Box Office Archive for November, 2008

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Not at the real computer, so you will have to get numbers on front page, but here is some space to discuss…

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Friday Estimates by Klady

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Tracking aside, why would anyone be surprised by the opening of Four Christmases? Last year, Fred Claus got the worst possible reviews on the planet and with Vince Vaughn and the brilliant but not-box-office Paul Giamatti, and opened to $18 million. But even more interesting, This Christmas opened to a $26 million 5-day over Thanksgiving last year. The year before, Deck The Halls (does anyone even remember that film existed?) opened to $12 million. In ’04, the widely slammed Christmas with The Kranks opened to $22 million.
And look at the marketplace. If you want to go to a light comedy that is not for children, what are your options? This is the only movie out there. And then, add on the interest in Christmas movies. And then add Reese Witherspoon to Vince Vaughn. (I would say that WB learned the lesson last year that keeping Rachel Weisz out of Fred ads was a mistake… but 1) they didn’t make this film, and 2) there was no way that Reese Witherspoon, clearly a bigger rom-com draw than Vaughn, wasn’t going to be front & center here.)
Similarly, on the down side, who is so very shocked about Australia?
I mean, you know that the studio is not thrilled. If the film opened two weeks ago, as originally scheduled, this is the kind of weekend they would be expecting a Weekend Three for this film, not opening. But that said

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Friday Estimates by Klady – 11/22/08

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I believe that the Passion of the Christ had the previous record for the best all-time day by an indie release with a $33 million first Saturday. That film opened on a Wednesday, softening their Friday… but that doesn’t mean much when looking at just how huge this Twilight opening is. History would suggest a significant Saturday drop, but as I always point out, with numbers like this, everyone is guessing. At least one of Harry Potter’s November opening weekend records ($102.7m) is safe… but the other two ($88.4m and $90.3M) could be in danger. The best non-Potter start in November – The Incredibles‘ $70.5m – seems like dead meat.
Bolt will improve significantly on a $7m Friday… but the number will still end up being rather disappointing for Disney. Even Chicken Little opened to $40m. It may be the recession… it may be too much noise… it may be unclear marketing… hard to guess… but not a thriller.

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Weekend Estimates by Klady

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Sony is reporting that Quantum of Solace opened to $70.4 million.
* All-time best opening ever for the Bond franchise
* $23 million stronger than Die Another Day.
* Worldwide to date, Quantum of Solace has earned more than $322 million
* #1 in each of the 73 territories where it has opened
* Japan, Australia and Spain not open yet
* Exits run 54% male and 46% female. 58% over 25. 42% under 25.
Top per-screen of the weekend… Slumdog Millionaire (no “s”)
Is it a good number?
Juno opened to $413,869 on 7 screens last year… result, $143 million total.
This is not quite as good. But…
The month of November is looking very,very muscular. Bond is easily the biggest non-family opening in the history of the month. Madagascar 2‘s strong opening made the 1-2 only the second Novemeber with two $60m-plus openings in history. The #3 opening in the first circumstance – 2001 – was Shallow Hal with $22.5m. Expect both Twilight and Bolt to crush that next weekend. (Heck… Role Models almost matched it.)
The only time there were four November openings of as much as $30 million was 1999. That should be matched next weekend and could be beat with the opening of Four Christmases the week after.

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Friday Estimates by Klady

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What is there to say? Bond is following Batman in the “we loved the reboot, so we are showing up in record numbers for the next one.” Unfortunately, I don’t suspect that the crowds who loved Casino Royale will be quite as thrilled this time out. But the opening will have the effect Sony is seeking, not just for this film, but more importantly for the next film or two or three, which they do not have distribution rights to… yet. This kind of show of muscle says to Broccoli and Wilson, “We are the place for you… how can you put yourself in MGM’s hands when you don’t know what they can do and you know that we can kick ass for you.”
Changeling continues to run in near-lockstep with Flags of our Fathers (the distribution pattern varies them slightly).
Perhaps the biggest story amongst the holdovers is The Secret Life of Bees cracking $30 million. The film has passed Quarantine and Nick & Norah to be the biggest grossing under $12 million movie of the fall season and could be on its way to passing the Tyler Perry entry, The Family That Preys. It looks like it will also outgross Changeling. Like President-elect Obama, it seems that this film, once ghettoed as a

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Weekend Estimates by Klady

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The Friday Estimate to Sunday Estimate disparity on Madagascar 2 was striking. Looking at history, doing – based on estimates – just 28% of its business on Friday, it isn’t wildly out of proportion. Ice Age 2, which had a $68 million start, did 32% on its opening weekend on Friday. On the other hand, Wall-E, which had an almost identical opening to M2, had 37% of its opening weekend business on Friday. Kung Fu Panda ($60.2m start) had a 34% Friday
My guess is that Badagascar 2 plays younger than some animated movies. So, less Friday and more Saturday and Sunday.
If you are wondering, this is a 25% opening increase from the original, which was also a summer release. Kids clearly want to move it, move it. This opening is the 11th animated film ever to open over $50 million (interestingly, there are no animated openings at all between $48 million and $60 million). Only one film to open in this group has failed to crack $200 million domestic (Ice Age 2) and that film was in spring without the benefit of the long Thanksgiving family weekend looming on the immediate horizon, albeit with Disney

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Friday Estimates by Klady

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The Badagascar sequel launches with a 20% opening day jump. Will this mean a $56 milion 3-day? We’ll see.
Roel Models rolled out remarkably well, really. Better than Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist or The Houe Bunny on opening day with what feels like a lot less of a push. The number is also a little higher than Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Baby Mama. which arrived from the same releasing studio, Universal, with more noise and more star power (including the endlessly name checked Judd Apatow). Impressive. I would, perhaps, have a better take on the movie had the studio invoted me to a screening. So if it is as bad as that normally suggests, even more impressive.
The uninspired release of Soul Men joins the junk pile of Weinstein titles that seem like they could have done better.
Saw 5 is still running a little behind Saw 4 and should stop in the mid 50s. If things stay in line, foreign will be about $10 million more than domestic, so over $100 million worldwide sees sure, no matter how bad the films are getting.
Fandango is pushing their agenda – “Twilight accounts for 63% of all ticket sales on Fandango, the nation

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Weekend Estimates by Klady

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Wrong I was… HSM3 nimbly leapt over the cutting stick… by a lot. Perhaps the tykes were scared off last weekend by the threat of crowds… perhaps there is a lot of repeat business… perhaps a 65% drop doesn’t suggest anything other than a huge must-see followed by a drop made more dramatic by Halloween.
Kevin Smith leapt back to a pretty average Kevin Smith opening.
If you don’t like Michael Clayton as a comparison to Changeling… how about W., which had a similar per-screen opening wide. How about Flags of Our Fathers? $10.2m on 1876 screens for $5,461 per. Final gross, $33m domestic.
Not a lot else of interest. Eagle Eye keeps crawling towards $100m. Synecdoche, New York is still showing muscle on 9 screens with an estimated $9360 per. And Body of Lies has proven to be a sequel to Proof of Life and The Beach.

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Bond Busts Out In UK

LONDON: 1st November, 2008
QUANTUM OF SOLACE
SHATTERS BOX OFFICE RECORDS
WITH

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Friday Estimates by Klady

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Changeling seems to be targeting the Michael Clayton trajectory of last year. But alas

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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