Archive for the ‘Awake’ Category

Terrence Howard – Box Office Poison

December 18, 2007

     Sometimes movies perform extremely poorly, and there is not an immediately obvious reason why.  A movie that looked good enough will simply fail, and analysts are left scratching their heads.  However, occasionally you can see a pattern arise, and you notice that when ever a certain actor stars in a movie, it fails at the box office.  It is at times like this that we might declare a star box office poison.

     You might not realize it, but Terrence Howard has been in quite a few movies in the last two years.  I say that you might not realize it because none of them have been financial successes.  After his breakout role in Crash and his Oscar-nominated turn in Hustle and Flow in 2005, Terrence Howard seemed to be the next big thing in Hollywood.  Unfortunately, every role he has taken in the two years since then has been poorly chosen (see reviews), and literally none of his ventures have done well at the box office.  In just the last month he has appeared in three films (The Perfect Holiday, August Rush, Awake), all of which will finish with underwhelming totals.  It seems to me that Terrence Howard’s very presence in a movie is enough to sink its box office.  Because of this, I’m officially declaring him box office poison.  Hopefully, he can break this curse by next May.  Otherwise, the $186 million production of Iron Man should be shaking in its metal boots.  Take a look at his last eight films:
Terrence Howard Movies in 2006-2007
8/25/06 Idlewild – $12.7 million
3/23/07 Pride – $7.1 million
5/11/07 The Salon – $139,000
9/7/2007 The Hunting Party – $877,000
9/14/07 The Brave One – $36.8 million
11/21/07 August Rush – $28.1 million
11/30/07 Awake – $13.1 million
12/12/07 The Perfect Holiday – $3.6 million

Weekend Fix: Enchanted Remains Box Office Princess

December 3, 2007

     Enchanted continued its reign atop the charts, leading an anemic box office frame this weekend. Over the past three days, the box office reverted back to the doldrums of the Fall, with the worst Top 12 gross in 8 weeks. To be fair, the weekend after Thanksgiving is historically a terrible weekend at the box office, and this kind of behavior is not all that unusual. Still, the top 12 films grossed a cumulative $75.9 million, down 6% from last year’s post-Thanksgiving frame, and down 51% from last weekend.
     Enchanted earned $16.4 million this weekend, down 52% from last weekend, which actually represents a pretty healthy hold, since last weekend’s numbers were larger than usual. It’s $4,397 per theater average was among the highest in the top 20, which assures that it will remain in theaters for weeks to come. Word-of-mouth is great for this one, and it’s doing great business among families. As a side note, Amy Adams better get a Golden Globe nomination for best actress (I just caught Junebug, and she might be my new favorite actress), or there’s no justice in Hollywood. After 12 days, Enchanted has made a fantastic $70 million.
     Actually rising one place into second, Beowulf dropped 50% for a $8.2 million gross. After three weekends, Beowulf has earned $68.9 million, which would be a great figure if it hadn’t cost $150 million to make.

     This Christmas consequently popped down one spot, pulling in another $7.9 million, a 56% drop from last weekend. It’s second week per theater average of $4,273 is strong, and I’m predicting This Christmas will continue to pull in solid revenue throughout December. The execs at ScreenGems have to be thrilled with these results. After a dozen days, it’s earned $36.4 million.

     In fourth place, Hitman dropped 54% to $6 million this weekend, which gives the pretty bad video-game action flick a pretty good $30.4 million total after two weekends.

     Awake debuted in fifth place, with just $5.9 million in it’s opening weekend. This is a terrible result for the distributor, MGM (Weinstein). The Weinstein brothers have had enormous trouble opening movies since Disney dropped them a few years ago, but with lousy movies like Awake being made, it’s no wonder Disney got rid of them. In my Weekend Preview I joked that Awake could never get worse reviews than Jessica Alba’s last film, Good Luck Chuck, but, lo and behold, Awake has actually managed to pull in equally awful reviews! With a wretched $2,925 per theater average, Awake will be all but a dream in a few weeks.
     Fred Claus came in sixth place this weekend, earning $5.5 million, a 48% decrease from last weekend, and as Christmas draws near, Fred Claus could see some better holds, but its $1,608 per theater average is weak, so it might not stay in theaters for too much longer. It makes me wonder why Warner Brothers decided to release their Christmas movie on November 9th, seven weeks before the holiday, when it could have been so much more profitable in December. (But I have seen stranger things- after all, Halloween was released on August 31st this year…) After four weekends, Fred Claus has grossed $59.8 million.
     August Rush enjoyed a relatively small 47% drop to $5 million in seventh place this weekend. After two weekends, August Rush has made $20.2 million.
     In eighth place, The Mist dropped 49% in its second weekend, earning $4.5 million. It is a good thing that this was such a cheap film to make, because overall, it has earned a disappointing $19.6 million.
     Bee Movie was out of luck this weekend, and it saw the largest drop in the top 12. The Jerry Seinfeld comedy fell a steep 62% to $4.4 million, and has grossed $117.6 million overall.
     In tenth place, No Country For Old Men added another $4.4 million this weekend. The film saw a 43% decrease from last weekend, which was the smallest drop in the top 12. Still playing in less than 1,000 theaters, No Country For Old Men has earned a wonderful $22.9 million in four weeks.
     Meanwhile, American Gangster fell 53% to $4.3 million this weekend, giving it a great $121.7 million after 5 weeks. After beating Bee Movie in a head to head box office brawl in early November, the Ridley Scott crime drama still narrowly leads the animated laugher.
     And back in 12th place, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium continued to disappoint with a 59% decrease to $3.3 million, and a paltry $26.3 million total.
Top Twelve for Nov 30-Dec 2
1. Enchanted – $16.4 million
2. Beowulf – $8.2 million
3. This Christmas – $7.9 million
4. Hitman- $6 million
5. Awake- $5.9 million
6. Fred Claus – $5.5 million
7. August Rush – $5 million
8. The Mist – $4.5 million
9. Bee Movie – $4.4 million
10. No Country For Old Men – $4.4 million
11. American Gangster – $4.3 million
12. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium – $3.2 million

Friday Estimates

December 2, 2007

Things look like their shaping up pretty much as predicted this weekend. Without the extra traffic that comes from Black Friday, most releases saw understandably large drops from last weekend. Enchanted will definitely top the charts with about $17-18 million. Awake is dead on arrival, and it will struggle to hit $6 million for the weekend. August Rush seems to be holding much better than the rest of last week’s offerings, while Bee Movie plummets with a whopping 77% Friday-to-Friday decrease in the shadow of Enchanted.

Friday Estimates for November 30
1. Enchanted – $4.9 million
2. Beowulf – $2.5 million
3. This Christmas – $2.4 million
4. Awake – $2.2 million
5. Hitman – $1.9 million
6. August Rush – $1.8 million
7. Fred Claus – $1.6 million
8. No Country For Old Men – $1.4 million
9. The Mist – $1.4 million
10. American Ganster – $1.3 million
11. Bee Movie – $1.1 million
12. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium – $0.9 million

Weekend Preview: Wake Me Up When Golden Compass Debuts

November 30, 2007

     Immediately after Thanksgiving, the box office acts a lot like people do.  When you excuse yourself from the dinner table, after stuffing yourself with a plateful of turkey, you generally feel tired and non-responsive.  Well, business at the movies is much the same way.  The weekend after Thanksgiving usually sees some larger weekend-to-weekend drops because grosses were inflated by the Thanksgiving holiday.  On top of this, there is only one new wide release this weekend, and it doesn’t seem to have much potential.  In other words, after a highly satisfying last weekend, expect the box office to come back down to earth with a loud thud over these next few days.

     Awake is the sole film to debut in wide release this weekend, and ironically enough, it looks more like a snoozer.  The Jessica Alba/Hayden Christensen thriller centers on a man who is unfortunately awake during his surgery.  The ads look rather generic, and neither Alba nor Christensen have proven themselves huge draws outside their respective action franchises (Fantastic Four and Star Wars), so I wouldn’t expect Awake to be a breakout success.  The film wasn’t screened in advance for critics which is never a good sign of its quality, but it couldn’t possibly get worse reviews than Alba’s last film, Good Luck Chuck, could it?  Opening in 2,002 theaters, Awake should pull in a weak $8 million.

     Among holdovers, Enchanted should again top the charts.  It might fall about 50% to $17.5 million, which is a steeper than normal drop for a family film, but again, the Thanksgiving holiday inflated last weekend’s figures, so the drop should be much less steep in the weeks to come.  After 12 days, Enchanted will have conjured up about $70 million.
     Like most African-American aimed movies, This Christmas should fall a bit harder, by about 55% to $8.2 million over the weekend, which would give the surprise hit a good $36 million after two weekends.  Beowulf should fall a similar 55% this weekend to about $7.5 million for a $68 million total. 
     Next come a slew of films in the $5 million range:  Bee Movie and Fred Claus should fall about 50% to $6 million and $5.3 million, respectively, and Hitman should follow the typical video game movie trajectory and plunge by about 60% to $5.2 million for a $29.5 million total.  No Country For Old Men should have a good hold, as it adds 135 theaters and has an older audience, and it might add about $5.3 million for a $23.5 million total.  August Rush might fall about 45% to $5.2 million for a $20 million cume.  Look for American Gangster to rake in another $5 million.
     The Mist and Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium should each fall about 50% for $4.5 million and $3.9 million over the weekend, respectively.
Predicted Top Twelve for Nov 30-Dec 2
1. Enchanted – $17.5 million
2. This Christmas – $8.2 million
3. Awake – $8 million
4. Beowulf – $7.5 million
5. Bee Movie – $6 million
6. No Country For Old Men – $5.3 million
7. Fred Claus – $5.3 million
8. Hitman – $5.2 million
9. August Rush – $5.2 million
10. American Gangster – $5 million
11. The Mist – $4.5 million
12. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium – $3.9 million