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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Len Beary

Friday Estimates 2016-01-09 at 9.34.19 AM

This is a chart I meant to do weeks ago, but didn’t bother because there was enough Star Wars coverage to choke on. As I have predicted – got this part right – Star Wars: The Force Awakens took the box office record for every day it was in release through the holidays… a trend that stopped on the first day after the holiday.

This chart shows the date, the previous record holder for that date, the gross, and how where SW:TFA was in relation to that gross.

Dec 18 – Avatar – $26.8m – SW+$92.3
Dec 19 – Avatar – $25.5m – SW+$42.8
Dec 20 – Avatar – $24.7m – SW+$35.9
Dec 21 – LOTR: Two Towers – $22.7m – SW+$17.4
Dec 22 – LOTR: Two Towers – $20m – SW+$17.7
Dec 23 – Avatar – $16.4m – SW+$21.6
Dec 24 – Avatar – $11.2m – SW+$16.2

Dec 25 – Sherlock Holmes – $24.6m – SW+$28.4
Dec 26 – Avatar – $28.3m – SW+$28.4
Dec 27 – Avatar – $24.2m – SW+$18.9
Dec 28 – Avatar – $19.4m – SW+$12
Dec 29 – Avatar – $18.3m – SW+$11.2
Dec 30 – Avatar – $18.5m – SW+$9.6
Dec 31 – Avatar – $14.7m – SW+$8.2

Jan 1 – Avatar – $25.3 m – SW+$ 9.1
Jan 2 – Avatar – $25.8m – SW+$8.6
Jan 3 – Avatar – $17.4m – SW+$4.1

Jan 4 – Avatar – $8.1m – SW-$.1
Jan 5 – Avatar – $7.3m – SW+$.7
Jan 6 – Avatar – $6.9m – SW-$.7
Jan 7 – Avatar – $6.1m – SW-$.1
Jan 8 – Avatar – $13.3m – SW-$2.5
Jan 9 – Avatar – $21.3m – SW
Jan 10 – Avatar – $15.8 m – SW

As you can see, Force Awakens more than doubled the record every day of its opening week. Then it ran into a Christmas Day opening before Avatar started catching up and passing the film on a daily basis. Avatar wasn’t even halfway to its domestic total by Jan 8, 2010. Force should pass $800m domestic this weekend, but whether it has the legs to get to $900m is a big question mark, leaning to the “no.” There is, obviously, no shame in that. SW:TFA brought the summer box office pattern to December for the first time while also getting the benefit of December’s holiday advantage of 2 weeks of weekdays acting much more like weekend days than usual. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will try to do the same next December while Episode VIII heads to the summer on Memorial Day weekend 2017. One wonders whether, with the December seal cracked, whether Disney would not be better off the other way around (meaning spin-offs in the more forgiving summer and Star Wars fighting only itself in Decembers.)

Anyway… strong expansion for The Revenant. The question has come up about whether it is DiCaprio or the movie. The clear answer is The Movie and Fox’s sell of it. Like the campaign for The Big Short, the studio decided to market to the sweet spot and not the complexity of the film, and voila! The bear attack has been used in ads the way a studio uses the joke in a film that consistently got the biggest laugh in preview screenings. And 4-5 million people will have responded by Sunday night by buying movie tickets. (Here is the section where the New York Times or the trades explain why this is really a bad thing that should have the industry worried.)

Back to Leo vs The Movie… this will be DiCaprio’s #1 or #2 non-summer opening, competing with Shutter Island. There a 4 other examples this decade of his non-summer movies not opening this well. Obviously, he has drawing power. But the difference between this movie opening to $15 million and $40 million-plus is The Bear, not the movie star being attacked by him.

Also opening… The Forest… mediocre opening. Not much more to say.

The holdovers took a beating as compared to the supercharged holiday weekend last. Nothing new there, though The Hateful Eight seemed to get an extra shove. This was a story of a really well-intended idea that seems to have created more confusion that excitement amongst the people who only had non-70mm DCPs to watch on 2800 of the 2900 screens.

Sisters ends up as the #2 grosser of Tina Fey’s movie starring career, behind only Date Night.

Daddy’s Home ends up as Will Ferrell’s sixth $100m comedy of the last decade (not counting Megamind or Lego) with his couple softer titles in the $90m domestic range and just a couple semi-experimental films (the Spanish-language Casa de mi Padre, Everything Must Go, which was a drama in which Ferrell really just acted) missing.

The Big Short has somewhat of a glass ceiling problem, but Paramount intends to smash it with Oscar nominations and a hardcore push to win Best Picture (assuming it gets nominated, as everyone now seems to assume).

Joy should crawl to $50m domestic. Concussion will not (unless Will Smith gets what would not be a surprise Oscar nomination).

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24 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Len Beary”

  1. PcChongor says:

    I can’t tell if Star Wars is underperforming or if The Revenant is overperforming, but, either way, if The Revenant pulls this off I’ll never complain about mainstream audience tastes ever again.

  2. Kevin says:

    Looks like THE REVENANT will be Inarritu’s biggest boxoffice hit in only a few days.

  3. Peter says:

    71% off? Is Hateful 8 officially a dud?

  4. eldrick says:

    damn, thats too bad. i really liked hateful 8.

  5. Js Partisan says:

    Eight is just terrible, so here’s to his ninth film not being well acted shit.

  6. Nux says:

    HATEFUL EIGHT is a really good movie that will improve with time. THE REVENANT is a mess with no point. I’m curious how people will look at that one in five years. It’s only worth seeing for the cinematography.

  7. movieman says:

    Leo is The Man.
    Pretty damn impressive stats in a star-less era.
    And not a sequel or franchise movie in the bunch.
    I’m not a “Revenant” fan, but I’m still glad to see it open so well in wide release.
    I pegged “H8” as Tarantino’s weakest b.o. entry since “Jackie Brown,” so its (wide release) under-performance doesn’t surprise me.

  8. Peter says:

    I thought 8 would be problematic in going wider than QT’s base of New Beverly fanboys. Basterds and Django had Pitt and DiCaprio star power which 8 definitely lacks. I’m going to guess he’ll be “encouraged” to have a box office star next time. I know 8 wasn’t expensive budget wise, but for struggling Weinstein Company, this isn’t the best news, either.

  9. Kevin says:

    “I thought 8 would be problematic in going wider than QT’s base of New Beverly fanboys. Basterds and Django had Pitt and DiCaprio star power which 8 definitely lacks. I’m going to guess he’ll be “encouraged” to have a box office star next time.”

    No surprise they’re now advertising that Channing Tatum is in the movie…

  10. eldrick says:

    dicaprio is easily in them most enviable position of any actor. opens movies, works with all the best directors consistently.

  11. Bulldog68 says:

    “Force should pass $800m domestic this weekend, but whether it has the legs to get to $900m is a big question mark, leaning to the “no.”

    You really should get out the prognostication business Dave. You still underestimate the power of the force. It will still beat Jurassic World’s 4th weekend of $29m by about $10m, and while JW will have the advantage of those summer days that TFA does not have, JW still had almost $100m left in the tank at this point.

    With an estimated $810m and only $90m to go, and the MLK weekend coming up, momentum alone should take it over that threshold. $1B on the other hand is now out of the question.

  12. Peter says:

    If Disney re-releases it later this year in the run up to ROGUE with new footage (as rumored) it’ll blow past $1 billion domestic, and likely past AVATAR (still stunned that movie made THAT much money).

  13. Doug R says:

    So we have Sandra Bullock stuck in orbit, Matt Damon stuck on Mars and Leo DeCaprio stuck in Alberta. I’m sensing a pattern here.

  14. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Avatar’s worldwide haul is out of reach I think. For no other cold reason that 2009 was the trough of the economic downturn and the foreign currency to dollar exchange was much lower than it is now. As for a billion dollars domestic, Disney have a track record of doing whatever it takes to reach a particular box office milestone. Remember way back in 1990 that Jeffrey Katzenberg moved hell and high water to get Dick Tracy to $100 million domestic. Or just a couple of years ago, when Frozen was in sight of being the top grossing animation of all time Disney put it out in theatres again in a sing-along / karaoke version. If they want that magic billion dollar number that badly, they’ll find a way.

  15. JS Partisan says:

    Yeah, Dave, you are still on that boat heading up the river with TFA. It’s going to be around til March. This is Disney. These are the people that did all they could to get Cinderella to fucking 200m. They are going to milk TFA for every damn cent. TFA will hit a billion, and win this weekend.

    That aside, Peter, go read the Wired article about Avatar’s gross. It’s enlightening.

  16. Smith says:

    Too bad about the Hateful Eight, but not all that surprising. Mixed reviews and audience reception, a new big budget western targeting its core audience, and I’m sure losing most (or all?) of its roadshow screens didn’t help.

  17. Peter says:

    “For no other cold reason that 2009 was the trough of the economic downturn and the foreign currency to dollar exchange was much lower than it is now. ”

    I read somewhere – Variety? – that $24 million box office in Brazil that FA had taken in would equal $50 million in Avatar’s 2009 numbers. So yeah, I think global is out of reach, unless, as I earlier said, they do a re-release later in the year with new scenes.

  18. YancySkancy says:

    I loved The Hateful Eight, but like Smith said, its comparatively weak b.o. is perhaps not so surprising. It’s a Western. It’s super-violent. It’s three hours long. It has no clear protagonist, and certainly not one for the mass audience to root for. Most of the pre-publicity seemed to be about a technical issue that only cinephiles would care about. Any one or two of those would keep a certain number of people away; the combination was probably too much for all but QT fans and genre fans. Oh, and there were probably at least a few yahoos who stayed away because they bought the b.s. that QT had slammed all cops, not just the murderous ones.

  19. PcChongor says:

    Finally saw “The Force Awakens” this weekend. It was like the movie version of going to a Julian Lennon concert in the 80s. We get it, you look and sound like John Lennon. Now sing something original.

    “The Revenant” is like New Order. Glad to see it kicking ass.

  20. leahnz says:

    well since there’s only ‘the hateful 8’ butt-sniffers on here so far, let me be the first to say, what a massive bore (should have been a stage play, subtitled: ‘talk shit, get hit!). don’t know if it’s true about marilyn manson having ribs removed so he could blow himself, but with H8 maybe tarantino has done the metaphorical equivalent so he can finally put his entire head up his own ass

    sorry JF Sebastian also not keen on H8, kind of scrolled quickly

    re: the remnant…can’t be bothered

  21. Stella's Boy says:

    I didn’t exactly find The Hateful Eight boring. The cast is exceptional. It looks beautiful. The music is awesome. And QT stages some great scenes. But it doesn’t add up to much, and it certainly does feel like he is blowing himself (even more than usual). As far as Kurt Russell 2015 westerns go, Bone Tomahawk is way better.

    Totally unrelated, but the Batman vs. Superman TV spot they showed recently during the playoff game, holy sh*t, just insanely and hilariously awful.

  22. Triple Option says:

    I actually thought the same thing about Hateful 8 would’ve been a cool experience to see as a stage play. I did think it was really sh#tty that the Cineramadome booted his flick for Star Wars. Seemed like an unnecessary visual for Disney. The diehards would want to see the film on IMAX and if not that the other ideal spot would’ve been the El Capitan for the full pre-show/large house effect.

    Tarantino will argue for the importance of shooting that whole film in 70mm but Once Upon a Time in the West it was not. Not speaking to quality but visual staging of a western town in moments before a gunfight or the lone hero riding in from the long dusty plains. 70mm should take me back in time. I don’t know how Hitchcock shot Rope but that to me would’ve been the model to go after. Make the most of the space but don’t lose the fact that nerves tend to get entangled in such close quarters.

  23. PTA Fluffer says:

    Maybe QT is, and has always been, a false prophet…?

  24. John says:

    Dave- your math is confusing. It took Avatar 23 days to make $400 million domestic. It took SW:FA that long to make $800 million. Yes, it’s spent a few days below (most just slightly) Avatar’s daily grosses this week but how in the world do you expect Star Wars to have less than 90 million in its tank? The upcoming releases aren’t exactly world beaters and even with Oscar bumps for various films, it’s still going to make some serious money in the weeks to come.

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