By David Poland email@example.com
Weekend Estimates by 4-Day Klady
Even being generous to Sex & The City 2, comparing the end of the first Monday last time to the end of today (by estimate… which doesn’t include a 5th day), the franchise is off 18% from the last time. Being less generous, 5 days vs 5 days, it’s off 25%.
Once again, Hollywood helps prove that women are smarter than Hollywood sometimes thinks.
So they are probably looking at $120m or so domestic… if they get that far. It could be a steeper drop this time, as the quality of the film seems less likely to draw girls-night-out crowds the second weekend this time… and it wasn’t like the multiple was sensational the first time out.
But again… as will so many pictures… the real money for this film – they hope – will be foreign. You want to know the real reason they women were on camels? The first film did 2/3rds of its theatrical business overseas. Of course, it may well be that the world enjoys looking at the hedonistic pursuit of New York ideals of money and power and not just the next wave of parachute pants. We’ll see.
Sadly, $250 million worldwide, for a TV show converted for the second time with no directorial skills whatsoever to the big screen, is still just barely a breakeven proposition… no cash cow here. The budget for the first film was wildly inflated, but with $415 million in theatrical, the Shaye/Lynne New Line and after-the-fact distributor Warner Bros cleared budget and P&A before they ran out of theatrical rentals. This time, with the budget even more hyper-inflated – because the success of this show has always been about spending money, not characters, right? (huh?) – and domestic down, they will be waiting on foreign with the passion usually held for waiting on Friday numbers here… and then, they will be reliant on post-theatrical sales, TV and DVD, to make money or just to get out without red ink.
What’s intriguing is that SJP & Co can make a third movie… for $40 million… which is about what it should cost, max, and make a boatload of money, unless this film actually kills the franchise. But even if it does damage it severely… for a $40m budget… It would be hard for them not to do enough business to make it work. So unlike most problem sequels, the ball is still in the franchise’s court… they just need to deal with reality if they want to continue. And the cost of Vaseline going up.
Prince of Persia (I’ll skip the extended name, so as not to pretend that there will be a sequel) isn’t so lucky. Conceived as another big, PG-13 Bruckheimer ride movie, Jake Gyllenhaal ain’t Johnny Depp or Harrison Ford, the videogame with a strong narrative got in the way a lot more than a ride without one could have, and the wow factor was limited by effects we have all seen, not only before, but repeatedly. Worse none of this could be disguised in a trailer. And there was no single go-to-effect that made it a must-go movie.
As a result, PoP couldn’t muster Robin Hood business, much less the opening for the first The Mummy. It even did a third less at opening than the decade old Tomb Raider, which did have Ms Jolie as a valuable special effect. Her pecs way outdid Jake’s.
Shrek Forever After did about what it was supposed to do in a second weekend. No new story here, really. Winning the weekend indicates nothing but the weakness of the two new entries and the solid base for the Shrek franchise.
And there is a real chance that Shrek The Last wins again next weekend with a mid-20s number, the biggest threats of the weekend not being the presumed bigger movies (Greek and Killers), but the strong niche plays, Marmaduke (though I haven’t felt that they have found the strong marketing hook… aside from Owen Wilson and dogs) and Splice, which is not likely to be leggy, but could rise up and shock with a $30 million opening (or better) a la Species ($17m opening in 1995), which is what the campaign looks like to me, shy a lanky, sexy blond.
Iron Man 2 should hit $300 million in the next 10 days or so. It gets the benefit of First Summer Weekend and we’ll see if either or both Toy Story 3 or Twilight 3 can deliver $300 million domestic.