Broad Green / A24
Justice League (Warner Bros.)
The Disaster Artist (A24)
Just Getting Started (Broad Green)
With one more week until Star Wars: the Last Jedi, that means another weekend with only one new wide release and another one expanding nationwide. Therefore, there’s very little to keep Disney-Pixar’s Coco from winning its third weekend at #1 with very little competition from either.
As far as the new movies, Bull Durham creator Ron Shelton returns with the comedy Just Getting Started, starring Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones and Renee Russo. The movie is definitely right up Freeman’s alley, as he also starred in the WB comedy Going in Style, which grossed $45 million from an $11.9 million opening. Freeman’s 2013 comedy Last Vegas did even better, teaming him with Michael Douglas, and Freeman has done well with action movies like Olympus Has Fallen and Now You See Me, both which did well enough to warrant sequels.
Like Going in Style, Just Getting Started is being targeted directly towards older adults 50+ who have many choices with so many prestige films in theaters. Broad Green Pictures has been having an especially tough year with no significant hits, but with the name actors involvement, this ensemble comedy could have a similar draw as 2015’s A Walk in the Woods, which is Broad Green’s highest grosser with just $29.5 million.
Not that social media should matter much for a movie like this, but it’s showing about half the activity on Twitter and Facebook as both Going in Style and Last Vegas. Broad Green isn’t even screening the movie for critics and there are no Thursday previews, so expect reviews to not be great since it forces critics to pay to see the movie in theaters.
Those last two things seem to point to Just Getting Started not doing as well as the other movies mentioned, but Broad Green is opening the comedy in 2,146 theaters, so it should be good for around $5 to 6 million over the weekend, essentially a fifth place opening. Considering that the smaller studio has already stopped production on future films, it feels like this might be Broad Green’s last gasp.
|Opening Weekend||Current Gross||Total Facebook Likes||Twitter Activity (Past Week)|
|The Disaster Artist||$1.2m||$1.5m||101,559||50,929|
|Just Getting Started||N/A||N/A||21,090||914|
A24 will be expanding James Franco’s The Disaster Artist nationwide into 840 theaters Friday, following its fantastic showing in limited release this past weekend. It grossed $1.3 million in just 19 theaters with a huge per-theater average of $63,755 per venue, which is a great way to kick off what should be an impressive theatrical run. With an expansion into over 800 theaters, the movie will reach new areas where it didn’t play last weekend, including a couple new college towns.
Franco continues to be popular thanks to his regular involvement with Seth Rogen, who appears in the movie, as does Franco’s brother Dave, who appeared with Rogen in the Neighbors movies. One expects that The Disaster Artist will appeal to the same college-age crowd, and A24 is wisely expanding the movie before Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens next weekend making it harder for smaller movies to get screens.
Don’t be too surprised if The Disaster Artist breaks out in a big way this weekend with $7 to 8 million, possibly making a play against Justice League and Wonder to steal second place, as they bring in around $8 million each. A24 will have to give the movie a much bigger push if they want it to crossover from the college crowd to everyone else.
|The Disaster Artist||94%||97%||8.3||76||N/A|
|Just Getting Started||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
As far as the limited releases, Neon and 30WEST are releasing I, Tonya, the comedic biopic about Tonya Harding, as played by Margot Robbie, who is absolutely amazing in the movie and should be rewarded with at least an Oscar nomination. Directed by Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) the movie also stars Allison Janney, who may also get nominated for her Oscar-worthy performance playing Tonya’s mother. The movie is only opening in New York and L.A. Friday, but with the amount of buzz and hype the movie’s gotten, could we get another impressive per-theater average?
Beyond that, we have a number of odds and ends, including Bryan Buckley’s The Pirates of Somalia, starring Evan Peters, Barkhad Abdi (don’t worry – he’s not being typecast after Captain Phillips), Al Pacino and Melanie Griffith. Peters plays journalist Jay Bahadur who moves to Somalia and gets embedded with a group of local pirates.
Ansel Elgort and Chloë Moretz star in the coming-of-age crime comedy November Criminals, co-written and directed by Sacha Gervasi (Hitchcock) from Steven Knight’s original script. The film about college-bound friends who begin to fall in love with each other will open in select cities.
Adrien Brody stars in Paul (Grace) Solet’s Bullet Head, being released by Saban Films on Friday. The crime action-thriller about a heist gone wrong that leaves three criminals trapped in a warehouse. John Malkovich and Antonio Banderas play the other two fugitives as the film comes out in select cities and On Demand.
IFC Midnight releases Kaleidoscope, starring Toby Jones and directed by his brother Rupert Jones, a thriller about ex-convict Carl who goes on his first date in 15 years, only for it to be disrupted by the return of his mother (Anne Reid), who brings back trauma from Carl’s past.
Jonathan Olshefski’s verité doc Quest follows a North Philadelphia family led by music producer Christopher “Quest” Rainey who are dealing with financial issues over a number of years.
Leah Warshawski’s doc Big Sonia is about 91-year-old Sonia Warshawski, a Holocaust survivor who runs a tailor shop in a shopping mall whom is at risk of being evicted, forcing her to reexamine her past. It opens in L.A. at the Laemmle Music Hall and Laemmle Town Center.
Also, Sony Pictures Classics will give Israeli filmmaker Samuel Maoz’s drama Foxtrot in New York and L.A. for a week-long Oscar eligibility run, but it will open for real on March 2. I hear Netflix’s The Crown is very good, and it streams its second season starting Friday.
That’s it for now. Check back on Saturday morning for an update on how the movies above are faring and then I’ll have the full weekend box office report on Monday.
(Sources: boxofficemojo.com, rottentomatoes.com, imdb.com, metacritic.com. Figures represent numbers at time of writing, and may have changed. Tracking Board does not report Rotten Tomatoes user ratings for movies that have not yet seen wide release.)
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor