8th Update, Sunday AM: Family pics and holdovers largely ruled the Thanksgiving five-day holiday period, so if you were a new R-rated movie, it was particularly challenging.
Overall, ComScore is reporting “a moderately strong Thanksgiving 3-day (F-S-S) and 5-day frame” with $181.9M over FSS (even percent-wise with last year) and an estimated $257M over five. The latter ranks sixth overall on the best Turkey trot stretches, and behind last year’s $258.2M total holiday ticket sales.
At the top of the charts sits Disney’s Moana with $55.5M over FSS, $81.1M over 5 with the second weekend of Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at $45.1M, -39% with $66M over five, and $156.2M through 10 days. A great hold for the Harry Potter spinoff, but still pacing behind the original title Sorcerer’s Stone by 16% at the same point in time ($186.97M, final domestic $317.6M).
Moana‘s five-day ranks behind 2013’s Frozen‘s $93.6M which was the best Thanksgiving opener of all-time. In total Disney owns 9 of the top 10 Thanksgiving 5-day openers, and 8 of the top 10 3-day debuts for the holiday.
All in with foreign in 12 markets, Moana has raked in $97.4M worldwide. It’s the third mega hit for Disney Animation this year following Zootopia ($75M FSS, $341.3M domestic) and Pixar’s Finding Dory ($135M opening, $486.3M domestic).
Seventy-two percent of Moana’s weekend audience were families. Commenting on Disney’s string of Thanksgiving successes, Disney EVP of distribution Dave Hollis says, “We’ve dated titles here because of the multi-generational appeal (in this corridor). You have parents with grandparents and kids together, and this movie fits the bill from young to old.”
“We have a great marketing team who continually create an urgency for our events; they’re the best-thinking team and they get people to show up at the movie theater,” Hollis beamed. “When you create something that’s universal in storytelling and appeal that transcends cultures and borders, you can successfully answer the question, ‘Do I need to see it now in a movie theater?'”
In building the success of Moana, we cannot underestimate the social media power of Dwayne Johnson who has close to 140M across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, as well as Tony-award-winning Hamilton star/creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. If there was ever a time when Miranda was hitting a zeitgeist, it’s now with his hit Broadway show making waves and taking the high note in a Trump era. Social media monitor RelishMix noticed that with 62.7M fans/followers on Disney’s pages, “coupled with the brand that is Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and the views and likes for the film’s music, it’s easy to see how Disney was successful in maximizing social media in promoting Moana.” Moana‘s total social media universe across FB, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube views is “exceptional” per RelishMix with north of 391M.
Johnson leveraged his huge social media presence (#10 Instagram account and the #35 Facebook Fan Page globally) throughout the campaign to debut posters, trailers and clips, including a first look at “You’re Welcome,” the song written for him by Miranda. He appeared on GMA and Ellen, and surprised Jimmy Kimmel’s audience by taking them to the world premiere of Moana, where he and Miranda performed “You’re Welcome” to kick off the “blue” carpet. Miranda also took over the Disney Animation Instagram page in August (#Linstagram).
Disney also launched a new partnership with Oculus to create the studio’s first interactive Virtual Reality experience “Moana’s Kakamora Orchestra.” Hawaiian Airlines had a huge promotional program including three custom wrapped planes, exclusive in-flight entertainment, and a collection of limited edition products. Johnson and Cravalho revealed the Maui and Moana themed Airbus A330 on Instagram (viewed a combined 3M+ times). Promotional partners also included Kelloggs, Subway, Havaianas, SuperValu, Dole, Ice Chips, Intel and Mauna Loa.
Typically Disney animated features don’t slide much between Black Friday to Saturday, but Moana‘s -3% ($21.2m) easily beats the -5% to -6% hold for Frozen, The Good Dinosaur and Toy Story 2.
Paramount’s Allied stayed even between Friday and Saturday with $4.8M. Studio reports it will crack $13M over FSS in fourth and $18M for this production which cost before P&A $85M. Among the three-day openings for Pitt World War II fare, Allied is below Fury ($23.7M) and far below Inglourious Basterds ($38M). Paramount, with tracking, thought the Robert Zemeckis-directed film would hit $20M over five. All in with $9.4M from overseas, Allied‘s global B.O. stands at $27.4M. Here’s the thing, with close to zero competition in the marketplace until Disney’s Rogue One shows up (next weekend there’s only one wide release -High Top/Blumhouse’s Incarnate), Allied could benefit from Bridge of Spies-like sleeper business ($72.3M domestic) since it’s geared toward adults, and they come out slowly. There’s heat among awards season voters for the title, and it could notch some below-the-line noms. Star and Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard is also a fave.
Where Paramount is rallying is with Arrival which dipped 7% with $11.3M over three-days in its third weekend. The film is appealing to both sci-fi fans and thinking people alike. At at Saturday night show in Manhattan Beach, you couldn’t get a seat, whereas in Canyon Country it was pulling in birthday parties of 12-year old boys. To date, the Amy Adams sci-fi movie has made $62.4M stateside.
However, star Brad Pitt’s divorce from Angelina Jolie, which is blanketed in the tabloids, doesn’t help this movie one bit, casting a dark glow. Paramount has made what is a star-driven movie (the poster shows Pitt and Cotillard romantically intertwined), and the divorce has made marketing complicated to say the least. Pitt wasn’t available for TV, but Cotillard was (Pitt did show up at a fan red carpet screening/Q&A earlier in the month in Westwood). And when you’re promoting to a female audience, you need to impact them greatly with PR. A genre movie can live without its stars hitting the pavement, but not in this case.
Broad Green/Miramax is calling Bad Santa 2‘s weekend at $6.1M over three, $9M over five. That 5-day gross is 46% less than its 2003 predecessor which made $16.8M. Last November’s raunchy holiday movie The Night Before (which like Bad Santa 2 also cost $25M. P&A on Bad Santa 2 is also an estimated $25M we hear — ouch, Broad Green), made $9.9M over FSS, $12.6M over five days, an A- CinemaScore, and that was before Thanksgiving hit, and in the face of a huge opening from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. The Seth Rogen comedy ended its run at $43M, and Bad Santa 2 will be lucky if it can get there. Paramount’s Dec. 9 R-rated opener Office Christmas Party is going to steal away any screen and audience from this badly-received, dusty sequel. Again, like Allied, being R in a family-filled market doesn’t help at all, and Bad Santa 2 reeked of same old same old in its materials. The distinction from the first wasn’t there, and it certainly wasn’t enough to dynamite folks away from their TV sets who could catch the first one on HBO Go. It’s up to perennial home entertainment to bail out Bad Santa 2. Originally, there was a set of projections that indicated the Billy Bob Thorton sequel might earn as much as $15M over five days. Acknowledging this, Bad Santa 2 EP Adam Fields said, “I was certainly disappointed by the grosses, but based upon what the pollsters had led us to believe would be the outcome of the recent election and the tracking for this weekends box office it seems the only sage advice I can rely on is from the late Yogi Berra: ‘It’s tough to make predictions especially about the future’.”
20th Century Fox’s release of Regency’s Warren Beatty Rules Don’t Apply is arguably the worst opening for a major studio Thanksgiving wide release ever at $1.575M over three in 12th place (the fourth week of Focus Features’ Loving is beating it with $1.7M FSS), $2.1M over five. In fact, it beats last year’s Victor Frankenstein as being the worst for the holiday and that made $2.46M and $3.57M. Victor was also a 20th Century Fox release. We’ve been poking at this film’s holes all weekend long, but New Yorker’s Richard Brody sums it up by saying Rules is “a wildly scattershot comedy filled with bright moments that never cohere.” The pic is from another era in its erratic pacing, and though aimed at adults, it stars millennials (who’ve been put largely in front of Beatty’s Howard Hughes). Why then would adults want to see it?
As of Sunday, per studio-reported figures, the weekend’s top films for Thanksgiving 2016, ranked by 3-day gross:
1). Moana (DIS), 3,875 Theaters / $15.7M Wed. (includes $2.6M previews)/Thurs. $9.9M /$21.8M Fri /$21.2M Sat/$12.5M Sun/ 3-day cume: $55.5M /5-day: $81.1M/Wk 1
2). Fantastic Beasts… (WB), 4,144 theaters / $11.1M Wed./Thurs. $9.6M /$18.5M Fri. /$17.4M Sat/$9.2M Sun/ 3-day cume: $45.1M (-39%)/5-day: $66M/Total: $156.2M/Wk 2
3).Doctor Strange (DIS), 3,008 theaters (-686) / $3M Wed. / $2.5M (-17%) Thurs./$5.4M Fri /$5.3M Sat/$2.6M Sun/3-day cume: $13.36M (-25%) /5-day:$18.8M/Total cume: $205M/Wk 4
4). Allied (PAR), 3,160 Theaters / $2.7M Wed. (includes $600k previews)/ $2.3M Thur. $2.3m /$4.9M Fri /$4.9M Sat/$3.2M Sun/3-day cume: $13M /5-day: $18M/Wk 1
5). Arrival (PAR), 2,442 theaters (+107)/ $2.1M Wed./ $2.2M /Thurs./$4.6M Fri (+109%)/$4.49M Sat./$2.2M Sun/3-day cume: $11.3M (-7%)/5-day: $15.6M/Total:$62.3M/ Wk 3
6.) Trolls (DWA/20th Century Fox), 3,378 theaters (-567) / $2.66M Wed. / $1.25M Thurs /$4.2M Fri/$4M Sat/$2.1M Sun/3-day cume: $10.3M (-41%) /5-day: $14.3M/Total Cume: $135.1M/Wk 4
7). Almost Christmas (UNI), 1,868 theaters (-511) / $811K Wed. /$1.2M Thurs/$2.3M Fri/$2.36M Sat/$2.94M Sun/ 3-day cume: $7.6M (+5%)/5-day: $9.6M/Total: $36.7M/ Wk 3
8.) Bad Santa 2 (BG/MX), 2,900 Theaters / $1.58M Wed. (includes $330k previews)/$1.3M Thurs /$2.3M Fri /$2.5M Sat/$1.35M Sun/ 3-day cume: $6.1M /5-day: $9M/Wk 1
9). Hacksaw Ridge (Lionsgate), 2,418 theaters (-465) / $1.1M Wed. /$1.15M Thurs/$2.2M Fri /$2.1M Sat./$1.07M Sun/3-day:$5.45M (-18%)/5-day:$7.7M/Total: $52.2M/ Wk 4
10.) The Edge of Seventeen (STX) 1,945 theaters/ $733K Wed../$528K Thurs./$1.1M Fri /$1.2M Sat/$620K Sun/3-day: $2.96M (-38%)/5-day $4.22M/Total: $10.28M/wk 2
11). Loving (Focus), 421 theaters (+284) / $229K Wed. /$209K Thurs/$616K Fri /$672K Sat./$403K Sun/3-day:$1.69M (+95%)/5-day:$2.1M/Total: $4.06M/ Wk 4
12.) Rules Don’t Apply (FOX), 2,382 Theaters / $308k Wed. (includes $65k previews)/ $279k Thurs./$600K Fri/ $625K Sat/$350K Sun/3-day cume: $1.575M /5-day: $2.1M/Wk 1
Bleed for This (OR) 1,549 theaters (0)/$211k Wed./ $187K Thur /$363K Fri/$367K Sat/$220K Sun/3-day: $950K(-60%)/3-day: $1.3M/Total cume: $4.25M/Wk 2
Dear Zindagi (BIG) 154 theaters/$188K Wed./$232K Thur/$320K Fri /$398K Sat/$365K Sun/3-day: $1.08M/5-day: $1.5M/Wk 1
Lion (TWC) 4 theaters/$43K Fri/$47K Sat/$38K Sun/$32K PTA/3-day: $128K/Wk 1
Miss Sloane (EUR) 3 theaters/$25K Fri/$23K Sat/$15K Sun/$21K PTA/3-day: $63K/Wk 1
7TH Writethru, Saturday AM after Black Friday 11:27 PM: Black Friday, the highest grossing day of the Thanksgiving stretch, grossed an estimated $71M from the top 26 titles, which is even to last year’s biggest shopping day of the year.
Disney’s Moana easily crested to its highest daily take in its three-day run with an estimated $21.8M, +127% from its Thanksgiving haul of $9.9M. This shifts Disney’s Hula girl to $80.4M over five days, making her their second best Thanksgiving opener, currently behind Frozen‘s $93.6M all-time opening record, and nickels above 1999’s Toy Story 2 which made $80.1M. Of the top 10 Thanksgiving 5-day debuts, Disney will own nine of them with Moana (Warner Bros.’ Four Christmases at $46M 5-day ranks as No. 7 in the top 10). Will Saturday take Moana higher? Typically Disney animated fare like Frozen, The Good Dinosaur and Toy Story 2 falls between 5%-6% from Black Friday into Saturday, and bean counters are expecting the same for Moana. Pic’s opening day of $15.7M was Disney’s highest opening Wednesday for an animated movie, beating Frozen‘s $15.1M. Moana counts $48.1M through three days.
In addition to Moana‘s A CinemaScore, she received a glowing 89% positive on PostTrak with 71% definite recommend. Thirty-six percent of those who were polled watched it in 3D. A very small percentage at 3% said it didn’t meet their expectations while 40% claimed Moana was far better than what they were expecting.
Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is also having a powerful run this holiday drawing $44.7M over three-days, a -40% dip for a 10-day run of $155.8M. On a 5-day basis, Beasts owns the 12th best Thanksgiving run with $65.3M. 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is No. 4 on that list with $82.4M.
While a majority of the titles in the top 10 fell an average of -23% between Wednesday and Thanksgiving, they surged on average +113.7% between Turkey day and Black Friday.
Despite the fact that Paramount’s Allied is expected to inch out Arrival over five days, $16.9M to $15.5M, it’s the latter film that’s faring better in its third weekend. The Amy Adams film has caught on with a three-day that’s expected to be down -7% taking its total cume to $62.3M.
Next to its $85M production cost, Allied‘s start isn’t strong enough. On Friday morning, Paramount projected that the Robert Zemeckis title could get to $18M in five, but it’s looking lower than the $18.6M that Bridge of Spies drew in five days.
Allied and Bridge of Spies pulled in similar demos with men slightly over 50%, and more than 84% over 25 according to CinemaScore (PostTrak shows women at 51% leading, 78% over 25). But that’s where there similarity stops. Bridge of Spies cost less than Allied ($40M before P&A), and earned an A CinemaScore, 91% fresh Rotten Tomatoes reviews and a final domestic of $72.3M. Allied is battling a B grade and a 66% middling fresh rating in a Moana-Fantastic Beasts world. Did we mention Allied is Pitt’s third WWII movie in seven years after Inglorious Basterds ($38M opening) and Fury ($23.7M FSS)? Low recommend rates per PostTrak of 56% definitely. Overall positive score is 79%.
Distribution chiefs often say that glossy magazine affairs don’t impact the average moviegoer’s decisions to buy a ticket to a certain star’s movie, so in that regard, Pitt’s pending divorce from Angelina Jolie wouldn’t be a factor. However, on social media, RelishMix observed before Allied opened that the movie was benefiting from the fans’ fascination with Pitt, his co-star Marion Cotillard and his recent separation from wife Jolie: “Fans love likening this situation to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, a similar film and personal situation for Pitt years ago.”
Broad Green/Miramax’s Bad Santa 2 five-day is sliding to an estimated $8.5M, slightly more than half of the amount of dough that was generated off Bad Santa in 2003 from its 5-day Turkey trot ($16.8M). That movie went on to gross 4.9x of its opening for $60M (based on its $12.2M FSS). Even lower grades here than Allied with 69% positive and a 51% definite recommend. Surprise, surprise, older males bought tickets at 55% guys, 70% over 25 per PostTrak.
The question needs to be asked whether TV spots and marketing sold the sequel as being more intriguing than the first. That’s important, because if the movie doesn’t look any better than the original after 13 years, then why pull yourself away from HBO this weekend, where you can watch Bad Santa for free? I hear Broad Green promoted the movie heavily on NYC and LA billboards. RelishMix noticed that the conversation on social was “50% positive and 50% negative.” In addition, RelishMix notices “Bad Santa 2 is challenged by one of the most non-social, inactive casts of the year. Billy Bob Thornton stars, but he is not social, along with many co-stars. Christina Hendricks and Kathy Bates have official pages/feeds, but Hendricks hasn’t posted since 2014, and Bates is not activated.” Few titles in the Miramax library are prime for franchise extensions at the B.O., particularly with Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez in TWC’s camp. Along with The Wedding Ringer script that was found in a box in a northern New Jersey warehouse, I hear Bad Santa 2 was the next best thing to be mined out of this vintage, cult indie library. God, let’s hope the new Miramax regime isn’t thinking about making Chocolat 2 or even Pinocchio 2.
Our analysis from Thursday on Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply still stands. It’s a movie that’s out of its time. There’s a chance with all the awards Q&As with the filmmaker that the movie could eventually see some below-the-line love, but even that won’t move the needle for this picture which is on its way to one of the lowest openings ever for a major studio release (in the low 2K screen range). Rules‘ projected $1.5M FSS is lower than Fox’s Labor Day release Morgan ($2M FSS) and nickels from sinking lower than Jem and the Holograms ($1.38M FSS). Rules has a champ in its star Lily Collins who’s tubthumping to her 8.5M social fans, but clearly it’s not enough. Plus, the rest of the cast is non-social. RelishMix notes that the online conversation was “light in volume and very mixed…moviegoers only see Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes from The Aviator. They are confused by the plot lines and who is the actual star of Rules.”
In better news, Hacksaw Ridge by Sunday will have logged $52.3M, conquering the domestic take of Mel Gibson’s previous directorial Apocalypto at the B.O. ($50.8M).
Specialty highlights: Weinstein Co.’s Lion opened today to $43K on four NYC and LA screens; it’s expected per industry figures to make $115K for a per theater $28,8K. These are very early numbers and could change dramatically. Last year, Carol pulled in $253K at four locations. Lion has a 77% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, and Pete Hammond said on Friday that the pic is generating a significant amount of buzz from Academy members. The movie, based on Saroo Brierley’s true story, follows a five-year old Indian boy separated from his mother, adopted by an Australian couple, and then, in his 20s, finds his birth mother.
EuropaCorp’s Miss Sloane loaded up an estimated $25K last night at three sites for a projected FSS of $66K and a PTA of 22K. Jessica Chastain stars as a power D.C. lobbyist who joins a scrappy boutique firm that reps the backers of a gun control bill. Miss Sloane currently owns a 72% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score from 23 reviews.
Here’s how the top 11 pics fared on Black Friday and how everything is looking per industry estimates as of Saturday AM, ranked by 3-day takes:
1). Moana (DIS), 3,875 Theaters / $15.7M Wed. (includes $2.6M previews)/Thurs. $9.9M (-37%)/$21.8M Fri (+127%)/ 3-day cume: $54.7M /5-day: $80.4M/Wk 1
2). Fantastic Beasts… (WB), 4,144 theaters / $11.1M Wed./Thurs. $9.6M (-12%)/$18.5M Fri. (+93%)/ 3-day cume: $44.6M (-40%)/5-day: $65.3M/Total: $155.8M/Wk 2
3).Doctor Strange (DIS), 3,008 theaters (-686) / $3M Wed. / $2.5M (-17%) Thurs./$5.4M Fri (+118%)/3-day cume: $13.5M (-24%) /5-day:$19M/Total cume: $205.2M/Wk 4
4). Allied (PAR), 3,160 Theaters / $2.7M Wed. (includes $600k previews)/ $2.3M (-14%) Thur. $2.3m (-14%)/$4.9M Fri (+109%)/3-day cume: $12.6M /5-day: $16.9M/Wk 1
5). Arrival (PAR), 2,442 theaters (+107)/ $2.1M Wed./ $2.2M (+5%) Thurs./$4.6M Fri (+109%)/3-day cume: $11.2M (-7%)/5-day: $15.5M/Total:$62.3M/ Wk 3
6.) Trolls (DWA/20th Century Fox), 3,378 theaters (-567) / $2.66M Wed. / $1.25M Thurs (-54%)/$4.2M Fri (+236%)/3-day cume: $10.3M (-41%) /5-day: $14.3M/Total Cume: $135.1M/Wk 4
7.) Bad Santa 2 (BG/MX), 2,900 Theaters / $1.58M Wed. (includes $330k previews)/$1.3M Thurs (-16%)/$2.3M Fri (+77%)/ 3-day cume: $5.8M /5-day: $8.5M/Wk 1
8). Almost Christmas (UNI), 1,868 theaters (-511) / $811K Wed. /$1.2M (+36%) Thurs/$2.3M Fri (+92%)/ 3-day cume: $5.6M (-15%)/5-day: $7.5M/Total: $34.6M/ Wk 3
9). Hacksaw Ridge (Lionsgate), 2,418 theaters (-465) / $1.1M Wed. /$1.15M (+5%) Thurs/$2.3M Fri (+104%)/$5.5M (-15%) 3-day (-55%)/5-day:$7.8M/Total: $52.3M/ Wk 4
10.) The Edge of Seventeen (STX) 1,945 theaters/ $733K Wed../$528K (-28%) Thurs./$1.1M Fri (+108%)/3-day: $2.9M (-40%)/5-day $4.1M/Total: $10.3M/wk 2
11.) Rules Don’t Apply (FOX), 2,382 Theaters / $308k Wed. (includes $65k previews)/ $279k (-9%) Thurs./$598K Fri (+114%)/3-day cume: $1.5M /5-day: $2.1M/Wk 1
Bleed for This (OR) 1,549 theaters (0)/$211k Wed./ $187K Thur (-11%)/$354K (+89k)/3-day: $904K(-62%)/3-day: $1.3M/Total cume: $3.8M/Wk 2
Dear Zindagi (BIG) 154 theaters/$188K Wed./$232K Thur (+23%)/$320K Fri (+38%)/3-day: $848K/5-day: $1.26M/Wk 1
Lion (TWC) 4 theaters/$43K Fri/$28,8K PTA/3-day: $115K/Wk 1
Miss Sloane (EUR) 3 theaters/$25K Fri/$22K PTA/3-day: $66K/Wk 1
4TH Writethru 7:18AM Thanksgiving after 12:22AM: Disney is calling the opening day for Moana at $15.68M which not only beats Frozen‘s $15.1M first day, but reps a record Wednesday start for a Disney animated feature. The Pacific island princess movie is also riding an A CinemaScore wave and could literally hit $90M in five days according to industry projections, though rival distributors have it as low as $85.8M. Moana is currently playing in 3,875 theaters with Moms (of course) leading the way into the theater at 64% female (they gave along with the 25-34 demo gave the film an A+), 53% under 25. Three-day should be around $62M. Frozen owns the top 5-day Thanksgiving opening of all-time with $93.6M. Among all animated pics opening on a Wednesday, Illumination/Universal owns that record with Despicable Me 2‘s $35M.
For the next couple of days, box office figures are apt to fluctuate in regards to their 3-day and 5-day takes. Note that Black Friday is truly the turning point of the weekend since it’s the highest grossing day of the stretch. Depending on how titles fare past that point will indicate how low or high they go. As of right now, most films in the top 10 are expected to fall at least an average -10% between today and Thanksgiving, before shooting up an average +122% on Black Friday.
As we mentioned yesterday, family fare is largely lording the long holiday weekend, with Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them snatching $11M yesterday in 4,144, sending it across the century line with $101.5M. Beasts is stomping toward a 3-day of $40M (down a very good 46%), 5-day of $60M, and running cume by Sunday of $150.5M. Yes, family titles rally at this time of year, but similar to last weekend, most adult titles are being slowed down. In fact, if you’re a holdover, you’re in much better shape: In this current set of stats this AM, Paramount’s Allied is currently being beaten by Amy Adams’ alien drama Arrival (4th place $11.5M over FSS, -25% in its third sesh), $15.8M for five), but the Melrose lot think the Robert Zemeckis-directed movie can push its way to $20M in five-days.
As of right now, per industry estimates, Allied in 3,160 theaters is expected to log a $2.7M Wednesday on its way to a $10.3M FSS, and $15.3M Wed-Sun. cume for a sixth place rank, just under its $20M projection earlier this week. Pic’s B CinemaScore coupled with its middling reviews (65% fresh) aren’t expected to help it much. Pitt’s seen worst (remember Killing Them Softly‘s $6.8M opening?), but this isn’t a very good start for this $85M production next to the actor’s previous upscale fall fare (Fury with $23.7M FSS, and Moneyball $19.5M). A pity, because this WWII romp is really sexy, and pretty fun. Again, things could change by Friday. Near male-to-female split of 51%/49% showed up tonight to watch Pitt and Marion Cotillard’s chemistry with 85% over 25. Pic’s WWII subject matter at 46% was a driver along with Pitt who pulled in 41% of the audience to Cotillard’s 8%.
Of the new stuff Broad Green/Miramax’s R-rated Bad Santa 2 and 20th Century Fox/Regency’s Rules Don’t Apply are truly feeling the pain. Bad Santa 2 is sliding down into multiplexes exactly 13 years later with close to $1.6M opening day that’s very close to the first chapter’s opening day. But this sequel isn’t expected to leg out to a $16.8M five-day like its 2003 edition. Bad Santa 2 is projected at $5.7M over FSS and $8.4M for five in eighth, well below the $15M-$20M that some trackers spotted. Sequels to classic comedies are hard, and thus bombing is easy, particularly when you’re trying to jumpstart an older brand. It doesn’t matter if it’s an indie movie or a tentpole (read the latest versions of Ghostbusters and Vacation). Estimated production cost on Bad Santa 2 is $25M, though that figure includes historical script rewrites (We hear EP Doug Ellin was the first to take a crack at the story). Audiences gave 2003’s Bad Santa a B, but they’re sorry they even approached this one, giving the Mark Waters movie a C+ CinemaScore. Older male crowd purchased tickets at 61% guys, 71% over 25.
Warren Beatty’s directorial return Rules Don’t Apply from Regency/20th Century Fox is falling outside the top 10, likely in 11th place with an atrocious $308K at 2,382 theaters (that’s $129 a theater, ouch!) and a projected Wed.-Sun. run of $2.2M. An avid moviegoer told me yesterday that he visited the Hollywood Arclight last night and asked the clerk behind the counter what wasn’t selling. The first title out of his mouth? “Rules Don’t Apply“. Critics and audiences weren’t warm to Rules respectively with a 59% Rotten Tomatoes Score and B- CinemaScore. Beatty’s fans showed up with 54% of the audience over 50, 67% female with 32% citing Beatty as why they decided to go. What’s sad is that this Howard Hughes movie was a huge passion project of Beatty’s for more than two decades. The Oscar-winning director of Reds has been relentlessly doing screening Q&As around town to drum up the pic’s profile during awards season, and even had Rules Don’t Apply open AFI Fest. What’s not working here is that it’s a movie that’s out of its time. First anything that’s about Hollywood, that’s set in Hollywood rarely plays well outside of L.A.. Furthermore, Rules has an episodic rhythm, and for a semi-biopic about Hughes, it’s a comedy that largely focuses on its younger, beautiful protagonists played by Lily Collins and Alden Ehrenreich (in a short time, his profile will skyrocket further thanks to his lock on the title role in Disney/Lucasfilm’s Han Solo movie). Rules cost an estimated $25M before P&A; it’s a distribution deal for Fox.
Those holdovers that are faring well despite Moana and Beasts’ dominance include Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange in third with $3M on Wednesday, $20.1M for the five-day, and a running cume by Sunday that’s at $206.37M, nickels shy of overtaking the lifetime domestic haul of Thor: The Dark World. Fifth for the weekend, DreamWorks Animation/Fox’s Trolls made $2.66M yesterday for $11.1M over FSS (-36%), $15.5M over five days and a running cume through its fourth weekend of $136.4M.
STX’s R-rated teen comedy The Edge of Seventeen could slot 10th with $733K for Wednesday, $3.6M for FSS (-24%) with a five-day of $4.9M and a running cume of $11M.
Top films per industry estimates for the Thanksgiving period of Nov. 23-Nov. 27 (Ranked by 3-day):
1). Moana (DIS), 3,875 Theaters / $15.7M Wed. (includes $2.6M previews)/ 3-day cume: $62M /5-day: $85.8M-$90M/Wk 1
2). Fantastic Beasts… (WB), 4,144 theaters / $11.1M Wed./ 3-day cume: $40M (-46%)/5-day: $60M/Total: $150.5m/Wk 2
3).Doctor Strange (DIS), 3,008 theaters (-686) / $3M Wed. / 3-day cume: $14.5M (-18%) /5-day:$20.1M/Total cume: $206.37M/Wk 4
4). Arrival (PAR), 2,442 theaters (+107)/ $2.1M Wed./ 3-day cume: $11.5M (-25%)/5-day: $15.8M/Total:$62.6M/ Wk 3
5.) Trolls (DWA/20th Century Fox), 3,378 theaters (-567) / $2.66M Wed. / 3-day cume: $11.1M (-50%) /5-day: $15.5M/Total Cume: $136.4M/Wk 4
6). Allied (PAR), 3,160 Theaters / $2.7M Wed. (includes $600k previews)/ 3-day cume: $10.3M /5-day: $15.3M/Wk 1
7). Hacksaw Ridge (Lionsgate), 2,418 theaters (-465) / $1.1M Wed. /$5.9M (-11%) 3-day (-55%)/5-day:$8.2M/Total: $52.7M/ Wk 4
8). Bad Santa 2 (BG/MX), 2,900 Theaters / $1.58M Wed. (includes $330k previews)/ 3-day cume: $5.7M /5-day: $8.4M/Wk 1
9). Almost Christmas (UNI), 1,868 theaters (-511) / $811K Wed. / 3-day cume: $5.2M (-28%)/5-day: $6.9M/Total: $34.1M/ Wk 3
10.) The Edge of Seventeen (STX) 1,945 theaters/ $733K Wed../3-day: $3.6M/5-day $4.9M/Total: $11M/wk 2
11.) Rules Don’t Apply (FOX), 2,382 Theaters / $308k Wed. (includes $65k previews)/ 3-day cume: $1.6M /5-day: $2.2M/Wk 1
2ND UPDATE, Wednesday 1:22 PM: It’s looking like another weekend where family-centric product will dominate, with adult-skewing titles potentially fighting for audiences. With everyone celebrating tomorrow and 74% of K-12 schools and 56% colleges out today, it no doubt is a big moviegoing day, and Disney’s Moana expected to top it with $13.5 million (including $2.6M previews) at 3,875 theaters, followed by Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them with an estimated $10.5M. This will put Moana on top for the five-day with $77 million, followed by Fantastic Beasts with $65M.
Should Beasts’ pace keep up, it will hit $155.46M by Sunday, which is 17% behind 2001’s Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone at the same point in time ($186.97M, $317.6M final domestic).
Paramount’s Allied is the one adult-skewing title that looks to keep up through the onslaught of monsters and Disney’s hula girl, with $3.3M today (including $600K previews) at 3,160 venues, and a three-day of $13.75M and five-day of $20M.
Broad Green/Miramax’s Bad Santa 2 will make more than its 2003 predecessor on its opening day, $2.4M vs. $1.6M, but by Sunday it likely will be less than than first chapter, $12.5M vs. $16.8M. Nonetheless, the sequel was produced for a cheap $25M before P&A, and these holiday titles are cash cows for the rest of their lives on TV and home entertainment. The R-rated comedy is in play at 2,920 runs.
And 20th Century Fox/Regency’s Rules Don’t Apply can only hope to break rules to find higher ticket sales. It only made $59 per location last night and is fizzling at an estimated $600K today for $3M this weekend, $4.1M over five.
All of this could change as we come away from Black Friday, which typically is the day with the most multiplex traffic out of the five.
PREVIOUS, 7:10 AM:
Fantastic Beasts Flies High On Tuesday As Moana Starts to Dance
Warner Bros and J.K. Rowling’s original cinematic story Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ruled Tuesday with an estimated $9.3 million at 4,144 theaters as four new wide releases began previews in an effort to get a leg up on the Wednesday-Sunday Thanksgiving Day stretch. The cume through five days for the David Yates-directed movie stands at $90.5M. Beasts’ Tuesday beats a trio of November Harry Potter releases including 2001’s Sorcerer’s Stone ($7.65M), Chamber Of Secrets ($4.7M) and Goblet Of Fire ($9M). Currently, Beasts is pacing 13% behind the first five days of Sorcerer’s Stone, which grossed $104.6M during that span and finished with a domestic cume of $317.6M.
But Beasts didn’t stop Walt Disney from beating preview records with its holiday release of Moana, which drew $2.6M last night from shows starting at 7 PM. Moana‘s moola outstrips previous feature toon preview nights including Zootopia‘s Thursday night ($1.7M), Big Hero Six ($1.4M), The Good Dinosaur (which had a Tuesday night preview record of $1.3M) as well as Frozen ($1.2M). The latter ice sister princess movie remains the five-day Thanksgiving champ with $93.59M (with a $67.4M 3-day). This year, Disney hit opening records with Pixar’s Finding Dory notching a $135M domestic debut, the best ever for an animated movie, as well as Zootopia clocking $75.1M in its first weekend, which is a record for an original Disney Animation title.
Moana will bow in 3,80o theaters today with 80% of its locations providing 3D. The film, directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, features songs by multi-Tony-winning Hamilton star and creator Lin-Manual Miranda, and tells the story about a Pacific Island girl who in an effort to reverse the bad luck that has fallen on her Oceania village seeks out the demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) so that they might right the wrongs that he has done by angering the gods.
Tracking is split; some are giving the edge to Moana to take the 3- and 5-day No. 1 run (never underestimate Disney) with as much as $75M-$80M, but there’s also a scenario where over five days Rowling’s monsters could tip over Disney’s surfer girl. Moana currently has a 99% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score.
An interesting side note about yesterday’s box office: DreamWorks Animation/Fox’s Trolls made a little bit more than Moana with $2.7M at 3,945. It just goes to show the staying power of that movie in its 19th day of release with a running cume of $120.9M, which is $19M behind DWA’s November 2008 hit Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa at the same point in time (it finaled at $180M stateside), with the hairy short guys set to overtake the final domestic cume of 2007’s Bee Movie ($126.6M) this week.
Paramount’s Brad Pitt-Marion Cotillard World War II movie Allied marched to $600K, an amount that’s just above the preview night for DreamWorks/Disney’s Cold War period movie last year Bridge Of Spies which made $500K on its Thursday before making a $5.4M Friday and a $15.4M 3-day. Without a major holiday in its initial path, Bridge Of Spies made $18.6M in its first five days, and the hope for the Melrose lot is that they get to $20M for this $85M pic directed by Robert Zemeckis. It centers on an intelligence officer (Pitt) who–whoops–falls in love with the wrong girl (Cotillard) in North Africa during the war. Allied currently has a 62% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score.
Broad Green/Miramax’s Bad Santa 2 found $350K at 1,969 venues last night. It’s an R-rated comedy. The first Bad Santa opened to $1.6M on Thanksgiving eve, then went on to gross $16.8M over five days. A promotional screening of Bad Santa 2 out here in L.A. was overcrowded and played through the roof. Bad Santa 2‘s previews are lower than that of Seth Rogen’s $550K for The Night Before a year ago; however, that movie was playing at more theaters (2,410).
Also previewing last night was 20th Century Fox/Regency’s Rules Don’t Apply which hasn’t really caught on yet with the holiday crowd, making $65K at 1,100. The Warren Beatty period comedy which runs 126 minutes isn’t expected to do that well over five days with a take that’s in the mid-to-high single digits. Pic carries a production cost of $25M. Currently, reviewers are split on it with a 58% Rotten Tomatoes score.
There are 74% of K-12 schools out on recess, with another 56% colleges. Those numbers rise to 100% over the next two days, with Black Friday typically the most lucrative moviegoing day over the five-day holiday.