image.jpgHow to Train Your Dragon 2 put up big numbers this weekend, taking advantage of a $25.9 million debut in China to complete a $37.7 million frame from 28 markets. This puts the Dragon sequel up to $366 million overseas and $537.2 million worldwide. The film is only days away from passing Rio 2 as the biggest animated release of 2014 overseas.

Guardians of the Galaxy grossed $33.1 million across 65 territories this weekend. The film has earned a total of $196.4 million overseas and $418.7 million worldwide, already surpassing the $371 million global cume of Captain America: The First Avenger. Two of the film's top overseas markets have already crossed the $30 million mark: the UK ($31.5m) and Russia ($30.4M). New openings this weekend included a $7.2 million bow from France and a $3 million premiere in Spain.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles adds another $25.6 million from its overseas roll out, reaching a $67.5 million overseas cume. A $6 million opening in Brazil was the highlight of the weekend, along with a strong $5.1 million hold from Russia. The film has grossed a total of $185.1 million worldwide.

Lucy earned $22 million this weekend after taking #1 debuts in Germany, Austria, Cyprus, Lebanon, Poland and German-Switzerland. The film has now grossed $61 million overseas and a total of $168.5 million worldwide.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes earned $16.5 million from 51 markets this weekend. The reboot sequel has now grossed a total of $337 million overseas and $538.8 million globally.

Transformers: Age of Extinction keeps on delivering overseas. The film posted an $8.4 million frame from 52 territories, making it the sixth highest grossing film of all time outside of North America with a $811.1 million cume. The film has grossed $1.05 billion worldwide.

Into the Storm took in $6.7 million this weekend, taking its overseas total up to $18.5 million. The natural disaster flick has grossed a total of $49.8 million worldwide.

Hercules delivers a $4.7 million weekend from 43 markets to reach an $80.1 million cume outside of North America. The film has grossed $148.2 million worldwide.

Sex Tape added $4.0 million from 36 markets this weekend, bringing its overseas cume to $33.1 million. The comedy has grossed $70.8 million worldwide.

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Sunday Update: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was able to easily hold off three major newcomers this weekend to remain in first place with an estimated $28.4 million. In the process, Paramount's high-profile franchise re-launch zoomed past the $100 million domestic mark over the weekend. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was down a sharp, but understandable 57 percent from last weekend's debut. The film continues to exceed expectations in a very big way with $117.64 million through ten days of release. That places Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles an impressive 19 percent ahead of the $98.58 million ten-day take of 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. With its initial fan rush-out now behind it, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will hope to stabilize going forward.

Also holding off the weekend's newcomers was Disney's Guardians of the Galaxy. The blockbuster sci-fi superhero adaptation from Marvel placed in second with an estimated $24.74 million. Guardians of the Galaxy was down 41 percent this weekend, which is an encouraging sign for the film going forward. Guardians of the Galaxy rocketed past the $200 million domestic milestone over the weekend and has grossed a stronger than expected $222.28 million in 17 days. Guardians of the Galaxy is currently running 11 percent ahead of the $200.50 million 17-day take of Captain America: The Winter Soldier earlier this year and will have no problem eventually surpassing the $259.71 million current total gross of The Winter Soldier to become the highest grossing release of 2014 thus far domestically.

While it debuted towards the lower end of expectations, Fox's Let's Be Cops was nonetheless the weekend's top new release with an estimated third place take of $17.7 million. Given its Wednesday release date, it was impressive that the action-comedy topped both The Expendables 3 and The Giver over the weekend. Let's Be Cops is also performing well with its low production cost in mind. Let's Be Cops has grossed $26.11 million through five days of release. That gives the film a five-day to three-day ratio of 1.47 to 1 and places the film 22 percent behind the recent $33.31 million five-day start of Tammy. Let's Be Cops only received a so-so B rating on CinemaScore, but will still have a very solid chance of holding up well going forward due in part to the lack of new comedies entering the marketplace over the next several weeks.

Lionsgate's The Expendables 3 landed in fourth place with a disappointing estimated debut of $16.2 million. The third installment of the ensemble action franchise starring Sylvester Stallone opened below its already scaled back expectations and 43 percent below the $28.59 million start of 2012's The Expendables 2. In addition to moviegoers clearly growing tired of the franchise, The Expendables 3 also appears to have been hurt by having been pirated online prior to its release. The Expendables 3 opened with $5.93 million on Friday, declined 3 percent on Saturday to take in $5.72 million and is estimated to fall 20 percent on Sunday to gross $4.55 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.73 to 1. The Expendables 3 did receive an encouraging A- rating on CinemaScore, but as the third installment of a franchise, audience reaction likely won't make a big difference for the film going forward.

The Giver rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated debut of $12.76 million. The young adult sci-fi adaptation from The Weinstein Company opened on the lower end of pre-release expectations. The film's opening weekend performance was similar to the $10.60 million start of The Host last year. The Giver took in $4.75 million on Friday, fell 6 percent on Saturday to gross $4.45 million and is estimated to decline 20 percent on Sunday to gross $3.56 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.69 to 1. The Giver received a B+ rating on CinemaScore.

Holdovers Into the Storm and The Hundred-Foot Journey claimed sixth and seven place with respective estimated takes of $7.72 million and $7.11 million. Warner's Into the Storm was down a significant 55 percent from last weekend and has grossed $31.34 million in ten days. Disney's The Hundred-Foot Journey was down a healthy 35 percent and has grossed $23.62 million over the same ten-day span. Both films are performing in line with their respective pre-release expectations thus far.

On the limited front, Boyhood took in an estimated $2.15 million from 771 locations to place in tenth among all films, while Magic in the Moonlight took in an estimated $1.88 million from 964 locations to finish in 14th place. IFC Films' Boyhood has grossed an impressive $13.80 million to date, while Sony Pictures Classics' Magic in the Moonlight has grossed a soft $4.71 million so far.

Saturday Update: Paramount reports that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles earned an estimated $7.92 million on Friday, a 69 percent drop from its opening day last weekend (in line with G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra's 68 percent drop). That brings the reboot's domestic haul up to $97.2 million--17 percent more than the 8-day gross of Cobra. BoxOffice projects a $25.5 million sophomore frame for the flick.

Guardians of the Galaxy continues to hold well at the start of its third weekend. The latest Disney/Marvel hit added $6.95 million yesterday, down a healthy 43.5 percent from last Friday. That pushed the film across the $200 million domestic threshold ($204.5 million) and sets the stage for a weekend around $24 million. Through 15 days of release, Guardians remains ahead of the pace of Transformers: Age of Extinction by 4 percent as it continues its march toward likely becoming the summer's top grossing film. Just as well, it leads Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the year's top film, by 11 percent through the same point in release.

The Expendables 3 got off to a rocky start with $5.88 million on opening day--44 percent less than its 2012 predecessor. BoxOffice projects a $16 million opening weekend from there. Early word of mouth is struggling with a 53 percent Flixster score.

While the disappointing Expendables 3 launch underscores the argument that pirated leaks of the movie impacted box office performance, it's important to remember that some amount of franchise fatigue was expected for the three-quel. With a projected opening weekend 44 percent lower than The Expendables 2, the drop lines up with other franchise dips upon hitting the three-film mark. For just a few examples, Transformers: Dark of the Moon dropped 19 percent from Revenge of the Fallen (or roughly 30-35 percent in actual ticket sales when adjusting for Moon's 3D prices), Kick-Ass 2 came in 33 percent under its predecessor's opening, and The Hangover Part III sank 54 percent from Part II's debut.

Let's Be Cops added $5.63 million on Friday, bringing its cume to $14.03 million in three days--27 percent behind the pace of 2008's Tropic Thunder. BoxOffice projects Cops will net $17.2 million over the weekend, giving it a 5-day opening around $25.6 million. The Flixster crowd has given the comedy an underwhelming 65 percent approval.

Last but not least, The Giver posted $4.74 million on opening day and may land around $11.85 million for the weekend. While past young adult flicks like The Mortal Instruments and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters similarly opened in August, they opted for Wednesday releases--making direct comps for The Giver somewhat scarce. As is the case with all of this weekend's newcomers, critics haven't been kind to the adaptation--however, it does boast the strongest Flixster score (72 percent) among the three new releases.

Check BoxOffice on Sunday for official studio estimates.

Friday Update: Sources report that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy are easily holding their ground atop the box office to start the weekend. No numbers have been made available for those two yet, but The Expendables 3 is off to a rocky start with a possible $6 million today for a $16.5 million weekend. Considering Thursday night's preview shows of $875k were fairly solid, these numbers could easily change as the night progresses.

Meanwhile, Let's Be Cops is slowing down following a healthy Wednesday bow. The comedy is pacing for $5 million today, which would send it to roughly $15.5 million for the 3-day frame and a $23.9 million 5-day bow. Fortunately for Fox, the comedy was produced for just $20 million.

The Giver isn't faring any better than its fellow newcomers. The adaptation of the popular 1993 novel is reportedly on track for an opening weekend between $10-12 million.

More as it comes...

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carmikecinemas.pngCOLUMBUS, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Carmike Cinemas, Inc. (NASDAQ: CKEC) ("Carmike"), a leading entertainment, digital cinema and 3-D motion picture exhibitor, today announced the closing of its stock-for-stock acquisition of Digital Cinema Destinations Corp. (NASDAQ: DCIN) ("Digiplex"), including its 21 theatres with 206 screens and four location pipeline of 33 screens. Each outstanding Digiplex share was converted into the right to receive 0.1765 shares of Carmike common stock, or approximately 1.4 million Carmike shares in the aggregate.

Carmike expects to immediately integrate the 21 acquired theatres onto its national footprint and complete the pipeline theatre acquisitions, during Q3 or early Q4. The acquisition further expands Carmike's domestic entertainment complex circuit to 2,900+ screens and 276 locations across 41 states.

Carmike's President and Chief Executive Officer David Passman stated, "In addition to continuing our successful execution of Carmike's strategic M&A plan and adding complementary, well-managed theatres to our circuit, we also expect to gain valuable insight from Digiplex's dedicated alternative programming team, led by CEO/Founder Bud Mayo. Their organization has consistently outperformed its exhibition industry peers by averaging approximately 5% of quarterly box office receipts from alternative content, boosting capacity utilization during less busy Monday through Thursday periods."

Bud Mayo commented, "I am very excited about the many opportunities that lie ahead as we join forces with a ‘best-in-class' exhibitor with a national footprint. Carmike's senior executive group, led by David, has guided the Company through an impressive multi-year transformation and our alternative programming team looks forward to helping the organization build on its recent success and achieve additional growth."

Mr. Passman continued, "We are delighted to welcome Digiplex's executives and theatre-level associates to the Carmike family and look forward to their contributions. In the interim, we will also continue with our plans to actively pursue additional movie theatre acquisition opportunities that we expect will generate attractive levels of theatre level cash flow and drive shareholder value."

About Carmike Cinemas (www.carmike.com )

Carmike Cinemas, Inc. is a U.S. leader in digital cinema, 3-D cinema deployments and one of the nation's largest motion picture exhibitors. Inclusive of the Digiplex acquisition, Carmike has 276 theatres with 2,901 screens in 41 states. The circuit includes 42 premium large format (PLF) auditoriums featuring state-of-the-art technology and luxurious seating, including 25 "BigDs," 15 IMAX auditoriums and two MuviXL screens. As "America's Hometown Theatre Chain" Carmike's primary focus is mid-sized communities.

Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about our beliefs, expectations and future performance, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements preceded by, followed by or that include the words, "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "estimates," "seeks" or similar expressions. Examples of forward-looking statements in this press release include the Company's expectations regarding the benefits of the acquisition, the closing of the pipeline transactions, future growth, future acquisitions, future cash flows and future shareholder value. Forward-looking statements are only predictions and are not guarantees of performance. These statements are based on beliefs and assumptions of management, which in turn are based on currently available information. The forward-looking statements also involve risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Many of these factors are beyond our ability to control or predict. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement include, but are not limited to: the ability of National CineMedia to secure approvals and satisfy conditions necessary to complete the acquisition of Screenvision; Carmike's ability to achieve expected results from strategic acquisitions; general economic conditions in Carmike's regional and national markets; Carmike's ability to comply with covenants contained in its senior secured credit agreement and the indenture governing its 7.375% Senior Secured Notes due 2019; Carmike's ability to operate at expected levels of cash flow; financial market conditions including, but not limited to, changes in interest rates and the availability and cost of capital; Carmike's ability to meet its contractual obligations, including all outstanding financing commitments; the availability of suitable motion pictures for exhibition in Carmike's markets; competition in Carmike's markets; competition with other forms of entertainment; and other factors, including the risk factors disclosed in Carmike's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, under the caption "Risk Factors." We believe these forward-looking statements are reasonable; however, undue reliance should not be placed on any forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations. Further, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update publicly any of them in light of new information or future events.

 

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By Daniel Garris

After falling to second on Wednesday, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles moved back into first place on Thursday with $4.32 million. Paramount's high-profile franchise re-launch fell 16 percent from Wednesday. It should be noted that daily percentage declines were sharp in general on Thursday, in part from Lionsgate's The Expendables 3 and The Weinstein Company's The Giver both entering the marketplace on Thursday evening and in part from more and more schools now going back into session. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles exceeded expectations in a big way this week with a first place seven-day start of $89.24 million. That was an impressive 17 percent ahead of the $76.25 million seven-day take of 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Disney's Guardians of the Galaxy was also up one spot over Wednesday to finish in a very close second on Thursday with $4.23 million. The blockbuster sci-fi superhero adaptation was down 13 percent from Wednesday and down 45 percent from last Thursday. The film trailed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by just $96,190 for the day. Guardians of the Galaxy placed in second for the week with $63.15 million. That was down 53 percent from the film's opening week performance and brings the film's two-week total to $197.55 million. Guardians of the Galaxy is currently running 13 percent ahead of the $174.91 million two-week take of Captain America: The Winter Soldier earlier this year.

On the heels on Wednesday's first place debut, Let's Be Cops was down two spots and a reasonable 39 percent to place in third on Thursday with $3.20 million. The low-budget comedy from Fox has grossed a very solid $8.41 million in its first two days of release. That is in line with pre-release expectations and places the film 27 percent behind the $11.49 million two-day take of last year's We're the Millers. Let's Be Cops will hope to experience a big uptick in business over the weekend, in part from being a non-sequel.

The Hundred-Foot Journey held steady in fourth place with $1.165 million. The modestly budgeted drama from Disney and DreamWorks was down 16 percent from Wednesday. The Hundred-Foot Journey finished in fourth place for the week with a seven-day start of $16.51 million. The film is performing in line with its modest expectations and is running 22 percent ahead of the $13.53 million seven-day take of Million Dollar Arm earlier this year.

Warner's Into the Storm rounded out Thursday's top five with $1.163 million. The modestly budgeted disaster film trailed The Hundred-Foot Journey by a very slim $1,497 for the day. Into the Storm was down 14 percent from Wednesday's performance. Into the Storm performed in line with expectations this week with a third place start of $23.62 million over the seven-day frame.

Universal's Lucy placed in sixth with $0.87 million. The sci-fi action film starring Scarlett Johansson finished in fifth for the week with $14.19 million. Lucy was down 47 percent from the previous weekly frame and continues to exceed expectations with a three-week take of $102.22 million.

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cops.pngFox's Let's Be Cops claimed first place on Wednesday as it earned a solid $5.2 million on opening day Wednesday, lining up with pre-release expectations of a 5-day bow close to $30 million. Cops' first day take was 20 percent behind that of Tropic Thunder and 23 percent behind We're the Millers.

Paramount reports that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles added $5.1 million on Wednesday, down 33 percent from the day prior. With a 6-day haul of $84.9 million, the successful franchise reboot is pacing 18 percent ahead of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra through the same point. Turtles also surpassed the inflation-adjusted lifetime domestic gross of 1993's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III ($83.2 million, $42.3 million non-adjusted).

Disney/Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy took in another $4.85 million yesterday for a healthy 45 percent week-to-week Wednesday decline. Strong word of mouth continues to propel the flick, having now reached $193.3 million domestically. The pic surpassed 22 Jump Street yesterday to become the ninth highest grossing film of 2014 so far, and will leap past Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Godzilla, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 over the coming weekend. Guardians is running 13 percent ahead of the pace of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and 2 percent ahead of Transformers: Age of Extinction.

The Hundred-Foot Journey brought in $1.38 million on Wednesday for a 20 percent day-to-day drop. With a 6-day cume of $15.4 million, the film is running 19 percent ahead of Million Dollar Arm.

Into the Storm added $1.35 million yesterday for a 34 percent day-to-day slide in fifth place. The special effects thriller has totaled $22.5 million in its first six days, 75 percent more than Pompeii.

Meanwhile, Step Up All In took sixth place and posted $0.61 million as it slid 33 percent from Tuesday. The fifth entry in the dance franchise has accumulated $8.7 million in six days, or 47 percent less than 2012's Step Up Revolution.

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