By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekend Estimates by Ho Ho Klady
Again… this is a weird weekend to track in connection to the holidays. It’s unusual to have a Christmas Eve—a traditionally bad box office day—on a Monday. The last time was 2007. And that pre-Christmas weekend slaughtered this one… by over $50 million. This weekend’s Hobbit gross was nearly matched by the #2 movie from that weekend (weekend 2 of I Am Legend)… and the #1 film, National Treasure 2, opened to $45 million. This weekend’s #2, Jack Reacher, would have been #4 that weekend, also behind weekend 2 of Alvin & The Chipmunks.
And how about this for some irony… what is missing from this weekend that there was a lot of back in 2007? Movie stars. Nic Cage in a sequel to one of his biggest hits, Will Smith, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Johnny Depp… even the stardom of The Chipmunks counted for a lot. Some of these were stronger, some weaker. But all five of the top five that weekend could be argued to be movie star-driven. This weekend? Hobbit? No. 40? No. Guardians? No. Lincoln? No. You have Tom Cruise doing nothing close to “Tom Cruise money,” which is somewhat better than where Hanks and Roberts were in 2007, which may be a function of genre.
So this was not a thrilling weekend for anyone in wide release. But it was fine for many. The tale will really be told in the week to come.
In exclusive releases, the conversion is a little brighter, though not conclusive in a longterm way. Zero Dark Thirty, the beneficiary of both controversy and what feels like a wide-release advertising push. (It goes wide January 11.), had an estimated $82k per screen on 5. This is not quite Lincoln‘s $86k on 11. Nor is it The Master or Moonrise Kingdom‘s 6-figure per-screen launch. But it’s very muscular.
The other big per-screen hit was Amour, which was at $23k per on 3. Again, nothing close to record-breaking. But a nice start.