As if there were no bigger problems in the world during a pandemic … but, yes, Warner Bros. and Sony are protecting their box office hourly figures from rival Comscore studios in their respective releases. Principle is The Broken hearts gallery.
We’ve known this for a while, but now it’s getting a bigger deal as the blackout was only supposed to last a week for Warner Bros, and is now extended into a second weekend, with Sony joining.
Comscore is the transversal data between exhibitors and distributors. As cinemas make money every hour with titles, distributors and exhibitors can observe how a movie is doing at the box office and project what it will pay off for the day or the weekend. Rival studios draw from this data, create their own in-house weekend industry box office rankings twice a day (or more) on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and throughout the week, and share this with their best brass and directors.
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This Warner Bros.-Sony box office cover-up also prevents us press, from providing you, the city, with box office data on Fridays and Saturdays and throughout the week. We only get numbers on Sunday when Warners sends them to us and it’s just a number. And so, as the press finds out what the box office is on Sunday morning, so are rival studios. Rival studios are no longer uncovering the figures in real time.
We, the press and rival studios, are still unaware of the daily breakdown Principle. Sources, who withdrew information from the show, believe Nolan’s $ 20.2 million internal 11-day breakdown of the film was as follows = $ 2.5 million for the first weekend in Canada, $ 11.2 million for the 3 days, about $ 12 million for the 4 day and the rest in previews. We will come back to all of this in a moment.
Why are rival studios infected with this?
Essentially, not having access to box office hours prevents distribution executives from doing their job and providing their directors and executives with the health or lack thereof in the market. If they can’t dig into and see how Chicago, Detroit, or Tupelo theaters are doing, how can they decide whether it’s good or bad to release a movie right now? I mean, we all know that right now it’s not good at the box office. But some movies can be played in the red states, which are more open to going to the movies right now, for example Solstice Studios’ Unhinged, that’s up to $ 12.1 million as of Thursday. With Warner making these last minute theatrical date changes, that is, pushing Wonder Woman 1984 from October 2 to Christmas Day, another distributor could step in, schedule films and supply products to exhibitors so they can survive. Having access to drill-down theater schedules helps immensely; it really helps the industry in general. Apparently, the big circuits can see how Principle is Broken Hearts Gallery they are doing in Comscore, but small theaters that have access to the service cannot (such information tends to be of a premium level). One-way studies are monitoring the health status of Principle it is through their access to advance ticket sales systems.
If there is no transparency in box office data between rivals in the future, expect them to amplify each other in the near future.
Why are Warner Bros. (and Sony) doing this?
In essence, Warners on Principle, knowing the box office wasn’t going to be robust due to the pandemic, he wanted to check out his own press narrative about how Christopher Nolan’s film was doing. Too often, and incorrectly, the Wall Street media hops, reporting that the theater is dying, that the show is over, and that streaming is king.
Warners is trying to protect the exhibit and beat the drum on their message PrincipleThe box office show would not be normal, but it will be determined in the long run, especially with coastal cities like San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles closed, which is where Nolan’s films are shown. They didn’t want the press to jump out and bring back a box office figure about the film that leaked from a rival studio. The rivals, out of respect for Warner Bros. because they were the first studio vying to resurrect theaters, asked the press to deal with each studio only on their own box office figures. At the end of the day, the variance between what a study reports and a rival reports over the weekend is within one decimal point; there really isn’t a big gap between the estimates.
Comscore cannot speak to the press about this topic. But some rivals are considering exiting the box office sharing system if Warner Bros., and now Sony, continue with their game. Now, I don’t think it will come to this; sources say this box office protection is temporary for another month or two, perhaps until New York and Los Angeles open.
Now, Warner Bros., go into my office, sit down for a minute and close the door. Sony, you can listen too. Nobody in town, and I mean nobody, wants Principle to fail. Nobody.
However, the box office numbers speak for themselves, and pushing an “Emperor’s New Clothes” on the box office figures, that this is the new world order, is not good for anyone. Everyone knows that $ 20.2 million in 11 days is not very good and indicates that we are still in the stage of rebuilding as far as viewers go during the pandemic. Only 70% of all theaters are open, with auditorium capacity reduced by around 25%.
It is entirely possible tomorrow morning that Warner Bros. could provide us with a running national total instead of a breakdown for the second weekend. Principle. Because if Principle will make $ 7M- $ 8M this weekend, which would represent a 63% second weekend drop on film if you compare it incorrectly to the 11-day total of $ 20.2 million. So, what now, Warners? Better tell us Principle it earned 11.2 million dollars in the 3 days of last weekend and holds well in weekend 2 with a holding of -33%, that is if it reaches 7.5 million dollars.
It’s okay to say you’re here to revive cinemas and this movie will do what it can. However, there’s a lot of question and concern given the social media era we’re in (which, duh, didn’t exist in the 1970s, affecting versions of the tentpole platform) if Principle is present for the marathon. Until the entire infrastructure of the show is back online, we can expect big returns on any film.
The big challenge for Warner Bros. right now with Principle: How does one rise from a Cinemascore B and PostTrak releases so-so? Keep in mind that those interviewed by CinemaScore are the most committed and loyal viewers; those who were willing to go out first during a pandemic. I’m not a mix of people. (And, by the way, I understand that CinemaScore doesn’t poll in LA and NY typically, rather suburban, so nothing was drastically out of place last weekend. Polls in New York and LA would have ruined CinemaScore’s box office formula. which is linked to the outputs).
Principle on PostTrak it was 79% positive overall, with a definitive recommendation of 49%. Dunkirk had a definitive recommendation of 63%. Warners, you previewed Principle for three days before opening. Word of mouth is out there and reviews haven’t been the strongest of Nolan, 74% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a film with a non-star cast, a long duration and a complex storyline that is screened in big cities, not in Middle America. In addition to opening the film over the Labor Day weekend, viewers’ weariness of returning, Principle it may not have been the ideal film initially that audiences will go out of their way to see as society reopens from the pandemic. Let’s not forget one of the golden rules of the box office: the market is driven by the product. Some believe that once the cities of Nolan San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles reopen, this Principle could see a rebirth in its gross. Warner will certainly spend the P&A in those markets when the time comes, and the compensation Wonder Woman 1984 of October helps Principle.
Now putting PrincipleBox office figures in appropriate context, which is something Warner Bros. wants the press to do, PrincipleThe opening weekend figures (which I gave you above) are very much in line with those resulting from a digital campaign. There was some spending on TV Principle during NBA games (not so much via cable), but largely, the opening weekend of the photo had a digital / online campaign. ISpot’s TV ad spend estimates support this. Prior to this weekend, Warners spent $ 8.5 million on TV commercials Principle, compared to Disney’s total spending of $ 35 million Mulan ($ 14 million of that from its latest PVOD push). Ann Sarnoff, head of WarnerMedia Studios & Networks, told us the P&A spends Principle would not be uploaded in advance, but rather spread, as the photo will be the main feature in theaters for the next 11 weeks (actually, up to Disney / Marvel Black Widow arrives November 6). So maybe, as the studio spends more on TV, we’ll see an incremental difference in PrincipleAt the box office.
Warner Bros., it’s great what you are doing here releasing Principle to bring back the exhibition. But it’s okay if the movie doesn’t do well in the long run. Principle he will probably lose money – just face it. Really. Seriously. Face it. You’ll bounce back along the way with another movie. And it doesn’t mean that the exhibit is dead or that the theater window model has taken the dinosaur route. What you are doing here releasing Principle, slow as the turnstiles are, it’s so noble, it’s a loss worth taking. The exhibit won’t forget this and they love what you’re doing. Remember, what cinemas hate most is when a studio streams a movie or PVOD; this is the biggest stab in the back.
At a terrible time when everyone is demanding truth and accountability, even from those at the top of government (and you know who I’m talking about), it’s not good for the industry, Warner Bros., to hide the box office figures.
Lift your chin and share these figures.
You too, Sony.