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Box Office Final: ‘Lucy’ In The Sky At $43.9M; ‘Hercules’ At $29.8M; Top 20 Listed

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 2:00pm PDT

Box Office Final: ‘Lucy’ In The Sky At $43.9M; ‘Hercules’ At $29.8M; Top 20 Listed15th UPDATE, Monday, 2:00 PM: Lucy ended up the weekend just shy of $44M while Hercules did better on Sunday to get $29.8M and several other films did a notch better than expected from Sunday moviegoers. And So It Goes ended up right at $4.6M. Ugh. The Fluffy Movie was on only 432 screens and will remain on those going into the weekend  (results below).

Next weekend, all eyes are on the new openers — Marvel/Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Universal’s James Brown biopic Get On Up — to lift the box office out of its summer slump. And Guardians is likely to do just that. It’s tracking right now between $65M and $75M and veteran distribution executives think it could go higher. It’s 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes right now and seems to be getting positive reaction on all sides. And why not? It’s a really entertaining film, filled with unexpected humor and a raccoon character that kind of steals the show. Right now, Get On Up is tracking around $15M to $20M so between that and the second weekend of Lucy, Universal should end up with the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. Here’s the Top 20 chart … until next weekend when the Star Lord arrives:

1). Lucy (UNI), 3,173 theaters / 3-day cume: $43.9M / Per screen average: $13,835 / Wk 1

2). Hercules (MGM/PAR), 3,595 theaters / 3-day cume: $29.8M / Per screen: $8,289 / Wk 1

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Box Office: ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Swings With $72.6M Weekend; ‘Boyhood’ Mans Up With Strong Per Screen

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 1:57pm PDT

Box Office: ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Swings With $72.6M Weekend; ‘Boyhood’ Mans Up With Strong Per ScreenUPDATED, Monday 1:57 PM: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, brought in, as we reported this AM a total take of $72.6M for the three-day weekend (which included $4.1M in Thursday late nights). This, after it took in $31.3M overseas so it has a worldwide total of $103M+ already and it has barely begun its international run.

The Matt Reeves-directed film had a wonderful Saturday and ended up with an A- CinemaScore so audiences loved it as much as the critics. Sunday moviegoing was off for all films, probably due to the World Cup Finals and the nice weather. Fox’s other film, How to Train Your Dragon 2 had a great hold from Saturday to Sunday but will be hit by Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue when it bows next weekend.  Apes should have at least two solid weeks of play before audiences look to Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy to keep them entertained when it bows on August 1. Transformers: Age of Extinction — in its third weekend of release — crossed $200M on Saturday.

Sony opens Sex Tape next weekend in hopes of making it pop over its estimated $42M+ budget. I’ve seen it and yes, it starts out raunchy, but it is really funny and even, at times, hilarious. The guys will go to see a naked Cameron Diaz and the girls will go see tall drink of water Jason Segel, but it’s really for couples. Rob Lowe also co-stars in this film from the next generation Kasden — Jake — who directed the two in Bad Teacher.

The other movie opening next weekend is Universal’s horror film, The Purge: Anarchy. And, after seeing the one-sheet, I certainly hope they aren’t running those teaser one-sheets reminiscent of the Joker around the Cinemark Theater in Colorado where it will be in the marketplace during the two-year mark of the theater shooting. To me and others who suffered through that, it’s a hard image to look at … sort of like the geniuses who came up with The Strain one-sheets that people don’t want to see either. “Not for everyone.” Indeed. The Purge is bowing today and over the weekend in 14 overseas markets. The chart follows: Read More »

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Media Stocks Beat Overall Market In Q2 As Charter Leads And WWE Lags

By | Monday June 30, 2014 @ 2:06pm PDT

Media Stocks Beat Overall Market In Q2 As Charter Leads And WWE LagsMedia investors did OK in Q2, as long as they diversified — or were lucky. The quarter ended today with the industry, as measured by the Dow Jones U.S. Media Index, up 6.5% from the end of March. That gave investors a slight edge over those who stuck with the Standard & Poors 500, which was up 4.7%. Big Media companies were evenly split above and below the benchmarks, but mostly just making up for their Q1 gains or losses. Fox led the pack this quarter with shares +9.9% (up from a 9.1% drop in Q1) followed by Time Warner (+7.5% vs -6.3% in Q1), Comcast (+7.3% vs -3.7%), and Disney (+7.1% vs +4.8%). They handily beat Viacom (+2.0% vs -2.7%), CBS (+0.6% vs -3.0%), Discovery (-10.2% vs -8.5%) and Sony (-12.3% vs +10.6%).

More broadly, Charter takes the prize as the top performing media company on our watch list with shares +28.6%, reversing a 9.9% drop in Q1. Investors warmed to the company after it cut a deal with Comcast to acquire and swap subscribers, virtually guaranteeing that Charter will become the No. 2 cable operator if the industry giant buys Time Warner Cable. Others up at least 20% in the quarter include Sinclair Broadcast Group (+28.3%, vs -24.2% in Q1), Netflix (+25.2%,vs -4.4%), Cinemark (+21.9%, vs -13%), and Apple (+21.2%, vs -4.3%).

But WWE, the media leader in early 2014, hit the mat as the Street soured on the company’s new online streaming channel that seems to compete with traditional TV. … Read More »

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UPDATED: ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ Spectacular Friday, Matinees Exceptional, Stellar $8.2M Thursday; ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ Yesterday’s News

By | Friday June 6, 2014 @ 8:54pm PDT

fault-in-our-stars3rd UPDATE, FRIDAY, 8:54 PM: As it stands now, Friday is shaping up to be huge at the box office for The Fault in Our Stars as the little picture that could from Fox 2000 looks like it may take home $25M tonight (includes that $8.2M late night and $25 tickets on the simulcast). Early estimates show that the picture’s three-day cume is on the high-end of $40M right now and could easily push past $50M. And that’s with an estimated 35% drop on Saturday. More later when more numbers come in, but right now, audiences are loving this movie to the moon and back.

Edge of Tomorrow — the Tom Cruise sci-fi actioner — may come in at No. 3 for a $30M weekend behind Maleficent, which currently is tracking at around $32M. But the night is young. More to come late tonight. Read More »

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DeadlineNow: Exhibitors Eye Alternative Content And Live Event Biz (Video)

By | Thursday June 5, 2014 @ 4:08pm PDT
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Will 'Stars' Align For New Business Model?

Theater chains have long been counting on alternative content and live events as a way to bolster bottom lines. A special 'Fault In Our Stars' event tonight billed as the largest ever live simulcast experience might be a key test case. Deadline's David Lieberman reports.

Related: Cinemark CEO Talks Up Alternative Content And Live Event For ‘Fault In Our Stars’

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BOX OFFICE PREVIEW: YA-Driven ‘Fault In Our Stars,’ Tom Cruise’s ‘Edge of Tomorrow,’ Second Weekend Of Disney’s ‘Maleficent’ In Heated Competition

By | Thursday June 5, 2014 @ 11:16am PDT
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Box Office Preview

The YA adaptation about a teenage cancer patient who finds love is off to a sizzling start, while the Tom Cruise sci-fi actioner needs to make up ground. Weekend 2 of 'Maleficent' is a wild card. Deadline's Anita Busch reports.

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Weekend Box Office Preview

Tom Cruise's sci-fi movie 'Edge Of Tomorrow' is the latest summer tentpole to hit theaters, but will Fox's teen love story 'The Fault In Our Stars' steal its opening-weekend thunder?

fault-in-our-stars-posterThis is one of those rare weekends, where two movies are opening and another is likely to play strong in its second frame so which might come out on top is a question mark. First off, Fox 2000′s highly-anticipated film based on the best-selling John Green book The Fault in Our Stars opens tonight at 9 p.m. plus it has a a live event going on tonight. That super fan event called “The Night Before Our Stars,” features a live simulcast with the film’s cast and author Green for a Q&A; that’s $25 bucks a pop in 650 theaters. Gotta give kudos to the marketing and distribution team at 20th Century Fox who have really been smart about handling this film. Social media for the picture has just blown up on it as well between the YA crowd but the buzz even has adults wanting to see the film. Having seen it, I gotta say Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort did a heck of a job, but once again, it’s a movie about cancer and for those of us who have experienced cancer in our families — and that is a wide swath of movie goers — it’s hard to watch. Is Fault In Our Stars this generation’s Love Story? It bows at 3,171 locales this weekend.

RELATED: Cinemark CEO talks Up Live Event For Fault In Our Stars

Edge of Tomorrow Tom CruiseTonight’s late nights combined with the live-event sales could push its gross to a high level going into the weekend. But, at the end of the day, it is a movie about kids dying from cancer … so that YA fever pitch and the live event is expected to front-load the late night grosses of the film. The question is how it will do on Saturday as it it likely to take a larger hit. Tracking on this film has it anywhere between a low-$30M and the high-end of $40M. So this pic could be No. 1 and beat Maleficent in its second weekend and also the Tom Cruise-starring Edge of Tomorrow, which opened overseas first last weekend in anticipation of its stateside bow.

Edge of Tomorrow, by all accounts, is looking right now to come in No. 3 this weekend in the mid- Read More »

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Cinemark CEO Talks Up Alternative Content And Live Event For ‘Fault In Our Stars’

By | Thursday June 5, 2014 @ 10:58am PDT
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Will 'Stars' Align For New Business Model?

Theater chains have long been counting on alternative content and live events as a way to bolster bottom lines. A special 'Fault In Our Stars' event tonight billed as the largest ever live simulcast experience might be a key test case. Deadline's David Lieberman reports.

Night Before Our StarsTechnological barriers to offer music, sports, and other forms of video content “are gone” now that most theaters have digital projectors, and many receive content via satellite, Cinemark CEO Tim Warner told investors at the Gabelli & Co Movie & Entertainment Conference. “Now it’s just [about] developing the business model.” He and other execs hope to persuade major studios and other content owners to look at theaters as a kind of pay per view network for non-mainstream movie content on weeknights when most seats typically are empty. Exhibitors don’t necessarily need new relationships. “When you’re talking to ESPN you’re talking to Disney. When you’re talking to Fox Sports you’re talking to 21st Century Fox,” Warner says. Some are willing to experiment. For example, he says, Fox approached Fathom Events to help promote The Fault In Our Stars in a special event tonight. Execs said “Look, let’s do a premiere on the satellite network called ‘The Night Before Our Stars’” which is being billed as “the largest ever live simulcast experience.” Theaters will offer on-screen interviews and musical performances, and give attendees a charm bracelet and poster ahead of a screening of the film — for a $25 ticket price. “It not only pre sold the movie, you got a $25 average ticket price. So this is a great development,” Warner says. “The fact that Fox did this and was so successful, the studios are going to be right behind this….It’s probably a way to help pay for their premieres.”

Related: Regal Gears Up To Add Large Screens And Recliner Seats

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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

Catch up Marvel’s Ant-Man director saga and more from the week in movie news:

edgarwright‘Ant-Man’ / Edgar Wright Lessons: Kevin Feige’s Vision Rules Marvel; Time To Get Excited About ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker’?
By Mike Fleming Jr.
A couple of things to consider in the divorce between Edgar Wright and Marvel over Ant-Man. In my mind, Wright’s surprise exit Friday over creative differences shows that while Marvel certainly will try to tap strong directors for its superhero properties, the power at that studio clearly resides with one person, Kevin Feige.

Will Risky ‘Ant-Man’ Be Marvel’s Waterloo Or Greatest Triumph?
By Mike Fleming Jr.
adam mckayMarvel and the reps of Adam McKay will spend the weekend trying to make a deal for the Talladega Nights helmer to replace Edgar Wright as the director of Ant-Man. McKay, the former Saturday Night Live writer who grew up on that show with Will Ferrell and moved with him to feature films, has become an accomplished director of comedies (Step Brothers is my favorite), but this seems to be a risky move (reports have him already deciding this is not for him).

Relativity Acquires ‘Fearless’ For Film On Navy SEAL Team Six Hero Adam Brown
By Mike Fleming Jr.
EXCLUSIVE: In competitive bidding, Relativity has acquired Fearless, based on the Eric Blehm bestselling book on SEAL Team Six operative Adam Brown. Brown battled personal demons, including drug addiction and jail time, to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a Navy SEAL.

The_Amazing_Spider-Man_2_(film)_poster_001Sony Imageworks’ Flight To Vancouver Latest Blow In VFX Subsidies Battle
By Jen Yamato
Sony Pictures Imageworks announced late Thursday that its headquarters will relocate to Vancouver, leaving the fate of its 270 Culver City VFX workers in question. Read More »

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Was Wall Street Too Pessimistic About The Summer Box Office?

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Wall Street More Upbeat Amid Promising Summer Box Office Sales

Deadline Financial Editor David Lieberman discusses why investors are more optimistic about the summer movie season.

godzilla-2014-france-wallpaperMany investors appear to think so today after domestic box office sales for X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Godzilla beat some forecastsand B. Riley’s Eric Wold upgraded the industry. AMC Entertainment shares are +3.2% in early trading, and Cinemark is +2.4%, after Wold changed his recommendation for both to “buy” from “neutral.” He also raised price targets for Regal, Carmike, and 3D technology company RealD. Although the summer pop corn movie season has only just begun, Wold says that the early results were good enough for him to change his forecast for Q2 and Q3 to flat box office revenues vs the strong sales from the period last year, as opposed to a low-single digit decline. He’s especially impressed with premium ticket sales for 3D and IMAX venues, which collectively accounted for 51% of the opening weekend sales for Godzilla. Last year’s Gravity “introduced more movie-goers to the benefits of seeing a movie in 3D,” he says. In addition, studios are picking better films to offer in 3D while theaters schedule them to become “more of the default choice as opposed to an upgrade decision.” Once investors move past their concerns about the summer 2014 box office, he says, they’ll focus on 2015 could set a record with sequels for hits including the Avengers, the Hunger GamesMission: Impossible, Fast And Furious, and … Read More »

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Box Office: ‘X-Men’ Nabs Stellar $8.1M In Late-Night Thursday Opening For Expected $100M+ Weekend

By | Friday May 23, 2014 @ 8:06am PDT
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X-Men: Days Of Future Past' Eyes $100M

Deadline Film Editor Anita Busch looks ahead at the Memorial Day holiday weekend box office, which includes holdovers 'Blended,' 'Neighbors', & 'Godzilla.

X-Men Days Of Future Past Box OfficeX-Men: Days Of Future Past, the seventh film in the franchise, grossed $8.1M in 2,900 theaters last night, a fantastic start and catapulting it forward into the holiday weekend for an expected gross of well over $100M+ for the 4-days as Sunday should bring in stronger numbers going into this Memorial Day holiday. I was thinking $114M but some other trackers think it could reach $120M when the dust clears on Monday morning, driven by a holiday weekend, strong reviews, a killer cast and an ending tease for X-Men Apocalypse. Ticket seller Fandango surveyed more than 1,000 moviegoers (a small sampling, but interesting nonetheless) and found that 82% are looking forward to seeing X-Men Apocalypse so the fans get their first hint of it on this film. Fandango also found that 76%of those going to this film are motivated by Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence (no surprise there) starring in this one, and 65% are planning to see it with a group of friends. All good. The studio has a lot to celebrate on their on-the-lot X-Men day today.

This is the third big franchise to open in four weeks time following that of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Godzilla. The per screen for last night’s Thursday opening were $2,793. The 2oth Century Fox film also simultaneously started its overseas theatrical bow in 100 countries, including China, which is having an incredible 2014. The screenings for X-Men domestically began at 10 PM, and X-Men — while not in IMAX theaters — still is on 352 large-format screens. Although not having the franchise play on IMAX usually shaves a bit off the top, last weekend those PLF formats accounted for $8.4M of Godzilla‘s total gross, led by Cineplex Canada with 53 screens grossing roughly 23.7% of the format gross. Cinemark also had 96 runs which took in 26% of that business. Total for PLF’s Godzilla take was $96%.

X-Men‘s strong Thursday start puts it amid the top recent earners that began business that day (see chart below).


Meanwhile, X-Men also has built huge momentum across the social media universe over the past 30 days. Star Hugh Jackman (who portrays the ever-popular Wolverine) is the social superhero with 15M Facebook fans and 4M Twitter followers who are apparently engaging heavily with movie still posts and talk show mentions. Both Ian McKellen’s 1M Twitter and Patrick Stewart’s 1.2M FB fans are also engaged, while Jennifer Lawrence and Halle Berry’s domestic and international superfans channels are also spreading the word. Yes, it is a star-packed franchise which cannot be overlooked. Others in the film include James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Anna Paquin, and Chinese (and a favorite in that country) actress Fan Bingbing. Read More »

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BOX OFFICE PREVIEW: ‘X-Men’ Expected $100M Memorial Day Weekend; ‘Blended’ Pairs Sandler, Barrymore … Again

By | Thursday May 22, 2014 @ 12:28pm PDT

imagesX-Men: Days Of Future Past is going to be the Memorial Day box office mutant king with a huge $100M expected opening for 20th Century Fox over the four-day weekend. It’s debuting tonight to fanboys on about 2,700 theaters starting at 10 PM. In comparison, Godzilla bowed last weekend on a similar number of theaters but starting at 7 PM and stomped through with $9.3M.

The other difference between the two is that X-Men is not going to bow on IMAX; it will be on 352 large format screens which will come from Cinemark, Regal, AMC, Carmike and Cineplex Canada. Although not having the franchise play on IMAX usually shaves a bit off the top, the Cinemark PLF on 96 runs did 26% of the PLF gross last weekend, while 53 runs in Cineplex Canada did roughly 23.7% of the $93.1M Godzilla business for Warner Bros./Legendary Pics. Meanwhile, X-Men: Days Of Future Past is, not surprisingly, accounting for 90% of Fandango’s Memorial Day weekend ticket sales and they say, besting its own previous incarnation of the franchise, that of 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, which went onto gross $102.7M over the three-day and $122.8M over the four-day weekend. This marks the return of Bryan Singer to the franchise who last directed X-Men 2 in 2003.
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Video: Daniel Craig, Seth Meyers & Steve Carell Join White House Efforts To Stop Sexual Assault

James Bond has teamed up with President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden to protect people from sexual assault. Along with POTUS and VPOTUS, Daniel Craig is appearing in a new PSA encouraging men to intervene and stop the situation when they realize someone is in danger of being sexually assaulted. The 007 star is joined by Steve Carell, Benicio Del Toro, former West Wing and Psych actor Dulé Hill and NBC’s  Late Night host Seth Meyers.

“I am honored to be part of such an important and crucial project,” said Craig in a statement released by the White House today. “The message is clear and simple; everyone has a responsibility. There are no exceptions. There are no excuses. Please watch it and pass it on.” Launched in coordination with the 1 Is 2 Many campaign and the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, the PSAs will debut next month in Regal Entertainment Group and Cinemark movie theaters. In both a 30-second and 60-second format, they will also appear over NCM Media Networks’ Lobby Entertainment Network and on the big screen in U.S. military bases and ships around the world.

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Fading Gigolo’, ‘The Final Member’, ‘Cesar’s Last Fast’, ‘That Demon Within’, ‘Tasting Menu’, ‘Small Time’

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 6:05pm PDT

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)After making a mega-splash at the box office last year, Woody Allen gets some time in front of the camera with John Turturro‘s comedy Fading Gigolo, which he also stars in along with Sharon Stone. Millennium Entertainment will open the title in limited release. Two docs are among this weekend’s crop of new Specialty releases, including Sundance title Cesar’s Last Fast as well as penis documentary The Final Member from Drafthouse Films. China Lion is opening action-crime feature That Demon Within, which co-stars Nick Cheung who recently won Best Actor at the Hong Kong Film Awards for his role in Unbeatable. Magnolia is rolling out Tasting Menu, hoping to re-create a recipe of lofty box office returns from its previously released food-oriented fare. And Anchor Bay will open Small Time from first time filmmaker Joel Surnow in just over a dozen locations.

Fading Gigologigolo
Director-writer: John Turturro
Cast: John Turturro, Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Vanessa Paradis, Liev Schreiber
Distributor: Millennium Entertainment

John Turturro directed Woody Allen’s one-act play Honeymoon Hotel in 2011. “I was thinking it would be interested to do something with Woody, but I didn’t know if we’d have chemistry,” said Turturro about the beginnings of what would become Fading Gigolo. The comedy centers on Fioravante who decides to become a Don Juan as a way of making money for his cash-strapped friend, Murray. The pair wind up in the sex business. “I didn’t know how I’d approach it but we exchanged notes,” said Turturro. “I did research on living that kind of life and on the Hasidic community. I wanted to make a human comedy and [Woody Allen] encouraged me to take that route.” Read More »

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OSCARS: Paramount Courts Academy Voters For ‘Noah’ And It’s Only April!

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 3:51pm PDT
Pete Hammond

Are you kidding?

Did Paramount just officially start the 2014 Oscar campaign even as we are barely getting the Emmys off the ground and theRussell Crowe as Noah Tonys are two months away? Uh, yes. Looks like it. One top studio exec (not from Paramount) forwarded me an email he got yesterday from the Paramount Awards Office that pronounced free admission starting April 15th - two by two for Academy members and a guest- to screenings of Noah at theaters nationwide – but only Monday thru Thursday since most theater owners usually don’t like to give up seats on the weekends, especially to rich and famous movie types.

Related: Can ‘Noah’ And ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ Overcome Oscar’s Greatest Curse: A March Release Date?
Read More »

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Film Business Is Recovering, But It Won’t Be Steady: Analysts

By | Monday April 7, 2014 @ 5:56am PDT

Wall Street usually shows little love for the movie business with its typically low, and unpredictable, profit margins. Movie MoneyBut in a combined look at the studio and exhibition businesses this morning, MoffettNathanson Research’s Michael Nathanson and Robert Fishman tell investors that it’s time to take a fresh look — as long as they proceed with caution. They lowered profit estimates for major exhibition chains Regal and Cinemark, citing expectations for weaker domestic summer box office results vs 2013. They project a full-year decline of 1.6% to $10.7B followed by a 5% jump in 2015 to $11.3B and then a drop of 2.6% in 2016 to $11.0B. The analysts appeared more upbeat about the studios. “After several terrible years post the popping of the DVD bubble, we believe the film industry is showing signs of health,” they say. “The combination of fewer releases, greater international focus and lower overhead expenses are all driving studio margins ahead of pre-recession levels. These results show that a good crisis wasn’t wasted in Hollywood.” Revenues fell over the last few years at the big four film studios (Warner Bros, Disney, Fox, and Paramount) as they reduced their output. Yet cash flow margins improved to a little under 12% which is “a tribute to their ability to curb bloated studio expenses.” Read More »

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CinemaCon: Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition Agrees To Buy Satellite Competitor Deluxe/EchoStar

DCDCNo word yet on how much the exhibition- and studio-backed satellite distribution group is paying for Deluxe/EchoStar. But the letter of intent announced today will add about 1,000 theaters to DCDC‘s footprint, including many owned by Marcus Theaters and Harkins Theaters. “This important agreement creates clarity in the marketplace,” DCDC CEO Randy Blotky says. CinemaCon2014_badge“It clarifies the roles of DCDC and Deluxe/EchoStar for their respective customers and potential future customers, and it shines a spotlight on DCDC’s future expansion pathway.” Deluxe’s Joe Hart adds that the combination “opens the door to the distribution of not only features but trailers and alternative content as well.” Exhibition execs like the low cost and flexibility of satellite delivery, but many have been frustrated by the competition between companies that use different technologies — forcing some to install multiple dishes. DCDC began its transmissions in October. It was founded by AMC Theatres, Cinemark, and Regal — and Warner Bros and Universal Pictures. Disney, Sony, Fox, Paramount, Lionsgate and Open Road also provide content via DCDC, and Southern Theatres and National Amusements are customers.

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UPDATE: Fandango Adds More Than 1,000 U.S. Screens

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 8:50am PDT

UPDATED, 8:50 AM: CinemaCon2014_badgeFollowing its exclusive multi-year renewal with Cinemark (original story below), NBCUniversal-owned Fandango announced today it has added five new exhibitors, Malco Theatres, Frank Theatres, Goodrich Quality Theaters, NCG Cinemas and Paragon Theaters. That brings its online and mobile ticketing to more than 1,000 screens in over a dozen states, Fandango says.

Related: CinemaCon: Fandango & Veezi Ink Online Ticketing Deal

Fandango-logo__140325154101-275x154PREVIOUS, MARCH 24 AM: We’ll probably see a lot of announcements like this one pegged to the exhibition industry gathering this week in Las Vegas. Fandango says that it has a new multi-year deal to be the exclusive third-party provider of online and mobile ticketing services for Cinemark‘s 4,400 U.S. screens. “We have worked closely with Fandango for many years and they’ve been a great partner, helping us deliver many conveniences to our guests,” says Cinemark CEO Tim Warner. NBCUniversal-owned Fandango continues to say that it’s “coming off a record-breaking year in 2013, with record-high ticket sales, web and mobile traffic, and app downloads” as well as “a dramatic 57% increase in mobile ticket sales.” But, as we’ve noted before, it’s hard to say what these statements mean: Fandango doesn’t disclose how many tickets it sold. The impressive growth in mobile sales still is a slowdown from the 171% growth in 2012, and the 73% increase in 2011. Smart phone and tablet users accounted for more than … Read More »

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BOX OFFICE: ‘Divergent’ Takes $54.6M; ‘Muppets Most Wanted’ Zapped By ‘Peabody’ & ‘Frozen’?; Faith-Based ‘God’s Not Dead’ Surprises At No. 4 And ‘Budapest Hotel’ Another Strong Showing

OPENING: Divergent (LGF/SUMMIT) was expected at $53M to $55M+ and rose to $56M+ for the weekend, ended at $54.6; Muppets Most Wanted (DIS) was tracking at $28M, then opened and was thought to be $18 to $19M, then ended at $17M; God’s Not Dead (FREESTYLE RELEASING) surprised everyone to take the No. 5 spot and a wicked $11K per screen. NOTEWORTHY: The Grand Budapest Hotel (FSL) expands to 304 for a strong $22K per screen; Frozen drops out of Top Ten after 18 weeks in release.

Box office6th UPDATE, MONDAY, 2:45 PM: With an opening weekend of $54.6M, Lionsgate’s Divergent opened right in line with what it was tracking at, not $56M+ but still a strong opening for the start of another hopeful franchise for the company. It should get yet another good weekend as Spring Break swings into gear and before Captain America (DIS/MARVEL) debuts. The surprise of the weekend was the strong opening of faith-based film God’s Not Dead which debuted in No. 6 on Friday and ended up stepping up to No. 4 with a higher than expected gross on Sunday of  $9.2M with a very hearty per screen average of $11,852. The question is, of course, its second weekend out and how much it will drop. Son of God from Fox took around a 60% hit on its second weekend out and Paramount Pictures’ Noah opens this weekend so it may sink to the bottom like a rock.

peabodyMuppets Most Wanted was a big disappointment for Disney, ending its opening weekend with $17M and change on a budget of $54M. Frozen is on PPV and hit the street on DVD this weekend so you have to wonder how much that took from its opening weekend. Same studio, too. And, as I said below, if Mr. Peabody, which took in $11.8M wasn’t in the marketplace wouldn’t Muppets have benefited that much more? Hopefully, for the filmmakers it will make some money in home entertainment. Exhibs wanted more family films in the first quarter and they got it, 80FEB5CE-B4B3-FFD6-28D0C3F38E6C445Bmaxresdefaultbut the success of one film is gnawing the box office away for another. The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of those first quarter surprises for the industry. It opened in very limited release three weeks ago for a record-breaking $202K per screen and it just … won’t … quit. Fox Searchlight is expanding the Wes Anderson-directed pleaser to around 700 to 800 screens this weekend. Shouldn’t be hard to reach that goal. Final Top 20 chart below: Read More »

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Lionsgate Shares Up Modestly After ‘Divergent’ Meets Analysts’ Expectations

By | Monday March 24, 2014 @ 10:21am PDT

Divergent coverOn an ordinary day you’d expect Lionsgate shares to rebound nicely today. Stifel’s Benjamin Mogil predicted “a sigh of relief” after the studio’s latest release, Divergent, pretty much met analysts’ recently lowered expectations by generating $56M at domestic box offices over the weekend. But company shares are up 2.7% in mid-day trading,  leaving Lionsgate down 14% since March 12, while exhibition stocks are off today. Investors are responding to the anemic overall box office results — as well as a report showing weak growth in U.S. manufacturing, and growing predictions that Russia could fall into a recession following Western economic sanctions its annexation of Crimea. The Dow Jones U.S. Media Index is down about 1%. Too bad for Lionsgate: Wells Fargo Securities’ Marci Ryvicker says the film beat her $50M target and “more than likely sets up another franchise for the studio.” MKM Partners’ Eric Handler thought Divergent would hit $64M but notes that “solid word of mouth … could help sustain the film’s legs in the coming weeks.” Read More »

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