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 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