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NORTH AMERICA: '22 Jump Street' Surpasses $60M Mark on Monday; 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' Passes $50M on June 17, 2014

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By Daniel Garris

Sony's 22 Jump Street took in $6.83 million on Monday to lead the daily box office for the third time in the past four days. In the process, the modestly budgeted action comedy sequel starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum surpassed the $60 million mark on Monday. 22 Jump Street was down just 48 percent from Sunday. That represented a very strong daily hold, though it should be noted that R-rated comedies typically experience strong first-Monday holds, especially during the summer months. 22 Jump Street continues to perform in line with its lofty expectations with a strong four-day start of $63.90 million. That places 22 Jump Street 60 percent ahead of the $39.91 million four-day take of 2012's 21 Jump Street and 14 percent behind the $74.09 million four-day start of last year's World War Z.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 placed in second with $5.06 million. The 3D computer animated sequel from Fox and DreamWorks Animation was down 63 percent from Sunday's Father's Day performance. How to Train Your Dragon surpassed the $50 million mark on Monday and has grossed $54.51 million in four days. The film does continue to perform below its lofty pre-release expectations, which were inflated by the relative lack of computer animated films in the marketplace this summer. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is currently running 12 percent ahead of the $48.55 million four-day start of 2010's How to Train Your Dragon and 42 percent behind the $93.45 million four-day take of last year's Monsters University.

After a poor hold over the weekend, Fox's The Fault in Our Stars rebounded very nicely on Monday with a third place take of $2.31 million. The low-budget drama starring Shailene Woodley was down a very slim 14 percent from Sunday's performance (which was clearly deflated by Father's Day) and down 55 percent from last Monday. The Fault in Our Stars continues to perform very well with an eleven-day take of $83.07 million. That places the film just 13.5 percent behind the recent $96.04 million eleven-day take of Divergent. Due in part to skewing heavily towards teenage girls, The Fault in Our Stars should continue to perform relatively stronger on weekdays than on weekends going forward.

Disney's Maleficent followed closely behind in fourth place with $2.27 million. The 3D fantasy blockbuster starring Angelina Jolie trailed The Fault in Our Stars by just $37,848 for the day. Maleficent fell 58 percent from Sunday and 44 percent from last Monday. Thanks in part to solid holding power thus far, Maleficent has grossed $165.29 million in 18 days. That places the film 33.5 percent ahead of the $123.80 million 18-day take of 2012's Snow White and the Huntsman.

Warner's Edge of Tomorrow rounded out Monday's top five with $1.67 million. The critically acclaimed sci-fi film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt fell 71 percent from Sunday's Father's Day inflated performance and 47 percent from last Monday. Edge of Tomorrow has grossed $58.67 million in eleven days, which is in line with expectations, but soft given the film's large price tag. The film is currently running 12 percent behind the $66.49 million eleven-day gross of last year's Oblivion.

'Think Like A Man Too' Out Front on June 17, 2014

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By Alex Edghill

Tuesday Morning Update: Think Like A Man Too led this weekend's newcomers on Monday with 4,628 tweets, up 63% from 2,844 tweets on Sunday. A sequel to the supremely popular Think Like A Man which nabbed over $90 million after it opened in April of 2012. Kevin Hart's appeal has grown even more over the last two years with three more very successful films now under his belt in Let Me Explain, Ride Along and About Last Night. With a well-received first film and Hart's exploding star I would have expected huge things coming into the week but this beginning is a little underwhelming especially considering that Think Like A Man had ~11,000 tweets its Monday before release. Definitely seems like the level of social media hype surrounding the film is quite a few pegs down for the sequel which usually isn't a great sign for box office potential. On the bright-side, the jump from Sunday was over 62% and it is off to a strong start so far on Tuesday. I'll reserve too much judgement before tomorrow's numbers but considering the tear that Twitter has been on in general in 2014 I have a hard time seeing how this comes close to matching the take of the first film unless it gets a serious tweet-infusion from here on out.

Jersey Boys barely made its way into the top 15 with 2,056 tweets on Monday, up 53% from 1,341 tweets on Sunday. The film is looking squarely at the older demographic of 40 somethings and over which means that it is expected to largely fly under the radar of Twitter and social media in general. Clint Eastwood's name attached as director is perhaps its biggest draw for social media and why it is even in the top 15. Comparisons are tough to come by, with the best I can think of being Rock Of Ages which had 4,457 tweets its Monday before release. The target audience here should be even older than Rock Of Ages so I don't think its apples to apples but I would like to follow its percentage gains as the week goes on to get some additional clues about its impending fortune.

Top 15 Movies for Monday June 16th

Rk Film Sun Mon Sun-Mon %
1 (-) 22 Jump Street 119,146 89,582 -24.81%
2 (+1) The Fault in Our Stars 89,129 80,395 -9.80%
3 (-1) Maleficent 113,777 75,655 -33.51%
4 (-) How to Train Your Dragon 2 22,574 18,135 -19.66%
5 (+2) Transformers: Age of Extinction 6,113 11,635 90.33%
6 (+5) If I Stay 3,990 8,602 115.59%
7 (-2) Edge of Tomorrow 6,937 5,177 -25.37%
8 (+1) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 5,525 5,144 -6.90%
9 (-1) Godzilla (2014) 5,970 4,942 -17.22%
10 (-4) X-Men: Days of Future Past 6,272 4,895 -21.95%
11 (+2) Think Like a Man Too 2,844 4,628 62.73%
12 (+4) The Rover 1,654 3,254 96.74%
13 (+1) Avengers: Age of Ultron 2,408 3,226 33.97%
14 (-4) The Amazing Spider-Man 2 4,268 3,036 -28.87%
15 (+3) Jersey Boys 1,341 2,056 53.32%

Please check the methodology page for information about our Twitter project or here for historic data.

BoxOffice Interview: Matthieu Zeller, EVP International Marketing, Distribution & Business Development, StudioCanal on June 17, 2014

studiocanal.jpgBy Daniel Loria

Matthieu Zeller joined StudioCanal from the iconic French cosmetics label L'Oréal in 2012 as the executive vice-president in charge of strategic marketing and French and international distribution. He was promoted to supervise StudioCanal's international marketing, distribution, and business development in 2014.

StudioCanal is present in three of Europe's key markets: France, the U.K., and Germany. Could you tell me a bit about your view of each of those markets?

The French market has been very dynamic at the beginning of the year thanks to the big successes of French comedies and local products. That was the weakness of the market last year, so that makes the difference.

The U.K. market is quite solid; it's always been a solid market. U.K. productions have been a bit less successful than usual, but this is a market that is quite dynamic. I think the U.K. market is quite positive.

The German market has been really good and strong over the last couple of years, and it continues to be very sturdy. In all three markets we are doing quite well, in fact. We are in the three most favorable and solid markets in Europe.

We are starting to have more and more common lineups because we are developing a lot more international production. Our international lineup is far more important today. We have strong releases that we are coordinating among all three territories, and it works well, I have to say. Non-Stop has been a big success from the beginning of this year, and that's a big example of what we can do when we are doing big releases across Europe.

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What trends do you see from European audiences; what are they looking for? What works in Europe?

We know that U.S. blockbusters and the superhero movies are doing quite well and are still [performing]. At least in Europe there is still a demand for what I would say, "smarter," movies for a "movie-lover" audience-those frequent moviegoers that are looking for a little bit more elaborative movies with more [dialogue] and maybe less action or violence, maybe more intrigue or plot and strong and smart actors, maybe a bit older than the actors that we see in the superhero and action movies. There is room for these kinds of movies in Europe as there is room for them all across the world, but in Europe we have this audience that is still going to the theaters and is waiting for those types of movies.

The movies we have [slated] are mainly based on European IPs with European talents lined up. When we are working on Our Kind of Traitor, based on a John le Carré novel, that's a European IP with a story based all across Europe. Paddington is a strong European IP; Shaun the Sheep as well. The Gunman, with Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, and Idris Elba was also shot in Europe and is a European story adapted from a French novel.

We are building strong universal stories with strong international potential that are based on European stories, European IPs, and European talents. It brings something else, a taste that is a little bit different from what the major Hollywood studios are proposing to the audience.

We hear that the European audience is graying, but you have two upcoming projects-Paddington and Shaun the Sheep-that look to drive in more kids to the theater. What can the European industry do to bring the children back to the movies? It seems as if StudioCanal is betting on this youth market.

We are betting on a family audience, we are not targeting the kids or the children. We are targeting the families, and that's a little bit different in the way we are producing and marketing the movies. Obviously we want the families to go to the cinema together; it allows us and exhibition to get [up to] six tickets for a movie.

When you talk about Paddington, that's a key property: a family comedy with Hugh Bonneville and Nicole Kidman, produced by David Heyman, and it will be fun for the parents and the adults. Shaun the Sheep and Aardman Animations, the kind of humor they are proposing is really universal that adults also love. It's really important for us not to make only kids movies but also family movies.

You have a lot of properties coming from the U.S. studios that are really interesting, that are really strong, but I think the European audience is really interested in adding an alternative to that. Paddington can talk to the European audience, particularly the British audience, of course, but also the European audience as a whole. There are cultural elements and references that are maybe a bit more European than the references they can have in some other family movies.

 

Domestic Product: Are Admissions Initiatives Responsible for the First Quarter Boom in France and Spain? on June 16, 2014

ocho_apellidos_vascos.jpgBy Daniel Loria

Facing yet another year of losses at the box office, the Spanish exhibition industry realized it needed to do something big to bring people back to the cinema. Admissions in Spain experienced a 27 percent slide from 2009 to 2013, as piracy problems and an economic crisis chipped away at what had once been one of Europe's marquee markets. The solution was only partial and it seemed like a feeble attempt to cover a hemorrhage with a Band-Aid; the Fiesta del Cine was introduced in cinemas across the country-a coordinated campaign to offer tickets for just under €3 over a three-day span in October 2013.

The program was an overwhelming success, revitalizing popular interest in the theatrical experience following a number of major setbacks, such as a 21 percent tax applied on top of ticket prices since September 2012. The reduced ticket price was a major appeal to consumers, and it was only a matter of time before similar campaigns would be approved to cover a larger span of time. Spanish audiences got their wish with the implementation of a reduced-ticket-prices program coordinated in cinemas across the country, allowing filmgoers to attend a function for under €5 every Wednesday from mid-January to mid-April of 2014.

Spanish director Emilio Martínez-Lázaro's culture-clash comedy Ocho apellidos vascos opened in its home market on March 14. The film took the No. 1 spot on its opening weekend with $3.9 million. It has since gone on to dominate the market, finishing as the top film in Spain for over nine consecutive weekends and grossing over $76 million. Ocho apellidos vascos not only survived the release of studio tentpoles like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Noah, Rio 2, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 -it thrived as the No. 1 film in the market throughout their respective theatrical runs; none of those films will be able to claim a single weekend as the No. 1 film in Spain. Only three months after finishing a dismal year, Spain had its biggest domestic release of all time-in both box office revenue and admissions -and the No. 2 release in box office history behind Avatar.

Spain can recuperate a lot of the lost ground from the past five years with a slew of promising domestic titles in the coming months. Established franchises like Torrente 5 and [REC] 4: Apocalypse make a return to theaters this year, and beloved comic book characters Mortadelo y Filemón return to the big screen in their first 3D animated film in November. We might be looking at a record year for Spanish cinema in terms of market share by the end of 2014. A sequel for Ocho apellidos vascos, tentatively titled Nueve apellidos catalanes, has already been announced.

The example from Spain reveals the not-so-secret strategy behind boosting admissions in today's European market. A combination of admissions initiatives, coordinated between distributors and exhibitors, along with the resiliency of a domestic hit can make all the difference for any individual European territory.

France has followed a similar approach in 2014 to positive results. The French box office kicked off the year with three months of increased attendance when compared to 2013, resulting in an 18.6 percent increase over last year's numbers in the first quarter alone. The first trimester numbers provide slightly better results, according to an announcement by CNC Director of Studies and Statistics Benoît Danard on Twitter; France has enjoyed an 18.9 percent increase in admissions in 2014 over the previous year.

As in Spain, a possible catalyst for this growth can be attributed to a national admissions initiative that allows any child under the age of 14 to attend any screening of any film in the country for €4. The program has been active since January 2014. The success of domestic fare has also been vital for France's growth. 2014 has already provided two blockbuster hits for the French film industry: Supercondriaque, which has grossed more than $45 million at home since its February premiere, and Qu'est-ce qu'on a fait au Bon Dieu?, a culture-clash comedy (see a pattern here?) that earned more than $42 million in its first three weekends at the French box office.

Last year's doom-and-gloom headlines should neither be forgotten nor taken for granted. The success of both the French and Spanish markets prove, however, that the power of the business continues to be concentrated in providing customers great product at an accessible price point. While strong domestic films don't necessarily translate to a healthy exhibition industry, these case studies from France and Spain prove that a multi-tiered strategy in attracting viewers back to theaters can prove to be a formula for recovery and continued success.

A Look at Some Audience-Development Initiatives in Europe

FRANCE

- Reduced ticket price of €4 for all children under 14 since January 2014.

- Cellphone provider Orange offers a branded campaign every Tuesday that provides two-for-one tickets.

ITALY

- Festa del Cinema campaign offered reduced ticket prices May 8-15 of this year. Prices went down to €3 and €5 for 3D films.

NETHERLANDS

- A one-week campaign is scheduled for September 2014 that will offer reduced ticket prices and special events.

NORWAY

- A National Cinema Day is scheduled for November, when tickets will be offered at half price.

SPAIN

- Miércoles al Cine campaign offered tickets ranging from €4 to €5 every Wednesday from January to April of this year.

UNITED KINGDOM

- Orange Wednesdays has been a two-for-one branded program from the cellphone and Internet provider since 2004.

 

European Cinema Exhibition in 2014—A Global Player on June 16, 2014

Phil_Clapp_H_S_4.jpgBy Phil Clapp, President, International Union of Cinemas (UNIC)

At a time when attention seems mainly to focus on the role that China in particular is playing in driving global growth in cinema, the significant contribution that the European market continues to make to those headline figures should not be overlooked.

Despite a very small drop in revenue and admissions in 2013, UNIC territories contribute more than a quarter of global box office and have started 2014 in good health.

The last year has confirmed the continuing importance to European cinema of key titles from the U.S. studios, but also the major boost that European films provide to box office. Often this is associated with a domestic production, as was the case in 2013 with the film Sole a catinelle in Italy and in particular Stalingrad in Russia. Sometimes a film produced in one European territory will perform spectacularly well in another. Such was the case last year in Portugal with La cage dorée, a French film about Portuguese immigrants, repeating the success seen previously with another French film-Intouchables-in several European territories in 2012.

Away from the headline numbers, the digital revolution-or more accurately, the first wave of that revolution-is quietly reaching its end-game. Because while most European territories are (with the exception of some economically challenged parts of southern Europe) approaching full digitization, that change has, in fact, hastened a new era of upgrades and improvements to the cinemagoing experience.

With barely a chance to draw breath after a period of unparalleled investment, operators are now being faced with a range of choices in content innovation-including higher frame rates, immersive sound, and now higher dynamic range experiences-as well as understanding the full potential of greater programming flexibility around film and other content.

And outside of the cinema auditorium, new ways to engage with audiences through social media and other emerging means of communication proliferate alongside innovations in retail and hospitality.

All of that change presents as many challenges as it does opportunities, so while UNIC cannot make the necessary business decisions for any individual operator, it sees part of its role as acting as a "trusted guide" through this increasingly congested and confusing terrain, enabling European exhibitors to speak with one voice on issues of shared concern and thereby also encouraging a more coordinated approach across the industry.

Added to that sense of dynamism around European cinema, we are also in a period of rapid change in the European political landscape as it relates to the sector-another area in which UNIC has a key role.

2013 saw us engage with the European Commission and Parliament, and with key industry partners, across a range of complex issues. These included consideration of the following: the state aid rules that govern what support national governments are allowed to give the industry, be it exhibition, distribution, or production; the copyright framework necessary to protect the interests of creative rights holders while still meeting the needs of audiences in a rapidly evolving consumer market; the treatment of film as more than just a commercial commodity; and the questionable role of the Commission in intervening in longstanding and beneficial film-release practices that meet audience preferences across various European territories.

And 2014 promises, if anything, more change, with EU elections leading to new faces, new roles, and new portfolios, and the need for renewed education and engagement.

UNIC will use that opportunity to restate its position that while the need for an expanding legal online offer of film content is understood, the challenge for all elements of the value chain is to grow the pie together-not cannibalize one at the expense of another, nor inflict material damage on the main pillar of the film industry (exhibition) at a time when home entertainment revenues are down and online is not yet taking up the slack.

One way forward would be for those promoting online offers to be more open about the numbers. In contrast to cinema exhibition-which bares its financial soul on a weekly basis-the lack of transparency from VOD and other similar platform providers makes it impossible to judge the value those elements bring and their potential to provide more. Another would be for those providers to buy into the creative process, offering investment in production and transparency in terms of their tax affairs in the territories in which they operate.

UNIC will continue through 2014 and beyond to argue its case on these and many other important issues, to increase its own-and its members'-understanding of the technological and political change ahead, and to remind policy makers and the public of the economic, cultural, and social contribution that cinemas make to communities in every European territory.

 


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