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 Final Numbers: Weather Knocks Film Grosses Down Across The Board

OPENING: Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (Paramount, wide) $18.3 est. 3-day opening for recast franchise NOTEWORTHY: Frozen (DIS) crosses $600M worldwide

BoxOffice_logo__131122164403-275x206__131207011855UPDATED MONDAY, 1:30 PM: Final numbers for all weekend estimates are less than expected as arctic temps across the nation kept moviegoers home Sunday night. As it played out, The Wolf of Wall Street ended up at $13.2M and American Hustle at $12.4M for the three-day weekend and, of the top ten, Wolf had the best weekend to weekend hold, down 29%. Other pics have been in the marketplace longer, of course, but it is still worth noting. Opening wide this Friday will be The Legend of Hercules from Lionsgate from director Renny Harlin, Universal’s Afghan battle pic Lone Survivor and expanding to 1,700 screens is Warner Bros.’ Her from Spike Jonze. Here are the final numbers and rankings from this weekend. Bottom ten on second page:

1). Frozen (DIS), $19,575,525 3-day (-32% from previous weekend) / 3,318 locations (-17) / $5,900 average / Cume: $296,691,729 / Wk 7

2). Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (PAR), $18,343,611 / 2,867 locations / $6,398 average / Cume: $18,343,611, / Wk 1

3). The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (WB), $15,675,220 (-46%)/ 3,730 locations (-168) $4,202 average / Cume: $229,059,642 / Wk 4

4). The Wolf Of Wall Street (PAR), $13,230,353 (-29%) / 2,557 locations (+20) / $5,174 average / Cume: $63,125,467 / Wk 2

5). American Hustle (SONY), $12,404,207 (-34%) / 2,518 locations (+11) / $4,926 average / Cume: $87,923,123 / Wk 4

6). Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (PAR) $10,633,959 (-45%)/ 3,407 locations (-100) / $3,121 average / Cume; $108,713,472 / Wk 3

7). Saving Mr. Banks (DIS), $8,694,891 (-35%) / 2,110 locations (0) / $4,121 average / Cume: $58,958,280 / Wk 4

8). The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (FOX), $8,001,717  (-37%)/ 2,922 locations (+13) / $2,738 average / Cume: $45,470,954 / Wk  2

9). The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (LG), $7,051,309 (-30%) / 2,143 locations (-172) / $3,290 average / Cume: $407,139,699 / Wk 7

10). Grudge Match (WB), $5,325,423 (-34%) / 2,856 locations (+18) / $1,865 average / Cume: $24,835,480, / Wk 2

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Year-End: Legal Battles Of 2013 And Beyond – Aereo, ‘Hobbit’ Sequels, ‘Walking Dead’ Vs. Frank Darabont, Prospect Park & ‘Godzilla’

One in a series of Deadline stories that look back on 2013 and ahead to 2014.

NEW DJP LEGAL BADGEIt was a year that saw the Weinsteins and Warner Bros clash over the title of The Butler and then get into the ring again for The Hobbitsequels. 2013 also witnessed the first fired Walking Dead showrunner wanting to take a bite out ofAMC for his piece of the cable blockbuster, a  Ray Donovan EP nailed by the feds in a big-time gambling scheme right out of the Showtime Hollywood fixer series and a monster of a legal drama in the YearEnd2013_badge__131227212819making as Legendary Pictures tried to swat some seasoned producers off its Godzilla reboot. In the end, with those cases and more, the Hollywood legal landscape of 2013 proved to be a stringent reminder of why they call it show business and not show friends.

With money and rights at the basis of most of the disputes, the complaints and motions were as numerous as locusts and as prevalent as rats, with many of them spilling over into 2014 and perhaps beyond. Just ask Barry Diller and Les Moonves as streaming service Aereo and CBS and other broadcasters suit up for a potential Supreme Court winner-takes-all showdown next year. Or Prospect Park as it fights ABC in a $125 million suit over licensed soaps All My Children and One Life To Live while having to contend with a complaint from co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz seeking a declaratory judgment from the court over non-compete clauses in his contract with the company. Sure, sometimes weapons are lowered like when Paramount and asset management firm Content Partners reached Paramount100__130517234217-200x151__130607180615__131212203235an undisclosed settlement on December 12 in their $45 million film financing slate dust-up after three years going at it in the courts. With a pivotal hearing looming, that was realpolitik in action as the sudden deal allowed the studio to sidestep dragging JPMorgan Chase, which corporate parent Viacom has significant banking dealings with, into the protracted case despite the blessing of the presiding judge. However, with the grinding duration of a lot of the legal disputes in this town, such resolution is rare, even when the end seems in sight.

superman-comic-30-2__121011182348-2-2__130321233701__130405012002-1__130419004954__131213030639Look for instance at Warner Bros and the seemingly never-ending Superman heirs’ rights battle. After a string of seemingly conclusive legal wins this year, WB and subsidiary DC Comics now could face more Krypton courtroom drama in 2014. On December 10, the co-creators heirs’ attorneys Marc Toberoff and Keith G. Adams petitioned the 9th Circuit for either a rehearing by the panel that found in the studio’s favor on November 21 or by the full court itself. If that effort fails, they could take the matter to the SCOTUS. Even with all the billings that O’Melveny & Myers get to make to WB after years of litigation, the sharp-elbowed Daniel Petrocelli and Matthew Kline must want to be able to declare a super-lawyer victory and move on – after all, they also have the Trouble With The Curve copyright suit to handle for the studio and a February 24 hearing on a summary judgment motion in that case by plaintiffs Ryan A. Brooks and Gold Glove Productions to fend off.  Read More »

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Christmas Box Office Update: Last Weekend Of 2013 Up 8.1% On More Movies In Marketplace, ‘Hobbit,’ ‘Frozen,’ Together Take 34% Out Of Weekend, ‘Anchorman 2,’ ‘Hustle,’ ‘Wolf’ Follow

CHRISTMAS DAY OPENERS: The Wolf Of Wall Street (Paramount, wide) sliding down to No. 5 in 3-day, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (Fox, wide), 47 Ronin (Universal, wide) bomb, Grudge Match (Warner Bros, wide), Justin Bieber’s Believe (Open Road, moderate), The Invisible Woman (Sony Pictures Classics, ltd), Lone Survivor (Universal, 2 runs), August: Osage County (The Weinstein Co, ltd on Friday) $35,000 per screen wknd.

BoxOffice_logo__131122164403-275x206UPDATE: MONDAY, 2:42 PM: Year-to-date industry box office numbers are in, showing a slight increase of less than one percentage point from last year, or about $90M difference. Specifically, 2013 grosses rose .8% to $10.763B for the year ending 12/29/13 vs. $10.674B for the year ending 12/30/12 (as previously reported it would be less than 1%). When you just look at the Top Ten films in the marketplace over the last weekend of 2012 vs 2013, there was an overall increase this year of 8.1% in grosses, according to Rentrak. In analyzing these numbers, one must take into account that this year there were simply more movies in the marketplace. We must also look at attendance and ticket prices increases or decreases. But those specific attendance figures and average tickets prices, which will round out the big picture, won’t be released by the National Association of Theater Owners for another few weeks. In the meantime, here are the 3-day and 5-day Christmas holiday box office weekend numbers from Rentrak. These are the best estimates available, given that the studios only reported their estimates and the actuals won’t arrive until Thursday.

1). The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (WB), $29,040,000 (3-day), $48,870,000 (5-day), 3,928 locations, $189,494,000, Wk 3.

2. Frozen (DIS), $28,596,319 (3-day), $44,059,244 (5-day), 3,335 locations, $248,117,795, Wk 6.

3). Anchorman 2 (PAR), $19,662,000 (3-day), $35,126,000 (5-day), 3,507 locations, $83,180,000, Wk 2.

4). American Hustle (SONY), $18,701,000 (3-day), $32,451,000 (5-day), 2,507 locations, $59,185,000, Wk 3.

5). The Wolf Of Wall Street (PAR), $18,360,000 (3-day), $34,151,000 (5-day), 2,537 locations, $34,152,000, Wk 1.

6). Saving Mr. Banks (DISNEY) $13,453,533 (3-day), $23,261,566 (5-day), 2,110 locations, $37,276,150, Wk 3.

7). The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (Fox), $12,765,508 (3-day), $25,360,468 (5-day), 2,909 locations, $25,360,468, Wk 1

8). The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (LGF) $10,061,479 (3-day), $15,629,461 (5-day), 2,315 locations, $390,985,322, Wk 6

9). 47 Ronin (Uni) $9,910,310 (3-day), $20,612,531 (5-day) 2,689 locations, $20,612,530, Wk 1.

10). Walking With Dinosaurs (Fox) $7,276,172 (3-day), $11,151,353 (5-day) 3,243 locations, $20,944,478, Wk 2

11). Grudge Match (WB) $7,015,000 (3-day), $13.4M (5-day), 2,838 locations, $13,140,000, Wk 1

12). Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas (LGF) $6,887,194 (3-day), $12.4M (5-day), 1,788 locations, $43,206,270, Wk 3.
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International Box Office Update: ‘Desolation Of Smaug’ Adds $97.4M To Edge Ahead of First ‘Hobbit’; ‘Anchorman 2′ Nearly Triples 1st Pic’s Total; ‘Dinosaurs’ Roam; ‘Dhoom’ Vrooms; ‘About Time’ Record; More

International box office highlights: Warner Bros’ The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug added $97.4M in its second outing for a $278.4M cume; now running neck-and-neck with An Unexpected Journey. The studio had a record opening in Russia and has been given a China release date of February 21st. Paramount’s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues was the biggest overseas opening weekend ever for a Will Ferrell movie with $13.4M in six territories, almost tripling the first movie’s $5M international career total. Fox’s Walking With Dinosaurs landed $13.8M in 40 markets on its debut. Universal’s 47 Ronin bowed No. 1 in Malaysia for an estimated $1.1M at 91 dates, beating its Japanese start two weeks ago of $1.05M at 333 locations. The same studio’s About Time is now the biggest foreign romantic comedy ever in Korea and the studio’s biggest film in the territory this year. India’s Dhoom 3 broke records at home and abroad.

smaugUPDATE: MONDAY, 12:30 PM: Final numbers are arriving to show that The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug actually brought in a higher gross than estimated with a total haul of $97.4M from 16,840 screens in 56 markets, representing a drop of -42% from last weekend’s opening.  The international cume to date is now $278.4M and it has edged ahead of the first Hobbit (in the same markets at the same point in release). The worldwide cume is now $406M. Studio expectations are that the sequel will ultimately gross very close to the first Hobbit when all is said and done. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ended with a total international cume of $714.M. The other WBros.’ title in the marketplace, Gravity, also ended up slightly more — $4.1M from 1,769 screens in 32 markets.  The international cume to date of $398.8M for Desolation of Smaug now stands just a smidgen higher than its weekend estimate. It currently ranks number one in the UK, Germany, France and Spain in its second weekend. It is still yet to open in Australia (Dec. 26), China (Feb. 21) and Japan (Feb. 28). Totals for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire were higher than estimated. In 86 markets, it took in another $12.2M for a total cume of $394.5M.

The weekend overall was down across distributors by about 27% versus last weekend, but only 9% versus last year, data indicates. According to international estimates, Warner BrosThe Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug was the big performer overseas in its 2nd frame, adding $96M on 16,830 screens across 56 markets. The estimated haul was a 43% drop from last weekend’s opening and gives the film a $276.3M cume for parity with 2012′s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at the same point in release in the same markets.

anchorman 2Among the new openers, Paramount‘s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues had the biggest debut weekend internationally for a Will Ferrell movie. The sequel to 2004′s Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy opened in six territories outside North America and brought in an estimated $13.4M. That’s kind of a big deal when compared to the first film whose career total overseas was $5M. Ferrell is better-known now outside the States than in 2004, and with the promotional push the movie has gotten this time around, it was a safe bet the follow-up would outperform. Its five-day opening gross in the UK is estimated at $7.4M, or 725% better than the first installment, Paramount says. Australia opened at No. 1 with $5.2M from 243 theaters, nearly seven times the first Anchorman. In New Zealand, the film opened at 64 locations for $480K, slotting in at No. 2 behind the homegrown The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug. With $200K at 54 locations in Sweden, Anchorman 2 bested the entire $24K lifetime gross of the first film on its opening day (does it help that Ferrell’s wife is Swedish?). The next international territory to open will be Germany in late January. Latin America opens in early February.

Walking-With-Dinosaurs-The-3D-MovieFox‘s Walking With Dinosaurs roamed for the first time this weekend, breaking into 40 markets for a total estimated haul of $13.8M from 7,576 screens. Of those 40 markets, six are non-Fox distributed. Barry Cook and Neil Nightingale directed the CG/live-action movie that’s based on the 1999 BBC miniseries and a live touring show that was seen by more than 8 million people around the world. The 3D movie was originally financed by Reliance, and Fox picked up U.S. and other international rights back in 2010. The story is set 70 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period and follows the adventures of an underdog dino named Patchi. The voice cast includes John Leguizamo, Justin Long, Tiya Sircar and Skyler Stone. This weekend, the film claimed the No. 2 or No. 3 market share position in most bows. Read More »

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