2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster – #5 ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Vs. #12 ‘World War Z’; #4 ‘Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’ Vs. #13 ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’

Mike Fleming

Hunger Games Catching Fire Hobbit Smaug ProfitThe second of four posts today in Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster tournament. The subsequent rounds will play out next week.

Other Matchups:
#1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #16 ‘The Conjuring’
#2 ‘Frozen’ Vs. #15 ‘The Great Gatsby’
#3 ‘Despicable Me 2′ Vs. #14 Star Trek Into Darkness’
#6 ‘Fast & Furious 6′ Vs. #11 ‘The Croods’
#7 ‘Monsters University’ Vs. #10 ‘Thor: The Dark World’
#8 ‘Gravity’ Vs. #9 ‘Man Of Steel’

 

DeadlineBracket_1stRound

SWEET 16

#5 THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Vs. #12 WORLD WAR Z

HungerGames-WWZHow They Got Here: Talk about two completely paths to success. When Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was released last Thanksgiving, the only question was how high Katniss Everdeen would soar. She didn’t disappoint, as the film blew past the holiday record for three-day and five-day totals, and it was just about as strong domestically as it was foreign. Contrast that to World War Z, the Marc Forster-directed Brad Pitt- survives-a-zombie-plague movie had all kinds of troubles during its production, and the last act of the movie got scrapped after it was shot because test audiences and Paramount Pictures didn’t like it. It was redrafted and reshot. That added $20 million or more to an already highWorldWarZ budget, but worse, the buzz around the film was that it was going to be awful. Surprise. The film’s ending worked very well, and the action shots of zombies collectively swarming over walls like insects made it the most visually compelling zombie film since Night Of The Living Dead. Is that enough to topple The Hunger Games sequel?

The Bottom Line: When it was released, many thought Catching Fire would burn long enough to surpass the billion-dollar gross mark. It didn’t come that close with an $864 million worldwide gross, but it did improve upon the first film’s tally, which is exactly what the second leg of a continuing story is supposed to do. Considering all its hardships, World War Z is lucky just to be in this tournament. Usually, when you hear a film is going to be a train wreck, it usually turns out to be just that. Catching Fire Box officeIt was laudable to see a studio be willing to pull a film out of a prime release slot, and throw more money into it to rescue it, even if naysayers questioned why it took everybody that long to realize it didn’t work and needed to be fixed. Paramount was happy enough with the results to put elements on a sequel, even if that became creatively complicated by the first film essentially solving the zombie problem.

The Winner: It’s Hunger Games in a walk. Our experts peg the World War Z budget around $269 million, though Paramount argues it was considerably less. Tack on another $160 million to market it, and Pitt’s first-dollar gross deal, and, according to our experts, this film barely broke even. You don’t invest $430 million to make and market a film just to break even, especially when it became the biggest opening of a film starring Pitt, and the biggest-grossing film in his career. Good luck on that sequel. Read More »

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BOX OFFICE: ‘Divergent’ Late Nights Huge $4.9M And On Track For $50M-$60M+ Frame; ‘Muppets Most Wanted’ Expected At No. 2; ‘Budapest Hotel’ Expands

By | Friday March 21, 2014 @ 10:00am PDT

DivergentDivergent had a fantastic start last night for Summit (Lionsgate’s company), pulling in $4.9M in late-night Thursday screenings that began at 8 PM. That is one of the best preview numbers in recent memory, and compares to starts like BoxOffice_logoUniversal’s Despicable Me 2 at $4.7 million and World War Z at $3.6M and went onto gross $66.4M with a similar demographic. DM2 went onto gross $83.5M but that was fueled by family audiences. The action/adventure film, based on the 2011 Veronica Roth novel of the same name, is appealing to the twenty-something crowd who drive the box office on these kinds of films; it was produced by Doug Wick, Lucy Fisher and Pouya Shahbazian. Interestingly, the book doesn’t have the same kind of readership/fan base as say Hunger Games or even Vampire Diaries, so if this movie opens to its expected $50M-$60M+ (as it has been tracking to over the last couple of weeks), it will be a testament to the efforts of Summit who began marketing this title last July at ComicCon and then placed the trailer before Hunger Games: Catching Fire so it got tons of exposure for those perhaps not familiar with the Roth book. They have also been pushing on social media, but Divergent (starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James) is no Hunger Games. Checking in with social engagement experts RelishMix, “Divergent‘s social engagement is less than 50% (of Hunger Games) with heavy paid impressions not converting to social sharing,” said CEO Marc Karzen. And that is a key marketing indicator as the twenty-somethings who live on social platforms.

Advanced tickets went on sale on March 4 and pre-sales on Fandango sold out half of its tickets in one day, outpacing the first days of sales for the first Twilight when it began its pre-sales, however as we’ve said before no one is expecting this to be a Twilight opening which bowed to $69.6M in its first 3-day with $7M coming from midnight screenings. Also, the first Hobbit grossed $13M in early shows and the second The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug earned $8.8M in early shows and went on to open at $73.6M . The second opened to Divergent will play on 3,936 screens, 346 of which will be IMAX. It will bow internationally on April 4. Read More »

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2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament Tip-Off – #1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #16 ‘The Conjuring’; #8 ‘Gravity’ Vs. #9 ‘Man Of Steel’

Mike Fleming

Oscar crowned a Best Picture winner two weeks ago, Iron Man 3 Gravity Profitbut which 2013 film deserves to be called the profitability champ? This is hard to ascertain. We can reliably track box office grosses domestic and offshore, but … Read More »

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Box Office: ‘Need For Speed’ Late Night Off To Races With $1.1M; Questions For No. 1, 2, and 3 Spots; ‘Veronica Mars’ Midnight Surprise

Mr.-Peabody-And-ShermanUPDATED: 12:45 P.M.: Mr. Peabody & Sherman from Fox/DreamWorks is doing very well today with what looks like a $6M take in early estimates to come in second right now behind Need For Speed which is about $1M to $2M higher. Like I said below, this animated pic will get a nice bump from family audiences this weekend and about 19% of kids are off for early Easter break so that is fueling it. Tight race.

Need For SpeedPREVIOUS, Friday, 9:58 A.M.: Need For Speed, the soft PG-13 cross-country racing film from DreamWorks based on the Electronic Arts video game of the same name, opened with what distributor Disney said is a $1.1M take on Thursday night. The late shows started at 8 PM to grab good numbers — in fact, Oblivion, which opened in April of last year, also took in $1.1M in late nights. Need For Speed is expected to open around $25M-$28M for the three-day weekend to take the No. 1 spot. We’ll see how many gamers come out and bring a friend this weekend.
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Global Showbiz Watch 29: The Mip-TV Preview Podcast

Global Showbiz Watch podcast 29In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom preview this year’s Mip-TV market and the interactive Israeli format that may just dominate this year’s show; take a look at some of the very familiar nominees for the Olivier Awards, honoring the best of British stage; and ponder the promised closure of BBC Three amid the possible resurgence of The X Factor in the United Kingdom as Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole return to shore up the sagging franchise. Read More »

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UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘300: Rise Of An Empire’ Lifts To $88.8M; ‘Non-Stop’ Passes $100M Worldwide; More

cinemaworld6th UPDATE, MONDAY 9:09 PM PT: Updated numbers for Best Picture Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave and Pompeii have been added below. 12 Years a Slaves cume internationally is now $104.5M and its worldwide total stands at $157.6M.

5TH UPDATE, MONDAY 12:20 PM PT: Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures’ 300: Rise Of An Empire is now tracking up 11% over the original 300 internationally. Revised numbers have just come in from Warner which says the movie took $88.8M in 58 markets. Some of the major territories were slightly down, but the overall cume was up. The Lego Movie was slightly lower than predicted at $9.6M on 5,585 screens, however the overall overseas cume is $135.4M, a small bolt off the originally estimated $135.6M. The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug added a confirmed $7.5M internationally — down from the estimated $8M — and with $679.7M total; again, a breath away from the previously reported cume of $680M. As ever, numbers are updated in the territory sections below, with more to come as they roll in. Read More »

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BOX OFFICE FINAL: ‘300: Rise Of An Empire’ Commands $45M; ‘Mr. Peabody’ Chases In $32.2M; ‘Son Of God’ Falls 59% In Second Weekend, ‘Budapest Hotel’ Per Screen Stuns With Over $202K

OPENING: 300: Rise of An Empire (WB) commands $43M to $45M and ended on the high end; Mr. Peabody And Sherman (FOX) $29M to $31M and made $32.5M; Son of God (FOX) dropped 61% in its second weekend. NOTEWORTHY:  Best Picture winner 12 Years A Slave (FOX) re-upped to 1,065 screens and breaks back into the top ten. The Grand Budapest Hotel on four screens in L.A. and N.Y. a phenomenal, record-breaking per screen for a live-action film of $192,250 and might climb to $200,000.

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5TH UPDATE, MONDAY, 1: 30 PM: The final numbers are in with The Grand Budapest Hotel pulling in $811,000 for Fox Searchlight to take in a per-screen average of $202K+ on four screens. High end of yesterday’s estimate. Warner Bros.’ and Legendary Pictures’ 300: Rise Of An Empire was on the money with yesterday’s cume and Mr. Peabody And Sherman‘s numbers were almost in line with yesterday’s while the ten spot was finally figured out … it went to Ride Along, not RoboCop but only by a hair. We are keeping in yesterday’s chart below for comparisons for those of you who want to see the differences (i.e. Son Of God down 59% instead of 61%, so Sunday’s numbers were slightly better than expected).

Next weekend’s openers are Disney’s Need For Speed, Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry’s Single Mom’s Club going wide and in limited release will be Focus Features’ Bad Words, Warner Bros’ Vernonica Mars (also on VOD), and The Weinstein Company’s One Chance. Here is the Top 20:

1). 300: Rise Of An Empire (WB), 3,470 theaters / 3-day cume: $45M / Per screen: $13,006 / Wk 1

2). Mr. Peabody And Sherman (FOX) 3,934 theaters / 3-day cume: $32.2M / Per screen: $8,187 / Wk 1

3). Non-Stop (UNI), 3,113 theaters (+23) / 3-day cume: $15.8M (-45%) / Per screen: $5,085 / Total cume: $52.5M / Wk 2

4). The Lego Movie (WB), 3,290 theaters (-480) / 3-day cume: $10.9M (-48%) / Per screen: $3,317 / Total cume: 224.8M / Wk 5

5). Son Of God (FOX), 3,271 theaters (+11) / 3-day cume: $10.3M (-59%) / Per screen: $3,173 / Total cume: $41.8M / Wk 2

6). Monuments Men (SONY), 2,001 theaters (-1,001) / 3-day cume: $3M (-38%) / Per screen: $1,537/ Total cume: $70.5M / Wk 5

7). 3 Days To Kill (REL), 2,348 theaters (-543) / 3-day cume: $3M (-39%) / Per screen: $1,282 / Total cume: $25.5M / Wk  3

8). Frozen (DIS), 1,660 theaters (-86) / 3-day cume: $2.9M (-19%) / Per screen: $1,780 / Total cume: $392.9M / Wk 16

9). 12 Years A Slave (FSL) 1,065 theaters (+654) / 3-day cume: $2.1M (+116%) / Per screen: $1,982 / Total cume: $53M / Wk 21

10). Ride Along (UNI), 1,323theaters (-546) /3-day cume: $2,024M (-33%) / Per screen: $1,530 / Total cume: $129.9M / Wk 8

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Specialty Box Office: Newcomers Overshadowed By ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ Opener

By | Sunday March 9, 2014 @ 1:26pm PDT

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)After spending most of 2014 gushing over the Oscar nominees and relatively few others, the specialty box office biz got a massive jolt this weekend with the arrival of Wes Anderson‘s Berlin opener The Grand Budapest Hotel. The Fox Searchlight film broke records for a live-action opener, grossing a massive $800K in four theaters (the ArcLight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, the Landmark in West LA, the Regal Union Square in NY, and the AMC Lincoln Square in NY) for a stunning $200K per-theater average. Other openers braved opening alongside Budapest this weekend with various results.

Related: Box Office: ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ Checks In With Record Debut

Three of the bigger openings this weekend had not reported numbers as of this afternoon. Magnolia Pictures opened the Elijah Wood-starring thriller Grand Piano in one theater each in New York, L.A. and Austin. The distrib’s genre label Magnet Releasing is behind the North American rollout of China blockbuster Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons, which grossed $205 million in its home territory alone last year. It opened Friday in 10 markets ahead of a broader U.S. rollout. Another pic, the Italian drama Miele (Honey), opened in a single NY theater before expanding to LA next week. We’ll update with those numbers when they arrive.

Related: Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, ‘Grand Piano’, ‘Journey To The West, More

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Box Office: ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ Checks In With Record Per-Screen Average

grand-budapest_2813768bWes Anderson topped himself with another record-breaker this weekend. After premieres at the Berlin Film Festival and last week at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, The Grand Budapest Hotel is by far the year’s biggest screen average debut and the biggest-ever opening for a live-action film. Fox Searchlight opened Budapest in four New York and Los Angeles theaters, grossing $800K for a stunning $200K screen average between Friday and Sunday. The number easily surpasses another record holder, The Master by Paul Thomas Anderson, which starred Phillip Seymour Hoffman. That film opened in September 2012 with five runs, grossing over $736K for a $142,262 PTA. This weekend’s Budapest numbers also top Anderson’s previous film, Moonrise Kingdom, which grossed nearly $523K in four theaters when it opened following its Cannes debut in May 2012. A Focus Features release, it averaged $130,749 and went on to cume more than $45.5 million in the U.S.

Related: Box Office: ‘300: Rise Of An Empire’ Commands $45M; ‘Budapest’ Per Screen Stuns

Last year, animated feature Frozen opened with a $243,490 PTA, but this weekend’s Budapest numbers outgross another 2013 box office juggernaut, American Hustle, which opened in six theaters in December, grossing more than $740K for a $123,409 PTA. It has grossed $148.43M to date. Budapest also debuted this weekend in the UK, Germany and Belgium. The film’s profile is sky-high in Germany and elsewhere in Europe after its world premiere as opening-night film last month in Berlin.

Related: Specialty Box Office: Newcomers Overshadowed By ‘Budapest’ Opener

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Box Office UPDATED: ‘300: Rise Of An Empire’ Wields Powerful International Debut And $3.3M Late Night Thursday Strength For Warner Bros.; ‘Mr. Peabody and Sherman’ Is Yet Another Animated Film Playing In First Quarter 2014

300 Rise of an EmpireUPDATE, Friday 4:15: Around the world, Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures300: Rise Of An Empire is grossing huge numbers. In 32 markets, it has taken in a hefty $12.1M over two days in international release, with $9.5M coming from Thursday alone. The film, playing on 1,083 screens, is roughly 20% ahead of the original 300, which took in $7.9M during the same time period in 2007 and grossed a whopping $245.4M internationally by the end of its run.

Driving the box office for Rise Of An Empire overseas was Germany, where it nabbed $1.4M and ended up with a 50% share of the top five films, and Russia with $1.3M on 1,441, taking 73% share of the top five. It also opened to stellar numbers in Korea (918K from 651 runs), Italy ($508K with 45% of the top five) and France for a two-day tally of $3M. In Singapore, it now stands as the biggest opening of an M18 film of all time with a total take of $203K, adding to its $1.4M gross from smaller Asian markets. Rise Of An Empire will open in 25 more markets today – the UK, Spain, Mexico and Brazil are the biggest ones yet to come.

BREAKING: Late-night showings of the second of the 300 films have grossed an estimated $3.3M for Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures, putting the actioner on track for a $40M to $45M weekend. The 3D 300: Rise Of An Empire, which is based on the graphic novel Xerxes from Frank Miller, bowed powerfully on 3,470 screens last night — 3,100 of them were 3D. Thursday night plays started at 8 p.m. and continued through midnight, and that $3.3M take is great for this time of year to boot. The bloody epic from screenwriter Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad stars Sullivan Stapleton and Eva Green in a story about a general who is trying to unify Greece and must first battle an invasion from Persia, led by a vengeful mortal-turned-god named Xerxes. The first 300 opened on the same weekend in 2007 to $70.8M and went on to gross $210.6M domestically (worldwide was $456M). Its late night showings, however, tallied $2.5 mil. The distribution team at Warner Bros., led by Dan Fellman, is top notch and truly know how to book and play out their movies, allowing them a little time to breathe in a marketplace that is so dang competitive now. Read More »

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, ‘Grand Piano’, ‘Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons’, ‘Miele’, ‘Particle Fever’, ‘Bethlehem’

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)Wes Anderson dazzled the specialty box office in 2012 when Focus Features opened Moonrise Kingdom with one of the year’s highest per-screen averages. Now Fox Searchlight takes the Anderson mantle with The Grand Budapest Hotel, which bowed in Berlin and took the Siver Bear Grand Jury Prize. Also this frame, Elijah Wood goes indie with the thriller Grand Piano courtesy of Magnolia, while the distributor’s genre label will bow China box office behemoth Journey To The West. Emerging Pictures will oversee an Italian initiative to bring targeted films from the country “nationwide” in the U.S., starting with veteran actress-turned-director Valeria Golino’s Miele (Honey). Abramorama and BOND360 are collaborating on Sheffield documentary Particle Fever and Adopt Films will open Israeli thriller Bethlehem in more than two dozen theaters Friday.

Grand Budapest Hotel.jpgThe Grand Budapest Hotel
Director-writer: Wes Anderson
Writer: Hugo Guinness
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Jude Law, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Saoirse Ronan, Tony Revolori
Distributor: Fox Searchlight

Anderson’s latest film opens nearly two years after his last film, Moonrise Kingdom. That proved to be an opening-weekend powerhouse, smashing the screen average when Focus Features bowed the title in four theaters at the end of May 2012, grossing a whopping $523K for a dazzling $130,749 average. It went on to gross more than $45.5 million in the U.S. (Anderson’s The Royal Tennenbaums remains his biggest box office grosser to date in theaters, taking in more than $52.3M domestically in 2001. Budapest, the Berlin Film Festival opener, reunites some cast from Moonrise including Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Edward Norton. It centers on the adventures of Gustav H (Ralph Fiennes), a legendary concierge at a famous Eastern European hotel between the wars, and Zero, a lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. Budapest has already launched to strong numbers in France where it grossed nearly $2.8M its opening weekend in 172 theaters for a strong $16,220 average, becoming his biggest opening ever in the country.

Related: Berlin: Wes Anderson & Cast Talk ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’
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‘Divergent’ Tracking To Huge $50M-$60M Weekend Three Weeks Out; Pre-Sales Outstanding; ’300′ And ‘Mr. Peabody’ Also Strong For Weekend Bows

By | Wednesday March 5, 2014 @ 4:39pm PST

imagesAnother huge box office is on the way this weekend as tracking for Warner Bros’ 300: Rise Of An Empire (from Legendary Pictures) could be $40M-$45M, with Fox’s Mr. Peabody And Sherman roughly around $30M-$35M. But the story of this week is Divergentwhich looks to be a whopper of a box office hit two and a half weeks out. Some distribs in the industry have it tracking between $50M-$60M. It bows March 21. (300 will open at 8 PM tomorrow so we’ll be watching those Thursday night numbers).

300 Rise Of An EmpireMarketing for Divergent, based on the Veronica Roth trilogy and starring Shailene Woody and Theo James, has been smartly done. Audiences got their first look at the trailer for Divergent ahead of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire last November, and it continued playing on The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug through the holidays. This weekend it will play before 300. Three weeks ago, it had 58% definite interest from females under 25 and has been racking up consistently as avid moviegoers’ first choice. That interest from females may end up hurting Muppets Most Wanted which bows the same weekend, but only time will tell. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Watch 28: The Oscars/Cesars Wrap-up Podcast

Global Showbiz Watch ep 28In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom wrap up the overseas perspective on the last big awards shows of the 2013-14 season, beginning with Foreign-Language Oscar winner The Great Beauty, which lifted spirits throughout home country Italy even as director Paolo Sorrentino called for more investment in Italian cinema.

Related: Italian Exhibitors Blast TV Airing Of ‘The Great Beauty’; More

At France’s Cesar Awards, the big winner was Les Garcons et Guillaume a Table, though the potential scandale around one nominee proved far more muted than the French press or awards show broadcaster Canal Plus might have hoped. Nancy and David also take a look at the potential global bump in box office for Oscar’s two biggest champs, Best Picture 12 Years a Slave and seven-time winner Gravity.

Related: OSCARS: The Complete Winners List

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OSCARS: Best Picture Titles Best Holds This Weekend At Box Office

Oscar_badgeThe best holds going into the Oscar weekend in the Top 20 at the box office are, as expected, those films nominated for Best Picture. There are two things that traditionally happen at the box office right before the … Read More »

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HOLY MOLY! Late-Night Showings ‘Son Of God’ Rises With $1.2M; ‘Non-Stop’ Also Strong Thursday

By | Friday February 28, 2014 @ 8:40am PST

Son Of God Movie Box OfficeSon Of God from Fox so far is the surprise of the weekend, taking in a phenom $1.2M Thursday in late-night shows that began at 10 PM. Universal’s Non-Stop also did bang-up business beginning with 8 PM shows and a total of 720K, according to estimates, as the actioner starring Liam Neeson right now is also playing strong. Two distributors compared Non-Stop‘s opening to that of Olympus Has Fallen, which went onto gross $161M+ worldwide ($99M of it in the U.S.) and that opening was $500,000. So right now Non-Stop is playing above that.

5688_D014_00463_R.JPGSon Of God still could end up anywhere on the box office top 10, depending how it does this weekend, but if last night is any indication, it could push right up the aisle past Non-Stop. Distributors and those who track the films for a living cannot predict what this picture will gross in its three-day. Reality TV king Mark Burnett, who is producing the picture and is doing a heck of a job garnering publicity with his exec producer Roma Downey, already helped drum up $4.5M in pre-sold tickets — that includes a tremendous amount of group sales from a Colorado-based company called Compassion International which is buying up tickets and giving away parishoners to churches in 40 U.S. cities. “It’s an excellent start and it looks as though Mark and Roma’s sincere grass-roots marketing efforts have ignited and motivated audiences across the country to see Son Of God,” Fox domestic distribution boss Chris Aronson said.

Related: Hot Trailer: Fox’s ‘Son Of God’

The moviegoers that come to see this particular genre aren’t frequent moviegoers so they are traditionally hard to track. To that point, only 30% of 1,000 people buying tickets for Son Of God have seen Frozen and only 28% have seen Gravity — two of the biggest box office hits today. However, at the same time, Fandango also found that 94% Son Of God ticket buyers want to see more Biblical stories made into motion pictures and 76% plan to see Paramount’s Noah starring Russell Crowe and 83% are interested in seeing TriStar/Screen Gems’ Heaven Is For Real (Greg Kinnear). The latter is based on the book that wouldn’t leave the New York Times bestseller’s list. Roughly the same percentage — 82% — are interested in seeing Fox’s Exodus starring Christian Bale. So Son Of God is going to give the studios — especially Fox — a lot of propriety information moving forward on marketing Exodus.

Paramount is also enlisting help from religious entities for their marketing materials. The National Religious Broadcasters and Paramount said last night that they made the joint decision to add an explanatory message to future marketing materials for Noah. Specicially, marketing materials will state: “The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.” Studios are listening to the faith-based organizations and what works and what doesn’t. Read More »

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China Bans Nine Cinemas From Screening New Films Amid Fraudulent Box Office Reporting

By | Thursday February 27, 2014 @ 7:36am PST

chinaflag2__130403012941Making good on a promise to get tough with exhibitors who manipulate box office figures, Chinese authorities have banned nine movie theaters from screening new films. The state-controlled Xinhua news agency says cinemas in such areas as Shandong Province and northern Shanxi have been found reporting fake numbers to the government, selling hand-written tickets (or none at all) or interfering with official box office inspections. The news was issued in a statement from the China Film Producers Association and the China Film Distribution and Screening Association, two semi-official bodies that fall under the purview of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. The suspensions are a reaction to what’s believed to be a long-held industry practice of hiding income from the government which takes a 3% value-added tax on revenues as well as a 5% film fund tax. Increased scrutiny should be welcome news to Hollywood studios who are entitled to a 25% revenue share with exhibitors. China’s reported box office in 2013 was $3.6B, but industry experts believe the real figure is at least 10% higher.

Related: China To Crack Down On Fraudulent Box Office Reporting With New Ticketing System

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BOX OFFICE: ‘Lego’ Is Lord Of Business, Costner’s ’3 Days To Kill’ No. 2 Buries ‘Pompeii’; ‘The Wind Rises’ To Expand

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 1:34pm PST

OPENING: 3 Days to Kill (REL) opens in second for an est. $12.2M 3-day; Pompeii (SONY) takes No. 3 with $10.3M. The Wind Rises (DIS) very strong in limited release. NOTEWORTHY: Oscar-nominated films still in theaters held well.

UPDATED: MONDAY, 1:34 PM: Final numbers are in. Read More »

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BOX OFFICE PREVIEW: ‘Lego’ Can’t Stop Building, But No. 2 Is Up For Grabs

By | Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 1:40pm PST

legoWarner Bros.’ The Lego Movie will, undoubtedly, take this weekend over newcomers Pompeii from Sony Pictures and the Kevin Costner actioner 3 Days To Kill from Relativity Media. But the interesting thing is that we have four pictures this weekend vying for the No. 2 spot and three of them are from one studio. hr_Pompeii_6Sony not only has Pompeii, a love story set against the backdrop of an angry Vesuvius, which one former distribution executive (Jim Amos) calls Cloudy With A Chance Of Lava, but also the holdover MGM title RoboCop and the Kevin Hart-starring comedy About Last NightThis is a testosterone-pumped weekend as not only are the newcomers — 3 Days To Kill and Pompeii — both skewing to various ages up and down the male demo but so is RoboCop. All four pictures at this point in the game are looking to make anywhere from $10M to low teens. Fandango is showing that 42% of ticket sales belong to Lego. (FYI: Pompeii was fully financed by Constantin Films with FilmDistrict providing the marketing and distribution funds). Read More »

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‘Lego Movie’ Crosses $200 Million At Worldwide Box Office

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 11:28am PST

Lego MovieWarner Bros’ The Lego Movie grossed higher internationally than tracking predicted over the weekend, and the animated pic has now officially crossed $200 million worldwide. The movie, from Warner Bros Pictures, Village Roadshow and LEGO System A/S, opened domestically February … Read More »

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