QED International Layoffs Following Box Office Blunder ‘Sabotage’

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 6:16pm PDT

qedQED International has laid off five employees (which includes support staff and a junior lawyer) three weeks after the disastrous opening of Sabotage, directed by David Ayer and led by aging action star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sabotage-Movie-HD-ImagesThe bloody pic flopped and is hanging on by its fingernails in the Box office Top 20 — it’s No. 18 in its third weekend — having grossed a mere $10M. John Hegeman, president of worldwide marketing, is still on board as he helps prepare the debut of the next Ayer-directed film, Fury, which has some star power in Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf and audience favorite Michael Pena. QED slapped down $1M to buy the WWII spec from Ayer over a year ago; it will bow in November. One insider said that QED is reallocating resources for development spending. To that point, today QED purchased Yellowstone Falls, a 52-page spec script by Dan Kunka, winning what was said to be a heated bidding war. The film, which will be produced by Kevin Misher and QED President Bill Block, is about a mother wolf who must battle to save her cubs after being separated from her mate following an apocalyptic event. The film will have nearly no dialogue and few actors. Sounds a little like Disneynature’s Bears — with mutated humans thrown in. Read More »

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BOX OFFICE FINAL: ‘Noah’ Rises, ‘God’s Not Dead’ Surprises As Schwarzenegger Brought To Knees; ‘Budapest Hotel’ Checks In Again; ‘300′ Passes $100M

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 1:25pm PDT

OPENING: Noah (PAR) estimated around $43.7M for weekend’s No. 1; Sabotage (OPRD) tanks in No. 7 with maybe $5.2M; Cesar Chavez (LGF) in limited release. NOTEWORTHY: The Grand Budapest Hotel (FSL) expands for about $8.5M and another strong per screen; Bad Words (FOC) expands to weak result.

Box officeUPDATED, MONDAY, 1:25 PM: The final numbers are in and Paramount’s Noah grossed $43.7M (which includes strong Thursday late nights that started at 7 PM of $1.6M). Freestyle Releasing’s God’s Not Dead did, in fact, rise into the Top 5 and was down only 5% from last weekend, having added theaters, but still a very respectable showing in its second weekend with a solid $7,468 per screen. “It took a village to market the movie,” said Freestyle co-president Mark Borde. “On every conference call there were about 20 people on the conference call.” Gods-Not-Dead-FacebookPure Flix, a faith-based producer of product, produced this picture and it used a marketing company called Working Title Agency in Tennessee to come up with a very arresting one-sheet. “They also had a pre-sales group for tickets and a social media team, just various individuals that managed the YouTube and Twitter and Facebook. To be honest, there is no way to quantify the results of social media, but in this case, I have to say that I believe the social media aspect is a very strong contributor,” Borde said. “The Facebook had over a million likes and they weren’t bought. Not one penny was spent and at any given time, there were over 700,000 talking it at any given time.” It was also trending on Twitter No. 5 and Fandango as No. 3, said Borde, who added God’s Not Dead was actually tracking in the past two weeks.

Related: Biblical and Faith-Based Movies: In Hollywood To Stay?

“We knew that when we showed up in tracking we were going to do OK, but not this OK,” said Borde. “If you add all that together, we had a sense that we were going to be very strong in the marketplace. But the key to success in this movie is word-of-mouth. It’s the reason it’s held. We had the smallest drop of any movie from Saturday to Sunday on the first weekend and on the second weekend – Son Of God was our model and we had the smallest drop again. What that tells me is — we didn’t increase the buys or advertising — that’s word of mouth. That’s better than anything you can buy. There’s a lot of luck in the movie business, but Duck Dynasty stars were embroiled in a big controversy right before this happened and they were on the front page and we had the first movie they were in.”  They also had the very popular Chrstian pop rock band Newsboys. Freestyle Releasing will add about 200 theaters this weekend.

The Grand Budapest Hotel from Fox Searchlight expanded well with an $8.5M take for a per-screen average of $8,741. Opening next weekend is the Disney/Marvel franchise Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which is expected to take all of the air out of the box office as it opens wide and pull in the same demo as Divergent which had two good weekends in a row for Lionsgate and Summit grossing a total of $94.3M. Tracking already shows Captain America at anywhere from $80M-$85M or higher and it has already grossed more than $75M internationally since bowing this past weekend. It’s a total shoot-em-up and more bullets than there are extras in the film. Keeping the previous chart below so anyone who wants to can compare the estimates with the final numbers. Here are the final grosses for the Top 20 via Rentrak:

1). Noah (PAR), 3,567 theaters / 3-day cume: $43.7M / Per screen average: $12,257 / Wk 1

2). Divergent (LGF), 3,936 theaters (0) / 3-day cume: $2.6 (-53%) / Per screen: $6,509 / Total cume: $94.3M / Wk 2

3). Muppets Most Wanted (DIS), 3,194 theaters (0) / $3-day cume: $11.2M (-34%) / Per screen: 3,531/ Total Cume: $33.1M to $33.8M / Wk 2

4). Mr. Peabody And Sherman (FOX), 3,299 theaters (-308) / 3-day cume: $9M (-23%) / Per screen: $2,750/ Total cume: $94.4M / Wk 4

5). God’s Not Dead (FREE), 1,178 theaters (+362) / 3-day cume: $8.7M (-5%) / Per screen: $7,468 / Total cume: $21.7M / Wk 2

6). The Grand Budapest Hotel (FSL), 977 theaters (+673) / 3-day cume: $8.5M (+26%) / Per screen: $8,741 / Total cume: $24.1M / Wk 4

7). Sabotage (OPRD), 2,486 theaters / 3-day cume: $5.2M / Per screen: $2,121 / Wk 1

8). Need For Speed (DIS), 2,705 theaters (-410) /3-day cume: $4.2M (-47%) / Per screen: $1,562 / Total cume: $37.6M / Wk 3

9). 300: Rise Of An Empire (WB), 2,601 theaters (-484) / 3-day cume: $4.2 (-51%) / Per screen: 1,618 / Total cume: $101M / Wk 4

10). Non-Stop (UNI), 2,515 theaters (-430) / 3-day cume: $4M (-38%) / Per screen: 1,595 / Total cume: $85M / Wk 5

Read More »

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‘Noah’ Late Nights Tally $1.6M On Road To No. 1, ‘Divergent’ Expected at No. 2, Third May Be ‘Budapest Hotel’ Or Schwarzenegger-Starrer ‘Sabotage’

By | Friday March 28, 2014 @ 8:34am PDT

hi-res-still-from-noah-movieThe dark epic Darren Aronofsky film Noah got off to a good start domestically last night in late nights that started at 7 PM taking in an estimated $1.6M for Paramount and New Regency. Also, word is from distributors that the … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: David Ayer’s ‘Sabotage’ Red Band

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 5:36pm PST

Arnold Schwarzengger stars in Open Road’s actioner as the leader of an elite DEA task force that takes on the world’s deadliest drug cartels. One by one, team members mysteriously start to be eliminated and it’s up to Schwarzenegger to find out who’s killing his men. David Ayer’s Sabotage also … Read More »

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Actioner ‘Sabotage’ To Be Released In March Against ‘Noah’

By | Monday January 27, 2014 @ 10:45am PST

_MG_9966.cr2Audiences will have a choice on March 28 … guns or God. The release date for Sabotage, the actioner starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, is being moved up from April 11th to March 28th, putting it face to face with Darren … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Arnold And Ayer’s ‘Sabotage’

By | Friday November 22, 2013 @ 10:52am PST

Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s return to big-screen actioners has been steady but slow, with January’s The Last Stand grossing $12.1M domestically and last month’s Escape Plan — with Sly Stallone and directed by Mikael Hafstrom — faring a bit better at $24.3M and counting. But those still feel like Arnold is … Read More »

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