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by Peter Knegt
March 21, 2013 3:37 PM
10 Comments
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'Spring Breakers' Expands To 1,104 Screens This Weekend: How High Can It Go?

"Spring Breakers"
Harmony Korine's "Spring Breakers" had a massive limited debut last weekend, taking in $263,002 from just three screens and managing one of the 25 best per-theater-averages ($87,667) ever. Starring Disney Channel alums Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens (not to mention James Franco) in a not-so-Disney tale of a group of college-aged girls who decide to rob a fast food restaurant to pay for their spring break getaway, the film was on par, money-wise, with the likes of "Lincoln" and "The King's Speech" when it came to its first weekend out. But what happens now?

Upstart distributor A24 -- who have found the perfect storm of timing, marketing and public interest with this film so far -- are going for it in weekend #2: Expanding the film from 3 to 1,104 theaters as most of the country is on actual spring break.  The move makes sense, but will it pay off? We'll find out Sunday. But it seems unlikely given the buzz that it will fall prey to a "Master"-esque second weekend slump.

That Paul Thomas Anderson film (like "Breakers," produced by Megan Ellison)  holds the all time per-theater-average record for a live-action film with $147,262 last September. Then it went from 5 to 788 screens in its second weekend and saw its average slump to $5,572. I'd imagine "Breakers" -- on 300 more screens -- could pull off an average around $9,000-$10,000 at least given the appeal of its Disney-stars-gone-wild. That would give it $10 million or so for the weekend. Incredible for a film that reportedly cost just $2 million and was marketed largely on social media alone.

What do you think? Are we overestimated or perhaps underestimating? Clearly, A24 should be pleased with anything over $5 million this weekend. But the sky just seems a bit like the limit with this film, so we're very curious to see how things play out.

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10 Comments

  • Corvo | March 22, 2013 9:40 AMReply

    This film will be a hit and James Franco will win the Oscar for best supporting actor.

  • bob hawk | March 22, 2013 3:57 AMReply

    Potentially, I think SPRING BREAKERS has the makings of a mass appeal hit -- especially with a vast younger audience and especially at this time of year (Spring, not just Spring Break) --but I think it will also crossover to a satisfying degree with over-30's who will be be able to enjoy a colorfully trashy, sexy romp with some indie cred. I believe Harmony IS crossing over with this one. THE MASTER was the most austerely dark and somber 70mm film ever made, and would have probably made out a lot better, overall, if its release had been platformed VERY slowly, as a prestigious art film. Anyway, congrats and good wishes to A24 for having the balls.

  • Alex | March 22, 2013 12:50 AMReply

    This is clearly going to go the way of other indies that have crossed over to major mainstream success among multiple demographics; I even saw a poster for it on the door to an Urban Outfitters. All of the pretentious film snobs will see it, it will remain wildly successful in major cities, and very soon it will go wide and teens through middle-aged adults will see out due to the hype and overall ridiculous nature of the film. Spring break forever, bitches.

  • Corey | March 21, 2013 11:12 PMReply

    While the Master had a massive slump - it makes sense. The film was an art flick with big issues. This is Disney Girls Gone Bad. The audience will eat it up. And it shows the difference since a small company couldn't handle the bump in the age of 35mm. The lab and NFS wouldn't have hustled that hard on a last minute audible.

  • No | March 21, 2013 8:35 PMReply

    I would suspect that this film will do very well with a certain market: teens & college kids. It has all the ingredients: babes, guns, rock & hip-hop, and James Franco. But we will see come Monday.

  • Levi | March 21, 2013 4:28 PMReply

    I hope it does extremely well and makes at least what you're projecting! I think however, that it will make around 6 million over the weekend. I hope I'm wrong, I just don't know if the wide appeal is here for this. I am a big Harmony fan so hope I'm wrong.

  • butterfingers | March 21, 2013 3:57 PMReply

    It's going to be giant. Korine's career just took way, way off.

  • butterfingers | March 21, 2013 3:58 PM

    They have the box office gold scenario on their hands where kids will go see it repeatedly, in groups.

  • Jack Dawson | March 21, 2013 3:54 PMReply

    Hopefully it pays off as they'll likely spend close to $750k-$850k in Virtual Print Fees alone to open on that many screens. This release will cost A24 far more than the reported production budget of the film. Ambitious for a company of that size...

  • Rose DeWitt Bukater | March 21, 2013 6:12 PM

    Whoa, Jack! They will spend a lot in VPFs - but probably closer to $100,000.

    VPF agreements are different for each company. A24 is NOT paying what Disney is paying for VPFs. Some VPFs are part of the house nut, although most are not. They can range anywhere from $200 - $850 per week. And we don't know that all are DCP. Some theaters play Blu Ray.

    But even if they were paying $850 for each screen (they're not) $850 x 1104 = $938,400

    Still a lot though.

    I'll never let go, Jack. I promise.