Thursday, 16 October 2014



GONE GIRL - $26,406,134
A major triumph, this second weekend gross, for David Fincher's new film. It's way on track toward becoming the highest grosser of his career, making as much in its second frame as some were expecting it to make in its first. The film could now be on track for over $150 million total.


DRACULA UNTOLD - $23,514,615
Two weekends running a new release horror movie takes first place on Friday only to find itself beaten to the weekend top spot by Gone Girl. Dracula Untold's opening gross isn't as strong as Annabelle's was last weekend, however, and its drop compared to Gone Girl's rise through the frame is steeper; given Annabelle's brand recognition, that wouldn't seem to be such a bad thing, but it's clear that Universal were aiming for a franchise starter with the poorly-reviewed Dracula Untold, a franchise which now looks to be on shaky ground.
Prediction: $50-60m

Movies with titles as long as this don't tend to reach the Top 3 at the box office, unless they're franchise titles. That's mostly because movies with titles as long as Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day's don't tend to get made with titles that long. Buena Vista can't complain about this fine total - they'll easily make their money back on this family comedy.
Prediction: $50-60m

THE JUDGE - $13,116,226
It's unclear exactly why The Judge has bombed so hard. The lacklustre reviews must definitely have played a part - Warner Bros.' gambit had been to target supposedly underserved adult audiences with this R-rated courtroom drama starring Roberts Downey Jr. and Duvall, but that crowd generally demands fare with more critical backing, and they were resolutely well-served this weekend by Gone Girl, which has ignited huge conversation among that demographic, and thus made more than double The Judge's opening weekend gross in its second weekend.
Prediction: $40-50m

ADDICTED - $7,485,346
There wasn't enough buzz around Bille Woodruff's return to ensure the kind of opening grosses she once commanded with popular crossover hits like Honey and Beauty Shop. However, this was only just showing in wide release, so things may improve for Addicted. The target demographic for similar movies normally doesn't suggest good holds, so don't expect this to hang on well.
Prediction: $20-30m

MEET THE MORMONS - $2,509,663
A documentary about mormons? No, me neither. Nevertheless, christian audiences will turn out for docs if they're up their alley, by and large, and the per-theatre average for Meet the Mormons was decent. Unclear how this will fare in the long run, but signs are pretty positive at present.
Prediction: $20-30m

Focus Features aren't particularly equipped to deal with films such as Kill the Messenger any more, but then audiences likely were never tremendously interested in Homeland creator's Michael Cuesta's return to filmmaking in the first place. Tellingly, there are no current plans to expand what might have been a moderate hit among better hands.
Prediction: $0-10m

WHIPLASH - $135,388
Sony Pictures Classics brought this festival hit out into six theatres over the weekend, two more than The Weinstein Company's St. Vincent; comparing a higher overall gross with a higher per-theatre average makes for a tough practice, but I'd say Whiplash has come up trumps between the two. Popular with arthouse audiences and with significant mainstream potential, this could be one of the sleeper hits of the season at the box office.
Prediction: $30-40m

ST. VINCENT - $109,878
So St. Vincent wins the weekend if per-theatre averages are to be considered - that's why the Weinsteins are so good at what they do. They have extensive expansion plans, suggesting that they consider St. Vincent a viable commercial property. Its performance in wider release isn't a guaranteed success, though.
Prediction: $20-30m

ONE CHANCE - $33,405
It now looks pretty certain that the Weinsteins only purchased this niche biopic of the first winner of Britain's Got Talent, singer Paul Potts (no rly) to get a Best Original Song nomination last year for Taylor Swift - they did... at the Golden Globes. With a per-theatre average of $777, though, even they must be feeling pretty embarrassed by its American debut.
Prediction: $0-10m



YOU'RE NOT YOU - $9,226
Touted maybe once or twice as a possible Oscar vehicle for Hilary Swank, it's no wonder that EOne lost faith in this piece of fluff, which also stars Emmy Rossum and Josh Duhamel. Hardly screams commercial success, does it? Looks like they've made way for Swank's Oscar chances for The Homesman instead.
Prediction: $0-10m



I AM ALI - $4,178


The fourth Transformers movie is far and away one of the year's highest-grossers, but is also far and away the franchise's lowest-grosser domestically, with more than $50 million less than its nearest rival among the four films, so it hasn't cleared its budget by much in the US. Never mind, its overseas totals have been great, with a truly phenomenal taking in China.

A shame that Bryan Singer's return to the X-Men franchise couldn't match X-Men: The Last Stand's total gross, falling short of it by less than $500k, since it's a superior film, if only just. Fox will definitely be pleased with this result, though, basically resurrecting a quickly fading superhero brand.

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS - $124,872,350
An extremely popular YA source novel + Shailene Woodley tends to be a pretty profitable equation around now. Thus, Fox's romantic drama has taken in more than 10x its production budget in the US alone - that's an outstanding return, obviously. Its international grosses have been high too, so this is a resounding success for all involved.

AS ABOVE / SO BELOW - $21,222,315
An expectedly modest gross for this poorly-reviewed horror film. It did, however, succeed in making well over twice what it took in from its opening weekend, which is decent enough among such films, though not particularly impressive given that it couldn't even break the $9 million mark in its first three days.

What an embarrassment. The Sin City sequel fails to make even half of what its predecessor made in its opening weekend over its entire run, and that's after over nine years of ticket price inflation plus 3D prices. A good contender for the turkey of 2014, and there's not long until Thanksgiving!

CANTINFLAS - $6,378,074
Lionsgate targeted Hispanic audiences, with whom they have a strong outreach, with this Mexican drama. They've kinda dropped the ball with it, though - it hasn't even come slightly close to matching Instructions Not Included's takings from 2013.

OBVIOUS CHILD - $3,123,963
Gillian Robespierre's controversial comedy has evidently reached a fair proportion of its target arthouse audience. It has, however, failed to truly break out, which had been a fate predicted of it by a decent few.

TUSK - $1,659,394
A24 know that Kevin Smith's Tusk is a strictly niche product, and pulled it from theatres after three weekends. Its audience is most definitely on VOD and/or other home video platforms.

Another film with notably more potential for viewers at home is this music documentary. Tribeca Film has done the smart thing by keeping its theatrical run brief and cheap.

GOD HELP THE GIRL - $102,757
A negligible gross for a pretty negligible film. I'm not even sure why this is on my radar, but, alas, it is, so here's a report on it. A brief one.

Not much to report on here, except that there are many critics worldwide who might have liked to have seen this documentary perform a lot better at the box office. Not many who would have predicted much more, though. Certainly not me.