Box Office Archive for February, 2008

Weekend Estimates by Klady – Oscar Sunday '08

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The only thing I can offer of any interest to these numbers this week is that it now looks like we will have the second February in five years – the exception being 2006 – without a single $100 million domestic grosser. And I forget each year that January has successful films… but all grossing under $100 million, a detail that remained true to form this year.
What really distinguishes this year’s lack of 9-figure gold is how many films aspiring to that goal the studios threw at the first two months of the year. Cloverfield and 27 Dresses in January and Jumper and The Spiderwick Chronicles in February all revved the engines and then came up short… with four very different marketing strategies. Geek Love, Women, 4-Quadrant (leaning young), and Kids all failed to deliver the home run, the last two films being by far the most expensive risks. In the past, one or two such films were launched and once, three… never four.
The “year-is-down”/”theatrical is dead” stories should start soon. And it is unlikely the gross numbers will catch up much over the course of the year. The biggest year ever will not be duplicated. And the sky is not falling. This is not a business of selling toilet paper or razor blades. It’s about the movies and the marketing opportunities that those films allow. And you’re just not going to have three $300 million movies in May, a fourth in July, and three more $200 million-plus films in most summers. It’s never happened before… and it won’t happen again for a while.
Holiday 2008 could be up, with a Bond, a Madagascar sequel, a Harry Potter, The Day The Earth Stood Still, and a Jim Carrey comedy that may harken back to his good ol’ days. But the year could easily be down by double digits by November 1. We’ll see.
But for now, March…
Next week, New Line is hoping that a leap year Feb 29 date will be like last year’s March date for Will Ferrell, who scored $119 million with Blades of Glory. Warners’ 300 wannabe, 10,000 BC, opens dead on the $211 million hit’s date. Horton Hears A Who is in the very successful Ice Age and Ice Age 2 slot. And God knows what Par is chasing with Drillbit Taylor, which seems like a summer movie being dumped in spring. And Sony’s 21 hopes to be the second launch of Jim Sturgis, who built a base with teen girls in Across The Universe and looks to win over the boys here, supported by Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne, and the threat of a tryst with Kate Bosworth.
FINALLY… The Oscar bump stories… mythology.
The last time we saw a bump like this – and it was significantly bigger – was 2004. Why? Because it happened to be the last year where the nominees and the release strategies matched like this. Juno had a minor bump after nominations, but the near $45 million “bump” for the film was really the pretty much expectable continuation of a very strong commercial run.
There Will Be Blood

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Friday Estimates by Klady

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Wow… look at that line-up!!!!

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Klady's 4 Day Estimates

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Weekend Estimates by Klady – Feb 10

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Not all that interesting this week. How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days opened to $23.7 million five years and this opening is almost the same. Women still want to see if two bottle blondies can make it work.
First Sunday opened to $17.7 million… so Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins is in line with that too. People still want to see wacky black families.
Hanna Mon Milley dropped… duh… and boo-hoo, Disney will have to live with just $54 million from a $5 million concert movie that they never really meant for theatrical anyway, now the next giant Home Ent release, as it likely beats the December trio to the DVD store.
Juno chugs along, easily the biggest Fox Searchlight film ever… but still likely to come up short of Knocked Up, though a little ahead of Superbad.
There Will Be Blood will pass $30 million, heading to the mid-30s… a milkshake drinking success for Paramount Vantage, even if the film cost about the same as money-losing Babel, The one advantage, financially, being that this film had two months less advertising money to burn while waiting around not to win the Oscar.
No Country For Old Men and Atonement both keep chugging along with excessively-discussed-by-journos $2m-n-Change weekends. Michael Clayton fell off a little this week to $1.6 million as the DVD release started getting touted heavily. Atonement will end up about $10 million past Pride & Prejudice for its nomination reward… which is probably less than it cost them in ads after being nom’ed… though the Oscar profit tends to be foreign & DVD.
And my personal fave… sometime in the next week, The Bucket List will pass Cloverfield as the old guys with bad reviews push past the young guys with overly generous reviews and we are all reminded yet again that old people and women and every bit as powerful as niche plays as geek boys… they just aren’t as easy to suck in on one weekend.

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Friday Estimates by Klady – 1/8

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“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima

“They’re still talking about the ‘cathedral of cinema,’ the ‘communal experience,’ blah blah. The experiences I’ve had recently in the theatre have not been good. There’s commercials, noise, cellphones. I was watching Colette at the Varsity, and halfway through red flashes came up at the bottom of the frame. A woman came out and said, ‘We’re going to have to reboot, so take fifteen minutes and come back.’ Then they rebooted it from the beginning, and she had to ask the audience to tell her how far to go. You tell me, is that a great experience? I generally don’t watch movies in a cinema at all. Netflix is the future. It’s the present. But the whole paradigm of a series, binge-watching, it’s quite different. My first reaction is that it’s more novelistic, because if you have an eight-hour season, you can get into complex, intricate things. You can let it breathe and the audience expectations are such that they will let you, where before they wouldn’t have the patience. I think only the surface has been touched with experimenting with that.”
~ David Cronenberg