SUNDAY 11 AM, 6TH UPDATE: Warner Bros‘ hit holdover Gravity had outstanding international holds in all key markets of 38 territories now in release, dropping only 27%. The cume now stands at $68M and the worldwide total at almost $200M. Upcoming are openings in Brazil, Korea, Mexico, France, Britain, Japan, and presumably China. Pic’s IMAX gross is the highest second weekend non‐holiday hold (‐21%) for a film opening over $55M, and the biggest second weekend non‐holiday hold (‐21%) for over 2,000 locations this year. It’s also now IMAX’S highest-grossing second weekend ever, besting previous records for films released in summer and holiday. This, even after 45 IMAX locations shifted to playing Sony Pictures’ Captain Phillips. This weekend wound up with very strong grosses for the Top 3 domestic movies - but not much left for the other pics through Columbus Day Monday. So total moviegoing looks like $120M, or -10% from last year.
Gravity expanded into 3,660 North American theaters and is still in such strong orbit that it’s running rings around other adult newcomers. After making $12.6M Friday and rising to $18.4M Saturday, the space drama finished with a $44.2M second weekend (-21% from a week ago). That’s a $123.4M cume through Sunday thanks to an 82% 3D ratio. ”It doesn’t get much better than that. The demise of 3D in the domestic marketplace was totally premature,” a Warner Bros exec tells me. ”Of all the people polled this week, over 6% had already seen Gravitytwice. Great legs and awards to follow.” Thanks to those repeat viewings and astounding VFX and great word-of-mouth, this Oscar-buzzed original thriller grossed IMAX domestic cume of $26.5M with a global cume $33.3M. Good thing IMAX reserved the entire month of October to play this film. Other markets still to open, include Japan, Mexico, the Middle East, and the UK. Pic also is on track for one of the year’s top second weekend sales on Fandango. (First is Iron Man 3.) According to Fandango and MovieTickets.com, Alfonso Cuaron’s space thriller starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney accounted for 47%-48% of all online tickets sold from Thursday to Friday. Meanwhile, Gravity‘s global grosses could rocket near $175M in its first 10 days of release. Let’s not forget it was then Warner Bros Pictures chief Jeff Robinov who took this now Oscar-buzzed script out of turnaround at Universal after Cuaron and his reps asked for it back when David Linde left. (Despite this and other successes, Robinov was pushed out the door. Only in Hollywood, folks.)
Sony/Columbia Pictures’ real-life sea pirates saga Captain Phillips jumped +23% from Friday to Saturday. In solid 2nd place, this latest Tom Hanks starrer earned a rare ‘A’ CinemaScore from audiences and obviously helped word of mouth after opening in 3,020 theaters. Friday’s take was $8.5M, Saturday’s $10.4M, nearing a $26M first weekend. But who thought we’d see the day when the Captain Phillips poster wouldn’t even feature Hanks’ face? Now this is one of Hanks’ biggest live-action fllms in what has been a long list of recent flops at the box office. (His last hit was Sony’s 2009 Angels & Demons and debuted to $46.2M.) This Paul Greengrass directed PG-13 drama from a screenplay by Billy Ray is based on the book “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, And Dangerous Days at Sea” by the real-life captain Richard Phillips. It set sail with $600K from Thursday late shows and Friday midnights buoyed by strong reviews (94% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes). Producers included Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, and Scott Rudin. Fandango saw sales jump from 15% to 33% Thursday to Friday, prompting a Sony exec to predict: ”Plenty of juice left at the box office this weekend for Captain Phillips on the strength of fantastic notices.” Studio claims the film cost about $55M. Opening weekend demos for the film showed the audience was 52% male and 48% female. and 38% was under 35 while 62% over 35. Captain Phillips debuted at the New York Film Festival and Britain’s BFI London Film Festival to great acclaim – including a NYFF standing ovation during the gala premiere with Hanks and Greengrass and Phillips on the Red Carpet. Naturally, the media questioned the pic’s accuracy depicting that 2009 hijacking off the Somali coast. In fact a 3-year-old lawsuit is still going on questioning the ship’s owner for putting the crew in danger. (“The movie tells a highly fictionalized version of what actually happened,” one lawyer tells ABC News. So what else is new? Hollywood rarely gets true stories right.) This only matters if controversy obscures the awards buzz for a Best Picture Oscar nod or Hanks another Best Acting Oscar nomination 13 years after his last win. Marketing focused on adults who like to leave theaters thinking about a film’s issues. High profile promotion included the Emmy Awards, season premieres of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Scandal, Sleepy Hollow, and The Blacklist, and watercooler shows like SNL, The Walking Dead and The Voice - plus key TV sports events. Sony also bought a big digital footprint with Tom Hanks doing an ‘Ask Me Anything’ chat on Reddit and the studio targeting Twitter buzz around the Breaking Bad finale for ads for Captain Phillips.
Sony Pictures after a dismal summer now starts autumn stronger. Studio has both the #2 and now the #3 pic with Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 taking in $3.5M Friday and $6M Saturday for a great hold this weekend. Toon is targeting a $14.2M third weekend and fresh $78M cume through Sunday. The sequel should gross a good Columbus Day Monday to no doubt top the original’s $125M domestic total all in.
Dropping from a distant #4 to #5, Open Road Films’ actioner Machete Kills directed by Robert Rodriguez rated only a mediocre ‘B-’ CinemaScore from audiences. The R-rated bloodfest opened to $1.4M Friday (including Thursday late shows and Friday midnights for $200K) and another $1.4M Saturday for under $4M in 2,372 runs this weekend. That’s less than half what the distributor hoped. Good thing Open Road in October 2012 acquired Machete Kills from Aldamisa Entertainment for only $2M but spent $20M on marketing. ”It’s worth noting that the ancillaries are expected to be very strong as the first Machete grossed $26M at the box office, but ancillaries performed as if it were a $50M theatrical gross,” an Open Road exec tells me. Clearly it didn’t help that this campy sequel starring Danny Trejo stunt-casted Charlie Sheen (who bills himself as Carlos Estevez), Lady Gaga (whose big-screen debut followed a chance encounter with Trejo in an LA tattoo parlor), Mel Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, and Cuba Gooding Jr. Script is by Kyle Ward based on a story by Rdriguez and his son Marcel. Besides Rodriguez, Aaron Kaufman and Iliana Nikolic produced through their QuickDraw Productions banner, as well as Sergei Bespalov of Aldamisa Films, Alexander Rodnyansky of AR Films, and Rick Schwartz of Overnight Films. Promotion focused on core males aged 18-49 and 18-34, with concentration on Latino demos complete with Spanish language materials, publicity appearances on Spanish language networks, and Spanish language social media posts. The first trailer debuted on Fast & Furious 6 followed by a red-band. The final trailer featured a never-before-released song from Lady Gaga called ‘Aura’. But her fans didn’t turn out.
Here’s the Top Ten list based on weekend estimates:
1. Gravity (Warner Bros) Week 2 [Runs 3,660] PG13
Friday $12.7M, Saturday $18.2M, Weekend $44.2M (-21%), Cume $123.4M
2. Captain Phillips (Columbia/Sony) NEW [Runs 3,020] PG13
Friday $8.5M, Saturday $10.8M, Weekend $26.0M
3. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 (Sony) Week 3 [Runs 3,874] PG
Friday $3.5M, Saturday $6.2M, Weekend $14.2M, Cume $78.0M
4. Runner Runner (New Regency/Fox) Week 2 [Runs 3,026] R
Friday $1.1M, Saturday $1.5M, Weekend $3.7M (-57%), Cume $14.2M
5. Machete Kills (Open Road) NEW [Runs 2,538] R
Friday $1.5M, Saturday $1.3M, Weekend $3.7M
6. Prisoners (Alcon/Warner Bros) Week 4 [Runs 2,855] R
Friday $1.0M, Saturday $1.5M, Weekend $3.6M, Cume $53.6M
7. Insidious: Chapter 2 (FilmDistrict) Week 5 [Runs 2,156] PG13
Friday $809K, Saturday $1.2M, Weekend $2.7M, Cume $78.5M
8. Don Jon (Relativity) Week 3 [Runs 1,996] R
Friday $758K, Saturday $960K, Weekend $2.3M, Cume $20.2M
9. Rush (Imagine/Universal) Week 4 [Runs 2,130] R
Friday $707K, Saturday $1.0M, Weekend $2.3M, Cume $22.2M
10. Baggage Claim (Fox Searchlight) Week 3 [Runs 1,320] PG13
Friday $575K, Saturday $967K, Weekend $2.0M, Cume $18.3M
Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.