Saturday, November 14, 2015

To look at the bright side, the film's projected weekend take is up 30%% from the first projections made on Friday.

Anthony D'Alessandro of Deadline raises interesting points, but I would question how they can estimate P&A at 2X production when there has clearly been very little spent on advertising -- the "A" part of P&A and the bulk of that cost.

Early Weekend Estimates (Domestic) Fri, Nov. 13 - Sun, Nov. 15
#   Title          weekend
  Avg.        Total       Wks.     Dist.
3By the Sea   $130,000--  10--          $13,000   $130,000  1           Universal


However, the most intriguing part of this weekend is Angelina Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt’s reteaming with Universal’s By the Sea ...with a revised PTA this morning of $12,700 and a weekend of $127K. Question marks have surrounded this film before opening from its vague nondescript one-sheet campaign to its disputed release pattern. A personal project of Jolie Pitt’s that the studio made for $30M (that includes P&A) as part of their relationship with the actress/director, particularly in the wake of the success of Unbroken ($163.3M), was never ever expected to be a commercial vehicle by any means, nor was it expected to be a moneymaker. But given how the film was just plopped in the lap as the AFI film festival opener, churning out lackluster reviews at 32% rotten, the mind wonders if there was a better launch pad for this Bertolucci-Wertmuller-esque escapade.

At the AFI premiere, Jolie-Pitt told the crowd before the film, “You never know if you’re going to connect with an audience. This film at its core is about grief and that grief was from the loss of my mother. But in the end, I also think this film is about moving past it.” It’s a lush movie about a fractured couple–her a has been dancer, he a drunk author– with Jolie-Pitt and Pitt clad in couture and lush Malta seaside views. The question begged by many immediately at the AFI premiere was why this film didn’t launch at Cannes? At least there it could have received some Euro critical groundswell (and possibly even received the standard standing ovation) that might have propelled it ultimately into the fall. A source with knowledge of the film’s launch told Deadline, “The film simply wasn’t ready in May for a launch at Cannes.  Nor did it make sense to hold it for another six months for next year’s festival.  Angie is on to other projects, as is Brad, so the coordination of that, in addition to the overall complexion of our existing slate, just didn’t make that practical.”

by the sea 3

Then if that was the case, why not debut By the Sea before a crowd that would respect its artistic merit at Venice, Toronto or Telluride? Clearly, there wasn’t any hustle to make those festival dates, and for a film that was so personal to the director, why miss those global stage opportunities? The same source above also added about By the Sea‘s opening in the current fierce market, “There was not a rush to get the film into Oscar season. While we are aware that there is scrutiny and expectation of awards potential for any serious-minded film for adults that opens in this corridor, there is also the simple fact that the calendar offers 52 weeks for releases.  For a number of reasons, this corridor felt to offer both potential for a platform release and the availability of its likeliest audience.”

While there were some TV spots that run during the Friday morning shows for By the Sea (with the film’s title soprano la-la title song you could mistake them for Chanel ads), iSpotTV isn’t registering any TV spots for the film in their sampling, which indicates that few have actually aired. iSpot typically monitors TV spots for all films, even those that platform (i.e. Steve Jobs).  Uni plans to take By the Sea wider next weekend stateside and has a consistent overseas push in place from now through the first quarter of 2016. Hungary, Italy and Sweden open this weekend, followed by Philippines, Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland, Romania and Turkey next weekend. The weekend of Dec. 9-11, France, Germany, UK and Switzerland open.

Angelina Jolie Pitt’s marital drama “By the Sea,” with real-life husband Brad Pitt, opened fairly quietly in a limited release with a projected $132,000 at 10 theaters in major cities.


Lastly, among the prestige debuts, Universal’s Angelina Jolie-Pitt helmed By the Sea is ....set to make $9,500 per theater for the weekend, coming in at No. 38 with an opening of $95K. ....One rival distrib chief says that $25K- $30K a theater would have been a super PTA for By the Sea, but only if it had good reviews, and it doesn’t with a 40% Rotten Tomatoes score. The 132-minute film carries an estimated production cost of $10M, and if there’s an opportunity for Uni to recoup its money, it’s definitely abroad as a consistent foreign rollout has already commenced. Hungary, Italy and Sweden open this weekend, followed by Philippines, Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland, Romania and Turkey next weekend.

Jolie has been in this situation before at the box office, with a similar type of Euro-centric film that carried an enormous $100M production cost. I’m talking about the pseudo-Charade remake The Tourist which misfired in December 2010 with stateside critics (20% rotten), audiences ( B CinemaScore) and an awful opening of $16.5M and a domestic B.O. of $67.6M. However, Jolie (and Johnny Depp) had the last laugh as The Tourist raked in 76% of its global cume from foreign with $210.7M. Likewise, By the Sea is bound to see a similar proportion from foreign, but with a lower global haul than Tourist.

November 13, 2015 | 03:26PM PT

Universal’s “By the Sea,” a marital dysfunction drama that Angelina Jolie Pitt directed, wrote and co-stars in with real life husband Brad Pitt, has opened ...with a projected $100,000 at 10 theaters in major cities....

“By the Sea” carries a modest $10 million price tag and has been positioned by Universal as an homage to European art films. Jolie Pitt’s previous film “Unbroken” was a solid performer with $161.4 million at the global box office.

Paul Degarabedian, senior media analyst with Rentrak, noted that “By the Sea,” “Love the Coopers” and “The 33,” are directed by women.

“Bond and Brown, Charlie Brown will be a tough combo to beat this weekend in a bit of box office deja vu at the top of the chart,” he said. “Several notable newcomers directed by women will all attempt to make their mark in a marketplace that remains very crowded but flush with very diverse content that will offer something to virtually all audiences.”

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