Archive for December, 2009

Friday Estimates: Sherlock And Avatar Both Earn $24 Million On Christmas Day! Who’s Gonna Win?

December 26, 2009

What a weekend this is shaping up to be! I did not expect Sherlock Holmes to garner these sorts of huge numbers, but the Guy Ritchie reboot has found a major audience on Christmas Day.  The detective/action hero movie found a massive $24 $25 million on Friday, but will it be able to hold off Avatar, which earned the same amount, over the rest of the weekend?  I don’t think so…

It’s a bit hard to say how movies will do over the rest of the weekend because there hasn’t been a Christmas Day on a Friday in about twenty years. On top of that, the trend of going to the movies on Christmas is relatively recent- it wasn’t always a huge day at the box office! Now, it’s one of the biggest of the year! That being said, speculating about the box office is what I do best, so here’s my take on the weekend:

Avatar has already been out for a week, so the die-hard fans have had their chance to see it. On top of that, the word-of-mouth is amazing.  (Even my grandparents were talking about it yesterday!) Therefore, it should see a more typical Saturday box office increase than Sherlock Holmes will. If Avatar see’s a 2.9 weekend multiplier (reduced because of the Christmas Day bump), it will earn a fantastic $70 million this weekend. Sherlock Holmes can probably manage a 2.6 multiplier, which would give the flick a pretty great $64 million start.

That movie about chipmunks (I won’t mention its name) managed to steal $12 million worth of tickets from the American public, which, let’s be honest, is a travesty. After grossing $27 million on Wednesday and Thursday, a weekend of $37 million is probably in order. That makes me very sad, especially because it knocked The Princess And The Frog‘s box office down to just $2 million on Friday. Disney isn’t happy, I’m sure.

But the movies weren’t totally dominated by young people this weekend! Adult fare did pretty well too! It’s Complicated earned $7.5 million on Friday, and the Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin rom-com could see $22 million over the weekend. That’s certainly better than Did You Hear About The Morgans? did last weekend. Up In The Air, riding high on awards buzz, grossed $4 million in its first Friday in wide release. A $12 million weekend should result. Nine failed to really break out on Friday, grossing just $2.2 million. Perhaps it was the mixed reviews that did Nine in, or maybe it was the fact that the advertisements failed to explain what this movie was about. Either way, a $6 million weekend isn’t anything to sing about. Check out the full Friday box office chart below, and for more box office updates, follow me on Twitter!

Early Friday Estimates for December 25, 2009
1. Sherlock Holmes – $24 million
2. Avatar – $24 million
3. Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakuel – $12 million
4. It’s Complicated – $7.5 million
5. Up In The Air – $4 million
6. The Blind Side – $4 million
7. Nine – $2.2 million
8. The Princess And The Frog – $2 million
9. Did You Hear About The Morgans – $1.6 million
10. Invictus – $1.3 million

Merry Christmas From Avatar!

December 24, 2009

It’s Christmas Eve, and the Christmas spirit has just reached a peak in my mind.  Why?  Well, because I just saw Avatar, of course!  Now, you may be asking why Avatar (which just passed the $300 million mark worldwide, by the way) would ever put someone in the Christmas spirit, and if you’re a little bit confused, just watch the video above!  I hope you enjoy it- consider it my Christmas gift to all you fantastic readers!  Have an amazing Christmas!

6 December Movies That Had Poor Box Office Starts, But Major Legs

December 23, 2009

I’m about to go see Avatar, so I’ll have to keep this post short and sweet.  Movies released in December are a breed of their own.  Because students are out of school and many adults are off of work for the last half of December, movies released during the month often see smaller opening weekends, for people feel no need to rush out to the box office and see them.  Most movies released during the year have a multiplier of about 3.0, which means the total gross was three times higher than the opening weekend.  During the holidays, however, every day is like the weekend, and movies will have multipliers of 4, 5, 6 or even higher!  Many films will open with alarmingly poor numbers, but actually go on to see some very nice grosses.  That’s why I’m not too concerned about the initially low grosses for The Princess And The Frog.  Over the Sunday-to-Monday period, the film dropped just 23% to $2.9 million, and it should continue to perform strongly during weekdays for the next two weeks.  Thus, because it is List Wednesday, let’s look at six recent movies that had seemingly poor box office starts, but went on to see much more solid box office finishes.

1. Cheaper By The Dozen 2 (December 21, 2005)

Opening Weekend: $9.3 million
Total Gross: $82.9 million
Multiplier: 8.9

2. Fun With Dick And Jane (December 21, 2005)

Opening Weekend: $14.4 million
Total Gross: $110.3 million
Multiplier: 7.6

3. Rumor Has It (December 25, 2005)

Opening Weekend: $3.5 million
Total Gross: $43 million
Multiplier: 12.3!
**This “opening weekend” was just one day long.

4. Charlotte’s Web (December 15, 2006)

Opening Weekend: $11.5 million
Total Gross: $83 million
Mulitplier: 7.2

5. P.S. I Love You

Opening Weekend: $6.5 million
Total Gross: $53.7 million
Mulitplier: 8.3

6. Charlie Wilson’s War

Opening Weekend: $9.7 million
Total Gross: $66.7 million
Mulitplier: 6.9

New And News: Maybe Sherlock Can Figure It Out- Why Do People Like Alvin And The Chipmunks?

December 21, 2009

It’s Monday, which means it’s time for New And News, where I preview this week’s new releases and highlight some of my favorite news stories over the past week.  Since it is the week of Christmas, Hollywood has decided to give American theaters a whole bunch of presents: three new wide releases debut on Christmas Day, and two other films will see major wide release expansions.  We’ve got grandiose musicals, detective superheroes, animated chipmunks, elderly affairs, and a whole lot of frequent flyer miles to talk about.  And that’s just the New!  Let’s get started…

New:

Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (Fox) – 3,700 theaters – Reviews

The fact that the original Alvin And The Chipmunks earned $244 million in 2007 is so unbelievable to me, that I almost don’t want to talk about it.  I’m usually all about the middle-American, widely appealing movies, but I just can’t get behind these one-joke, gimmicky, poorly animated films.  The trailer for this one features more high-pitched chipmunk voices, dancing girl chipmunks, and utterly inconsequential plot lines.  I try to be impartial, but I’m truly hoping this will under-perform.  Bah humbug!

Sherlock Holmes (Warner Bros) – 3,600 theaters – Reviews

Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, and Rachel McAdams star in this Guy Ritchie new adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective.  Warner Brothers is clearly hoping to launch a major franchise here, as they’ve re-imagined Sherlock as an action hero.  A hefty $80 million was spent on the film, and despite buzz amongst movie buffs, I get the feeling Sherlock Holmes probably won’t break out the way the studio is hoping.  (It looks a little bit too much like Van Helsing…)  Reviews are solid, though, and I would love to see this take down the chipmunks.

It’s Complicated (Universal) – 2,800 theaters – Reviews

Any time an actress above the age of 50 gets a role, I’m happy.  It’s simply not fair that older women aren’t represented at the box office.  Unfortunately for most older actresses, though, Meryl Streep takes 98% of these roles.  It’s Complicated follows Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep, a bitterly divorced couple.  Over time, Baldwin marries a much younger woman, and Streep begins dating Steve Martin.  The comedy in this movie comes when Streep, in a drunken state, ends up sleeping with her ex-husband, which begins an extended affair with him!  The concept is absolutely fantastic, so I wish the reviews were a bit better, but on the heels of Did You Hear About The Morgans?‘s poor performance, It’s Complicated should provide a better choice romantic comedy fans.

Up In The Air (Paramount) – 1,800 theaters – Reviews

George Clooney stars as a jet-setting business man who spends most of his life in the air, but his life changes when he finds himself suddenly smitten with a fellow traveler, Vera Farmiga.  Riding the wave of awards buzz, this has done very well in limited release thus far, having already earned almost $9 million in limited release.  With a major expansion on Friday, I’d expect Up In The Air to about double its total this weekend.

Nine (Weinstein) – 1,500 theaters – Reviews

Rob Marshall, director of Chicago and Dreamgirls, brings Nine, yet another musical, to the screen.  With a cast that is adored by Hollywood, featuring Daniel Day Lewis, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, and Fergie, the movie world is extremely excited about Nine.  However, reviews are below average, and the ads have given absolutely no sense of the story.  Like so much of Marshall’s work, this looks more about style than substance.  I’m not thinking this will be be a major box office success.

News:

Bryan Singer Returning for X-Men: First Class

I was crushed when the director of X-Men and X2: X-Men United decided not to direct X-Men: The Last Stand… we were so close to having a great trilogy! Thankfully, though, Bryan Singer has decided to direct the latest Marvel spinoff, X-Men: First Class.  I can’t wait!

Clash Of The Titans Reshooting… Possibly In 3D?!

Reshoots usually mean a movie is not good.  Adding 3D effects is often nothing more than a desperate attempt to make more money.  Therefore, when news comes out that Warner Brothers’ Clash Of The Titans is reshooting and attempting to add 3D to a movie just six months before its release, it tells me that this movie is destined to be a disaster. 

The Hangover 2 To Be Set In Thailand

After coming out of nowhere and earning an amazing $277 million this Summer, The Hangover was all but guaranteed to have a sequel.  CHUD reports that the next film will probably take place in Thailand, taking up a storyline that wasn’t used in Old School 2, which never saw the light of day.

Weekend Fix: Avatar Lives Up To Some Very High Expectations

December 20, 2009

Friday Estimates: Avatar Finds $27 Million On First Day, But May Struggle For Rest Of Weekend

December 20, 2009

I’m sorry.  I know I said I’d be backed to regular posting, but my house at school got broken into and robbed last night, and that’s distracted me for the better part of the day.  I wish I had been more present for the first half of this, one of the biggest weekends of the year, and I apologize, but sometimes life throws you a curveball.  And that’s exactly what life is throwing at the box office this weekend.  After a strong opening day of $27 million for Avatar, a massive snowstorm hit the East coast, which will certainly limit box office prospects for the rest of the weekend.  Avatar should end up with about $70 million for the weekend, and based on the superb word-of-mouth, and the Christmas holiday, in which all students are now out of school, we’re looking at a spectacle that’s sure to have great legs in the coming weeks.  When it comes to Did You Hear About The Morgans? the resounding answer from American audiences is “No.”  The romantic comedy only managed to find $2.4 million yesterday.  Keep on reading for the full Friday chart, and then check back here tomorrow for the Weekend Fix!  I haven’t made a video in over a week, so I’m excited!

Friday Estimates for December 18, 2009
1. Avatar – $27 million
2. The Princess And The Frog – $3.4 million
3. The Blind Side – $3.2 million
4. Did You Hear About The Morgans? – $2.4 million
5. The Twilight Saga: New Moon – $1.4 million
6. Invictus – $1.3 million
7. A Christmas Carol – $951,000
8. Up In The Air – $925,000
9. Brothers – $880,000
10. Old Dogs – $709,000

Weekend Preview: Avatar Is Finally Here! But Don’t Forget The Morgans!

December 18, 2009

Alright, because I love you all (and because I am really tired of studying for this exam), I’m going to break my self-inflicted silence and give you two quick box office predictions for Avatar and Did You Hear About The Morgans?.

Avatar

Fanboy demand means people want to see this right away.  The holidays, however have the opposite effect, and while they inflate grosses in the long run, they soften openings.  Thus, the sci-fi epic should have a solid, but not mind-blowing debut.  Still, with great reviews and pervasive media exposure, this has very effectively turned around its early negative buzz.  People, self-included, are genuinely excited to see Avatar.  I’ll give James Cameron’s Na’vi spectacle a $68 million opening weekend.

Did You Hear About The Morgans?

The reviews are horrendous, but I actually think the trailer for this romantic comedy was great.  It’s got a clear female appeal, so it should act as counter-programming to Avatar, and it’s going after a middle-American crowd with the simple theme of country vs. city.  Critics may hate it, but I think that a large percentage of America likes this kind of story!  Other analysts are saying this won’t even break $10 million, but I think that’s ridiculous.  Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant are both solid draws within this genre.  A $16 million weekend seems about right to me.

Weekend Preview: Princess And The Frog Should Leap To #1; Delays…

December 11, 2009


My predictions are at the tail end of the video, but that’s all I’ve got for now. I really need to work. After a week of real-world work, I’ll re-focus here. Thanks for being patient, guys.

Avatar Is Good! I Knew It!!!

December 11, 2009

Alright, I usually don’t do posts like this, but I am just giddy with excitement!  RottenTomatoes finally has a Tomatometer for Avatar, and from the seven reviews so far, the James Cameron feature sounds dazzling and incredible!  The more of this movie I’ve seen, the better it has looked, and it appears that the whole movie is awesome!  Honestly, no great director works on a movie for 16 years and makes something bad!  After some unenthusiastic early buzz from audiences, who claimed the film looked too much like a video game, things were looking bad for Avatar, but if there’s one thing that is going to help this film’s box office, it’s going to be it’s quality, so this is a very good sign.  Look at what some critics are saying, and then tell me if you’re as excited as I am in the comments.

The screen is alive with more action and the soundtrack pops with more robust music than any dozen sci-fi shoot-’em-ups you care to mention.
-Kirk Honeycutt (Hollywood Reporter)

It’s a world, not to give too much away, that Cameron clearly fully intends to return to and further explore. When he does, our bags are already packed.
-Chris Hewitt (Empire Magazine)

Avatar is an overwhelming, immersive spectacle. The state-of-the-art 3D technology draws us in, but it is the vivid weirdness of Cameron’s luridly imagined tropical otherworld that keeps us fascinated.
-Wendy Ide (Times)

It’s a 3D movie people will look back on in years to come to comment on how it transformed cinema.
-The Sneak (Sun Online)

Ranking The Disney Princesses

December 9, 2009

As I’m sure you already know, Disney’s newest princess movie, The Princess And The Frog is coming out this Friday, and it’s got everyone quite excited.  Everyone wants to see Walt Disney Studios return to their traditional fairy tale storytelling, but I have a different motive for seeing this movie.  I’m ready to judge Tiana and rank her in my Disney Princess standings.  You see, I’m still on the market for my future wife, and while I’m waiting to find her, sometimes I like to consider which of the Disney princesses would make the best Mrs. Grady Smith.  Yea, you read that right: I sometimes imagine which of the Disney princesses I’d most like to marry.  Does that make me weird?  Probably.  Do I care?  Not at all.  Thus, because it is List Wednesday, allow me to present you with my rankings of Disney’s most eligible princesses.  Afterwards, let me hear your rankings in the comments.  And, no, Mulan is not a princess.

6. Sleeping Beauty

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

5. Ariel
 I’m not looking for a chatterbox, but she doesn’t say anything.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
4. Jasmine

She dresses a little slutty for my taste…

3. Snow White

A bit boring, but a sweet, innocent, good girl.

2. Cinderella

Even if she is a social climber, I like a working girl.

1. Belle

Beautiful, intelligent, and she looks at what’s on the inside.  Perfect.