By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekend Box Office by Klady – Big X-Mas
To start, Klady’s Avatar estimate is $1.3m off what the studio is touting and $2.8m lower than WB on Sherlock Holmes. Okay. We’ll see where it goes in the finals.
What’s really remarkable about the weekend’s record box office is that you have to go all the way down to #8 on the “biggest weekend ever” list to find a #2 film as big as Sherlock Holmes or a #1 as small as Avatar. On top of that, you have a $49.9m estimate on A&TC: The Squeakquel, which is another Christmas record breaker and the #7 December opening of all time. This was, unusually, a success of an array of titles, not one mega-number driving the weekend to a record.
Klady’s estimate has Avatar $1.5 million behind The Dark Knight‘s #1 Second Weekend gross off all time. And it’s just ahead of Shrek 2, which in its second weekend was the box office leader of the aforementioned #8 Best Weekend ever, followed by newcomer The Day After Tomorrow, which opened about $6 million bigger than Holmes. (Note again: December openings are different. By estimate, Sherlock’s launch is the #5 Dec open of all time and the #1 Christmas opening by a margin of almost 30 million bucks. No small success.)
The huge difference between this weekend and that Shrek 2/Day After Tomorrow weekend is that #3 movie. For that 2004 weekend, #3 was Troy’s 3rd weekend with a $12m take. Even this weekend’s #4 movie, It’s Complicated, doubled that.
The riches of this weekend are myriad. As noted above, this is the biggest 1-5 punch ever. Avatar, Sherlock, and Munks2 are now the #2, #5, and #7 openings in December history. The previous best, by the measure, was #1, #10, and #11 in 2007.
There is some down side…
2.5x the Friday start of Sherlock Holmes has to be a little disappointing, in light of a great number overall for the film. Does it mean anything in terms of word of mouth? Probably not. It was, I think, the intense must-see that made the opening day number bigger than proportional to the other 2 days, not a decreasing audience over a 3-day.
The “awards movies” were not sensational. $11.5m for Up In The Air on 1895 screens is okay, but no world beater. (it is, however, almost as much as the entire gross of The Hurt Locker.) Nine, on 1412 screens, is close to a wipeout with $5.4m. Invictus is looking like a $35m – $40m total domestic grosser. And Precious is now in the under-$1m a week category, looking like it will settle in at about $45m domestic. And in smaller openings, Crazy Heart did $13,170 per on 12, which is nothing special. Nor is A Single Man‘s $7130 per on 46.
Of course, Avatar is now looking like the awards movie to beat. It had the #26 domestic opening of all-time. It was the #26 Day Four grosser as well. Day Five, #23. Day Six, #22. Day Seven, #21. Day Eight, #16. Day Nine, #11. Day Ten, by estimate, #9. Who knows where it will be by this time next week?