FRIDAY PM/SATURDAY AM, 4TH UPDATE: Full analysis later this morning. But overall Thanksgiving holiday weekend moviegoing is looking like $230 million, which is still down -12% from last year. So the North American box office slump continues. Nevertheless, the Friday after T-Day is traditionally the biggest moviegoing day of the year, and this one didn’t disappoint. Parents and kids did come back into theaters Friday for some of the new family fare which didn’t speed out of the theatrical gate Wednesday or Thursday. It helped that critics bestowed good reviews and audiences gave great CinemaScores to Disney’s rebooted The Muppets which earned an ‘A’ and Sony Pictures’ Arthur Christmas an ‘A-’. But Summit Entertainment’s holdover Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 1 is still the undisputed winner of the holiday weekend derby. Martin Scorsese’s 3D film Hugo scored 97% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoesis and is holding its own considering that it’s playing on 2,000 less screens than all the competition. But it also cost a fortune after going wildly over budget. Meanwhile, The Weinstein Co didn’t provide new numbers yet for platforming its Oscar-buzzed My Week With Marilyn which added 61 markets including Canada for 244 runs Friday. It made $156K Wednesday and $155K Thursday for a projected $2M for the 5-day holiday. The Weinstein Co’s other Academy Awards-touted …
No Box Office Bounty For T-Day Weekend: ‘Breaking Dawn’ Still #1, ‘The Muppets’ #2, ‘Happy Feet’ #3, ‘Arthur Xmas’ #4, ‘Hugo’ #5
The Moody’s rating came out today, generated as part of the process of Summit Entertainment refinancing its credit facilities. “Due to the company’s success over the last four years, Summit expects to substantially improve its credit terms. The company remains fully capitalized and will continue to execute its business plan,” an insider tells me. Based on this process, Summit is also expecting a rating from the S&P most likely later today. Summit intends to use the $800M to repay existing debt, finance production, and pay a distribution to shareholders. My sources say it does not look as if the money will be used towards acquisitions, at least at this point in time. Such an incredible story how this Santa Monica-based upstart independent studio which began in 2007 is now worth so much on the backs of those Twilight Saga movies. But that franchise also affected the Moody’s credit rating as both good/bad news. Here’s why: ”The stable outlook reflects a balance between an expectation of strong cash flow from the Twilight franchise and consequent debt reduction over the next few years, and an increase in risk over time with greater dependence on new film production which is not sequel-based… Nevertheless, we remain cautious about the sustainability of strong credit metrics beyond 2013, given the end of the Twilight franchise, uncertainty about a replacement franchise, and the volatile nature of the company’s business.”
Here’s the Moody’s rating info:
Rating Action: Moody’s Assigns B1 rating
Summit Entertainment announced that THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 2 will open in theatres on November 16, 2012.
Summit Entertainment’s THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN will be filmed in both Louisiana’s Baton Rouge and Canada’s Vancouver over the next year starting this fall. The Stephenie Meyer novel will be released as two separate films starting on November 18, 2011.
The TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE stars will be visiting theaters across the U.S. to introduce the latest film in the franchise now shattering box office records. Beginning Friday July 2nd and extending through the holiday weekend, approximately 20 cast members will be popping up in theaters all over the country “to show their appreciation for their fans, and thanking them for all of the excitement, enthusiasm and support they have shown,” Summit Entertainment said. “For more information about cast appearances and to see if one will be visiting your hometown, please visit www.eclipsethemovie.com.”