The Monday Wrap Session – “Ride Along” To The Bank, PGA, SAG Awards

BY TIM BARLEY AND MIKE REYES

The weekend was Universal-ly good, with a January record breaker and continued success!

Flicks to Pick Ride AlongThe Monday Morning Wrap Session comes to you this week on a Tuesday because of the three day MLK weekend. Ride Along unexpectedly crushed the competition this weekend, with a January opening for the books! Come to think of it, it’s the January opening at the TOP of the books now, setting a new record for a January opening. And to think, it did this WITHOUT being a sequel, an adaptation of a pre-existing property, and without any Large Format or 3D options of enjoyment. (Although depending on who you talk to, the enjoyability of the situation is a very subjective matter.) Let’s see where the rest of the competition landed:

Box Office Estimates 1/17 – 1/20 (courtesy of Box Office Mojo)

1. Ride Along: Actual:$48.1 mil. / Estimated Gross – Placing: $32 mil. – 1st

2. Lone Survivor: Actual:$26.4 mil. / Estimated Gross – Placing: $20 mil. – 2nd

3. The Nut Job Actual: $25.3 mil. / Estimated Gross – Placing: $12 mil. – 4th

4. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit: Actual: $17.2 mil. / Estimate: $16 mil. – 3rd

5. Frozen: $12 mil.

6. American Hustle: Actual: $10.6 mil. / Estimated Gross – Placing: $8 mil. – 5th

7. Devil’s Due: $8.5 mil.

8. August: Osage County: $7.6 mil.

9. The Wolf of Wall Street: $7.5 mil.

10. Saving Mr. Banks: $4.1 mil.

– C&M –

First of all, let’s just agree that our president and creator is getting so much better at prognostication… So we already talked about Ride Along being a huge hit for Universal, but studio-so-big-they-named-a-city-after-it’s fortunes seem to be smiling all the way to the bank this year, as Lone Survivor managed to hang onto the 2nd spot above any other newcomers. The Nut Job surely surprised us as it stole the 3rd place showing from Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, against our optimistic predictions. The reboot of the classic Paramount franchise doesn’t look like a huge slam dunk, but it looks like it could be a scrapper if the positive word filters through to the masses. This one could manage to hang in there with consistent top 10 showings, as well as a strong international box office presence. Rounding off the top 5 is the ever popular, ever fluctuating Frozen, which has been a big enough hit for Disney to already move forward with a Broadway adaptation.

What all the awards shows mean

PGA SAG AWARDS cocktails and moviesThe Oscar nominations hit this week, and yet the big contenders couldn’t manage any sort of bump in their numbers. As a matter of fact, American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street managed to fall more than they climbed this weekend. Not even “close enough to be mistaken for Best Picture nominees” like August: Osage County or Saving Mr. Banks could bring themselves up in the charts, though the latter has had a longer run than the former. Perhaps most audiences have already seen them, or perhaps awards bumps are bunk. Speaking of bunk, it looks like 20th Century Fox waited a bit too long to jump onto the found footage bandwagon as Devil’s Due didn’t raise all that much Hell with a 7th place opening. Though Paramount found themselves bit on the bottom themselves when it came to the release of Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, which brings into question two things: is Found Footage still a viable marketshare, or is it just resting up?

Over the weekend, the actors and producers congratulated themselves by hosting the annual SAG and Producer’s Guild Awards on Saturday and Sunday. Further complicating the Oscar picture, the PGA gave their best picture award to BOTH 12 Years A Slave AND Gravity. Both are good movies, but with so many opinions out there about what was the best picture, it’s not outside the statistical realm of possibility that there could be a tie for best picture on Oscar night. Of course it won’t happen, but how awkward would it be! At the SAG’s, Cate Blanchett continues her success from Blue Jasmine, while both Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey continue to collect their just desserts in Dallas Buyers Club.

January’s box office is jumping higher than usual, showing that “dump months” might be turning into “franchise audition” months, and audience tastes may be on the verge of changing again. Whatever the cause, you can be sure that it’s going to be an interesting month, and you’re going to want to keep your browser locked into Cocktails & Movies. Who else offers a warm cocktail glass of analysis with a sidecar of reviews and opinions? No one, that’s who!

So stick around, and be sure to tip your waitress, as no one should have to watch a bad movie without a good cocktail!