|1||The Hunger Games||$800,000|
|3||A Simple Life||$420,000||-40%|
|5||Jack and Jill||$90,000|
One of the most anticipated films of the year opens this weekend but Hong Kong won't be one of its standout territories. The Hunger Games is attracting a lot of attention domestically but in Hong Kong, moviegoers aren't captivated toward its premise nor its setting. A lot of people might have been turned off by the Battle Royale-esque story as well. No starpower is not helping things either as moviegoers have little to attract others with. Instead, a lot of people are either skipping this week or taking in one of the two local movies. While reviews are excellent, it is not having much effect with ticket sales. Reports of huge volume of sales with the book have not made a huge impact with moviegoers either. Admissions have been quite slow at most places with a couple of outliers. At some theaters, this is tracking behind Nightfall and A Simple Life in pre-selling so a big gross is unlikely. It does have a price increase due to its long running time so OW gross won't be inexplicably bad. Opening ultra-wide and in more than 40 theaters, The Hunger Games will debut at #1 but the margin of victory won't be big. It's only getting 1 screen at the majority of most theaters while some have opted to give this another screen at night. Most haven't seen any showtimes sell out fast like A Simple Life two weeks ago. Nights have so far done most of the business. Similar to Nightfall last week, it will most likely have very good walk-ins for moviegoers who want to catch an action movie this weekend. $800,000 may be a little pessimistic currently but it's not displaying any signs of exceptionally great pre-selling anywhere and the lack of screens will hurt its potential opening weekend gross. For this to get a weekend over 1m, it will need at least 2 screens from multiple theater chains to have any hope of doing so. Theaters are reluctant to do it because of "movie politics" where they will use their theaters to promote their own movies.
Entering its 2nd weekend, Nightfall hopes to at least stay ahead of A Simple Life for #2. While A Simple Life has slowly closed the gap throughout the week, Nightfall has held its own with strong walk-ins and night sales. WOM has been good with most people recommending the film to non-believers. Theaters for the most part have been extremely kind and have left this with mostly full day showtimes. Broadway theaters are leading the charge and are still giving Nightfall the two biggest screens for the day while UA and other chains have cut this to varying degrees. Pre-sales for the most part are down from last week although several locations have performed better with advanced ticketing this week than opening week. Weekday sales have been encouraging in that it has at least kept pace with A Simple Life. Taking this all into account, -45% would be a $465,000 weekend for a total just above 1.6m.
Adding another couple of trophies to its collection, A Simple Life looks to finish its 3rd weekend with another top 3 finish and possibly in the runner-up position. Deanie Ip won the Best Actress Award at the Asian Film Awards while Andy Lau took home the People's Choice for Favourite Actor. Conversely, each one lost the other award that the other person won (Andy Lau for Best Actor, Deanie Ip for People's Choice Favourite Actress). Nevertheless, another win on the awards circuit will keep its name in the spotlight and will bring in any more stragglers that weren't convinced by the rave reviews and other awards or were preoccupied by Nightfall, John Carter or The Iron Lady recently. Shedding a couple more showtimes this week, it has been left relatively in tact with almost full day showings at most locations. Broadway, however, is still promoting Nightfall like crazy so A Simple Life is only being shown once per day at some theaters there. Another award should help keep its drop from falling too big. A -40% slide would be another $420,000 for the melodrama and would see its cume rise to 2.875m in only 17 days.
Landing in 4th place is John Carter. It will be facing a high profile action release so a big drop is expected. Last weekend saw its admissions fall back to normal with a 54% admissions drop on Sunday. It got completely swamped by Nightfall and the continued success of A Simple Life. This week, it not only faces those two but 6 new releases including the much-hyped The Hunger Games. Theaters have been very protective of their movies this week so John Carter loses out on all fronts. Most theaters are either cutting this or dropping it down to only 1 showtime per day but 3D prices will prop up low admissions. Moving another $120,000 in ticket sales this weekend, John Carter will get blasted by all sides and should tumble around 70%. While its drop looks bad, it will have made 1.86m after this weekend, a very good sum after all the negative press it received regarding its gigantic budget and low expectations.
Opening in a deceiving 5th place, Jack and Jill finally gets released after a couple of delays that has seen the movie come out more than 4 months after the North American release date. It will debut somewhere in the top 5 only by virtue of having more theaters than anybody else, almost like Love Strikes last weekend. Originally released for 2011, it was pushed back to January 26, the week after Chinese New Year. A very strong line-up forced the comedy to move to this weekend making it have a dead on arrival type feel. This will get a wide push, booked in about 20 theaters. Pre-sales haven't been a bright spot for it though. It has been lagging behind almost every other release and moviegoers are skipping this in favour of other new movies. $90,000 for the weekend would be less than a $5,000 PTA. Another comedy bites the dust in Hong Kong.
Enjoying special screenings before its official release next week, Love in the Buff is waiting in the wings ready to cause mayhem for new openers next week while grabbing as much money as it can this weekend. It will only show on Saturday and Sunday as theaters have offered up only weekend showtimes so far. It has gotten this early support from a number of theaters but more is expected to lend a helping hand this weekend. A strong fanbase could push this into the top 5 as long as the other openers disappoint which is looking likely. Strong pre-selling is surrounding this romance film and it's been getting a lot of buzz with it premiering at the Hong Kong International Film Festival. Theater schedules are not consistent as some have only decided to give this 1 showtime each day while others have given this full day showtimes. As it stands right now, this will open to a strong $85,000 for the weekend, an amount which will be added to next weekend's opening gross.
Another romance film with 'Love' in the title begins this weekend. Love Lifting will open semi-wide in about 10-15 theaters. At several theater chains, this is getting half-day showings while Golden Harvest is promoting this by giving it full day screens. Pre-selling has been lacking and like other new releases this week, it hasn't been grabbing people's attentions with anything different. This will place in the top 10 with about $80,000 for the weekend.
Romance thriller The Second Woman also makes its start with a semi-wide release. 10-15 theaters are adding this to their schedules this weekend and ticket sales have been pretty rough. It doesn't have the screens or showtimes to make the top 5 but a top 10 debut is happening. It will be the underdog against Jack and Jill with only half-day showings and not very favourable showtimes. This Shu Qi vehicle is a suspenseful romance thriller about two twin sisters falling for the same man but one of them disappears which leads to burning questions, temptations and stunning revelations. While Shawn Yue is known for the Love in a Puff series, this is being mainly sold on the shoulders of Shu Qi, who doesn't really have a lot of starpower here. An opening of $75,000 could be its tally for the weekend.
After last weekend's disastrous hold for The Iron Lady, this weekend doesn't look to be much better. With different films occupying the business district this week, The Iron Lady's showtimes will take a huge hit leaving it with only a couple of showtimes per day. In other places, this is not getting any showtimes on Thursday which will contribute to its even worse hold this weekend. Dropping another 75%, it will bring it down to just $36,000 for a total of $660,000.
Offering something a little different, Carnage heads into theaters this week. The Roman Polanski dramedy is only getting a limited release in less than 10 theaters and is not expected to challenge for a top 5 showing. Top 10 is possible if it has a good opening but pre-sales do not support that theory yet. Due to its short runtime, it's been getting 4-5 showtimes per day but those showtimes are really inconsequential. Starpower is not helping at all as even places like Palace IFC and Pacific Place, known as big pre-selling theaters, have done very slow business with Carnage. Releasing in 8-9 theaters, this movie looks to do no more than $30,000 this weekend.
The last of the openers comes from France. The Kid With A Bike will only show at the 2 arthouse theaters and it won't be headed toward the top 10 in gross. Pre-selling has been weak but Cinematheque will bump this up as much as possible. It might begin with about $9,000, about a $4,500 PTA.
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