By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekend Estimates by Buzz Klady 2
A very Sandler opening. I was wrong about the weekend multiple based on the Friday open. And if you look at Sandler’s history, this estimate is a pretty good fit. In his comedies, he’s consistently a little below 3x Friday. The Sunday drop-off on Zohan was deep, so we’ll see tomorrow whether this estimate of Friday as 35% of the weekend is a little generous about Sunday.
It also reminds us of just how amazingly consistent Sandler is, with a lot of friends in support or not. $34m – $47m seems like a wide range, but when you are the clear front man in your oeuvre 10 times in 12 years and you stay inside that range so consistently, it’s pretty remarkable. Yes, he has paid for reaching into drama and even into family fare. And he still only has three $100 million grossers overseas… and just barely at that. But you can pretty much rely on a $120m gross from his films when he doesn’t stray.
My sense on Knight & Day is that Cruise realized he had some make-up to do and focused and went out to kick some publicity butt. To see him on Leno and Kimmel on back-to-back nights was a surprise. To see him in SportsCenter promos was… well… shocking. The problem for Fox is that the wave of publicity really broke too late. They needed to do the Tom rehab in May for the June release.
That said, the burial of the movie and Mr. Cruise is overstated. This is one of two openings with Cruise up front since Mission:Impossible 3. And as hard as they pressed Valkyrie, if you look at the 5-day vs the 3-day as a complicated distinction (which I do), you could argue that Knight is further along than Valkyrie at the end of its opening weekend. And now… word of mouth will become the issue.
Without comparing the quality of Knight to Jerry Maguire, it is instructive to note that it is the only other romantic comedy with action or rom-com af any stripe in Cruise’s career. This was a surprise to me when I noticed it. And Maguire opened to $17m and followed openings of $37m and $45m for Interview With The Vampire and Mission: Impossible. I don’t think Knight will do anything close to the 9x multiple that Maguire did. And it’s worth noting that Maguire is one of his weakest showing internationally. But let’s all take a breath and let history happen before deciding it’s outcome. I know this is not what people are doing these days, but…
Toy Story 3‘s estimated 47% drop is actually quite good when considered amongst the ranks of movies that open to over $100 million (we’re up to 16). It’s right in line with the Alice in Wonderland and the Thanksgiving-supported Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire holds, not as good as the Memorial Day Weekend enhance Shrek 2 drop, but better than every other $100m+ opener except the original Spider-Man. After 10 days, it’s behind Shrek 2‘s number by only $10 million an di sjust behind where Finding Nemo was after 4 weekends. So… things are good.
How to Train Your Dragon passes Kung Fu Panda tomorrow to become DreamWorks Animation’s biggest non-Shrek movie ever. And TS3 will probably pass Shrek Forever After on the all-time animation list (if not tomorrow, Tuesday).
Showtime has to feel pretty good about having Oliver Stone’s documentary series coming, probably late this fall, after such a solid opening for his doc, South of the Border, which slightly out-per-screened Restrepo in spite of being on a subject that has a very small natural following. Both films are very much worth the time and money.
Please Give is doing pretty well, but it looks, in the end, to be heading to a similar gross to Nicole Holofcener’s Lovely & Amazing. In the end, the indie world is being reminded that Jennifer Aniston (in the $13.4 million grossing Friends With Money) in a french maid’s outfit and threatening to have sex on camera is worth about $7 million at the box office. I don’t know if this is a good lesson or not. But a lesson it is.