Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Final Weekend numbers...

Sorry for the delay...

The List

With a summer where the well-reviewed movies were big hits (Iron Man, Wall-E) and the few bombs or disappointments were more or less panned (Speed Racer, The Love Guru, The Happening), it pays to remember that more often that not, critics do not affect opening weekend for the general masses. Opening weekend is about marketing, awareness, and blind interest in a particular movie.

On that note, Hancock gave a giant middle-finger to critics and pundits by grossing a more than solid $62.6 million over the Friday-Sunday portion of the long weekend, closing out it's opening 5.5 days with just under $104 million. This is the fourth-largest July 4th opening behind Spider-Man 2 ($88 million 3-day, $150 million five-day), Transformers, and War Of The Worlds. Even if word of mouth is toxic and the competition proves too heavy, the film is still a lock for $200 million domestic. In general, July 4th releases do anywhere from 22% to 29% of their total in their opening Friday-Sunday portion. Even if Hancock did 30% of its final over the opening weekend, that's still $208 million (25% = $250 million, which is not likely).

This is also Will Smith's second-largest three-day take, second only to last Christmas's fluke I Am Legend, which made $77 million off a perfect storm of factors that should not be considered the norm (good reviews, terrific trailers, best release date of the year, no competition, curiosity surrounding The Dark Knight trailers). I Am Legend eventually ended up with $257 million. If Hancock comes anywhere close to that, Will Smith could be setting himself up as a target in the future when his grosses return to their normal levels ($140-170 million). Come what may, this is a terrific number for an unfairly maligned film.

Wall-E took a surprising tumble, losing 48% (a lot for a cartoon), taking in $33 million for a ten-day total of $128 million. The good news is that Wall-E's first ten day gross is still ahead of Kung-Ku Panda (which should cross $200 million next weekend), Cars, and Ratatouille. So, again, even in the worst case scenario, and this large drop isn't a fluke due to competition and July 4th falling on a Friday (always a bad thing), this should still out gross Ratatouille and should squeak past Kung Fu Panda. It has no chance of making Finding Nemo or even The Incredibles/Monsters Inc numbers, but it should get close to if not surpass the $245 million that Toy Story 2 and Cars ended up at. Considering how offbeat and challenging this cartoon is, that's gotta be a huge win for Pixar.

In the catagory of huge drops that deserved it, Wanted plummeted a delightful 61% to about $21 million. Darn shame, that is, really. Anyway, I must conceed that this soulless, stupid, and condescendingly terrible film is a decent hit, crossing the $90 million mark after ten days. This $75 million picture will likely struggle to equal the $131 million that Tomb Raider grossed back in 2001. It sure isn't coming anywhere near the $187 million that Mr. And Mrs. Smith grossed (off a nearly indentical $50 million opening). Ironically, with $193 million, Kung Fu Panda just passed Mr. And Mrs. Smith to become Angelina Jolie's highest grossing picture to date. Anyway, expect this to be another textbook 'quick-kill blockbuster' and do over 40% of its final total in the first three days.

Get Smart ended weekend three with $98.1 million (couldn't Warner found an extra $2 million somewhere?) and is still holding steady. This one cost $80 million, but some of that and alot of the marketing costs were paid for by product plugs and various tie-ins.

The Incredible Hulk... ok, you know where I'm going with this. One more time -
-Current gross - $125 million.
-Probable Final Domestic gross of Hulk 2.0 - $140 million. Budget of Hulk 2.0 - $160 million.
-Actual Final Domestic gross of Hulk 2003 - $132 million. Budget of Hulk 2003 - $130 million.
-Inexplicable decision to spend more money for a sequel than the massively disliked original grossed, then being astounded as said sequel loses more money than the original. Priceless! Nice work Marvel.

The only other major development is the bombing (relative to expectations) of Kit Kittridge: An American Girl. After two weeks of terrific limited release business, the well-reviewed family film went wide with over 1800 screens over the holiday weekend... and no one cared. A $3.2 million opening. $5.6 million gross thus far. To be fair, at a budget of $10 million, Warner Bros. will eventually make money off of this, especially with DVD sales.

Still, I wonder if the only reason that Warner Bros. spent the money for the wide-release was to deflect (false) charges of studio sexism leveled by Deadline Hollywood's Nikki Finke Late last year, WB honcho Jeff Robinov made statements basically blaiming the failures of The Reaping, The Invasion, and The Brave One on the lack of interest in female-driven movies. Whether that was a fair assessment (not really, all three movies were terrible with troubled production histories), and whether the executives harbor sexist attitudes (certainly probable), the WB slate speaks for itself. Yes, that's right, the studio that brought you The Brave One, The Invasion, The Reaping, Sex & The City, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2, He's Just Not That Into You, and The Women is sexist at the core!

Scott Mendelson

1 comment:

Kyle Leaman said...

Great analysis! Enjoy reading your work, and look forward to reading more of it in the future.


Related Posts with Thumbnails