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David Poland

By David Poland

Sunday Estimates/Analysis 11/27/05

Using BoxOfficeMojo, it is impossible to be sure, since their in-depth numbers only go a few years back, but it looks like this 5-day Thanksgiving may break the record set in 2000 when the second weekend of The Grinch combined with $80 million combined launch of Unbreakable and 102 Dalmations.
For clarity, the $162.1 million 3-day is second to the 2000 record-holding Grinch weekend. But the 5-day may be the best ever, given that Rent, Just Friends and others were a bit front-loaded at the box office.
If indeed this is the second straight record-breaking weekend at the box office, what angle will the boo birds use to keep the dream of a box office apocalypse going? Bet on a lot of chatter about ticket prices being higher than ever and a focus on approximated numbers of ticket sold (since there are no public reports on the actual numbers of tickets sold, expect for the MPAA

13 Responses to “Sunday Estimates/Analysis 11/27/05”

  1. Jeremy Smith says:

    I’ve seen JARHEAD twice, and that second viewing was downright interminable. There’s just no meat on the bone. Like Mendes’s past two films, it’s a simple tale feigning depth.
    CINDERELLA MAN is a very simple movie, too, but at least it’s honest about its ambitions, and, on a classical storytelling level, succeeds rousingly. It would’ve been a contender had it been released this month – and made things very difficult for Universal what with KING KONG and MUNICH crowding the inside track.

  2. jeffmcm says:

    You mean, Mendes’ only two films.
    I thought The Polar Express in Imax was not much more than a big amusement park ride.
    It strikes me that tickets sold is a much more important number than unadjusted grosses.

  3. David Poland says:

    Tickets sold are just one variable. More importantly, none of us have real statistics on this. Per screen average is inaccurate as it goes, since theater count is not a firm stat, and numbers of shows is also variable.
    It would be great to have stats like seats available, seats sold, city by city breakouts, etc. That is not available to us. And ticket sales are nothing but an estimate.
    The only stat that is remotely confirmable outside of the studio accounting offfice is the gross.
    Additionally, a legitimate analysis of the health of the industry would involve foreign and home entertainment, plus other ancillaries, every time.
    The idea that domestic theatrical is happening in a vacuum is false. Studio-financed films are all taking all markets into account when budgeting. So The Island is not close to being the disaster worldwide that we see it as here. But at the same time, we don’t know exactly what the deal between WB and DW is on the film, so we all tend ot be shooting in the dark a bit.

  4. EDouglas says:

    Actually, the estimated Top 10 for the 3-day weekend was about a million less than the Top 10 during the 3 day last Thanksgiving….
    SLUMP!!!!!!!!! :)
    It’s going to be a shame when January comes around and we won’t be able to incite David so easily. :)

  5. David Poland says:

    Next year I’ll be pissed off about the false “up” trend. Or alternately, the lack of any focus on choices that are made by the studios since they are not as easily thrown into the “it all sucks… better watch Tv on an IPod” pot.

  6. jeffmcm says:

    Can you explain that last sentence, DP? Too many clauses.

  7. David Poland says:

    The “slump,” which only became a story in the summer, even though the first quarter was waaaaay off, has become an easy target. When the target is more complex, it becomes uninteresting to those who are just trend hoppers.
    So, if next year we start to see certain kinds of erosion that are not as easily quantified, I suspect that there will be very little mainstream coverage. And that will piss me off too, as it has for years. The horrid irony of all this “moving to new technology” trend hopping is the alleged probelms with the business were caused by the shortened window… which no one bothers to think about as they suggest an even shorter window = salvation.

  8. jeffmcm says:

    Thanks, makes sense.

  9. Angelus21 says:

    We have to start giving Walk the Line it’s due as an award contender with the box office it is doing now.

  10. EDouglas says:

    Actually, I wouldn’t expect January to be much better, since this past January seemed like one of the strongest ones in years, and the line-up so far looks pathetic at best. At least I remember having more $20 million openers this past January than we did in October, and remembering what an oddity that was.

  11. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Angelus, I’ve had the firm belief that Walk The Line was the strongest contender for BP out of all of them. Munich and Brokeback Mountain and Memoirs of a Geisha and all the others all have big IFs hanging over them. And now that will reach $100mil and, hell, it could do A Beautiful Mind business and reach $160mil, it’s in its best position yet. It’s good to see a movie that was critically liked get the corrosponsive box-office.
    And, Douglas, I do remember how everyone was so shocked at how well 2005’s January went. Multiple $20mil openings. And for silly lame movies like Boogeymen that if it had opened now would probably get around $5mil and a quick exit to DVD.

  12. Hopscotch says:

    The most sold out movie I saw an my hometown cineplex was Pride and Prejudice, the early afternoon showings were selling out. I think that it’ll be the big sleeper hit this month.
    I’d say Walk the Line is definitely now a serious Awards Contender on all fronts. It’s a crowd pleaser for sure.

  13. Wendy Firman says:

    there are a a lot of weblog accessible on that theme but your greatest so far…that’s why I am commenting here

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“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima