The Box Office Report – May 27-29

Last week, in Box Office…

Well, I fucked up. And yet, somehow I fucked up going against my usual opinion. How many times am I the person who’s like, “this is gonna make shitloads of money, yet I’m picking it to make $20 million under what it’s supposed to!”? Yet this time, I was rooting for the machine to win. Weird, right? I think it’s because I trust the Pirates franchise to entertain me more than the other pieces of shit they trot out most summers. (Which, I was very entertained by the fourth movie. I didn’t really watch it trying to gauge whether or not the movie was any good — I’m sure any form of effort in doing so would give me an answer I just don’t need to know — so, I had a lot of fun at that midnight showing.) I also fucked up in not doing what I normally do so well, which is think logically. Let me explain

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides made $90.2 million last weekend. The expected was around $100 million. I said more. I was wrong. Why? I’ll tell you.

The movie was only budgeted at $150 million. What that means is, aside from the first one, this was the cheapest entry in the series. (Don’t feel bad, the first movie had a $140 million price tag.) Less budget means, they need to make less to make money. Less of that means, less marketing. They don’t have to market as aggressively because, one, an audience is built in and two, who the fuck isn’t gonna know this movie is coming out? But, the flip side to that is, the marketing is what buys the weekend.

This is what I’ve learned during my time watching box office. It’s all pointless. Studios buy an opening weekend by spending a shitload of money to advertise. They drop down $50 million in advertising to make an extra $20 million for the weekend. Why do they do this? Nobody really knows. It’s all pretty much understood that this happens, which is why picking the numbers is mostly just a sport, like horse racing of boxing — you know, most “sports” that are probably fixed three ways from Sunday.

Anyway, the $150 million price tag means they didn’t need to chase the big opening weekend. So the $90 million that they made here with what I’m sure was $90 million in advertising was more than enough for them. Because, with the worldwide profits, they are already in profit on this. They didn’t need to spend more. That’s why I fucked up.

Finishing second this weekend was Bridesmaids, with $20.9 million. Hey, look at that. It held well. I was right. It held better than I, or anybody else, expected it to, but then again, my estimate on Pirates was a lot higher than everyone else’s (and come to think of it, my estimation on this was higher too. So fuck that, I win). This is displacement money plus the fact that it was immune to Pirates. It’s made almost double its production budget after two weekends and looks to be a huge hit for the studio. Good for them. That’s what you get when you keep a budget down and don’t waste time on 3D. More like this, please.

Finishing third was Thor, with $15.5 million. So, it did exactly as everyone but me predicted it would do. This is all cosmic justice isn’t it? The one week I stick my head up I get burnt? My midweek estimate was closer than my end of the week estimate. Then again, I wrote my end of the week estimate while on a train and while I didn’t give a shit. Whatever. I’m just assuming last week was a big aberration, since — I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking.

Finishing fourth was Fast Five, with $10.6 million. Midweek prediction was right on, end of the week prediction veered away and guessed higher. Hmm — interesting to note.

I also did midweek predictions on films that came nowhere near the $5 million barrier. But at the end of the week I only did one for Rio. So, I guess — fuck, I don’t know. I’m so fucking confused right now. Everything else did shitty. That’s last week. I’m not even gonna do grosses. We’ll skip a week and check back next time.

Now, I guess I’ll do Mike’s Monday Night Predictions. I just named that right now. We’ll see how long this lasts…

The big film opening this weekend is The Hangover Part II, in a shitload of theaters. Actually, fuck this, I don’t want to guess what this is gonna do. Because if I had it my way this film would make less than $25 million this weekend. But I think we can all assume at least $30 million. I don’t even want to think any higher than that, because, I know the American public will no doubt make me angry and go see this in droves, repeated jokes and all. Honestly, my hope here is that it doesn’t make its budget back, whatever that it. No budget’s been announced yet. I’m hoping it’s some stupid amount, like $90 million. The less profit on this, the better.

Also opening this week — a film I may actually pay to see in theaters, because fuck The Hangover Part II, is Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom. Well, kids movie. First one made a lot of money. Actually, this is good, maybe this will take all the money, even with all the stupid under-18s who sneak into The Hangover and buy tickets for this instead. Or even Pirates. Ooh, I’m excited. Maybe this will do like $50 million. I know it won’t, since no animated movie has cracked 50 yet this year (right? I’m doing this from memory), so maybe it’ll do like low 40s. That’ll be cool. Because then (famous last words) how much could The Hangover end up making?

Those are the only two films opening this week. The Tree of Life is opening in 4 theaters, and while that won’t make nearly enough money to be mentioned, I think everyone should go see this. I’ve been excited for this for a few years now, and never had Terrence Malick made a legitimately bad movie. Plus it just won the Palme D’Or at Cannes, so that’s something, right?

So, the holdovers for this week (that matter), are, first, Pirates, which, I guess should have a nice fall, but not a huge one. In fact, it could theoretically win the weekend this week. Even with a 60% fall, you’re looking at $36 million. You have to assume at least $35 million and at most $40 million. Maybe like 42 on a great weekend. This seems almost guaranteed. But leave it to the professionals to guess some number not in that range and make me change my number or actually be right for a change.

Also, Thor should drop below $10 million. Almost $16 million last weekend, and all the audience going to see something else, you have to be looking at $7-8 million here. $9 million at best. Shouldn’t drop to $6 million, but I wouldn’t rule it out.

Fast Five should hit $5-6 million, maybe even below $5 million, but not by much. I’d go around $6 million here.

Then, Bridesmaids. Hmm. Word of mouth is great here, methinks. Maybe you’re looking at the drop it should have had last weekend and around $13 million. But who knows? Maybe it does $16 million. I’m gonna take the safe 40% drop and go $13 million-ish here.

And those were Mike’s Monday Night Movie Predictions.

So now, it’s Thursday. And what happened since then? I have no fucking idea.

People are predicting shitloads of money this weekend. Problem is, most of the estimates are including the Thursday through Monday total. I don’t really deal in holiday weekends. I deal with Friday to Sunday. Sure it’s all part of the same total, but, if it’s usually Friday through Sunday, let’s make it fucking Friday through Sunday. You know?

So, from what I can extrapolate, people are estimating The Hangover Part II to do around $60 million from Friday to Sunday. Estimates have it around $20 million a day, $80 million by Sunday (total) and $100 million by Monday night. What. The. Fuck. Seriously. The first movie made $45 million its opening weekend, so I guess it’s natural to assume more. I just don’t want this to make that much money. I hope the bad buzz works, but, I think this movie may crack the code. Because, this is really what the public wants. They want you to do exactly the same thing, only different. That’s why CSI and Law and Order consistently the top rated shows on television (all seventeen versions of them). So, honestly, let’s just go crazy. The public is fucking retarded anyway, so let’s just say this movie makes that and more. Because, really, I don’t care anymore. I won’t truly be upset at this film until I see it (and you can be damn sure I’m not paying to see it. So, if you want me to see it sooner, get me a ticket). Honestly, the holiday weekend makes the numbers fucked up, so, I’m not even going to guess what this will do. All I’m gonna say is, I hope this finishes second.

Kung Fu Panda II, they’re saying will get hurt by the fact that it’s in 3D. All 3D films have been hurt this year because the price is too fucking much and because most of them suck. For my money, all of them suck. They’re estimating around $45-50 million over the typical weekend span and around $80 million for the full Thursday-Monday frame. Personally, I hope this beats The Hangover. And I have reason to maybe think it might. You know, R rated movie, people buy tickets to something else, probably this, maybe Pirates. Maybe it doesn’t make so much. But, I really do underestimate the stupidity of the American public. No guess here, just a wish it finishes first.

Wow — this is gonna be a long summer, isn’t it? It’s just gonna be a series of me being like, “Well they’re all gonna make $90 fucking million!” It’s seriously gonna get to where I just go over or under. Like, “This is what they’re predicting. I don’t like this. Under.”

What the fuck else we got? Oh, we’re on the holdovers. Okay, this is more fun.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is the big holdover this weekend. I guess we need to take into account the money being spread out a bit into Monday as well. So, that 50% drop to $45-50 million will be over four to five days. So, maybe this does like, $40 million, Friday to Sunday? I don’t know, this holiday thing is fucking me up. This will be a quick rest of article. I refuse to play the game and guess five day totals.

Bridesmaids is the other one. I’m thinking like, $13 million over Friday to Sunday. And then maybe like $17 million like it did last week over the long weekend. So, $13 million is my number. See how fucked up it is? I don’t like it.

Oh, and Thor. You know what? Fuck it. I’m done. I don’t like this. Go with the Midweek predictions. This holiday weekend bullshit is too much.

Fuck you, Hollywood. See you next week. Next week you won’t be so much of an asshole.

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