By Phil Contrino
In the days leading up to its release, The Devil Inside generated a level of online buzz that indicated it would be a blockbuster with real staying power.
Paramount Insurge's thriller racked up a staggering 181,346 tweets from Friday, December 30 to Thursday, January 5. The Last Exorcism, a similarly-themed film that hit theaters in August 2010, managed 17,005 tweets during the same period in its release cycle. The Devil Inside's most active Facebook page inspired an impressive 285,174 likes by January 5, where as The Last Exorcism had 97,220 one day before hitting theaters. The Devil Inside was coasting along nicely thanks in large part to a seriously creepy trailer.
Everything changed once the paying public actually saw the entire film.
Tweets from around the country indicate that The Devil Inside isn't playing like a blockbuster, to put it mildly. Here's a tweet that pretty much sums up the consensus:
Our Twitter tracking has recorded an unprecedented positive:negative tweet ratio of 0:1 for The Devil Inside—a clear indication that the buzz is overwhelmingly negative. On Facebook, The Devil Inside has added more than 95,000 likes since early Friday morning. That may seem like an impressive total, but it isn't when compared to another Paramount horror flick that opened at #1: Paranormal Activity 3's page managed to add more than 284,000 likes during the weekend it opened, and it was already working with a base of nearly 8.5 million. Now that's what positive Facebook buzz looks like.
Paramount will still manage to make a profit off their latest low-budget thriller, but it's clear by now that a new franchise has not been born. Expect a catastrophic decline next weekend.
By Sterling Wong
Warner Bros' Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows won the international box office battle this weekend, earning an estimated $43.4M from 50 markets, which includes 12 new markets.
The Guy Ritchie-directed action adventurer opened in pole position in Australia ($6.5M) and Spain ($4.9M) and held on to top spots in Germany ($3.3M) and Russia ($7.1M). The film has now cumed $177.2M overseas, and looks set to top its predecessor's $315M overseas run, with major markets like Argentina, Brazil, China, France and Japan still to open.
Proving that chipmunks can be leggy too, Fox’s Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked had its best showing yet, grossing an impressive $30.1M, which was a 24% increase from last week, from 7,120 screens in 62 markets, bringing the international total to $128.4M.
The kiddie flick opened strongly in Brazil ($6.7M), Italy ($5.2M) and Argentina ($331K) and held up well in Australia ($3.7M), Russia ($1.8M), Germany ($1.7M), the UK ($1.4M), Holland ($1.2M), France ($1M) and Belgium ($905K).
After leading the international box office for three straight weekends, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol falls two spots to No. 3, earning an estimated $287.9M from 7,071 outlets in 55 markets.
The Paramount film’s sole opening this week was in Argentina, where Tom Cruise sprinted to a $899K first-place debut. Elsewhere, the actioner enjoyed strong holds in Japan (No. 1 for a fourth weekend with $3.5M, down 18%), Korea (No. 1 for a fourth weekend with $3.2M, down 59%), UK and Ireland (No. 1 for a third weekend with $3.7M, up 2%), Germany ($2.1M, up 11%) and Brazil ($1.8M, up 67%).
Shrek spinoff Puss In Boots earned $18.2M from 5,779 screens in 52 territories. The Paramount-distributed film has been a great success internationally, as it officially crosses the $300M mark to cume a total of $311.6M thus far.
Sony's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo claimed the No. 5 spot this weekend, grabbing $12.6M from 1,925 locations in 33 markets. The David Fincher version of the bestselling novel bowed at No. 1 in Hong Kong and South Africa and has now earned a total of $29.3M overseas.
Beginning its international run late is Warner Bros' J.Edgar, which bows to $6.1M in six markets. In Italy, the Leonardo Dicaprio film about the infamous FBI chief debuted at a strong No. 2 with $4.4M. Upcoming key markets to open include France (Jan 11), Germany (Jan 19) and the UK (Jan 20).
Horror film The Darkest Hour opened in 17 markets this weekend and earned $5.6M from 2,487 screens in 30 markets, lifting its international cume to $16.2M. Next week, the Fox movie will expand to France, Holland, Mexico, Spain and the UK.
Warner Bros' New Year's Eve took in $5.3M from 56 markets, bringing its overseas total to $80M.
Opening first in its native UK, Fox’s Oscar hopeful The Iron Lady bowed in third place to an excellent $3.4M from 461 screens.
Martin Scorsese’s Hugo earned $2.9M from 723 location in three markets – Russia and Ukraine, where it premiered, and a third week in Belgium. The Paramount film opened with $2.5M from 593 venues in Russia. The film’s overseas cume is $3.7M.
Fox’s We Bought A Zoo added one new market but dropped 50% to gross $2.6M from 1,278 screens in 14 markets. The Matt Damon-led family movie’s international cume now stands at $13.5M.
Also grossing $2.6M from 546 locations in 13 Paramount-distributed markets is The Adventures of Tintin. The cume in these territories now stands at $69.5M.
In its second weekend of release, Disney’s War Horse grossed $2.0M in four territories that represented 9% of the market. Clearly, this will be a slow and steady race for the equine movie.
The Muppets, increased 40% in its seventh week of release to earn $700K. The Disney production was boosted by expansions in four new markets, bringing its total market count to 17, representing 17% of the international market.
Winding up a successful run is Fox’s In Time, which added another $752K from 773 screens in 10 markets, lifting its international total to $105.4M.
Saturday Morning Update: The Devil Inside is off to an impressive start with $16.850 million in the bank on Friday alone.
Friday Morning Update: Paramount's The Devil Inside is off to a very good start at the box office. The thriller was able to rake in $2 million from midnight shows at around 1,400 locations—a solid figure considering that Paramount acquired the film for $1 million.
Unfortunately, early word of mouth is not promising. TDI is sitting at 8% on Rotten Tomatoes, and its Flixster approval rating is a weak 58% from more than 9,500 users.
We're currently predicting a $23 million opening weekend.
Los Angeles -- IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX; TSX:IMX) and Paramount Pictures today announced that Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol The IMAX Experience, has grossed $46.1 million in IMAX® theatres worldwide since the film began its early IMAX previews through Monday, January 2, 2012. The film has generated approximately $33.1 million domestically and approximately $13.0 million internationally in IMAX theatres. For the four day weekend, the film generated approximately $6.1 million domestically in IMAX theatres and generated approximately $2.7 million internationally in IMAX theatres. To date, the film has an overall gross of $367 million worldwide.
"With Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol leading the box office this Holiday season it is clear that movie-goers responded very favorably to the IMAX early engagement strategy," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "Fans and critics all over the world who previewed this blockbuster in IMAX generated the positive word-of-mouth and social media buzz that helped drive the strong box office results we see today and we believe this will continue to support the film's success throughout its run."
"We are honored that Paramount and the MI:4 filmmakers entrusted IMAX to put the picture's best foot forward and be the word-of-mouth ambassadors that separated it from the rest of the pack," said Greg Foster, Chairman and President, IMAX Filmed Entertainment. We believe the film's success demonstrates how IMAX is bringing "must see" back to movie-going."
IMAX commented that worldwide gross box office for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2011 was approximately $98 million ($54.3 million domestically and $43.7 million internationally).
The IMAX release of this fourth installment of Mission: Impossible features approximately 30 minutes of scenes filmed with IMAX cameras. Exclusively in IMAX, these sequences expand to fill the entire screen, and further immerse the audience in the explosive action and vast scope of the film. One featured sequence includes the unbelievable stunt performed by Tom Cruise as he scaled the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai, providing an up-close, you-are-there experience as only IMAX can.
The IMAX release of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol has been digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images coupled with IMAX's customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.