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The Numbers - How Did "Dysfunctional Friends" Do Its Opening Weekend? (1 Week LA Extension)

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February 6, 2012 10:37 PM
17 Comments
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It opened on 2 screens, 1 in Los Angeles and the other in New York; so how did the ensemble comedy/drama do over the weekend? 

The turnout in Los Angeles was much stronger than it was in New York, making over 3 times the box office the New York theater did! So what's up NYC? 

I had a chat with a fellow New York colleague about this today, after I received the numbers, and we both thought that the NYC theater's location (AMC Loews Village 7, in lower Manhattan, on the east side, between 11th and 12th streets - the East Village essentially) may not have been the most ideal for a film like this. I'm not certain that's a theater that the film's target audience goes to with any sort of regularity. 

I feel the same way I felt about a film like A Good Day To Be Black & Sexy when Magnolia Pictures didn't seem to know what to do with it after they acquired it; this needed to be up in Harlem, or downtown Brooklyn, NOT the East Village; and I can't help but wonder if that had some bearing on how it performed at the box office. 

However, I wasn't in the *war room* so I have no idea how the deal was negotiated, and if that theater was the only one AMC provided as an option, or if there was some other logic behind that theater being chosen that I'm just not privy to. So I'm just going based on what's in front of me.

76% of its opening weekend box office came from the Los Angeles theater! That's the bulk of it; and it's for that reason (and others I presume) that the film has been extended for another week at the Citywalk Stadium 19 in Universal City, CA. So you LA folks get another week to see the film (after this first week's run, so it'll go into next week).

Those of you in NYC who haven't seen it will have until the 9th - this Thursday - to see it, and then, poof, it'll be gone! In total, the film made $7,409. A long way to go... So if you're even mildly curious about the film, you really should go see it, because you may not get another shot for awhile.

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17 Comments

  • Nadine | February 18, 2012 10:01 AMReply

    Yeah... bad timing for NYC and I really think a "mismatch" in terms of content for NY alone... the best match in NYC being Harlem, as you said, not the college crowds in the Village, but yeah, BK would have been better than Manhattan, but even then, I think you would get an audience going to the theater out of curiosity or film buffs for fodder not expecting to identify with or especially enjoy the film. Was Atlanta not a possibility? It really would have been better. I just don't think this movie is NY's style so early in the game.

  • A B E D | February 18, 2012 8:52 AMReply

    hi --------
    I WANT TO WORK FILM INTERESTING VERY,BUT I NEED TO STORY ????????????????

  • Miles Maker | February 10, 2012 4:11 PMReply

    Firstly, Dysfunctional Friends was shot for a budget of less than $500K and probably for less than 1/2 of that. If Corey had $1.8mil we'd 'see' it on screen he's a talented filmmaker that wouldn't have spent the money everywhere else but inside the frame. Among other considerations it's important to know if this movie was a 4-wall release or a negotiated partnership with the theaters in a revenue sharing scenario. One is entirely unlike the other in terms of a filmmaker's risk, financial outlay and profit margins--but without sufficient publicity and a P&A spend, even social media at its Best can't do it all.

  • Ivory Jeff Clinton | February 7, 2012 8:57 PMReply

    I saw it Sunday night at the NYC theater mentioned above. There was only one other person there, but it was Super Bowl weekend and, as S&A points out, it was in an area not likely to draw the movie's main demographic. I wonder why it wasn't at Magic Johnson in Harlem?! Anyway, I enjoyed it overall.

  • Don | February 7, 2012 7:28 PMReply

    The NY market is a bit tougher. There are a couple of reasons that this weekend sort of beat the film down as far as numbers are concerned. The venue and the target audience were a complete mismatch. Executives are having a hard time figuring out exactly where to place independent Black films. It's the oddest thing to me because historically, metropolitan areas have zoned people of color into certain communities. When it comes to making money, the suits forget that this ever happened. They're searching the ocean for biters and pretend they haven't seen us. With only two trains in the nearest vicinity, the Village 7 location is not a major transportation hub. The closest one is Union Square, which isn't too far off but you still have to pass the multiple screen Regal Theater to get there. A chunk of the market will not search further having seen that.
    Also, NYC was involved in this year's Superbowl. Talk about paying attention to any chatter on the social networks. Our minds were on that game. We were organizing trips or local parties. That's where the money went last weekend.
    Besides that, there was very little mention of this film in the tri-city area. I only heard about it the week before and I am continuously searching for new work. I couldn't imagine the word getting very far. Dysfunctional Friends seems like a LA movie through and through. I wish this film much success in Los Angeles and I do hope they continue to locate markets that will work for them. Atlanta would have been a much better choice than New York. Don't let the population fool you. It is a TERRIBLY difficult market. Dysfunctional Friends should have travelled first so it could come into NYC with a bit of steam behind the name. It's the God honest truth.

  • RW | February 7, 2012 11:49 AMReply

    We also have to keep in mind the idea that this film still has a limited audience, so looking at it with that in mind, I don't think these numbers are all that bad. I'm a little surprised I didn't hear more about this in NYC. Usually I get emails from friends who work in media/entertainment about small budget films by people of color. I didn't hear anything about this until a friend in LA attended an event for this film tweeted about it over the weekend.

  • Ray | February 7, 2012 11:49 AMReply

    LOL at T.O. reading from cue cards comment!

  • IKE | February 7, 2012 10:29 AMReply

    What's up with Stacey Dash's Skeletor hands?? Spooooky! She's got the knuckles and joints of an 80 year old! LOL! Everything else is fine, so I'd just have to stay away from a hand job. :)

  • coolcalm | February 6, 2012 10:51 PMReply

    I saw the movie in LA at the CityWalk. Keep in mind that the screen in LA only held 120 people roughly, and at $10-12 a pop, with most people trying to go during peak hours, there's only so much money it could make. The 730 and the 1015 showings on Saturday both sold out!

    And about the movie, I was very surprised by how funny it was. I also learned later that they shot it in 10 days! That's crazy!

  • RANDOM BLACK | February 7, 2012 12:44 AM

    that's true. however, according to IMDB, the estimated total budget for Dysfunctional is gosh darned $1.8mil.

    that's a pretty troublesome figure to have to recoup given such a small opening and with what appears to be a comparably shitty marketing campaign.

  • coolcalm | February 7, 2012 12:24 AM

    Also, when you see Dysfunctional's numbers keep this in mind, I just found out from twitter that Chronicle had a $7569 per screen gross average. And they had tons of marketing with posters, billboards, and people-shaped airplanes, while Dysfunctional only had twitter and Facebook posts, and a shitty youtube trailer.

  • coolcalm | February 7, 2012 12:14 AM

    T.O. was alright. He had some scenes where it seemed like he was reading cue cards, but better than expected though.

  • RANDOM BLACK | February 6, 2012 11:27 PM

    oh, true. well, then that's a feat. it'll be interesting to see what they do with more screens.

  • Keepingitreal | February 6, 2012 11:23 PM

    How was T.O's performance?

  • RANDOM BLACK | February 6, 2012 10:41 PMReply

    The film only made $7,409 after being released in NY and LA in 2 screens?

  • Anonymous | February 6, 2012 11:41 PM

    "Chronicle" was #1 at the box office, had television, print and radio marketing and grossed $22M on 2907 screens which gave it a per screen average of $7569. "Dysfunctional Friends" grossed $7409 on 2 screens with no television, print or radio marketing which gave it a per screen average of $3705.

  • RANDOM | February 6, 2012 10:42 PM

    *on.

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