Archive for the ‘One Missed Call’ Category

Weekend Fix: Treasure Threepeats, Juno Exceeds Expectations

January 6, 2008

     The first weekend of 2008 got the year off to good start, continuing the solid weekend performances that the box office has had for the last three weeks.  Of course, the holidays are pretty much over now, and the Top 12’s box office fell an expected 27% from last weekend, but with only one new film opening, the Top 12 films still managed to gross a collective $123.9 million, which represents a great 19% increase over the first weekend of last year.

     For the third weekend in a row, National Treasure: Book of Secrets held the top spot.  The Nicholas Cage flick earned $20.2 million this weekend, off 43% from last weekend.  Playing in a whopping 3,762 theaters, Disney’s Da Vinci Code rip-off had a pretty good $5,376 venue average.  Probably because of its weak reviews and rehashed story, Book of Secrets hasn’t held up as well as the original National Treasure did, but it will still end up outgrossing its predecessor (I’m seeing a final gross somewhere around $220 million).  After three weekends, National Treasure: Book of Secrets has earned a nice $171 million.
     I Am Legend, Warner Brothers’ apocalyptic thriller starring Will Smith, continued to utterly dominate at the box office.  In its fourth weekend, the sci-fi action movie earned $16.4 million, a 40% drop from last weekend.  After its huge $77 million opening, I Am Legend has been quite leggy, and by next weekend, it will have tripled its opening.  In its fourth weekend, it had a sturdy $4,490 per theater average, which is great for a film of its age.  In 24 days it has grossed a phenomenal $228.7 million.

     The third place film is the real success story of the weekend.  Juno, which expanded into 1,925 theaters this weekend, earned a stunning $16.2 million over the past three days.  Word of mouth has propelled this indie comedy to its incredible level of success, and with an amazing $8,429 per theater average, Juno is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon (Vote on the poll to the right that asks if Juno can break $100 million).  Although many awards voters won’t admit it, a film’s box office definitely matters when it comes to choosing award winners, and Juno‘s setting itself up for some major victories in the coming months.  After five weeks Fox Searchlight’s feature has earned $52 million.
     Finally out of the top three, Alvin and the Chipmunks fell 45% this weekend to $16 million.  The rodent comedy had a $4,622 venue average, and it has earned $176.7 million overall.  The terribly reviewed children’s movie just won’t die!  Mark my words, if the Writers Guild of America weren’t on strike right now, Fox would already be in the stages of preproduction for a sequel, and with $200 million right around the corner, a new installment of Alvin will be cranked out as soon as possible.

     One Missed Call, the weekend’s sole opening film, debuted to an alright $13.5 million.  The Warner Brothers horror film, which could win an award for not receiving a single positive review, had a very front-loaded weekend.  With a $5.2 million Friday, One Missed Call could only achieve a 2.6 internal multiplier, which implies that it will have very short legs at the box office.  It had an okay $6,038 per theater average, which is not terrible, but certainly nothing special, and I’m guessing that One Missed Call will probably finish its run with a bad $30 million.  No one’s going to miss this one…
     In sixth place, Charlie Wilson’s War kept on redeeming its slow start.  Down 32%, Universal’s Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts political comedy grossed $8.2 million this weekend, giving it a fairly small $3,155 venue average.  Overall, Charlie Wilson’s War has grossed $52.6 million, and while this is lower than one would expect given the pedigree of its stars, it’s very good considering how poorly the film opened.  It could end with about $70-80 million overall.

     P.S. I Love You fell a tiny 14% to $8 million, as it continued its inexplicable endurance at the box office.  With a venue average of $3,244, P.S. I Love You isn’t breaking any records, but it is notable that the Warner Brothers romantic comedy did better in its third weekend than it did in its opening.  I guess word-of-mouth is good among teenage girls, who just love to cry at the movies.  In three weeks, Hilary Swank’s foray into female roles has earned a not-too-shabby $39.4 million.
     The Water Horse was back in eighth place this weekend.  The children’s fantasy has been utterly overlooked, and was down 31% this weekend, for a $6.3 million gross, and a low $2,269 per theater average.  In total, Sony’s The Water Horse has splashed up a disappointing $30.9 million after three weeks.
     Sweeney Todd looks to be following a very similar trajectory to Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, which finished up with $53 million.  This weekend, Dreamworks/Paramount’s slasher musical, Sweeney Todd, found another $5.4 million, a 34% drop.  It was a good decision to keep the theater count low on this one, as it still has a fairly good $4,323 venue average in its third weekend.  This should keep in theaters a while longer, and with a few awards, Sweeney Todd could become a bona fide success.  We’ll have to wait and see.  For now, the musical gorefest will have to live with its $38.5 million total.

     Taking a page out of Juno‘s book, Atonement also had a very successful expansion this weekend.  Moving into 583 theaters, Atonement increased 64% to $5.1 million.  Its per theater average of $8,790 was the best in the Top 12, which should merit further expansions in the future.  It remains to be seen whether Atonement can outgross director Joe Wright’s previous picture, Pride and Prejudice, which earned $39 million, but I’m thinking it should have no trouble doing so.  Thus far, the Focus Features film has made $19.2 million
     Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem deteriorated in its second weekend, dropping 58% to $4.3 million, proving that everyone who really wanted to see this has already done so.  The weekend gross gave Fox’s mindless action movie a wretched $1,624 venue average, and assured that it will disappear from theaters quickly.  So far, AVP:R has grosses $30.5 million, with about a third of that coming from its opening day alone.

     Rounding out the Top 12 is Denzel Washington’s The Great Debaters, which earned $4.2 million over the weekend frame.  The small MGM drama had an okay $3,291 per theater average.  With $22 million overall, The Great Debaters hasn’t performed spectacularly, but its done pretty well for a small film that had absolutely zero buzz going for it.  A few awards could help its cause tremendously.
     Next weekend brings four new films: the old-people laugher, The Bucket List, the Veggie Tales production, The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything, criminal comedy, First Sunday, and Uwe Boll’s latest (awful) video game adaptation, In The Name Of The King.  At this point, none seem to have real breakout potential, and the box office may be relying on holdovers for yet another week.  Check back next week for the Weekend Preview.

Top 12 for January 4-6

# Movie Title Weekend Gross Total
1 National Treasure: Book of Secrets $20,225,000 $171,033,000
2 I Am Legend $16,380,000 $228,718,000
3 Juno $16,225,000 $52,031,842
4 Alvin and the Chipmunks $16,000,000 $176,737,736
5 One Missed Call $13,525,000 $13,525,000
6 Charlie Wilson’s War $8,184,070 $52,630,360
7 P.S. I Love You $8,015,000 $39,383,000
8 The Water Horse $6,300,000 $30,893,000
9 Sweeney Todd $5,400,000 $38,472,000
10 Atonement $5,124,297 $19,215,527
11 Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem $4,250,000 $36,820,839
12 The Great Debaters $4,245,000 $22,007,817

All Numbers Courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

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Friday Estimates: Not Everyone Misses One Missed Call

January 5, 2008

     Well, it looks like the holidays are coming to an end. While the box office isn’t behaving especially poorly, everything except Juno, Atonement, and (based on low expectations) One Missed Call is just average or a little bit underwhelming.
     National Treasure: Book of Secrets will lead for the third weekend in a row, and on Friday the treasure-hunters found $6.4 million. A $19 million weekend seems likely.
     One Missed Call and I Am Legend both pulled in $5.2 million on Friday, but they should finish about $3 million apart. One Missed Call, which now has some shockingly bad reviews, was marketed almost exclusively to teens.  It will be very front-loaded should finish with $13 million. I Am Legend, which has already proven its longevity, will pull in a much better $16 million.
     Juno continued to exceed its buzz, earning a great $5.2 million on Friday. The indie comedy can’t seem to do anything wrong during its run, and even in almost 2,000 theaters, it will have a very good per theater average of about $7,500! Look for a $15 million weekend.     Atonement also fared well in it expansion, pulling in a solid $1.5 million yesterday. It should slightly exceed my prediction of $4.2 million, setting itself up for a truckload of awards.
     Everything else performed pretty much as expected, so there’s not much to report, but to see the final weekend grosses, check back in tomorrow for the Weekend Fix.

Friday Estimates for January 4
1. National Treasure: Book of Secrets – $6.4 million
2. I Am Legend – $5.2 million
3. One Missed Call – $5.2 million
4. Juno – $5.2 million
5. Alvin and the Chipmunks – $4.6 million
6. P.S. I Love You – $2.6 million
7. Charlie Wilson’s War – $2.5
8. The Water Horse – $1.9 million
9. Sweeney Todd – $1.8 million
10. Atonement – $1.5 million
11. Alien Vs. Predator – $1.4 million
12. The Great Debaters – $1.2 million

Weekend Preview: Will "Call" Hit Or Miss?

January 4, 2008

     In the first weekend of 2008, with just one new film opening, the box office will have to rely on holdovers to sustain the great grosses of the holiday season. Still, 2008’s offerings should have no trouble outgrossing 2007’s first weekend, when Night At The Museum was on top. This year, National Treasure: Book of Secrets should top the box office for a third weekend in a row, but Alvin and the Chipmunks could be some stiff competition. Newcomer One Missed Call hopes to break out, while Atonement and Juno receive major expansions.

     One Missed Call, a remake of a Japanese horror film, is the sole opener this weekend. With a story that sounds remarkably similar to The Ring (and every other techno-supernatural Japanese thriller), One Missed Call tells the story of a woman who hears her own death over her cell phone, and then must figure out how to prevent her inevitable fate from occurring. Released by Warner Brothers, One Missed Call hopes to garner some of the success that other early-January horror releases have seen. In January 2005, White Noise opened with $24 million, and in 2006, Hostel surprised with a $19.6 million opening. Unfortunately, in 2007, moviegoers firmly rejected new horror titles. Hostel: Part II, The Hills Have Eyes 2, Vacancy, Hannibal Rising, The Reaping, and The Mist all finished with less than $30 million, and the Japanese style of horror has been out ever since torture-porn came along (Though, judging by the failures I just listed, it looks like torture-porn is out too). Advertising has been solid, but the movie still looks terribly generic- And what do you know? It wasn’t screened for critics! Launching in 2,240 theaters, One Missed Call might find a small $8 million over the weekend.
     The first major expansion of the weekend comes with Juno, which almost doubles its theater count to 1,925 venues. The teen pregnancy comedy has been picking up steam at an almost exponential rate in the last two weeks, performing more like a studio release than an indie flick, and while the expansion will cause a decrease in the per theater average, Juno should still have a great weekend. With a $14 million weekend, the Fox Searchlight picture will be pushing a phenomenal $50 million. Suddenly, $100 million seems like a possibility!     With Juno acting like such a champ, its easy to forget about a film like Focus Features’ Atonement, which has been quietly performing very solidly in its own right. The Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, and Saoirse Ronan (whose being hailed the next Dakota Fanning) movie has already earned $14 million, and with awards on the way, it still has a lot left in it. Atonement expands into 583 theaters this weekend, and it should pull in about $4.2 million.
     Among holdovers, small 30-45% drops should be the case for most films. National Treasure: Book of Secrets should again be on top, and a 40% decrease will give Disney’s Jerry Bruckheimer production about $21 million for the weekend, and $171 million overall. Right on its heels, Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks should have a smaller drop, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it even took the top spot. The Fox film should earn about $19 million in the next three days, giving it a $170 million running total. America, I hope you’re ready for sequels… In third, Sony’s I Am Legend will find an additional $16 million for a huge $227 million total.

Predicted Top 12 for January 4-6
1. National Treasure: Book of Secrets – $21 million
2. Alvin and the Chipmunks – $19 million
3. I Am Legend – $16 million
4. Juno – $14 million
5. Charlie Wilson’s War – $8 million
6. One Missed Call – $8 million
7. P.S. I Love You – $6.1 million
8. The Water Horse – $5.5 million
9. Sweeney Todd – $4.6 million
10. Alien Vs. Predator – $4.5 million
11. Enchanted – $4.2 million
12. Atonement – $4.2 million