Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bruno frontloads, but opens well. I Love You Beth Cooper tanks. The Hangover cannot be killed. Weekend box office in review for 07/12/09

The list.

I'm quite suspicious of any movie that reports a shattering 38% drop from Friday to Saturday, and then only a 18% drop from Saturday to Sunday. Point being, Universal really needs to be able to advertise that '$30 million!' figure and I completely expect it to end up around $28 or $29 million by tomorrow. As of now, its weekend multiplier is 2.14x, the seventh worst of all time. And there is but a single percentage point separating Bruno from 3rd place, so I expect the Sasha Baron Cohen comedy to jump up a few spots by tomorrow. By the way, thank you Brandon Gray for finally making a list of the very worst opening day-to-weekend multipliers, as I've had to do the math by hand for over a year now. Point being, Bruno was heavily front loaded and there are countless reports of mass walkouts as the film apparently proved too vulgar and/or extreme for even many Borat fans. Naked wrestling aside, Borat wasn't a terribly vulgar picture and the character of Borat was a much more audience-friendly lead. I haven't seen Bruno (as I didn't care much for Borat), so I can only offer anecdotal evidence. Expect an epic crash for this one next weekend, as those seeking R-rated comedy will again turn to The Hangover. Regardless, Universal picked this up for $42.5 million, and they've already made $50 million worldwide just this weekend. Even with marketing costs factored in, this will be a solid long-term moneymaker.

Speaking of which, The Hangover just will not die, no matter how much direct competition (Transformers 2, Bruno, etc) you throw at it. Now at $222 million, it passed Saving Private Ryan yesterday as #5 on the all-time R-rated list. It'll easily end up as the number 3 R-rated film of all time (behind The Matrix Reloaded and The Passion of the Christ and ahead of the $232m and $234m grosses of The Exorcist and Beverly Hills Cop). But even as someone who really likes the movie, I'm shocked by the 14% drop of The Hangover. You have Bruno, an R-rated comedy aimed squarely at the same demographic, and The Hangover still has the smallest weekend to weekend drop of its run. Forget about the R-rated movie list for a moment, this thing may end up threatening Meet The Fockers or Home Alone for the top-comedy of all time crown ($279 million and $281 million). Not a certainty or even a likelihood of course. But at this point, the continued success may mean that The Hangover may keep screens in the weekends ahead while newer, less successful stuff (I Love You Beth Cooper, for example) lose them instead. I'm guessing that's already happening (it lost 455 screens last weekend but only 68 this weekend).

With little fanfare, The Proposal will be Bullock's highest domestic grosser in about a week (Speed's $350m worldwide is likely out of reach). But it seems like Reynolds is getting more credit than Bullock (hence the Green Lantern casting). I Love You Beth Cooper opened to just $5 million, so if you want to see it, you'd best hurry up. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is now at $339 million and will fall behind the day-to-day grosses of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest by next weekend, as it's now only $9 million ahead at the respective 19-day mark. So expect Transformers 2 to crawl to $400 million and then get kicked aside for Paramount's GI Joe (it should end up just ahead of Spider-Man's $405 million). As for really good movies, The Hurt Locker did $623,000 in 60 theaters and crossed the $1 million mark. It expands on July 24th.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs dropped a decent 31% for a new total of $120 million. It's now almost exactly tied with Ice Age: The Meltdown at the 12-day mark, so expect a domestic total that is right between the first film's $174 million gross and the sequel's $195 million take (the third film's second weekend total is actually the lowest second-weekend gross of the series, but the smallest % drop). Public Enemies dropped a hard 44% and now sits at $66 million. It has an outside shot at $100 million+ as there is no real action competition until GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra opens on August 7th. It'll break my heart not seeing Up get to $300m, but even with a 27% drop this weekend, I can't see it happening (it's at $273 million). Cameron Diaz's My Sister's Keeper has surpassed Diaz's terrific In Her Shoes and now sits at $35 million. Alas, it's already bleeding screens due to the volume of new product. The Taking of Pelham 123 has surpassed $60 million (which would be fine if Sony hadn't spent $100 million on it) and Night at the Museum 2 has crossed the $170 million mark.

And that's all the big news for this weekend. Join us at Mendelson's Memos for updates as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince lays waste to the box office starting Wednesday at 12:01am (review coming on Monday night or Tuesday morning). For a look at what went down this weekend last year, go here. For a look at why IMAX won't be showing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on opening day, go here.

Scott Mendelson


Kyle Leaman said...

Excellent writing again Scott. I enjoy your linking to last year's Memo as well.

chuck said...

Reports of walkouts are correct. At least 10% (15 or so people) of the audience I saw the film with on Sat night walked out before the half way mark. While I was buckled over in laughter throughout, the film honestly should have been rated NC-17. To say he pushed the envelope would be an understatement.Is Bruno a bit much? probably, but I couldn't help it, the film was very funny.


R.L. Shaffer said...

Same thing here, too. About 10% (maybe more) walked out right around the "talking penis" scene. I think we're gonna see a huge second week drop. Word about the movie is very mixed, though almost everyone agrees, it's pretty funny.


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