Box Office Archive for January, 2008

Hannah Montana Stampede

I normally consider Fandango’s releases about their ticket sales nothing but self-hype that should be allowed to linger, unpublished, in the inbox. Like 98% of internet stat-making, they are invariably irrelevant. But the details on the Hannah Montana concert movie are interesting.
From their press release:
If you are reporting on the HANNAH MONTANA concert movie phenomenon, here are some facts that might interest you:
*HANNAH currently accounts for 91% of all ticket sales on Fandango, the nation


Friday Estimates by Klady – 1/26

Well… the biggest drop in history for a movie opening over $10 million was Star Trek: Nemesis, falling 76.2% in its second weekend from $18.5m to $4.4m in its second weekend.
Cloverfield is on target to had a $10m – $11m weekend (if things go well) and no better than a 70% drop… epic, really.
The worst multiples after an opening in the $40m range belong to the Scary Movie franchise and Batman & Robin, whose opening weekend represented just about 40% of their domestic total.
The good news for Paramount is that the international market tends to fall for this kind of sucker bet even harder than America. So expect massive openings in markets like Japan and significant profits for this monstrous movie. And expect more of the same from JJ Abrams and Paramount until that opening dwindles into the teens.
And before you write off Rambo as #2, note that it will open to more than Rocky Balboa and will also be a cash cow overseas, much more so than RB. At worst, you’re looking at over $100 million worldwide, probably no less than $125 million. And that will keep Sly in HGH for a few more years.
The There Will Be Blood expansion is good… and keeps them pretty much on target to do about half the business of No Country For Old Men domestically. When The Coen Bros’ movie expanded in to 860 screens in November, they had a $7.8 million weekend. TWBB is looking at $3.5m this weekend on 885. Country will pass $50m this weekend.


Sunday Estimates by Klady

Not only is this Rob Reiner’s biggest opening ever, topping A Few Good Men by almost $4 million, but it’s Jack Nicholson’t fourth biggest career opening, after Anger Management, Batman, and The Departed. Critics hate it… audiences love it.
Likewise, this is Ice Cube’s biggest opening aside from the Barbershop franchise. (And nice to see a distributor not leaning on Martin Lurther King, Jr Day weekend to release an “urban” movie.)
Juno is the gift that keeps on giving, as it cracks $70 million or more than $10 million past Little Miss Sunshine‘s box office mark. It is one of those phenoms of awards season that had this movie opened in summer and done $100 million or close, it would almost surely be out of the Oscar race like all other successful/not-indie-claiming comedies, aside from Ellen Page and screenplay… and instead is likely to be the biggest grosser nominated for Oscar’s Best Picture trophy this year.
Note P.S. I Love You‘s quiet $50 million… and Charlie Wilson’s War‘s quiet $60 million, which will become Mike Nichols’ second highest grossing film in his career.


Friday Estimates by Klady – 1/12

So… after a lot of people wrote off The Bucket List, it looks to be Rob Reiner’s biggest opening ever, challenging A Few Good Men‘s $15.5 million start. For Nicholson, it is one par with his “smaller film” openers, like Something’s Gotta Give ($16m), As Good As It Gets ($12.6m), and About Schmidt (which opened in limited, but did $8.5 million on 852 screens going wider). And with an older crowd, you can expect more than 3x Friday as the weekend number… and long legs, unless they really hate it.
I have to say, I have been surprised by the extreme dislike by some older critics for this film. I don’t have an answer for it, except to say that while I see it as a pure programmer with a heart, and completely see the ugliness of blue-screening the Taj Mahal and all other world venues… I really did enjoy the film much more than I could have imagined I might. ( I wouldn’t have “Lunch With David”ed with Reiner if I had nothing nice to say about the movie.)
First Sunday is right in line with Ice Cube‘s “urban” movie openings.


Sunday Estimates by Klady – Jan 6

Box office seems rather boring lately, but…
Juno is the story of the season, becoming the Girl Power Apatow commercial flick of the season. Audiences love Ms. Page and the words of Ms. Cody and the positive message, which I don’t think is abortion-political so much as overcoming a tough situation by taking control with positive energy and not fear and loathing.
Three $200 million December movies is a first. NT2 will pass NT by Tuesday. I Am Legend has done great, but National Treasure coming in so quick and hard probably cost it $50 million or more domestically.
The slow roll of There Will Be Blood is going very well… not quite Brokeback Mountain rollout numbers, but quite good nonetheless.


Friday Estimates by Klady – 1/5



How Does The Math Work?

I’m not even saying it’s wrong in principle… but Variety reports:
“Among studio specialty arms, total box office receipts for 2007 were down 4% from 2006, according to Rentrak”
“The top 15 specialty unit and indie distribs — including MGM and the Weinstein Co. — posted domestic box office receipts of $1.03 billion, down slightly from the $1.04 billion collected in 2006.”
Isn’t the difference between 1.04 billion and $1.03 billion $10 million… or less than 1%?
According to Variety, here are the studio Dependents’ results:
Focus down $53.8 million
Searchlight down $25.5 million
Sony Classics down $21.9 million
WIP down $11.8 million
4 Dependents Down $113 million
Miramax up $79.2 million
Vantage up $14 million
Picturehouse up $34.3 million
3 Dependents Up $127.5 million
So where is the overall downturn? Must be the true indies, right?
Well, films released by Lionsgate in 2007 did $368,137,389… and 2006 releases grossed just $282,887,640… up $83.2 million. And though the math in Variety’s report comes from film grosses in the year and not holding over into the next year, Lionsgate happens to have not released a film after October in either year… so all of their films were closed for that year before year end.
This is not true of MGM , which is down this year ($55.6 million) from last year’s $102.9 million, about $20 million of which came from Rocky Balboa in 2007. So actually, by Variety’s count, the down is only about $37 million.
And way up, which for some reason goes 100% unmentioned by Variety’s story, is The Weinstein Co, releasing though MGM, with $111.7m in 2006 and $249.3m in 2007. TWC on its own is about even. And Dimension is down about $85.5 million (from $111m to 2007’s $25.5m). Overall, that suggest The Weinsteins are up about $50 million this year. (This conversation is not about profitability, which is a completely different issue for many of these companies.)
So… I’m still up about $110 million by my count… maybe adjusting for holdovers by, what, $20 million max?
I have to be missing something profound, right?

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NYT Hacks Up The Box Office Year… Again

Ah, The Paper Of Wreckord.
Just when Hollywood thought it was safe to get back into the sanity of industry coverage, along comes Brooks Barnes


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