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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Hawkeye Klady

At this point, there’s not much to do but to watch the count for The Avengers. The Friday number is off about 63% when you count the Midnight screenings (not sure why Klady didn’t), but given that’s the Friday-to-Friday, it would be fair to expect that number to drop into the mid-50s for the overall weekend. Though some were fantasizing about $100m this weekend, $90m is no small feat. $360m in 10 days accelerates the number well past Dark Knight again… then we’ll see what the weekdays next week look like. 40% off… $90m over days 11-17, would take the film to $450m 10 days faster than Dark Knight. The Titanic domestic number ($600m) still looks like a long shot, but it does seem that passing Dark Knight domestically (and internationally) is inevitable.

The biggest question for the moment is whether Battleship will slow down Avengers at all… I mean, $1.

There is nothing remotely shocking about Dark Shadows‘ opening. It’s running slightly behind Burton/Depp’s Sleepy Hollow and much better than Sweeney Todd or Mars Attacks. Obviously, 2 of those 3 titles are older, but collaborations like Alice and Wonka just can’t be compared. There is no reason why Dark Shadows kitsch could not be a new phenom, but it isn’t a revered work that has millions anticipating an adaptation by a visual master. Personally, I think WB should be happy with this number. Even if the movie was unanimously praised, this is probably all that was there for the taking on opening weekend.

I think it’s worth pointing out that Think Like A Man is still chugging along and that $80m for the film is a very strong number for Screen Gems.

On the indie front, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which Searchlight wanted to position as this summer’s Midnight in Paris, is moving a bit faster than Paris, but in expansion to 178 screens did almost the same number as Paris did on expansion to 147. The answers to the overall number will come when they go about 5 times wider than this… and I don’t know what their pace on that will be. But so far, so solid. This could be Searchlight’s best platform performer outside of Oscar season in a while.

And not a bad number for Girl In Progress for Lionsgate. No one will be getting Christmas bonuses off of this one, but with almost no TV budget and the feel of a direct-to-video title, this number is pretty good.

36 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Hawkeye Klady”

  1. Think says:

    Wait. Are you saying it’s not going to hit 100 for the weekend? Really?

  2. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, Lionsgate sent the director and the young star of Girl in Progress on tour, which may have helped elevate its profile. Also: Groupon did a ticket promotion (in the Houston area, at least).

  3. kbx says:

    Avengers is kid/family-friendly, I see 100m this weekend after a nice bump today from the 29 Friday

    final total around 620m

  4. SamLowry says:

    Dunno about Marigold–reviews not terribly positive, but then older moviegoers may actually like flicks that are predictable and routine. It’s not like anyone ever described Matlock or Murder She Wrote as cutting-edge TV.

  5. movielocke says:

    huh. How close will Hunger games get to 400? it should be at 386-7 this weekend, probably about 389 by next friday, and next weekend will probably add another 2-4 mil. Shame for it to make it into the 390s and not get over that last little hump.

  6. BoulderKid says:

    Totally agree with DP about “Dark Shadows.” Given the reviews and generally more subversive tone than recent Depp/Burton collaborations like “Alice”, this is a decent number for the film. In addition I don’t think the marketing really did any favors for the film which actually sounds more interesting than the cringe worthy trailers indicate. As long as costs were reasonable you have to mark this on the positive side of the ledger for all involved.

  7. EthanG says:

    Lionsgate is singing pretty burying films like LOL and GIRL IN PROGRESS available as writeoffs. They, obviously had these films as backup in case HUNGER GAMES wasn’t a massive hit. Now they are dropping toxic product that they thought COULD make money.

    Summit did the same following TWILIGHT…the difference here is Lionsgate is continuing a strong marketing campaign for a film they expect to compete in the dead of summer (What to Expect…blah blah). This is a minor studio on the offensive, dumping product it no longer finds marketable (risky with LOL though I agree) and agressively promoting what it wants to.

  8. David Poland says:

    Think… saying that you would not normally expect 29m on Friday to equal 100m for the weekend. It would be a better drop, for instance, than Dark Knight.

    But anything is possible.

  9. Hallick says:

    With 71m left to cover after Friday’s results, what are the usual bumps on Saturday and Sunday? An even split would be 35.5m each day, which doesn’t seem that much of a stretch unless Sundays are usually downsloping days.

  10. Hallick says:

    Or 70.2m left to cover, rather.

  11. martin s says:

    DP – or anyone else want to take a shot at this, feel free.

    How do you not release Dark Shadows around Halloween?

    Why do studios think people want to watch classic horror tropes – i.e Fright Night – at any other time?

    Do they ever release Christmas movies in the summer?

    Christmas Vacation. The Santa Clause 1/2/3, Fred Claus, Elf – all November/December.

  12. Chris says:

    I remember Reindeer Games coming out in February. That was…odd.

  13. JS Partisan says:

    Hal, this is just a guess, but a jump in the 40s seems sort of plausible due to school still not being out over most of this country. Saturday is the day people can take their kids to see this movie, and that should help Avengers tremendously today.

    That aside, yes, Dark Shadows should have come out at the end of September/early October. It’s a perfect Halloween movie and the only reason they could have to open it in May, is to have it come out on video in September/October.

  14. kbx says:

    i know things are different now than in 2008, in terms of a higher tendency for front loading; but still its May with people still in school, so less of a chance to see the movie on weekdays, so less of a chance to burn off demand as quickly before weekend 2

    so a better drop than TDK, out in July, with schools out and huge weekday attendance burning off a lot of demand in week 1

    would not be that shocking (especially considering the history of Marvel May films having drops always closer to 45-55% than 60%+)

  15. SamLowry says:

    IIRC, Halloween was the first scary movie released around Halloween, which had previously been written off as a holiday for little kids. It was only after this breakthrough that folks decided Halloween could be a scary holiday, too, and more than just an excuse for adults to dress in costumes to play drunken Twister.

  16. hcat says:

    And it amazes me that people would prefer to be scared than participate in costumed drunken twister – If that is a level of purgatory I hope to be just bad enough to enter.

  17. Peter says:

    I think if Dark Shadows opened in Early March instead of right now, it would make a lot more money. While it’s not well known property like Alice and Chocolate Factory, it’s still advertised as a weird fun horror comedy with Depp. But it has no shot with The Avengers around…

  18. chris says:

    Wouldn’t opening “Dark Shadows” seem to suggest that it’s going to be scary? Which it isn’t, and doesn’t even try to be.

  19. christian says:

    Saw AVENGERS a second time to check out the 3D – thought it worked the best out of the previous Marvel entries.

    And really, this box-office macro-guessing is utterly…pointless and unprovable.

  20. Geoff says:

    Studio is estimating that Avengers did over $40 million yesterday so $100 million for the second weekend is looking pretty solid! Ok….The Dark Knight’s domestic number is getting passed and I have a feeling Titanic (at least pre-rerelease) is not out of the realm of possibility either. $600 million domestic is a strong possility and so is Top 3 worldwide as well….

    Universal has to be super-nervous with Battleship now – movie’s launch already looked tenuous but Avengers is now pretty much guaranteed in its THIRD weekend at least $40 to $50 million which was probably the high watermark for Battleship. This thing could seriously outright flop now – I have feeling it could make even less than Cowboys and Aliens did last summer. So continues the third year streak of flopping for a questionable genre summer film…..Scott Pilgrim (which I still love), Cowboys & Aliens, and now this. I’m gathering they’re shifting more dollars towards Snow White at this point…..

    Still, kudos to The Avengers – THIS weekend is about the quality and how folks are responding to it, no doubt.

  21. Sean says:

    Just using the historical boxoffice data of past Marvel May openers, it was a safe bet to say that the Avengers was doing a 100 mil plus this weekend. Saw it yesterday in the Detroit, MI area. It was packed at 11:00 a.m. I heard little boys pointing out the heroes to their mothers. Might be a great bonding oppurtunity between little boys and their mothers this weekend. Seen it twice and going back today. Up until now, no movie has ever done a 40 mil day outside of its first weekend. Avengers has another record.

  22. movieman says:

    I really don’t know when “Dark Shadows” would have had an easier time finding an audience.
    In early March (i.e., pre-“Hunger Games”), it would have faced direct competition from “Lorax.” Then, of course, “HG” itself.
    And since Burton already has “Frankenweenie” slated for October/Halloween, fall wasn’t an option.
    Plus, I’m not sure whether the demure scares of “DS” would have much traction with auds who’s idea of Halloween fright these days is either fake “found footage” cheapies (the “Paranormal”s) or torture porn (the interminable “Saw” series).
    I can’t even think of a summer date that might have worked better.
    Bottom line, it was pretty much d.o.a. thanks to the (largely) unexpected strength/endurance of Marvel mania.
    Pity poor “Battleship” next weekend. Yikes!

  23. Jason B says:

    Battleship will be interesting. It has $200M exUS with only Latin America left to open outside US. Have to wonder if it will hit $500M total, and I would imagine Universal greenlit the movie with hopes of at least doing that.

    Avengers is doing great. Have to believe that it is definite to pass Potter for #3 all time. Still think $600M domestic will be tough to reach but would be quite an achievement if it does.

  24. Joe Leydon says:

    David: “Though some were fantasizing about $100m this weekend, $90m is no small feat.”

    This just in from Fantasyland: Avengers makes $103.2 million in record-setting second weekend.

    And David, before you complain: Yes, everybody makes a mistake now and then. (And sometimes the mistake — like, say, my b.o. prediction for Bridesmaids — is a whopper.) But it’s your condescending tone that make us want to tease you when you’re wrong. Like, “fantasizing.” You may claim that wasn’t a snide put-down of [name redacted] and others infected with Avengers-mania. But, frankly, that’s hard to believe at this point. In the immortal words of Miranda Lambert: “I know you ain’t a liar but you don’t tell the truth.”

  25. SamLowry says:

    How many board-game movies have to fail before Hollywood realizes it goofed?

  26. Joe Leydon says:

    Sam: Didn’t Clue and Dungeons and Dragons already stiff?

  27. Lane Myers says:

    “Though some were fantasizing about $100 million this weekend…”

    DP, I find your choice of language here curious. Usually when the word “fantasizing” is used on your blog, it’s in reference to something that has zero possibility of ever happening. (Admittedly it is usually found in Lex’s posts). Also saying “were” before we knew the result made it sound like you believed it was a fait accompli.

    Even though I’m guessing it wasn’t your intention, it is the kind of thing that can make it sound like you are somehow “rooting against” the movie.

  28. David Poland says:

    Joe –

    I’m not going to argue the point. I’m not even going to point out any facts.

  29. Joe Leydon says:

    OK, am I turning senile even faster than I feared, or did a posting I read just a few minutes ago here suddenly disappear?

  30. cadavra says:

    This according to The Wrap:

    “Seventy-three percent of those who saw [DARK SHADOWS] were over 25, 55% over 35.”

    And that’s just the opening weekend. By the third, it’ll be almost entirely over 35. I keep saying “skews old” because it does skew old.

    BTW, A March release date would’ve been much better; LORAX was kids and parents, THG was young teens–there was precious little for grown-ups except Oscar mop-ups. Another major marketing/distribution botch by Warners.

  31. Joe Leydon says:

    Cadavra: Well, this won’t be the first time the Baby Boomer and Gen-X bean-counters green-lit something that had far less name recognition than they thought, right? I actually liked Dark Shadows, but I didn’t pick up any must-see vibe for it from my students. And when I asked my 25-year-old son if he and/or his buddies had any plans to see it, I got a blank WTF look in response.

  32. movieman says:

    I don’t know, Cad.
    “DS” doesn’t necessarily skew “old;” at least in the marketing.
    I think WB (reasonably) assumed at one point that it could attract the same all-ages-friendly audience of a “Lorax” (or Pixar/DreamWorks ‘toon).
    In other words, the standard audience for a Tim Burton and/or Johnny Depp movie (e.g., “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Alice,” the “Pirates” movies, etc.).
    They were right to steer clear of “Hunger Games” which effectively devoured the late March/April box-office.
    They probably hadn’t counted on the Marvel Miracle’s total and complete world domination when picking May 11th.

  33. David Poland says:

    On what planet was Dark Shadows EVER going to open to more than $30m?

    The problem is not that opening, but the media negativity around the number. Calling it a “failure” will hurt.

    If the movie was made anticipating better than $80m domestic (which is may well not get to now), they were fools.

    But it may make some good dollars internationally on Depp’s name alone.

    I’m not saying there may not have been a better time to open it… and they were very late on the marketing front… but it was never a $50m opener. It’s Burtontown, Jake.

  34. cadavra says:

    Movieman: ALICE is a legendary classic. CHARLIE is a modern classic. PIRATES was a fluke monster hit that spun off an even huger, flukier franchise.

    DARK SHADOWS is, was and always will be a very era-specific cult property. Even I, who’ve been looking forward to this film as no other in years, never thought it was anything but a long shot for a nine-figure domestic number, even with a better release date, marketing and reviews. In an age where most people under 30 have no idea who Johnny Carson was (and won’t be watching the splendid PBS doc on him tomorrow), anyone thinking otherwise was seriously delusional.

    Right now it’s all about the legs (and international, of course). If the budget really was under $125 million (not an impossibility, with only Depp and Burton as gross players and not a lot of expensive CGI), $300 million WW would not be a bad number at all.

  35. Yancy Skancy says:

    cad: thanks for mentioning that Carson doc. I had no idea such a thing was in the works.

  36. cadavra says:

    Saw it at the Paley a couple of weeks ago. Sensational.

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