The Box Office Report – January 28-30

Last week in Box Office…

Well, would you look at that? How close was this motherfucker? (Meaning me, not the box office.)

No Strings Attached wins the weekend with $19.7 million. I believe (“believe” in this case means, “I fucking know. I’m about to quote myself”) my exact words were, “I say this movie barely hits $20 million this weekend….$20 million is my number.” The industry had it tracked a bit higher than I did. They all said $20 million, a million or two higher, thereabouts. I said, fuck that, $20 million is your crux, “this movie barely hits $20 million this weekend. It could, but I say high teens.” Hmm…

I also said, “Expect to see on Saturday this movie pulled in a modest $6.7-$7.1 million on Friday”…

“No Strings Attached easily topped the Friday, Jan. 21, box office in North America, taking in $7.31m…”


The only mistake I made was in the lack of production budget that was announced. I naturally assumed it was high, but in actuality, it was low ($25 mil production budget, which means they only need to make like $70 million to break even. Because you know they spent at least $40 million marketing this bitch. At least. You see how many posters and trailers they rolled out for this motherfucker? I saw this trailer in front of The Fighter … how the fuck does that make any sense? Someone was getting a little some’in-some’in to toss that shit on), and they probably didn’t announce it because they thought people wouldn’t go to see it because it wasn’t made for that much money. That’s worth just as much fault. Still, now y only gripe with the film will eventually be straying from a decent script and making it worse, instead of spending too much money. Methinks this movie can avoid being unforgivable because of this.

There are two thing about this film that I find interesting. First:

“The movie garnered an audience that was 70 percent female, and 60 percent age 25 or younger.”

So, people my age went to see this. Mostly female. Which is to be expected. They’re looking for sappy shit like this they can wish will happen to them. Or they’re just looking for unemotional sex like this (which the movie isn’t going to give them, which bodes badly for this weekend). But that fact was only setting up this one…

“Overall, moviegoers gave “No Strings Attached” a “B” Cinemascore, but the grade shot up to an A-minus for viewers 25 and under.”

There are no words for this fact. I will let it, and my reaction to it, speak for itself.

That’s one.

Second was The Green Hornet, dipping 45% to $17.7 million. Here’s where I will admit to being wrong. I can’t do math. I said, “the typical drop for a movie after its first weekend is around 50-60%….All those 16 year olds going to see No Strings Attached? This is the movie they’re gonna buy tickets for. So, that 60% drop I’d expect becomes slightly diminished….I’m expecting an under 50% drop, skewing closer to 50% than 45%.”

That part was exactly correct. My math just got me to thinking the 45% drop (which was officially 47.3%…skewing closer to 50, now, isn’t it?) was for the $40 million it made. But, that $40 million included Monday, which was a holiday, and was included in the weekend. The film only made $33 million between Friday to Sunday, so the 47% drop put it at exactly what it ended up with. So, it wasn’t so much me fucking up the math as the studios lying to me about the numbers. So, in actuality, I was dead on aside from the fact that the information I was using was faulty. Look at me, I’m just like the government.

That’s two.

Third for the weekend was The Dilemma with $9.1 million. I said it would do around $11-13 million, holding slightly better than expected. Turns out it held exactly as expected. Which is great for me, because I don’t want it making all that money. Actually, it held to a 48% drop, which might actually be better than expected. Maybe I fucked up the math on that one…

Fourth was The King’s Speech, with $7.9 million. I said is should “be at around $7-9 million…Maybe higher with Colin Firth winning.” I’ll stop patting my own back and just report what I said and let you imagine me doing it for me.

Fifth was True Grit, with $7.3 million. I said, “$9-10 million.” Okay, slightly off. But I also said, “anything at this point is free gravy. It’s all wonderful.” It is.

Sixth was Nats again with Black Swan, with $5.9 million“She should pull in another $6-7 million there.”

Also, The Way Back, that movie that I said should do $4 million or less, that wouldn’t factor and no one would hear about and forget about? 14th. $1.2 million. That one guy in the theater with me wasn’t even there.

So, that’s last week. Now? On to this week…

Opening this week are a shitty action movie starring Jason Statham and a shitty exorcism thriller starring Anthony Hopkins? How do I know they’re shitty? It’s January. Let’s start with those.

The Rite — the shitty Anthony Hopkins exorcism movie. Seeing as how there are really no new movies, and this is the PG-13 wide release of the week, opening to the most theaters, and factoring in the whole expanding releases and holdovers, my guess is this does about $18-20 million. The glass ceiling on a picture like this is around $40 million. Maybe closer to $50 if it overperforms. If it tanks, which it shouldn’t, expect around $15 million or less for the weekend. But even on a slow weekend, this should pull at least $16 million and on a good weekend 22. That’s why I’m cutting the middle and taking around $18-20 million.

The Mechanic — shitty Jason Statham action movie. Normally I’d say this might win the weekend. It still might. But, it’s January, and this movie is rated R. Ticket sales go to something else instead. So, because of that, and because it’s in less theaters than The Rite, I’m gonna say this movie makes no more than $11, 11.5 million this weekend. On a good day it hits 12. I’m expecting around, $9-10 million. Yeah, somewhere around 10. If it really goes the way I think it might, it could only do like $8-9 million and all the money gets siphoned into the newly crowned Oscar nominees. That’s what I’m hoping for. It’s not that I want to see Statham fail, it’s just, I know he’s got better in him and I really want to see those other films succeed.

So those are the newbies. Now for the holdovers.

No Strings Attached — NSA, as I like to call it, should hold fairly well. I think women are a strong market to do holdover business and I think that 50+% drop should be softened slightly. I don’t think it’ll drop 60, but it won’t drop less than 40. So — it did around $20 mil last weekend, this weekend should be around $10 million and change. 10.6. 11. Somewhere around there. I won’t expect 12 — it is Rated R after all. So, we’ll guess $10-11 million. Why not? Still, this is a movie that should be very happy with a $50 million domestic total when all is said and done.

The Green Hornet — Oh boy. Falling fast, aren’t we, Kato? This movie is gonna lose audience to Statham. I’m not sure this movie even has audience to lose. But, still, it made almsot $18 million last week, so taking into account about a 50% drop, we still have to assume this does around $9-10 million. I’m hoping for around $8.5-9, dipping to the lower end of that figure, but this shouldn’t do more than $10 million and change on a good weekend. I’m expecting $9 million and change, hoping for lower.

Oh, and The Dilemma. Yeah, this movie’s all but gone. That did $9 million last week — 50% drop — let’s call it $5 million. Why not? who cares, really?

Now for the Oscar nominees…

The King’s Speech is the big winner this week. Got 12 Oscar noms, leading the pack — favorite to win Best Picture — could take a huge boost on Saturday if it wins the DGA. Plus I think it’s expanding too a little bit. Actually, a lotta bit. About 900 more theaters. Damn. So, that $7 million last week should bump up to $10 or $11 million this week. Not too shabby for the $15 million picture that could.

True Grit has been holding really strong these last few weeks. But, I don’t know how well it holds. So, I’ll hope it does better business, but I’ll expect high 5, maybe low $6 million.

Black Swan did almost $6 million last week. Let’s say it does around $5 million this week.

That’s really it. The top ones are the only ones people care about. These are for me. I want to hope the Oscar films do good business.

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