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Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: February 2nd-4th

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Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: February 2nd-4th

Postby Buscemi2 » January 30th, 2018, 2:57 am

D.J. #1: Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today.
D.J. #2: It's coooold out there every day. What is this, Miami Beach?
D.J. #1: Not hardly. And you know, you can expect hazardous travel later today with that, you know, that, uh, that blizzard thing.
D.J. #2: [mockingly] That blizzard - thing. That blizzard - thing. Oh, well, here's the report! The National Weather Service is calling for a "big blizzard thing!"
D.J. #1: Yessss, they are. But you know, there's another reason why today is especially exciting.
D.J. #2: Especially cold!
D.J. #1: Especially cold, okay, but the big question on everybody's lips...
D.J. #2: On their chapped lips...
D.J. #1: On their chapped lips, right: Do ya think Phil is gonna come out and see his shadow?
D.J. #2: Punxsutawney Phil!
D.J. #1: That's right, woodchuck-chuckers - it's...
D.J. #1, D.J. #2: [in unison] GROUNDHOG DAY!

-Groundhog Day (1993) (celebrating its 25th on February 12th)

This weekend serves as both a holiday (Groundhog Day) and an event people want to make a holiday (the Super Bowl). I don’t get the latter and it’s simply an excuse to get drunk and glorify a certain team from Boston. You can do much better than watch expensive commercials and 50 minutes of padded sumo wrestlers block in hopes of a chip-shot field goal. At least the players aren’t jerks yet in college.

But you aren’t reading this to see some soapboxing. You want to know the scoop of this week’s movies. We only have three as the studios are not surprisingly saving their heavy hitters for the next two weeks. Let’s get it on.

Last Week

The long-delayed The Maze Runner: The Death Cure took first in both Box Office and PTA in the game with a $24.2 million weekend and a $6,382 PTA. The Cinemascore was only a B+ so it seems as if it will hold weaker than the first two installments. Second in both departments was that new old standard, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, dropping only 17% to $16.1 million. The current take stands at $337.8 million (how did this make more money than Coco?). Third in both was a wide expansion of Hostiles, making up for its lack of Oscar attention by taking in $10.1 million. However, a B Cinemascore seems to suggest the film has peaked with audiences. Fourth in you guessed it, both categories, was the still-going The Greatest Showman, singing the praises of a $9.6 million take and a drop of just 10%. The gross is now at $126.5 million. Fifth, but only in box office, was The Post, dropping 22% to $9.1 million. It has now made $58.8 million and more should be expected due to the Best Picture nomination. Fifth on the PTA scene was Den of Thieves (the film dropped 43% in its second week, while fellow 12 Strong dropped 45% as it fell to sixth).

Related to the Oscars, the biggest increase was The Shape of Water, increasing 171% to $5.9 million on the strength of 13 nominations and 1,000 new theatres. The film has now made almost $38 million. The film passed Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, which increased 100% from last week to $3.8 million. Lady Bird had a 58% increase to $1.9 million. Darkest Hour had a small 6% increase while Call Me by Your Name and Phantom Thread decreased from last week and a reissue of Get Out made just over $165,000 in over 450 theatres. The final nominee, Dunkirk, was not reissued.

Special mention goes to Padmaavat, which grossed $4.4 million in a 324 theatre opening ($4.9 million since Thursday). Had it been included in the game, it would have gotten the top PTA score.

This Week

Spending Every Night at the “Winchester”

The only wide release this week is Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built (Lionsgate/CBS), opening in 2,300 theatres. This is loosely based on events that took place in the San Jose, California mansion of Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune. The Winchester Mystery House began to be built in 1884 and continued to be built until her death in 1922. During the long process, the house went through numerous revisions, contained many rooms, rooms within rooms, and sections that never really went anywhere, and supposedly carried many curses, as documented in the film. The building was financed by Winchester’s considerable wealth.

Helen Mirren plays Winchester while Jason Clarke also stars in the film as a medium who sees the paranormal happenings while studying the sanity of Winchester. The film was written, directed, and co-scored by The Spierig Brothers, hot off of another Lionsgate release, Jigsaw.

Being the weekend’s only major release, it should not have much of a problem finishing well this weekend. However, films that have competed with the Super Bowl have often had a mixed result. Winchester, being a PG-13-rated horror film, can be viewed in one of two camps in comparing horror films from last Super Bowl weekend. On one hand, there was Split, M. Night Shyamalan’s hit from last year that in its third weekend remained in first with a $14.4 million weekend (and that doesn’t even mention the $84 million it had made before then). On the other hand, there was Rings, the quickly-forgotten reboot of the Ring franchise which sputtered to a $13 million weekend ($2 million less than the original fifteen years later despite 950 more theatres) before dying out with a final gross under $28 million. It should play better than Rings but I can’t see this having the thrills or great performances Split had. At best, it should satisfy all for a weekend before the February monsters slay the deadly pit of boredom for suburban moviegoers.

Box Office Potential: the smallish theatre number sends caution but there is a strong possibility this could bring in teenagers and people who don’t want to see Tom Brady win another Super Bowl. $14 million opening weekend, $30 million finish.


Arthouse Class 101

This week, two titles will be covered by yours truly.

The Cage Fighter (IFC/Sundance Selects) – a late addition into the game, this is a documentary focused on a forty-something everyman, Joe Carman, who battles a custody battle, the illness of his wife, and raising four girls while working in a boiler room. His secret to battling the daily stress? He’s a mixed martial artist. Though he promised to get out of the sport, Carman continues to train in secret in an attempt to prove that he’s still got the will to fight against younger, faster fighters. However, Carman’s health begins to take a toll and he is now faced with the decision of giving it up to save everything he has or to continue chasing a dying dream.

We know the old adage, “truth is stranger than fiction”. However, it seems like audiences don’t share this viewpoint, as a lot of documentaries have failed or underperformed in recent memory. A few months back, I recommended taking the documentary Dina, which was well-reviewed and won an award at Sundance. However, it died after a strong opening weekend as fellow documentary opener (ironically in the same theatre, New York’s Quad Cinema) Faces Places got all the attention. I have a feeling this will play like Dina did. It seems as if filmgoers aren’t interested in people who are different from them or have problems that can be seen in the real world. Which is too bad as this MMA and its hopefuls are an interesting subject to build a non-fiction story around, much like Beyond the Mat had with wrestling or Generation Iron had with the current class of bodybuilders.

I’m going to say at most 1-2 PTA and a box office take in the five digits.


A Fantastic Woman (Sony Pictures Classics) – after a one-week Oscar run to boost its presence on voters, this awards baity piece from Chile makes its official debut in theatres, as well as the game, this weekend. And if you absolutely hate football, this should be the perfect alternative.

The premise focuses on the May-December relationship between a waitress, Marina, and the owner of a printing company, Orlando. After Orlando’s death, the woman is treated with suspicion by his family and not given the right to mourn his passing. The reason? Marina is transgendered. Marina now must fight for herself and against adversity to show who she really is, a fantastic woman.

This is a very timely film, especially with the transphobia that is all around us in the battle for LGBT rights. Early word has been excellent and despite the difficulty Chilean cinema has had with breaking in with American audiences, this one should break out a lot easier than another one of those Sebastian Silva films where he tries to act (the short version: he can’t). I expect some strong numbers in the coasts and maybe even decent numbers in the more purple areas.

In the end, you should get double digit PTA points and a box office gross of around $3-4 million.

Notables not in the game this week include 24 Frames (Janus), the final film from Abbas Kiarostami, Before We Vanish (Neon/Super Ltd.), a new sci-fi film from Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Braven (Saban), a thriller with Jason Momoa and Stephen Lang, Legend of the Mountain (Kino Lorber), the first American release of King Hu’s 1979 three hour-plus mystery, The Music of Silence (AMBI), a biopic on Andrea Bocelli, and Scorched Earth (Cinedigm), a post-apocalyptic action film with Gina Carano.

Box Office: Winchester, Jumanji, Maze Runner, The Greatest Showman, The Post
PTA: A Fantastic Woman, Winchester, Jumanji, The Cage Fighter, Maze Runner

Next week, Six will cover three wide releases, Fifty Shades Freed (Universal), The 15:17 to Paris (Warner Bros.), and Peter Rabbit (Sony/Columbia). I hope you’re prepared for an unforgettable luncheon.

Box Office Memories (You just saw the movie, what are you going to do next?):

2008 (Giants won the Super Bowl, Eli Manning went to Disneyland and/or Disney World):
Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus used their Wonder Twin powers to bilk $31.1 million (in just 683 theatres!) from the wallets of parents everywhere to get the top spot for their Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour documentary. Place was fellow opener The Eye with $12.4 million and show was 27 Dresses in its third week with $8.5 million. Fourth was Meet the Spartans, falling from first by losing 60% from the previous weekend, with $7.3 million while fifth was fellow second weekender Rambo with $7.1 million (61% drop). The other wide openers, Over Her Dead Body and Strange Wilderness, finished outside of the top ten with $4 million and $3 million, respectively.

On the PTA front, Hannah Montana had the clean sweep with $45,561 per theatre, thanks to all tickets being sold at a flat $15 fee (hey, that sounds normal ten years later). Second was the third week of fellow 3-D concert documentary U2 3D (still unavailable on home video due to a legal clause preventing non-theatrical distribution), taking in $11,720 per in 61 IMAX theatres. Third was a Judaism-themed documentary, Praying with Lior, making $8,401 in a single theatre. Placing fourth was the Romanian period drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, expanding nicely to 17 theatres with a $6,958 average. And rounding out the herd was the Lebanese cosmetology-themed drama Caramel, which did $6,538 per in an 11 theatre opening.

1998 (Broncos won the Super Bowl, John Elway went to Disney World):
Jack Dawson continued to make the ladies swoon as Titanic held onto first for the seventh straight weekend, enjoying repeat business (and I’m sure some first timers, too) to the tune of $25.9 million. Second was Alfonso Cuaron’s modernized Great Expectations, making $9.6 million. Good Will Hunting held steady in third with $8.4 million while the film result of 1997’s pop sensation, Spice World, dropped from second to fourth with $7 million (33% drop). Fifth was As Good as it Gets with $6.6 million. The other two wide openers came in sixth and eighth, respectively, as Desperate Measures ($5.8 million) and Deep Rising ($4.7 million) couldn’t muster much interest against the big ship (though I personally think Deep Rising is every bit as good as Titanic, maybe even better).

On the limited scene, the big winner was Almodovar’s pulp romance Live Flesh, taking in $16,448 per in its third weekend. Second and third was a close race between two Southern fried tales but The Apostle, in its seventh week, held on to beat the second weekend of Robert Altman’s newest The Gingerbread Man, $11,156 to $10,301. Fourth was the second weekend of Wong Kar Wai’s Fallen Angels with a $9,909 clip in three theatres while Titanic took fifth with $9,081.

1988 (Redskins won the Super Bowl, Doug Williams went to Disneyland):
Good Morning, Vietnam continued an extended stay in first with an $8.6 million weekend. Second was Wes Craven’s voodoo thriller The Serpent and the Rainbow, scaring up $5.8 million from those who loved A Nightmare on Elm Street. Moonstruck stuck around in third with $4.6 million while the battle of the babies was won by the eleventh week of Three Men and a Baby, defeated the long-delayed She’s Having a Baby, $4.1 million to $3.8 million.

The PTA winner was Philip Kaufman’s sexual masterpiece The Unbearable Lightness of Being, bringing in a $15,533 average in 13 locations. Good Morning, Vietnam took second while an expansion helped The Last Emperor take third in its twelfth week. Moonstruck and She’s Having a Baby were 4-5.
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: February 2nd-4th

Postby Shrykespeare » January 30th, 2018, 9:34 pm

Great column, Boosh. I hold out hope that Winchester will actually do Maze Runner numbers.


Celebrity milestone birthdays:

Marc Singer turned 70 on 1/29 (Show of hands ... who here remembers The Beastmaster?)
Edward Burns turned 50 on 1/29 (I always thought of him as a poor man's Ben Affleck ... now ...)
Pauly Shore turns 50 on 2/1 (Bio-Dome!!)
Alice Cooper turns 70 on 2/4 (class guy all the way)
Happy 30th birthday Sam Emma Stone! (11/6/18)
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: February 2nd-4th

Postby Ron Burgundy » January 30th, 2018, 11:00 pm

Nicely done boosh, i knew i knew those opening quotes from Groundhog Dog!

Winchester is no Get Out, but has to be a bit of a draw due to no competition. I think it can hit 50M.
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: February 2nd-4th

Postby Walleye413 » January 31st, 2018, 1:08 am

Maybe I'm misreading the tea leaves but I don't think Winchester will do very well. I thin kids will hold out for Truth or Dare or something like that. I see a cap of 30 million. I'm hoping Maze Runner lands north of 60 million at least, maybe close to 70. Depends on the word of mouth, but I'm hopeful.
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: February 2nd-4th

Postby numbersix » January 31st, 2018, 4:48 am

I was thinking 15-17m for Winchester's opening, although I saw one estimate that had it below 10m. Yikes.

And yeah, A Fantastic Woman is a very good film and shall be earning plenty of PTA points.

1. Winchester - 14m
2. Jumanji - 12m
3. Maze Runner 3 - 11m
4. Greatest Showman - 8m
5. The Post - 7m

PTA: A Fantastic Woman, The Cage Fighter, Winchester, Jumanji, Maze Runner
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: February 2nd-4th

Postby Shrykespeare » February 1st, 2018, 11:05 pm

Theater counts:

Winchester - 2,480
A Fantastic Woman - 5



Next week:

Fifty Shades Freed - 3,700
Peter Rabbit - 3,700
The 15:17 to Paris - 2,950+
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: February 2nd-4th

Postby Buscemi2 » February 2nd, 2018, 7:37 am

The Cage Fighter is getting two theatres, according to FilmJerk.
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: February 2nd-4th

Postby Shrykespeare » February 3rd, 2018, 12:58 pm

Friday estimates

Winchester, $3.6M
Maze Runner $3M
Jumanji, $2.9M
Greatest Showman, $2.3M
Hostiles, $1.7M
The Post, $1.6M
12 Strong, $1.5M
Den of Thieves, $1.4M
Shape of Water, $1.3M



Weekend Projections

Jumanji, $10.9M
Maze Runner, $9.7M
Winchester, $9M
Greatest Showman, $7.8M
Hostiles, $5.4M
The Post, $5.3M
12 Strong, $4.6M
Den of Thieves, $4.6M
Shape of Water, $4.3M
Paddington 2, $3.2M
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: February 2nd-4th

Postby Shrykespeare » February 4th, 2018, 1:19 pm

Weekend Estimates

Top 10:
5 points - Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, $11.0M
4 points - Maze Runner: The Death Cure, $10.2M
3 points - Winchester, $9.2M
2 points - The Greatest Showman, $7.8M
1 point - Hostiles, $5.5M
The Post, $5.2M
12 Strong, $4.7M
Den of Thieves, $4.7M
The Shape of Water, $4.3M
Paddington 2, $3.1M


That would make 32 T5 points for Jumanji, with three weeks still to go. Holy schnikes.



PTA:
5 points - A Fantastic Woman
4 points - Winchester
3 points - Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
2 points - The Greatest Showman
1 point - Maze Runner: The Death Cure



Well, with three big (or semi-big) releases coming next week and Black Panther the week after that, maybe Jumanji will finally fall by the wayside.

I doubt it has the legs to hit $400M, but $375M is still a possibility (which would put it in the Top 40 of all time. Who saw THAT coming?),
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: February 2nd-4th

Postby Walleye413 » February 5th, 2018, 11:59 am

Alright historians - for game purposes what's done better than Jumanji? I'm thinking Frozen, Force Awakens, and???? Anything else? How about Beauty and the Beast or Deadpool? Anywhere close?
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: February 2nd-4th

Postby undeadmonkey » February 5th, 2018, 12:09 pm

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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: February 2nd-4th

Postby W » February 5th, 2018, 1:00 pm

The Dark Knight is one that comes to mind, though it was a bit different. It took up like $80 if I remember right, but you couldn't win a league without it. Some tried and every single slate with TDK on it beat every single slate without. There was an argument about whether it was too high priced and the people that thought that were sadly mistaken.
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: February 2nd-4th

Postby Shrykespeare » February 5th, 2018, 6:27 pm

Weekend Actuals

Top 10:
5 points - Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, $10.9M (32)
4 points - Maze Runner: The Death Cure, $10.5M (9)
3 points - Winchester, $9.3M (3)
2 points - The Greatest Showman, $7.7M (13)
1 point - The Post, $5.2 (8)
Hostiles, $5.1M
12 Strong, $4.7M
Den of Thieves, $4.6M
The Shape of Water, $4.4M
Paddington 2, $3.3M



PTA:
5 points - A Fantastic Woman, $12,848 (5)
4 points - Winchester, $3,753 (4)
3 points - Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, $3,261 (21)
2 points - The Greatest Showman, $2,974 (4)
1 point - Maze Runner: The Death Cure, $2,762 (6)
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: February 2nd-4th

Postby Buscemi2 » February 5th, 2018, 6:38 pm

The Cage Fighter only made $602 per theatre, getting null points.
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: February 2nd-4th

Postby Shrykespeare » February 5th, 2018, 9:41 pm

Ugh. Don't know why I bothered adding it. Probably because of the complete dearth of indie films in this stretch of the schedule. By mid-Feb, that will change.
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