Market Overview

Sony, Comcast And A24 Jockey For Position Behind Dominant Fox At Box Office

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While Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's (NASDAQ: FOXA) "Deadpool" and "Kung Fu Panda 3" continue to lead the box office, a number of studios are trying to gain some ground outside of the top slots.

Of the three new releases, Sony Corp (ADR)'s (NYSE: SNE) "Risen" is performing the best and is on track to meet and slightly exceed expectations with around $11.5 million. The religious-themed film starring Joseph Finnes was made for just $20 million and is targeting faith-based audiences. "Risen" is looking at a third place finish.

A24's "The Witch" should finish just below it in fourth place with around $8.5 million. The big story with "Witch" is that the film was supposed to be a DirecTV VOD only release but the decision was made last minute to give it a theatrical run. Acquired for $1 million at Sundance last year, the film has seen great critical reviews, but less positive ones from audiences. It is expected to begin its DirecTV run in 90 days.

"Race" meanwhile never got out of the starting block with a $7 million opening.

Still the film, released by Comcast Corporation's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) Focus Features, was acquired for just $5 million, so it won't take much to turn a small profit. "Race" got over-shadowed by the massive success of "Deadpool" which has been gleefully siphoning money away from its rivals.

Fox, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: LGF) and Open Road will add fuel to the fire this week as they help round out the February slate of releases.

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