Split dominates Super Bowl weekend with 14 million; Bunsen With a Beast makes its premiere February 21st; Sony Pictures takes 1 billion write down on Ghostbusters 2016 and hacking attack


Split tackles some newbies at the box office. Gene Scallop here for this week’s edition of Gene Scallop’s box office report. Super Bowl week comes to a close as the big game approaches. For the 3rd weekend in the box office, Split’s 14 million smackers were enough to score a touchdown! Paramount’s Rings continues were The Ring left off, and A Space Between Us creates friendship between a girl and a male Martian. Will Split be able to slice through The Lego Batman Movie next weekend? Let’s see what happened last weekend:


Not many surprises this Super Bowl weekend as Universal’s Split finished #1 for a third straight weekend in a row while the new releases struggled out of the gates. Between the new releases, Paramount’s Rings did manage a second place finish despite largely negative reviews while STX’s The Space Between Us, floundered and finished well below expectations. Overall, the top twelve grossed an estimated $81.1 million, a bit below the $82 million the top twelve combined for over last Super Bowl weekend, though actuals could show a bump as studios could be playing it a bit conservative with Sunday estimates ahead of this evening’s big game.

With an estimated $14.6 million, M. Night Shyamalan‘s Split is the #1 movie for the third weekend in a row as the film’s domestic cume climbs to $98.7 million. This is the first time Shyamalan has had a film top the weekend box office three weeks in a row since 1999’s The Sixth Sense and will shortly be his fifth film to top $100 million at the domestic box office. Combined with an estimated $44 million internationally, the film’s worldwide total currently stands at $142.7 million.

Finishing in second is the first of the weekend’s new wide releases, Paramount’s Rings, the third film in the Ring franchise and the worst opener of the trilogy with an estimated $13 million from 2,931 theaters. In addition to its domestic opening, Rings brought in an estimated $15.2 million internationally from 35 markets for a $28.2 million worldwide debut.

It’s hard to say the film’s opening is a surprise as it had bounced around the release schedule after it was originally set to hit theaters in November of 2015 and upon release, reviews were embargoed until Friday morning. At that point the flood gates opened and the film scored a dismal 5% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 24 on Metacritic.

Looking ahead, opening day audiences gave Rings a “C-” CinemaScore. The audience was 46% male vs. 54% female of which 67% were under the age of 25. At this point it might be a struggle for this one to climb much higher than $27 million, similar to how last year’s Blair Witch could only manage a 2.16x multiplier after opening with $9.57 million.

Universal’s A Dog’s Purpose finished third, dropping 41% from its opening weekend with an estimated $10.8 million. This result comes on the heels of news that an investigation by the American Humane organization into alleged on set animal abuse found no injuries or cruelty took place. The report also states the 2015 video that was released online ahead of the film’s opening weekend was deliberately edited to mislead the public. The film’s domestic cume now stands at $32.9 million, but there is no telling what kind of effect the pre-release controversy may have had on the feature.

In fourth, Hidden Figures continues its impressive run, bringing in an estimated $10 million this weekend as its cume is now just shy of $120 million domestically. Attempting to find satisfying comparisons for the film has not been easy given its initial limited release. That said, we put together a group of films that had similar release patterns and Hidden Figures continues to hold its own.

Rounding out the top five, La La Land finished its march through awards season as it brought in an estimated $7.45 million domestically as its cume is now just shy of $120 million. It also brought in an estimated $20.1 million internationally as its worldwide total has reached $268 million.

A little further down the list, the Weinstein’s Oscar contender, Lion expanded into 1,405 theaters (+830) and finished in eighth with an estimated $4 million as its cume now stands at $24.7 million.

Finishing ninth is the weekend’s other new wide release, STX’s The Space Between Us, which finished well below the $8-10 million, pre-release industry expectations with an estimated $3.8 million. The film received a bit of a critical drubbing as it scored a 33 on Metacritic and an 18% on Rotten Tomatoes. Opening day audiences didn’t quite agree with reviews, giving the film an “A-” CinemaScore. Of that audience 69% were female moviegoers vs. 31% male, of which 33% of the audience was under the age of 18.

In moderate release, Sony Classics opened The Comedian in 848 theaters where it brought in an estimated $1.12 million.

In limited release, Magnolia debuted Raoul Peck‘s well-reviewed documentary I am Not Your Negro into 43 theaters with the Film Forum and Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York on target to break house records for opening weekend gross as they have sold out every show this weekend. Magnolia is currently estimating a $709,500 opening for a $16,500 per screen average. Yet, that isn’t the per screen champion this weekend as Jamal Joseph‘s Chapter & Verse brought in an estimated $32,713 from one theater, Harlem’s MIST Theater. Looking ahead, both films will be expanding over the coming weeks.

Also in limited release, Mr. Gaga: A True Story of Love and Dance brought in an estimated $24,685 from two theaters ($12,343 PTA); Good Deed’s Growing Up Smith brought in an estimated $18,947 ($3,789 PTA); and Janus’ release of The Lure into one theater brought in an estimated $6,500.

Next weekend has a lot for everyone as it sees the release of Fifty Shades Darker, The LEGO Batman Movie and John Wick: Chapter Two.

To recap, Split slices again 1st, Rings scares in 2nd, A Dog’s Purpose is under investigation in 3rd, Hidden Figures moves down in 4rh, and La La Land stays put in 5th.

Last week, we said hello to Nick Burbank studios as Nick’s current shows are inside as we speak. The first Nicktoon from the studio Bunsen is a Beast was given a sneak peek before its official debut. 3 times were definitely the charm for creator Butch Hartman thanks to Fairly Odd Parents, Danny Phantom, and TUFF Puppy. Will a 4th time prove to be the charm for Bunsen Danny?

Danny Angelfish (via Animation World)- A beast and a human form an unlikely friendship in Nickelodeon’s newest animated series Bunsen is a Beast, premiering Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 5:30p.m. (ET/PT). Created and executive produced by Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents), the 20-episode series follows the adventures of Bunsen, the first beast to attend a human grade school, and his best friend Mikey. The series will air at 5:30 p.m. (ET/PT) through Friday, Feb. 24, and continue with premieres in its regular timeslot of Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon. Bunsen is a Beast is produced by Nickelodeon in Burbank, which officially opened the doors to its newly expanded building — a more than 200,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art, sustainable complex on January 11.

Bunsen is a Beast tells the story of Bunsen and Mikey, two new friends who embark on endless fun and adventures in their town of Muckledunk. As the first beast ever to attend a middle school for human kids, Bunsen feels the pressure to succeed and prove to the world that monsters can live among humans…and they won’t eat everyone for lunch. With help from Mikey, Bunsen will learn how to accomplish human world tasks, like, doing homework, eating ice cream, and riding the bus. In turn, Mikey will learn to navigate the Beast World and meet all the weird and wonderful beasts that reside there.


In the series premiere, “Bearly Acceptable Behavior,” Amanda tries to get Bunsen kicked out of school when he brings a dangerous bear to class. Next during, “Beast Busters,” Bunsen and Mikey have to save Amanda from mischievous Sneeze Beasts that escape from Bunsen’s nose.

The Bunsen is a Beast voice cast includes: Jeremy Rowley (iCarly) as Bunsen, the first beast ever to attend a middle school for human kids; Ben Giroux (Henry Danger) as Mikey, a sweet and quirky kid and Bunsen’s best friend; Cristina Milizia (Monster High) as Darcy, Bunsen and Mikey’s homeschooled friend; Kari Wahlgren (The Fairly OddParents) as Amanda Killman, the rigid and rule bound beast hater; comedy legend Cheri Oteri (Saturday Night Live) as Miss Flap, Mikey and Bunsen’s eccentric teacher; Jeff Bennett (Jake and the Neverland Pirates) as Bunsen’s Dad; and Jennifer Hale (The Powerpuff Girls) as Bunsen’s Mom. Additionally, Wahlgren and Rowley also voice Mikey’s Mom and Dad.


If you thought Paramount and MGM had the worst time with the reboot of Ben-Hur, take a look at Sony Pictures. They suffered big time with Ghostbusters 2016 and most importantly, the 2014 hack attack. But of the good side, The Angry Birds Movie was spared from the write-down. With Sony’s movie schedule still intact, how many smackers did the studio lose altogether Dan?


Dan Barry (via Animation World)-Sony Corporation is taking a $1 billion write-down on its feature films business, according to a statement released by the company on Monday, with the Los Angeles Times writing that the move is “an extraordinary step for a major Hollywood player that highlights the deepening financial challenges facing the nearly century-old Culver City studio.”

According to a statement from Sony, “the impairment charge resulted from a downward revision in the future profitability projection for the Motion Pictures business within the Pictures segment.” The primary reason for the charge was “due to a lowering of previous expectations regarding the home entertainment business, mainly driven by an acceleration of market decline.”

The news sent Sony shares tumbling four percent Monday afternoon, according to a report by The Wrap and other sources, raising speculation about a possible sale of the studio. This newest development comes on the heels of the upcoming departure of Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton announced earlier in January.

Sony features accounted for eight percent of U.S. and Canadian ticket sales in 2016, ranking fifth among major Hollywood studios, according to the Box Office Mojo website. This year, Sony will be releasing Spider-Man: Homecoming, which it is co-producing with Marvel Studios, the animated Smurfs: The Lost Village and a live-action version of Jumanji starring Dwayne Johnson.

The full press release is shown below:

Tokyo, January 30, 2017 – As a result of revising the future profitability projection for the Pictures segment, Sony Corporation recorded an impairment charge against the goodwill of the Pictures segment of 112.1 billion yen in the third quarter ended December 31, 2016. This non-cash impairment charge is included within operating income (loss). A majority of the goodwill that was impaired was originally recorded at the time of the acquisition of Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc. in 1989.

The impact on the consolidated results forecast for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017 (April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017) of this impairment and other factors is currently being evaluated and will be disclosed at the earnings announcement for the third quarter ended December 31, 2016 scheduled to be held on February 2, 2017.

The impairment charge resulted from a downward revision in the future profitability projection for the Motion Pictures business within the Pictures segment. The downward revision was primarily due to a lowering of previous expectations regarding the home entertainment business, mainly driven by an acceleration of market decline. Underlying profitability projections of film performance were also reduced, but the adverse impact of that reduction is expected to be largely mitigated by measures that have been identified to improve the profitability of the Motion Pictures business.

Profit in the Pictures segment overall is expected to grow due to measures currently being undertaken to improve the profitability of the Motion Pictures business and further expansion of the Television Productions and Media Networks businesses. The Pictures segment continues to be an important business of Sony.

Impairment Testing Process

Goodwill impairment tests are conducted for each reporting unit through the following two-step process. In the first step, an estimated fair value of the reporting unit is calculated and a determination is made as to whether that fair value exceeds the amount of net assets (carrying value) of the reporting unit, including its goodwill. If the estimated fair value of the reporting unit does not exceed the carrying value, a second step is conducted to determine the amount of goodwill impairment, if any. In the second step, each asset and liability in the reporting unit is valued as if the reporting unit were being acquired at the estimated fair value, and the implied fair value of the goodwill is then recalculated. If the implied fair value of the goodwill is below the carrying value of the goodwill, an impairment loss is recognized for the excess.

Background and Reason for the Impairment

The Pictures segment has two reporting units for goodwill: Production & Distribution (which includes the Motion Pictures and the Television Productions businesses) and Media Networks. As a part of its regular process of reviewing the future profitability projections of all of its business segments, in the third quarter ended December 31, 2016, Sony adopted a new profitability projection for the Pictures segment for the three fiscal years ending March 31, 2018 through March 31, 2020 which took into consideration the actual past results of the segment, changes in the operating environment and other factors. When step one was conducted using this new profitability projection, the estimated fair value of the Production & Distribution reporting unit was determined to be below its carrying value. This was because the future profitability projection was revised downward primarily for the reasons mentioned above.


Consequently, step two was conducted. Each asset and liability was valued as if the reporting unit were being acquired at the estimated fair value. The assets of Production & Distribution include capitalized film costs (including the value of the film library), intangible assets (including trade names and licensing agreements), and tangible assets (including land and buildings). In the revaluation, the fair value of these assets, among others, was determined to be above their carrying value. As a result, no portion of the fair value of the reporting unit was allocable to goodwill, and the carrying value of goodwill was determined to be zero. Consequently, the entire amount of the goodwill in Production & Distribution, 112.1 billion yen, was impaired, and an operating loss was recorded in the Pictures segment in the third quarter ended December 31, 2016. The fair value of the assets and liabilities calculated in step two is only used for the purpose of the goodwill impairment test process and is not reflected on the balance sheet of Sony and is not recognized as profit from an accounting perspective.


We visit Elmore this week as 5 new episodes of Gumball continue the exploits of the Watterson’s. After that, new episodes of Teen Titans Go, Clarence, Mighty Magiswords, and Steven Universe find the rest of the crew in new and decent situations.


We enter the love boat as February feels the love with more of last year’s biggest hits. Here’s  some of your favorites you’ll enjoy this month:




We’ll keep you locked on with more toon celeb news this month before we leap ahead in March. I hope we’ll find love and romance next time on Gene Scallop’s box office report.

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