|1||Love in the Buff||$1,100,000 (i.p.)|
|2||Wrath of the Titans||$650,000|
|3||The Hunger Games||$310,000||-56%|
|4||A Simple Life||$180,000||-49%|
Another sequel showdown takes shape this week but both will attract different audiences. Love in the Buff, the sequel to the rom-com hit Love in a Puff, will interest those that watched the original but this time, Buff will add in another flavour to the mix: the mainland. Set in Beijing, the romantic comedy will incorporate the mainland setting and atmosphere into the film while remaining true to its core, a love story about 2 Hong Kong people who coincidentally make their way to Beijing. Director Pang Ho-Cheung (彭浩翔) returns as the man calling the shots and Shawn Yue (余文樂) and Miriam Yeung Chin-Wah (楊千嬅) reprise their leading roles. Love in the Puff originally opened to a meek $130,000 on OW. With WOM leaking out onto Facebook and other social networking media, it started the comeback in week 2, dropping only 21%. This carried over through weeks 3-5, never dropping more than 30% on each of those weekends. It finished with a remarkable 6.31 multiplier and cued the greenlight for a sequel. Part of Puff's hindrance was the III rating it got. This time around, Buff avoids the III rating and instead gets a IIB rating, which should bring in a wave of viewers who were otherwise stymied from watching the original in theaters. Love in a Buff's advanced previews last weekend performed well as it ranked 4th unofficially with a weekend take of about $150,000-$200,000. That gross will be carried over to this week and it should open with a mammoth gross, raking in much more than the 3D sequel Wrath of the Titans. Playing ultra wide in more than 40 theaters, Buff will have the advantage over Wrath with more theaters showing it and giving it more showtimes than Wrath. Broadway is supporting this with full day showtimes and some have lavished it with 2 screens all day. Other theater chains such as Golden Harvest and MCL cinemas are in alignment with Broadway while UA is being more stingy with Buff's showtimes but it is still doing better than Wrath. While the special screenings might have taken a load off some of the demand, most will catch it this weekend instead. One interesting thing to note this weekend will be whether or not if students will turn out to see this like with other romcoms but already WOM from last weekend has spilled onto the internet with some calling it a better sequel. Reviews are generally positive although they aren't as enthusiastic about this film like the original but this should capture Mainlanders and Hong Kong'ers alike with laughter, tears and sweetness. Pre-sales have been potent as it is leading the charge of all films on Thursday. Adding in its special screenings from last weekend, this could take in about 1.1m ($950,000 for the 4-day weekend), which would destroy Puff's total in one weekend.
Hoping to replicate the first film's success of almost 500m WW, Wrath of the Titans is the follow-up to the much-maligned Clash of the Titans. The original, lambasted for its nonsensical 3D conversion 7 weeks before release, opened with a towering $1.35m in HK 2 years ago on Easter weekend and finished with a miraged 2.77m. Clash of the Titans' backlash started in week 2, where it crashed 70%. It never recovered and Wrath will suffer the same consequences that Clash received from week 2 onwards. While Clash was the star of that weekend, Wrath will be playing second to a WOM hit sequel. That will see its opening weekend returns for Wrath plummet from Clash's both in terms of admissions and gross. 3D might have been in mind at the start for Wrath but it'll be hard-pressed to bring back viewers who felt cheated by the cheap rush conversion job for Clash of the Titans. Reviews look to be similar to the first one but this time, 3D is a positive not a huge negative. Meanwhile, competition for it is extremely fierce. Going up against Love in the Buff on its opening weekend is no laughing matter and the last 2 big action movies that came out grossed more than $700,000 on their opening weekends. The last 3 weekends have seen the #1 film gross more than $700,000, something that Clash of the Titans did not have to face leading up to its release. The outlook ahead is not much brighter for Wrath as it will get swallowed by the Easter releases including Titanic next weekend and then Battleship the week after. The general public may be looking to skip this one as a little breather for Easter weekend, Battleship and The Avengers all upcoming in April. As much as competition is weighing it down, there's still a sizable amount of people who will go see any action movie and the fact that it is also in IMAX will entice those that want to see an epic action movie on the very big screen. 3D prices along with IMAX will make almost any opener look good so Wrath's gross won't be anything hideous. Bowing in more than 30 theaters, it will debut way below Clash's OW gross and might not even make half of what its predecessor did. Pre-sales haven't looked great but similar to John Carter's selling methods, this will make most of its money through walk-ins. In IMAX, this has been selling worse than what John Carter did a few weeks ago at this same point in time. A weekend of $650,000 would be bad for the sequel but Buff looks to be the breakout film of this week and possibly for weeks to come. Buff doing well means that it will mute Wrath's gross, almost regulating it to the role of small fish.
After devouring the March OW record by more than $35m domestically and debuting well in English speaking countries overseas, The Hunger Games is in a much different place in Hong Kong. Clawing its way to a $709,000 beginning last weekend, The Hunger Games is looking to finish with a solid 2m but strong openers may prevent that from happening. Love in the Buff and Wrath of the Titans will command at least 50% of screens this weekend, if not more, so The Hunger Games will be left to battle it out with Nightfall and A Simple Life for screens. It looks to be doing fine in that department as Broadway has given this mostly full day showtimes in the smallest or 2nd smallest theaters. Over at UA theaters, who is the distributor of this film, this is showing on 2 screens at night or for the day. Other theater chains seem to be in the middle of the two with it getting full day showtimes. Although it's been praised with rave reviews, it does not have the time to build on last weekend's OW. Last weekend saw it get 2 screens on the weekend but this weekend, the story will be different as Love in the Buff will do the bulk of its business on Saturday and Sunday when students are most likely going to see it. Thursday and Friday should see decent-good holds but Saturday and Sunday should decline more than 60% on both days. WOM has been mixed which doesn't help it at all. Pre-sales for its 2nd weekend have been OK, way behind Buff but ahead of Wrath of the Titans, Nightfall and A Simple Life. Finding its way to another $310,000, that would be a 56% drop from opening weekend and would push it past 1.2m.
Nightfall and A Simple Life have been dancing around each other ever since Nightfall opened. Hot pre-selling vs. great walk-ins has been each other's MO with their distribution of ticket sales. This will be another close battle between the two as Nightfall and A Simple Life are playing a round of strategic theater mapping. What makes A Simple Life have the edge is due to a combination of factors. Thursday pre-sales remain strong once again for A Simple Life. As we get into the later weeks, theaters would rather have stronger pre-selling than better walk-ins due to the image it leaves behind. If a movie has good pre-sales, they're most likely to get the coveted showtimes over the one with brisk walk-in sales as theaters have to schedule each day 2 days in advance. This situation isn't just limited to themselves but if a movie like Love in the Buff is having brisk pre-sales, they might need to leave another screen to compensate for the high demand for that film, leaving the film with mild pre-sales most likely to give it up. A Simple Life remains in more theaters than Nightfall as well. It gives it the potential to gross more within the 4-day time frame. A movie with glowing WOM will drop fairly light as opposed to one with mixed WOM. A Simple Life has the upper hand in this department and showered with awards from local and international awarding committees, critics have a lot of pull with audiences here. Broadway remains frugal, offering to show the film only once or twice per day at most locations. A Simple Life is also a UA film meaning it gets full day showtimes from most UA locations. Other theater chains seem to side with A Simple Life as they have no allegiance to either film so they pick the one with better pre-sales. With no awards bump and a weaker drop last week, A Simple Life is not going to collapse in the face of tough competition. Instead, it will be picked up by its own audience and might see a drop below 50%. Younger local audiences will probably go for Love in the Buff but this will have no effect on the older crowd as it remains popular with older people. It will only get cut in a few theaters so a better drop than Nightfall is expected. Declining either around or slightly above 50%, -49% would be another $180,000 weekend and its cume would be up to 3.1m, passing The Viral Factor for #2 of the year.
Nightfall, meanwhile, has seen great walk-ins that have benefited its grosses since its inception. Pre-sales remain light but as the past 2 weeks have shown, it is counting on the last few hours to make its presence known. Broadway/AMC continue to be the major supporters with it getting full day showtimes at almost every location. UA, however, have decided to be devious and has slashed this at half of its locations with the other half giving it 1 or 2 showings. Other theater chains are slightly favouring A Simple Life although it remains close. Mixed WOM won't help much if it wants to stay ahead of A Simple Life. A historical trend also doesn't favour Nightfall's chances this week. By a local crime drama's 3rd or 4th weekend is when we see the wheels fall off. This rang true for The Stool Pigeon, which dived 58% in its 3rd weekend with lesser competition. Similarly, The Beast Stalker crumbled 65% on its 3rd weekend against stiff competition. The Viral Factor avoided a harsh drop in its 3rd weekend, down 53% after the Lunar New Year holidays but that increased to 56% by its 4th weekend. It stands to reason then that Nightfall will likely suffer the same fate as its genre compatriots. The huge competition from the top 2 will take away a lot of the attention that it got in the first 2 weekends and getting cut in theaters will also contribute to a bigger drop. Like The Hunger Games, this might be able to escape with a decent hold on the 2 weekdays but come Saturday, this should drop like a rock with drops possibly reaching more than 70% on both days. Usually for a crime drama around this time, demand has been met and walk-ins generally start to sag as a result. The weekend will be one to watch if it manages to stay ahead of A Simple Life as last weekend saw a bundle of walk-ins take over A Simple Life throughout the day and into the night. Drowned by the competition, it should slip slightly above 60%. -64% is a $170,000 weekend, good enough for 1.94m total in 18 days.
If Liam Neeson in a tunic and body armor wielding a staff isn't your thing, well, you could see him and others try and survive out in the wilderness. That's right, this week, there will be two Liam Neeson movies. Unfortunately, none will debut at #1. The Grey slips into theaters quietly with either a semi-wide or wide release. Marketing has solely focused on Liam Neeson and people might see a bit of cross-promotion with Wrath of the Titans also out in theaters this week. With the action genre dominated by Wrath and The Hunger Games this week along with John Carter, most of the general public will avoid this. Besides this, The Grey has been marketed as a drama and not an action film which will limit its box office potential. Pre-sales have been non-existent, for the most part, and theaters are avoiding scheduling this with full day showtimes. Liam Neeson has had goodwill from Taken and other films and will be a huge draw for moviegoers seeing this movie. The problem is that Wrath also comes out the same day and people are much more willing to see Liam Neeson as a god than a nobody running and surviving all sorts of obstacles. Flashing its way into about 15 theaters, this will open with about $100,000.
John Carter wilted away again last weekend after tumbling more than 75%. This weekend it will see the repercussions of that drop and will fall about 80%. That would leave it with only $25,000 and a cumulative total of about 1.895m.
The last of the openers, Love Actually...Sucks, is an erotic film that explores the different relationships that many don't endorse or don't want to endorse publicly. All types of relationships: gays, lesbians, teacher-student, incest are represented here and viewers will get a first hand look in the trials and tribulations that these couples face in a Hong Kong setting. Opening in just 5 theaters, the III rating is bound to capture some curious viewers but many will not give this a look. Pre-sales have been sparse so far. It could take in about $15,000 for the weekend, leaving it with only a $3,000 PTA.
Jack and Jill will fade away from memory soon. It only opened around $70,000 last weekend and theaters aren't going to want to save this. An 85% facelift would only be a $10,500 weekend. That would barely push it past $100,000.
For more information about this week or any other, please visit this thread. - http://www.worldofkj.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=58584&start=475