By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday Estimates by More Hobbitses Klady
Trying to analyze a day like yesterday is nor just hard, it’s a bit foolish. This time of year is subject to many odd angles. For instance, Christmas Eve can be a bad day, Christmas Day tends to be great. But this year, Christmas Eve is on a Monday, so this weekend should be relatively normal… but is it? “People are out shopping” is the mantra when a film seems to do less than wished for.
When Tom Cruise opened to a number like this Jack Reacher number with A Few Good Men or Jerry Maguire, we were all 15 years or more younger… as was the nature of the domestic box office. This number is not a car wreck… nor is it very good. Girl With The Dragon Tattoo opened to $5.1 million on December 21 last year, which led to $50m by the end of the year and another $52 added to its domestic total in early 2012. So $100m is still quite achievable for this film. Or $80m. Time will tell.
This is 40has even less clear precedent. Little Fockers opened on a Wednesday and its first Friday was Christmas Eve. Yes Man opened a full week before Christmas to a $6.5m Friday, but still came in just short of $100m. It’s just hard to know where to place this number. If I was forced to guess at gunpoint, I’d say $60m – $80m domestic. Big range. And still not so sure. The one big advantage is that besides The Guilt Trip, the only impending competition is Parental Guidance on Christmas Day/Tuesday. So 40 is the likely first choice of people over 30 looking for a laugh while the other two will fight for “everyone can go” business.
Speaking of Guilt, $1.5m is a rough start.
On the exclusive release/awards chasing side, Zero Dark Thirty is looking at $90k per-screen on 5, The Impossible around $7k per-screen on 15, Amour around $19k per on 3, and Not Fade Away around $5400 per on 3. The history of the big per-screen is all over the place. Yes, this will be a better weekend for ZD30 than Lincoln had last month. On the other hand, it is right on line with The Tree of Life, There Will Be Blood, and The King’s Speech. So which movie does it line up with? Being Oscar nominated doesn’t seem to be a question mark. So we’re all looking at positioning now for the post-nomination argument.