Archive for the ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ Category

DVD Sales: Monsters Repeats On Top; Year One Has A Poor Week One; Halloween Titles Flourish

October 20, 2009
I won’t lie to you- it was a pretty slow week on the Home Market, and the chart looks fairly similar to last week, but there are a couple of surprises, and some of them are just so random, I don’t even know what to think!  Take a look inside for my DVD Sales Notes and the full DVD Sales Chart:

DVD Sales Notes

Monsters Vs. Aliens repeats its reign on top of the chart this week, adding an additional $12.6 million to its gross.  In two weeks, it’s sold just under 3 million copies, giving it a smokin’ $51.5 million total.

-Unfortunately for Year One, the crass caveman comedy starring Jack Black and Michael Cera, did as poorly in its first week on DVD as it did in theaters.  Year One sold 348,954 copies, for a sad total of just $5.6 million.

-The impressive TV-on-DVD performer of the week is Bones: The Complete Fourth Season, which earned about $8 million in its first week.  For a procedural show, this is pretty great!

The Cat In The HatMatilda?!  THE SANDLOT?!?!  Am I ten years old again?  Are we seeing an early Christmas shopping effect?  I mean, these titles are just too random to reappear on the chart, and other things like Race To Witch Mountain, Gran Torino, and Bring It On: Fight To The Finish saw solid increases, as well.  Maybe these all got  re-releases that I didn’t know about, but I’m calling early Christmas sales.  The Break Up has to be the most random thing on that chart, though.  I guess Vince Vaughn’s turn in Couples Retreat inspired people to go check out this 2006 title.

-Whether or not we’re seing any kind of Christmas effect, we’re definitely starting to see a major Halloween effect on the home market.  The Corpse Bride, almost 4 years after its original release found $538,507 this week, good for eighth place among all DVDs.  Trick ‘r Treat, the direct-to-DVD feature starring Anna Paquin, earned $1.4 million.  This must have been bad- Warner Bros. didn’t even try to promote it.  Other spooky movies that are benefiting from the Halloween effect include Edward Scissorhands (+24%), Spookley The Square Pumpkin (+29%), Clifford’s Big Halloween (+33%), and Coraline (+6%). 

Check out the full chart below:

Top DVD Sales for the Week Ending October 11, 2009
# Title Units this Week % Chg Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Wks
1 Monsters vs. Aliens 720,831 -67.8% 2,956,450 $12,586,574 $51,512,725 2
2 Year One 348,954 -.-% 348,954 $5,579,774 $5,579,774 1
3 Bones: The Complete Fourth Season 215,745 -.-% 215,745 $7,980,408 $7,980,408 1
4 X-Men Origins: Wolverine 186,911 -32.0% 3,522,587 $3,181,692 $60,177,257 4
5 My Life in Ruins 135,012 -.-% 135,012 $2,698,890 $2,698,890 1
6 The Wizard of Oz 123,839 -60.5% $2,510,093 655
7 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past 105,458 -46.8% 843,959 $2,002,647 $14,775,840 3
8 Corpse Bride, The 105,313 57.5% $538,507 193
9 Hannah Montana The Movie 95,870 -8.2% 2,526,024 $1,868,506 $43,834,009 8
10 Trick ‘r Treat 94,717 -.-% 94,717 $1,419,808 $1,419,808 1
11 Edward Scissorhands 91,185 24.0% $949,044 475
12 Dr. Seuss – Green Eggs and Ham and Other Favorites 85,851 47.1% $446,425 314
13 Spookley the Square Pumpkin 82,751 29.0% $743,931 214
14 Clifford the Big Red Dog: Clifford’s Big Halloween 80,445 32.8% 141,030 $682,978 $1,197,345 161
15 Break-Up, The 77,201 -.-% 3,065,432 $631,844 $51,099,146 156
16 Observe and Report 74,101 -25.7% 394,301 $1,481,279 $7,220,604 3
17 Thomas and Friends: Percy’s Ghostly Trick 70,641 7.5% 136,368 $704,997 $1,360,953 58
18 The Sandlot 69,272 -.-% $542,344 402
19 Matilda 66,461 -.-% $492,476 638
20 Race to Witch Mountain 65,451 20.5% 1,536,879 $1,279,914 $27,956,835 10
21 Bring It On: Fight to the Finish 61,487 19.1% 578,019 $967,805 $10,201,255 6
22 Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat 61,054 -.-% $478,053 291
23 Superman/Batman: Public Enemies 59,108 -70.1% 256,737 $1,004,245 $4,276,981 2
24 Barbie and the Three Musketeers 58,676 -29.4% 688,531 $879,553 $9,977,578 4
25 Coraline 56,369 5.9% 2,035,827 $910,528 $37,332,174 12
26 Scooby Doo! The Mystery Begins 54,062 -14.6% 293,468 $1,088,376 $5,748,566 3
27 Gran Torino 52,404 -.-% 3,742,591 $605,004 $56,578,091 18
28 How I Met Your Mother: Season Four 52,216 -58.0% 176,516 $1,351,872 $4,458,129 2
29 Sons of Anarchy – Season One 49,305 -.-% 315,685 $1,601,919 $10,128,597 8
30 Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Fifth Season 49,233 -37.1% 476,550 $1,771,896 $17,328,566 4
All numbers via The-Numbers

DVD Sales: Monsters Vs. Aliens Oozes Life On The Home Market

October 13, 2009

Alright guys, no excuses anymore!  My computer is completely fixed (Really, I mean it this time), and I will be blogging daily from now on.  Let’s get started with the latest DVD Sales Chart and my DVD Sales Notes about Monsters Vs. Aliens‘ great debut.

DVD Sales Notes:

-The new number one DVD this week is Dreamworks’ Monsters Vs. Aliens which starts off with a great $38.2 million.  While this won’t be the sort of power house DVD like Wall-E, which sold over 10 million copies, a first week of 2.2 million units sold ain’t half bad!

-62 years after its original release, The Wizard Of Oz shows it still has some fight in it.  A re-release of the film garnered $6 million this week.

-Between Monsters Vs. Aliens strong debut and the $56.9 million that  X-Men Origins: Wolverine has racked up in three weeks, the DVD Sales Chart has experienced a much-needed injection of strong sales lately.

-Wholesomeness > Skankiness.  After three weeks Barbie and the Three Musketeers has made $9.1 million.  After five, Bring It On: Fight To The Finish has earned $9.2 million.  Barbie will have overtaken the cheerleaders by next week.

-My favorite show, How I Met Your Mother, had a modest debut of $3 million for its Season 4 DVDs, but this is better than it’s ever done before, so I’m excited!

The full chart is below.

Top DVD Sales for the Week Ending October 4, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Chg Total Units Sales this Week Total Wks
1 Monsters vs. Aliens 2,193,832 -.-% 2,193,832 $38,198,564 $38,198,564 1
2 The Wizard of Oz 308,453 -.-% $6,022,668 654
3 X-Men Origins: Wolverine 270,719 -57.5% 3,331,637 $5,226,420 $56,917,589 3
4 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past 195,690 -63.8% 735,892 $3,547,860 $12,725,892 2
5 Superman/Batman: Public Enemies 194,593 -.-% 194,593 $3,222,460 $3,222,460 1
6 How I Met Your Mother: Season Four 122,196 -.-% 122,196 $3,053,678 $3,053,678 1
7 Hannah Montana The Movie 103,549 9.6% 2,429,300 $1,973,644 $41,949,225 7
8 Observe and Report 98,942 -55.1% 319,433 $1,977,851 $5,723,993 2
9 Barbie and the Three Musketeers 82,488 -44.0% 629,178 $1,236,495 $9,087,877 3
10 Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Fifth Season 76,784 -14.7% 425,854 $2,774,206 $15,503,812 3
11 Edward Scissorhands 72,835 35.1% $727,622 474
12 State of Play 72,616 57.6% 632,114 $1,197,438 $10,864,816 5
13 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa 72,396 -.-% 7,014,940 $741,328 $102,321,731 35
14 The Office – Season Five 68,667 -11.0% 734,387 $2,314,078 $24,755,404 4
15 Corpse Bride, The 66,912 -.-% $381,398 192
16 Thomas & Friends: Percy’s Ghostly Trick 65,815 -.-% 65,815 $656,834 $656,834 57
17 30 Rock: Season Three 64,718 -27.9% 154,507 $2,439,869 $5,267,324 2
18 Spookley the Square Pumpkin 63,402 -.-% $569,984 213
19 Scooby Doo! The Mystery Begins 62,085 -64.8% 238,223 $1,253,211 $4,636,311 2
20 Clifford the Big Red Dog: Clifford’s Big Halloween 60,330 -.-% 60,330 $512,202 $512,202 160
21 Dr. Seuss – Green Eggs and Ham and Other Favorites 58,795 -.-% $381,580 313
22 Crank 2: High Voltage 58,575 1.1% 540,576 $1,094,257 $9,761,554 4
23 Heroes – Season Three 57,040 1.9% 560,270 $2,089,375 $20,896,814 5
24 Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: The Complete Second Season 54,626 -21.4% 124,151 $2,032,087 $4,569,054 2
25 Coraline 53,530 3.2% 1,979,780 $917,820 $36,427,166 11
26 Away We Go 53,310 -.-% 53,310 $928,660 $928,660 1
27 Race to Witch Mountain 53,091 2.0% 1,470,193 $1,076,510 $26,651,879 9
28 Management 51,774 -.-% 51,774 $1,034,962 $1,034,962 1
29 Bring It On: Fight to the Finish 50,678 2.9% 515,567 $835,680 $9,217,537 5
30 It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 4 43,928 -35.2% 313,138 $1,201,431 $8,094,089 3

DVD Sales: Wolverine And Barbie Lead Chart (and this is the second Barbie headline in one week…)

September 30, 2009

Apologies for the delay, but the hard drive on my computer decided to enter meltdown mode this week, and I have been rendered laptop-less (that sounds like a computer strip club) for the week. Trust me, it’s frustrating. Anyway, there will be no Wednesday List this week, but I have managed to find enough time on a public computer to give you guys my DVD Sales Notes for the week. Keep reading for the Chart and my notes.

DVD Sales Notes

-It’s about time we had a massive debut on the DVD Sales Chart!  X-Men Origins: Wolverine blasted out of the gate with 2.4 million units sold in its first week, and $40.2 million in sales!  Both the DVD market and the X-Men franchise needed a huge success like this.

-Go Barbie!  First you get your own live-action adaptation deal.  Then, you go and have another solid debut in your direct-to-DVD franchise that has proven extremely lucrative for Mattel.  With 399,420 units and $5.6 million in sales, Barbie And The Three Musketeers is off to a solid start.

-Continuing the inexplicable trend of releasing TV shows on DVD right after the new season debuts, instead of releasing them beforehand and allowing viewers to catch up, three more shows had strong debuts on the home market this week.  Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Fifth Season found $9.5 million.  The bawdy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 4 nabbed $5.1 million.  And the breakout hit of the moment The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Second Season found $4.5 million, which is pretty great for a traditional sitcom.  I would be willing to bet that The Big Bang Theory gets the post-Super Bowl slot this year.

-Patrick Swayze’s death = $9.5 million for a re-release of Dirty Dancing.

Top DVD Sales for the Week Ending September 20, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Chg Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Wks
1 X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2,423,662 -.-% 2,423,662 $40,196,919 $40,196,919 1
2 Barbie and the Three Musketeers 399,420 -.-% 399,420 $5,643,805 $5,643,805 1
3 Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Fifth Season 259,089 -.-% 259,089 $9,472,294 $9,472,294 1
4 It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 4 201,406 -.-% 201,406 $5,067,375 $5,067,375 1
5 The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Second Season 156,084 -.-% 156,084 $4,524,875 $4,524,875 1
6 The Office – Season Five 149,782 -65.9% 588,548 $4,920,339 $19,895,422 2
7 Crank 2: High Voltage 118,517 -61.2% 424,074 $2,228,748 $7,573,826 2
8 Hannah Montana The Movie 104,945 -33.1% 2,231,310 $1,970,867 $38,201,979 5
9 Next Day Air 102,279 -.-% 102,279 $2,044,557 $2,044,557 1
10 X-Men, Volume 3 81,435 -.-% 81,435 $1,424,298 $1,424,298 1
11 Bionicle: The Legend Reborn 76,588 -.-% 76,588 $1,148,054 $1,148,054 1
12 X-Men, Volume 4 75,861 -.-% 75,861 $1,326,809 $1,326,809 1
13 Dirty Dancing – 20th Anniversary Edition 68,280 -.-% 822,349 $506,638 $9,037,337 124
14 Dexter – The Complete Third Season 56,471 44.8% 558,490 $1,491,964 $14,036,020 5
15 State of Play 54,775 -47.1% 513,428 $1,094,952 $8,746,439 3
16 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Clone Commandos 52,593 -.-% 52,593 $525,404 $525,404 1
17 Fringe: The Complete First Season 52,351 -53.0% 163,710 $1,861,602 $6,013,065 2
18 Heroes – Season Three 50,170 -45.6% 447,279 $1,870,338 $16,757,954 3
19 Bring It On: Fight to the Finish 47,504 -55.3% 415,629 $854,597 $7,397,149 3
20 Fighting 46,176 15.4% 464,867 $923,058 $8,169,835 4
21 Coraline 45,565 -22.8% 1,874,377 $788,548 $34,611,570 9
22 Disney Nature Earth 43,384 -43.6% 332,500 $858,136 $5,918,749 3
23 Fast And Furious 43,141 -31.0% 2,768,154 $656,188 $45,801,217 8
24 Race to Witch Mountain 42,656 -9.4% 1,365,038 $859,907 $24,532,090 7
25 True Blood: The Complete First Season 40,233 -15.9% 1,580,074 $1,361,887 $54,997,018 18
26 I Love You, Man 39,204 -26.9% 1,181,764 $778,199 $20,171,708 6
27 Duplicity 38,989 -0.2% 441,310 $779,390 $7,563,221 4
28 WWE: The Best of Smackdown – 10th Anniversary 1999-2009 37,809 -.-% 37,809 $755,802 $755,802 1
29 17 Again 26,211 -41.1% 1,109,613 $526,141 $20,393,117 6
30 Obsessed 26,002 -18.5% 979,910 $501,319 $16,542,139 7
All numbers compiled by The-Numbers

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%!

Friday Estimates: Star Trek Captures $24 Million On Friday For $31 Million Overall!

May 9, 2009

Wow, this news just came in! UPDATE: Saturday Estimates HERE

Alright, so the very early estimate for Star Trek is that it earned a great $24 million on Friday. Adding that to the estimated $7 million that the intergalactic flick found on Thursday night, Star Trek has an early total of $31 million. Here’s the trajectory I’m seeing for this weekend:

Thursday: $7 million
Friday: $24 million
Saturday: $23 million
Sunday: $16 million
TOTAL: $70 million

This exceeds my $67 million prediction, and Paramount has got to be excited by this result. This is, without a doubt, the hugest opening any Star Trek film has ever had. The advertising campaign has paid off, and new audiences were clearly engaged by the reboot. From here, amazing reviews and word-of-mouth will carry Star Trek to success, and this is a major victory for everyone involved!

UPDATE: As expected, Wolverine plummeted in its second weekend, and it’s $8.5 million Friday represents a 76% drop from last Friday. It should stabilize a bit over Saturday and Sunday, but still fall about 65-70%, so a $28 million weekend seems likely. The only other debut, Next Day Air, couldn’t get off the runway, with a very poor first day of $1.4 million. Give the urban comedy $4 million overall. Here are the Friday Estimates:

Friday Estimates for May 8, 2009
1. Star Trek – $24 million
2. X-Men Origins: Wolverine – $8.5 million
3. Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past – $3.1 million
4. Obsessed – $2 million
5. Next Day Air – $1.4 million
6. 17 Again – $1.3 million
7. The Soloist – $980,000 million
8. Fighting – $686,000
9. Monsters Vs. Aliens – $675,000
10. Earth – $670,000
11. Hannah Montana The Movie – $575,000
12. State Of Play – $516,000

Let’s here some reactions in the comments! And if you want more up-to-the-minute box office updates and my other film musings, follow me on Twitter!

Weekend Preview: Star Trek Will Definitely Take Off, But Will It Be At Warp-Speed?

May 8, 2009

Trekkies, the time for redemption has finally come. Gone are the days when people have no conception of who Captain Kirk or Uhura are. No longer will people scoff at you when you criticize the atrocity of a show that was Star Trek: Enterprise. No longer will you be the only ones at the office that understand the time-space bending properties of black holes. No longer will you be the only ones in the town with Vulcan haircuts. Okay, so maybe that last one isn’t true, but you get my point: Star Trek is cool again! Paramount has worked its tail off over the last few months to wash away the negative, nerdy, frankly lame connotations that the Star Trek franchise has developed over the last few year, and if there’s a film that’s going to succeed in doing so, it is this one. J.J. Abrams’ reimagined Star Trek is so beautifully produced and so lovingly handled. You can tell that everyone involved was really trying to make the best movie they could, and I think that decision will pay off big time. I saw it tonight, and it’s just awesome- the review will come soon. Paramount’s clearly confident about Star Trek, as they’ve advertised the heck out of it and already have a sequel greenlit, and its headed for the easy weekend win.

Comparing Star Trek to X-Men Origins: Wolverine is tricky. To be clear, I do not think that Star Trek is going to open as big as Wolverine did last weekend. Audiences are sure to be skeptical of the outer space franchise after 2002’s disastrous entry Star Trek: Nemesis (which earned a very sad $43 million) and the failed 2003 TV series, and many recession-affected adults are going to hold out to see this one is worth the $10 ticket. The debut of Star Trek actually reminds me a lot of 2005’s Batman Begins. After 1997’s embarrassingly bad Batman And Robin, audiences approached the reboot of the superhero franchise cautiously. Begins started with a humble $48 million during opening weekend on its way to $205 million overall. Star Trek, between its built-in audience and Paramount’s advertising, should be able to top Batman Begins‘ opening weekend, but it won’t hit Wolverine‘s level. That’s not to say that it won’t outgross the quickly falling Wolverine, because (mark my words) it will. Star Trek‘s word-of-mouth is going to be great, and the stellar reviews will convince adults to see the film. Star Trek is beaming into a very wide 3,849 theaters, and including the Thursday night showings, I’m predicting a $67 million weekend and a possible $230 million total, and even though it’s probably way too early to be wondering how big the sequel’s opening will be, I’m a box office analyst, and that’s just what I do! I’m already seeing numbers closer to $100 million…

You’ll have to excuse my extremely biased predictions for Star Trek. I’m still glowing after having watched the movie a few hours ago, and I’d be lying if I said that didn’t affect my judgment. I really do believe $230 million is possible, though! But getting back to reality, there’s only one other new release this weekend: Summit Entertainment’s Next Day Air. The poorly reviewed urban drug comedy is clearly targeting an African American audience, a group all too often underestimated by analysts. Next Day Air is only flying into 1,138 theaters, but I’m predicting a pretty solid cume of $7 million.

On Monday, X-Men Origins: Wolverine earned $5.4 million. On Tuesday, it fell 15% to $4.6 million. On Wednesday it fell another 13% to $4 million. What do these statistics tell us? That Wolverine is fading fast. The superhero flick that kicked off the summer is looking more and more like a flash-in-the-pan success than an actual financial win for Fox. With lackluster word-of-mouth, the fanboy effect, and the direct competition of Star Trek, I think Wolverine will fall by a big 68% to $27.2 million in its second weekend. That would put the actionfest around $130 million for ten days, but it’s got no shot at breaking $200 million anymore.

Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past, last weekend’s romantic comedy counter programming, should enjoy a solid hold this weekend. The Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner film was never going to be huge, but I don’t think Warner Brothers expected it to. A 40% drop would give Ghosts a $9.2 million weekend and $29 million overall. Here are my predictions for the Top 12:

Predicted Top 12 for May 8-10, 2009
1. Star Trek – $67 million
2. X-Men Origins: Wolverine – $27.2 million
3. Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past – $9.2 million
4. Next Day Air – $7 million
5. Obsessed – $6 million
6. Monsters Vs. Aliens – $4.1 million
7. 17 Again – $3.9 million
8. The Soloist – $3.6 million
9. Hannah Montana The Movie – $2.8 million
10. Earth – $2.5 million
11. State Of Play – $1.9 million
12. Fighting – $1.8 million

How much do you think Star Trek will earn this weekend? Let me hear your predictions in the comments! (For real people, commenting is so easy! If you just click here, you’ll instantly be ready to type in your answer!)

Fox Developing "Deadpool" – Is This A Good Idea?

May 6, 2009

Yesterday, hot on the heels of Wolverine‘s $85 million debut, The Hollywood Reporter broke news that Fox has begun development on a Deadpool spinoff:

[Ryan] Reynolds is attached to reprise the character for what for now is simply being called “Deadpool.” Lauren Shuler Donner and Marvel Studios would act as producers.

Deadpool is known as “the merc with a mouth,” a character that under Reynolds lived up to his billing in “Wolverine” until the end, when the movie deviated from the comic book persona, imbuing him with several superpowers and sewing his mouth shut.

It is understood that Reynolds would regain the ability to mouth off, with the movie going back to the roots of the character known for his slapstick tone and propensity to break the fourth wall. The character also was disfigured in “Wolverine,” though it’s unclear at this time how much the studio would want to mess with Reynolds’ handsome mug.

The project is out to writers.

I think this decision may have been a bit of a premature decision by Fox. Has Wolverine‘s performance really been great enough to justify the sequel? The $85 million opening is certainly a good figure, but it’s 2009, and that means that a movie like Wolverine is going to be extremely frontloaded. Word-of-mouth certainly won’t be great, and there’s a slew of competition (Terminator Salvation, Angels And Demons, Star Trek, Up) coming up for the rest of May. At this point, a $180 million finish seems rather likely, but we’ll have to wait and see how Wolverine holds against Star Trek this weekend before any final judgments are made.

Here’s the thing, though. Fox spent $150 million to produce X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Then they had the prints and advertising costs. Then they had twelve days of reshoots. At the very least, Fox has already shelled out $225 million on this one, and unless Wolverine turns out to be inexplicably leggy, Fox will have to rely on international grosses and DVD sales to see any profit. And this is Wolverine, a well-liked, notable character, we’re talking about here. Deadpool is a totally different ball game. Most people don’t know who Deadpool even is, and I doubt a Deadpool movie is going to be able to transcend the total gross of Wolverine. I would also point out that Ryan Reynolds is not a proven box office draw, but neither is Hugh Jackman, outside of the X-Men universe.

The biggest advice I can give Fox is to make sure the script is good! People will get on board for a quality movie (see last year’s Iron Man), even if they don’t know much about the character. The second most important advice I can give Fox is to spend less money! If the script is good, and you shoot efficiently, I think you can get this whole project off the ground for $150 million. Then, you could launch a new franchise character, gain some sweet profit, and everyone would be happy! Would you see a Deadpool film? Me? I’d be more excited for Gambit!

UPDATE: Reed and I wrote about the same thing at the same time! Read his take on Deadpool!

Fox To Continue Their Destruction Of The X-Men Franchise With Deadpool

May 6, 2009

Warning: minor spoilers.

Like everybody else, I saw Wolverine this weekend, and very much enjoyed it. And by enjoyed it, I mean I was entertained by the fact that it’s an incredible, awesome, adrenaline-pumping, terrible movie. Generally a movie like this either sacrifices story for action (Crank) or action for story (Superman Returns). Wolverine somehow manages to do both. There were times where I thought the story was going the right way, but that the action was somewhat lacking (namely, the first half). Then the story unravels, and ‘Weapon XI’, though fantastic for action, is completely decimated as a character. (And correct me if I’m wrong, but if those samurai swords were in his arm, how could he bend them?)  Then people who should be dead aren’t, and people who should stay dead don’t… It just becomes a little bit of a mess. But I went into it with low expectations and a need for high excitement, which it delivered. After X3, I had to avoid anticipating a great overall movie, such as the one Bryan Singer gave us in X2.

Now, Wolverine had flaws (more Gambit, please), but if you go in expecting them to be there, you shouldn’t be miserable. Fox seems to agree, since they’ve already green-lit a spinoff starring Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. I loved the character, at least in the first part of the movie. As mentioned in code in the above paragraph, he has a pretty terribad ending. Apparently they’re going to try to salvage it. The movie is likely not a prequel either, which might seem most logical. But for those who stayed after the credits, you saw how a sequel might be in the works. Though now he has samurai claws… Pretty lame.

Deadpool seems like a neat mutant. In the comics he is completely aware that he is a fictional character, and is known to constantly break the fourth wall, which could be really intriguing in a movie. It’s also very risky. I’d hate to see it as some sort of freeze cam, Zak Morris meets X-Men type of thing… Though I’d perhaps rather see Gambit, Deadpool has potential to be another mindless, entertaining X-Men movie, which would be okay, but I’d like to think Fox will shoot for something higher.

UPDATE: Grady and I wrote about the same thing at the same time! Whoops! Read his take on Deadpool!

Weekend Fix: Wolverine Starts Off With $87 Million, Leads A Solid Weekend At The Box Office

May 3, 2009

“Summer” is here! It was a very great weekend at the box office, as X-Men Origins: Wolverine started off very strong, Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past had a smaller, but still solid debut, and a slew of films landed in the $5 million range for the weekend. Alas, Battle For Terra, a movie that no one even knew about remained unknown over the weekend, with one of the worst debuts for a wide release in history, but the Top 12 at the box office was still able to stay exactly flat with last year. Check out the full report:

Gosh, what is there even left to write about Wolverine? I feel like it’s all I’ve done over the past few days. The Fox blockbuster continued the remarkable track record of superhero films at the box office, with a blazing $85.1 million opening weekend. Wolverine scored a hot $21,225 per theater average, but it didn’t outshadow every other film at the movies. Last year, when Iron Man opened to $98.6 million, the rest of the Top 12 earned $50 million. This year, against Wolverine‘s $85.1 million opening, the rest of the Top 12 found $65 million, which shows that we have much more depth at the cinema than last year. Now, Wolverine surely got off to a fantastic start, but it’s got a tough road ahead of it. First, there is the issue of frontloadedness. A $35 million Friday leaves Wolverine with an internal multiplier of 2.42, which doesn’t signify good legs. Then there’s the issue of Star Trek and Terminator: Salvation, which debut next week and then on May 21st, respectively. Both films will provide massive competition. Still, Wolverine should be able to make it to $200 million by the end of its run. Look for many more X-Men iterations in the years to come.

Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past, a Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner romantic comedy, got off to a moderately good start this weekend, with $15.3 million and an alright $4,827 venue average. Last year, Made Of Honor, which starred Patrick Dempsey, debuted against Iron Man to $14.7 million, on its way to $46 million overall. It looks like Warner Brothers was going for about the same kind of result with Ghosts, and they got it. If we learned anything from P.S. I Love You, it’s that this kind of film is review-proof, so Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past should earn about $40-45 million overall with ease.

The only other new opener was Lionsgate’s Battle For Terra. The unknown 3-D sci-fi animated film earned $1.1 million from 1,162 theaters. That’s an $934 per theater average. That’s awful.

Among holdovers, Obsessed fell 57% to $12.2 million, for a fantastic total of $47 million after ten days, while 17 Again dropped 45% to $6.4 million, for a total of $48 million after seventeen. Monsters Vs. Aliens cotinued to show off its legs (tentacles?) with a great 32% decline to $5.8 million in its sixth weekend. It has earned $182 million thus far. It’s no surprise that Fighting fell the hardest in Top 12. A 62% fall gave the Channing Tatum drama a $4.1 million over the frame and $17.5 million overall. Also, Jamie Foxx’s American Idol appearance may have helped The Soloist fall just 42% this weekend, but Fast And Furious is not having such luck. After a $70 million opening a few weeks ago, the racing flick looks to be petering out around $150 million. Check out the full chart:

Top 12 Actuals For May 1-3

# Movie Title 3-Day Gross % Change AVG. Total
1 X-Men Origins: Wolverine $85,058,003 New $20,751 $85,058,003
2 Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past $15,411,434 -51% $4,854 $15,411,434
3 Obsessed $12,052,151 -57% $4,794 $46,854,485
4 17 Again $6,361,358 -45% $1,954 $48,503,817
5 Monsters Vs. Aliens $5,803,429 -32% $2,210 $182,407,971
6 The Soloist $5,654,558 -42% $2,781 $18,162,695
7 Earth $4,340,235 -53% $2,406 $22,004,284
8 Hannah Montana The Movie $4,164,185 -62% $1,477 $70,946,323
9 Fighting $4,011,465 -37% $1,735 $17,344,805
10 State Of Play $3,715,980 -47% $1,520 $30,944,180
11 Fast And Furious $2,763,875 -56% $1,085 $149,806,190
12 Battle For Terra $1,082,362 New $934 $1,082,362
All Numbers Provided By Exhibitor Relations Co.

Also, Gitesh Pandya (Box Office Guru) and Nicole Sperling (EW) won the Analysts Challenge this week! Their guesses of $85 million were the closest of anyone’s! Great work, guys!

Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine Is One Ridiculous, Wild Ride!

May 2, 2009

About five minutes into X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Hugh Jackman (as Logan) and his wife (Lynn Collins) leave their mountain-top shack and drive their beaten up truck through the Canadian forest to a lumber yard. As enormous machinery lifts gigantic trees in the background, Jackman, clad in heavy duty pants and a flannel shirt, with an axe slung over his shoulder and a chewed up cigar in his mouth, steps out of the car, kisses his wife goodbye, and throws the axe to one of his fellow bearded buddies, before stepping into the truck bed and riding off to work. The whole scene exists as if to say, “Look how manly Wolverine is! He’s a badass that’s hairy, tough, and gruff! He’s strong and looks like a wild animal!” In all reality, the scene actually sets up the film quite well, for that’s about as subtle as Wolverine ever gets. Bombastic, clichéd, cheesy, and explosive, Wolverine elicited much the same reaction as when I saw 300: It’s definitely not good, but it’s awesome!

The plot is roughly summed up like this: Logan was once a part of group of bad mutants that used their powers to accomplish some decidedly bad things. Alongside Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), John Wraith (Will.I.Am), Agent Zero (Daniel Henney), Bolt (Dominic Monaghan – LOST actor #1), The Blob (Kevin Durand – LOST actor #2), and his brother, Victor/Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber), Logan worked as a criminal for years. Somewhere along the line, though, Logan has a change of heart, decides to turn from his evil ways, move to Canada, get married, and live a humble life as a lumberjack. (Keep in mind, I never read the X-Men comic books, and I’m sure that massive liberties were taken in constructing Wolverine’s past, but I’m going on that I was presented with.) Logan’s woodsy life is all well and good until his brother shows up one day and wreaks massive havoc on him and his wife. Turns out, Sabretooth is working for William Stryker (Danny Huston), a scientist who wants to “help” Logan, who renames himself “Wolverine” because of some ridiculous fable, become much more powerful by bonding a newly engineered indestructible metal, adamantium, to his entire skeleton. For the record, I was so happy when this actually happened- the three boney claws that came out of Logan’s hands before were just gross looking.

Anyway, it turns out that Stryker has a hidden agenda, and Wolverine is not keen on helping him after his metalization is complete. He lets his inner animal rage, and he runs away. From there, the rest of the movie follows Wolverine’s journey to take revenge upon his brother and bring down the company that made him into his new self. Along the way, Wolvy gets into about 10-20 fights, almost decapitates his brother about 30-40 times, gets stabbed and instantly heals about 50-60 times, and entertains the audience for about 70-80 minutes. We also meet a myriad of other mutants along the way, and it becomes abundantly clear that Fox is planning on making many more of these “Origins” movies with the introduction of Emma Frost, Cyclops, and Deadpool. And while it’s certainly fun to see all these characters come to life on the big screen, one of them stands out above the rest:

Gambit! Thank goodness we finally get Gambit! As a fan of the 1992 X-Men TV series, I was always sad that he was left out of the original film trilogy, but I can see why- he’s so similar to Wolverine. Friday Night Lights’ Taylor Kitsch was perfectly cast as the sarcastic, rebellious, poker-playing, kinetic-engergy-controlling Cajun, and it was a delight to watch the Southern gent go up against Wolverine. In my favorite scene in the film, Gambit and Wolverine go head-to-head in a game of Texas Hold’em poker, and it appears that the filmmakers wanted to give a shoutout to the legions of online poker nerds, as the scene features poker pro, Daniel Negreanu! But the card game quickly escalates into an all-out brawl in the alleyway with some of the coolest special effects I’ve ever seen. Forget 2011’s Magneto, I want to see X-Men Origins: Gambit! The Gambit effects in New Orleans are second only to the effects in the Wolverine‘s final fight scene, which I won’t give away, but trust me: it’s amazing.

Wolverine is far from a perfect film. The dialogue is often ridiculous, and the story is completely secondary to the action. The film serves simply to show audiences how Wolverine got to where he was at the beginning of 2001’s X-Men, and the ending (I mean the first ending, not the other two that roll during and after the credits) feels very abrupt. Still, Director Gavin Hood had to spin a lot of plates at once, since Wolverine had to serve as a sequel to the X-Men franchise, a prequel to the X-Men story, and a foundation for all future X-Men movies that Fox and Marvel want to produce. Of course, a better script would have helped tremendously, but for what it is, which is a summer popcorn flick, I was more than entertained. Liev Schreiber plays the antagonist effectively, and Hugh Jackman has true screen presence, and even if he does flex and roar a few too many times throughout the film, Wolverine is definitely a fun character.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the perfect film for these recessionary (or if you’re a college student- final exam) times. It allows you to turn off your brain, kick back, laugh at the dialogue, and enjoy the special effects and excitement. For a couple of hours, you forget about the stress of life and instead walk in the shoes of an adamantium-lined superhero. Like I said before, it’s not good, but it’s awesome. I’ll give it a B.

Now I want to hear from you! Let’s hear what you thought about Wolverine in the comments!