.
On the specialty side, Warner Bros. Midnight Special from director Jeff Nicholas chalked up $37K at five theaters in Austin, New York and Los Angeles for a FSS of $185K. Nichols’ Take Shelter made $52K at three theaters in its first weekend. Warner Bros. is expanding the sci-fi chase film into a dozen markets on April 1, with another surge in theater counts on April 15. Nichols also has the true-story interracial romance Loving coming out Nov. 4 from Focus Features.
The top 10 films per studio-reported figures as compiled by Amanda N’Duka for the weekend of March 18-20:
1). Zootopia (DIS), 3,959 theaters (+132)/ $9.6M Fri. / $16.4M Sat. (+71%) / $12M Sun. (-27%) / 3-day cume: $38M (-26%)/Total Cume: $201.8M/Wk 3
2).Allegiant (LG), 3,740 theaters/ $11.9M Fri.* / $10.7M Sat. (-10%) / $6.4M Sun. (-40%) / 3-day cume: $29.05M / Wk 1
*includes $2.35M in Thursday previews
3).Miracles From Heaven (SONY), 3,047 theaters/ $4.15M Fri. / $6.12M Sat. (+47%) / $4.73M Sun. (-23%) / 3-day cume: $15M/Total Cume: $18.6M Wk 1
4).10 Cloverfield Lane (PAR), 3,427 theaters (+36)/ $3.7M Fri. /$5.4M Sat. (+48%) / $3.4M Sun. (-38%) / 3-day cume: $12.5M (-49%)/Total cume: $45.2M / Wk 2
5). Deadpool (FOX), 2,924 theaters (-407) / $2.3M Fri. /$3.55M Sat. (+57%) / $2.2M Sun. (-38%) / 3-day cume: $8M (-27%) / Total Cume: $340.9M / Wk 6
6). London Has Fallen (FOC), 3,011 theaters (-481)/ $1.9M Fri. /$3M Sat. (+62%) / $2M Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $6.9M (-36%)/Total Cume: $50.1M/ Wk 3
7). Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (PAR), 2,079 theaters (-334)/ $764K Fri. /$1.3M Sat. (+68%) / $757K Sun. (-41%) / 3-day cume: $2.8M (-40%) /Total Cume: $19.3M /Wk 3
8) The Perfect Match (LG), 925 theaters (0)/ $584K Fri. / $867K Sat. (+48%) / $449K Sun. (-48%) / 3-day cume: $1.9M (-56%)/Total Cume: $7.3M/ Wk 2
9.) The Brothers Grimsby (SONY), 2,235 theaters (0)/ $420K Fri. / $585K Sat. (+39%) / $395K Sun. (-32%) / 3-day cume: $1.4M(-57%) /Total cume: $5.9M/ Wk 2
10). The Revenant (FOX), 935 theaters (-368) / $317K Fri. /$572 Sat. (+80%) / $336K Sun. (-41%) / 3-day cume: $1.2M (-40%) / Total cume: $181.2M / Wk 13
The Young Messiah (FOC), 1,769 theaters (+8)/ $286K Fri. /$432K Sat. (+51%) / $324K Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $1M (-68%) /Total cume: $5.36M/ Wk 2
Hello, My Name Is Doris (RSA), 128 theaters (+124)/ $259K Fri. /$441K Sat. (+70%) / $331K Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $1M (+1,113%)/PTA: $8K/Total Cume: $1.1M/ Wk 2
Kapoor & Sons – Since 1921 (FIP), 143 theaters/ $275K Fri. / $405K Sat. (+48%) / $286K Sun. (-29%) / 3-day cume: $965K /PTA: $7K/ Wk 1
The Bronze (FIP), 1,167 theaters/ $129K Fri. /$150K Sat. (+16%) / $142K Sun. (-5%) / 3-day cume: $421K /PTA: $361/ Wk 1
Eye in the Sky (BLST), 35 theaters (+30)/ $107K Fri. /$192K Sat. (+79%) / $128K Sun. (-33%) / 3-day cume: $427K (+275%)/PTA: $12K/Total Cume: $579K/ Wk 2
Midnight Special (WB), 5 theaters/ $61K Fri. / $72K Sat. (+18%) / $51K Sun. (-29%) / 3-day cume: $185K /PTA: $38K/ Wk 1
My Golden Days (MAG), 3 theaters/ $7K Fri. / $11K Sat. (+61%) / $8K Sun. (-30%) / 3-day cume: $26K / Wk 1
Ktown Cowboys (FREE), 3 theaters/ $7K Fri. / $4K Sat. (-43%) / $3K Sun. (-40%) / 3-day cume: $13K / Wk 1
Krisha (A24), 2 theaters / 3-day cume: $10K / Wk 1