Thursday, April 5, 2012

Titanic 3D opens with $4.3 million, sails towards likely $20-$25m 5-day total.

The much-hyped 3D-release of James Cameron's Titanic debuted yesterday with a solid $4.3 million.  What's left to do now is merely play with the numbers to estimate where the five-day opening weekend for this 3D release will end come Sunday.  The wild-card for the weekend is that tomorrow is Good Friday, which means that many kids will be out of school for at least part of the day.  On the other hand, Easter Sunday means that families will be spending the day together, and even if a trip to the movies is in order, I can't imagine the entire family agreeing to a 3.5-hour emotionally-draining tragedy that most people own on DVD being the likely pick, especially as families with small children are less likely to shell out for the 3D upgrade.  Anyway, let's presume that Easter Sunday cancels out Good Friday and call it even.

Generally speaking, most five-day openings (Superman Returns, The Matrix Revolutions, Batman Begins, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Star Wars: Episode One: The Phantom Menace, The Hangover II, etc) end up earning between 3.5x and 5x their opening Wednesday or opening Thursday total, give or take front-loading (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) or a case where audiences really/truly don't need to rush out and see the film until the weekend (Toy Story 2King Kong, Tropic Thunder, Knight and Day).  Let's play devil's advocate and say that Titanic plays like a somewhat front-loaded debut, as only the die-hards care and they came out last night.  A 3.25x multiplier gives the film a relatively low $14 million for the opening weekend. If we presume that Titanic plays like a healthy five-day opener, a 5x multiplier will give it a solid $22 million by Sunday.  If we perhaps presume that it's a 3.25 hour movie that all-but-the die-hards can wait to see until date night, then a 7x multiplier gives it $30 million for the five-day weekend.  But the best-case scenario is the fabled Shrek 2/Kung Fu Panda 2 multiplier, where a five-day opener did 11x its first day figure by the time the weekend was out, as nearly everybody just waited until the conventional weekend to check out the anticipated sequels.  That's an unlikely circumstance, but let's pretend, which would give the 3D reissue a terrific $47 million by Sunday.

What's my gut say?  This reissue smells like the also somewhat unprecedented five-day debut of Michael Jackson's This Is It documentary, which parlayed a $7.2 million opening Wednesday into a $34 million five-day debut for a 4.72x weekend multiplier.  Under a similar pattern, give Titanic $20 million for the five-day debut, enough to justify its $18 million conversion price-tag (overseas numbers will cover the marketing and distribution, and the rest is gravy).  Either way, math is fun!!

Scott Mendelson

1 comment:

Magali said...

Yeech I absolutely hate that film. It being released again is like a bad nightmare for me.


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