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STXfilms/20th Century Fox/Codeblack Films

UPDATE, Saturday AM: Paramounts A Quiet Place in its third week prevails with $21.1M over a weekend filled with comedy both for women with STXfilms/Voltage/Wonderland Sound and Visions I Feel Pretty($18M) and stoners with Fox Searchlights surprise sequel Super Troopers 2 ($16M).

While I Feel Pretty is ahead of its $11M-$14M tracking, Super Troopers 2 is really ahead, besting its $5-7M projection. Said one happy Fox insider, “You can never tell with fan-based properties and how rabid they are” about the results of the Vermont cop comedy. However, despite winning Friday with an estimated $7.7M, analysts expect fans to release themselves from Super Troopers 2 in the same way that genre fans do on a Saturday with an anticipated decline of -30% today. The sequel cost a modest $5M (before P&A) which was largely raised through Indiegogo crowdfunding by the pics comedy group Broken Lizard (the second-best crowdfunding effort ever with $4.6M). Searchlight gets to release the title given how theyve owned the franchise, having bought the first movie at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival for a reported $3.25M, a similar amount to what Super Troopers cost. Released in February 2002, Super Troopers ultimately made $18.4M at the domestic B.O. and (wow) $60M in VHS/DVD/Blu-Ray rental revenue according to ComScore — and thats not even counting sales. The risk for a sequel: Was there even an audience 17 years later? The inclination was yes; read Broken Lizards member Steve Lemme shared with Rolling Stone that ten years ago he was let out of a speeding ticket because the police officer was a fan of Super Troopers. Searchlight let the gang proceed, and would give the sequel a wide release, but Broken Lizard had to come up with the money.

Its just a testament that if you want to wow with a comedy at the box office nowadays, you have to make them with a similar shoestring economics that Blumhouse makes its horror fare. Thats a hard feat for many studios to pull off given how comedies are built around stars whereas genre titles are driven by concept.

Below the top 10 films per industry estimates as of this morning:

1..) A Quiet Place (PAR), 3,808 theaters (+219) / $6.4M Fri /3-day: $21.1M (-36%) /Total: $131.4M/Wk 3

2..) I Feel Pretty (STX), 3,440 theaters / $6.4M Fri (includes $1M previews)/3-day: $18M /Wk 1

3..) Rampage(NL/WB), 4,115 theaters (+14) / $4.8M Fri (-%)/3-day: $17.6M (-51%) /Total: $63.2M/Wk 2

4..) Super Troopers 2 (FSL), 2,038 theaters / $7.7M Fri (includes $1M previews)/3-day: $16M /Wk 1

5..) Truth or Dare (UNI), 3,068 theaters (+39) / $2.44M Fri (-70%)/3-day: $7.7M (-59%)/Total: $30.1M/Wk 2

6..) Ready Player One (WB/VR), 3,208 theaters (-453) / $1.9M Fri /3-day: $7.5M (-35%)/Total: $126.1M/Wk 4

7..) Blockers (UNI), 3,134 theaters (-284) / $2.1M Fri /3-day: $7M (-35%)/Total: $48.2M/Wk 3

8..) Black Panther (DIS), 1,930 theaters (-250) / $1.15M Fri / 3-day: $4.6M (-20%)/Total: $681M/Wk 10

9..) Traffik (LG), 1,046 theaters / $1.43M Fri (includes previews) /3-day: $3.8M /Wk 1

10..) Isle of Dogs (FSL), 1,947 theaters (+8) / $894K Fri /3-day: $3.3M (-40%)/Total: $24.2M /Wk 5

Notables:

Sgt. Stubby… (FA) 1,300 theaters (-333) / $109K Fri (-60%) /3-day: $520K (-56%)/Total: $1.7M /Wk 2

RelishMix reports that even though I Feel Pretty is overpowering Super Troopers 2 in social media metrics with universes of 141.6M to 83.4M, the stoner comedy “has the potential to surprise traditional tracking if preview chatter erupts across the social web.” And that just happened. From the minute Broken Lizard began crowdfunding, the clock started in regards to promoting Super Troopers 2 with that video trailer earning 3.8M views on YouTube. The guys partnered with Funny or Die scribes on social content and churned out a long lead digital campaign. A “Save the Date” teaser was released Aug. 28 and generated 6.5M views in the first 24 hours. A Movember campaign “Mustache You a Question” on social, comprised of weekly talent Q&As with fans, yielded 3.5M views. Broken Lizard also tourned 14 big city markets including Burlington, VT with Q&A screenings, bar appearances and throwing out pitches at several MLB games. Broken Lizard also grand marshaled the Nascar Auto 400 Race in Fontana CA on 3/18 (which aired on Fox National). Co-branded national partnerships with Arbys, Hooters, Lyft, Totinos, Trimino, Turo and Zumiez. Of course, the biggest tie-in was that 4/20 stoner release date.

I Feel Pretty

I Feel Prettys results are alright, however, a $20M-plus opening would be one to shout about in this parched environment for star-driven comedies. Well see what happens tonight as analysts expect a 15% Saturday surge on the pic. Maybe it over-indexes. Critics werent kind to Amy Schumers latest (35% Rotten) nor Super Troopers 2 (33% Rotten), but audiences gave both pics a B+ CinemaScore, which isnt shabby. Financially speaking, fans are bailing out Super Troopers 2 which was made for a song. By comparison, I Feel Pretty carries a $32M budget financed via Voltage and Wonderland Sound and Vision with STXfilms shelling out an estimated $15M for U.S. and another estimated $30M for P&A. STXfilms claims that their exposure is roughly 50% of that $45M combined nut, but what the town wants to see here is a major win for the genre (much like STX did with the first Bad Moms at $23M-plus) in these streaming times and the opening right now is between Game Night ($17M)and Unis Blockers ($20.6M). Weve heard that some exhibitors felt that I Feel Pretty was a one-joke movie, while insiders have informed us that test screenings went quite well, evident in the CinemaScore. However given the huge launch that Schumer received with her first film Trainwreck ($30M opening, $110.2M domestic, $140.8M off a $35M budget)— which she actually wrote (she didnt write I Feel Pretty or last years Snatched) — theres something to be said about partnering with Judd Apatow to create the quintessential character-driven raunchy comedy. Great reviews, which Trainwreck received at 86% fresh, could have sent I Feel Pretty to another B.O. level. Currently, I Feel Pretty is coming in behind Trainwreck and last years Snatched ($19.5M opening, $45.8M domestic).

Lionsgate/Code Blacks thriller Traffik feels like an ancillary play by which a theatrical release triggers certain revenue streams, while zeroing in on the African American demo. Its a business plan not unlike to what Orion and BH Tilt are exercising. The movie starring Paula Patton and Omar Epps was picked up by Code Black last September and the comp here was their The Perfect Match which debuted to $4.3M and made close to $10M. There was primarily a digital push for Traffik via the studios social media channels with Codeblack Facebook fans counting 6M and Traffik trailer views across all platforms pulling in 30M. Honestly, unless this film was acquired for no MG or for $500K, one wonders what the upside is here, because the pic is only at 1,046 theaters in 9th place and the marketplace is going to get stepped on next weekend when Disney/Marvels Avengers: Infinity War arrives with a $220M-plus opening.

Saturday AM update written by Anthony DAlessandro

UPDATED writethru, 12:30 PM: The matinee numbers are now coming in for the three new titles opening this weekend, two comedies and one dark thriller with surprises all around. Amy Schumers I Feel Pretty, which grabbed $1M in previews last night looks to take in around $20M for the three-day and is competing right now with last weekends A Quiet Place for No. 1. The horror thriller also looks like $20M weekend after a $6M Friday.

I Feel Pretty is on its way to an estimated $7M gross today. The performance of I Feel Pretty is right in line with Schumers previous comedy outing Snatched which debuted to $19.5M last year.

Super Troopers 2 is just jamming right now, having nailed down $1.35M in previews and now looks to more than double its previous estimate for its three-day with $15M. Fox intiated double features in 900+ theaters for die hards who wanted to see the 2001 movie again. Good idea to remind people of what they loved about the film 17 years ago. It is on track for a $7M Friday as well.

Finally,Traffik looks like $1.6M today (including $225K from Thursday night shows) for a 3-day debut of $4.4M.

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And where is last weekends No. 1 movie Rampage? Based on matinees, the Dwayne Johnson popcorn movie may swing in with $5M and a three-day of around $16M. A week ago, it was in a battle with A Quiet Place and pulled ahead at the end due to a stronger than expected Sunday.

PREVIOUSLY, 7:44 AM: The preview numbers are in for the three new films debuting this weekend at the domestic box office: the Amy Schumer comedy I Feel Pretty, Super Troopers 2 and the human-trafficking thriller Traffik about.

I Feel Pretty

I Feel Pretty from STXfilms danced to a Thursday night preview take of $1 million after releasing into roughly 2,600 theaters at 7 PM. For comps, the Schumer-led comedy Snatched grabbed $650,000 in previews last year and went on to a three-day of $19.5M. I Feel Pretty, financed by Voltage Pictures and produced by it and Wonderland Sound and Vision, is still on track to open around $15M this weekend as it rolls out to 3,440 locations.

Grosses came in earlier this morning for the guy-driven comedy SuperTroopers 2, whichnabbed a big $1.35M in tickets last night as the sequel to the 2001 comedy cult film enjoyed double features in 925 of its 1,850 theaters. The film is off to a bang-up start; its comp is Blockers, which also grossed $1.5M in previews ahead of a $20M opening. Super Troopers 2 is now expected to do much better than the $6M that was estimated.

Broken Lizard

Previews started at 4:20 PM for the Broken Lizard fans as the crowdfunded film was written by (and stars) the comedy teams Jay Chandrasekhar (who helmed), Brian Cox, Kevin Heffernan,

Steve Leme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske.

The first film chased in $18.4M all in domestically after a February opening weekend of $6.2M. SuperTroopers 2 is a Fox Searchlight film distributed by Fox. It goes wide in 2,037 locations today. There are a whopping 43 producers on this film — about the same as the population of Fenwick, CT and close to the number of presidents of marketing currently at Fox — and the producing titles are of varying types: exec producers, co-exec producers, associate producers, co-associate producers, producers, co-producers and even co-associate producers. Hello, crowdfunders.

In 900 locations, Lionsgate and Codeblack Films Traffik previews started at 7 PM last night to bring in $225K; it will head into 1,046 locations today. Lionsgate expects the R-rated thriller to grab about $3M-$4M thru Sunday, or a per screen comparable to the launch of Lionsgate/Codeblacks The Perfect Match, which opened to $4.3M in March 2016. That would put the Traffik debut comps similarly to Deon Taylors Meet the Blacks, which picked up $200K in Thursday previews in April 2016 and went on to gross a three-day of $4M. Traffik was acquired by Codeblack last September.

As a rule of thumb, usually previews signal about 9% of a pictures three-day take. However, that errors when the movies are smaller and it varies from picture to picture. But at the studios, distribution experts usually look at the preview numbers as about 9% of what the picture will ultimately accomplish for the debut weekend.

How important are Thursday night previews? Well, it mattered last weekend in the race to No. 1 with the $2.4M New Line/Warner Bros. pulled in last Thursday night in previews which helped Rampage at least for a night against A Quiet Place.

Were hearing now that A Quiet Place could win the No. 1 spot this weekend. Through the week, A Quiet Place grabbed $8M thru Wednesday night and Rampage grossed $7.9M so it is very close.

In terms of social media, I Feel Pretty has a strong Social Media Universe of 141.6M, according to RelishMix. This Amy Schumer comedys SMU is composed of 11M Facebook fans, over 39M FB views, 7.1M Twitter followers, more than 52.5M YouTube views and 32M Instagram followers.

The real social star of I Feel Pretty is Emily Ratajkowski who many fans know mostly from Robin Thickes music video; she has 24.5M fans/followers. Schumer is also all in and very engaged in the promotion of the film. From social posts to re-posting of her many recent interviews from the film, Schumer is working it to raise awareness through her fan base of 14.1M. Finally, Busy Philipps is also promoting the movie well to her 1.2M followers/fans.

There are positive and negative sentiments in the conversation surrounding this film from glad that Schumer is taking on body type issues and at the same time saying that there is a tone deafness to the film in this current environment and there is a preachiness to it.

Super Troopers 2 has a good SMU of 83.4 heading into opening weekend. This R-rated comedys total Social Media Universe is a combination of 5.2M Facebook fans, 31M Facebook views, 6.1M Twitter followers, 38.5M YouTube views and 2.6M Instagram followers.

This sequel to the 2001 sleeper hit, most of its money was made in the home video market of its day, has a mixed score for key social measures. Starting with EOR (viral rate), Super Troopers 2 scores a 7:1, which is behind the usual rated R comedys 12:1 earned/owned ratio. Also, its SMU of 83.4M falls short of the genres average 123M, but Troopers 2 is earning 2.2K daily Facebook fans, which bests the typical 1.4K. And, leading into opening week, the movies daily average YouTube views are coming in at 78K, which far exceeds the standard 23K.

The films social star is Rob Lowe with 2.4M fans/followers.

Traffik has a light Social Media Universe heading into opening weekend of 28.5M. The drama/thriller has 7.5M Facebook fans, 250K FB views, 4.1M Twitter followers, 14.4M YouTube views and 2.3M Instagram followers.

This thriller starring Paula Patton and Omar Epps is moderate when looking at key social metrics, starting with the movies EOR. A standard film in the genre has a 24:1 ratio, but Traffik is scoring well below with a 4:1. Also, this films daily FB fans are about 200, but the standard is 1.8K. Finally, Traffiks daily average YT views are a little over 4K, not the typical 27K.

Omar Epps is the social star of this drama thriller with a social media universe of 3.5M fans/followers and he is a marketers dream, consistently posting Traffik materials and has even plastered the films poster across his official headers.

Roselyn Sanchez is also very socially active, posting from the press tour and even alerting her 3.1M fans/followers to pop star Joelle James song for the soundtrack. Even star Paula Patton (with an SMU of 1.2M) is getting into the act, sharing her press tour experience and new blonde look.

Kudos to the cast and the marketers for being able to pinpoint the films target audience who are engaged. The downside to that is that the commenters are saying theyve seen this movie when it was called Get Out, The Strangers and even The Purge series.

Others are really turned off by the violence, and feel like the complex issue of human trafficking is given a disservice with such a campy looking Hollywood thriller. Still, others are saying that they feel like the movies materials conjure up anti-white sentiment, as the bad guys in the film seem racist and violent – much like Get Out.

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