Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Hangover part II scores $10.4 million in midnight screenings. What does it mean for the long weekend?

Well, The Hangover part II has smashed at least one record.  With $10.4 million in midnight screenings alone, it nearly doubled the $6.3 million earned in midnight screenings for Paranormal Activity 2 last October, breaking the record for R-rated midnight showings.  But as with that horror sequel, midnight front-loading may be a little higher than usual, since the film is arguably more suited for a midnight screening environment than something more mainstream like Thor.  The Hangover part II is also a heavily-anticipated sequel, so it may play like a front-loaded genre sequel more than a general-audiences smash.  So, with that being said, let's use what little math we have in this area.  The closest precedent is the five-day opening weekend of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.  That film pulled in $16 million worth of midnight tickets and ended up with a $200 million five-day total.  Thus, the film did 8% of its five-day business at midnight and 25% of its opening day at 12:01am.  A similar pattern would yield a $41 million opening day and a $130 million five-day total.  That's the likely best case scenario, but Hangover II won't have the benefit of family-friendly matinée business, especially with Kung Fu Panda 2 also opening today.  The worst case scenario would be something resembling the uber-front-loaded performance Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The sixth Harry Potter film scored $22 million worth of midnight showings (a record at the time) and ended its five-day opening with $158 million.  That means the film did nearly 14% of its entire five-day weekend on Wednesday at 12:01am showings.  Such a scenario would give The Hangover II a $28 million opening day and a $75 million five-day total.  We'll know more once the Thursday numbers come in.

Scott Mendelson

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