Archive for the ‘Blockbuster’ Category

Weekend Fix: Star Trek Prospers With $76.5 Million On Opening Weekend! Will It Live Long?

May 10, 2009

UPDATE #3: WHAT?! This post has 22 comments?! That’s AWESOME! Keep ’em coming! I finally got the Weekend Fix posted, so I hope you enjoy!
UPDATE #3.5:
Okay, Weekend Actuals just came in, and Star Trek exceeded expectations even more! Craziness! – Grady

Weekend figures just arrived, and Star Trek’s weekend gross is a sweet $75.2 million! ($79.2 million including Thursday!) On Saturday, Star Trek pulled in another $27.2 million, a 1% increase from Friday. Clearly, this film is reaching a much larger audience than just the old Trekkies. Otherwise, we would have seen a fanboy-style dip on Saturday. The Sunday drop to $21 million was quite good, as well, and it shows that good Friday and Saturday word-of-mouth prevented any dip due to Mother’s Day. It appears that Paramount’s advertising got its job done, and audiences are connecting with the raved-about reboot. Also, you should know that in the confusing shuffle of whether or not to count the Thursday showings in the weekend gross of Star Trek, it looks like the accepted figure is that Star Trek made $4 million during Thursday showings. I suppose that the other $3 million earned on Thursday were from showimtes close enough to midnight that they’re just being counted as Friday shows. This is how the weekend looked:

Thursday: $4 million
Friday: $26.9 million
Saturday: $27.2 million (+1.3%)
Sunday: $21.1 million (-22%)
TOTAL: $79.2 million

Bravo, J.J. Abrams! You’ve successfully brought the franchise back to life! Indeed, with a sizzling $21,190 venue average over the three day weekend, 95% positive reviews, and an amazing $79.2 million over three and a half days, look for Star Trek to stick around for weeks to come. Batman Begins, a reboot that compares to Star Trek well, opened to $48 million on the way to $205 million. That’s a 4.27 multiplier. If Star Trek could manage that kind of a multiplier, we’re looking at a $300 million hit. Due to the sci-fi nature of the story, I don’t know how likely that is, but as good word spreads and Trekkies line up again and again to see this, I’m willing to go on record saying that I think $250 million is a likely achievement for Star Trek. It could surpass that, but I certainly think it will make it there. We’ll have to wait and see!

Next, we have X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Isn’t it weird to think that last week, this film is all anyone could talk about? With the Enterprise now clearly in its way, though, Wolverine feels like a distant memory, and its harsh second weekend drop isn’t helping out. This weekend, Wolverine fell a massive 69% to $26.4 million (exactly what I predicted!), for a ten day total of $129 million. To be clear: this is not good. The Fox film cost $150 million to make, and that’s not including the HUGE costs of advertising and reshoots. Following its current trajectory, $170 million seems like a likely finish for Wolverine. So are you satisfied with its gross? You do the math. Perhaps Fox should’ve taken a page out of Paramount’s book and spent a longer time crafting a great movie, because even though Trek didn’t open as big as Wolverine, it’ll be sticking around a lot longer!

Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past performed like a champ this weekend. After last week’s slightly underwhelming $15.2 million debut, the Matthew McConaughey romantic comedy, fell just 33% to $10.3 million this week. Ghosts currently sits with $30.1 million, but with a few more drops like this over the next few weeks, Warner Brothers could have a nice $50-55 million little hit on their hands.

Meanwhile, Obsessed has already exceeded that! With a 46% drop to $6.6 million, the Beyonce/Ali Larter catfight film is once again validating my theory about the Era of Easy Entertainment, and after seventeeen days, Obsessed grossed $56.2 million. (That’s about one dollar for every hair that got ripped out of Beyonce’s weave during the making of this film!) The cheap thriller will be remembered as a solid Spring success.

The only other new opener this weekend was Next Day Air, an urban drug comedy starring Donald Faison. The Summit film failed to catch on with audiences or critics, and it only managed to pull in $4.1 million during its opening frame.

Finally, I just want to give a shout out to Monsters Vs. Aliens. The Dreamworks film from way back in March has performed admirably after its $58 million debut. Currently Monsters has multiplied its opening by about 3.2, giving it a $186 million total. Big international sales as well as DVD revenue will push this film, budgeted at $175 million, into the black.

Top 12 Actuals For May 8-10
# Movie Title 3-Day Gross % Change AVG. Total
1 Star Trek $75,204,289 New $21,190 $79,204,289
2 X-Men Origins: Wolverine $26,408,288 -69% $6,438 $129,032,435
3 Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past $10,258,141 -33% $3,231 $30,054,386
4 Obsessed $6,560,266 -46% $2,521 $56,207,576
5 17 Again $4,232,422 -33% $1,458 $53,994,515
6 Next Day Air $4,111,043 New $3,613 $4,111,043
7 The Soloist $3,949,430 -30% $1,890 $23,845,177
8 Monsters Vs. Aliens $3,260,440 -44% $1,492 $186,774,042
9 Earth $2,666,219 -39% $1,486 $26,264,242
10 Hannah Montana The Movie $2,193,043 -47% $953 $73,861,795
11 Fighting $2,010,075 -50% $1,040 $20,453,095
12 State Of Play $1,918,295 -48% $1,245 $33,986,760
All Numbers Provided By Exhibitor Relations Co.

This weekend, the Top 12 films grossed a fantastic $142.7 million, a 21.3% increase over the same weekend last year! Year-to-date, box office revenue is up 14% and attendance is up by 12%!
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This Week in Blockbusters: Star Trek

May 4, 2009

I always love Summer. Less work, less stress, less responsibility, more movies. It’s the only time of the year I can keep up with new movies and catch up on the ones I missed. Studios love it too, releasing big movie after big movie that bring audiences to the theaters in droves. Many of the movies are mindless entertainment (not a bad thing, they’re often a lot of fun), but every few weeks one of the big ones will deliver intelligence as well as entertainment, and it’s always fun to be surprised.

Though this summer is laden with the sequels, remakes, and re-adaptions, that permeate movies today, there is a surprising amount of original material to look forward to as well. So each week I will write up the big release coming that week and give a little synopsis and my expectations of what it could be. There will be some sequels (Harry Potter, Angels and Demons), some sequels with robots (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Terminator Salvation), as well as some brand new originals (Funny People, Up). Most of these, I imagine, will make a lot of money in the recession-proof industry. Some will be good, some will disappoint, but I’ll be happy, because hey, it’s summer.

This week, Star Trek hits theaters nationwide, and geeks everywhere are camping out with Vulcan Ears and Romulan face paint. Now I am a geek, but I am not a Trekkie. I know very little about the Star Trek series, except that William Shatner played Captain Kirk and the ship is called the Enterprise. Having said that, I love good science fiction. I grew up on Star Wars, but for some reason missed the Star Trek bus. I think, perhaps, I was a generation late (even for The Next Generation).

This movie, however, looks like a great way to get into it. It’s a reboot that is faithful to the original. It was created for die-hard fans and casual viewers alike, which I think is important for movies such as this. This allows for it to please everybody, rather than being too unfaithful for the fans or too knee-deep in Klingon terminology for those just finding their inner Trek fan. It looks like an awesome, epic sci-fi tale with action, special effects, and solid characters to boot. Early reviews are great (currently 17 for 17 on Rotten Tomatoes), and I can’t imagine every person who has seen it is a devout follower.

It seems like a truly solid origin story. I trust J.J. Abrams to deliver, seeing as how he produces one of the most interesting and engaging shows on television, which I purposely don’t watch to avoid addiction. Apparently, they’re doing something interesting here: they’re tying it into the ‘old’ universe. I don’t understand it fully, but I know there is time travel involved. Apparently, a villain from current Star Trek continuity (Eric Bana) travels in time to kill a young pre-captain James Kirk (Chris Pine). Much like Back to the Future, this alters time irrevocably and sets the characters on a different course than the one we (by we I mean those that have actually followed the thirty plus years of continuity) have already seen. It’s actually a neat way to handle the reboot, which is always a delicate situation. How do you restart something so beloved without nullifying what has already happened? Do you just make it so it never existed? This strikes a nice balance: both stories are true in different timelines, one feeds right off the other. Fans understand its significance, and newcomers can start from a seemed beginning.

In another awesome way to tie this film into the old series, Trekkie fans are bound to be excited that Leonard Nimoy reprises his role as Spock. In this movie, he’s ‘Old Spock’ come from the future to help ‘New Spock,’ played by Heroes villain Zachary Quinto. Apparently, Spock and Kirk (known to be best friends) don’t get along so well when they first meet. Something tells me this will change as they go through the hardships of space battles together. (it’ll be like a buddy cop movie, with lasers). Even a non-trekkie like myself has heard William Shatner’s broken-hearted “Kaaaaaaahhnnn!” scream as he held his dying friend.

This could be a strong way to start off the Summer blockbuster season, following Wolverine’s wake. Star Trek is getting away with saying it will be released this Friday, May 8th, but it actually comes out Thursday at 7:00 P.M. in many theaters nationwide. Apparently, they thought the Trekkie crowd was too old for a midnight showing. How this counts as a Friday release is beyond me, apparently they can claim it’s Friday in Britain.

Excitement buzz: 8/10.