A decent weekend of predictions (I picked the correct five films, but had the #2 and #3 spots in reverse), but the box office was a little soft for the new releases, even though older releases held up well. Here’s how it went:
The Princess and The Frog debuted at #1 with a gross of $25 million (I predicted that it would be the #1 film and that it would gross $35 million). The film had glowing reviews, but the opening was a bit soft for a Disney animated feature. The per theatre average was $7,280 which is not great for a #1 film. The great thing that The Princess and The Frog has going for it is the fact that it is a family film and families tend to see movies more often during the holidays when everyone is not in school or on vacation. Not a great opening weekend gross, but I expect it to do well over the long term.
In 2nd place, in somewhat of a surprise to myself, is The Blind Side with $15.6 million (I predicted that it would be the #3 film with a gross of $12.4 million). Dropping a miniscule 22.9%, I have to again stress that I think The Blind Side is the surprise hit of the fall. Did anyone think that this film would do as well as it is doing? I did not read anything about this film as one to look out for in the fall. Word of mouth has been outstanding, and it will continue to drive the film over the Christmas season. Its per theatre average is $4,560, which is excellent for a film in its fourth week of release. The total gross for the film stands at $150.2 million, and it will soon be the highest grossing film of Sandra Bullock’s career, beating The Proposal’s $163.9 million.
In 3rd place, opening to somewhat disappointing results, is Invictus with $9 million (I predicted that it would open in 2nd place with $18 million). I was speaking to a colleague of mine, and we agreed that the film might suffer from what we call “The Shawshank Redemption Syndrome”. Basically a film that is horribly named has this “syndrome”, and Invictus does not seem to be marketing friendly. Having said that, this was an adult drama, directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Matt Damon who appeals to adults, and had solid reviews, so a good opening weekend was expected. Unfortunately the public had different ideas, and did not want to see a film about a South African rugby team and Nelson Mandela. I will say that I had higher expectations for the film, but it played like some of the previous films that Clint Eastwood has directed, but not starred in, so I should not be all that surprised (see Friday’s predictions for the numbers of those films). Its per theatre average is $4,275, which is disappointing for an opening weekend. I don’t think the film is going to survive in theatres for very long with all the other options coming out over the coming weeks. Definitely a disappointment for all involved.
In 4th place with $8 million is The Twilight Saga: New Moon (I predicted a fourth place finish and a gross of $5.8 million). The film dropped 48.1%, which was the highest percentage drop of any film in the top ten, and had a per theatre average of $2,201. The per theatre average was $3,635 and the film has grossed $267.3 million over four weeks. Of note, I said to a friend of mine that the two Twilight films will perform the same: They’ll both have very strong opening weekends and fade fast (which has been true). I also said that The Twilight Saga: New Moon will never come close to having a final gross that rivals anything in the Harry Potter series. The Twilight Saga: New Moon has now grossed more that Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets ($261.9 million) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ($249.5 million). The next highest grossing Harry Potter film is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with $290 million (coincidentally – that is the Harry Potter film that has Robert Pattinson in it), so we’ll see if The Twilight Saga: New Moon can overtake that film.
Rounding out the top five is Disney’s A Christmas Carol with $6.8 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $5.7 million). The film had the lowest percentage drop in the top ten with 11.5%, which is amazing for a film that is still in the top five after six weeks. Its per theatre average is $2,861, and it should continue to play well up until Christmas Day, after that it will fade away quickly. The total gross for Disney’s A Christmas Carol now stands at $124.4 million.
Here’s how the films in limited release did:
A Single Man starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore grossed $216,000 from 9 theatres for a per theatre average of $24,000.
The Lovely Bones starring Mark Wahlberg, directed by Peter Jackson, and based on the novel by Alice Sebold grossed $116,000 from 3 theatres for a per theatre average of $38.667.
The other films mentioned on Friday have not released their numbers as of this writing.
The only other story to talk about from this weekend’s box office is that Up In The Air expanded slightly to 72 theatres and grossed $2.4 million, which is up 107.4% from last weekend, and it had a per theatre average of $34,028, so watch out for this film in the coming weeks to be in the top five at the box office.
So to recap, here were my predictions:
1) The Princess and The Frog – $35 million
2) Invictus – $18 million
3) The Blind Side – $12.4 million
4) The Twilight Saga: New Moon – $5.8 million
5) Disney’s A Christmas Carol – $5.7 million
And here are the final numbers:
1) The Princess and The Frog – $25 million
2) The Blind Side – $15.6 million
3) Invictus – $9 million
4) The Twilight Saga: New Moon – $8 million
5) Disney’s A Christmas Carol – $6.8 million
My box office predictions were off by $24.5 million.
Opening this coming weekend are Crazy Heart (limited release), The Young Victoria (limited release), Nine (limited release), Did You Hear About The Morgan’s?, and the big film of the winter Avatar. Check back on Friday to read my predictions.
Until next week!