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Sunday, August 26, 2012
Conservative Movie Takes in over $9 Million First Weekend; #8
Friday’s very weak box office stayed soft Saturday to end the weekend with total moviegoing only around $90M on a par with last year. As predicted, Millenium’s and Lionsgate’s holdover The Expendables 2 finished in first place, followed by Universal’s two-week-old The Bourne Legacy in second place. But no new movie opening this week or weekend could even break $7M. “It’s exhausting working with numbers this bad,” one studio exec griped to me.
Among this weekend’s crop of newly released films, Sony Pictures’ Premium Rush opened poorly with very soft grosses of $6.5M. Producer Gavin Polone just saw his Pariah Television freshman ABC Family series Jane By Designcanceled and now this Pariah production tanks as well. (Guess it sucks to be Polone these days. Maybe he should make his day job writing that lame column.) The studio tried to interest young males with sports programming (NFL pre-season, UFC, MLB and wrestling) and a promotion running in over 4,000 GameStop stores. But what’s to be expected from a tired premise about a bicycle messenger being chased through Manhattan. And what a waste of talented actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt or director/screenwriter David Koepp. With a $30sM budget, the pic even underperformed Sony’s very low expectations. Only hope is if it does business overseas.
Hit And Run opened Wednesday and lost what little steam it had going into this weekend. Open Road picked up the U.S distribution rights and changed the name of the film from Outrun. My sources said the low-budget comedic chase movie would have been a solid win for Open Road with $10M for the 5-day opening. But it made only $5.5M. The film stars Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell who tried their best to drum up biz with appearances at word-of-mouth screenings all summer and on Kimmel, MTV, CMT, Spike. The film’s featured 1967 Lincoln also offered marketing opportunities on car enthusiast TV shows and websites. No go. Well, you know a movie is in trouble when Bradley Cooper appears in it looking unrecognizable in dreds.
Dark Castle/Warner Bros’ new release The Apparition didn’t stand a ghost of a chance as a parting present for producer Joel Silver.
release and expanded into theaters across America this weekend. It wound up
The shocker among all the films was Rocky Mountain Pictures’ political documentary 2016 Obama’s America which opened July 13th in very limited
in 4th place Friday and 8th place for the weekend. That’s stunning because it was playing in 2/3 fewer theaters across North American than the other wider release films. (See below for more details). Due to its hot pre-sales, the pic proved frontloaded which explains why its ranking started out #1 and then fell steeply by end of Sunday. But the doc’s new cume of $9.2M makes it the #1 all-time biggest-grossing conservative political documentary, besting Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed’s $7.7M. And the 6th all-time biggest political documentary behindliberal docs by Michael Moore and Al Gore. 2016 Obama’s America is based on conservative author and commentator Dinesh D’Souza’s New York Timesbestselling 2010 book The Roots Of Obama’s Rage and co-directed by D’Souza and John Sullivan and produced by Academy Award winner Gerald R. Molen (co-producer of Schindler’s List). In fact, Molen credits “learning some lessons” from Michael Moore for the film: “When he released Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2004 ahead of the election, it sparked intense debate.” And 2016 Obama’s America‘s success comes from equally savvy marketing on the eve of the Republican National Convention next week. Exhibitors were reporting busloads arriving at theaters around the country in pre-organized trips to the pic. It also employed much of the same marketing techniques used to garner attention and support for faith-based films, understandable since the audience is overlapping. Its campaign included advertising nationally over the past two weeks on talk radio and cable news channels including Fox News Channel, A&E, History and MSNBC. ”I didn’t believe it when I first saw the film taking off in pre-sales on Tuesday,” an exhibition insider tells me. “Because there’s not a lot of new product that’s taking off.”
The Top Ten based on weekend estimates are:
1. The Expendables 2 (Millenium/Lionsgate) Week 2 [3,355 Runs] R
Friday $3.7M, Saturday $5.4M, Weekend $13.0M (-55%), Cume $53.8M