Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 earns 145 million achieving estimates; Nick launches animation lab; Sprout rebrands as Universal Kids joining Netflix animation library as network expands lineup

 

Star Lord and the Galaxy Guardians are here to save the galaxy once again! Gene Scallop here on this week’s box office report. It’s been 2 years since the guardians made their way in the MCU. Now they’re here again as they zoom towards box office estimates with 145 million smackers. This is the unofficial start of summer movie season as the sequel to the 2015 box hit gives last summer’s biggest flick Cap America: Civil War a well deserved boost. Let’s see if Star Lord can score another hit as summer movie season approaches.

 

Accounting for over 79% of the cumulative top ten gross, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 topped the domestic box office, showing a 54% increase compared to the 2014 original and giving Disney the top two openers of 2017 so far. Additionally, the film expanded its reach overseas, including openings in South Korea and China, the latter of which delivered the fourth largest opening in China to date for a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the film’s global cume has now topped $425 million in 13 days.

With an estimated $145 million opening weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 topped the weekend box office and improved on the original 2014 release by 53.78%. Considering the $94.3 million opening for the original Guardians of the Galaxy was something of a surprise it’s a spectacularly impressive result considering it’s the largest jump for a second film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, among all sequels in the MCU only the 88.5% increase for Captain America: Civil War over Winter Soldier is better.

The opening is just a bit below the $174 million opening for Furious 7, which went on to gross $353 million domestically. That said, the average multiplier for an MCU film is 2.73, which would put Guardians 2 right at $395 million domestically and given the 3.53 multiplier for the first film it feels safe to assume we should expect at least that much and more likely a result over $400 million.

Helping matters further is the “A” CinemaScore, which is right in line with pretty much all MCU features, and don’t be surprised to see that opening weekend total bump up a notch or two and perhaps finish right around $147 million. Audience demographics show the film playing to an audience that was 56% male vs. 44% female, and overall 22% of the audience as 25 years-old or younger and a whopping 72% of the audience were adults while only 9% were teenagers.

Internationally, Guardians 2 brought in an estimated $123.8 million this weekend as its international cume now stands at $282.6 million after 13 days. Added to the estimated opening domestically the film’s global cume totals $427.6 million, which helps push the worldwide cume for the Marvel Cinematic Universe over $11.3 billion.

Highlights internationally include an estimated $48 million opening for Guardians in China, which is 75% ahead of the first film and nearly half of the first film’s overall $96.4 million take in China. The film opened in Korea with an estimated $13.3 million and in Russia with an estimated $11.6 million. Next weekend the film will open in Japan (May 12), the film’s final international market.

Digging deeper into the numbers approximately 41% of Guardians 2‘s weekend gross came from 3D ticket sales, led by China where 99% of all moviegoers saw the film in 3D. Elsewhere, Germany saw 80% of its sales attributed to 3D, Brazil (76%), Russia (52%), Hong Kong (43%), The Netherlands (90%), Colombia (85%) and Austria (85%). Also, $25 million of the global ticket sales came from IMAX theaters as the film played on 1,088 IMAX screens in 69 markets making it the widest opening in IMAX’s history.

Universal’s The Fate of the Furious slides to second after three weeks at number one. This weekend it brought in an estimated $8.5 million, pushing its domestic cume over $205 million. Internationally the film crossed $950 million after bringing in an estimated $30.1 million this weekend from 66 territories. This pushes the global cume for the eight installment in the Fast and Furious franchise to $1.158 billion where it now stands as the 13th largest worldwide release of all-time and seventh largest international release.

Third belongs to Fox’s The Boss Baby, which has now grossed over $156 million domestically after bringing in an estimated $6.2 million in its sixth weekend in release. The film also brought in another $17 million internationally bringing its global cume to $435 million.

Lionsgate and Pantelion’s How to be a Latin Lover dropped 57% in its second weekend, delivering a fourth place finish with an estimated $5.25 million. The film’s cume now stands $20.6 million.

And rounding out the top five is Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with an estimated $4.9 million as its domestic cume now stands at $487.5 million. Additionally, the film brought in another $11.9 million internationally this weekend as its global cume combs to $1.186 billion, making it the eleventh highest grossing worldwide release of all-time.

Outside the top ten, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion may have dropped 69%, but with an estimated $3.2 million from 418 theaters it still had the best per theater average among all holdovers with $7,757 per theater. The film’s cume now stands at $16.1 million in North America.

Outside the top ten, The Orchard’s release of The Dinner, starring Richard Gere, Chloe Sevigny, Steve Coogan and Laura Linney brought in an estimated $755,348 from 505 theaters.

In limited release A24’s The Lovers delivered an estimated $75,370 from four theaters for a strong $17,603 per theater average. The film will roll out into additional top markets next weekend and continue to expand throughout May and into the Summer months.

Additionally, Neon’s Julian Assange documentary Risk brought in an estimated $75,179 from 34 theaters ($2,211 PTA); IFC’s Chuck brought in an estimated $40,416 from four theaters ($10,104 PTA); The Weinstein’s 3 Generations brought in $20,118 from six theaters ($3,353 PTA); Janus’s re-release of Andrei Tarkovsky‘s Stalker brought in an estimated $19,784 from one theater; Abramorama’s Mr. Chibbs opened with an estimated $3,640 from one location; and The Orchard’s Take Me delivered $3,258, also from one location.

Finally, this weekend also saw Universal and Blumhouse’s Get Out bring in an estimated $8.3 million internationally as it expanded its reach overseas into 47 markets. This brings the international cume to $30.5 million for a global total that now tops $204 million, all on a $4.5 million budget.

Next weekend’s wide releases include King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which WB is releasing in over 3,600 theaters, and Snatched starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, opening in ~3,300 locations. Additionally, BH Tilt will debut Lowriders while Roadside has a pair of releases in The Wall and The Wedding Plan.

To recap, Guardians 2 blasts through in 1st causing a domino effect as Fast 8 drops 2nd, Boss Baby in 3rd, Latin Lover in 4th, and Beauty and the Beast in 5th.

As new cartoons prepare to step in the spotlight next year, new animation technology is being developed as we speak. That’s why Nick’s creating an animated experiment for Nicktoons for the future. What’s the new enhancement for newbies in the toon world Danny?

Danny Angelfish (via Animation World)- Nickelodeon has announced the launch of its new Burbank-based Nickelodeon Entertainment Lab, which will spearhead long-range research and development efforts around new technologies for Nick and its audience.

“Our Entertainment Lab is a way to give our artists and creators access to innovative tools to inspire new ways to tell stories for the next generation of kids,” said Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon Group. “We are working with technology partners, gaming and visual effects companies and our own creators to bring our IP to new platforms, in new formats, and faster.”

The Nickelodeon Entertainment Lab will work to develop new entertainment experiences for kids by identifying and experimenting with new trends in technology and emerging platforms to create new creative capabilities and entertainment. Some of the areas Nickelodeon is currently working on include real-time rendering, virtual cinema, virtual reality, augmented and mixed reality and artificial intelligence. The Nickelodeon Entertainment Lab will focus on building prototypes to test new ideas, collaborating on innovation with creators, and shaping strategy around production capabilities to fuel future content opportunities.

The Lab will be headed by Chris Young, Senior Vice President, Nickelodeon Entertainment Lab. Young previously served as Executive Creative Director, Nickelodeon Animation Lab, where he focused on exploring and engineering alternative animation pipelines. Prior to that role, he held the title of Producer at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio in Burbank. Young reports to Matthew Evans, Executive Vice President, Digital & New Business and James Stephenson, Senior Vice President, Original Animation.

 

The folks at NBC Universal have something new coming for Sprout as a major refresh is in the works this summer. This change could affect its current lineup for all cable channels nationwide. Depending on every cable provider across the U.S., what changes await for Sprout Dan, will the network change its name or will it stay the same?

 

Dan Barry (via Animation World)- NBCUniversal has announced that its preschool network Sprout is being rebranded as Universal Kids and expanding its lineup to include programs for kids ages six to eleven after 6:00 p.m.

Universal Kids will go live on September 9, 2017 as a destination for kids and family programming, including DreamWorks Animation television series, unscripted entertainment, live-action scripted originals and proven international hits. The DreamWorks Animation collaboration kicks off with the launch of two Emmy Award-winning series: All Hail King Julien and DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk, based on the popular How to Train Your Dragon feature film franchise.

Sprout will live as a preschool destination on the Universal Kids channel and will continue to add original programming to its slate. July 2017 will mark the launch of Kody Kapow, which joins Floogals, Dot., Nina’s World, and Noddy Toyland Detective.

“We see enormous potential to grow our audience in this space and create the Universal Kids platform for families to experience together,” said NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Lifestyle Networks president Frances Berwick in making the announcement. “NBCUniversal is invested in the kids and family business, and the company believes in working together — we will benefit from promotion across our portfolio of networks and across the company through support that is unparalleled in the industry.”

Deirdre Brennan, General Manager, Universal Kids, made it clear that the expansion and rebranding are an evolution, not a replacement: “The launch of a channel that represents the world of NBCUniversal family brands with great TV content at its center makes tremendous sense for our business,” she said. “Just as children grow, Sprout is growing into Universal Kids — and we will reflect all that is universal about being a kid through connection, storytelling and entertainment.”

Universal Kids will be available in over 59 million homes. Sprout’s preschool content will live on as a daily programming block for preschoolers from 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. available for kids and families across air, online, On Demand and the Sprout Now and Sprout Playground mobile apps.

 

Everything’s growing in May after some torrential weather conditions in April. Unfortunately, we were drenched hard after suffering technical network problems in our studio. Thankfully, we’re back in business after taking a well-deserved vacation. So without further delay, here’s some DVD’s this month:

 

5/2/2017

 

On TV this week, Nick’s Saturday Night has new episodes of School of Rock and Game Shakers. On Cartoon Network, catch new episodes of Ben 10 and the newest Steven Universe as it concludes the Lion saga along with 4 new episodes. Don’t forget folks, Mom’s Day is next Sunday so give your Mom the best one she loves! Another reminder, don’t miss Gumball’s Mother’s Day marathon as Gumball, Darwin, and Anais give her mom the best Mother’s Day ever. This is Gene Scallop saying see you next edition on Gene Scallop’s box office report.

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