Archive for the ‘Bedtime Stories’ Category

DVD Sales: The Spirit Tops A Weak Chart In The Post-Easter Frame

April 29, 2009

As always, here are my notes on the latest DVD Sales Chart from The-Numbers:

-Maybe because it was the week right after Easter, repenting buyers felt convicted that they needed more of the spirit in their lives, and they mistakenly purchased Lionsgate’s disastrous 300 ripoff The Spirit, thinking it could help them. Whatever the reason, The Spirit benefited from a complete lack of competition, and somehow scored a number one debut. Granted, its $6.3 million first week is the weakest total Ive seen in a long time, and it will plummet next weekend. Still, with enough time in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart, I’m sure The Spirit‘s DVD sales will surpass its abysmal $19 million total box office.

Twilight continues its shockingly amazing run on the home market, with another $5.5 million this week, for a $133 million total. Having already sold a stunning 7.4 million copies of Twilight on DVD, Summit Entertainment has to be feeling pretty good about the upcoming sequel, New Moon, which debuts this Winter.

-Warner Brothers has to be disappointed with the lackluster performance of Yes Man on DVD. Just $13 million after two weeks of release is extremely bad for a Jim Carrey comedy that earned $90 million during its theatrical run.

-Just as the Easter frame was kind to family films last week, the post-Easter frame was equally harsh to these same titles. Marley And Me, Bolt, The Tale Of Despereaux, Bedtime Stories, and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa all saw sizable drops of 62-88%.

-Speaking of Bolt, I thought I should point out that after four weeks, the animated pooch film has $53 million in the kitty (or would doghouse be more appropriate, here?), and it’s been a solid performer on DVD for Disney.

-I’m somewhat ambivalent about the home market performance of two Oscar-winning films. First off, The Reader‘s $4.5 million opening week is nothing to cry about, but its nothing special either. Second, Slumdog Millionaire‘s $20 million after three weeks feels quite low to me, especially after its rosy $141 million box office. I think it probably came out on DVD too soon after its theatrical run. After three straight months of deafening buzz during awards season, every person that was going to be persuaded to see Slumdog already did, so the quick release date after it won its obligatory Oscar may have backfired for Fox Searchlight.

See the full chart after the jump:

Top 30 Selling DVDs for the Week Ending April 19, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Change Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Weeks in Release
1 Spirit, The 334,298 -.-% 334,298 $6,268,088 $6,268,088 1
2 Twilight 296,188 -28.6% 7,382,885 $5,538,716 $133,501,184 4
3 Day the Earth Stood Still, The 292,678 -66.9% 1,176,061 $5,179,493 $19,829,870 2
4 Bedtime Stories 280,209 -80.8% 1,963,618 $4,788,940 $33,568,422 2
5 Marley and Me 269,378 -62.9% 2,520,919 $4,628,857 $45,442,103 3
6 Yes Man 247,648 -53.4% 779,579 $4,321,680 $13,523,714 2
7 Reader, The 234,376 -.-% 234,376 $4,542,207 $4,542,207 1
8 Bolt 194,328 -73.3% 3,034,363 $3,515,899 $53,966,384 4
9 Tale of Despereaux, The 157,622 -72.7% 734,892 $2,677,998 $12,485,815 2
10 Slumdog Millionaire 154,580 -43.4% 1,270,027 $2,493,375 $20,834,683 3
11 Doubt 134,488 -47.9% 392,775 $2,419,439 $6,991,119 2
12 Seven Pounds 130,075 -41.7% 859,188 $2,154,042 $14,587,218 3
13 Quantum of Solace 123,256 -27.5% 1,876,092 $2,131,959 $33,515,945 4
14 Not Easily Broken 93,838 -56.9% 311,466 $1,594,308 $5,851,111 2
15 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 86,483 -64.0% 2,855,178 $1,382,863 $49,136,150 7
16 Stuart Little 75,855 -9.7% $578,774 470
17 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa 60,742 -88.7% 5,744,631 $763,412 $87,950,809 11
18 Role Models 60,541 -42.2% 1,648,990 $1,028,592 $28,016,340 6
19 High School Musical 3: Senior Year 56,864 -74.8% 2,971,273 $1,064,653 $53,175,812 9
20 Pinocchio 54,357 -69.2% $923,525 495
21 Australia 52,217 -39.7% 1,354,212 $887,167 $22,829,054 7
22 Mamma Mia! 51,786 -.-% 5,957,687 $665,921 $125,254,362 18
23 Fireproof 49,236 -.-% 1,520,956 $766,112 $26,191,317 12
24 40-Year-Old Virgin, The 46,534 -.-% $474,456 175
25 Tigger and Pooh and a Musical Too 44,495 -71.6% 201,135 $844,960 $3,819,554 2
26 Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword 35,335 -63.1% 131,132 $494,337 $1,834,537 2
27 Milk 34,748 -33.6% 494,538 $607,743 $8,827,310 6
28 Punisher: War Zone, The 34,419 -32.6% 398,065 $668,235 $7,525,557 5
29 Transporter 3 33,396 -35.8% 1,011,642 $573,793 $18,041,585 6
30 Cadillac Records 29,675 -26.0% 310,751 $504,178 $5,927,887 6

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DVD Sales: Bedtime Stories Hops Atop An Easter-Fueled Chart

April 23, 2009

Here’s the latest DVD Sales Chart from The-Numbers for the week ending April 12th. I’ve added my notes below:

-I was wrong about Bedtime Stories bombing last week on DVD. It looks like it just hit stores a day early, and it registered on the chart as having a poor debut. The reality of the situation is actually much rosier, though, and Bedtime Stories has accrued a solid $28 million over eight days. Not bad for the disappointing Disney/Adam Sandler collaboration that struggled to pass $100 million.

The Day The Earth Stood Still? More like The Day The DVDs Stood Still. It’s not that the Keanu Reeves sci-fi remake bombed with its $14 million debut, but when you factor in the fanboy effect, this is really not a great start on the home market for the Fox film, which also underwhelmed this fall, barely making it to $79 million despite huge buzz.

-Wow. The week of Easter is a great time to be a family film on DVD. Look at the giant boosts that the holiday offered all family-oriented films. A 16% increase for Bolt! A 117% increase for Beverly Hills Chihuahua! A 218% increase for High School Musical 3! A 300% increase for Kung Fu Panda! Pretty impressive stuff. The family effect also helped out The Tale Of Despereaux moderately, as it found a humble $9.8 in its first week on DVD, which is onl $300,000 less than it earned in its opening weekend.

Top 30 Selling DVDs for the Week Ending April 12, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Change Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Weeks in Release
1 Bedtime Stories 1,462,555 562.2% 1,683,409 $25,005,595 $28,779,482 1
2 Day the Earth
Stood Still, The
883,383 -.-% 883,383 $14,650,377 $14,650,377 1
3 Bolt 729,084 16.6% 2,840,035 $13,244,030 $50,450,485 3
4 Marley and Me 726,305 -52.4% 2,251,541 $12,581,128 $40,813,246 2
5 Tale of
Despereaux, The
577,270 -.-% 577,270 $9,807,817 $9,807,817 1
6 Madagascar: Escape
2 Africa
537,196 173.7% 5,683,889 $4,981,795 $87,187,398 10
7 Yes Man 531,931 -.-% 531,931 $9,202,034 $9,202,034 1
8 Twilight 414,927 -35.6% 7,086,697 $8,057,882 $127,962,468 3
9 Slumdog Millionaire 273,059 -67.6% 1,115,447 $4,172,342 $18,341,308 2
10 Doubt 258,287 -.-% 258,287 $4,571,680 $4,571,680 1
11 Beverly Hills
Chihuahua
240,151 117.2% 2,768,695 $3,840,014 $47,753,286 6
12 High School Musical
3: Senior Year
225,526 218.0% 2,914,409 $4,053,153 $52,111,158 8
13 Seven Pounds 223,040 -55.9% 729,113 $3,789,450 $12,433,176 2
14 Not Easily Broken 217,628 -.-% 217,628 $4,256,804 $4,256,804 1
15 Kung Fu Panda 207,978 300.5% 8,332,557 $1,904,392 $126,522,601 22
16 Pinocchio 176,530 76.2% $2,999,245 494
17 Quantum of Solace 169,949 -54.1% 1,752,836 $2,962,636 $31,383,986 3
18 Tigger and Pooh
and a Musical Too
156,640 -.-% 156,640 $2,974,594 $2,974,594 1
19 Madagascar 156,493 274.5% $1,719,858 178
20 Bee Movie 109,838 -.-% 4,836,258 $908,481 $76,570,787 57
21 Role Models 104,719 28.6% 1,588,449 $1,779,176 $26,987,749 5
22 Shrek the Third 98,869 -.-% 11,578,058 $874,269 $173,439,755 74
23 Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword 95,797 -.-% 95,797 $1,340,200 $1,340,200 1
24 Australia 86,634 16.9% 1,301,995 $1,471,912 $21,941,887 6
25 Stuart Little 83,962 76.4% $712,837 469
26 WALL-E 80,148 121.9% 8,623,786 $1,297,372 $136,193,424 21
27 Milk 52,303 14.3% 459,790 $914,779 $8,219,568 5
28 Transporter 3 52,004 -6.3% 978,246 $893,117 $17,467,792 5
29 Punisher: War
Zone, The
51,054 14.6% 363,646 $1,003,553 $6,857,322 4
30 Cadillac Records 40,087 1.6% 281,076 $801,339 $5,423,709 5

DVD Sales: Marley And Me Is Top Dog

April 16, 2009

Here’s the latest DVD Sales Chart (along with my notes) from The-Numbers:

Best performer: Marley And Me

Pretty good, considering its still in theaters : Slumdog Millionaire

Disappointing: Seven Pounds

Epic failure: Bedtime Stories

Most impressive overall: Twilight

Top 30 Selling DVDs For The Week Ending April 5th
Rank Title Units this Week % Change Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Weeks in Release
1 Marley and Me 1,525,236 -.-% 1,525,236 $28,232,118 $28,232,118 1
2 Slumdog Millionaire 842,388 -.-% 842,388 $14,168,966 $14,168,966 1
3 Twilight 643,955 -73.8% 6,671,770 $11,584,750 $119,904,586 2
4 Bolt 625,042 -56.3% 2,110,951 $11,188,189 $37,206,456 2
5 Seven Pounds 506,073 -.-% 506,073 $8,643,727 $8,643,727 1
6 Quantum of Solace 369,870 -69.5% 1,582,887 $6,526,393 $28,421,350 2
7 Bedtime Stories 220,854 -.-% 220,854 $3,773,887 $3,773,887 0
8 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa 196,298 16.6% 5,146,693 $1,866,657 $82,205,603 9
9 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 110,580 -7.3% 2,528,544 $1,768,174 $43,913,272 5
10 Pinocchio 100,208 -31.9% $1,702,534 493
11 Role Models 81,448 -34.3% 1,483,730 $1,383,802 $25,208,573 4
12 Australia 74,126 18.9% 1,215,361 $1,259,401 $20,469,975 5
13 High School Musical 3: Senior Year 70,923 -9.2% 2,688,883 $1,311,246 $48,058,005 7
14 Transporter 3 55,519 -34.8% 926,242 $963,177 $16,574,675 4
15 Eagle Eye 54,756 -.-% 2,083,282 $1,045,949 $36,591,766 14
16 Barbie Presents: Thumbelina 54,603 -47.4% 438,201 $654,690 $6,320,432 3
17 Kung Fu Panda 51,930 7.4% 8,124,579 $485,951 $124,618,208 21
18 Stuart Little 47,587 -.-% $404,014 468
19 Milk 45,757 5.9% 407,487 $800,290 $7,304,788 4
20 Punisher: War Zone, The 44,537 -40.7% 312,592 $868,721 $5,853,769 3
21 Madagascar 41,791 -23.7% $459,283 177
22 Fireproof 41,505 8.3% 1,440,120 $725,922 $24,872,521 10
23 Hannah Montana: Keeping it Real 39,961 -.-% 39,961 $559,054 $559,054 1
24 Cadillac Records 39,474 19.9% 240,989 $789,085 $4,622,370 4
25 South Park – The Complete Twelfth Season 38,283 -17.9% 229,359 $1,186,390 $7,107,835 4
26 The Venture Bros.: Season Three 36,758 -51.2% 112,127 $698,034 $2,129,292 2
27 WALL-E 36,126 -.-% 8,543,638 $657,547 $134,896,052 20
28 Body of Lies 31,355 -20.8% 913,342 $632,430 $17,457,403 7
29 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – A Galaxy Divided 30,200 -56.7% 99,922 $392,298 $1,297,987 2
30 Space Buddies 28,674 -.-% 1,831,265 $458,497 $27,574,735 9

Weekend Fix: Gran Torino, Bride Wars, And The Unborn All Have Strong Openings

January 11, 2009

What a great weekend at the box office! Amidst reports of peaking unemployment, retail failures, and recessionary woes, the box office continues to shine throughout this winter season. It appears that people are eager to escape from all the depressing news bogging them down by taking a good ‘ole trip to the movie theater. The Top 12 movies grossed a cumulative $129 million, an increase of 22% over last year. While many of the holdovers got hit harder than expected, the three robust debuts of Gran Torino, Bride Wars, and The Unborn set a promising tone for the rest of 2009.

The number one film this weekend is Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino, which earned a fantastic $29 million, after expanding into 2,808 theaters. I believe that this debut will be considered massively important, as it marks another milestone in the ever continual internationalization of cinema. Truly, I can’t remember another film with a large Asian cast to have such audience support. Of course Clint Eastwood was the main draw here, but it’s still a promising sign for the industry. The debut gave the Warner Brothers Oscar bait a per theater average of $10,337, the best in the Top 12. Let me take a moment to break down how great of a venue average that is: Last weekend Gran Torino was playing in 84 theaters and had a per theater average of $33,571, which means that while the theater count increased 3,300% , the per theater average only fell 69%, which is pretty incredible. After five weekends in theaters, Gran Torino has amassed $40 million, and with awards season kicking into high gear, I’m thinking that this shouldn’t have any trouble making it to $100 million in the near future.

Let’s talk about this next film as little as possible. I’ll try to sum it all up in one sentence and then move on to something worth talking about. Fox’s Bride Wars debuted in second place with $21.5 million, which gave it a pretty good (but not surprisingly Satanic) venue average of $6,665. Why, Anne Hathaway? Why?!

The Unborn came in thrid place, with a stronger opening than anyone was expecting. The Universal horror flick scared up a solid $21 million, effectively marking that the 2006-2007 horror slump is over. The recognition here really belongs to Universal’s marketing department, who put together genuinely creepy trailers and television ads that gave people a good of the story (A long-lost, evil, unborn twin is coming to terrorize his sister). I’m usually not a fan of horror movies, but even I wasn’t unexcited for The Unborn. Whereas a movie like Seven Pounds opened poorly because people had no idea what it was about, The Unborn showed that the opposite was true, and I’m thinking that The Uninvited will reap similar benefits later this month. The film had a great $8,950 venue average, but any hope for longevity is pretty doubtful. First, there is the simpe reality that horror releases are notoriously front-loaded, and on top of that, there is a new horror title coming out for the next three weekends. It doesn’t really matter, though, because these movies are so cheap to produce. The Unborn will be pretty fortunate to make it to $50 million, before selling well on DVD.

Wait a second, is it Christmas Weekend all over again? The four Christmas Day releases fill up the next four spots on the chart, albeit with much lower numbers and some fairly steep drops. Provided with fresh titles on the scene, audiences forgot about the old films. Fox took away some of its own audience with Bride Wars, and consequently, the Jennifer Aniston starrer, Marley And Me, dropped 53% to $11.3 million, and has earned $123 million overall. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button fell 49% to $9.4 million for the weekend, and a $94 million cume. Perhaps poor word-of-mouth has spread, because Bedtime Stories fell a harsh 58% to $8.5 million, giving it $97 million total. The Brad Pitt and Adam Sandler features will each surpass $100 million in the next week. Tom Cruise’s comback movie, Valkyrie declined 53% to $6.6 million, and has found a solid $71 million overall.

The Jim Carrey vehicle Yes Man fell 56% this weekend to $6 million. After its dispappointing $18 million opening, Warner Brothers’ Yes Man has been leggier than anyone would have guessed, and it has now earned a total of $89 million, which represents an impressive 5.0 multiplier.

In ninth place, we have Not Easily Broken, a marital drama from Sony released in just 724 theaters. Proving that melodrama is a genre that does have some life in it, Not Easily Broken earned $5.6 million, which gave the film a good $7,735 per theater average. While this result is a nice surprise for the weekend, it pales in comparison to the kind of numbers that Tyler Perry can pull in for a similar movie. He truly does have the golden touch.

Moving down a notch to another overly dramatic film, the Will Smith snoozefest Seven Pounds dropped 61% to $3.9 million over the weekend frame. With $66 million in the bank after four weekends, the ultra serious Sony drama will go down as one of the few missteps in Smith’s otherwise impeccable career.

Future Best Picture winner Slumdog Millionaire (that is, if Wall-E isn’t nominated) dropped just 20% to $3.7 million this weekend for a $34 million total. It’s still pulling in a solid $6,206 venue average, but Fox Searchlight needs to pump up the advertising and the theater count, because there is certainly lots of life left in this vibrant title, especially as it rakes in the awards.

Down in 12th place is Twilight, the teenage vampire movie from way back in November that can’t be stopped. Perhaps it’s just riding on the news of star Taylor Lautner returning for the sequel, but the Summit Entertainment feature fell just 40% to $2.8 million, and it has grossed a stunning $181 million over eight weekends. Here are the full weekend results:

Top 12 for January 9-11 2009

# Movie Title 3-Day Gross
% Change AVG. Total
1 Gran Torino $29,025,000 888% $10,337 $40,065,000
2 Bride Wars $21,500,000 $6,665 $21,500,000
3 The Unborn $21,095,150 $8,950 $21,095,150
4 Marley And Me $11,350,000 -53% $3,263 $123,710,171
5 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button $9,450,000 -49% $3,247 $94,330,000
6 Bedtime Stories $8,550,000 -58% $2,435 $97,180,000
7 Valkyrie $6,662,000 -53% $2,347 $71,509,383
8 Yes Man $6,155,000 -56% $2,083 $89,411,000
9 Not Easily Broken $5,600,000 $7,735 $5,600,000
10 Seven Pounds $3,900,000 -61% $1,588 $66,830,000
11 Slumdog Millionaire $3,730,000 -20% $6,206 $34,074,855
12 Twilight $2,789,000
-40% $1,902 $181,395,000
All Numbers Courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

Weekend Preview: Sorry Clint Eastwood, Bride Wars And The NFL Are BFF’s

January 9, 2009

January has historically been a rather bipolar month at movie theaters. On the one hand, studios often dump some of their very worst films in January, and this month’s releases are pretty much awful more often than not. On the other hand, however, January is also the time when studios will expand their quality, smaller titles, hoping to capitalize on the positive effects of awards season and build enough buzz to garner the ever elusive Oscar nomination. The second weekend of 2009 follows this tried-and-true formula to a tee: There are two new wide releases, Bride Wars and The Unborn, which are getting absolutely obliterated by critics, and then Clint Eastwood’s buzzy Gran Torino, which is launching into wide release after four weekends in a limited count.

I truly hate that I’m writing this, but the top spot this weekend could go to Bride Wars, the utterly derivative wedding comedy from Fox. Okay, Kate Hudson’s choice of role has always been rather questionable, but how Anne Hathaway ended up in this dreck is beyond me. I’m sorry to sound so cynical, but I can’t be the only person who is so over Hollywood’s love of stereotypical bridezilla comedy. The movie follows two lifelong friends, whose weddings are suddenly scheduled on the same day. When they find this out, they launch a war to take down the opposing bride, completely forgetting that they are best friends. Obviously, these are well-developed, three-dimensional characters who actually act like real human beings, and it sounds hilarious, right? Wrong. Unfortunately for all mankind, Bride Wars does actually have a good amount going for it. Last year, 27 Dresses, another wedding-centered film targeting women, opened to $23 million, which bodes rather well for Bride Wars. Also helping will be the fact that the NFL playoffs are this month. While millions of men are glued to the TV screen, millions of disinterested wives will go to the movies, and Bride Wars has made it clear that it is a cinematic destination for women only. I have to give Fox a little bit of credit for wisely counter programming. Advertising has been very strong, but I think that its box office will be limited to a small extent by its horrendous reviews. I only say “to a small extent” because when movies are exclusively targeting women, females seem to settle for some truly bad entertainment. Men do it too. So do Christians. I don’t quite understand it. Anyway, the comedy is out in 3,226 theaters, and I’ll give it the narrow victory this weekend, with a $19 million opening.

Completely switching gears, Warner Brothers’ Oscar bait, Gran Torino, is expanding from 84 to 2,808 theaters, and it will be duking it out with Bride Wars for the top spot. The Clint Eastwood-directed drama is targeting older males, pretty much the exact opposite audience of its main competition, and though the NFL playoffs will help Bride Wars, they should have a negative effect on Gran Torino‘s performance. Still, the venue averages for Gran Torino have been amazing solid, up in the $20-30,000 range these past few weeks. While these numbers will come down to earth over the next few days, they tell us that Gran Torino should still start off pretty well in wide release. The racial drama’s good reviews and word-of-mouth will certainly help it as well. I’m predicting an $18 million weekend, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up coming out on top.

The final new wide release of the weekend is The Unborn, a typical January horror release. It’s funny- this is a film that is probably just as bad as Bride Wars, but I just don’t seem to mind. I feel like horror is never really that good, and if I consistently expect nothing, I’ll always be delighted! In truth, poor reviews don’t matter much for the Universal fright-fest. Teens will be the main audience for The Unborn, and they are pretty much review-proof. This should play out like almost every other horror title: Teens will rush out the theater this weekend to watch it, and then it will plummet in its second weekend, and then it will earn some dough on DVD. The Unborn will definitely benefit from being the first of four horror movies this January, and the ads have actually been pretty scary, so I think this one should do alright. Playing in 2,356 theaters, it should earn $14 million.

Among holdovers, there should be some pretty standard (for January) 30-40% drops. Former top dog Marley And Me will stick by its constant companions, Bedtime Stories and The Curious Case Of Benajmin Button. The films might garner similar weekend totals of $13.5 million, $13 million, and $12 million, respectively. Bedtime will cross the $100 million milestone, and Button will be only a few million dollars behind. Here are my full Top 12 predictions:

Predicted Top 12 for January 9-11
1. Bride Wars – $19 million
2. Gran Torino – $18 million
3. The Unborn – $14 million
4. Marley And Me – $13.5 million
5. Bedtime Stories – $13 million
6. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button – $12 million
7. Yes Man – $8.5 million
8. Valkyrie – $8 million
9. Seven Pounds – $6 million
10. Slumdog Millionaire – $3.9 million
11. The Tale Of Despereaux – $3.8 million
12. Doubt – $3.6 million

Also, if you guys use Digg, Delicious, Furl, StumbleUpon, etc., I’d really appreciate a tag! We’re a small little group of Box Office Junkies around here, so let’s invite a few more people to the party!

Weekend Fix: Everything (But The Spirit) Holds Well, Slumdog And Doubt Shine

January 4, 2009

The first weekend of 2009 provided Hollywood with a strong start for the year. Marley And Me, Bedtime Stories, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, and Valkyrie remained the top four choices for moviegoers, and the top seven features each held their rank from last weekend. Though there was very little movement on the chart, solid holdovers and tiny drops led the Top 12 to earn $130 million in total box office, a 7% increase over the first weekend of 2008. It’s a happy new year, indeed.

Marley And Me again took the top spot, grossing $24 million, for an eye-popping $106 million total. The Fox production dropped 34% from last week and had a solid $6,682 per theater average, which guarantees that it will keep playing in theaters for a good while longer. Marley And Me has firmly re-established the box office vitality of both Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, and it really is a victory for all those involved. Between this and last year’s Alvin and the Chipmunks, Fox has demonstrated that they know how to open a movie in late December to great success, so if you’re wondering about the prospects of Fox’s next December title, James Cameron’s Avatar, which is being released on December 19th of this year, I’m making an early prediction that it’s going to be HUGE.

Disney’s Adam Sandler vehicle, Bedtime Stories, evaded any backlash from its horrendous reviews and managed to drop just 26% to $20 million. Proving that the holidays are kind to family films, Bedtime Stories earned a $5,507 venue average, as parents took advantage of the winter break and flocked to the theaters with their kids one last time, before they had to go back to school. The film has grossed a nice $85 million so far.

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button fell 31% in its second weekend, raking in an estimated $18 million dollars. The Paramount picture had a good $6,158 per theater average. There’s something nice about seeing a true-blue, old-school Hollywood drama starring A-list leads like Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett do so well at the box office. It just makes me feel like there is normalcy in the world, which is comforting. After twelve days, the picture has amassed a very good $79 million.

United Artists’ Valkyrie continued its surprisingly strong run this weekend, adding $14 million to its box office total, with a $5,505 venue average. The WWII drama starring Tom Cruise has caught on quite well with male viewers, and with $60 million already in the bank, it could be headed to a $90 million total. So while Tom Cruise may not be all the way back to his Mission: Impossible/ Top Gun glory days, he’s well on his way to career redemption.

The next three spots are filled by three films that can’t seem to get enough of each other, for they have been stuck together on the chart since they debuted three weeks ago. In fifth place is the Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel comedy Yes Man, which earned $14 million. The Warner Brothers film has performed admirably after its lackluster start, and it now sits with $79 million total. In sixth is Seven Pounds, the Will Smith flick that just didn’t ever catch on. This weekend the Sony drama found $10 million, pushing its total to $60 million. And in seventh is Universal’s The Tale Of Despereaux, which grossed $7 million, for a modest $43 million total.

Doubt came in eighth place this weekend, as the effects of awards season begin to show their strength. The religious drama from Miramax fell only 6% to $5 million. It’s $3,909 venue average isn’t amazingly strong, but its enough to keep it around for a few weeks, and if it can pick up some awards, it will keep up its slow burn at the box office. Thus far, it has earned a pretty-good-considering-the-subject-matter $19 million. The Day The Earth Stood Still, a film that won’t be winning any awards, earned $4.8 million this weekend for an alright $74 million total.

And now for the film that I am unabashedly in love with: Slumdog Millionaire. I’m serious, it’s not like I just liked this movie a little bit- I LOVED it. I’m talking Wall-E levels of affection here! To my great pleasure, the Danny Boyle masterpiece did great at the box office this week, actually increasing 11% to $4.7 million, for a $29 million total. Even better, it’s $7,794 per theater average was the best in the Top 12! Fox Searchlight has mastered the art of rolling out lovable, artistic flicks like this one, and they’re doing a great job with Slumdog Millionaire. Seriously, go see it.

Filling up the last two spots are November stalwarts, Twilight and Bolt. The Summit vampire movie sucked another $4.5 million out of Americans’ pockets for a $176 million total. It will be interesting to see how the third Underworld movie, Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans, which debuts later this month, will perform in this newly-invigorated vampire genre. Finishing off the Top 12 is Disney’s Bolt, a film that has recovered nicely after a very slow start. This weekend, it grossed $3.2 million for a $110 total, which represents a great 4.23 multiplier. (For the uninitiated, a multiplier is calculated by dividing a movie’s total gross by its opening weekend.)

From here on out, look for things to cool down a bit now that the holidays have come to a close. The box office should return to its regular cycle of low weekday and high weekend numbers. Next weekend will see the debut of three new films: Bride Wars, The Unborn, and Not Easily Broken. Check back next Thursday for my Weekend Preview, throughout the week for new industry-related stories. For now though, here are this weekend’s results:

Top 12 for January 2-4 2009
# Movie Title 3-Day Gross
% Change AVG. Total
1 Marley And Me $24,050,000 -34% $6,862 $106,510,250
2 Bedtime Stories $20,317,000 -26% $5,507 $85,351,000
3 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button $18,400,000 -31% $6,158 $79,011,000
4 Valkyrie $14,042,000 -33% $5,055 $60,691,979
5 Yes Man $13,850,000 -17% $4,033 $79,413,000
6 Seven Pounds $10,000,000 -24% $3,626 $60,308,000
7 The Tale Of Despereaux $7,019,816 -21% $2,271 $43,741,816
8 Doubt $5,031,000 -6% $3,909 $18,730,000
9 The Day The Earth Stood Still $4,850,000 -37% $2,075 $74,299,426
10 Slumdog Millionaire $4,770,000 11% $7,794 $28,778,672
11 Twilight $4,530,000 -4% $2,399 $176,815,169
12 Bolt $3,271,000 -3% $1,892 $109,897,000
All Numbers Courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

Friday Estimates: Marley Stays On Top, Bedtime Stories Holds Well, And Go Slumdog Millionaire!

January 3, 2009

After a magnificent debut last weekend, Marley And Me will again take the top spot, and based on its $9.7 million Friday numbers, it’s looking like the dog movie should drop by about 30% for the weekend. Bedtime Stories only fell 16% from last Friday to $8.5 million, while The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button dropped 30% to $7.1 million. Overall, things at the box office are looking pretty similar to last weekend, and it looks like my holiday prediction method will end up working out pretty well. The biggest news on the charts might belong to Slumdog Millionaire, which actually increased 13% from last Friday on the heels of massive awards buzz. I saw the film last night, and let me go on record as saying that Slumdog Millionaire deserves all the critical and financial praise it’s getting. Out in 612 theaters, it’s already earned about $25 million, and I’m very hopeful about it’s prospects, but I will not be satisfied until it has earned at least $75 million. Anyway, here are the Friday Estimates:

Top 12 for January 2, 2009
# Movie Title Friday-to-

Friday
Daily Gross
1 Marley And Me -31% $9,700,000
2 Bedtime Stories -16% $8,500,000
3 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button -30% $7,100,000
4 Yes Man -7% $5,600,000
5 Valkyrie -33% $5,400,000
6 Seven Pounds -18% $3,900,000
7 The Tale Of Despereaux -12% $2,800,000
8 The Day The Earth Stood Still -32% $1,900,000
9 Doubt -2% $1,800,000
10 Twilight +12% $1,800,000
11 Slumdog Millionaire +13% $1,600,000
All Numbers Courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

Weekend Preview: 2009 Picks Up Right Where 2008 Left Off

January 2, 2009

Wow, my job is made a lot easier when there are no new wide releases to report on! My job is also made easier during the week after Christmas, when films tend to earn the same amount of money pretty much every day, regardless of their time in the week. Thus, as you can probably predict, holdovers will rule the first weekend in 2009, and surprise blockbuster Marley And Me will again take the number one spot on the charts.

Here’s how I figured out this week’s numbers- it’s actually ridiculously simple. With everyone out of school and work, and weekdays and weekend days acting essentially the same this week, I took the Tuesday numbers and multiplied them all by by about 3.3. It would be just 3.0, but the weekend does matter a little bit. And Oscar bait that is marketed solely to adults I multiplied by 3.8, since there are adults that have been working this week. And that’s really all I did. Will my little experiment work? We’ll see. All I know, is that Marley And Me will cross the $100 million mark, Bedtime Stories and The Curious Benjamin Button should end up around $80 million, and Valkyrie might make it to $60 million. Also, of note, after a weak $10 million start, The Tale Of Despereaux is doing alright for itself. It has currently earned $32 million, and might finish the weekend with $42 million. It could ultimately outgross Seven Pounds. Here’s the full forecast for the weekend:

Predicted Top 12 for January 2-4
1. Marley And Me – $25 million
2. Bedtime Stories – $21.5 million
3. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button – $18 million
4. Valkyrie – $14 million
5. Yes Man – $12 million
6. The Tale Of Despereaux – $8.5 million
7. Seven Pounds – $8 million
8. The Day The Earth Stood Still – $4.3 million
9. Twilight – $4 million
10. Doubt – $4 million
11. Slumdog Millionaire – $3.8 million
12. Bolt – $3.5 million

Weekend Fix: Marley And Me Shuts Out Competition On The Biggest Christmas Weekend Ever

December 28, 2008

Fueled by the powerful debuts of Marley And Me, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Bedtime Stories, and Valkyrie, the box office was in full force this weekend, pulling in record numbers for the Christmas frame. It appears that in the midst of a recession, while retail sales are rapidly declining and unemployment is on the rise, the movies offered American audiences a perfect escape from the harsh realities of life. If only the holidays could help our economy as much as they help the movie industry! Over the four day weekend, the Top 12 pulled in an amazing $264 million. Over the three day weekend, the Top 12 pulled in an estimated $194 million, an increase of 15% over the same weekend last year.

Marley And Me nabbed the top spot this weekend, with a humongous $51.6 million opening. Based on the popular bestseller by Josh Grogan, Fox’s already successful Marley And Me officially shuts up all those who claimed that Jennifer Aniston would never be able to become a full-fledged movie star. Between this and 2006’s The Break Up, it seems she has found her niche in relationship movies that are not quite romantic comedies. This is also a big victory for Owen Wilson, as this marks his comeback from his unfortunate and highly publicized suicide attempt last year, so it’s nice to see him doing better. Marley And Me had a fantastic per theater average of $14,849 ($10,632 for the 3-day), the best in the Top 12. Fox has advertised this movie so well. Just like with last December’s Alvin And The Chipmunks, they sold the cute-factor, with commercials that showcased the adorable canine, and it payed off in a big way! In fact, cuteness, sweetness, and schmaltz are all perfectly acceptable in the holiday season. With great family playability and good enough reviews, this should continue to do solid business over the next few days and weeks, and I don’t see any reason why Marley And Me shouldn’t breeze all the way to $170 million in the near future. A true success in every way.

In second place this weekend was David Fincher’s Oscar bait, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, which took in a great $39 million. The Paramount picture exceeded expectations and had a brilliant per theater average of $13,052 ($9,103 for the 3-day). Audiences responded to the fresh and innovative storyline, proving that a good story is the best way to sell a movie. But the story didn’t do all the work here- Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett definitely pulled in some viewers, and the good reviews and Oscar buzz pulled in even more. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button fought against its long playtime, avoiding the three-hour-curse that plagued King Kong in 2005, and performed like a champ. With awards season already upon us, Button should continue to perform strongly, and I’ve gotta say, it is nice to see a movie that can be considered both mainstream and an awards-contender. If it wins some major honors, the sky is the limit in terms of box office, but even if it doesn’t, $140 million is all but assured.

Disney’s Adam Sandler picture (oxymoron?), Bedtime Stories, came in third place this weekend, earning $38.6 million over four days. Bedtime Stories is a classic case of a movie that is a victim of high expectations. Even if its $38.6 million debut isn’t necessarily bad, everyone was expecting this to do better, and absolutely no one thought that The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, which was playing in 700 less theaters and is over an hour longer than Bedtime Stories, could match its debut. So why wasn’t it bigger? Well, I think there are a couple of factors that led to this result. To begin, reviews were bad. Very bad. On top of that, people associate Adam Sandler with a very specific kind of character (see: slacker and/or raunchy), and perhaps that didn’t work so well during the holiday season, where wholesome characters are more welcome. But don’t get me wrong- Bedtime Stories is far from a failure. In fact, with a very large theater count and a good $10,630 venue average ($9,103 for the 3-day), Bedtime Stories should stick around for a while, and will have no trouble making it to $140 million.

Proving that he’s still a star, Tom Cruise also had a good weekend at the cineplex, as United Artists’ Valkyrie took in an estimated $30 million. This movie had a lot working against it. The first problem, Tom Cruise. Mr. Cruise has wisely toned down his antics and raves over the past year, and it looks like audiences are finally ready to move on from Oprah-gate and Lauer-bash. The second problem , a war theme. In the past few years, films about war have not done well at all. You see, movies are about escapism, and when our country is currently at war, no one wants to go to the theater to see what’s already on the news 24/7. It appears, though, that Valkyrie, which takes place during WWII, is far enough removed from our current situation to be affected by the poor receipts that have plagued movies about the Iraq War. With a good $11,075 average ($7,942 over the 3-day), Valkyrie could return Tom Cruise to his $100 million days.

The next four spots on the chart were occupied by last weekend’s top four releases. Warner Brothers’ Yes Man, starring Jim Carrey, did pretty well, dipping just 10% over the three day weekend ($16.5 million), and pulling in $22 million over four days, for a total of $50 million. The Sony drama Seven Pounds was also down 10% ($13.4 million over the 3-day), grabbing an additional $18 million over the four day weekend, which gives the Will Smith vehicle a very underwhelming $40 million total. The Tale Of Despereaux held it’s own, making $11.4 ($9.4 million over the 3-day, a 7% drop) million for a humble $27.7 million total. And sci-fi actioner The Day The Earth Stood Still notched a $10.3 million weekend ($7.9 over the 3-day, a 20% drop) for a $63.3 million total.

Way back in ninth place was Lionsgate’s attempt at Sin City, a much worse movie called The Spirit, which only managed to earn $10.4 million in it’s four day debut, but just $6.5 million over the regular weekend. Despite a cast made up of Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, and Scarlatt Johannson, The Spirit had a weak $4,125 venue average ($2,595 over the 3-day). This was a movie marketed to teens and fanboys, and it’s front-loadedness is already apparent. Look for The Spirit to disappear quickly.

December stalwart Four Christmases added an extra $7.1 million ($5 million over the 3-day) to it’s great $111.8 million cume. The Warner Brothers comedy will probably disappear pretty quickly now that Christmas has passed. Next on the list was Miramax’s Doubt. After expanding into 1,228 theaters, the dramatic Oscar contender starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams, did pretty well, considering its dour subject matter. Over four days, it pulled in $7.1 million for a $6,294 per theater average ($5.7 million over the 3-day, for a $4,479 average). Doubt has currently earned $8.8 million. Rounding out the Top 12 was Twilight, a movie that has done quite well for itself over the past six weeks. Summit’s teen vampire flick found another $6.5 million this weekend, boosting its total to $167 million. (As a side note, I just learned about all this drama going on among Twilight fangirls! The studio wants to recast Taylor Lautner in New Moon for someone with bigger muscles, but the fans want Taylor as Jacob! Read more here…it’s kind of hilarious.) Results for both the 4-day and 3-day weekends are below:

Top 12 for December 25-28 2008
# Movie Title 4-Day Gross
Total
1 Marley And Me $51,675,000 $51,675,000
2 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button $39,000,000 $39,000,000
3 Bedtime Stories $38,598,000 $38,598,000
4 Valkyrie $30,000,000 $30,000,000
5 Yes Man $22,400,000 $49,591,000
6 Seven Pounds $18,100,000 $39,026,000
7 The Tale Of Despereaux $11,400,000 $27,945,000
8 The Day The Earth Stood Still $10,400,000 $63,615,000
9 The Spirit $10,350,000 $10,350,000
10 Four Christmases $7,300,000 $111,817,000
11 Doubt $7,100,000 $8,825,000
12 Twilight $6,000,000 $167,063,207
All Numbers Courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

Top 12 for December 26-28 2008
# Movie Title 3-Day Gross
1 Marley And Me $37,000,000
2 Bedtime Stories $28,069,000
3 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button $27,200,000
4 Valkyrie $21,531,000
5 Yes Man $16,450,000
6 Seven Pounds $13,400,000
7 The Tale Of Despereaux $9,367,000
8 The Day The Earth Stood Still $7,900,000
9 The Spirit $6,510,000
10 Doubt $5,675,000
11 Four Christmases $5,045,000
12 Twilight $4,518,000

All Numbers Courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

Friday Estimates: Marley Remains Top Dog

December 27, 2008

The Friday Estimates chart looks almost identical to Thursday, as Marley And Me stayed on top the day after Christmas with a fantastic $14 million. It’s looking to earn around $55 million over the weekend, when all is said and done. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and Bedtime Stories each took in around $10 million, and both should finish the four-day weekend with $40 million under their belts, which is great for Benjamin Button but a bit underwhelming for Bedtime Stories. Bryan Singer’s Valkyrie, starring Tom Cruise, continues to exceed expectations, notching another $8 million on Friday. It looks to be heading for $30 million by Sunday. The Spirit is already revealing it’s front-loadedness, falling 25% to $3 million from Thursday to Friday. It’s should match my original prediction of $12 million over the four days. Also of note, Doubt and Slumdog Millionaire are still doing their thing near the bottom of the chart. Here are the rest of the results:

Top 12 for December 26, 2008
# Movie Title Daily Gross
1 Marley And Me $14,o00,000
2 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button $10,200,000
3 Bedtime Stories $10,100,000
4 Valkyrie $8,000,000
5 Yes Man $5,500,000
6 Seven Pounds $4,550,000
7 The Spirit $3,000,000
8 The Day The Earth Stood Still $2,200,000
9 The Tale Of Despereaux $2,100,000
10 Four Christmases $2,000,000
11 Doubt $1,470,000
12 Slumdog Millionaire $1,280,000
All Numbers Courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.