Blu-Ray Releases for March 29, 2016
Concussion was co-financed by Sony, Village Roadshow and LStar Capital for $35 million and Sony positioned the Will Smith vehicle as their Christmas release. Concussion opened in a very crowded holiday market, competing for auds against Daddy’s Home, Joy and the Point Break remake, as well as the behemoth holdover Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the wide expansion of The Big Short. After an expensive P&A spend, tracking was soft for Concussion and reviews were mixed, which quieted most award buzz and it opened within those modest expectations at $10,513,749 — and ironically lost some auds on Sunday from numerous NFL games being broadcast. Concussion placed #7 over its first frame, which Star Wars easily led and it opened just slightly above Point Break. Audiences gave the pic a solid A cinemascore and Concussion declined only 25.4% over the New Year frame to $7,846,281 but collapsed 61.4% in its third weekend to $3,029,367 which ended its chance at breaking out. The pic closed its run with only $34,531,832 — a troubling number since the topical NFL theme would be largely dependent on the domestic market. After theaters take their percentage of the gross about $18.9 million would be returned, which would not even cover half of the P&A spend or any of the budget. From the hacked Sony emails posted by WikiLeaks, Sony’s box office projections were estimated at $32 million from overseas markets, but Concussion performed poorly in every market, so far grossing an anemic $12.6 million, with a release from Italy scheduled April 21st.
Alcon Entertainment majority financed this remake of the cult 1991 pic and partnered with Beijing based company DMG for a series of films they would contribute some capital into and help secure a release date in China. The partnership with DMG would allow the films to be China co-productions, which would return 40% of the gross, instead of 25% for foreign films. The first film under this partnership was the Johnny Depp fiasco Transcendence and Point Break was the second. In 2013 Lionsgate pre-sold the remake for Alcon at the American Film Market and it was the most successful project at AFM, selling out worldwide and distributors were in bidding wars over the movie, which did not even begin casting. The strong pre-sales mitigated much of Alcon’s exposure to the $105 million budget. While at AFM, Lionsgate also sold out global pre-sales of another Johnny Depp fiasco Mortdecai and Gods Of Egypt. Point Break became the first major studio release to open first in China before its domestic run, which was positioned to beat the blackout period, where only local films are booked in theaters. The early release date also distanced it from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Kung Fu Panda 3, which were set to open after the blackout ended. The film grossed a healthy $39.3 million from China. For its US release, Alcon paid for the P&A expenses and distributed through Warner Bros and WB received a fee for use of its resources. Point Break was one of four wide releases opening over the crowded Christmas frame and it fared the worst. The remake pulled in a soft $9,800,252 placing #8 for the weekend led by Star Wars and new opener Daddy’s Home. It also came in behind opener Joy (which also had a supporting role for Point Break actor Edgar Ramirez) and Concussion. Point Break had a modest 30.4% second weekend decline to $6,817,641 over the New Year’s frame, but plunged 68.5% in its third session to $2,148,406 and closed its domestic run with $28,782,481. Alcon would see back about $15.7 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross. While they would not be on the line for much of the budget, Alcon financed an expensive marketing blitz, with $28.62 million just in TV ads going into release and a few million more over the next week, plus millions spent on print, online, radio, billboards, etc. The overseas release has fared better than the terrible US run, but most markets have pulled in mixed to poor numbers. China is the strongest market and Mexico posted the second highest gross at $5.1 million. Point Break flopped in the UK with $1,230,574. The overseas release cumed $102.5 million.
Gladden financed The Sicilian for $9 million and Fox would distribute the pic for Gladden, which handled the release of their first three pictures — The Manhattan Project, Wisdom and their only hit Mannequin. Gladden’s president David Begelman got into an editing and final cut battle with director Michael Cimino over the length of the picture, after Cimino delivered a 2hr 25 min cut, despite his contract stipulating the length could not exceed 2hrs. Cimino spitefully removed key sequences that were most important to the narrative and submitted the shorter cut, which was obviously rejected by Begelman. Cimino then took Begelman to court, suing over his final cut privilege, but it backfired when it was discovered the director lied about having final cut on his previous film Year Of The Dragon, to secure the privilege for The Sicilian. Cimino lost the arbitration and the film was taken away and re-edited. Fox had contractual limitations in marketing the movie, which was based on the Mario Puzo novel as a companion piece to The Godfather, as they could not mention the Godfather connection. The Sicilian opened with generally miserable reviews and was booked in limited release in 370 theaters where it pulled in a respectable $1,720,351 opening weekend — placing #7 for the weekend led by Fatal Attraction in frame six and new opener Prince Of Darkness. In its second frame, The Sicilian collapsed 54.2% to $787,472 and the movie died a quiet death at the box office with only $5,406,879.