Friday, 3 October 2014

BOX OFFICE REPORT: THE EQUALISER ALMOST EQUALS DENZEL'S BEST


OPENING

THE EQUALISER [TOP SPOT] $34,137,828
Fourth all-time for September and third for Denzel Washington, this is a strong opening for the dark thriller. I wasn't a fan of The Equaliser, but I'll admit to being pleased to see an African-American star nearing 60 open an R-rated film so strong.
Prediction: $120-130m

THE BOXTROLLS - $17,275,239
Laika Animation have a committed cult brand which, predictably, hasn't proved too reliable at the box office with previous efforts. So this is a promising opening for their latest, as it ranks as the biggest stop-motion start since 2005's Corpse Bride, which had the boost of being a Tim Burton film.
Prediction: $70-80m

THE SONG - $568,596

MAS NEGRO QUE LA NOCHE - $539,867

Timidly released into 34 theatres, this Jimi Hendrix biopic has failed to take off. There was marked commercial potential, with one popular musician (Andre Benjamin) playing another, in a film from 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley, but mostly-untested distributors Xlrator weren't able to leverage that into financial return.
Prediction: $0-10m

PRIDE - $81,971
Much has been made of the untapped potential in Matthew Warchus' Pride, with its curious festival schedule and lacklustre theatrical release strategy internationally. This is only a fine opening for the well-reviewed period drama, which I'd encourage any readers to check out.
Prediction: $10-20m

Another weak start for a limited release last weekend. With an A-list cast including Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst, this low gross perhaps reflects on a lack of faith from distributors Magnolia in Hossein Amini's directorial debut.
Prediction: $10-20m

TWO NIGHT STAND - $15,600
EOne have a considerable following in the young female demographic, but they've targeted them via VOD with this rom-com rather than in theatres. Cinema returns will likely not be very high.
Prediction: $0-10m

ADVANCED STYLE - $6,500
This touching and glamorous documentary has been hanging around for some time, and distributors Bond/360 don't have the muscle to freshen up this prospect for arthouse audiences. Tellingly, it was given a theatrical bow in just one cinema.
Prediction: $0-10m

DAYS AND NIGHTS - $6,003

THE LITTLE BEDROOM - $2,981

LILTING - $1,567
A gay-themed drama from the UK which didn't have the potential to break out in the US anyway. A VOD release didn't help boost theatrical grosses.
Prediction: $0-10m

CLOSING

22 JUMP STREET - $191,059,924
In a summer full of R-rated comedies, most expected the sequel to the popular 21 Jump Street movie to fare well, even arriving after a number of other potential hits. But none expected it to perform this well. No doubt Columbia will be gutted that the filmmakers rather spoiled the chance at a continuing franchise with their closing credits sequence.

JERSEY BOYS - $47,047,013

With light marketing and mediocre reviews, Clint Eastwood's film version of the stage musical will go down as one of the biggest critical disappointments of his flagging career as director. Given that, this isn't a bad final tally, but it's far from what might once have been expected.


SEX TAPE - $38,543,473
A perfect example of what happens when a film just is not up to scratch. Columbia recognised the limited potential of this raunchy comedy, hitting theatres after a number more, some of which had overperformed. No matter how you look at it, though, failing to break $40 million is a major disappointment for any film of this stature, particularly when that $40m figure represents its own budget.


THE IDENTICAL - $2,827,666
This christian music drama, starring a bunch of fading film stars, will end up being best-known for being the only major new release on the risible 5-7 September 2014 weekend. You'd barely know that was a 'major' release, however, with such a low final gross.