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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Box Office: ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ No. 1 With $21.8M; ‘Need For Speed’ Crashes; Tyler Perry’s ‘Mom’s Club’ Only $8M, ‘Budapest Hotel’ Exceptional … Again

OPENING: Need For Speed (DIS) no gas for the DreamWorks pic at $18M to $19M+, then $18M and now at $17.8M; Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club (LGF) is one of the worst openings for him to date with about $9.1M to $9.4M, now at $8M; Veronica Mars (WB) strong per-screen to take more than $2M+ for the weekend and did $1.9M; The Grand Budapest Hotel (FSL) expanded to 66 screens with another stellar $55,122 per screen; Frozen (DIS) still in Top 10 after 17 weeks with $396.3M cume.

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5th UPDATE, MONDAY 1:18 PM: Final numbers are in, and the No. 1 picture this weekend was the holdover Fox’s Mr. Peabody and Sherman. which, on a $145M negative (not counting marketing/distrib. costs) is now at $63.7M domestically and $149.3M worldwide. See overseas grosses from Deadline’s Nancy Tartaglione’s international box office report. The mystery is solved now, too, as to which film rounded out the Top Ten. It appears that Warner Bros’ Veronica Mars made $1.98M for the 3-day weekend, a step behind Sony’s The Monuments Men with $2M, so it didn’t crack it in its opening weekend. Nevertheless, Rob Thomas‘ film had a tidy per-screen average of $6,833, the highest of any Top 10 player with the exception of The Grand Budapest Hotel, which has done phenomenally well from Fox Searchlight in its limited release. mr-peabody-sherman05The Wes Anderson film has taken in almost $25M worldwide so far. It’s per-screen last weekend was a record-breaking $202,000 and now a remarkable $55,122. For more about this picture, expansion plans below and read Deadline’s Brian Brooks’ specialty box office story. 300: Rise Of An Empire (WB/Legendary) showed a lesser percentage dropthe-single-moms-club-movie-wallpaper-18 on Sunday and ended up with $19.2M this weekend to add to its international cume of $159.6M or $238M worldwide in its second week of release. The budget (not counting marketing and distribution costs) is about $110M. Need for Speed, the disappointing DreamWorks offering distributed by Disney, ended up with $17.8M; it didn’t open. Again, worldwide to date, it looks like it has so far made about $63.4M on a $66M negative. Tyler Perry’s Single Mom Club which had a slightly larger Sunday percentage decrease to take in only $8M, giving Wall Street the jitters. NOTEWORTHY: Disney’s Frozen, still in the top 10, will cross $400M domestically this week.

NEXT WEEKEND OPENERS: Divergent (LGF/Summit; wide) Could be a monster; Muppets Most Wanted (Dis; wide) Should do decent business for this family film (yes, very surprisingly, it crosses over to adults — well, at least this one); The Grand Budapest Hotel (FSL) and Bad Words (Focus) both expand.

Top 20 Chart follows: Read More »

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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

Catch up on the top film stories you missed this week:

Mel GibsonA Journalist’s Plea On 10th Anniversary Of ‘The Passion Of The Christ’: Hollywood, Take Mel Gibson Off Your Blacklist
By Allison Hope Weiner – It has been a decade since Mel Gibson made The Passion Of The Christ and watched it become the biggest-grossing independent film with $612 million in worldwide ticket sales. In the years that followed, Gibson made several comments that went public, made him seem anti-Semitic and racist. They made him persona non grata at major studios and agencies, the same ones that work with others who’ve committed felonies and done things far more serious than Gibson, who essentially used his tongue as a lethal weapon.

Anxiety On Sony Lot As Layoffs Coming Early Next Week
By Mike Fleming Jr.EXCLUSIVE: There is anxiety in Culver City today as word gets around on the Sony lot that significant layoffs are coming as soon as Monday.

Box Office: ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ Looks To Take No. 1 Spot; ‘Need For Speed’ Stalled; Tyler Perry’s ‘Mom’s Club’ Lackluster, ‘Budapest Hotel’ Exceptional … Again
By Anita Busch – The news of the weekend is that Fox’s Mr. Peabody and Sherman surprised to take No. 1 in its second weekend out for DreamWorks Animation (Family audiences gave it a strong Saturday night bump) while Need for Speed (Disney/DreamWorks) started out strong on its late night showings on Thursday and then just tanked. 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

Read More »

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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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‘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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DreamWorks Animation Shares Fall After Film Releases Shuffled

Investors are casting a jaundiced eye on last night’s news about DreamWorks Animation’s delayed release of Mr. Peabody and Sherman (to Spring 2014 from 2013), and the removal of Me & My Shadow from the 2014 list. The stock is down 3.8% in mid-afternoon trading to $16.76, and has sold today for as little $16.26. Piper Jaffray’s James Marsh downgraded the company to “Neutral,” and reduced his price target to $18 from $25. He’s concerned because “this is the second time the company has backed away from a more ambitious three film per year slate and all of its economic benefits.” What’s more, it means that there’s additional pressure for DreamWorks Animation to succeed this year with The Croods and Turbo. Following the lower-than-expected box office for Rise Of The Guardians, “a disappointment by Croods sets in place a trend.” He notes that Croods is “tracking light” while “Turbo faces a tough competitive environment this summer.”  Read More »

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UPDATE: DreamWorks Animation Layoffs Could Reach 500 Amid Slate Pullback

By | Wednesday February 6, 2013 @ 11:16am PST

UPDATE, 11:16 AM: “Sizable” layoffs are coming. It’s just a matter of how many, and when. DreamWorks Animation may cut up to 500 employees in the next few months, sources tell Deadline. That’s potentially 23% of its 2200-strong animators, tech, and support staff, axed in the wake of a flop and key release date changes for Mr. Peabody And Sherman (moved off the 2013 calendar and into 2014) and Me & My Shadow (sent back into development). Those calendar shifts created a workload deficit for the studio, which will have to trim production staff as a result. Just last month, DreamWorks Animation made Fortune’s Best Companies To Work For list.

PREVIOUSLY, TUESDAY PM: On Tuesday, distributor Fox delayed DreamWorks Animation’s 3D pic Mr. Peabody and Sherman to spring 2014, reducing the company’s 2013 slate from three wide releases to two. At the same time, Me & My Shadow, an animation planned for 2014 featuring the voices of Kate Hudson, Josh Gad, and Bill Hader, was taken off the schedule altogether and reverted into development. “[We] are adjusting our operating infrastructure costs accordingly,” CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a statement. Read More »

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