By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekend Estimates by Klady – 11/29/09
Twilight: New Moon is at about double the 2 weekend gross of the first film. And here is where it starts getting interesting, box-office-wise. On either side of its massive opening, Pirates added 60% of its two weekend domestic gross, which would put T:NM at about $370m in the end. Spidey 3 did about 40% more than its two weekend domestic gross, which would put T:NM at about $325m domestic. The percentage of opening weekend vs final domestic gross amongst the Top 10 openers of all time ranges from 25% to 45% (that’s Spidey 3), so who knows?
After a 15 year movie star career with just 3 $100 million domestic grossers, Sandra Bullock now has 2 in one year. Both will outgross her previous high, her first $100m grossser, Speed and its $122m gross. Both have already outgrossed any female-led film this year except for T:NM. Yes, Virginia, Sandra Bullock is the biggest female star in the world… again. Magic Meryl is a solid #2, with Julie & Julia grossing about $93m domestic and It’s Complicated likely to gross more than $60 million domestic as well… and don’t forget Mamma Mia!‘s amazing $610m worldwide gross just last year.
Some will quibble about what a Drama is… but The Blind Side is, to my eye, the first $100 million drama of the year and seems sure to outgross – domestically – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, last year’s only $100m grossing drama.
2012 has done okay in the US, but as is often the case with Roland Emmerich, the story is overseas, where it has already grosssed over $450 million and looks like it will end up over $550m, which would make its international gross alone more than the worldwide total for The Day after Tomorrow. Emmerich’s career-best gross, ID4, is safe, but 2012 will be #2. (Insert Joke Here.)
The return to the Wild Hogs well, Old Dogs, opened to about 40% of the progenitor… or about what people thought Hogs would open to when it showed up. The bottom line for me remains that when you have two movie stars and your key marketing element is Seth Green singing to a monkey, you are in trouble.
A Christmas Carol is running about 30% ahead of where The Polar Express was at this point in its run. If that continues, you’re looking at a $200 million domestic gross. I would guess it will come up short of that, especially with Avatar coming to eat every IMAX screen that IMAX can find for it. But if it ends up in the year’s Top 10, will it still be the crushing commercial disappointment that it was portrayed as a few weeks ago?
Ninja Assassin reminds us that when a movie is treated like it deserves to be dumped by a studio, audience will smell that.
Unless it finds a way to turn the history of such things, Precious hit its box office wall this weekend. Once a film start losing box office in an under-1000 screen release, it rarely recovers in terms of weekend grosses, no matter how many screens are added.
It seems pretty clear that the template that Lionsgate was working with on the film was a combination of No Country For Old Men and a slightly accelerated Brokeback Mountain a month earlier on the release schedule. Brokeback maxed in its last positive % change in Weekend 7 with $7.4m and a $41.7m total domestic gross. The total was about double that.
No Country had a more exciting run, from Lionsgate perspective. Like Precious, the film started negative % changes in its second weekend over 200 screens. But it went on to do about 3.3x the gross it had hit that weekend. The next weekend, it dropped to a $4.1m weekend and would see only one weekend over $3 million after that… after winning Best Picture. But the film played for 14 more weeks of over $1m at the box office.
So $65 or $100 million domestic… it could go either way… or, of course, somewhere else altogether.