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UPDATED: 'Noah' on course for $40 million+ start on March 27, 2014

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By Alex Edghill

Thursday Morning Update: Noah really picked up steam on Wednesday as it jumped 150% to 22,211 tweets, up from 8,828 tweets on Tuesday. By comparison, Son Of God had 4,608 tweets its Wednesday before releaseIn fact, at no time ever did Son Of God rake in a bigger number, not even on its first day of release. It is true that this film has a broader appeal and as such will inherently attract more buzz but still with these types of numbers a sizeable opening is inevitable. Here at Box Office we are predicting $41 million for the boat-man in what will be a hugely profitable run. 

Sabotage continued its descent into irrelevance on Wednesday as it fell a further 34% to 895 tweets, down from 1,348 tweets on Tuesday. By comparison, Escape Plan had an eerily similar 2,025 tweets its Wednesday before release. Yup, its official, Arnold has another dud on his hands. Far removed from his glory days, whether it is because of his age (or aging fans), or his personal struggles, the fact remains the governator simply no longer has it in him to command an audience. Expect a $7 million opening weekend and swift disappearance from theaters.

In other news the new trailer for Jupiter Rising claimed 5,187 tweets, down a ways from the 12,498 that its teaser generated back in December. The Wachowskis' resume will forever be gold-plated with the Matrix trilogy but since then both Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas has underperformed and this is going to be a big test of their ongoing viability as film makers. I must say this 5k number is highly underwhelming considering that it stars Channing Tatum who is one of the hottest actors around and especially potent with young girls/women who are a key Twitter demographic. Still early but I'm not overly reassured by its early feedback.

Top 15 Movies for Wednesday March 26th

Rk Film Tue Wed Week Tue - Wed %
1 (-) Divergent 98,023 77,539 292,950 -20.90%
2 (-) Captain America: The Winter Soldier 29,920 54,899 108,152 83.49%
3 (-) Frozen (2013) 26,548 26,314 86,221 -0.88%
4 (+5) Noah 8,828 22,211 39,663 151.60%
5 (+1) The Fault in Our Stars 11,540 8,842 31,278 -23.38%
6 (-2) Hercules (2014) 23,385 7,171 38,845 -69.34%
7 (+3) Avengers: Age of Ultron 7,878 6,787 26,969 -13.85%
8 (+10) The LEGO Movie 2,932 5,795 13,076 97.65%
9 (-1) Oculus 8,855 5,753 19,698 -35.03%
10 (+74) Jupiter Ascending 43 5,187 5,310 11962.79%
11 (-4) Muppets Most Wanted 8,898 4,920 21,621 -44.71%
12 (-7) X-Men: Days of Future Past 12,886 4,741 63,180 -63.21%
13 (+3) The Amazing Spider-Man 2 2,986 4,028 11,508 34.90%
14 (+11) Rio 2 1,509 4,007 8,135 165.54%
15 (-2) 12 Years a Slave 4,020 3,931 11,739 -2.21%

Wednesday Morning Update: Noah levelled off on Tuesday, rising just 2% to 8,828 tweets, up from 8,624 tweets on Monday. By comparison, Son Of God had 4,434 tweets its Tuesday before release which again is a promising sign for the Darran Aronofsky-led filmI'm not too worried about the slow growth mid-week though I do expect a strong bump come Thursday given its expansion pattern over the last few weeks.

Sabotage stumbled quite noticeably on Tuesday, plummeting 43% to 1,348 tweets, down from 2,382 tweets on Monday. By comparison, Escape Plan had an eerily similar 1,343 tweets its Tuesday before release. Its Monday number really did surprise me and gave me hope that this might be a potential resurgence of 'Ahnold' but the fact that it dropped significantly always points to marketing/meme influences which will only inflate its final ratio rather than boost box office. Today's returns will be of interest but barring something spectacular I have a hard time seeing this hit double digits.

Hercules continued its climb yesterday as it hit 23,385 tweets, even more impressive than the already stellar 8,289 tweets it managed on Monday. This was about half that of X-Men: Days OF Future Past but miles and miles ahead of January's The Legend OF Hercules. It also got a load of buzz from people commenting on Dwayne Johnson's uncharacteristically long hair, but any news is good news and this is definitely shaping up to be more The Scorpion King than Conan.

The Edge Of Tomorrow debuted another trailer yesterday too which saw it rise to 5,953 tweets on the day. This was down from the 7,124 tweets that its first trailer nabbed back in December. Dips from teaser to first trailer are common, and this held up pretty well. Its overall numbers were much lower than say the aforementioned Hercules or X-Men: Days Of Future Past but this will appeal to a much older male demographic primarily which will give it a lower tweet to box office ratio. In short, it doesn't need to throw up big numbers to be successful. For instance, the first trailers for both Jack Reacher and Oblivion failed to crack 2,000 tweets.  

Top 15 Movies for Tuesday March 25th

Rk Film Mon Tue Week Mon - Tue %
1 (-) Divergent 117,388 98,023 215,411 -16.50%
2 (+2) Captain America: The Winter Soldier 23,333 29,920 53,253 28.23%
3 (-) Frozen (2013) 33,359 26,548 59,907 -20.42%
4 (+4) Hercules (2014) 8,289 23,385 31,674 182.12%
5 (-3) X-Men: Days of Future Past 45,553 12,886 58,439 -71.71%
6 (-) The Fault in Our Stars 10,896 11,540 22,436 5.91%
7 (+2) Muppets Most Wanted 7,803 8,898 16,701 14.03%
8 (+3) Oculus 5,090 8,855 13,945 73.97%
9 (-2) Noah 8,624 8,828 17,452 2.37%
10 (-5) Avengers: Age of Ultron 12,304 7,878 20,182 -35.97%
11 (+18) Edge of Tomorrow 1,359 5,953 7,312 338.04%
12 (+2) Maleficent 4,103 4,164 8,267 1.49%
13 (+2) 12 Years a Slave 3,788 4,020 7,808 6.12%
14 (+2) Heaven is for Real 3,594 3,762 7,356 4.67%
15 (+3) Need For Speed 3,260 3,429 6,689 5.18%

Tuesday Morning Update: Noah began its week with 8,624 tweets on Monday, up 136% from Sunday's 3,652 tweets. By comparison, Son Of God had 3,084 tweets its Monday before release which really lines up Noah for an impressive opening. It had trouble generating buzz with its first trailer but as more information surfaced about the project and the marketing really took hold it has impressed with its totals. Its expansion this week will be very telling but regardless it has a golden shot at overtaking Divergent for top spot on the weekend.

Sabotage didn't fare nearly as well as it could only drum up 2,382 tweets on Monday. By comparison, Escape Plan had 1,084 tweets its Monday before release in October of last year. Though a ways below Noah this lines it up favorably against Escape Plan and other recent Arnold films and buoys hopes that it might actually see double digits on release.

In other news, the new X-Men: Days Of Future Past trailer was a big hit on Twitter, generating over 45,000 tweets on the day. Considering that the first teaser for the film had 44,136 tweets this is actually a very strong sign as most films see a drop in buzz from initial trailer to subsequent offerings. Big things should be in store here.

Hercules saw a bump as well with its first trailer coming in with 8,289 tweets on the day. No its not as impressive as X-Men but considering that The Legend Of Hercules had under 2,000 tweets for its first trailer with a similar search string this is definitely a strong sign for the film.

Top 15 Movies for Monday March 24th

Rk Film Sun Mon Sun - Mon %
1 (-) Divergent 182,301 117,388 -36%
2 (+16) X-Men: Days of Future Past 2,390 45,553 1806%
3 (-1) Frozen (2013) 41,132 33,359 -19%
4 (-1) Captain America: The Winter Soldier 16,037 23,333 45%
5 (+11) Avengers: Age of Ultron 2,996 12,304 311%
6 (-1) The Fault in Our Stars 10,463 10,896 4%
7 (+6) Noah 3,652 8,624 136%
8 (+23) Hercules (2014) 1,081 8,289 667%
9 (-5) Muppets Most Wanted 10,695 7,803 -27%
10 (+31) Brick Mansions 684 5,281 672%
11 (+4) Oculus 3,517 5,090 45%
12 (+2) The Amazing Spider-Man 2 3,523 4,494 28%
13 (-4) The LEGO Movie 4,765 4,349 -9%
14 (-2) Maleficent 3,858 4,103 6%
15 (-8) 12 Years a Slave 6,150 3,788 -38%

Follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

CinemaCon 2014: Christopher Nolan Teases Few 'Interstellar' Details, Emphasizing a Technical Spectacle for Audiences on March 26, 2014

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By Daniel Loria

Christopher Nolan took some time off from supervising the editing of Interstellar to join a lunchtime conversation moderated by The Hollywood Reporter's Chief Film Critic Todd McCarthy in front of CinemaCon attendees at Caesars Palace.

Nolan remained tight-lipped on details about Interstellar two days after Paramount's presentation at CinemaCon failed to reveal any new information on the project. The most telling detail he gave away about the plot is already available on the film's IMDB page, "It's about interstellar travel."

The few details the filmmaker did spare suggest that audiences are in store for a visual feast this fall. Nolan's last films have been released over the summer, but Interstellar will be premiering in November in order to accomodate the film's special effects.

"We shot quite a lot of film on IMAX, more than we have ever done in the past," shared the director. "What we're trying to do is give audiences an incredible experience, an immersive experience."

"On this film, the technical aspects of how the film is presented are more important than on any other film I've ever done."

The conversation with Christopher Nolan touched upon several other topics. Here are the highlights from the conversation:

On music:

Nolan shared his distate for using temp scores when editing his films, prefering a more organic process with composer and long time collaborator Hans Zimmer. The composer begins his involvement with Nolan's films at the script-stage, receiving a copy of the screenplay to base his score rather than working off an early cut of the film.

On Interstellar star Matthew McConaughey:

Nolan first became interested in working with McConaughey after seeing his potential in Mud, "[The film] showed me a side of Matthew's capabilities that I didn't know were there."

The director has been able to work with some of the most compelling male stars of this generation, including Christian Bale and Leonardo Di Caprio. Nolan considers himself very lucky to have been able to work with such strong actors. "The odds that someone I've worked with will win [an Oscar] are pretty good, about three-out-of-five," he joked.

On technology:

Nolan didn't shy away from remaining a staunch supporter of 35mm, even when speaking to a room full of exhibitors and technology providers. "Film is the best way to capture an image," insisted the filmmaker.

"There are realities people aren't willing to accept in the drive to make things cheaper," he later added.

Despite his commitment with 35mm, Nolan emphasized that innovation remains central to the cinema-going experience. If Nolan is hesitant to go digital, it is only because he's asking for better quality from the images -a mission at the heart of every technology company in today's market.

The director has also avoided working in 3D, albeit for slightly different reasons. Nolan doesn't view 3D as the best format for a shared audience experience. He did, however, mention The Great Gatsby as a film that he believes succeeded on 3D. "My resistance of 3D is mostly based on what's right for the films that I'm trying to make," explained Nolan.

On influences:

Nolan cites watching the original release of Star Wars as a kid as a big influence on his focus on visual spectacle. He also brought up the influence of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey after seeing it on the big screen during the film's theatrical re-release.

 On working with his brother, screenwriter Jonathan Nolan:

The siblings take different approaches to collaborating on every project. Christopher adaptated Jonathan's short story for Memento himself into a screenplay. Jonathan adapted the source novel for The Prestige over a span of three to four years. The Batman trilogy brought a more collaborative process, where the brothers would bounce drafts back and forth between each other. Interstellar is a film that Jonathan had been working on for some time before Christopher joined the project.

On sequels:

Nolan doesn't have any other film ideas floating around in his head as he is working on a project. The director instead prefers to focus completely on the task at hand, a work ethic that was present during the production of Batman Begins. Nolan tackles each of his current films as the last film he'll ever do, "It's a bit like eating a fantastic dinner and someone asking you what you want for breakfast in the morning."

NORTH AMERICA: 'Divergent' Surpasses $60M Mark on Tuesday on March 26, 2014

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By Daniel Garris

Lionsgate's Divergent took in $4.198 million on Tuesday to lead the daily box office with ease for a fifth consecutive day. The highly anticipated young adult adaptation starring Shailene Woodley was up 17 percent from Monday. Divergent surpassed the $60 million mark yesterday and has grossed a very solid $62.38 million through five days of release. Divergent is currently running 22 percent behind the $80.17 million five-day start of 2008's Twilight and 101 percent ahead of the $30.99 million five-day take of last year's Ender's Game.

Muppets Most Wanted held steady in second with $1.42 million. The latest Muppets film from Disney was up 23 percent over Monday's performance. Muppets Most Wanted has grossed an underwhelming $19.58 million in five days and is set to clear the $20 million mark today. The film is currently running a discouraging 53 percent behind the $41.52 million five-day start of 2011's The Muppets (which did have the advantage of opening the Wednesday before Thanksgiving).

Mr. Peabody & Sherman grossed $1.24 million to remain in third place. The 3D computer animated film form Fox and DreamWorks Animation increased a strong 29 percent over Monday and was down just 22 percent from last Tuesday. That hold strongly suggests that Mr. Peabody & Sherman will re-stabilize over the upcoming weekend. The 19-day total for Mr. Peabody & Sherman stands at a respectable $83.34 million.

God's Not Dead took in $1.00 million to continue to claim fourth. The faith-based drama from Freestyle and Pure Flix was up 17 percent over Monday and generated a healthy per-location average of $1,285 for the day. God's Not Dead has grossed a stronger than anticipated $11.10 million in five days. That places the film 8 percent ahead of the $10.26 million five-day start of 2011's Courageous. God's Not Dead is currently scheduled to play in 1,164 locations this coming weekend.

Warner's 300: Rise of an Empire and Disney's Need for Speed claimed fifth and sixth place respectively with $0.971 million and $0.899 million. 300: Rise of an Empire increased 17 percent over Monday, while Need for Speed was up 34 percent. Respective total grosses to date for the action films stand at a very solid $95.39 million in 19 days for 300: Rise of an Empire and at a lackluster $32.13 million for Need for Speed in twelve days.

Fox Searchlight's The Grand Budapest Hotel continued its impressive run in limited release with a seventh place take of $0.724 million. The Wes Anderson directed film was up 15 percent over Mondy and claimed a strong per-location average of $2,383 for the day. The Grand Budapest Hotel has grossed $14.35 million in 19 days of release and is set to expand into additional locations this Friday.


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