Posts Tagged ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’

More Than 39.2 Million Big Ones

Monday, December 15th, 1997

That, my friends, is a lot of scratch. Does it make you want to Scream too? I mean, Scream 2. Thought so. And it’s a record for a December opening to boot. And under all that screaming, no one will hear the muffled cries of those who made For Richer Or Poorer ($6 million for third) and Home Alone 3 ($5.1 million for fourth), both of which marked new lows for Tim Allen and Home Alone opening weekends. Flubber dropped the expected 40 percent to add a second place winning $6.9 million to the coffers as it bounces towards a likely $75 million total.
Amistad, for which I predicted a big opening, was limited by being on only 322 screens. My bad. But in generating $4.6 million for fifth, it averaged $14,596 per screen which is tremendous. Yet, any regular Hot Button reader will immediately notice the phenomenon of Delayed Unveiling Hubris, or DUH for short. Films that are meant to make over $20 million total cannot — with very rare exceptions — do well with a platformed release. (Those opening in just L.A. and NYC for Oscar consideration only are a different story. More on that on Friday.) No one is going to want to see Amistad more in a few weeks than they do now. And the ongoing controversies surrounding the picture won’t help.
The second five was (he said, patting himself on the back) almost exactly as expected. John Grisham‘s The Rainmaker scored another $ 3.4 million for sixth. Alien: Resurrection continues its 50 percent off per week pace, clawing up $3.3 million for seventh. Anastasia continues to be a kind-hearted impostor with a 40 percent drop to $3.1 million for eighth. The Jackal rips off another $ 2.5 million for ninth. And last, but least, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, itself a victim of DUH, acquires $1.8 million.
Have you noticed any box office patterns like the DUH? Send ’em to me via e-mail.

Box Office – Nowhere But Down

Friday, December 5th, 1997

This weekend the box office is all trussed up like a prize turkey with no place to go but down. There are no new wide releases due this week. Everyone was scared off of the date by Flubber and Alien: Resurrection. Oops! Scream 2 should do stellar numbers next week, but could have had clear sailing for two weeks, pushing the new Alien out of the ship early. Oh, well. Soft word-of-mouth should drop the three-day weekend total for Flubber by 40 percent with $16 million, still enough to take first. Alien: Resurrection should keep the two spot, despite what I’m guessing will be a steep 50 percent drop to take in $8.2 million. As stable as it is slow (though I liked the film), The Rainmaker should drop about 25 percent, still enough to pass Anastasia for third with $8 million. Thus, Anastasia, dropping a reasonable 35 percent, should be in fourth with $7.7 million.
The Jackal is likely to be on the other side of a wide b.o. gap, dropping to fifth with a 40 percent drop to $4.5 million. Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil should skulk about with a 25 percent drop to $4 million for a sixth place finish and no hope of surviving the mid-December onslaught of serious films. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation should hit the skids to the tune of 60 percent, kicking up another $2.7 million for seventh. The bottom four of the Top Ten gets the benefit of Disney’s withdraw of The Little Mermaid. Her disappearance (authorities are questioning Roman Polanski) allows Bean to take eighth with a 50 percent drop to $1.5 million. And Starship Troopers moves up a notch to ninth with another 50 percent drop to $1.4 million.
The Ten Spot will likely offer a three way tie, with I Know What You Did Last Summer (dropping 35 percent), Eve’s Bayou (dropping just 20 percent) and The Wings of The Dove (suffering its first drop with 15 percent) all camping out around the $1.2 million mark.
Will Alien: Resurrection rise from the dead box office week to take top spot? Will Flubber flub its box office break and drown under The Rainmaker? E-mail me what you think.

Thanksgiving Weekend

Wednesday, November 26th, 1997

Last Thanksgiving, 101 Dalmations won the five-day weekend with $33.5 million. I expect Alien: Resurrection to blow that number out of the water with over $45 million to win the Turkey Day Parade. Combine that with my predicted $20 million take for Anastasia‘s second weekend (for third place) and you’ll find Fox dancing in a pool of acid saliva. Of course, their steaming cheer won’t worry Disney, who are looking at a $35 million long weekend for Flubber, with Robin Williams bouncing into second place.
The rest of the Top Ten is all repeat business. Remember that these are five-day estimates. Look for Mortal Kombat: Annihilation to be one of the few films to drop in overall gross despite the additional two days ($16 million for fourth). The Rainmaker should do well, with positive, though not overwhelming buzz, acquiting itself to the tune of $13 million and fifth place. The Jackal looks to be another flick eaten by an Alien, losing a million to shoot at a $8 million weekend for sixth. The Little Mermaid should swim to another $7 million in its final weekend of competition, dropping to seventh. Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil may be doing great per-screen, but it won’t be adding screens, so $7 million for eighth is about a much as Clint can make. And look for Bean to take ninth with about $5 million.
And now for those of you who are taking the weekend off from school, a math problem. If Starship Trooper has dropped 50 percent every week since its release, but the five-day weekend should increase box office by about 60 percent, then how much will Starship Troopers gross? Tah dah! Four million dollars for tenth place, rounding out the Top Ten in its final appearance. Enjoy the movies, everyone!
E-mail your predictions to me early so I can have some crow to go with my turkey on Thanksgiving night.

Anastasia at the Box Office

Monday, November 24th, 1997

While Fox was busy worrying about big, bad Disney blowing down their Anastasia, they got kicked in the side of the head by Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, easily the worst film in the Top Ten, but powerful enough to drag in $17.5 million in business to take first place (Brady Rainey was the only reader to have MK:A on top, but he missed most of the rest). Anastasia opened nicely, with $15 million for second, but next week the big guns come out and hell hath no fury like a Flubber scorned. Francis Ford Coppola’s name was probably at least as important as John Grisham’s in opening The Rainmaker to the tune of $11 million for third.
The Jackal held up almost exactly as expected ($9 million for fourth), but was upstaged by the new product, as was The Little Mermaid, who got her tail kicked, dropping 34 percent to $5.8 million to swim into fifth place. Midnight in the Garden of Good And Evil did well considering the small release Warner Bros gave it, averaging over $6,300 on each of its 824 screens for a $5.2 million total and sixth place. Starship Droopers fell 50 percent again, bugging out with just $5 million and a seventh place finish. The Man Who Knew Too Little was a little smarter than expected, dropping just 33 percent in a strongly competitive marketplace, adding $3 million to the pot. Finally, IKWYDLS knows box office, making its last appearance in the Top Ten with $2.8 million for tenth after a glorious $60 million-plus run.
Want to see how my predictions faired?
This week, Box Office Preview will run on Wednesday due to the long weekend. So e-mail your predictions to me early so I can have some crow to go with my turkey on Thanksgiving night.

It's Time for Anastasia to Put Up or Shut Up

Friday, November 21st, 1997

All the whining about Disney means nothing. This weekend is wide open without another truly major release in it’s way. Next week, Alien Ressurection and Flubber blow, bite and bounce into theaters. So, this is it! That said, I think that Fox’s animated Meg Ryan will do about what last year’s real Meg release, Courage Under Fire did: $14 million for first place. Last week, the big dropper was Starship Troopers with a 55 percent plunge. This week, The Jackal should combine bad word-of-mouth with an R-rating to lose 40 percent and fall to a $9.1 million second place finish. And despite all better judgment, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation should open in third with about $9 million.
My Butt-Biter-Of-The-Week could be The Rainmaker, which I’m projecting at $7 million in fourth, even though it could do much worse. I love Coppola and even I’m not that anxious to see it. The second and last week of The Little Mermaid should survive Anastasia to the tune of a 30 percent drop into fifth with $6.9 million. The fall of Starship Troopers should slow to about 35 percent with $6.5 million for sixth.
The last of our newbies is Clint Eastwood‘s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which may suffer the same box office fate as L.A. Confidential, though the buzz isn’t as good. Warner Bros. choice to start with 800 screens should limit the box office to a seventh place finish with about $5.6 million or worse. Bean isn’t exactly the cultural phenomena here that it’s been overseas, but it should pass the $40 million mark with another $5.3 million for eighth. And in ninth and tenth, the evil twins of fall, The Devil’s Advocate and I Know What You Did Last Summer, should both hover around the $2.5 million mark.
Master Wok has already sent in his box office take. He likes Anastasia, Mortal Kombat and The Jackal to lead things. E-mail me your predictions now!