By David Poland email@example.com
Weekend Estimates by Aldus Klady
Working on the analysis… but curious whether this chart works better or worse for readers. I am pretty sure it’s a lighter load for the computer… but do you need the grid to keep it all clear?
|Weekend (estimates) July 15 – 17, 2011|
|Title||Distributor||Gross (avg)||% chng||Thtrs||Cume|
|Harry Potter & the Deadly Hallows, Part 2||WB||168.6 (38,540)||NEW||4375||168.6|
|Transformers: Dark of the Moon||Par||21.1 (5,390)||-55%||3917||302.7|
|Horrible Bosses||WB||17.2 (5,490)||-39%||3134||59.6|
|The Zookeeper||Sony||12.3 (3,540)||-39%||3482||42.4|
|Cars 2||BV||8.3 (2,560)||-45%||3249||165.3|
|Winnie the Pooh||BVI||7.8 (3,250)||NEW||2405||7.8|
|Bad Teacher||Sony||5.1 (1,920)||-43%||2659||88.4|
|Larry Crowne||Uni/Alliance||2.5 (1,110)||-57%||2287||31.6|
|Super 8||Par||1.9 (1,290)||-61%||1459||122.2|
|Midnight in Paris||Sony Classics||1.8 (2,560)||-31%||706||41.7|
|Mr. Popper’s Penguins||Fox||1.3 (1.320)||-58%||1002||61.4|
|Green Lantern||WB||1.3 (1,310)||-60%||973||112.7|
|Monte Carlo||Fox||1.2 (1,050)||-68%||1169||20|
|Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara||Eros||.82 (8,910)||NEW||92||0.82|
|X-Men: First Class||Fox||.61 (1,300)||-59%||470||143.3|
|The Tree of Life||FxSrchlt/eOne||.60 (2,560)||-24%||235||10.1|
|The Hangover Part II||WB||.52 (1,150)||-56%||455||251.9|
|Pirates of the CaribbeaN 4: OST||BV||.47 (1,270)||-55%||373||237.3|
|Kung Fu Panda 2||Par||.44 (1,240)||-49%||354||160.1|
|A Better Life||Summit||.32 (1,490)||-2%||216||1|
|Le Sense de l’humour||Alliance||.29 (3,140)||-30%||93||1.4|
|Beats, Rhynes & Life||Sony Classics||.14 (6,350)||25%||22||0.29|
|Snow Flower and the Secret Fan||Searchlight||.13 (5,520)||24||0.13|
|Deiva Thirumagan||UTV||.10 (4,750)||22||0.1|
|Project: Nim||Roadside||42,200 (1.920)||63%||22||0.08|
|Life Above All||Sony Classics||13,600 (2,720)||5||0.01|
|Salvation Blvd.||IFC||7,400 (1,480)||5||0.01|
|Lucky||Phase 4||4,800 (1,200)||4||0.01|
The only time, amongst the big openers, that I can find that mirrors the Potter 7a weekend is for the film with the second biggest Friday on record, Twilight: New Moon… but even that isn’t close to this. New Moon opened to $72.7m on Friday and had a $142.8m weekend, putting it just short of doubling opening day over the full weekend. Every other case of a movie with an opening Friday over $40m (P7a is the 12th), has the opening day at least doubled by the 3-day weekend for the film. Even Pirates 3, which opened with late Thursday screenings, did 3x the combination of those screenings AND the full Friday.
Be clear… there is nothing bad about a $169 million domestic opening weekend. But on 3D bump numbers alone, it isn’t an audience increase over The Dark Knight. And since there is only a 3 summer space between the two films, I think in this case, we are closer to oranges and 3D oranges. Potter is the biggest opening of all-time, but as I wrote yesterday, the meaning of openings is an ongoing focus of interest.
What are we seeing this summer? Already, we have more $80m-plus openings (4) than any summer in movie history, including the 2007 summer of the three mega-triquels. And we’re still waiting on Smurfs and Change Up! But seriously folks, we are still waiting on Cowboys & Aliens and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. But even if neither has an $80m+ mega-opening, we have still had a mighty summer of openings.
But we are also seeing some nice, longer legs on the mid-range hits. Bridesmaids is the outstanding one. The other R-rated comedies are playing out really nicely, though Hang2 was more frontloaded. There’s not a single major studio release with less than $20m in the coffers domestically and with the exception of Priest (which did $50m overseas) and Monte Carlo (which was cheap enough to be a good bet to see black ink before it’s done), it looks like $35m will be the low end for studio movies in domestic this summer. Last summer there were 13 major studio releases (not counting re-releases, stunts, or Dependents) to gross under $35m domestic. Universal had 4 out of its 7 summer releases…. this year, with Larry Crowne heading over $35m, they have none… and the biggest surprise hit of the summer.
It looks like the Worldwide opening will be $80m+ better than the previous record-holder, Potter 6… which didn’t get to a billion, in spite of a $394 million start. HP6 did their number over a 5-day launch. So the heat is significantly greater here and $1 billion still feels like a reasonable expectation. But, you know, you never know. Could the push towards bigger and bigger openings lead somewhere that the studios didn’t really want to go? HP6’s previous record opening led to a worldwide total 2.4x the open. That result would mean $1.14 billion for 7b. That would make it #3 all-time, just passing Rings 3.
Once again… great opening. I am not diminishing that. But when you see the Twilights and Transformers and yes, Harry Potters not quite getting over that hump, even with broken records all over the place, you have to wonder whether, in this regard, in a market with increasing reliance on theatrical revenues for profitability, speed kills.
And though it’s a bit boring already, look at Nikki Finke, who gets her ideas of box office directly from the studios that tell her what to write. For the second significant time this summer, you could see raised expectations get lowered in big chunks in her hyperbole as the weekend progressed. How is it possible for the biggest opening in history to feel anything other than super? Well, start with expectation. Then watch as late night numbers and first day numbers are so huge that fairies are floating $200m domestic and $550m worldwide opening weekend dust in your eyes. Then see it fall back to $180m/$500m. Then see it become, realistically (and estimately) a still-record-breaking $169m/$475m. And suddenly, the potential to get to or close to $1.5b worldwide is fading and you start wondering if $1b is a lock (which it probably is).
The big challenge on Winnie The Pooh was making it clear that this was not a reissue of the decades old classic. But even with virtually nothing in the marketplace for under-8s, it didn’t take. This opening was lower than The Tigger Movie in 2000. Does it work out financially for Disney anyway? Well, Pooh is a mega-merchandising franchise, so you could argue that this keeps it fresh or you could argue that whatever licensing that’s done was going to be done without it anyway. I didn’t get to see the movie, but I enjoyed the soundtrack a lot.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon hits $300m at home and is now likely over the $800m mark worldwide (which would require holding just 50% of last weekend’s international gross).
In Indiewood, the per-screen heroes (writ small) were Undefeated, Tabloid, and Beats, Rhymes & Life, each between an estimated $6350 per sceeen and $6570. Beats was easily the most impressive of the trio, doing that per-screen across 22 screens. Tabloid, on 4 more screens than Undefeated (14), with a 27% higher gross, though Undefeated seems to have won the per-screen battle.
There was a bit of a fuss in here yesterday, as I noted that the Undefeated number was a bit underwhelming. And its supporters were correct in this regard… as a polemic that preaches to the converted, which liberals have made plenty of, the number is decent. Robert Greenwald, the lefty documentarian, hasn’t had a theatrical release in a while. But his anti-Murdoch doc, Outfoxed, did $77,982 on 5 screens for a $15,596 avg on opening weekend… and his last release, Uncovered: The War on Iraq opened to $31,481 on 7 screens, a $4,497 per screen. Undefeated is right in between. So you tell me.