The Disaster Artist
A24

 4th update, Sunday AM, Writethru: Second weekend of December, the same as the first; more or less, that is. For the second weekend in a row, the major studios are holding back any new wide releases, and they’re letting their holdovers do all the work before Disney’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives on Thursday night and cleans up with an anticipated $200M-plus start.

At $84M per ComScore, the second weekend of December is even with the amount of money made a year ago during this languid period. Annual B.O. is currently at $9.98 billion, -3.9% behind the same period in time. Again, the notion is by insiders that not even Last Jedi can put this year’s domestic B.O. past last year’s $11.4 billion record. However, it could help us get to $11 billion for the third year in a row. That said, the Hollywood premiere for Last Jedi was held last night, and judging from the crowd’s response, the nation is set for something special four days from now.

The studios sat out for a second weekend in a row simply because they’d rather spend their P&A when the marketplace is primed to attend in droves, and that explosion will occur next weekend followed by another wave after Christmas. Those playing into The Last Jedi are the specialty distributors, particularly those with awards contenders, who are generating word-of-mouth before the holidays kick-in and Golden Globe and SAG noms are announced this coming week.

In addition, this weekend, as reported this morning by Deadline, Warner Bros. clicked past the $2 billion domestic mark, the first major studio to do so this year, thanks to Wonder Woman and It. The Burbank, CA studio will ultimately rank second after Disney opens Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Justice League is currently at $212M domestic, $613M worldwide. If it can get to $700M, which will be hard, many financial insiders tell Deadline that the DC pic will break-even after ancillaries.

Of note, A24 took The Disaster Artist wide from 19 to 840 theaters. A24 is reporting the James Franco-directed and starring pic with $6.4M second weekend, a 4th place rank. Ten-day tally for this biopic satire, which is also a New Line/Good Universe co-production, is $8M. That’s a very respectable number, and some distributors believe that the pic has the potential to play beyond the big city crowd to some of the Sausage Party crowd.

Very good word of mouth for the Franco film at a 66% definite recommend. ComScore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak reports an 81% overall positive score/four stars, with 66% over-25 and 60% men attending. Forty-nine percent of the audience came because they’re familiar with The Room (subject matter/plot), while 41% bought tickets because it’s a comedy, and 35% because of the ensemble cast, which includes Franco, brother Dave Franco, his wife and James’ sister-in-law Alison Brie, Seth Rogen, Ari Graynor, Zac Efron, Jacki Weaver, Josh Hutcherson — the list goes on. Fandango noticed hot advance ticket sales for The Disaster Artist, literally ranking behind Coco prior to Friday.

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Also widening on the specialty scene is Fox Searchlight’s The Shape of Water, from two NYC venues to 41 sites in 12 markets, currently looking at $402K on Friday and a $1.1M second weekend for $1.3M. By Christmas, the Guillermo del Toro movie will be between 700-800 locations. Those under 40 gave the movie an A or A+, while the over-40 batch enjoyed it with an A or A-. Audiences was split 50/50 male female. In 31 of its 41 locations, The Shape of Water was the No. 1 title playing in its multiplex in such markets as Los Angeles, New York, Austin, Dallas, Toronto, Boston, Atlanta, San Francisco and San Diego. On Friday night in a commercial house such as AMC North Park in Dallas, The Shape of Water out-grossed all titles in the theater, including Coco, Justice League and Wonder.

I, Tonya
Neon

Neon’s TIFF pick-up I, Tonya, starring Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding, is currently projected to clear $61K per theater, or $245K for the weekend, from plays at the Hollywood Arclight, LA’s Landmark on Pico, the Angelika in NYC and Lincoln Square – a great start in a very competitive specialty marketplace. Focus Features widens its Winston Churchill biopic Darkest Hour to 53 theaters in 10 markets for a 615% climb. While the awards contender is pacing behind its competition, hopefully the halo coming away from SAG/Globes noms this coming week changes all that. Gary Oldman brilliantly disappears into the role of Churchill. Darkest Hour is still significantly better, business-wise, than Amazon’s Woody Allen pic Wonder Wheel, which is in a similar number of theaters, 47, in the top 10 markets, with a $155K weekend 2 or $3,3K per theater for a 10-day take of $322K.

Disney/Pixar’s Coco is coming in higher from what we saw during Friday mid-day, with $18.3M, a 33% ease at 3,748 locations, for a running total by EOD of $135.5M. Right now, that three-day is about $500K better than what Moana posted in her third go-round, but Coco is still pacing 6% behind the Pacific princess. When Rogue One: A Star Wars story opened last December, Moana was in the 3,500 range and then declined by 900 locations over the Christmas weekend at 2,687, ensuring great playability. Many rivals are expecting the same hold and family box office halo to occur for Coco once Last Jedi arrives. Disney just keeps giving platinum product to exhibition. Simply put, who wouldn’t want to play these titles? The concessions cash alone is worth the strict terms.

Wonder
Lionsgate

There’s plenty of B.O. milestones occurring at the box office this weekend, indicative of a healthy marketplace, even though we’re not in a position to crack last year’s $11.4 billion record. Disney/Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok is set to cross $300M by EOD becoming the eighth  seventh Marvel title to cross that threshold and the third second title for the brand this year after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming. 

Lionsgate/Participant Media’s Wonder is projected to crack the century mark by end of today propelled by Participant Media’s social media outreach . Wonder is easily Lionsgate’s highest release of 2017, not counting carryover La La Land, which minted $120.1M of its $151.1M in the current calendar year. By the end of the year, it’s also expected that 20th Century Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express and Paramount’s Daddy’s Home 2 will hit $100M.

Broad Green Pictures

Broad Green is the only distributor brave enough to debut a wide release with their Tommy Lee Jones-Morgan Freeman-Rene Russo action comedy Just Getting Started at 2,161. Broad Green took domestic on the Ron Shelton pic and jumped in to co-produce during Cannes last year when the project was known as Villa Capri. eOne and Endurance Media are the co-financiers of this pic, which is poised to make an awful $3.1M. When Broad Green committed to this project, it was with the intention that it would be a slow burn among older audiences, much like its Robert Redford-Nick Nolte release A Walk in the Woods, which posted $10.9M over the four-day 2015 Labor Day weekend and ended its run at $29.5M. Just Getting Started is not that movie in regards to audience reception: Audiences slapped it with a C CinemaScore. A Walk in the Woods earned a B. Even though Just Getting Started is sitting here in the holiday marketplace, that doesn’t mean it will magically post a great multiple. Other grey-hair pics have started bigger and were slow burns, read CBS’ Last Vegas, which opened to $16.3M and posted a near 4x multiple of $63.9M domestic four years ago. Of those who showed up to watch Just Getting Started, 77% were over 50 (C-), and 56% were females (C). Those few who were under 25 attending (2%) gave it a near fail with a D-. After a tough start, Broad Green founders announced back in August that they were shuttering production and putting several features in turnaround as they returned to the drawing board.

Studio-reported estimates for Dec. 8-10 as of Sunday:

1.) Coco(DIS), 3,748 theaters (-239) / Fri: $4.2M /$8.2M Sat/ $5.7M Sun/ 3-day cume: $18.3M (-33%)/Total: $135.5M / Wk 3

2.) Justice League (WB), 3,508 theaters (-312)/$2.5M Fri/$4.4M Sat/ $2.6M Sun/  3-day cume: $9.6M  (-42%)/Total: $212M/ Wk 4

3.) Wonder (Lionsgate), 3,519 theaters (+70) /$2.5M Fri/$3.5M Sat. / $2.3M Sun/ 3-day cume: $8.45M (-30%)/ /Total: $100.3M/Wk 4

Disney

4.) The Disaster Artist  (A24), 840  theaters (+821) / $2.6M Fri /$2.1M Sat/$1.6M Sun/3-day cume: $6.4M (+397%)/PTA: $7,6k /Total: $8M/Wk 2

5). Thor: Ragnarok (DIS), 3,047 theaters (-101) / $1.68M Fri /$2.8M Sat/ $1.8M Sun/3-day cume: $6.3M (-36%) / Total cume: $301.1M / Wk 6

6) Daddy’s Home 2 (PAR), 3,263 theaters (-140) /$1.59M Fri / $2.7M Sat / $1.7M Sun/3-day cume: $6M (-20%)/ Total: $91.1M/Wk 5

7) Murder on the Orient Express (FOX), 3,089 theaters (-112)/  $1.5M Fri /$2.2M Sat/$1.4M Sun 3-day cume: $5.1M (-25%)/Total: $92.7M/ Wk 5

8.) The Star (SONY), 2,976 theaters (+154) /$800K Fri  /$1.7M Sat/ $1.1M Sun/ 3-day cume: $3.67M (-10%)/Total:$32.2M/Wk 4

9). Lady Bird (A24), 1,557 theaters (+363) /$1M Fri /$1.4M Sat/ $1.1M Sun/3-day cume: $3.54M (-17%)/ Total cume: $22.3M / Wk 6

10.) Just Getting Started  (BG), 2,161 theaters / $1.1M Fri/$1.26M Sat/ $759K Sun/3-day cume: $3.1M/Wk 1

11) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO (FSL), 1,620 theaters (+190) / $835K  Fri / $1.25M Sat/$775K Sun/3-day cume: $2.86M (-35%) /Total: $18.3M /Wk 5

Notables:

The Shape of Water  (FSL), 41 theaters (+39) / $402K Fri/$413K Sat/ $285K Sun/3-day cume: $1.1M (+635%) /PTA: $26,8k /Total: $1.3M/Wk 2

Darkest Hour (FOC), 53 theaters (+49)/ $210K Fri/$315K Sat/ $250K Sun/3-day cume: $775K (+615%) /PTA: $14,6k/ Total: $1.2M/ Wk 3

Call Me By Your Name  (SPC), 9 theaters (+5)/ $84K Fri/3-day cume: $291k (-1%)/PTA: $32k /Total: $1.37M/Wk 3

I, Tonya (NEON), 4 theaters / $84k Fri/$92K Sat/ $69K Sun/PTA: $61k/3-day cume: $245,6k/Wk 1

Wonder Wheel (AMZ), 47 theaters (+42)/ $44K Fri /$60K Sat/$52K Sun/3-day cume: $155,8k (+11%)/PTA: $3,3k /Total: $322K/Wk 2

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Industry estimates as of Saturday AM for the weekend of Dec. 8-10:

1.) Coco(DIS), 3,748 theaters (-239) / Fri: $4.2M (-33%)/ 3-day cume: $19M (-31%)/Total: $136.3M / Wk 3

2.) Justice League (WB), 3,508 theaters (-312)/$2.5M Fri (-44%)/  3-day cume: $9.4M  (-43%)/Total: $211.9M/ Wk 4

3.) Wonder (Lionsgate), 3,519 theaters (+70) /$2.75M Fri (-24%)/3-day cume: $9.3M (-23%)/ /Total: $100.4M/Wk 4

4.) The Disaster Artist  (A24), 840  theaters (+821) / $2.6M Fri (+419%)/3-day cume: $6.4M (+397%)/PTA: $7,6k /Total: $8M/Wk 2

5). Thor: Ragnarok (DIS), 3,047 theaters (-101) / $1.68M Fri (-38%)/ 3-day cume: $6.25M (-37%) / Total cume: $301.1M / Wk 6

6) Daddy’s Home 2 (PAR), 3,263 theaters (-140) /$1.59M Fri (-25%)/ 3-day cume: $5.7M (-24%)/ Total: $90.9M/Wk 5

7) Murder on the Orient Express (FOX), 3,089 theaters (-112)/  $1.5M Fri (-24%)/ 3-day cume: $5M (-26%)/Total: $92.6M/ Wk 5

8.) The Star (SONY), 2,976 theaters (+154) /$804K Fri (-20%) / 3-day cume: $3.7M (-9%)/Total:$32.3M/Wk 4

9). Lady Bird (A24), 1,557 theaters (+363) /$1M Fri (-19%)/3-day cume: $3.56M (-17%)/ Total cume: $22.3M / Wk 6

10.) Just Getting Started  (BG), 2,161 theaters / $1.1M Fri/3-day cume: $3.5M/Wk 1

11) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO (FSL), 1,620 theaters (+190) / $835K  Fri (-39%)/ 3-day cume: $2.76M (-36%) /Total: $18.25M /Wk 5

Notables:

The Shape of Water  (FSL), 41 theaters (+39) / $402K Fri (+631%)/3-day cume: $1.22M (+635%) /PTA: $29,8k /Total: $1.45M/Wk 2

Darkest Hour (FOC), 53 theaters (+49)/ $224K Fri (+833%) /3-day cume: $783K (+625%) /PTA: $14,7k/ Total: $1.2M/ Wk 3

Call Me By Your Name  (SPC), 9 theaters (+5)/ $84K Fri (+9%)/3-day cume: $254k (-14%) /PTA: $28,2k /Total: $1.3M/Wk 3

I, Tonya (NEON), 4 theaters / $84k Fri/PTA: $61k/3-day cume: $244k/Wk 1

Wonder Wheel (AMZ), 47 theaters (+42)/ $47,3K Fri (+45%)/3-day cume: $148,7k (+14%)/PTA: $3,1k /Total: $315K/Wk 2