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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Box Office by Klady – Alice = 4 New Films + 50%

Alice In Wonderland‘s 10-day gross is only $6 million behind Avatar‘s and also #2 to Avatar as the top 2nd weekend gross outside of the summer. Obviously, the comparisons are a bit stretchy because of the December holidays (for better and for worse) and because the Sunday number is still a pure estimate. In terms of spring numbers, it’s The Passion of The Christ that Alice is dueling with and is a little behind and falling a bit faster. Still, even dropping at 40% a week from here in, $400 million domestic is in the crosshairs. Could be a little higher… could be a little lower. Regardless, mighty impressive numbers.
And huzzahs again to the former regime at Disney, which tee’d this ball up before Rich Ross took over. There was no demonstrable change in the marketing focus… only more finished footage to add to spots.
The openers didn’t have a happy weekend. Not one is estimating 3x Friday estimates. And the worst estimate, Friday vs Weekend, is Remember Me, estimating less than 2.5x Friday. What this says to me is that the hardcore Twilightinas were there on Friday, voting Team Edward. The movie getting to $25m domestic would seem to be a fantasy at this point.
Searchlight continues to get Crazy Heart out there and I wouldn’t say their 7% rise is so much a function of Oscar this weekend as it is of continuing to find the real audience for this movie… a Searchlight specialty.
The Hurt Locker almost doubled last weekend’s gross… to $810,000. This kinda seals the deal on the domestic theatrical on this movie. And taking a look all the way back, it is the lowest grossing Best Picture winner since Marty in 1955, which apparently grossed about $7 million. Adjusted Grossers would put that number at $90 million or so in 2009 dollars. Obviously, the gross numbers get smaller and smaller as you work your way back to 1929. But if you were to used adjusted figures – and this may be one of those rare cases in which it might be appropriate – The Hurt Locker is the least successful theatrical release to win Best Picture in Oscar history.
And clearly, post-theatrical for The Hurt Locker will blow Marty away by many multiples, given that we now live in a universe of post-theatrical revenue opportunities that could not even be conceived back in 1955… just as theatrical was so much more expansive, when you look at tickets sold, back then.
Box Office Mojo, I feel compelled to repeat, has done a great disservice by running obviously incorrect numbers in terms of adjusted gross and ticket sales. They have been quoted everywhere because they are used as a resource. The site is an excellent resource… to any box office in the last decade or so of gathering actual hard stats. But they have no detail on grosses from any distance and allowing their guesstimated stats to be used as news is a shameful failure on their part. Someone could spend a lot of hours and get an accurate count on the ticket sales – or at least within 10% – of Gone With The Wind. But I don’t care that much. I only care that loose guesses not be presented as facts… a re-written history that we will be stuck with forever because people don’t challenge the veracity. This does not diminish GOTW’s position… not the point. The point is that facts are facts and guesses are guesses and we need to know the difference if at all possible. In this case, it is possible.

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33 Responses to “Weekend Box Office by Klady – Alice = 4 New Films + 50%”

  1. Blackcloud says:

    “The Hurt Locker is the least successful theatrical release to win Best Picture in Oscar history.”
    I’m guessing that’s not going on the DVD/Blu-ray case.
    p.s. I’m having considerable trouble signing in. I have to do it three times before it actually works.

  2. MarkVH says:

    For the record, whoever came up with the marketing slogan “Kick Some Past” for Hot Tub Time Machine should be fired immediately. The movie may be funny – Cusack rules, Darryl from The Office rules and Cordry’s got potential – but that slogan is the worst thing I’ve ever heard.

  3. bulldog68 says:

    Don’t forget Blind Side Dave. Up 25% from last week, this movie just wont go away, and theoretically has Star Trek in its cross-hairs with about $5M to go.
    And as for all the talk by the Avatar haters, I thought this one forecast to die a quick death after it lost its 3D asterisk, and yet here we are with the a 20% drop and still chugging along.
    Has AiW now positioned itself as the movie to beat for 2010 already? With 350M almost assured, if it does get to 400M, Iromman2 has its work cut out for it, not to mention Shrek, Toy Story, Harry Potter and even Tron Legacy.
    Gotta say, I was a bit surprised by the low opening of Green Zone. I thought above $25M at least. Is Iraq really the box office poison they say it is? The more existential Jarhead didn’t do that badly, and Matt Damon is as popular as you can get with everyone, so did audiences just smell a stinker with this one. A seriously older and damaged Mel opened higher a few weeks ago, so this opening was a head scratcher for me. Seeing that they were mimicking the Bourne series in almost every way, maybe they should have opened closer to the end of summer as well, as the usual action-film-for-adults-not-based-on-a-comic-book slot that usually comes around.

  4. Stella's Boy says:

    She’s Out of My League continues the Pittsburgh curse. No offense to residents of that fine city, but lately movies filmed there have fared poorly at the box office. League, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys, Smart People, Adventureland, Dogma. Regardless of the reviews none of them did very well at the box office. Location scouts, look elsewhere.

  5. a_loco says:

    All of the Green Zone marketing material was bland at best. The only reason I was jazzed for it was the Greengrass/Damon teamup. At this point, I do wonder if Greengrass is a one trick pony. (I haven’t seen the film yet, but you catch my drift.)

  6. Eric says:

    Green Zone marketing was pretty vague. Iraq was barely a part of it, if memory serves, unless you consider “generic-looking urban desert setting” to be automatically equated in the audience’s mind to Iraq. (Although some say that might have been the case with The Kingdom.) They mostly pushed the “unofficial Bourne sequel” angle in everything I saw.
    I saw Alice in Wonderland on Friday and… blah. What a mess. Tim Burton is really going through the motions at this point.
    Hey DP, can we get a “Poland’s Official Rules for When Adjusted Grosses Are a Valid Comparison” post? You’ve tossed them out there sporadically over the last few weeks, after fighting them so hard for a long time with Avatar. I’m not so clear on why you think they should apply in some cases and not others. I would think adjustments over a course of decades would be verboten, but then you bring up Marty.

  7. Joe Straat says:

    “She’s Out of My League continues the Pittsburgh curse. No offense to residents of that fine city, but lately movies filmed there have fared poorly at the box office. League, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys, Smart People, Adventureland, Dogma. Regardless of the reviews none of them did very well at the box office. Location scouts, look elsewhere.”
    Don’t forget part of Zack and Miri Make a Porno, though it really wasn’t that big of a failure. Just higher expectations because it was promoted to Hell and back.

  8. asmithy says:

    Ah yes. The Pittsburgh curse. Has nothing to do with the fact that those films basically suck. (Except Wonderboys).
    Oddly they are all pretentious films that are trying hard to be “above” what they really are.
    Well all of them except for “She’s Outta My League”. Lol. That is just victim of producer Jimmy Miller and “10 years behind the curve” taste. It is truly awful and harkens back to the Jason Biggs “comedies” (“Loser”, “Saving Silverman”, “Boys and Girls”). Congratulations Jimmy and co. way to keep your finger on the pulse.

  9. movieman says:

    Y’know, I rather enjoyed “League.” And comparisons with those Jason Biggs stinkers of yore is unfair, Asmithy. Still, that’s a lousy opening for a movie that should have hit $15-million easy in its first three days. Great Pittsburgh flava, though.
    “AIW” a $400-million gamechanger? What are you people smoking? Seriously.
    Just like “New Moon,” I bet it has trouble hitting $300-million.
    Word of mouth just isn’t that good.
    And remember: “Dragon” is going to steal a goodly number of its 3D screens in two weeks. Not to mention the lion’s share of the kiddie matinee traffic.
    Who was it on this blog that said “Remember Me” proves Pattinson can open a movie? Really?? I can hardly wait for Taylor Lautner’s first solo/starring vehicle. (I kid.)
    As happy as I am for Tim Burton, the initial success of “AIW” depresses me to no end because it means that 3D will probably be kicking around for at least another three years. I’m beginning to think that the only non-3D movie scheduled for release this year is the new Woody Allen film. Huge “sigh.”

  10. bulldog68 says:

    While I am cognizant of the loss of 3D screens in two weeks Movieman, you can’t compare the trajectories of AiW and New Moon. Aiw just posted the 6th largest 2nd weekend in history, while New Moon, despite the big opening, did not even make the top 20.
    Additionally all of the films that had a 2nd weekend above $60M did over $400M, and while I believe AiW won’t get there, I see no reason why it wont at least limp to 350M. New Moon basically imploded. And as for ‘word of mouth just isn’t good’, if that were true, then wouldn’t that have meant a bigger second weekend drop off? So I’d have to say that apparently people are having a good time and will rake in some bucks until Train your Dragon shows up.

  11. gradystiles says:

    “Still, that’s a lousy opening for a movie that should have hit $15-million easy in its first three days.”
    I love it when people just toss out moronic statements like this without any backing whatsoever. Why should it have been “easy” for this movie to make $15 million over 3 days?

  12. As I wrote on my site, let’s remember that (She’s Out of My League) starred absolutely no one that the general public has heard of behind slight facial recognition. Casting ‘the third guy on the left in Knocked Up’ isn’t going to get you a Judd Apatow-ish $15-30 million opening. Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle tried that shtick (“starring that Asian from American Pie and the Indian dude from Van Wilder”), and it only opened to $5.4 million despite being the very best comedy of the previous decade.

  13. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Wait – so Marychan was right about the Remember Me screens? Could that account for the Fri vs Weekend numbers?
    (It’s still too low for what they were hoping, but just to test DP’s “Friday Night Twilighters” theory)

  14. LYT says:

    Greengrass is at least a TWO-trick pony. The Matt Damon action movies are a slightly different trick than the historical reenactment flicks.

  15. Someone on Twitter said that people shouldn’t be surprised about Green Zone disappointing at the box office since it’s an Iraq movie with an enviro title. Do not want.

  16. Foamy Squirrel says:

    If you’re going to /b/ you need an obligatory lolcat

  17. Stella's Boy says:

    Was Jason Segel really a recognizable face/name to the general public before Forgetting Sarah Marshall? He had Freaks & Geeks, some guest starring roles on TV, some movies I’ve never heard of, crap movies (Slackers) and Knocked Up. FSM was sold well and opened with $17.7 million. Baruchel had Undeclared, some guest starring roles on TV, some movies I’ve never heard of, supporting roles in some pretty well-known movies (Tropic Thunder, Million Dollar Baby, Nick & Norah, Night at the Musem 2), some crap movies (Rules of Attraction) and Knocked Up. League has a nice, simple hook and with a better campaign could have opened with a number similar to the Apatow-clones.

  18. movieman says:

    I think the relatively modest drop for “AIW” can be attributed to the dread “only new family flick in release” factor (which even benefitted the dreary “Percy Jackson” to name a recent example). The whole 3D thing is another contributing factor. I’m still not so sure that this is a movie people love–e.g., “Avatar,” “TDK,” etc.–and that we’ll see bigger drops once the marketplace offers “alternative” kiddie fare. (“Dragon” is gonna be “Monsters Vs. Aliens” big.)
    Yes, a $15-million opening for “League” seemed pretty reasonable on paper, Grady. As S’s Boy just pointed out, it has a “nice, simple hook,” DW/Paramount marketing muscle
    and appealing actors (even if they’re not all that familiar). The fact that I genuinely like the movie possibly explains my prejudice here, but I really think that a mid-teens opening might have been doable if all the elements (release date, etc.) had aligned better.
    And does anyone really believe that the “Iraq Movie Curse” wasn’t a contributing factor to the ehhh “Green Zone” opening?
    Uni bent over backward to make it look like the fourth chapter in the “Bourne” series for crissakes.

  19. gradystiles says:

    Stella’s Boy: “a better campaign” meaning…? What would you have done differently? It’s very easy for the peanut gallery to blame “the marketing” when they think a movie underperforms, but it isn’t that easy.

  20. brack says:

    You can’t sell an unfamiliar title as the 4th Bourne movie and think can get away with it. We actually need to know wtf the movie is about. The TV spots told us literally nothing about the movie. People will think it’s crap if you don’t at least give them something.

  21. Stella's Boy says:

    Oh I completely agree grady. It is very easy to criticize and I’m sure selling a movie is very hard work (most of the time). Like I have said, I saw next to zero marketing for this, web, print, TV or otherwise. Others have said they saw tons of stuff but none of it made them want to see the movie. The movie’s got an easy hook and an appealing lead a la Jason Segel. I think the Apatow-clones and Apatow movies have provided a workable template as far as how to sell something like this. I know it’s easy for the “peanut gallery” to blame “the marketing,” but it seems to me that something closer to mid-teens rather than single-digits was very obtainable for something like League.

  22. movieman says:

    …and “How to Train Your Dragon” is going to be “M VS A” BIG, not “Cloudy w/ a Chance of Meatballs” big.
    The (deservedly) excellent reviews certainly won’t hurt in attracting a wider demographic than the norm for a non-Pixar (and non-“Shrek”) animated film. 3D just adds spice, and dollars, to the pot.
    Has anyone seen “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”? Fox is being awfully coy about scheduling any pre-release screenings in the Cleveland market. This is based on a popular series of kid books, right? Is it going to be another “Percy Jackson” or “I Love You, Beth Cooper”? Any thoughts?
    I’m personally dreading “Bounty Hunter,” but that’s mostly because I recoil from Gerard Butler whenever he’s on one of his “Amur-rikan” benders. Ick. Yet he’s completely inoffensive using his normal Scottish burr in “Dragon.” (The fact that I didn’t have to look at him probably helped.)

  23. Cadavra says:

    Stella, Segel’s popularity comes from his five years and counting on “How I Met Your Mother.”
    Re GREEN ZONE: This is the third Damon vehicle in six months that failed to open well–all different, all made by respected directors (two of them Oscar winners). Maybe he’s the problem?

  24. jeffmcm says:

    Matt Damon has made a lot of money, but not in everything he’s been in (Brothers Grimm, Good Shepherd, etc). He seems to be one of those stars who has a box office comfort zone and audiences don’t necessarily follow when he ventures outside of it.
    That said, I still would have expected Green Zone to do better, unless it’s falling prey to sand movie curse.

  25. Stella's Boy says:

    I forget that he’s even on that show. Whenever I hear someone talking about it, which is not very often, they talk about Neil Patrick Harris.

  26. hcat says:

    People are also overlooking that the two female leads in Sarah Marshall were also very recognizable television stars and had Jonah Hill in a supporting role. I have no idea who the female lead in League is or any of the supporting cast.
    And does Universal still have Little Fockers opening in the summer? I don’t expect that to do the same business as the previous entries but anything over $150 will be a bright spot compared to the rest of their slate (I expect Robin Hood will do PE type numbers).

  27. Little Fockers is coming out Christmas weekend 2010. Universal switched from July 30th back to the tried-and-true December 22nd date after realizing that the 2009 Christmas movies (Avatar, Holmes, Chipmunks 2, etc) didn’t get decimated by the January slate, ala 2008. I’d imagine that $150 million is bare minimum expectations-wise, since Meet the Fockers grossed $279 million, making it the second-highest grossing pure comedy of all time, behind Home Alone. Little Fockers and Harry Potter 7.1 are the films to beat this holiday season, with Tron Legacy being the wild card (what a fantastic, moody teaser, making me excited for a film that I had no interest in). I suppose Voyage of the Dawn Trader is a big question mark at this point too; it depends on how well Fox can get people re-excited.

  28. dietcock says:

    MOVIE BIZ 101:
    KNOCKED UP: Relatively unknown (at the time) lead. Hilarious trailer/marketing materials. Great relatable hook: “What would you do if THIS schlubby guy got you pregnant?” Big opening weekend. Movie lives up to promise. Great word of mouth. Great legs.
    FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL: Relatively unknown (at the time) lead. Hilarious trailer/marketing materials. Great relatable hook: “Your girlfriend dumps you, you go to Hawaii to try to forget and find out to your horror that she’s staying at the same hotel with her new BF.” Big opening weekend. Great word of mouth. Great legs.
    SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE. Relatively unknown (at the time) lead. Unfunny trailer. Lame marketing materials/attempt at viral internet campaign that doesn’t really convey anything that makes the movie unique or funny, but attempts instead to make a young generation think that the old ’70s “1 to 10” scale is somehow new and original, yet makes no sense because it betrays its own logic when big oafy sidekick on the one-sheet garners a higher rating than the cute brunette who is a profesional model in real life. Middling hook with no real tension or stakes: “Beautiful girl asks nice guy out because he’s kind to her; his annoying friends are haters and he’s insecure but he winds up with her anyway.” Mediocre opening weekend. Mediocre word of mouth. Soon to be forgotten.
    Occam’s razor, people.

  29. The Big Perm says:

    Half of Knocked Up’s marketing was “From the director of 40 Year Old Virgin.” Which was plenty because people loved that damn movie.
    I didn’t think Sarah Marshall’s trailer and such looked that funny…and after seeing the movie I know why. But I think the idea of that one was maybe more appealing to womenfolk, where League is a guy’s fantasy. League actually looked funnier to me and they definitely sold what they had, I’ve seen commercials and trailers for it all over. But in terms of quality I don’t know that there’s a huge difference between that and Sarah Marshall.

  30. I assume the ‘big oafy sidekick’ being rated an “8” was intended to be funny, but it simply sparked confusion and/or annoyance from anyone who saw that poster/billboard. Of course, Krysten Ritter (the ‘cute brunette’) is closer to a “10” in my book, but that’s my subjective opinion. She may end up being the next Judy Greer – always cast as the best friend but cuter/more interesting than the romantic lead.

  31. hcat says:

    Marshall also had the added marketing allure of Segal’s member which spawned a number of articles increasing the awareness of the movie.

  32. EthanG says:

    I took my little cousin to see “Percy Jackson” and actually liked it a good deal better than AiW…partly of course because my expectations were better…but it also just seemed more fun. Not saying it’s a good movie, but definitely better.
    “How to Train a Dragon” will get a nice boost just due to the fact there hasn’t been an animated movie released at all in almost 4 months unless you count Alvin.
    @Scott…don’t leave out “Yogi Bear.” It won’t have the appeal of Alvin or National Treasure but as this December’s tyke tentpole, 150 million seems possible. It seems like theres way more competition this December than last…but no potential Avatar Behemoth…though Harry Potter could get to 400 million boosted by 3D.
    RE: DIARY OF A WIMPY KID…yeah it seems odd that Fox is holding it so close to the vest considering they’re openly talking about a sequel. With “Percy Jackson” they targeted their reviews to a friendly crowd (early notices were way more positive than overall reviews) but Jackson probably didn’t make enough to spawn the intended sequel so maybe they figured theyd try a different tack.

  33. True true, I’m just disheartened that we won’t get that R-rated Yogi Bear horror flick I’ve always wanted. “This Christmas… pray he only takes your pick-a-nic basket.”

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