January 9, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Salem
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Live by Cinemascore, die by Cinemascore.
THE DEVIL INSIDE:  The most hilarious studio event of the last 24 hours has been Paramount‘s frantic attempt to argue that an “F” Cinemascore for THE DEVIL INSIDE, making it one of the half-dozen worst exit-polled movies of the past several years, isn’t really that bad if you take out your abacus and do their version of the math.  The studio’s spin has blanketed Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, and no doubt other industry mouthpieces.  At SHOWBUZZDAILY, we don’t put much stock in Cinemascore to begin with, but the studios normally cling to every B+ and A- like guarantees of Oscar glory, so the ego involved in arguing that the lowest possible score is not-so-bad is much like a parent insisting their kid’s getting expelled from school is some kind of triumph.  Spin aside, Devil Inside had a remarkably strong, if predictably front-loaded, $34.5M weekend, with a 30% drop on Saturday and another 50% (which may end up being low) projected for Sunday.  Paramount would be best advised to shut up and count its money.  

TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY (Focus):  A very fine expansion with $5.8M in 809 theatres (the studio is currently projecting a very low Sunday drop, so that number could end up slightly lower), with the best per-screen average (other than Devil Inside) for any picture this weekend in more than 11 theatres.
WIDE HOLDOVERS:  The smallest drop in the Top 10 was for THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (Sony), with a mere 24% fall as it tries to hack its way to $100M.  Then MI4 (Paramount) and SHERLOCK HOLMES 2 (Warners) continued to hold well with declines in the 30-35% area.  Sherlock also won the weekend internationally, with $43M in 50 territories that Warners says puts the film almost 20% above its predecessor at the same point in its release overseas, while MI4 was in 3rd place overseas with $28M.  This was followed by the more family-oriented CHIPWRECKED (Fox) (which was in 2d place overseas with $30M), TINTIN (Paramount), WAR HORSE (Disney) and WE BOUGHT A ZOO (Fox), which all fell 36-42%.  Bringing up the rear of the top 10 was NEW YEAR’S EVE (Warners), with a 49% drop.  
LIMITED RELEASESTHE IRON LADY (Weinstein) managed to keep its per-theatre number at $34K by adding a theatre (that’s a 25% increase when you only start with 4).  CARNAGE (Sony Classics) went from 12 to 15 theatres and had a $7500 average.  PARIAH (Focus) increased from 4 to 11 theatres, with a $10K average.  A SEPARATION (Sony Classics) doubled its theatres to 6, with an excellent $16K average.  EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE (Warners) also had a $16K average in 6, which was a tiny 13% decrease from last week.  IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY (FilmDistrict) went from 2 theatres to 7, with only a $4500 average.  SHAME (Fox Searchlight), meanwhile, lost a few theatres, and had a $4500 average at 45.  MY WEEK WITH MARILYN (Weinstein) also lost some houses, and is at a dismal $1400 average in 584, while stable-mate THE ARTIST (Weinstein) had an OK $6500 average at 172 (the latter number includes a projected miniscule 7% decline on Sunday).  A DANGEROUS METHOD (Sony Classics) had a $4800 average at 64.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."