Thank you to everyone who made "Unbroken" the #1 movie in America, enjoying the third-largest-grossing Christmas opening in history. On CinemaScore, it receives an A- among viewers. If you haven't seen it yet, go!
#Unbroken dips FRI to $12.3M for strong $27.9M 2day start. 4day Christmas wknd heading to stellar $48M. Good aud scores.
— Gitesh Pandya (@giteshpandya) December 27, 2014
UPDATE, 8:30 AM: Studio-reported Friday figures: Warner Bros. is reporting $15.65M for The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, higher than what the industry thought late last night and a running cume of $142.75M. Universal’s Unbroken is still in second for the day with a studio-reported $12.3M (cume $27.4M) followed by Disney’s Into The Woods at $12.2M (two day cume $12.27M) in third. The two look like they’re neck and neck, but the industry predicts that Into The Woods will take second based on slightly better matinees for the PG-rated film over the PG-13-rated Unbroken’s ($11.5M vs. $11.1M).
4:00 AM: Franchises and family films continued to leave buckets of cash under the Christmas trees of the major studios as The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies powered back to No. 1 Friday over new titles Unbroken and Into the Woods with an industry estimate of $15.2M. Sony’s controversial comedy The Interview slid 41% Friday from its $1.04M Christmas opening at 331 locales, but then most adult-geared arthouse films were down a bit from their Christmas takes. Analysts see the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy raking in $2.7M over its four days by Sunday.
Meanwhile, Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 looks like it clicked past the $300M Friday, becoming the second film to do so this year behind Disney/Marvel’s The Guardians of the Galaxy ($332.7M). It’s quite possible during January, Mockingjay could take the 2014 top grossing film title away from Guardians. Though Unbroken and Into the Woods eased a bit from their Christmas openings with respective dips of 17% and 18%, it would be an understatement to say that both Universal and Disney are over the moon. Given the lackluster B.O. year, both studios rightfully made conservative projections on their titles heading into the holiday with Disney seeing at best low $30Ms over four days for Into the Woods, and Universal seeing high teens for Unbroken over the same span. As of tonight, both films are looking at four-day bows in the high $40Ms.
Further proving the power of multiples for family films over the Christmas frame were the second Fridays of 20th Century Fox’s Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Sony’s Annie: Both bested their opening days a week ago respectively with estimated 33% and 18% surges.
It’s obvious holiday moviegoers never get tired of The Hobbit. Five Armies‘ haul yesterday of $13.14M ranked as the second best Christmas day among Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit installments, ranking behind 2003’s Lord of the Rings: Return of the King‘s $13.986M. If estimates hold strong throughout the weekend, and Five Armies collects a 12-day domestic cume of $167.5M, it will have outstripped last year’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug by 19% and will be a few bucks short of the $168.1M generated by 2012’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey over the same frame.
When it comes to World War II films and couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt — Angie wins. True, Unbroken is a different type of war film that focuses on the human spirit and will, not to mention it’s a biopic, but it’s projected to outpace a number of films of its genre in its first four days, including Pitt’s Inglourious Basterds ($42.7M) and Fury ($26.05M), as well as other notable World War II films as Saving Private Ryan ($35.8M) and Valkyrie ($29.5M).
Into the Woods marks a boom for Stephen Sondheim on the big screen with the musical expected to surpass the $52.9M total domestic B.O. of his previous Broadway musical feature adaptation Sweeney Todd by the end of the year. Sweeney Todd played during Christmas 2007 and also starred Johnny Depp. The obvious comp for Into the Woods is Universal’s 2012 Les Miserables which also was a Christmas bow. Les Mis boasted an opening day of $18.1M and followed a slightly different B.O. trajectory since Christmas fell on a Tuesday that year, however, by Sunday Into the Woods could be just shy of the $48.8M generated by the Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg musical. Into the Woods’ current awards profile, like Les Mis, is no doubt impacting folks to flock to the theater: the Rob Marshall film has three Golden Globes noms for best musical/comedy, actress Emily Blunt and supporting actress Meryl Streep, while Les Mis touted four for song (“Suddenly”), best musical/comedy, actor Hugh Jackman, and supporting actress Anne Hathaway (the last three took home trophies). Into the Woods’ B Cinemascore isn’t the best of it. Fans of the musical are responding, and critics warmed to it with a 72% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score. Given how fairy tales are in Disney’s wheelhouse, particularly with its ABC cult hit Once Upon a Time, it’s interesting to note that the company didn’t engage the show’s fervent fanbase — particularly where it thrives on social media — with any cross-promotional Into the Woods events aside from a heavy spot rotation of ads.
While Mark Wahlberg’s 2010 December title The Fighter and this year’s The Gambler had different rollouts and awards buzz, the latter is betting on a four-day cume of $13.4M that’s slightly higher than the wide release 3-day break of the actor’s boxing film ($12.1M). Among the actor’s R-rated films, The Gambler should file in the middle of those openings, which in recent years have been as high as Lone Survivor which made $37.8M back in January during its wide bow, and as low as 2013’s Broken City which made $8M during its first weekend. Paramount is just fine: The Gambler‘s production cost was $25M.
Weinstein Co.’s Big Eyes is expected to rank outside the top 10, arriving at the lower end of its holiday four-day projection. It’s too early in the film’s release to comment on its progress in just over 1,000 engagements. Key Oscar noms and potential Golden Globe wins for Amy Adams (best actress comedy/musical) and Christoph Waltz (best actor comedy/musical) could propel this Tim Burton-directed film higher. The film has a 72% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score, which is great because an adult drama such as this is largely driven by reviews.
RelishMix, which monitors entertainment social media, noticed the significant upswing in The Interview‘s activity across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter after Sony decided to release the film in independent theaters, citing plugs made by Franco (7.8M Facebook likes and 2.7M Twitter followers) and Rogen (2.4M Twitter). YouTube views for The Interview were at 37M last week. After Sony pulled their social media, 51% of the views were lost according to RelishMix, but rebounded with 17M when the studio flicked the switch back on, adding another 50 videos and another million plus views. The Interview Twitter hashtag #TheInterview spiked to 100k last week in the middle of its media storm and popped again on Christmas Eve outpacing #Unbroken, #IntoTheWoods and #TheGambler by over 18 to 1.
Among limited bows, Warner Bros.’ American Sniper should hold its record as the highest opening screen average for a December release, potentially beating 2006’s Dreamgirls’ $126,316 (at 3 theaters) by Sunday. Paramount’s Selma is strong with $214K on Friday. RelishMix sees Selma star and producer Oprah Winfrey as the key driver for auds, with her social media reach of 26M Twitter followers and 10M Facebook friends.
Below are the top 10 films based on industry estimates. Friday percent changes vs. previous Friday, Dec. 19.
1). The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (WB), 3,875 theaters /$15.2M Fri. (-8%)/3-day cume:$40.4 (-26%)/ Total cume: $167.5M/Wk 2
2). Unbroken (UNI), 3,131 theaters /$13M Fri./3-day cume:$33.3M/ Total cume: $48.9M* /Wk 1
*includes Christmas Eve previews of $850K
3). Into the Woods (DIS), 2,440 theaters /$12.4M Fri./3-day cume: $32.6M/Total cume:$47.7M* /Wk 1
includes Christmas Eve previews of $1.1M
4). Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (FOX), 3,914 theaters (+129) /$7.5M Fri. (+33%)/3-day cume: $21.6M (+26%)/Total cume: $56.3M /Wk 2
5). Annie (Sony), 3,197 theaters (+81) /$6.26M Fri. (+18%)/3-day cume: $17.3M (+9%)/Total cume: $45.9M /Wk 2
6). The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (LGF),2,793 theaters (-381) /$3.67M Fri. (+61%)/3-day cume:$10.4M (+32%)/Total cume: $306.7M/Wk 6
7). The Gambler (Par), 2,478 theaters /$3.27M Fri./3-day cume: $8.4M/Total cume: $13.4M /Wk 1
8.) The Imitation Game (TWC), 747 theaters (+713) / $2.8M Fri. (+1,167%)/3-day cume:$7.9M (+821%) Total cume: $14.6M/ Wk 5
9). Exodus: Gods and Kings (FOX), 3,002 theaters (-501)/$2.23M Fri. (-2%)/3-day cume: $6.3M (-22%)/Total cume: $52.1M/Wk 3
10). Wild (FSL), 1,285 theaters (+224) / $1.76M Fri. (+48%)/3-day cume:$5.15M (+25%)/ Total cume: $16.1M /Wk 4
Big Eyes (TWC), 1,307 theaters /$964K Fri./3-day cume: $2.6M Total cume: $4M /Wk 1
Top Five (PAR), 1,426 theaters (+119) /$1.3M Fri. (+24%)/3-day cume: $3.407m (-5%)/ Total cume: $18.9M /Wk 3
The Interview (Sony), 331 theaters / $612K Fri./3-day cume:$1.6M/Total cume: $2.7M/ Wk 1
Selma (Par), 19 theaters / $214K Fri./3-day cume:$670k/$35,263 screen average/ Total cume: $992K / Wk 1
American Sniper (WB), 4 theaters / $189K Fri./3-day cume:$518K/$129,500K screen average/ Total cume: $758k/ Wk 1
The Interview,” Sony’s political comedy is heading for a $3 million finish over the four-day holiday period at 331 U.S. locations.
“The Interview” figure will be dwarfed by the three top wide releases: New Line-MGM’s Hobbit finale, Universal’s “Unbroken” and Disney’s Into the Woods” are each projected to gross at least $45 million during the four days — setting the stage for the final weekend of 2014 to finish up as much as 10% from the last frame of 2013.
But “The Interview” has managed to generate respectable results, given its array of handicaps — a Dec. 16 threat by hackers to launch a 9/11-style attack on theaters showing the movie; Sony’s decision to withdraw the movie on Dec. 17 after major exhibition chains refused to play it, its about-face allowing it to play in independent theaters; and the pre-theatrical VOD release of the film Wednesday.
Forecasts from mid-December projected a four-day launch of as much as $30 million at as many as 3,000 locations but the “The Interview” is now playing in about 12% of that total at lower capacity venues. Estimates of Friday’s gross projected a 35% decline to $650,000.
The wall-to-wall coverage of “The Interview” may have encouraged people to get out and see movies in theaters at the end of a year that’s seen a 5% plunge in U.S. box office. Overall moviegoing surged on Thursday and Friday thanks to stronger than expected launches from “Unbroken” and “Into the Woods” and an impressive hold by “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” which led Friday with $14.5 million.
“Armies” was heading for as much as $44 million for the three days, $57 million for the four days and a 12-day total hitting $170 million.
“Unbroken” and “Into the Woods” generated solid second-day totals in the $12 million to $14 million range. Angelina Jolie’s war drama could finish the four days with as much as $52 million while four-day estimates for “Into the Woods” ranged from $46 million to $49 million.
A pair of holdover titles aimed at the family demo took the next two slots Friday with Fox’s “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” taking $8.2 million and Sony’s “Annie” with $6.5 million. The third “Museum” could wind up on Sunday with $58 million in its first 10 days while “Annie” will top $45 million at that point.
Paramount’s “The Gambler” added $3 million in its second day on Friday and will wind up with around $13 million by the end of the weekend.
WSJ's @tokosekiguchi writes about Japanese right- wingers' campaign to keep Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken" out of Japan. http://t.co/KQreDuKj1d
— Yuka Hayashi (@TokyoWoods) December 27, 2014