Sunday, October 26, 2008

High School Musical 3 grosses $42 million (Scott Mendelson hides in shame)

Scott Mendelson is still hiding in shame and embarrassment. So today's quick box office mea culpa will be written by a guest writer. Me, Allison Mendelson.

That's right, Scott Mendelson is sending his fourteen-month old daughter to defend him. Loser, coward, infidel!

"And I have to ask, who was floating this stunning stupid notion yesterday that HSM3 was some sort of game-changing new-metric phenomenon of kids seeing the same movie multiple times in the opening weekend to a degree that was just off the charts?" -- David Poland - Movie City News

Well, my father was kind of one of those idiots. We both agree that the idea of repeat viewings in a single weekend was a little dumb, but yes, dad thought it would be a monster weekend. No wonder it takes him five minutes to dress me. Looking at the Hannah Montana numbers, he stupidly thought that HSM3 would do half the per screen average, and end up with about $85 million. He was so sure that HSM3 would be a far more mainstream product than Hannah Montana and attract people who wouldn't be caught dead at a G-rated 3D concert film.

Alas, he was wrong. Really wrong. He's usually smarter than this, but wowsers, did he blow it this weekend. His prediction stunk worse than my last diaper. While his $82 million guess was obviously pie in the sky, I too am shocked that it didn't even beat the October weekend record. We're not saying the movie is a failure. God forbid that dad raise the sort of child who labels a movie as a disappointment because it didn't live up to my inflated expectations. But it did literally 1/4 of the per screen average of Best Of Both Worlds. Considering you were serving the same audience and that (theoretically) High School Musical 3 could draw people that Best Of Both Worlds could not, we're all a little stunned at the number.

By any normal rationale, $42 million for a movie that cost $15 million is a great number. I guess dad was just expecting something more epic (if he wants epic, wait till he see show long I keep him up tonight). Of course, dad swears that it could theoretically pull a Phantom Menace and pull in another $35 million next weekend (I liked that movie just fine, but then I'm just a 14-month infant). But otherwise, especially if the Friday to Saturday drop suggest long term frontloading, it may struggle to even hit $100 million. What was less likely? That it would earn $80 million on opening weekend or that it would fail to earn $100 million total?

But what do I know? I'm just a baby. Well, I knew that High School Musical 3 wasn't going to do $85 million last weekend, that much I did know! Yeesh, and this is the guy who's supposed to take care of me and install character? Between my dad who has lost his box office 'mojo' (no pun intended) and my mom who likes A View To A Kill, Grease 2, and Batman & Robin, maybe I should take over this column. I even have fill-in writers all lined up. And they didn't think High School Musical 3 would do more than $50 million either!

Allison Mendelson

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