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David Poland

By David Poland

4-Day Weekend Estimates by Klady – Dead Presidents Of Love

The domestic 4-day on Valentine’s Day is impressive, but to me, the estimated $34.4m overseas for the film is a much more important number. Comedy doesn’t generally travel well. But this one has. Stars, stars, stars, stars, stars. It’s fascinating how things cycle… we’re back to Irwin Allen territory here.
The market for this kind of Valentine’s film is clearly strong, from Hitch to 50 First Dates to He’s Just Not That Into You. Interestingly, WB opened the NL star fest last year a weekend before the holiday and by the end of V-Day weekend, they had almost the same exact domestic gross as V-Day’s opening 4 ($57.8m). The film only did another $36m domestically. How will this one play out over the weeks to come? It will be interesting to see.
Do kids love Percy Jackson? That will be the question in weeks to come on that Fox release. A $39m domestic 4-day doesn’t suck,,, but it’s no Harry Potter. But then again, no one should have expected Harry Potter. The proof of the pudding will be in the target market’s word of mouth. if this leads to a $150m+ domestic gross, it could be the start of something real. If not, not.
The car wreck that people assumed to be The Wolfman was not either. And the release date was no on their side. Between Avatar hang and both a big kid picture and a chick flick, they really had to thread the needle. Historically, even good versions of this kind of film lose steam quickly. But people – not critics – seem to be having some fun at the movies with this one. So again… we’ll see.
Good to see The Hurt Locker get a re-release of some kind… though once again, too timid. 125 screens seems more like a screening program than a re-release. Summit seems determined to half-ass this movie all the way to Oscar. And it may happen, in spite of Summit.

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30 Responses to “4-Day Weekend Estimates by Klady – Dead Presidents Of Love”

  1. JPK says:

    I just hope everyone realizes the box office for the film Valentine’s Day on Valentine’s Day weekend is tainted because the presence of Julia Roberts isn’t fair to all previous non-Julia Roberts films released on previous Valentine’s Day weekends. When people realize this and grow tired of Valentine’s Day weekend films featuring Julia Roberts and a new film blows away the box office performance of this film, the true measure of that film’s Valentine’s Day weekend popularity can be appreciated.

  2. mutinyco says:

    So Avatar is only .1 away from 666…

  3. mysteryperfecta says:

    Interesting that Avatar was + 2-3% over the previous weekend despite losing over 300 screens.
    At this point in its run, Titatic only had $371 of its eventual S600 million. It will be interesting to see what kind of legs Avatar has.

  4. Gonzo Knight says:

    Very strong legs. Avatar is really holding like a champ. I can’t even begin to think about any “ceilings” for it.
    And it’s such a great winter movie, too! Fox couldn’t have released it at a better time.

  5. Geoff says:

    Avatar is holding like a champ and against very strong competition, no less – I can see it getting to $750 million.
    But does any one know what the plan is for the first weekend of March? Is a film this popular, possibly on the verge of winning some Oscars, really going to lose 2000 screens? It’s conceivable, because Alice is going to be getting probably all of them.
    Will a lot of theaters being do last minute conversions? Any one have any knowledge about this? Very unique situation…..

  6. Steven Kar says:

    I keep thinking about how AVATAR will do $750+ mil easy, maybe even reach 800, and then I remember that 3 weekends from now, it’ll lose all its 3D screens to ALICE IN WONDERLAND, and suddenly AVATAR’s 750 minimum becomes its maximum – if lucky enough – if all its 3D screens will be taken away from it.
    And of course they will all be taken away from it; ALICE is a huge movies that will do huge business in 3D and IMAX.

  7. EthanG says:

    If reports of “Wolfman” costing 150 million are to be believed, than this is a terrible opening…I read initially it was between 80-90 million. Did the added effects/reshoots cost that much?
    Percy Jackson supposedly cost just under 100 million…agree it’s TBD as to it starting a franchise, though it had pretty bad legs from Friday for a kids flick.

  8. Steven Kar says:

    If Universal claims tax credits, the WOLFMAN budget would be brought down to $110M.
    I think Wolfman will earn $90M domestically.

  9. Gonzo Knight says:

    EthanG, you are making a mistake of judging the opening based on the budget alone – it’s a good opening for a werewolf movie. The problem is that it’s an awfully high budget for that kind of movie.
    And the sad thing is that Wolfman is still much better than “Van Helsing” (talk about overprived mess) but it’s never going to make as much money.

  10. EthanG says:

    Using context is a mistake? Man I guess all those people who judged Superman Returns as disappointing with a 52 million opening were wrong..or Terminator 4 and its 42 million opening..or G-Force and its 32 million opening given its budget. (DP dubbed GI Joe a money loser on a 54 million opening and defended ACC’s opening only due to perceived legs…that film did 4.5 times opening domestic. Good luck to Wolfman on doing 3x opening)
    Tax credits or not, MI:3 had the same budget, and opened to 47 million…widely deemed disappointing. So how is a 31 million opening 3-Day not a miss on the same budget? Wolfman opened with just 21 million overseas despite release in most major markets.
    More importantly..why is Joe Johnston getting Captain America?

  11. Rob says:

    I got a huge kick out of Wolfman, but yeah, spending nine figures on a Benicio Del Toro movie with half a dozen locations and, like, 9 speaking parts is pretty ridiculous. Especially when the Rick Baker makeup is so enjoyably low-tech.

  12. Stella's Boy says:

    So it is fair to compare the opening of a PG-13 action franchise with a huge movie star to an R-rated horror movie with a character actor in the starring role?

  13. mattn says:

    Regarding Percy Jackson–
    My son, a 10-year old who loves loves LOVES the books, was very disappointed with the movie (like, C- rating disappointed). He felt they changed the books too much, not just in detail but in major character ways. [By way of contrast, he has read and seen all the Harry Potter books/movies and has no major issues with changes in the movies.]
    Also, he has already seen Avatar three times and would see it three more times if he could, certainly before he’d see Percy Jackson again even once.

  14. jesse says:

    EthanG, I think Gonzo Knight’s point is that audiences aren’t considering budget when they’re deciding whether they want to check out a movie. So yes, if you’re talking pure profitability, $31 million in three days for Wolfman doesn’t indicate a huge financial success. But I think a movie can be a “hit” and not really wind up in the black. If Wolfman goes on to make $80-90 million, I dunno, that’s probably on the high end of what you can expect out of an R-rated horror movie starring Benicio Del Toro.
    Clearly they shouldn’t have spent so much money that $80-90 million domestic isn’t enough, but losing money on a hit doesn’t make it not a hit. Imagine if there was a movie that cost $450 million, opened to $50 million, and wound up making $300 million. Unless that was some kind mega-sequel (Spider-Man/Batman/etc.), $300 million, especially off of a $50 million opening, would be pretty damn good. Related to its budget, it might be a financial disappointment… but still a hit. Sometimes analysis of profitability (as much sense as it makes) makes it sound as if audiences *really* liked a movie, they’ll make the effort to make it truly profitable.
    I mean, G.I. Joe is actually a good example. It might lose money, but it was a hit. It opened and it went on to make decent (if not exactly world-beating) coin. I didn’t like it. But it not making a profit doesn’t make it not a hit; it just makes it a poorly managed investment.
    I’m not saying Wolfman is some kind of phenom, obviously, or even that it will prove to be especially well-liked, but $30 million for this movie is not quite the disappointment of $47 million for a PG-13 threequel with one of the world’s biggest stars.

  15. Gonzo Knight says:

    EthanG, you are looking at it from the wrong angle. Using budget to say that a particular movie had a bad opening is not context. Pointing out the kind of movie it happens to be, and then drawing conlusions about it’s performance, that’s context.
    Jesse, understood me correctly. You simply cannot say a movie had a bad opening if it performed above expectations and averages of its genre. Extreme budget is where the blame lies – NOT the opening. The two things have little to do with each other.
    So you see I am not advocating ignoring the budget nor the opening. Both are part of the movie’s performance but they don’t have a direct cause/effect relationship.

  16. Gonzo Knight says:

    Allow me to get more specific for the benefit of people who are reading this:
    “Tax credits or not, MI:3 had the same budget, and opened to 47 million…widely deemed disappointing.”
    You see what you are doing here? You are comparing apples to oranges. First of all, just becuase two things have the same budget’s doesen’t mean they have they same draw. That’s why TALENT means (used to mean?) somethign in hollywood. You can’t fake it all with money. No, you cannot compare “Mission Impossible 3” with “Wolfman”. Period.
    And here’s an even more important point. The main reason why MI3’s opening was called “dissapointing” is because it was below the precedents you see my the previous entries in the series (which, for all I know, were cheaper) and the expectations for the genre/third movies . So it all came down to expectations. That’s true context and has nothing to do with “budgets”.
    (Show me a billion dollar documentary and I’ll show you an idiot. Show me a documentary that opens to 10 million and I’ll show you a guy who knows how to sell his movie. I think you see where I’m going.)

  17. leahnz says:

    actually perhaps you should show him a woman, since statistically the majority of documentary film-makers are female

  18. doug r says:

    Regarding theater conversions, I know our local 18 and IMAX-plex finally got two digital projectors last year. They were trying to get another one for one of their 2 big house 640 seat screens last month while the ‘Tar gong show was in full swing. I’m thinking they should get that new projector in time for Alice-they SHOULD get yet another one IMHO.

  19. Gonzo Knight says:

    Ah, but I doubt a woman would make a decision that stupid, leahnz. On the other hand, a man might just make a billion dollar documentary to overcompensate for its very subject.
    Getting back on topic: Alice’s presence might actually hurt Avatar in ways that go beyond shortage of screens. Suddenly, there’s another 3D movie to watch. Unless Alice is really terrible, in which case people could go back with renewed vigor.
    In any case, I think the Avatar spillover effect is going to help Alice and other 3D movies that follow. It’s going to be interesting to see how long it will last.

  20. marychan says:

    I think “The Wolfman” will still lose money, but “The Wolfman” wouldn’t be a huge money loser as the film was widely expected to be. Maybe it is a small victory for Universal’s marketing team.

  21. Joe Leydon says:

    Almost forgotten in all the talk about the top four flicks on the list: My Name is Khan grosses $2.2 million in 120 houses. Isn’t that some kind of opening-weekend record for a Bollywood production in North America?

  22. Gonzo Knight says:

    You could be right, Joe. 3 Idiots (which I think was the previous record holder) opened grossed $1,645,502 over the first three days in 199 theaters.

  23. The Wolfman is not gonna get to $90mil. I’m sure it’s gonna sink like a stone (or, something heavier than a stone even). But $30mil+ is good for this sorta movie in February. Still a terrible movie though. A terrible, terrible movie.

  24. Stella's Boy says:

    Looking at boxofficemojo and its werewolf category from 1980-present, only New Moon has a better opening weekend than The Wolfman, and calling New Moon a werewolf movie is stretching it. The next closest would be Underworld: Evolution with $26.8 million. Even Wolf, with major movie stars, only opened to $18 million. Yes ticket prices were lower in 1994, but all things considered $30 million over three days is a very respectable opening weekend for The Wolfman.

  25. EthanG says:

    Yup it’s a nice opening for a werewolf/horror movie…zzzzz. Still doesn’t mean at the end of the day Universal won’t possibly lose tens of millions on the bottom line having spent so much on production…and that they’re going to need to take another look at this relaunching of its monster movies.
    Universal overspent, and Wolfman is the latest in a string of costly misfires for the studio is the story here from a financial perspective.
    Gonzo…expectations or not, I’m looking at this from a bottom-line perspective…and the bottom line is bad. Yes the opening is good for a werewolf movie…and yes the opening is bad for a movie as costly as “Wolfman.” End of story.
    Jesse…GI Joe made 300 million worldwide. This movie will end up with less than “Final Destination 4” or “Paranormal Activity.”
    Dave argues that Trek won’t make money on 385 million worldwide despite a budget of 140 million…this film cost 30 million less to make than Trek and will earn more than 230 million less.
    But yep nice opening for a werewolf movie…can’t disagree there.

  26. Stella's Boy says:

    Obviously Universal overspent and….zzzzzzzzz.
    Clearly it went over budget and has a problematic production history. I wonder what they honestly expected to make with an R-rated horror movie without a major star in the lead. Can’t the opening weekend not be a disaster even if it will come up short of making its budget back?

  27. EthanG says:

    I don’t think any opening weekend that large could be a disaster, short of a spectacle like “Avatar” or “Harry Potter.” But it’s still pretty bad given how much was spent…this film ran $65 million over-budget on re-shoots and special effects…aka more overbudget than New Moon cost in total!
    The film probably needs more than $215 million worldwide (and a nice home market run) just for the studio to break even. After a pretty mediocre start internationally…150 million may be out of reach.

  28. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah it looks like $150 million worldwide will be tough to reach. With the way horror movies typically drop plus Shutter Island and then The Crazies eating into its audience, $75-$80 million is probably where it’ll end up domestically.

  29. jennab says:

    So, I was thinking about how Wolfman was all Angsty, a la Hulk, which is kind of an interesting take for superheroes like Spidey, ‘cuz they’re supposed to be, well, heroes, but doesn’t it make more sense for monsters to revel in their monstrosity…?
    I think it would have been more fun if, for instance, del Toro was all “howl ya like me now?” to Emily Blunt when he was fully sprouted and they proceeded to have wild, wolfy sex.
    Just sayin…
    Agree, it was a victory for the marketing team, marychan, because it made the teen boys want to see it, and me not mind taking them.

  30. The Big Perm says:

    The classic monsters tended to be somewhat sympathetic. Wolf Man didn’t revel in being a monster in the original, and neither did Frankenstein’s monster.

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