By Daniel Garris

Lionsgate's Divergent led the way on Thursday with $3.07 million. The highly anticipated young adult adaptation starring Shailene Woodley was down 7 percent from Wednesday. Divergent was easily the week's top film with a very solid seven-day start of $68.76 million. The opening week performance of Divergent was 26 percent softer than the $93.36 million seven-day start of 2008's Twilight and 104 percent stronger than the $33.75 million seven-day take of last year's Ender's Game. With Paramount's Noah entering the marketplace, Divergent is widely expected to fall to second place this weekend.

Speaking of Noah, the Darren Aronofsky directed biblical epic starring Russell Crowe, was off to a solid late night start with an estimated $1.6 million from late night shows that began at 7 p.m. That was 33 percent stronger than the recent $1.2 million late night start of Fox's Son of God. It should be noted that late night shows for Son of God began at 10 p.m., though initial sales for that film were also greatly boosted by group pre-sales. As is commonplace, the early grosses for Noah will be counted towards Friday's performance. Check back throughout the weekend for further updates on the progress of Noah at the box office.

Turning back to Thursday, Muppets Most Wanted rounded out its first week of release with a second place take of $1.11 million. The latest Muppets film from Disney was down 4 percent from Wednesday. Muppets Most Wanted placed in second for the week with a softer than anticipated $21.84 million in its first seven days of release. The film opened a disappointing 50 percent below the $43.63 million seven-day start of 2011's The Muppets (which did have the advantage of opening the Wednesday before Thanksgiving).

Mr. Peabody & Sherman held steady in third place with $1.01 million. The 3D computer animated film from Fox and DreamWorks Animation fell 6 percent from Wednesday and was down a very slim 11 percent from last Thursday. Mr. Peabody & Sherman placed in third for the week with $16.11 million. That represented a 41 percent decline from the previous frame and brings the film's three-week total to a respectable $85.41 million.

God's Not Dead took in $0.897 million to continue to claim fourth place. The faith-based drama from Freestyle and Pure Flix was down 8 percent from Wednesday. It should be noted that wide releases in general took larger than usual hits on Thursday due in part to Noah entering the marketplace. God's Not Dead claimed fourth place for the week with $12.95 million. That was stronger than expected and places the film 15 percent ahead of the $11.29 million seven-day start of 2011's Courageous. God's Not Dead will be playing in 1,178 locations this weekend.

Fox Searchlight's The Grand Budapest Hotel continued its impressive run in limited release with a seventh place take of $0.597 million. The Wes Anderson directed film fell 13 percent from Wednesday and generated a strong per-location average of $1,964 for the day. The Grand Budapest Hotel grossed $9.42 million this week, which brings the film's three-week total to $15.63 million. The film will be playing in 977 locations this weekend.

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Friday (3/28) Update: Paramount reports that Noah pulled a $2.75 million opening day in Russia yesterday. The studio notes that figure is significantly ahead of Gravity's $1.1 million first day take in the country.

So far, Noah has tallied $22 million in its early overseas rollout.

Thursday (3/27) Update: Paramount reports that Noah earned a strong $750,000 opening day in Australia on Wednesday. That's about 20 percent ahead of Gravity's $615,000 first day take in the country.

Thus far, Noah has earned $18.5 million from its early overseas debut in Korea, Mexico, and Australia combined. Korea accounts for $10 million after 7 days, while Mexico has generated $7.5 million in 6 days.

Meanwhile, Noah will open in Russia today and 18 more markets this weekend.

Sunday (3/23) Update: Need for Speed added $29.2 million from 55 overseas countries. Its performance in China was off just 47 percent from last week, giving it $41.7 million to-date from that country alone. Russia posted a 49 percent decline, giving the film a $10.6 million total there, while Germany gave Speed a #1 opening with $3 million. The film's overseas total is now $96.1 million, giving it $36.98 million globally.

Warner Bros.' 300: Rise of an Empire posted another $21 million overseas this weekend from 63 markets. Its global cume is now $289.2 million, with $195.4 million coming internationally. The studio notes the following single-market performances:

Brazil - R$5.4m (US$2.3m) from 681 screens, ranking #1 for the 3rd consecutive w/e (ahead of local opener SOS MULHERES AO MAR)! The cume to date is R$34.1m (US$14.5m).

France - €1.3m (US$1.8m) with 171k admissions from 440 screens, bringing the cume to date to €9.8m (US$13.6m).

Germany - €1.2m (US$1.7m) from 597 screens. The cume is €8.4m (US$11.6m).

UK - £765k (US$1.3m) from 685 screens. Cume is now £6.8m (US$11.4m).

Russia - Rbl 42m (US$1.2m) from 856 screens. The progressive tally is Rbl. 607.1m (US$16.6m).

Mexico - Ps. 15.7m (US$1.2m) from 1,055 screens. The cume is now Ps. 177.7m (US$13.4m).

Key market cumes (in US$):

Russia - $16.6m
Brazil - $14.5m
France - $13.6m
Mexico - $13.4m
Korea - $12.1m
Germany - $11.6m
UK - $11.4m
Spain - $7.7m
Italy - $7.5m.
Australia - $6.6m

Paramount reports that Darren Aronofsky's Noah opened to a strong $14 million this weekend from 1,585 screens in Mexico and Korea combined. The studio notes that the opening is 7 percent ahead of Gravity, 35 percent ahead of Inception, 55 percent ahead of Skyfall, and 84 percent ahead of Life of Pi in the comparable territories. Noah grabbed $5.7 million for a first place debut in Mexico, and $8.3 million--more than the top 10 combined--at first place in Korea.

Fox's Mr. Peabody & Sherman added $11.4 million this weekend, giving it an overseas total over $100 million now. Meanwhile, Fox reports that Rio 2 debuted in Russia and Ukraine with $10.4 million. 

The Grand Budapest Hotel added a big $9.55 million, including $2 million from the UK and $1.2 million from Russia. Overseas total is now $33.1 million. Global total is $46.1 million.

Frozen's worldwide tally reached $1.05 billion with an additional $9 million coming from 22 territories internationally this weekend. Its overseas cume is now $652 million. In Japan, this weekend was up 7 percent from last with $8 million for a repeat at #1 in that country.

Universal reports that Ocho Apellidos Vascos (Spanish Affairs) claimed the top spot in Spain for a second weekend with $6.3 million. With a 51 percent market share, the romantic comedy's total through 10 days is $12.6 million.

Monuments Men grossed $5.4 million overseas, bringing its total to $62.5 million. Global cume is now $138.2 million.

WB's The LEGO Movie added $4.5 million overseas from 54 markets this weekend, giving it a $147.6 million total to-date. The animation's global cume is $391 million. The studios notes the following:

Key market cumes (US$):

UK - $51.3m
France - $12.0m
Mexico - $9.9m
Spain - $6.7m
Russia - $6.1m
Brazil - $5.6m
Italy - $4.7m

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opened in Japan to $3.3 million this weekend, bringing the overseas haul to $124 million. Global cume is now 

Disney's Muppets Most Wanted earned $1.5 million internationally from 8 territories this weekend with Mexico accounting for the lion's share at $0.9 million. Poland brought in $0.2 million. Muppets' global total thus far is $18 million.

Ride Along pulled $1.5 million from 600 dates in 12 territories this weekend, bringing the film's international total up to $13.3 million for a global cume of $146.4 million. Universal highlights the following notes of interest for Ride Along:

· Australia had a very good opening with an estimated gross of $821k at 131 dates. It is the best new opening of the weekend and has the best screen average in the market. It placed No. 4 and is very close behind No. 2 and 3.

· The film also opened in Hungary and results will be available on Monday.

· The U.K. and Ireland had another good holdover. It placed No. 10 with $460k (£260k) at 250 dates for a 24-day total of $6.7M (£4M).

Meanwhile, Devil's Due grossed just under $1 million from opening in six smaller markets. Overseas total is now $15.8 million.

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harkness.pngCINEMACON (BOOTH #2411A), LAS VEGAS, MARCH 26TH 2014 - Harkness Screens the world's leading screen technology company and thought-leaders in on-screen brightness has announced that its suite of apps designed to aid in the process of screen lifecycle management recently passed 2,500 downloads.

"The response to the apps since we launched the suite just under a year ago has been nothing short of phenomenal, says Richard Mitchell, Worldwide Marketing Manager at Harkness Screens. "The download numbers alone are quite staggering, especially for a niche and focused market like cinema. These figures don't include those using the tools via our website so the true size of the user base is likely to be far more significant. We're truly delighted that these tools have gained industry-wide recognition and become part of architects, exhibitors and installer workflows," he adds.

Harkness Screens launched the range of screen lifecycle management tools at CinemaCon 2013 on the Apple iOS platform to critical acclaim releasing the Digital Screen Modeller (a real-time 3D modelling simulation tool for examining light on screen in an auditorium) and the Digital Screen Archiver (a secure database system designed to aid cinema operators in the process of on screen brightness management). In October 2013 both apps were launched on the Android platform.

In January 2014 Harkness Screens announced the launch of its third utility the Digital Screen Calculator released on both Apple iOS and Android. The Digital Screen Calculator is a tool designed to enable cinema operators or installers to quickly ascertain capability in terms of brightness levels based on equipment choices.

Mitchell explains, "We've seen many examples of how the apps are enabling our user base to make more informed decisions on design, build and equipment specification, all aimed at providing the public with the best possible 2D and 3D viewing experience. One of the key successes for our registered user base has been the free e-Consultancy service provided by our Technical Team. The service has provided detailed advice and support to exhibitors seeking to optimise their operating environment through equipment choice and screen optimisation (curving and tilting)."

Since release Harkness has continued to update content and add new functionality to its apps, culminating with a new release of both the Digital Screen Modeller and Digital Screen Calculator at CinemaCon 2014. The latest releases include constant height screens, multiple projectors and the new Clarus XC screen family launched by Harkness Screens. In the Digital Screen Modeller, the new DCI/SMPTE light measurement standard has been added to allow exhibitors to simulate light measurement more accurately in a 3D environment.

"These apps have real value and the key is to keep building on their success by adding more relevant and useful content. We have some quite impressive development plans in place for all three apps and we're working on a significant update to the Modeller to include some of the key requests from our users. We're also working on a fourth screen lifecycle management app which is currently in testing and we hope to release both this and the Modeller update in late June. We want to help exhibitors globally to realise the full potential from their auditoria and equipment in terms of brightness levels and we believe the apps are key tools in achieving this," Mitchell concludes.

For more information on the Harkness Suite of apps visit www.harkness-screens.com/

About Harkness Screens

Harkness ScreensTM is the world's leading screen technology company, specialising in the design and manufacture of projection screens and supporting technologies.

From single-screen independent theatres to large multiplexes to large format immersive theatre experiences or live events, Harkness supplies thousands of screens every year for cinema, film production, special effects, live events and custom AV applications.  With truly global reach, Harkness is regarded as the world leader in cinema and today has screens in more cinemas worldwide than any other manufacturer. With its industry leading 2D and 3D screen brands (Perlux and Spectral) along with its innovative range of tools and iOS/Android apps, Harkness continues to lead the way in screen technology for cinema.

Founded in 1929, Harkness has manufacturing facilities in the USA, UK, France, India and China. Harkness Screens combines unrivalled experience with the latest technology and production methods to provide innovative solutions to the company's key markets worldwide.  For more information, visit the Harkness Screens web page at www.harkness-screens.com.


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