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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Klady – Trek

Putting Star Trek in historical perspective at this point is tough. It’s the fourth best Friday of this year… but there is more money from Thursday “sneaks,” but Thursday sneaks started at 7pm, which for a weekday is at least 75% of the business anyway. Comparisons to Iron Man make some sense in spirit, but the reality is that at the end of the day Friday, regardless of how you count early showings, ST is no less than $8 million behind IM or about 20%. In terms of long-view comparisons to IM, Trek has one week less of relative space before hard core competition arrives. (IM had No Racer and What Ashtons In Diaz, then Narnia 2, before it hit Indiana Jones. Trek has The AnGel & DeMon Code before hitting the PG-13 Terminator AND Museum 2 a week later.)
Again, without regard to the “early shows,” I consider most opening weekends to be where a movie is at the end of its first weekend. Wednesday launches are different… but not. I’ll save that for another day. But the only $70 million opening, so far, that didn’t lead to $200m domestic was Fast & Furious. But there are hints from this last year that the future will see more, creating another panic for studios that have felt safe in chasing a big opening and then coasting.
Even with an $85 million opening, Wolverine, which will be just over $125 million on Sunday night, is looking like it will come up short. Twilight, with its $69.6m launch, “only” got to $192 million. With F&F, that means ALL THREE $70 million openings since The Dark Knight, last summer, may fail to get to $200 million. With all the talk of booming box office, there has been no $200 million domestic grosser since The Dark Knight.
So… what does this mean?
Good question.
We may have reached a genuine tipping point.
Don’t get me wrong… there is the real liklihood that Star Trek will get to $200 million… not my point. I think by the end of this summer, we will have had between five and seven $200 million domestic grossers. But even with the DVD downturn, multiples are still going down. There are still leggy movies… but they are becoming leggy on a smaller scale.
Blart had 5 weekends over $10 million… Taken and MonstersVA had 4… F&F had 3… none hit $200m.
Now, Iron Man went 5 last year… but had the advantage of being on the first weekend. For the rest of the summer, movies good, bad, and indifferent had shorter Big Legs as the competition of summer grew. The hits were all 4s and 3s. Even the phenomenon and 2nd highest grossing domestic film of all time, TDK, went only 6 weeks over $10 million. (Titanic, for the record, went 16 weeks over $10m.)
Wolverine is looking like 3 and out, in this regard. A week later, Trek faces the nature of the business… which would make more than 4 weeks over $10m likely, but 5 very, very unlikely… no matter how much love there is for the film. This is not criticism… it’s math.
A minimal drop to $40 million (for 3) next weekend and a generous $20 million for the weekdays in between, puts the film, generously, at $140 million at the end of two weekends. Another generous drop of just 35% over Memorial Day weekend puts the movie at $185 at the end of that holiday 4-day. The film could crack $200 million the following Saturday (May 30), hitting $210m after four weekends. $255m is about the max, given very gentle drops the entire way.
A less generous

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23 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady – Trek”

  1. mutinyco says:

    Not that I care all that much. But did LK forget to include Star Trek’s Thursday night numbers?…

  2. matro says:

    BOM says 24 million on Friday and 7 million on Thursday, so who knows. Something doesn’t add up.
    But Wolverine looks to be heading towards a pretty steep drop.

  3. brack says:

    I don’t think Angels & Demons will hit Star Trek that hard next weekend. The fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes is one of the best in months for a mainstream film.

  4. David Poland says:

    Just got a note back from Klady… he says that the number does include Thursday… obviously, he’s a couple million lower than the studio is telling/selling people.

  5. Important difference. That ‘couple million’ gives Paramount bragging rights of besting the previous Star Trek record opening (Star Trek First Contact at $30.7 million) in just ‘one day’. Of course, considering that it will outgross Star Trek Nemesis today and out earn Star Trek V and Star Trek Insurrection by Sunday night (and all but Star Trek First Contact and The Voyage Home by Tuesday), this is just semantics.

  6. Triple Option says:

    Who’s taking money out of this film? Only Abrams? I saw someplace that budget was $150M. What’s the P&A?
    In general, if it’s safe to assume that most summer tentpoles aren’t going to make their money back during their theatrical run, at what point during the life of the film do studios expect to turn a profit off a title? Eg, during the initial 2 weeks of ppv/DVD release? 4 weeks? 3rd cycle pay cable sale? Ad supported cable/broadcast sale?

  7. movieman says:

    Not surprised by the formidable “Wolverine” plunge, especially when you factor in the, duh, huge geek appeal of “ST.” Never was an “X-Men” fan, but I didn’t hate “Wolve.” It’s painless enough for a tentpole movie, and the relatively brief (i.e., under two hours) run time definitely helps.
    Who else thinks that the “Friday Night Light” dude looks like a young Johnny Depp…if the young Johnny Depp had been a jock and played football? Somebody oughta team them up as father and son in a movie. The resemblance–for me at least–was almost kind of trippy.
    Now that I think about it, probably only a true “X” fan could hate “Wolverine.” I just don’t care enough about the franchise one way or another.
    Damn. That’s a really lousy showing for some heavily touted–and very good–limited releases (I’m particularly thinking of “Rudi y Cursi” and “Outrage”), isn’t it? And why does “Little Ashes” remind me of Leo DiCaprio’s totally lame, almost completely forgotten “Total Eclipse”? Not that I’d ever compare Leo with that twinky “Twilight” Brit or anything.
    “Next Day Air” should have definitely opened better. It seemed like terrific “Trek” counter-programming to me, and it’s a surprisingly decent (urban) popcorn flick.

  8. bulldog68 says:

    “With all the talk of booming box office, there has been only one $200 million domestic grosser since The Dark Knight, which was Kung Fu Panda, which opened at $60m.”
    Not to nitpick Dave, but actually the last movie to open and do over 200M was DARK KNIGHT, KUNG FU PANDA, WALL E and HANCOCK all opened before TDK. KFP got there first, TDK next, HANCOCK next, and WALL E got there last.
    Monsters Vs Aliens is trying really hard. Its running almost identical to Ice Age 2 now which topped out at $195M

  9. jeffmcm says:

    So what conclusions can be drawn from this ‘tipping point’ and the incredibly shrinking legs of the movie world?

  10. David Poland says:

    Good catch, bulldog… fixing…
    So there have been ZERO $200 million movies since Dark Knight.

  11. Chucky in Jersey says:

    You may not see this overhyped Franchise/Remake/TV-Based movie open to $70M. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day (in US/Canada), generally a slow day in cinemas.
    @jeffmcm: The conclusion is that Hollywood needs to stop emphasizing Comic Book, Franchise, Remake, Sequel, TV-Based and any combination of same.

  12. Sam says:

    You are so right, Chucky. When is Hollywood going to learn??
    The Dark Knight: comic book/franchise/sequel. Topped out at an embarrassing $533 million domestic.
    Pirates of the Caribbean 2: franchise/sequel/based-on-ride: Faded from theaters after an embarrassing $431 million.
    Transformers: franchise/based-on-tv/based-on-toy: Hits the box office ceiling at $319 million: not enough to get it into the Top 19 domestic grossers of all-time.
    Spiderman 1-3: comic book/franchise/sequel: the three movies combined only barely made a billion dollars domestic.

  13. Sam says:

    A Visit To Friendly’s: A Cautionary Tale
    Nearly ten years ago, I called in a pick-up order at our local Friendly’s in southern New Hampshire. I ordered the honey barbecue chicken tenders with french fries and coleslaw. A few minutes later, I drove in and greeted the cashier at the register. “I had the to-go order for Sam,” I said.
    “Sam?” she asked. “Okay, let me check.”
    So she looked at the monitor and checked my name.
    Ten years later, she STILL hasn’t had a hit at the box office.
    Makes you think.

  14. martin says:

    Sam, don’t taunt Chucky.

  15. Geoff says:

    Ok, Nikki Finke is reporting that rival studios are saying that Trek HELD pretty much even on Saturday, just bizarre – at least it’s safe to say this thing is no Watchman. It’s looking like mid ’60’s for the weekend and around $70 million cume. That’s no Iron Man, but sorry, Iron Man comparisons are just not apt. This film is not performing like a front-loaded one day wonder.
    I always figured for this to be a win, the film needed to be in the range of Casino Royale/Batman Begins – between $160 million and $200 million. You’re not talking about launching a franchise; you’re talking about RE-launching a franchise that has a baggage-heavy brandname. Kudos to the folks at Par for pulling it off – this film itself is not likely to make much profit, BUT then again Iron Man didn’t have a mass catalog of older shows and movies on DVD/Blu Ray that can soar on the success of this.
    I highly doubt that this will do much more than $200 million; hell, it might not even break $200 million. But they did what they had to do and pulled it off…..

  16. IOIOIOI says:

    Sam: taunt Chucky.
    Martin: stop defending Chucky.
    Chucky: your suggestions are always appreciated by the studios., What do you want them to make?
    Geoff: I have seen this flick twice, and it gets better. It is a tremendous freaking flick. JJ finally got it together (I thank Damon) and made one fantastic movie. If anything gets this film over the line. It will be word of mouth. Along side the fact, that Angels and Demons seems to have found itself in the “CASPIAN” seat.
    So I am going with 210 to 250. It will surprise you.

  17. doug r says:

    Mojo’s got it at $26.8 million on Friday and $27.4 million on Saturday, for a total of over $76 million. I think IO is right on with this one.
    Is it possible to have negative name-checking? “This is not your father’s Star Trek” sounds like that to me….

  18. the keoki says:

    turns out Thursday night was 4 mil instead of 7 mil… so 72 mil for the 3 days. that’s a fantastic opening. on the other side is Wolverine dropping 68%…. yikes!

  19. MDOC says:

    Sam – 2
    Chucky – 0

  20. mysteryperfecta says:

    A Star Trek anecdote:
    My dad went to go see the movie. He goes to the movies regularly, and I suppose he liked the original cast TV show/movies. Point being, I’m not sure to what extent the marketing enticed him into the movie.
    He really liked it, and he remarked that it felt almost exactly like the old Trek. He even mentioned that the lighting looked similar (which struck me as odd).
    Turns out, this WAS my father’s Star Trek! The marketing LIED. :p

  21. Chucky in Jersey says:

    To all the haters and mouth-breathing fanboys: All it takes is one expensive flop to put a hurtin’ on your studio for a very long time. When “Speed Racer” tanked it ate up Village Roadshow’s financing, thus Warner Bros. had to cover the Village Roadshow portion on “Gran Torino”.

  22. Cadavra says:

    You mean like that non-sequel/non-remake/non-franchise/non-TV-based/kid-friendly/A-list-star smash MEET DAVE?

  23. storymark says:

    So, Chuck, now that you’ve shared that little piece of blatantly obvious info…. do you have a point?

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon