The Box Office Report – September 16-18

Last week, in Box Office…

Contagion wins the weekend — there is justice — with $22.4 million. This was in line with expectations. And considering how shitty the box office did as a whole this past weekend, this is actually a fantastic number. Wanna know how bad (/awesome) things were? Check this out:

The Help finishes second with $8.9 million. Estimates had this at $10 million, so I am really happy with the low number. But, on top of the $2 million this didn’t make —

Warrior opens to $5.2 million. This was lower than even my expectations. But — I fucking said this was not gonna do $10 million. Again, estimates are basing this on the fact that people will go.

Now, just look at that. The first three films finished with a total of $35.5 million. And only the first three films made more than $5 million My, my, how far we’ve come since July, huh?

PS: I’m fucking ecstatic about this.

Seriously, look at the rest of these numbers: The Debt — $4.7 million. Colombiana — $3.9 million. Rise of the Planet of the Apes — $3.9 million. Shark Night — $3.4 million. It was a shitty week at the box office. I love it.

Is it weird that I hope it carries over as long as possible?

Oh, and, because I need to mention it, because it’s fucking hilarious — Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star made $1.4 million.

Excuse me while I go laugh really loud before I continue.

So that’s it for last week. This should be a short article. Onto the new releases…

Drive is the big film opening this week. (At least, it better be, compared to the alternative.) I have good news and bad news about this film. I won’t tell you the bad news until later, because it’s fucking unbelievable. But the good news is that everyone is saying this will beat the second new release this week (thank god!)

Estimates have this film opening at around $12-13 million. I also read one article that said this film could have nice legs with the “upscale crowd.” … Have we reached the point where we have to call the people who go see good movies the “upscale” crowd? As opposed to the “assholes who will go see anything the television tells them to” crowd?

Anyway, $13 million is my pick here. I won’t go higher, for fear that it goes lower. I wish this film the best. It’s gonna need it, with the kind of fucking people we have in this country, going to the movies.

I Don’t Know How She Does It is also opening. Which is an appropriate title. I still don’t know how this got made. Don’t you just wish they killed everyone who was involved with this? Why do they keep letting Sarah Jessica Parker make movies? Can’t they just put her out to stud?

(P.S. There’s a strong chance this film will be Unforgivable. Stay tuned. I’ll be sure to inform everyone the moment I see it.)

Estimates have this opening to around $7-9 million. I’m going to assume that even the one quadrant that will go see this movie (older women) are smart enough to know, “This is gonna fucking suck,” and won’t go. So I’m gonna err on the side of common sense and say — $7 million, at best. If this film hits above $9 million, there is no God.

Straw Dogs is also opening. The remake of the Peckinpah Dustin Hoffman version from 1971. Rod Lurie directed it, which makes me somewhat intrigued by it. However, the fact that it was pushed back for a year and is getting dumped in September (which, actually should have been the normal release month for it anyway) makes me leery. But, regardless of its quality (hoping for the best), this actually has a chance to open better than I Don’t Know How She Does It. Estimates have this between $7-8 million. This could go as low as $6 million, just because — it’s definitely a hard R and will have gruesome depictions of violence (and other things). So, that might turn some people away. I don’t expect this to beat Sarah Jessica Parker, but even so, I don’t think either will end up win/place/or show. Whichever does it is fixing to round out the superfacta.

I hope this beats Sarah Jessica. Not expecting it to — but hoping for the best.

Okay, that’s it for the new new releases. Now for something that blew my mind when I read the estimates.

First off — The Lion King (in 3D) is getting rereleased. Did anyone know about this? Because I had no fucking clue. Maybe you people that do nothing but watch reality television knew all about it, but I honestly had no idea this was happening before Monday. Which is why I was shocked when I saw…

Estimates have this film winning the weekend! They have it WINNING! They’re saying this film is going to make at least $14 million and possibly up to almost $20 million! What the fuck?

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love The Lion King, but what does that say about the state of the business when a rerelease from 17 years ago is about to make more money than new films? That blew my mind.

Though I will say — estimates seem to be all over the place on this one. I actually saw two places go as high as $18-19 million. Most places estimate it around $13-15 million, skewing toward $14 million. That, is more reasonable. I can live with that. However…

Two years ago (which I know very well because I won a contest picking those numbers), Toy Story/Toy Story 2 (also in 3D) were released and only opened to just over $12 million. Now, The Lion King is a more beloved film than those (in a different way), and its not readily available on DVD (for another month), and isn’t on a double billing (for those moviegoers who can’t stand anything above 120 minutes). Not to mention, Toy Story had Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Zombieland as competition. The Lion King doesn’t have that kind of competition, so I guess the number makes sense. Still, it was pretty shocking to see the number so high.

So that’s the new and “new” releases. Now onto the holdovers…

The big holdover is Contagion, which, depending on how much it makes, does have a chance to win the weekend, which, is what I’m hoping for. No matter what happens, the film should have at least a 40% drop (as much as we want to hope for less, it’s still crazy optimistic to assume anything less than 40). So, the most this is fixing on making is $13.5 million. All estimates for this should be between $12-13 million, hopefully skewing higher. Let’s hope it holds really well. It might, and that’s awesome.

And, The Help is really the only other holdover, since it’s the only other film that opened above $5 million last weekend. This should probably still continue to hold (Jesus Christ), and make around, oh, let’s say, $6 million. We’ll hope for high 5, but still, it’ll finish above 5.

So that’s the weekend. Here’s what we’re looking at:

1) The Lion King (in 3D) — ~$14 million (give or take)

2) Contagion — ~$13 million

3) Drive — ~$13 million

4) I Don’t Know How She Does It — ~$7 million

5) Straw Dogs — ~$6-7 million

6) The Help — ~$6 million

As you can see, a couple spots are almost toss ups. But, these will definitely be the top 6 movies, and probably in something very similar to that order. The numbers will be very close to those estimates, and…that’s pretty much it.

Though I will say — in a couple of years, when textbooks are written about this era, and how bad the films got — how studios made nothing but sequels and remakes (and hopefully how this was just like the 60s before shit blew up and led to the great 70s (though I doubt it)) — someone will make a note to point out (should it happen) how a film getting rereleased seventeen years later managed to beat a slew of new releases at the box office. That, to me, says everything about the state of the business (no matter what the film is). In an era where no one is going to see movies unless they’re $250 million blockbusters, and can watch films in their home, on their iPhones, for enough people to go see a 17-year old movie in theaters more than new releases — we’re approaching the darkest hour.

Let’s hope Contagion wins.

And on that note, have a happy weekend!

3 responses

  1. BlueFox94

    Uhh, you’re SO off on “THE LION KING”‘s estimate. $30 million!!!

    I request that u may give a nice, detailed explanation as to WHY it won the weekend ;)

    September 18, 2011 at 1:16 pm

  2. I know — it’s crazy. Honestly, though, I’m not surprised. Because nothing really strong has come out in a long time, and Contagion can only do so much. And the fact that it held really well AND The Lion King made that much money speaks to how bad current films are, that people went and said, “Oh man, this was a great film, I’m gonna take the kids to experience it on the big screen,” and completely ignored everything current that was out. The fact that a film from 17 years ago is better than everything from this year says a lot. The nostalgia factor probably counts for a lot, too. I went. I didn’t even go to Contagion. I went to see this (though not in 3D) because I wanted to experience it in the theater again. Those opening four minutes send chills up your spine.

    Here’s my big thing — I want to see how much of the sales were from 2D or 3D. Because if everyone went to the 2D, then it’s a quality issue. People wanted to see a good movie they love, and could care less about the other bullshit that’s out. Which, tells me that people will go to the theaters regardless and simply want good movies. But if they all went to see it in 3D — well that goes against everything they’ve been doing for the past year. And I wouldn’t even know how to begin trying to explain it past — people are stupid.

    Also, a lot of it has to do with Disney putting things on moratorium. The Lion King hasn’t been widely available in a long time. That had to have something to do with it. People can’t (until October 4th — not that I have the date marked or anything) pop in the DVD as easily as they could something like Toy Story (which is why that only made $12 million last year).

    September 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm

  3. BlueFox94

    Thanks!!!

    September 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm

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