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Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: May 11th-13th

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Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: May 11th-13th

Postby Buscemi2 » May 7th, 2018, 4:50 pm

"Mother
Tell your children not to walk my way
Tell your children not to hear my words
What they mean
What they say
Mother”

- “Mother”, Danzig

Ever since Avengers: Infinity War moved to April, the ladies have taken over the traditionally alpha male-dominated May. Instead of having one weekend featuring at least one female-aimed film, we have the second of two weeks where the new fare is ruled by the women of the silver screen. Last week, Anna Faris and Charlize Theron. This week, Melissa McCarthy and Gabrielle Union (and next week, the combined appeal of Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen). In addition, four limited releases.

Last Week

To no one’s surprise, Avengers: Infinity War stayed in first with a $114.8 million weekend (56% drop). Second was the updated Overboard, making an impressive $14.7 million in just over 1,500 theatres. Third was John Krasinski’s $17 million home movie A Quiet Place with $7.8 million. The film has now made $160.1 million as people think this is original. Hanging on in fourth is I Feel Pretty, making $5.1 million, while Rampage rounds out the top five with $4.6 million. The other wide openers, Tully and Bad Samaritan, bombed out with $3.3 million and $1.8 million, respectively (and something tells me Legion M, a crowd-sourced company that was supposed to revolutionize film financing, is dead after Bad Samaritan’s release).

On the limited scene, Avengers also took that while Disobedience took second with a $9,871 average (theatre chains should take note of this film’s success instead of booking yet another Pure Flix film wide). Overboard took third while a pair of limited openers, The Guardians and 102 Not Out, took four and five.

Not in the game but of note is RBG, a documentary on the life and legacy of Supreme Court judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The film grossed $578,470 in just 34 theatres thanks to a strong promotional campaign by Magnolia Pictures. It is set to expand semi-wide on May 18th.

This Week

Life’s a “Party”, Rock Your Body

First on the wide release docket is Life of the Party (Warner Bros./New Line), the latest star-director pairing of married couple Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone. Inspired (loosely, I’d imagine) by the 1986 hit Back to School, McCarthy plays a housewife who decides to re-enroll in college after the breakup of her marriage. Taking classes with her daughter (who, surprise, surprise, isn’t too enthused by her ideas), she reinvents herself and embraces the college life that she left many years before. Also in the cast are Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Jacki Weaver, Julie Bowen, Matt Walsh, and Stephen Root. In addition, a cameo by Christina Aguilera is listed.

Warner Bros. has been sitting on this film for a while (filming was done nearly two years ago) but I guess the need to release King Arthur: Legend of the Sword after so many delays prevented this from opening last Mother’s Day (that or the failure of the near-unwatchable Fist Fight gave Warner Bros. cold feet on releasing two school-themed films in one year). This is often a bad sign and the movie doesn’t look particularly good either but McCarthy still has an audience despite all the hate she gets on the Internet (but those types love Bella Thorne and whatever she does, so can you really say they have good taste?).

Box Office Potential: I’m going to say that it opens a little light but has decent holds in later weeks. $18 million opening, $50 million finish.

“Breaking” 2: Electric Boogaloo

The other wide release is not a sequel, I just wanted to make a tired reference. Breaking In (Universal) is a thriller from Will Packer’s wheelhouse of low to mid-budget, high appeal films made primarily for African-American audiences. His formula works ($62.8 million average at the US box office) and Packer has such a strong ability of understanding his target audience that Universal has planned more productions in the near future. This film is your typical home invasion film with Gabrielle Union playing a mother who takes her two children to a weekend stay at her late father’s highly-secured mansion with plans to sell the house. However, a band of thieves enter the place and hold the children hostage in hopes of getting the riches hiding in the house. It’s up to Mom to fight back and save her children.

The film, directed by one-hit wonder James McTeigue (of V for Vendetta fame), looks remarkably similar to 2005’s Hostage, only instead of a hostage negotiator, it’s up to the parent to fight fire with fire. But it is a fresh-looking movie with a good release date and a trailer that sells the action well (even if it gives too much away). In addition, Universal and Packer are incredibly good at marketing films that at first glance wouldn’t seem like hits. This could be a decent surprise for the young summer season.

Box Office Potential: this seems like a good bet to open well before a fast drop. $22 million opening, $49 million finish.

Arthouse Class 101

This week, we go to school with four new limited releases.

Beast (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions) – an early Sundance pickup (one of the few in this year’s festival to get a decent deal), this romantic crime film focuses on a sheltered twenty-something who is broken out of her shell by a handsome stranger. Now with a new-found reason for living, she leaves behind her village and family only to find that the man that she thought was perfect might be a wanted killer. Now forced to fight for his innocence, she must make decisions that will impact her life and reputation.

The film has been well-received (73 on Metacritic, with a mixed review from The Playlist bringing it down, which must mean it’s really good) with much praise given to the direction and star Jessie Buckley. Lionsgate had a disappointment last year with their big pre-Sundance pick-up Lady Macbeth (under a million at the box office despite numerous praise for Florence Pugh’s performance) but I believe this is going to be an easier sell due to the more mainstream genre and less cold nature. In addition, the backing of 30West suggests there will be more marketing than your typical import.

I expect about 6-8 PTA points and $2-3 million in box office. IMDb will likely be in the 6-7 range.

Revenge (Neon) – originally scheduled as a wide release, this Belgian thriller will instead be given a day-and-date run by arrangement with Shudder (AMC Networks’ genre-themed VOD service). This well-reviewed film (84 on Metacritic) focuses on a weekend getaway between a woman and her well-off boyfriend going horribly wrong when his friends arrive and go on an impromptu hunting trip. This event spirals into an incident that leaves the woman for dead. Now alone, she decides to…well, it’s in the title.

The indie genre film is a dime-a-dozen now, with most falling under Sturgeon’s Law. But even with the well-reviewed ones (It Comes at Night, The Babadook, It Follows), they have a difficult time breaking out due to the lack of means to market them or cannot sell with a mainstream audience who choose to see the same thing again and again. I think the film’s graphic content, combined with a muted theatrical run that will be concentrated on streaming, makes this a very hard sell. There might be three or four people that come but it’s essentially a glorified Netflix Original film.

Null PTA points and a few thou in box office. IMDb might tank due to teenage MRA’s.

The Seagull (Sony Pictures Classics) – the classic Chekov story about an actress involved in a tryst with an author and a free spirit gets a new adaptation. Shot three years ago, this new version stars Annette Bening, Saoirse Ronan, Corey Stoll, Elisabeth Moss, Brian Dennehy, and Mare Winningham in a project many of them have likely forgot they ever made. More than likely getting a release now due to the successes of Lady Bird (Ronan) and The Handmaid’s Tale (Moss), Sony Pictures Classics certainly hopes this could get them out of their doldrums in the Tom Rothman regime.

And I don’t see it doing that. The fact that it’s been on the shelf so long suggests it’s a dud. In addition, reviews have not been particularly glowing (62 on Metacritic) and this is the kind of film that needs good reviews to take off.

2-3 PTA points and a gross in the six figure range.

Sollers Point (Oscilloscope) – there does not seem a consensus on when this is opening, as though Box Office Mojo listed this Friday, other sites have it opening next Friday. But oh well, let’s cover it. This Baltimore-set drama focuses on a recently paroled ex-con (McCaul Lombardi, who also appeared in American Honey and Patti Cake$) who moves back in with his dad (Jim Belushi) and hopes to start anew. However, returning home has its consequences (you’d know if you ever listened to Crime in Sports, one of my favorite podcasts) and soon, the past is shown to be hard to leave behind. Zazie Beets also stars.

You see a lot of this type of film in the big city arthouse theatres and you have to wonder if it can set itself apart from other films. The film might have some appeal from its grittiness but I expect this one will not make much impact. In addition, no reviews out at press time.

Same as Revenge but a possibly higher IMDb rating.

Notables not in the game include Always at the Carlyle (Good Deed), a star-studded documentary on the New York hotel, Boom for Real (Magnolia), a documentary on Jean-Michel Basquiat, The Escape (IFC), a drama starring Gemma Arterton, Filmworker (Kino Lorber), a documentary on Stanley Kubrick’s assistant, and Terminal (RLJE Films), a long-delayed thriller with Margot Robbie, Simon Pegg, and Mike Myers.

Box Office: Avengers: Again?, Breaking In, Life of the Party, Overboard, A Quiet Place
Ultimates: Avengers: I’ve Got Big Ball Chins, Beast, Breaking In, Life of the Party, The Seagull

Next week, Ronbo (Ron Burgundy) will take on three wide openers, Deadpool 2 (Fox), Book Club (Paramount), and Show Dogs (Global Road), as well as three limited releases, First Reformed (A24), On Chesil Beach (Bleecker Street), and Pope Francis: A Man of His Word (Focus). Elvis has left the building.

Box Office Memories:

2008: The first chapter of the never-ending story (you know what I’m talking about), Iron Man, held onto first with a stellar $51.2 million (48% drop) in its second frame. Second was what was called an upset (though I clearly remember calling it) as What Happen in Vegas, starring Ashton Kutcher and the recently retired Cameron Diaz, beat the heavily-hyped (and career-damaging) Speed Racer on their respective opening weekends, $20.2 million to $18.6 million. Fourth was the quickly-forgotten Patrick Dempsey vehicle Made of Honor, grossing $8.2 million (45% drop) in Week Two while fifth was the Fey & Poehler teaming of Baby Mama, licking up $6.2 million in its third week.

On the PTA scene, Iron Man got the double sweep with a $12,452 average. Second was the latest opus from Troma (of course), Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, making $10,624 in a single Manhattan theatre. Third was the surfing doc Surfwise, finishing only $320 behind in a single theatre. Fourth was Tarsem Singh’s well-regarded head trip, The Fall, braving a two-year delay to take in $8,846 per in nine theatres. And fifth was U2 3D, averaging $8,501 per theatre in its sixteenth week.

1998: Deep Impact, the first of the two Summer 1998 disaster films (and a favorite of Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s), flooded the theatres with box office receipts to the tune of $41.2 million. Other than that, the weekend was rather unspectacular as City of Angels stayed in second with $4.7 million ($61.9 million after five weeks), previous weekend champ He Got Game shed 51% to $3.7 million, Titanic rose back to fourth in Week 21 to $3.2 million ($569.8 million at this point) and the last non-musical adaptation to date of Les Miserables finished with $2.8 million (45% drop). The weekend’s only other wide opener, Woo, took in $2.5 million for a seventh-place finish.

Meanwhile in the Paul Thomas Anderson race, the IMAX perennial Everest continued to take audiences’ breath away, averaging $20,895 per theatre (imagine how much ass you would have kicked with this in a 1998 version of the game) in its tenth week. Second was Deep Impact while third was taken by the biopic Wilde, making a near $10,000 clip ($9,983) in its second week. Fourth was another biopic, Artemisia, taking in $6,939 per in its fifth week while holding up the rear was, you guessed it, Thrill Ride: The Science of Fun (this has become a running gag in my columns, it seems like), with $4,996 per theatre in its 44th week. IMAX and rollercoasters were a genius pairing.

1988: Dennis Hopper’s controversial gang wars drama Colors continued to draw interest, winning a soft weekend with $4 million (39% drop in its second weekend of wide release). Beetlejuice assured Warner Bros. once again that Batman was in good hands, taking second with $3.4 million in its sixth weekend ($51.2 million up to this point). And third through fifth were a trio of openers. Shakedown, pairing Peter Weller and Sam Elliott as a crime-fighting New York duo, won among the openers with $3 million. Salsa, Cannon Films’ hope for a Latin-flavored Breakin’, couldn’t muster much interest, taking in $2.6 million. And fifth was Dead Heat, a comedy written by Shane Black’s brother with Treat Williams as a zombie cop, dead on arrival with a $1.7 million opening (I bet if you made that today and got Shane Black himself to write it, it could make $17 million by Saturday).

PTA was rather forgettable so I’ll just list them. Colors, The Milagro Beanfield War, Salsa, Beetlejuice, Shakedown.
Last edited by Buscemi2 on May 11th, 2018, 10:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: May 11th-13th

Postby numbersix » May 8th, 2018, 4:12 am

Agreed on Life of the Party.

Not sure about Breaking In. There's nothing here to suggest this kind of disposable film will break past the teens, like When the Bough Breaks. This kind of film is getting recognisable and thus a little tired. I'm thinking mid teens and barely scraping 30m.

As for the limited releaases, it'll be interesting to see how Beast fares. It doesn't have recognisable cast, and good reviews alone may not guarantee anything. The Lady Macbeth comparison isn't relevant as a huge amount of appeal for that film was due to a combo of the title (suggesting Shakespeare) and the British period setting which is popular. Beast is contemporary. I could see Revenge doing better, depending on theatre count.

Predictions
1. Avengers 3 - $55m
2. Life of the Party - $20m
3. Breaking In - $13m
4. Overboard - $7m
5. A Quiet Place - $4m

PTA: Avengers, Revenge, Beast, The Seagull, Life of the Party
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: May 11th-13th

Postby Walleye413 » May 8th, 2018, 2:36 pm

I would love for Breaking In to be big - I think Gabrielle Union is criminally underrated. But I'm just not feeling that vibe. I'm seeing energy for Life of the Party though - which I would not have guessed 6 months ago. They're playing up the fun factor of this, which may not be accurate to the movie, but I think they learned their lesson that the depressing stuff McCarthy sometimes throws in doesn't really appeal to a wider crowd.

And I hope both of them don't cannibalize Overboard. For purely selfish reasons :)
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: May 11th-13th

Postby Buscemi2 » May 9th, 2018, 12:08 am

And for reasons I can't figure out, A Wrinkle in Time is returning to theatres this weekend. Is this part of some promotion?
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: May 11th-13th

Postby Shrykespeare » May 10th, 2018, 10:57 pm

Theater Counts:

Life of the Party - 3,656
Breaking In - 2,537
The Seagull - 6
Beast - 4


Next week:

Deadpool 2 - 4,200
Show Dogs - 3,000
Book Club - 2,500
Pope Francis - 350



Celebrity birthdays:

Traci Lords turned 50 on 5/7
Meg Foster turned 70 on 5/10
Malin Akerman turns 40 on 5/12
Jason Biggs turns 40 on 5/12
Happy 40th birthday Michelle Rodriguez! (7/12/18)
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: May 11th-13th

Postby Shrykespeare » May 12th, 2018, 1:52 pm

Friday Estimates

Avengers, Infinity War, $16M (officially putting it over $500M domestically)
Life of the Party, $4.9M
Breaking In, $4.6M
Overboard, $2.2M
A Quiet Place, $1.8M



Weekend Projections

Avengers: Infinity War, $60M
Life of the Party, $19.5M
Breaking In, $15M
Overboard, $9.2M
A Quiet Place, $6.3M
I Feel Pretty, $4M
Rampage, $3.2M
Tully, $2.3M
Black Panther, $2.1M (getting VERY close to $700M)
Blockers, $1.1M
Happy 40th birthday Michelle Rodriguez! (7/12/18)
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: May 11th-13th

Postby Spectre » May 12th, 2018, 6:12 pm

Buscemi2 wrote:And for reasons I can't figure out, A Wrinkle in Time is returning to theatres this weekend. Is this part of some promotion?


This is part of the "Let's fudge A Wrinkle in Time to $100M" campaign. Unfortunately, it did a PTA of $88 in 2,000 theaters on Friday :lol:

If they manage to get this over the hump, it'll be a greater effort than what Sony did for Passengers
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: May 11th-13th

Postby Buscemi2 » May 12th, 2018, 6:14 pm

They'd need to bring it back at least eight times.
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: May 11th-13th

Postby Shrykespeare » May 13th, 2018, 2:30 pm

Weekend Estimates

Top 10:
5 points - Avengers: Infinity War, $61.8M
4 points - Life of the Party, $18.5M
3 points - Breaking In, $16.5M
2 points - Overboard, $10.1M
1 point - A Quiet Place, $6.4M
I Feel Pretty, $3.7M
Rampage, $3.4M
Tully, $2.2M
Black Panther, $1.9M
RBG, $1.2M



PTA:
5 points - Avengers: Infinity War
4 points - The Seagull
3 points - Beast
2 points - Sollers Point
1 point - Breaking In


Always nice when all the limited-release films come away with points.


Congrats to Spectre for being the only one to pick The Seagull (and only in Round Four).

Congrats to leestu and Walleye for choosing Beast.

Leestu, myself, and W were the only ones to go for Sollers Point. Nuts. I was this close to picking The Seagull,but changed it.



Boosh and Tranny were the only ones to pick Breaking In (in BO),
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Re: Down the Rabbit Hole with Buscemi: May 11th-13th

Postby Shrykespeare » May 14th, 2018, 6:47 pm

Weekend Actuals

Top 10:
5 points - Avengers: Infinity War, $62.1M (15)
4 points - Life of the Party, $17.9M (4)
3 points - Breaking In, $17.6M (3)
2 points - Overboard, $9.9M (6)
1 point - A Quiet Place, $6.5M (22)
I Feel Pretty, $3.8M
Rampage, $3.5M
Tully, $2.2M
Black Panther, $2.1M
RBG, $1.2M



PTA:
5 points - Avengers: Infinity War, $13,875 (15)
4 points - Beast, $13,312 (4)
3 points - The Seagull, $13,169 (3)
2 points - Sollers Point, $10,618 (2)
1 point - Breaking In, $6,949 (1)

Damn, that is close race!

Mountain just missed (but no one picked it anyway).
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