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The Box Office Report – May 20-22

Last week, in Box Office…

You know, I could have sworn there was a guy who said his gut was telling him Thor was gonna hold better than people were expecting. Maybe no one expected it to hold as well as it did, but there were motherfuckers saying a 60-65% drop! There was no way that was gonna happen. 50% was clearly the way to go. I don’t get how people come up with these numbers.

Anyway, the film made $34.7 million last weekend. I expected around 30, no one really expected 34, but, since everyone was expecting like 27 or less, I call that a win for me.

Thor has made $344 million worldwide so far, which is clearly more than its budget plus advertising. So, that’s good, right? You’re gonna get more Thor movies. Not bad for a minor superhero. It’s currently about $120 million after two weekends. $119.5 million.

Finishing second was Bridesmaids. Here’s another film I tempered my gut on just because their numbers were way lower than mine. Here’s how it works — I sit down on Monday/Tuesday and write down what the films did over the weekend. As in, this part. Then when I’m done, I write, “and now for this week…” or something similar. It’s strange that I can’t think what it is right now, and yet, when I write it, it’s always there (and probably the same every week). And then I leave it alone until Thursday. Because shit can change. But what I do is, Thursday afternoon/evening, I sit down and write what I think they’ll do. I also go and read up on all the prediction sites (of which there are like, five), and then alter what my gut tells me to get more in line with those. I do this for several reasons. One, they look shit up. They do all these statistics, they have the numbers the studio is expecting — they do a lot more than I do. My prediction is literally, “Okay, this movie should do around $25 million. It’ll probably suck, so, maybe like, $22-23 million.” That’s seriously all I do. My numbers are informed simply by years of experience. But, when I go and look at their numbers, I’m like, “That’s way off from what I was figuring.” And I figure, well, they’re “experts,” so I figure I should get closer to their numbers. Which is when you see me being like, “Well, they say this, but I say it’ll be lower.”

Another reason I wait to post my predictions is because, I’m a product of ego. I’m a writer. I don’t want to be terribly off and then have fucked up in public. Like, I say, “Hey, this will make $35 million,” and then it only makes $20 million. But, honestly, who the fuck cares? What I notice is, my predictions end up being closer than their predictions most of the time anyway. So I’d rather be closer to right most of the time than exactly right less of the time and possibly really wrong some of the time. Because I’m also a product of subjectivity. I have psychotic fucking hatreds of movies, and that informs my predictions. I want shit I don’t like to fail.

So there’s a lot of stuff that goes into my predictions. Many reasons for me to both adhere to the “party line” of numbers and many reasons to say “fuck it. I do this shit my way.” So, I find there’s only one way to mediate this —

Midweek predictions.

I’m gonna put my blind guesses of what my gut tells me things are gonna make, and then, come end of the week, I’m gonna look up the numbers, and then write like I normally would. We’ll see how that works. I’ll try it out at least once, see how I do. Anyway, back to the numbers.

See that? You’re seeing history change at an instant.

Okay, so, Bridesmaids finishes second with $26.2 million. Not sure why I didn’t go with my gut, because it was clear this was gonna make money. Stupid me. Clearly beating expectations (even mine, but not by as much as it beat theirs), this film was the huge winner this weekend (Thor too, but, that was more assumed, I think). I haven’t seen the film yet, so I can’t vouch for it, but, with a $32.5 million budget, it’s a winner no matter what it does. My kinda film. Even if I hate it. Small budget, smarter (kind of. I mean, it’s still an Apatow movie) films.

Finishing third was Fast Five, with $20.4 million. That amounts to a 37% drop. This film continues to hold so fucking well it’s insane. This held even better than I figured. At best I could have seen maybe $17 million. This film continues to astound. It’s at $169.7 million currently, and worldwide has grossed $441 million. Holy fuck. That’s quite a profit. Good for them.

And now, Priest. Priest, a movie I do not recommend, finished fourth, in its opening weekend, with $14.95 million. I wish I could say $15 million and round up like I normally do, but, people only ever remember the first number, and that’s everything, no matter how fucking close to the next one it is. Either way, I assumed $14-15 million, so, I was right. Suck it. The film’s only made $20 million worldwide, and needs to do triple that to make back its budget. Good. It deserves to fail. I like Paul Bettany, but not this movie.

Finishing fifth was Rio, with $8.3 million. You know what percent drop that is? 2.7%. I bet you NOBODY guessed that shit. I bet you everyone assumed less than $5 million here. Jesus christ, everyone went to the theater last weekend. Once again, animated movies, man.

Finishing sixth was Jumping the Broom, with $7 million. Called that. Not much more to say here.

Finishing seventh was Something Borrowed, with $6.9 million. I was hoping for less than $7 million, I got it. I mean, my hatred made me say low 6, but, it overperformed. Fuck! (This movie really sucked. Like, Unforgivable watch, sucked.)

And, that’s it. Everything else was under $5 million. So let’s do the macro recap. Rio is at $125 million domestically. Nice amount above its $90 million price tag. I’ll skip worldwide this week, because — just because. Water for Elephants is at almost $50 million. $10 million more than its price tag. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family is at $50 million, which is exactly double its opening weekend, and it made $2 million this weekend, which means, once again, it will do EXACTLY as all Tyler Perry movies do. Soul Surfer is at almost $40 million, which is more than double its budget. Oh fuck it, my heart’s not in this category this week, I want to get into the new segment.

Okay, now for Mike’s midweek predictions…

Well, there’s only one fucking film opening this weekend. Just my luck.

Seriously, there’s only one movie coming out. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is the only movie opening in more than 50 theaters.

I am not joking about this.

They gave the weekend to Pirates.

Well, that about seals it, in case it wasn’t obvious already. Basically, the watch is on here for this film to break the best opening weekend of all time. Which, that’s how we’re gonna do the rest of this article (before the holdovers) — I’m just gonna go over the top opening weekends of all time and guess where this one’s gonna fall.

The best opening weekend of all time was The Dark Knight, with $158.4 million. Do I think it’ll beat this? Well, it’s got a shot. Will it? I doubt it. It could, and I wouldn’t be against it because — honestly, what the fuck does it matter? I mean, really.

The second best opening weekend was Spider-Man 3, with $151.1 million. I was there at the midnight showings for both of these movies. Well, if it beats Spidey it’s gonna beat Batman.

Actually, now that I think about it — I’ll have seen this movie by the time this comes out. I won’t have numbers, but I’ll have seen it. That’s fucked up.

I actually think the 3D is hindering its chances and not helping them. Because if people are at all like me, and by that I mean, not children, they’d rather wait and see it in 2D then go and see it in 3D. So I think even with the higher price tag, the 3D isn’t helping it for this first weekend.

The third best opening weekend — here’s where I want it to finish. I mean, fucking really? — was New Moon, with $142.8 million. Really, America?

The fourth best was Dead Man’s Chest, with $135.6 million. Fifth best was Iron Man 2, with $128.1 million. Sixth was Deathly Hallows Part I, with $125 million. Seventh was Shrek 3, with $121.6 million. Eighth was Alice in Wonderland, with $116.1 million. Ninth was Spider-Man, with $114.8 million. And tenth was At World’s End, with $114.7 million. And just for interesting trivia purposes, Toy Story 3 was 11th, with $110.3 million.

I think based on all these numbers we can guess that this film will probably do at least $120-130 million, probably moving toward $140-150 million. $135 million is the number that immediately comes to mind for me. And for the record, this is Monday night, at 11:42 pm as I type this. Now 11:43. It just changed. Now that I say this, I bet it’ll either be $122 million or $160 million. Because that’s how shit happens. I sit here and be right but unable to say anything because I compromised my opinion, and then I stand up and say something, and I’m totally wrong and have to shut the fuck up again. The box office just comes up and Sucker Punches me in the face. It actually sounds like a really shitty movie…

Anyway, that’s Mike’s Midweek Prediction.

Actually, I guess I’ll do holdovers now too, while I’m here.

Thor should probably have a nice fall now. I don’t think it’ll be huge, like 60% huge, but I think it’ll be sizable. Everyone will be at Pirates. Even a 50% drop puts it at $17 million. So, let’s just say — and since it’s Monday, I have leeway. So, I’m gonna figure this for like $16-18 million. Because even if I think Pirates will take all the money, somehow these other films manage to hold well regardless. I’ll figure 50-55%. What’s 60%? That’s slightly less than $14 million. 55% is $15.6 million. Ish. I’m gonna still say like $16 million. It feels like $16 million. That’s the gut talking.

Bridesmaids should not lose any business to Pirates at all. In fact, word of mouth should help this film. I have to figure this to hold to like $13-14 million. $13 million is immediately the number that jumps out at me. I’m actually gonna hope this does like $14-15 million. There are no secondary titles to take away from these movies, so they will hold better, I think. $13-15 million are the numbers I think.

Fast Five should be the big casualty here. $10-11 million, I think. $12 million at best. I think this is at least a 50% drop, which I’ll temper to mean slightly less, because I tend to go more extreme. So, $10-11 million.

Priest should really just fall. 50% gives it $7 million. Maybe it’ll go to $8-9 million, but I can’t think word of mouth helps this. I have to assume like $6 million here. High 6, that’s what I’m feeling.

Rio should fall to $5-6 million, which is what it should have done last weekend. But, this weekend is considerably bigger than last weekend. Kids will go to Pirates. This might be $4 million.

Something Borrowed and Jumping the Broom were $7 million last weekend, and I have to assume these will definitely be under $5 million this weekend. Which means, no more predictions.

Those were Mike’s Midweek predictions. And now for the actual holdovers…

(Note: This is Thursday now. Even though I wrote this sentence on Monday.)

Okay, after seeing the predictions, along with the reviews, it looks like people are only figuring this movie to do like $100 million for the weekend. Last time the third movie had Thursday showings as well as Monday showings (being on Memorial Day weekend), but this one doesn’t have that. Plus they’re saying the shitty reviews for the third one, and continued poor reviews for this one are gonna keep people away.

I say fuck that. Fuck that huge. I refuse to believe, with the little competition this film has, that it doesn’t cross at least $120-$130 million. (Note: How close am I to what I said on Monday? I haven’t looked. I’ll look after it goes up.) It’s on 4,000 screens, is eating up practically ALL the 3D screens — there is NO WAY this movie doesn’t make at least $120 million for the weekend. Whether it sucks or not is no factor on the opening weekend. It factors into subsequent weekends.

So, that’s the report for this week. Oh, wait, no it isn’t. The holdovers. Of course…

Oh, this is where it gets fun. How could I forget the fun part?

Well, you might see a nice surprise this week. I saw a report somewhere that Bridesmaids actually outgrossed Thor at some point midweek this week. And I think that there’s a good chance it may, possibly outgross Thor this weekend. Though, granted, if Pirates doesn’t make that extra $20+ million, the displacement money goes into shit like Thor, so that’ll affect things. But, Thor made $34 million last weekend? Hmm — let’s say, at worst, this film makes $17 million this weekend. If Pirates does crazy well — like, $140 million, well, which, I highly doubt based on predictions, but, you never know with the American public — then it could even go as low as $15 million. But, as it seems, movies tend to hold regardless of what else makes money. They always hold very close to the expected margins, and if they don’t do what they’re expected to do, they do more. That’s how I’m finding it after my, what, three months or so of doing this every week. So, at best you’re looking at $21-22 million. Generally, I’d say $20 million flat is best guess. Maybe mid-to-high 19. That’s what you’re looking at with Thor. Plus or minus displacement money.

And then, Bridesmaids. I’m expecting this to hold pretty well. Not like, $25 percent drop well, but, why not? Johnny Depp, that’s why not. Women will go see him. So, at best — and I mean best case scenario — you’re looking at 33 1/3-35% drop, which should be something like, $17 million off the $26 million from last week. I’m expecting this to perform well, but not more than $17 million. I’m thinking like $15 million to $16 million and change. More like 16. 15 will be better but not great, and about standard, and 16+ will be good. So, let’s guess 16+. But don’t go lower than $14 million, high 13 here. This looks to be the one film immune to the Pirates. (Watch this crash and burn and prove me wrong.)

What else we got? Oh, Priest. Yeah, I expect a nosedive here. It’s seriously possible this film only makes like $6 million this weekend. Maybe it squeaks out $7 million and change, but, I doubt it. There is nothing going for it at all. I already forgot about it from last week. You really think teenagers will go to that over Pirates, Thor and Fast Five? Me neither. Don’t go higher than $7 million, don’t go lower than $5 million, because standards do happen. Expect around $6 million, plus or minus a few hundred grand.

Oh, Fast Five. I was supposed to do that before Priest. Whatever. But, know, it’ll make more than that will. It held to $20 million last week, but, I don’t expect that great a hold this weekend. Though, maybe. At best I think you’re looking at around $13-14 million — and that’s like, over the moon great. But, standard here should be around $11-12 million. Maybe 10 if Pirates really takes all the money.

And then — is there anything else? Maybe Rio? Sure, let’s do Rio. $8 million last week, so, kids movie, maybe it holds — don’t go more than $5 million here. It should drop below $5 million, but, let’s mention it so that way we’re not shocked if it does make some money. But, it should be under $5 million. And those shitty Rom Coms from last week should fall below the Mendoza line too.

Ooh, that’s what we need a name for. Baseball has the Mendoza line. .200 batting average. Named after a dude. We should come up with one of those for this box office thing. Since, I’m dealing with $5 million as my cutoff point. Not everyone will. And I know what you’re thinking — call it the Sucker Punch line. It’s tempting, but even Sucker Punch managed some money its first weekend, right? Hmm — I’ll marinate on it, maybe I’ll have something for you next week.

Until then — keep on fucking that chicken, America.

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