Box Office Archive for June, 2007

Box Office Hell – June 29

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Die Hardest

Box Office Mojo is reporting that Fox’s number on Live Free or Die Hard for Wednesday is $8.87 million. That puts the film in position to gross between anywhere between $90 million and $150 million domestic… which is to say that all it tells us is that the film isn’t a monster… good monster or bad. Inconclusive.

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Sunday Estimates by Klady

It’s interesting… at least to me.
The most $40 million+ openings in history has been nine. It’s happened twice, in 2001 and 2003. What happened to 2002? The first ever $100 million opening weekend, for Spider-Man. And every year since? At least one $100 million opening.
Coincidence? I don’t think so.
The problem is, as the system has been designed over time, it is almost impossible to overcome front-loading in the summer season. Even The Tre Trio looks now like they will end up, in the domestic box office, grossing in the order of their release; Spidey, Shrek, Pirates… but all three within $35 million of the same number… all well below their low-end hopes.
I expect Transformers to crack $40m next weekend, even for the three-day, even with three days in release before the weekend… but just barely. Harry Potter will at least double that number the weekend after. That will make six $40m+ openings this summer. Chuck & Larry, Bourne & Rush Hour should make it nine. And tying the record with nine such openings, with three $100m+ openings in the same summer, is quite an achievement. (Ratatoullie could well make it ten… breaking the record.)
But this is the story of how far the elastic can be stretched… and how far it cannot be stretched.
A new record doesn’t make it any more fun for Warners on Ocean’s 13 or Universal with Evan Almighty or Die Hard (which will cover the mess with the excuses a Wed opening offers) or even any of my Assumed Nine (plus one), a number of which could fall short. It also makes it harder for a hopeful like Hairspray, for which the odds of a shockingly big opening decrease with each other big opening that lands.
There have been nine $100 million domestic openings now. Only two were outside of May. One was Pirates last July. The other was Harry Potter IV, in November.
Do the math.
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Friday Estimates by Klady

ADDED – I should have offered congratulaltions to 1408, which will easily be The Weinstein Co’s biggest opening of an original title in its 2.5 year history, the bigger opening over all being Scary Movie 4. It also appears to be the biggest thriller/horror genre opening of the year, topping The Messengers and kicking the ass of Hannibal Rising and Grindhouse.
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June Gloom continues… a bit.
Evan Almighty will be on the low end of expectations, desperate for a Saturday pre-teen bump to be anywhere close to “okay” for the film. Fantastic 42 dropped like a Friday stone that lakes Ben Grimm look like a lightweight. And with 37% to 41% the rest of the way, not too much happy news. Though a $3.5m weekend for A Mighty Heart is actually decent… considering that even the rave in the NY Times had to look past the film itself and into the politics of the day to find a reason to watch… not what people, even arthouse people, tend to go to the movies for, which is why Par Vantage has smartly sold the love story, which barely exists in the film.
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Box Office Hell – June 22

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Sunday Estimates by Klady

If Fox’s number on F42 is $1.6 million over the original rip-off’s opening weekend, you can be pretty sure that they are really a little behind the first film this weekend. (Mojo got a figure of $1.3m from the studio.) Essentially, a non-event. And that was pretty much the tone of this weekend. Nothing was really shocking, for better or worse.
Ocean

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Friday Numbers by Klady

What is there to say?
Fantastic IV II will slightly outperform the opening of Fantastic Four (high 50s/low60s… the original opened to $56.1) proving for the second time that Fox knows how to repeat an image over and over to the point of exhaustion and opening weekend success. Expect a third film and another new character as the hook. Maybe they’ll trot out ol’ Thor… who knows?
Ocean’s Drop is not shocking and won’t be quite as large when the dust settles. The benefit of its so-so response is Knocked Up, which remains the one buzzy film of the pre-July summer.
Everyone else is dropping in the 40s and 50s… not too happy out there for a fatigued marketplace. Every studio will tell you that they know this summer was too dense for its own good… but they didn’t move any of the movies out of harm’s way. There are no real disasters so far, but it hasn’t been pretty. Will that be enough to turn heads? Probably not.
Finally, this tastemaker of America continues to get lied about by Mr. Roth, but nothing I could say would be as definitive as a 72% second Friday drop for Hostel II. And unlike the other films, horror plays on Fridays, so expect the drop to remain in the high 60s or 70s. You can lead a nation to self-loathing, but apparently you can’t make them drink.
However, in less smart ass perspective, Hostel II is a narrow market movie and The Geek 8 remains the number… geek love = $8 million opening. That isn’t what most movies are after exclusively, but the number is also big enough that the geeks remains a key marketing demo that needs to be worked… and if you rely on them as your primary audience for a $20 million opening, you are a suicidal marketing exec on a plane.
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Box Office Hell: Rise Of The T2 Knock-Off

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Sunday Estimates by Klady

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Klady's Friday Estimates

Well, it looks like the conflicts amongst predictors ended up reflecting confusion amongst moviegoers, who didn’t go as much as expected.
Ocean’s 13 will be under expectations while Surf’s Up may come in at the lowest of the BO Hell estimates and still be #2 for the week ahead of Knocked Up and Pirates 3, as Surf’s Up should get the biggest Saturday kick by far.
Hostel 2 seems to have gotten a pass by the critics, but not so much by the ticket buyers. It will open to less than half of the original. A big part of that could well be that this one was sold on Eli Roth’s name and though Tarantino was name-checked, it was not nearly as much a part of the push as the first time. Perhaps he was, appropriately, embarrased by Roth’s work. (I really have no idea, so let’s not make that snide aside into anything. If QT says how much he loves the work somewhere, someone please post it in comments.)
The happiest people about Hostel II are probably the team at Fox Atomic, who look to have had a better opening for The HIlls Have Eyes 2… so maybe the conclusion is that we are just at the end of this run of this incarnation of the genre. Couldn’t have squatted on a nicer movie…
Whatever holdover audience there was for Mr Brooks seems to have been eaten by Ocean’s 13 (starring such nice young men) and Knocked Up, which is going to ride high on curiousity this weekend.
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Box Office Hell

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This is the most wildly varied set of projections I recall seeing this year. There’s a $13 million split on opinions regarding Ocean’s 13, $16.4m on Surf’s Up, $7.6 (or more than a third of the highest projection) on Hostel II, and a pretty even split on calls for whether Knocked Up or Pirates 3 will be on top of the other.

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Just For The Record

There is a CRAZY person out there who keeps attacking Pirates 3, attempting to boost her home studio’s film… but for the record, her notion of “a quick and complete” collapse of Pirates 3 based on this week’s weekday numbers is a little sketchy, since P3 has been ahead of every second week weekday number of both Spider-Man 3 and Shrek The Third. (S3’s 2nd weekdays included Memorial Day Monday, which is much bigger, as expected)
It could well be argued that the “just beyond $300 million” trajectory for all three movies is still, crazily enough, a bit below studio hopes. P3 is not above this. Much like Spider-Man 3, the film will be a success financially thanks to international, but we are quickly learning that International is the last refuge of a limping franchise, just as DVD was only a few short years ago.
Regardless, when one studio mouthpiece uses her bully (and I mean “bully”) pulpit to keep repeating a lie with the clear intent of promoting one studio’s product while ripping into another’s (I won’t even get into the knowingly lies she spins about this site, feigning ignorance in the facts), it’s a good idea for someone to actually look at the numbers and offer some facts.

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Klady's Weekend Estimates

Running to a last couple of movies here in Seatlle before returning to L.A., but Pirates 3 did pretty much as expected, maybe five percent further off the 3 day pace than could be considered a happy result for Weekend Two. Knocked Up did exactly as everyone I’ve spoken to in recent weeks expected… now we’ll see how leggy it is. The number on Mr. Brooks could be the start of a leggy, albeit small, run to the 40s or 50s… holding on to screens is going to be a big challenge for the seen-as-lame MGM. And Spidey 3 is holding a little better now than I would have expected. $330m is no longer out of the question.
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Box Office Hell – June 1

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Interesting game this week… plenty of people squealing about Pirates 3 with not a thought in the world about the long and easily understood history of Memorial Day weekends… very little talk about the softness of Shrek The Third… and Universal selling the idea that the high teens would be a happy success for Knocked Up.
It’s all perception these days. Reality, what a concept!

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Box Office

Quote Unquotesee all »

“The word I have fallen in love with lately is ‘Hellenic.’ Greek in its mythology. So while everyone is skewing towards the YouTube generation, here we are making two-and-a-half-hour movies and trying to buck the system. It’s become clear to me that we are never going to be a perfect fit with Hollywood; we will always be the renegade Texans running around trying to stir the pot. Really it’s not provocation for the sake of being provocative, but trying to make something that people fall in love with and has staying power. I think people are going to remember Dragged Across Concrete and these other movies decades from now. I do not believe that they will remember some of the stuff that big Hollywood has put out in the last couple of years. You’ve got to look at the independent space to find the movies that have been really special recently. Even though I don’t share the same world-view as some of my colleagues, I certainly respect the hell out of their movies which are way more fascinating than the stuff coming out of the studio system.”
~ Dallas Sonnier

“My first objective relationship in life was with the camera. I didn’t understand anything but then I realized the camera is my friend. It doesn’t lie to me. It doesn’t manipulate me. It only reports what I’m doing. And therefore, for me to work with a camera and the camera to be directed by an artist, a craftsman, someone who knows what he or she wants, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
~ Elliot Gould