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Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: December 6th-8th

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Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: December 6th-8th

Postby Buscemi2 » December 3rd, 2019, 2:18 am

Thanksgiving is over, which means that there’s a little breather before the deluge of Christmas movies. What else is there to say? This weekend, one wide release and one limited release.

Last Week

Frozen II continues to heat up the scenes, getting the clean sweep with $86 million and a $19,364 PTA. Knives Out took the silver in both on its opening weekend and is already looking to have a healthy box office life (Lionsgate is already planning Knives Out 2). Ford v. Ferrari took show in box office while the other Thanksgiving opener, Queen & Slim, seemed to perform above expectations with a fourth place bow and three PTA points. Rounding out the Top 5 was A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood while the PTA list was completed with Waves and Dark Waters (the latter expands wide on Friday, most likely ending its PTA game life).

This Week

“Play”time is Over

The only new wide release this weekend is Playmobil: The Movie (STX), a long-delayed cash-in to the once popular Lego movie franchise. You know Playmobil, right? They are those toys you buy for your kid when Lego is too expensive but you don’t hate them enough to buy Mega Bloks. Well, after The Lego Movie hit it big, a French company decided to buy the film rights to the line and struck a distribution deal with The Weinstein Company to make the film (after Sony passed over money issues) with the future director of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse at the helm and plans for a trilogy. Then the film went into turnaround, got produced independently, and Open Road bought the US rights. Weinstein sued but that went nowhere. Finally, the movie went into production with a new director and got made for a higher budget than the movie it set out to emulate. The end of the story? Not even close, baby!

Open Road gets bought by Donald Tang and becomes Global Road. A January release is planned for the film. But then, Global Road goes broke within a year and has to sell the rights to STX. During this time, Playmobil opens in Europe and flops. STX schedules a Labor Day weekend opening and puts out trailers on films such as The Lion King. The date passes due to STX’s financial troubles. Finally, after a influx of Saudi money and the surprise success of Hustlers, STX is able to basically dump the film with almost no marketing on a dead post-Thanksgiving. Was the wait worth the trouble? After the premise.

The plot, from what I can recall from a single viewing of the trailer back in July, is basically a James Bond ripoff mixed in with a Lego Movie ripoff. The $75 million spent on the production seems to have been on the cast as the animation looks cheap and not much different from your typical indie studio that wants to compete with Pixar or Illumination but is more interested in churning them out than creating a good product. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jim Gaffigan, Adam Lambert, Kenan Thompson, and Meghan Trainor (remember her?), all whom I’m sure only did this for the money.

Unsurprisingly, early word is negative (25 on Metacritic). And with Frozen II still popular, is there any interest in this knock-off besides overflow from that movie and those who absolutely need to see every animated movie that comes out? Not even the most hardcore Harry Potter fan would bother to see Radcliffe voice a spy. STX should have just sold this one to Netflix.

Box Office Potential: with most theatres set to split screens on this one with other movies, don’t expect this to lead other labels to make Hatchimals: The Movie or Fidget Spinners: Der Film. $2 million opening, $4 million finish.

Arthouse Class 101

As the previously listed The Aeronauts (Amazon) will not report box office due to its December 20th bow on Prime Video, only one film will be covered for this class period.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Neon) – a hit at Cannes this year, to the point where some felt it should have won the Palme d’Or over Parasite, this historical drama focuses on the origins of a painting (the basis for the title) and the artist’s main influence. Soon, the artist and her model begin a forbidden relationship that could break up the arranged marriage for the latter.

Winner of two awards at said festival, the film hits American theatres with a large amount of buzz but incredibly, no submission by France in the Oscar race (instead, Amazon’s Les Miserables got that honor). With Neon, flush with cash after the success of Parasite, handling domestic distribution, could this be a reasonable contender to break out and lead to a backlash towards France for not submitting it for that gold naked guy? It should take the PTA crowd for the first weekend but with the influx of hoped-for Best Picture contenders in later weeks, it’s going to be hard for it to stick around

In the end, I’m going to guess 7-9 PTA and a million in box office.

Top 5: Frozen II, Knives Out, Ford v. Ferrari, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Queen & Slim
PTA: Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Frozen II, Waves, Knives Out, wild card

Next week, tranny will have a much more exciting weekend, handling three wide releases, Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony/Columbia), Black Christmas (Universal), Richard Jewell (Warner Bros.), and four limited releases, Bombshell (Lionsgate), Cunningham (Magnolia), A Hidden Life (Disney/Fox Searchlight), and Uncut Gems (A24). Would you like to know more?
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: December 6th-8th

Postby Shrykespeare » December 3rd, 2019, 10:09 pm

Wow. Didn't know PLAYMOBIL had such a bumpy road to get to theaters. I've seen one trailer and zero commercials for it in the last three months.


Celebrity birthdays:

Jeff Bridges turns 70 on 12/4
Tom Waits turns 70 on 12/7
Nicholas Hoult turns 30 on 12/7
Happy 30th birthday Taylor Swift! (12/13/19)
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: December 6th-8th

Postby Buscemi2 » December 4th, 2019, 1:23 am

And I found out Playmobil is basically being given away. AMC, Cinemark, and Regal will sell all tickets for $5 each. I still don't think it clears more than $2 million.
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: December 6th-8th

Postby numbersix » December 4th, 2019, 4:17 am

Is Dark Water going wide this weekend?
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: December 6th-8th

Postby Chienfantome » December 4th, 2019, 5:41 am

numbersix wrote:Is Dark Water going wide this weekend?


It's supposed to.
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: December 6th-8th

Postby Buscemi2 » December 4th, 2019, 2:31 pm

Expanding to 2,000 theatres.
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: December 6th-8th

Postby Buscemi2 » Yesterday, 5:14 pm

Too early numbers (via Deadline and Variety):

Dark Waters $4 million three-day
Playmobil $905,000 three-day
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