Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Woody Allen Reveals Cast of His Next Film Woody Allen Reveals Cast of His Next Film Teasing More Toronto Reveals: How the Festival Landed Opener 'Demolition' and that Secret Michael Moore Doc Teasing More Toronto Reveals: How the Festival Landed Opener 'Demolition' and that Secret Michael Moore Doc The Surprisingly Complicated Legacy of 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' The Surprisingly Complicated Legacy of 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' Robert Pattinson Follows Harmony Korine to Miami for Revenge Thriller 'The Trap' Robert Pattinson Follows Harmony Korine to Miami for Revenge Thriller 'The Trap' Weinstein Co. and Radius Figure Out Hybrid Amazon Release Plan for Fassbender's 'Macbeth' Weinstein Co. and Radius Figure Out Hybrid Amazon Release Plan for Fassbender's 'Macbeth' Top 10 Takeaways: 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' Opens Strong, But Summer 2015 Has Peaked Top 10 Takeaways: 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' Opens Strong, But Summer 2015 Has Peaked Arthouse Audit: Controversy Reigns as 'End of the Tour' Tops Limited Newbies and Weinstein Dumps Jeunet's Latest Arthouse Audit: Controversy Reigns as 'End of the Tour' Tops Limited Newbies and Weinstein Dumps Jeunet's Latest Friday Box Office: Cruise and 'Mission: Impossible' Do Their Part, But Grosses Lag Friday Box Office: Cruise and 'Mission: Impossible' Do Their Part, But Grosses Lag Fall Calendar Reveals Awards Itinerary and Stealth Contenders Fall Calendar Reveals Awards Itinerary and Stealth Contenders Sarajevo Film Fest Lineup Has Auteurs, Cannes Winners and Favorites Sarajevo Film Fest Lineup Has Auteurs, Cannes Winners and Favorites Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) First Look: Cynthia Nixon Plays—and Narrates—Emily Dickinson in Two Films First Look: Cynthia Nixon Plays—and Narrates—Emily Dickinson in Two Films Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers

Pre-Holiday Box Office: 'Zero Dark 30' 'Amour' Openings Boost Oscar Chances; 'Guilt Trip' 'Monsters 3D' Start Slow

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood December 20, 2012 at 3:04PM

Four new films opened midweek, during the pre-Christmas period when most people postpone their moviegoing until the holiday. "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Amour" both opened well in limited release in NY/LA, particularly for the date. The two wide studio releases -- "Guilt Trip" and 3-D rerelease "Monsters 3D" fell far short of similar recent openings on a pre-Christmas Wednesday.
0
Emmanuelle Riva and Jean Louis Trintignant of "Amour"
Emmanuelle Riva and Jean Louis Trintignant of "Amour"

But most important is the historical precedent on which Sony seems to be basing the release pattern. It goes back 11 years, but the circumstances are similar. They also released Ridley Scott's "Black Hawk Down" (Muslim world military recreating of an actual mission, with emphasis on procedural issues over character-driven story lines). In that case, they platformed over the post-Christmas weekend, and grossed around $180,000 in four theaters, on the way to a total gross (opening wide three weeks later) of $109 million. Ticket prices are considerably higher today, but even if "ZD30" reaches these levels, it would be a very successful film (with an estimated budget of $45 million).

The best comparisons to "Amour" are limited - only "Letters from Iwo Jima" is at all similar, and that Clint Eastwood-directed film came with much greater initial advertising expenditures than the more pin-pointed efforts of Sony Pictures Classics. But the best comparison, although early, is quite favorable. A $5,000 opening per screen average Wednesday, under normal multipliers, should lead to a weekend PSA of somewhere between $20-25,000. Last year, "A Separation," which went on to win nearly all foreign language film awards, including the Oscar, and grossed $7 million - extraordinary for a subtitled film these days - had a PSA of $19,000, but opening after Christmas, a much better weekend usually. So the initial indication is quite strong for this.

For all these films, and particularly at this time of the year, the first day grosses are only the early indication. But based on history, they do offer strong suggestions of what is ahead. Because of that, Sony and Sony Classics, even though there films were limited, are likely much happier today than Paramount and Buena Vista with their results.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Zero Dark Thirty, Amour


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.