Archive for the ‘Dear John’ Category
Currently, I feel sandwiched between two weekends that boast wisely placed movies on the box office calendar. We’re hot on the heels of Dear John‘s fantastic debut, which was lifted by its brilliant counter-programmed Super Bowl release date, and this coming weekend, Valentine’s Day will surely find strong numbers, thanks to the fact that Sunday is Valentine’s Day. What I want you to take away from this post is that release dates matter a lot. The American public likes gimmicky release schedules, and when a movie’s title and/or release date give people an obvious choice of which movie to see, it often pays off in spades. Thus, because it is List Wednesday, I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of the smartest release dates in recent history, all of which directly led to solid box office results. But that’s enough talking from me- go ahead and check out these seven movies with great release dates, and then let me know what movies you thought had great release dates in the comments!
A movie about the devil! 666! The devil’s number! WOW, that is just so clever! I have to go see this! Sadly, that really was the train of though for many moviegoers. Kudos to Fox for pumping up the release gimmick effectively. The Omen opened to $12.6 million on a Tuesday (at the time, Fox boasted that they had achieved the best Tuesday opening ever… a dubious distinction) on its way to $54.5 million. Pretty good for a pretty bad horror flick.
Four Christmases (11/26/08)
I wish every Christmas movie would follow the model set by Four Christmases. Open directly after Thanksgiving and plow through a month of solid box office results. Four Christmases was just a silly romantic comedy, but it earned a great $118 million during its run. I wonder how much bigger A Christmas Carol could have been if it had opened closer to, I dunno, Christmas! (I warned you)
Independence Day (07/03/96)
In 1996, July 4th fell on a Thursday, so Fox wisely took the opportunity to open this Will Smith blockbuster on Wednesday the 3rd. The result? $45 million in two days of ticket sales, followed by a tremendous $50.2 million weekend. The July 4th weekend was officially signed over to Will Smith later that month.
The Devil Wears Prada (06/30/06)
Another case of counter programming at its finest. Back in 2006, The Devil Wears Prada decided to open directly against the über-hyped Superman reboot. Hoping to attract the disinterested female audience, Fox (who is proving they know how to release movies well) was bold to go head to head with the man of steel. Many were sure that the fashion film would get lost in the shuffle, but Prada silenced the doubters, opening to a robust $27.5 million (vs. Superman‘s $52.5 million) on its way $124.7 million.
The one-two punch of the innovative Saw movies (in plot, not in gruesomeness) over Halloween weekend in 2004 ($18.3 million opening, $55 million total) and 2005 ($31.7 million opening, $87 million total) helped fortify a robust franchise for Lionsgate, which framed Saw III, IV, and V as the go-to event films of the next few Halloween weekends. Unfortunately for Lionsagate, Paranormal Activity stole all of Saw VI‘s thunder, and now, Saw 3D and Paranormal Activity 2 are both eyeing the lucrative Halloween weekend release date for this year.
Here’s a film whose opening weekend wasn’t the reason it blew up (controversy took care of that), but it placed the film in such a way that theater owners didn’t want to take it out of theaters for a good while. Easter fell on April 11th that year, and every knew that a movie about Jesus would do well over that frame, which is why The Passion was still playing in 3,240 theaters during that, its seventh, weekend. The film came in first place that weekend with $15 million, and then fell all the way down to tenth the very next, earning $4 million. Newmarket wisely ensure Mel Gibson’s religious film would play in theaters for quite a while with their strategic release date.
Sony knew they had a solidly marketable romantic comedy with two widely appealing leads, and they probably knew it could perform solidly. They took things to the next level, though, by releasing it over Valentine’s Day weekend, making it clear the choice for all couples. After a good $10 million Friday, 50 First Dates shot way up $19.8 million on Valentine’s Day, a figure which accounted for almost half of the films $39.9 million debut, which set it up for a nice $120.9 million run. Sony learned from their success and opened Hitch a few days before Valentine’s Day in 2005. Hitch opened to $43 million before trucking along all the way to $179 million.
Remember how I mentioned in yesterday’s video that I wouldn’t be totally surprised if Dear John managed to win the weekend? Well, after a fantastic Friday, it looks like the romantic drama is going to! Dear John earned a tremendous $13.8 million yesterday, and where it heads from here is an interesting question. I’m guessing Channing Tatum has a substantial number of teen fangirls, who rushed out on Friday to see this film, so it will be fairly frontloaded. That being said, Dear John should hold better than most every other movie on Super Bowl Sunday. All told, an awesome $31 million weekend is in store for Dear John. Avatar came in second with $6.2 million, and while the sci-fi epic will finally give up the top spot, it will still only fall about 25% from last weekend to $23 million, lifting its total to $629 million. From Paris With Love couldn’t even live up to lowered expectations, and the John Travolta shoot-em-up only grossed $3 million on Friday. This should lead to a weak $8 million weekend, only slightly more than what Edge Of Darkness will earn in its second weekend. Otherwise, there’s not too much to report, as things are performing pretty much as expected. Crazy Heart broke into the Top 10 with $1.1 million on Friday, and the Oscar-nominated release might see a $3.3 million weekend. Check below for full Friday box office estimates:
Friday Estimates For February 5, 2010
1. Dear John – $13.8 million
2. Avatar – $6.2 million
3. From Paris With Love – $3 million
4. Edge Of Darkness – $2.3 million
5. When In Rome – $2 million
6. Tooth Fairy – $1.7 million
7. The Book Of Eli – $1.5 million
8. Crazy Heart – $1.1 million
9. Legion – $1.1 million
10. Sherlock Holmes – $785,000
Could this finally be the week that Avatar rescinds the top spot on the chart? I know I’ve asked that for the last few weeks, but the planets (Pandorum excluded) may be aligned in just the right way to push Avatar down to second place this frame. The Super Bowl will draw males away from the theaters, and it may leave the romantic, female-targeting Dear John to take the box office by storm. Still, Avatar hasn’t gone down yet, and there’s a good chance it will win the weekend again, so it’s going to be a fun, close one to watch! The other newcomer, From Paris With Love, probably won’t have as much success, and the John Travolta action film will have a mid-level debut. To hear my predictions of those new films, watch the video above. As far as the holdovers go, drops are usually pretty small at this time of the year, though the Super Bowl will subtract a huge portion of audiences on Sunday. It is also important to note that a massive snowstorm is expected on the East Coast this weekend (an estimated 28″ where I am!), which may also dampen grosses substantially. Despite those forces working against the box office, though, the Oscar nominations and consequent expansions of many well-reviewed films should lead to some sturdy grosses in the lower rungs of the chart, especially from the Jeff Bridges showcase, Crazy Heart. After you’ve watched the video above, check below for my full weekend prediction chart!
|2||Dear John||3,066||$22.5 million|
|3||From Paris With Love||2,722||$15 million|
|4||Edge Of Darkness||3,066||$10 million|
|5||When In Rome||2,456||$7.5 million|
|6||Tooth Fairy||3,218||$7.2 million|
|7||The Book Of Eli||2,820||$4.6 million|
|8||Crazy Heart||819||$4 million|
|10||Sherlock Holmes||1,805||$2.8 million|
Here at TBOJ, I like to start each week with a little column called New And News, in which I take a quick look at the new movies entering theaters this week,and then share some of my favorite recent news stories that have caught my eye. This week, we’ve got a pair of new movies whose titles seem like they were meant to go together: Dear John and From Paris With Love. Couldn’t that be the opening and closing of a romantic letter from a girl named Paris? I think so. Anyway, the two movies couldn’t be more different thematically, and each is hoping to find an audience that could take down Avatar this weekend, though that’s probably not going to happen. Click inside for a preview of each film, as well as some news about Redbox stations, Paranormal Activity 2 controversy, and the continued bastardization of the Spider-Man franchise.
This movie has framed itself as a pure romance, which is a genre we rarely see at the box office- especially with young stars like Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried. None of the cutesy-fun humor of a romantic comedy seems to be present in Dear John, which tells the somber story of a college girl separated from her soldier boyfriend. As the title implies, the lovers write passionate letters back and forth to one another, and somehow, I’m sure they’ll be reunited in the end. Advertising has been very strong, and the song in the trailer is genuinely enthralling. I don’t know if there’s been better music in a trailer since “Jesus Walks” in the trailer for Jarhead. It’ll be interesting to see how Dear John does this weekend, but it could be a surprise box office hit.
Fresh off Edge Of Darkness‘ debut, we have yet another action movie with an older male actor in need of career boost. This time, a bald, goateed John Travolta is the man toting the gun, as he plays an American agent hoping to prevent a terrorist attack in France. With a similar film having just debuted and a pretty generic story, I wouldn’t expect From Paris With Love to do much better than Edge Of Darkness did last weekend.
Redbox kiosks and Netflix, with their gigantic collections of DVDs, have been making rather handy work of killing the DVD retail industry. Other retailers have refused to sell DVDs to Redbox employees, which allows people to rent films for just $1, but until now, Wal-Mart and Target have done so. Well, the two retail giants are finally taking sides, and according to Variety, they are now instituting a purchasing limit of 5 DVDs per customer, in an effort to combat Redbox collections being built so quickly. Interesting.
First they chose the same release date on October 22nd. Then, they chose the same director. Paramount wants Kevin Greutert to direct Paranormal Activity 2, but Lionsgate has also offered him Saw 3D. Right now, things are incredibly tense between the two studios, but someone’s going to win, someone’s going to lose, and either way, it’s going to get bloody. Deadline broke the news.
No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. NO!