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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Klady – Oscar Sunday '08

The only thing I can offer of any interest to these numbers this week is that it now looks like we will have the second February in five years – the exception being 2006 – without a single $100 million domestic grosser. And I forget each year that January has successful films… but all grossing under $100 million, a detail that remained true to form this year.
What really distinguishes this year’s lack of 9-figure gold is how many films aspiring to that goal the studios threw at the first two months of the year. Cloverfield and 27 Dresses in January and Jumper and The Spiderwick Chronicles in February all revved the engines and then came up short… with four very different marketing strategies. Geek Love, Women, 4-Quadrant (leaning young), and Kids all failed to deliver the home run, the last two films being by far the most expensive risks. In the past, one or two such films were launched and once, three… never four.
The “year-is-down”/”theatrical is dead” stories should start soon. And it is unlikely the gross numbers will catch up much over the course of the year. The biggest year ever will not be duplicated. And the sky is not falling. This is not a business of selling toilet paper or razor blades. It’s about the movies and the marketing opportunities that those films allow. And you’re just not going to have three $300 million movies in May, a fourth in July, and three more $200 million-plus films in most summers. It’s never happened before… and it won’t happen again for a while.
Holiday 2008 could be up, with a Bond, a Madagascar sequel, a Harry Potter, The Day The Earth Stood Still, and a Jim Carrey comedy that may harken back to his good ol’ days. But the year could easily be down by double digits by November 1. We’ll see.
But for now, March…
Next week, New Line is hoping that a leap year Feb 29 date will be like last year’s March date for Will Ferrell, who scored $119 million with Blades of Glory. Warners’ 300 wannabe, 10,000 BC, opens dead on the $211 million hit’s date. Horton Hears A Who is in the very successful Ice Age and Ice Age 2 slot. And God knows what Par is chasing with Drillbit Taylor, which seems like a summer movie being dumped in spring. And Sony’s 21 hopes to be the second launch of Jim Sturgis, who built a base with teen girls in Across The Universe and looks to win over the boys here, supported by Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne, and the threat of a tryst with Kate Bosworth.
FINALLY… The Oscar bump stories… mythology.
The last time we saw a bump like this – and it was significantly bigger – was 2004. Why? Because it happened to be the last year where the nominees and the release strategies matched like this. Juno had a minor bump after nominations, but the near $45 million “bump” for the film was really the pretty much expectable continuation of a very strong commercial run.
There Will Be Blood

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8 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Klady – Oscar Sunday '08”

  1. Lane Myers says:

    DP, please tell me who in their right mind expected 27 Dresses to make $100mil domestic?
    I can’t think of a single female-only appeal movie to break $100, unless they had an “A” list female star (Best Friend’s wedding), they had a recognizable male lead (Sleepless in Seattle) or they appealed to females as young as 6 (Princess Diaries). “Dresses” has none of the above.
    Now if you had said “Fool’s Gold” had $100mil aspirations, I’d buy it, only because McConaughey (recognizable male lead) & Hudson did break $100mil together previously, WB spent a ton of money selling it, and it was sold like a Romancing the Stone-esque Romantic adventure, which a male moviegoer could possibly be talked into seeing easier than a movie about 27 bridesmaid’s dresses.
    I’m just saying.
    Btw, there is one film that managed to defy all of the above logic, and that was Greek Wedding. But i hardly believe the folks at Fox thought Dresses was the next once in a generation phenomenon.

  2. David Poland says:

    Knocked Up, Juno, The Devil Wears Prada, The Break-Up, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
    No phenomena there. All $100 movies screwing femal. Not a proven box office star in any of them.

  3. JBM... says:

    I finally watched the entire trailer for 21. I had no idea it would be so Casino/Cooler-lite. I half-expected them to use the Junkie XL remix to Elvis’ “A Little Less Conversation.” I’m going to assume the backroom beatings and group infighting scenes (badass Laurence Fishburne is always cool, Laurence Fishburne, but insidious Kevin Spacey is not cool, Kevin Spacey) is where the movie freefalls into “based on a true story” territory.

  4. jeffmcm says:

    Did Knocked Up really ‘screw’ female? It seemed to be a multi-quadrant success building off of 40YOV; DWP had Streep, Break-Up and How to Lose a Guy had stars who aren’t necessarily guarantees in everything but who have hits in the right projects, which both of those were.
    Why not bring up Hitch?

  5. Rothchild says:

    Poland said only kids would see Transformers. He lives in a crazy fantasy world sometimes. Prada and 10 Days “screwed female.” The other two didn’t.

  6. David Poland says:

    Thanks for the typo watch, boys.
    What I think might happen and what I know did happen are a little different, Rothchild.
    And kids were the key to that Transformers number.

  7. jeffmcm says:

    If you’re not going to watch them…

  8. LexG says:

    THE POINT owns your asses.

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4