‘Star Wars’ An Art House Movie? Some French Exhibs Think So, Stoking Indie Producers’ Ire
Here’s something you don’t see very often in France, the home of cinéma d’auteur. As the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens approaches on December 16, some of France’s art house theater owners are up in arms about not being able to program the film on their screens. In turn, the indie producers union (SPI) is not siding with its brethren and is instead concerned that if Star Wars screens in indie cinemas, it will take up space it feels should go to less mainstream… Read
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Hits B.O. Tracking Boards: Current Opening Estimates At $185M-$210M
Star Wars: The Force Awakens registered on distributors’ tracking reports today, four weeks before the film opens. On the low end, some are projecting $185 million, at the high end they’re looking at $210M, and Disney insiders think an opening close to $170M is possible. But like Jurassic World, tracking numbers for Star Wars are off the charts, and as we saw with the dinosaur film, the sampling size for $100M-plus openers is small, making projections a tricky… Read
Katniss Looks To Thrive During Holidays; ‘Night Before’ & ‘Secret In Their Eyes’ Try To Survive – B.O. Postmortem
Total ticket sales this past weekend were at $174.4 million, and while that number is up 61% from last weekend, it’s 10% off from a year ago. Essentially, $20M is missing in the marketplace versus last year, and that’s mostly pegged to Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 opening lower than its predecessor ($102.66M vs. $121.9M). Here’s a look back at the week:
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (Lionsgate)
No. 1, Opening B.O.: $102.66M; Global B.O. to date… Read
Church Of England Says Ad In Front Of ‘Star Wars’ Refused By Exhibs; Does Religion Have A Place In Cinema Advertising?
The Church of England has come out swinging against major UK cinema chains and Digital Cinema Media, which handles most of the country's movie advertising. At issue: The church says it had planned to buy screen time for a 60-second commercial to run ahead of Star Wars: The Force Awakens beginning December 18 in UK movie houses. The ad, a trailer for its new Just Pray website that features the Lord’s Prayer, was given clearance by the Cinema Advertising Authority and the… Read
Was It Wise To Divide Up ‘Mockingjay’? Finale’s $102.4M Debut Is 5th Highest Of 2015, But Lowest In Series
6TH/7TH/8TH UPDATE, Sunday 12:17AM/7:50AM/10:18AM: Lionsgate is reporting that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, the last film in the feature adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling YA lit series, is opening at $101M, which makes it the lowest opening in the franchise. Many think it will do, in its actuals, $102.4M. Last year the opening for Mockingjay – Part 1 fell to $121.M after 2013’s Catching Fire set a franchise opening record of $158M. The outlook months… Read
Fandango Will Give Data To National CineMedia In Return For Pre-Movie Ads
This is becoming a little meta: Beginning this month moviegoers will see pre-film ads promoting online ticket buying as a result of a new relationship between Comcast’s Fandango and National CineMedia.
Terms of the deal are murky — for example, there’s no word about whether any money will change hands.
But Fandango will “exclusively” provide the No. 1 theater ad seller with “select sets of aggregated moviegoer data from various films,” the companies say.
‘God’s Not Dead’ Producer Pure Flix Launches Theatrical Distribution Arm
Pure Flix Entertainment, the faith-based company behind 2014’s hit God's Not Dead, has unveiled its own U.S. theatrical distribution arm. It has hired Regal Entertainment VP Film Ken Rather to lead the new division, with former Disney, Picturehouse and FilmDistrict exec Daniel Lange aboard as General Sales Manager.
The move comes as the Scottsdale, AZ-based outfit preps God’s Not Dead 2, the sequel that has been slotted for a post-Easter April 1 release now under the new… Read
How ‘Spectre’s China Marketing Hustle Gave Huge Boost To Bond – Intl B.O. Final
FINAL UPDATE: Spectre led the international frame for a third weekend in a row, boosted by a fantastic start in China. That $48.1M gross set records for a 2D film and far outpaced Skyfall‘s Middle Kingdom debut. Because the Chinese government controls so many variables including release dates and keeps 75% of ticket sales, there is a perception that studios are helpless and can only hope for the best. That’s not really true. In fact, Spectre‘s record-breaking performance… Read
How ‘Spotlight’ & ‘Room’ Are Ducking Tentpoles & Avoiding The Same Fate As ‘Steve Jobs’ – Monday B.O. Postmortem
In a cutthroat marketplace littered with mega tentpoles such as Spectre, The Martian and Friday’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 — which is set to crush the box office with a $120M debut — how do smart, critically acclaimed, awards-contending films stay alive?
Open Road’s Spotlight and A24’s Room have some of the best reviews this season with Rotten Tomato scores of 97% and 96%, respectively, and as word of mouth explodes for each film, the challenge for both… Read
Nielsen NRG Acquired By Mark Penn’s Stagwell Group
The buyer of Nielsen’s movie research arm Nielsen NRG now has a face, and at least one of those faces is someone we told you was kicking the tires during the sale process: the Stagwell Group, whose managing partner and president is political analyst Mark Penn, announced today it is acquiring the unit. Terms were not disclosed, but Howard Ballon, the onetime NRG exec, has been appointed Interim CEO upon closing of the transaction.
The plan is to have NRG operate as an… Read
Deadline’s France-Based Editor Ponders Tragedy, And Moviegoing’s Place In The Grieving Process – Paris Attacks
After Friday night's horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, major cinema chains and art-houses shuttered for the day on Saturday with word they would remain closed through Sunday at least. While the Gaumont-Pathé circuit did remain closed today, both UGC and MK2 said via social media that they were opening their doors. Le Grand Rex, a giant atmospheric movie palace not far from the scene of much of Friday's carnage, also re-opened today.
Checking in with Parisian friends… Read
Mr. Bond Bashes Three Wide Releases As ‘Spectre’ Hits $35.4M; ‘By The Sea’ At Low Tide – Sunday Final Update
4TH UPDATE, SUNDAY, 10:20 AM: Nobody did it better than Bond this weekend as Spectre rolled over three new wide entries, taking No. 1 with a revised Sunday AM FSS projection of $35.4M, down 50% for a 10-day running cume of $130.7M. Imax kicked in $3.8M stateside. Spectre is ruling multiplexes abroad: Worldwide the Sony/MGM/Eon title is at an amazing $550M. In China alone, Spectre collected $48M, making it the highest opening weekend of all time for a U.S. 2D… Read