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NORTH AMERICA: Studio Weekend Estimates: 'Non-Stop' Takes First Place with $30.0M; 'Son of God' Exceeds Expectations with $26.5M; 'LEGO Movie' Surpasses $200M Milestone (4th Update) on February 28, 2014

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Sunday Update: Universal's Non-Stop was able to hold off Fox's Son of God to claim first place at the box office this weekend. The action thriller starring Liam Neeson outpaced its already lofty expectations with an estimated opening weekend take of $30.0 million. Non-Stop opened 37 percent stronger than the $21.86 million three-day start of 2011's Unknown and represents yet another strong performer for Neeson (who has been a very consistent box office draw in recent years). Following in the footsteps of Lone Survivor and Ride Along, Non-Stop also represents another strong performer for Universal in the first quarter of 2014.

Non-Stop grossed $10.1 million on Friday, increased 23 percent on Saturday to take in $12.4 million and is estimated to fall 39.5 percent on Sunday to take in $7.5 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at a solid 2.97 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film was nearly equally split between genders (female moviegoers represented 51 percent of the film's audience) and skewed heavily towards moviegoers 25 years and older (65 percent). Non-Stop received a promising A- rating on CinemaScore, though the film will also soon face upcoming direct competition from both Warner's 300: Rise of an Empire and Disney's Need for Speed.

Son of God outpaced expectations in a big way this weekend with an estimated second place start of $26.5 million. The biblical epic constructed from The Bible television mini-series was helped by strong group sales among church groups. The film being part of an already released mini-series could have been an obstacle at the theatrical box office, but ultimately that didn't hinder the film's performance. With so few religious films having been released in recent years, there aren't a lot of great box office comparisons for Son of God. However, while very different subject matter, the opening weekend take of Son of God was quite similar to the $24.48 million launch of Act of Valor back in February of 2012.

Son of God grossed $9.40 million on Friday, fell 1.6 percent on Saturday to take in $9.25 million and is estimated to fall just 15 percent on Sunday to gross $7.85 million (being a religious film is expected to help out Sunday's hold). That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.82 to 1, which does indicate some initial front-loading. Son of God received an encouraging A- rating on CinemaScore and will hope to hold up well between now and the Easter holiday.

After leading the box office for each of the previous three weekends, The LEGO Movie fell to third place this weekend with an estimated $21.02 million. In the process, Warner's blockbuster 3D computer animated film surpassed the $200 million domestic milestone this weekend, making it the first release of 2014 to do so. The LEGO Movie was down 33 percent from last weekend, as the film continued to hold up nicely this weekend. With an impressive 24-day take of $209.33 million, The LEGO Movie is currently running 18 percent ahead of the $177.41 million 24-day gross of 2012's The Lorax.

Also holding up well this weekend was Sony's The Monuments Men. The George Clooney directed World War II film was down 37 percent from last weekend to place in fourth with an estimated $5.0 million. The 24-day total gross for The Monuments Men stands at a solid $65.69 million.

Both of last weekend's new wide releases, Relativity's 3 Days to Kill and Sony's Pompeii, were down very sharply this weekend. 3 Days to Kill fell three spots and 60 percent to place in fifth with an estimated $4.9 million, while Pompeii was down four spots and 58 percent to place in seventh with an estimated $4.3 million. Clearly, both films took a big hit from the added presence of both Non-Stop and Son of God in the marketplace. Respective ten-day grosses stand at a respectable $20.70 million for the modestly budgeted 3 Days to Kill and at a disappointing $17.74 million for the pricey Pompeii.

In limited release, Disney's The Wind Rises took in an estimated $1.60 million from 496 locations. That gave the Hayao Miyazaki directed film a so-so per-location average of $3,234 for the frame. In comparison, Ponyo grossed $3.59 million during its first weekend of major release back in 2009 (though that film debuted in 927 locations). The Wind Rises has grossed $2.04 million through ten days of release.

Saturday Update: Universal reports this morning Non-Stop earned $10 million on Friday. BoxOffice projects the film will total $30 million for its opening weekend, a strong start for the Liam Neeson thriller. Early word of mouth appears mixed with the film's Flixster score sitting at 74 percent on Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, Son of God is off to an impressive start itself. The pic grossed an estimated $9.4 million yesterday, including its strong $1.2 million Thursday night sales. Although critics haven't taken kindly to the movie (23 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), word of mouth appears healthy with 82 percent on Flixster as churchgoers around the country turn out. BoxOffice is projecting a $29 million weekend for Son of God.

Friday Update #2: Sources tell BoxOffice that Non-Stop is surging in first place today with an early projection of $10.5 million. Should that figure hold, the Liam Neeson thriller will be on pace for an opening weekend north of $30 million.

Son of God is no slouch either, though. Sources report that Friday's take could go as high as $8 million based on early matinee trends and pre-sales. Depending on how front-loaded the film is, that could mean a weekend anywhere between $20-25 million.

Meanwhile, The LEGO Movie continues to do strong business into its fourth weekend. The animated hit is on pace for around $4 million today, giving it a shot at an expected $16 million weekend.

Check BoxOffice on Saturday morning for official studio estimates and updated weekend projections.

Friday Update: Sources report that Fox's Son of God earned an estimated $1.2 million from Thursday night shows. That's an exceedingly healthy start to the weekend and represents one of the best Thursday night debuts of 2014 so far (trailing only Lone Survivor's $1.5 million). Tracking for the film has been a consistently moving target even up until its release today. Combined with the fact that churches across the country racked up over $4.5 million in pre-sold tickets, some of which were for Thursday night shows, it's too early to tell what last night's figure could translate to for Friday as a whole.

Meanwhile, Non-Stop posted a solid start itself on Thursday night. The Liam Neeson actioner grabbed $720,000 from its early shows, ahead of Olympus Has Fallen ($500,000) and more than doubling the Thursday night performances of 3 Days to Kill ($330,000) and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit ($350,000). The figure represented about half of Taken 2's $1.5 million Thursday night start.

Check BoxOffice later today for early Friday projections.

GLOBAL: 'Pompeii' Erupts Overseas; 'The Hobbit' Posts $32.7M Bow in China; 'RoboCop' Hits $100M Overseas; 'Monuments Men' Cashes In From Expansion; 'Frozen' On Track to $1B Global on February 23, 2014

robocop.jpgPompeii took a $32.8 million global day-and-date opening this weekend. The film's soft debut in North America, where it only managed to gross $10 million, is somewhat mitigated by a $22.8 million bow from 37 international territories.

Top performers for the disaster/period film include South Korea ($3.6M / 561 Screens), France ($2.3M / 301 Screens), Brazil ($1.5M / 351 Screens), Italy ($1.4M / 425 Screens), and Mexico ($1.3M / 531 Screens).

A big $32.7 million opening weekend in China boosted The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug to a $637.1 million overseas cume. The Hobbit took over the Chinese market by claiming first place from approximately 5,500 screens. It is the biggest 3-day opening for a Warner Brothers film in the market and is already outpacing the first Hobbit film by 74%. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has grossed $893.7 million worldwide and will open in Japan on February 28.

RoboCop reached the $100 million overseas mark after adding $17.7 million from 75 markets. The sci-fi action flick took first place in director Jose Padilha's home country of Brazil. Russia was the top hold-over with $1.6 million in its second weekend, bringing the local cume up to $8.4 million. RoboCop has grossed a total of $143.6 million worldwide.

Monuments Men expanded to 29 additional markets, bringing in $13.6 million from 5,153 screens across a total of 48 markets. The expansion boosts up the film's overseas tally to $26.5 million. A #1 opening in Spain with $1.97 million set a trend among top markets. Monuments Men posted a #3 finish in Germany with $2.3 million to become the biggest opening weekend for a George Clooney directed film in the market. Russia opened at #4 with $1.1 million. The U.K. recorded a good hold in its second weekend, dropping 32% from its debut for a #3 finish with a $1.8 million weekend and $6.6 million local cume. Monuments Men expands to 10 new markets next weekend, including South Korea and Argentina. Monuments Men has grossed a total of $84.4 million worldwide.

Frozen is on track to become the next $1 billion film. The Disney release reached $980.3 million worldwide this weekend after adding $9 million from 39 territories. Frozen ranks at #19 among the highest grossing films worldwide of all time. Globally, it is the second highest grossing animated film of all time and the highest grossing original IP animated release of all time. 

Top markets for Frozen include South Korea ($72.8M), the UK ($62.9m), Germany ($47.7M), France ($42.5M), China ($36.2M), Russia ($33.3M), and Australia ($30.6M).

12 Years a Slave opened in fourth place in Italy with $1.3 million from 297 screens and took a $522k bow from 68 screens in the Netherlands. The film also expanded to Latin America, where it opened to $534k from 163 screens in Mexico and $337k from 77 screens in Brazil. The new markets helped the Oscar contender gross $6.4 million over the weekend. 12 Years a Slave has grossed a total of $78.9 million overseas from 58 markets and is currently reporting a $127.4 million global total.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman took $5.3 million from 2,489 screens across 6 markets, taking its overseas total up to $22.4 million. The film has held very well in the United Kingdom, where it registered a $2.7 million hold from 975 screens in its third frame -a 17% bump from last weekend that gives it the weekend's #2 spot. Mr. Peabody & Sherman has grossed a total of $17.1 million in the United Kingdom. The film will expand to 14 additional markets next weekend, including Brazil, Germany, Mexico, and the Netherlands.

The Book Thief added $1.5 million from 1,516 screens in 28 markets. The film has grossed a total of $36.4 million overseas and $57.4 million worldwide. Brazil and Spain continue to be the film's hottest markets, with cumes of $5.2 and $6.5 million respectively.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit posted a $1.4 million hold from 1,340 locations in 38 markets over the weekend, bringing the overseas total to $78.1 million. Top holds for the spy thriller include Japan ($638k Weekend / $3.1M Cume), France ($205k Weekend / $4M Cume), Spain ($140k Weekend / $2.1M Cume), and Brazil ($100k Weekend / $1.7M Cume). The film has grossed $127.4 million worldwide.

Endless Love added $1.3 million from 1,240 dates in 25 territories. The film has grossed a total of $6.5 million overseas and $26.7 million worldwide. The film will expand to Russia and Ukraine on March 6.

47 Ronin grossed $1 million from 1,700 dates across 22 territories over the weekend, bringing its overseas total to $106.7 million. The film has grossed $145 million worldwide.

NORTH AMERICA: Studio Weekend Estimates: 'The LEGO Movie' Easily Remains #1 with $31.45M; '3 Days to Kill' ($12.3M) Climbs Over 'Pompeii' ($10.0M) For 2nd Place (4th Update) on February 21, 2014

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Sunday Update: As was widely expected, The LEGO Movie easily remained in first place this weekend with an estimated $31.45 million. Warner's 3D computer animated blockbuster has led the weekend box office with absolute ease for three consecutive frames. The LEGO Movie was down 37 percent from last weekend, which represented a very solid hold given that last weekend's three-day frame was significantly inflated in general by Valentine's Day falling on a Friday. The film has grossed a very impressive $183.16 million in 17 days, which places it 16 percent ahead of the $158.39 million 17-day take of 2012's The Lorax (which fell 41 percent in its third weekend to gross $22.76 million).

In a slight surprise, Relativity's 3 Days to Kill placed in second this weekend with an estimated $12.3 million. The modestly budgeted action thriller starring Kevin Costner debuted on the high end of pre-release expectations. 3 Days to Kill opened just 20 percent below the $15.45 million recent three-day start of the higher profile Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. However, with poor critical reviews, a so-so B rating on CinemaScore and upcoming competition in the next few weeks from Non-Stop, Son of God and 300: Rise of an Empire, it is unlikely that 3 Days to Kill will hold up as well as Jack Ryan has. On a positive note, 3 Days to Kill did generate a very solid estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.07 to 1 this weekend (after opening with $4.01 million on Friday).

While it wasn't that far behind in grosses, Sony's Pompeii was the far more disappointing of the two wide releases this weekend with an estimated third place start of $10.0 million. The pricey 3D disaster film debuted on the low end of already modest expectations (which had tended to be slightly higher than those for 3 Days to Kill). Pompeii performed very poorly with its price tag in mind, though it should be noted that Sony didn't produce the film or handle its advertising (which was done by FilmDistrict). The opening weekend take of Pompeii came in just ahead of the recent $8.87 million start of The Legend of Hercules. As is the case with 3 Days to Kill, Pompeii also received poor critical reviews, and a so-so B rating on CinemaScore; so the film is unlikely to hold up well going forward either.

Pompeii generated an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.96 to 1 (after opening with $3.38 million on Friday). The audience breakdown for the film skewed heavily towards moviegoers 30 years and older (62 percent) and slightly towards male moviegoers (52 percent).

In addition to third place, Sony also claimed spots four through six this weekend. RoboCop placed in fourth with an estimated $9.4 million. The pricey sci-fi action remake was down 57 percent from last weekend's three-day frame, which represented an especially underwhelming hold given that RoboCop received a smaller Valentine's Day boost than most other wide releases last weekend. RoboCop continues to perform a bit softer than expected with a twelve-day take of $43.60 million. That places the film 17 percent behind the $52.72 million twelve-day take of last year's A Good Day to Die Hard.

Sony's The Monuments Men rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $8.1 million. The George Clooney directed World War II film was down a sizable 48 percent from last weekend's three-day frame. The Monuments Men surpassed the $50 million mark over the weekend and has now grossed $58.04 million through 17 days of release, as the film continues to perform on the high end of expectations.

Sony's About Last Night landed in sixth place with an estimated $7.4 million. The romantic comedy remake featuring Kevin Hart was down a very sharp 71 percent from last weekend's three-day start. Given this weekend's decline, Valentine's Day was clearly a major driving force in last weekend's strong performance. Despite the sharp decline this weekend, the low-budget film is still having a solid overall run this far with a ten-day start of $38.15 million.

In platform release, Disney's The Wind Rises opened with an estimated $306,000 from 21 locations. That gave the Hayao Miyazaki directed film a per-location average of $14,571 for the frame. In comparison, 2005's Howl's Moving Castle launched with $427,987 from 36 locations for a per-location average of $11,888 in its first weekend of release. The audience breakdown for the film skewed heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (74 percent) and slightly towards male moviegoers (53 percent). Family audiences made up just 16 percent of the film's overall audience. The Wind Rises received an A- rating on CinemaScore and will expand into additional locations this coming Friday.

In other box office news, Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has now moved into tenth place on the all-time unadjusted domestic box office chart. After grossing an estimated $320,000 this weekend, Catching Fire has grossed a massive $423.63 million to date. That places the film just ahead of the $423.32 million final domestic gross of 2006's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

Saturday Update: Warner Bros. reports that The LEGO Movie earned $7.34 million on Friday, off 43 percent from last week's inflated Valentine's Day and bringing its domestic total up to $159.05 million through 15 days of release. That's 12 percent ahead of the pace of The Lorax as the film handily retains first place for a third straight weekend. BoxOffice projects a $32.5 million third frame for LEGO.

Relativity's 3 Days to Kill pulled $4.01 million for its opening day. By comparison, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit banked $5.35 million on opening day while The Family grossed $5.38 million. BoxOffice projects the Kevin Costner thriller will bring in $11.8 million for its debut weekend. With weak critical reviews (25 percent on Rotten Tomatoes currently) and quickly declining word of mouth (61 percent on Flixster entering Saturday), look for 3 Days to drop off quickly in the weeks ahead as Non-Stop and the 300 sequel enter the market competing for action fans.

Pompeii is off to an appropriately disastrous start as it brought in $3.4 million on Friday. BoxOffice projects a $9.6 million frame based off that figure. Pompeii's opening day is in line with the $3.2 million earned by The Legend of Hercules and only slightly ahead of I, Frankenstein's $2.87 million. Reviews are in the cellar at 30 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, while word of mouth is also suffering at 55 percent from the Flixster community. With a large $100+ million production budget, the pressure now rests almost entirely on Pompeii's overseas box office prospects.

Friday Update #2: Sources tell BoxOffice that Pompeii is looking at $4 million for Friday. From there, the film could hit $10 million this weekend.

3 Days to Kill is on track for $3.5 million today and also a close $10 million weekend.

Meanwhile, The LEGO Movie remains number one as expected with a possible $6.5 million Friday. That should net the film a projected $27 million third weekend.

Friday Update #1: Sources tell BoxOffice that 3 Days to Kill earned $325,000 from Thursday evening shows beginning at 10pm. Although not necessarily breakout territory, that puts the Kevin Costner-starring actioner on track for a healthy opening given the film's conservative $28 million production budget. By comparison, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit pulled a similar $350,000 from Thursday shows on its way to a $15.5 million three-day weekend ahead of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day last month.

Sony's Pompeii isn't faring as well, unfortunately. The $100+ million disaster flick pulled $235,000 last night from a reported 1,785 locations, less than half of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters' Thursday night debut last year of $500,000. Pompeii will likely fall short of $10 million this weekend.

Check BoxOffice later this evening for further updates.


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