Friday, June 26, 2009

Tranformers 2 does $28.6 million on Thursday...

Before today, the current record-holder for a non-opening Thursday was $23 million, for Spider-Man 2 (the biggest opening Thursday is Revenge of the Sith's $50 million). Transformers 2 seems to have pasted that one with $28.6 million (down 53%), just as it crushed the previous Wednesday record the day before. It's still hard to tell where the film is going by weekend's end. It seems to be playing a little better than Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. That one dipped 59% from $44 million on Wednesday to $18 million on Thursday. Granted, that was a hardcore fanbase franchise where the die-hards had to see it right away, while the rest could just wait until Friday. That picture had a Wednesday to full-five day multiplier of 3.15x. That's easily the lowest multiplier of recent Wednesday tentpole openers. For example, the 'disappointing' opening of The Matrix Revolutions had a 3.44x ($24m opening day and $83m five-day total). Just for fun, if Transformers 2 followed the five-day path of Shrek 2's opening weekend ($11.7 million opening, $128.9 million finish), it would have ended Sunday with $698 million.

So, heading into the weekend, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has already amassed $89 million, earning in two days a bigger gross than the year's highest three-day opening weekend (X-Men Origins: Wolverine's $85 million). This is the fourth-biggest two-day total in history, behind The Dark Knight ($114 million), Spider-Man 3 ($111 million), and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($100 million). The Dark Knight's five-day record ($203.7 million) may be in jeopardy, and the five-day opening weekend record (Spider-Man 2's $152 million) is likely as good as dead. Yes, the word of mouth could be so poisonous as to affect the weekend traffic (see - Superman Returns). The death of Michael Jackson could cause people to stay home and watch the news (not likely, but Eyes Wide Shut did take a hit when JFK Jr's plane went down over the Kubrick film's opening weekend). But in all likelihood, a near-$200 million five-day figure is a pretty sure thing at this point. Obviously, the tea leaves will be easier to read on Saturday morning, once the Friday numbers come in.

Scott Mendelson

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