By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Day Estimates by Vehicular Klady
So… Transformers 3 will be either the #2 or #3 best domestic July 4 weekend in history, depending on how it does today. The fly in the ointment, so to speak, would be Spider-Man 2, which is within a million dollars or so of Trannies 3 in the estimates. But either way – it only matters because the media has made simplicity into a primary mode of reporting – it was a very happy weekend. Internationally, Paramount is estimating $217m to AP right now, putting it at just under $400m worldwide at the end of our holiday weekend. Half-Blood Potter was the leader in worldwide openings with $394 million.
Once again, the issue of the 3D bump rises up. Two things. First, the “percentage of venues vs the percentage of revenue” thing remains very misleading because the actually number of showtimes in 3D vs 2D tends to be much lower than the venue percentage. Second, this means fuck all when it comes to the issue of whether 3D is viable for as wide a swath of titles each year as the industry is currently geared up for. This is a massive franchise, it actually offers the possibility of a superior 3D experience, and the must-see is mighty. Same will be true of Potter. But these are the exceptions that mean little to the rule.
As noted last week, Summit just pushed away from 3D for The Three Musketeers as its big selling point. Way away. Others will follow. I would suggest to the studios that they either try to impose a consistent flat rate of $2 for regular 3D and $3 for IMAX 3D and market that… and if that doesn’t work financially, it’s time to stop the 3D experiment en masse. Jim Cameron’s dream and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s passion may be viable in concept, but not when the first things about it that strikes most consumers on most films is the cost, not the benefit.
As for the Cars 2 numbers, I am going to do a halfway-mark piece at some point this week, but I don’t think it’s very complex… too short a DVD window, too much 3D gouging (3D also dissuades under 5s from going to these movies), and too much product generating animated brand blur. Yet, I still see a final worldwide number that is perfectly Pixarian.
And the comic book movies… all three are $100 million domestic films… not one is (or will be) $200 million domestic films. Thor‘s ass was saved by unexpected international strength. X-Men: First Class also benefited from international, though not as much… but didn’t have as much of a budget either. And Green Lantern seems sure to be the weak sister in the end, though they haven’t been nearly as wide overseas yet. Thor was the strongest of the two movies that went for 3D and may have benefited greatly in this regard from being early in the 3D season.
And yes… R-rated comedies. 3 more coming this month. 2 of the first 3 this summer are already over $100m domestic and Bad Teacher has an outside shot at getting there. How much harder does that make it for the next 3?
Larry Crowne, which C. Nikki has made her “Gotta Kill It” movie of the week (does Ron Meyer want to ever be in business with Playtone again?) did fine, really. As noted before, the two stars of the movie are both more than 5 years out of the “major openers” business. This movie out-opened their last joint effort, which was much higher profile, much closer to their career heat, and in the launch of an Oscar race with Mike Nichols behind the camera. To be screeching about this being a bomb opening 3.5 years later is stupid at best, malicious at worst.
Here’s a “did ya know.” Tom Hanks has had NO openings a the male lead of a live-action film, aside from the Da Vinci Code movies (whose pans were worse than this film’s) over $31 million. And Julia Roberts has had ONE. Hanks has a long history of leggy films. Why? Because his audience, since the early days, has been adults.
This is not a mega-hit. But it will make a decent profit.
And by the way… Jim Carrey’s last live-action opening to do better than Popper’s Penguins? 2004.
Can we please try to live in the present, folks?
Trannies 3 will be the 5th film this year to gross more than $500 million worldwide. This includes Kung Fu Panda 2 and The Hangover: Part 2 The record remains 8 in a year (the last two years). I would expect Cars 2 to make it 6 before it runs out of gas.
TR3 also looks to be the second billion dollar ww film this year, matching last year’s record of 2 in a year before the year is 7 months over.