Twilight: Eclipse opens HUGE, but will it even win the weekend?

on Wednesday, June 30, 2010   8 comments

So, by now I'm sure you've heard that The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has broken the record for midnight showings, racking up an unbelievable $30 million at the box office last night. Looks like faithful TBOJ reader José may have been right about Eclipse's $80 million opening day gross, but we'll have to wait until tomorrow to know that for sure. Meanwhile, I'm busy wondering how fast will Eclipse fall. Is that cynical? We all know it's headed to a massive opening few days, but will it's weekend gross even be that impressive? I'm not so sure.

Let's pretend that Eclipse earns $80 million today (Wednesday) from the Twi-hards. On Thursday, it might gross an additional $45 million. After that, I think it's probably looking at "only" another $40-45 million for the weekend. These horny fangirls will line up for days to see Twilight's brand of mainstream porn for girls, but once they get that initial fix, these movies fall fast. Still, were my predictions to come true, Eclipse would be looking at a stunning five-day opening of $165 million, but would that be enough to win the weekend? I'm not so sure.

Toy Story 3 is still a force to be reckoned with, and on this July 4th weekend, families across the country will be together, looking for something to do. There's no work on Monday for many adults, and no school on Monday for children, so Sunday night will be a viable time to go out. The Pixar masterpiece already suffered what is sure to be its biggest drop last weekend, and a 25% dip, which could be in order, would give Toy Story 3 $45 million. All eyes are on Twilight, but don't rule out the toys just yet.

Oh, and The Last Airbender? I'll go see it, but I don't think too many others will. It's destined to be stuck in the shadow of the blockbusters that surround it. Male-driven adventure movies aren't what they used to be at the box office. After the disappointments of Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Prince of Persia, I'm thinking The Last Airbender will find a similar-to-their-openings $34 million this frame. I wish it would perform better, if only because I love movies like this, but we'll just have to see how it does when it opens tomorrow!

What are you thinking about this weekend?

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My Entertainment Weekly Internship!

on Wednesday, June 30, 2010   2 comments

Why am I not posting a list on List Wednesday? Because I just finished editing and uploading a little update video on my internship! You all have been with me since I applied for the job, so I wanted to give you a little taste of what it's like here. If you're an EW fan, you'll recognize some great cameos from two of the awesome writers here. Enjoy the video above, and stay tuned for some big Twilight: Eclipse box office news in the days to come. 

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Weekend Fix: Toy Story 3 repeats on top, thanks to Grown Ups

on Sunday, June 27, 2010   8 comments

I love weekends like this at the box office. There were a few things about the box office that I completely expected, and there were some surprises, too. That's exactly how I like it! Toy Story 3, which is proving to be the juggernaut of the summer, continued its run atop the box office, fending off competition form Grown Ups and Knight And Day. Overall, the box office was healthier than it has been for much of this sad summer, but down 17% from last year, when Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen debuted with $109 million. Let's break down the weekend below.

What I Expected

I wasn't surprised that Toy Story 3 topped the chart again, earning a fantastic $59 million, for a ten-day total of $226.5 million. The film fell 47%, which is rather large for a kid's movie, but this had the sequel effect and the mega-opening weekend effect working against it, so that's a performance to be gawked at. Furthermore, this isn't really a kids movie! From everything I've read and everyone I've spoken to, this has a decidedly adult audience. The $14,647 per theater average remains the best in the Top 12, and with fantastic word-of-mouth and major appeal to audiences of all ages, Toy Story 3 will keep  trucking along for weeks to come. Right now, $400 million seems pretty likely. This movie deserves it.

Even less surprising to me was the success of Adam Sandler's latest project, Grown Ups, which debuted to a strong $41 million. Critics and bloggers can say what they want about Sandler, but I respect the man. He knows what his fans like, and he sticks to the formula. Can we really hate him for that? Should Tootsie Rolls feel obligated to switch up their recipe in the name of art? No! When people want a Tootsie Roll, they want a Tootsie Roll, and when people want an Adam Sandler movie, they can get just what they expect.  The storyline is not his best, and while Grown Ups certainly has raunchy moments, it has a decidedly traditional set of values at its core, which should score the film a solid set of legs with blue collar audiences. I'd expect this to perform a bit better than Click, and earn somewhere in the $135 million range. Adam Sandler is, without a doubt, the most remarkably consistent box office draw of our time.

What I Didn't Expect

Knight And Day looked like a surefire hit to me a few months ago. Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz were coming back in fun summer action movie! I was expecting big promotion and big box office numbers. In the last few weeks, though, everything changed. Where was the hype? Where was the promotion? Why were audiences and bloggers turning against the project so vehemently? I'll never know for sure. What I do know is that Knight And Day definitely underperformed for Fox, and that people are way overreacting about how much of disappointment it is. The action comedy opened on Wednesday to mediocre numbers, and after a weekend gross of $20.5 million, the film has $27.8 million so far. Nikki Finke would like everyone to believe that this is the biggest failure the box office has ever seen, but I'm not hopping on that bandwagon. Knight And Day will lose money for sure, but this is no Wolfman, no Green Zone, no Robin Hood, or Prince of Persia. With a $95 million budget, Knight And Day came way cheaper than any of those films, yet it's receiving much harsher criticism. I'd expect a $65-70 million finish for the film, and once international receipts and DVD revenue come into play, this will be a rather minor belmish on Fox's record. I think people just love tearing down Cruise and Diaz.

What Else Happened

The Karate Kid fell 48% to $15.4 million and a great $135.6 million total. It's hard to believe that the kids movie was predicted to open with similar numbers to The A-Team, which fell 58% to $6 million this weekend, and has grossed just $62.8 million overall. Get Him to the Greek has quietly turned into a mid-level hit with $54.5 million total. Shrek Forever After already feels like a distant memory, but its $229 million total ain't half bad. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has earned $86.2 million, which makes me sad. I enjoy popcorn movies like this and Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but audiences aren't supporting them.. This doesn't bode well for The Sorcerer's Apprentice or The Last Airbender next month. Killers has earned $44 million, which isn't a complete misstep for Katharine Heigl, but it's her weakest performance thus far. I think she'll return to box office glory in Life As We Know It later this year. Jonah Hex? Now there's a failure Nikki Finke should be talking about.

Full box office chart here.

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Where have I been?

on Wednesday, June 23, 2010   5 comments

Over at EW.com! I know I haven't been keeping up with TBOJ the way that I promised I would this summer, but I've actually done a lot of writing, which is unbelievably exciting, considering it's on the website of my favorite publication! I've done the following posts at EW.com:

Disney's Tangled trailer: A princess movie for boys? (here)

Harry Potter series done filming: Where do the stars go from here? (here)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader trailer: Return to hope? (here)

Disney's Prom: The next High School Musical? More like the next Sixteen Candles (here)

World Cup miracle! U.S. scores in stoppage time, advances to next round! (here)

Wimbledon tennis match goes on for 10 hours: What else could you do in that time? (here)

If you check out the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on newsstands this week, you might, just maybe, might see one of those articles in print! *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*

Things are going absolutely great, and I'm seriously having the summer of my life! I am going to try to to at least do some quick box office predictions and recaps, but probably not too many videos this summer. I'm not abandoning TBOJ. Not at all. I'm just busy, in the best possible way! Follow me on Twitter to keep up to date with what I'm doing, and keep checking here for (slightly more infrequent) posts about the box office!

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Weekend Preview: The Karate Kid Hopes To Knock Out The A-Team

on Friday, June 11, 2010   7 comments

Alright, no time to go into huge detail with my predictions. Life's been pretty busy lately. But go ahead and check out the above video to hear my predictions for The Karate Kid and The A-Team, and if you're feeling extra nice, go check out a post I got to write at EW.com!

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Well, That Was Unpleasant

on Wednesday, June 09, 2010   3 comments

Finally. Having to deal with my site being offline for six days was about as bad as the 2010 Summer box office. I was beginning to worry that it would never resurface. I changed hosting services last week, but no one told me that it would take six days for the transfer to happen. All I was trying to do was drop the "blog" from the url, but it ended up being quite a process. The good news: I'm only spending $10 a year on hosting now! The bad news: I can't figure out how to redirect the old address (blog.theboxofficejunkie.com) to the new address (theboxofficejunkie.com), so if anyone knows some magical way of doing that, let me know.  Also, all the comments are gone! Still, despite the website struggles, the hiatus has been anything but boring. I'm up in New York now, loving every second of my dream internship at Entertainment Weekly. It's nothing short of incredible. I guess if there were a week to miss at the box office, though, it was this past week's. (Let the record state that there is never a week to miss at the box office.)

Shrek Forever After somehow stayed at number one, despite the fact that it is performing way beneath the levels of its predecessors. After three weekends, 2007's Shrek The Third had earned $255.9 million, while Forever After has cumed just $183.2 million with 3D-boosted ticket prices. Shrek's threepeat weekend win reveals just how weak this Summer's releases are. Except for Toy Story 3, and possibly Inception and Salt, there's just no buzz around 2010's Summer movies. Get Him To The Greek? Cool cast, but with a terrible title and an audience limited to MTV-watching-males, it was never destined to be huge. Killers? Katharine Heigl's first movie misstep, albeit a small one. The fact that Killers absolutely sucked definitely didn't help the box office, but Americans love crappy romantic comedies, and this could become a $50-60 million earner. Splice? Hey, Warner Brothers, do you remember Slither? Clearly not. Marmaduke? Well, if Underdog can open with $11.5 million on the way to $43.5 million, maybe you can too. Seriously, where are the big summer blockbusters?

The Karate Kid and The A-Team open on Friday, and while both will certainly punch up the box office results, they've got a lot of dead weight in the form of Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time and Sex And The City 2 to deal with. Can't Toy Story 3 get here, already?

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16 Typical Movie Theater Thoughts

on Wednesday, June 02, 2010   7 comments

Yesterday, I had a fun afternoon seeing Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time by myself. Usually, I go to the movies with a group of people, but I couldn't find anyone to tag along, and I actually think there's something really nice about seeing a movie by yourself every once in a while. Being on my own gave me a lot of time to think about the theater going experience, and how much I love it. The excitement in the air, the communal atmosphere, heck even the occasional heckler! It's all part of going to the movies, and I love it! Since today is List Wednesday, I thought it would be fun to take a walk through my mind by looking at 16 typical thoughts I often have at the movies. Read the list below, and then voice some of your interior monologue in the comments!

1. "Matinee pricing ends at 3:00? Really?"

2. "I love my Regal Crown Club card! Since my family leaves it clipped onto the fridge, and we all use it when we go out to the movies, we rack up a ton of points. Today, I get $1 Popcorn!"

3. "A big bag of popcorn and a tiny courtesy cup of water just doesn't work. I guess I have to go buy a soda too..."

4. "That looks good. That looks bad. That looks alright. That looks bad. That looks dumb. That looks awesome. Geez, a seventh trailer? That looks pretty good, I guess."

5. "Wait a second, is the screen getting bigger?"

6. "Where's the roller coaster before the movie?"

7. "I kind of wish that studio titles had their own music again. Now, the movie audio always plays over them., and gritty action music just doesn't work with the Disney castle."

8. "You're seriously answering your phone in the middle of the movie?! I think I'm gonna tell him to shut up. I think I'm gonna do it. I really am. I'm going to be that badass that tells the annoying jerk to shut up. Everyone will love me. I'm gonna do it. I'm bold. I can tell him to shut up. How can he think this is okay? He's making me really mad. Alright, here I go. Oh, he hung up."

9. "Oh yikes, that worker with a flashlight is walking by." (I take my feet off the bar in front of me.) "Why do I always think he'll care or that I'll get in trouble?"

10. "That is certainly the crinkliest candy wrapper I have ever heard..."

11. "Great, now phone tool guy is texting."

12. "I love when everyone laughs/claps/screams together! That is what going to the movies is all about!"

Zillions of little thoughts like, "Whoa!" or "You're really going to make out right now?" or "Do it! Kill him!" or "THAT WAS SWEET!" or just sort of chuckling to myself at the sheer ridiculousness of most movies.

13. "Ooh, I gotta see where I know that actor from."

14. "Is this the kind of movie that would have a secret scene after the credits? Eh, probably not."

15. "I need to go to the bathroom."

16. "Whoa, it's still daytime outside? Weird, I thought it was night."

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Weekend Fix: Shrek Wins Again In A Mediogre Memorial Day Weekend

on Tuesday, June 01, 2010   11 comments

No video this week! Nope, we're doing this the old school way, with a normal, written weekend report. Yesterday, Roger Ebert tweeted out the following message:
Worst movie attendance on Memorial Day in 17 years. Public rejecting Hollywood's move to dumb formulas. Good movies, they'll attend.
Indeed, this Memorial Day weekend was very, very slow as Sex And The City 2 and Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, two movies that feature long-haired characters with ample chests, failed to fully ignite at the box office. These two openers provided a decidedly sandy foundation for the holiday weekend, as Shrek Forever After easily took the top spot once again. Overall, the Top 12 grossed $181.7 million over the four-day weekend, down a big 15% from the same weekend last year. It was the weakest Memorial Day frame at the box office in a decade, and with such classics as Splice, Marmaduke, Killers, and Get Him To The Greek coming next weekend, it doesn't look like Summer is heating up any time soon.  Head inside for the full weekend report.

Despite two new films opening, Shrek Forever After once again led the box office with $55.6M in 4 days. Over three days, Shrek earned $43.4M, a 39% drop from its opening weekend. With a $145.3M total, Forever After is still performing way underneath the rest of the films in the franchise, though it appears that a domestic total of $200M is now assured.

Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time and Sex And The City 2 were neck-and-neck all weekend, but in the end, SATC2's extreme frontloadedness did it in.  After Sex's Friday grosses of $13M vs. Prince's $10.2M, the event film for women fell by 23% on Saturday, 20% on Sunday, and 26% on Monday. In the end, it earned $37.2M over four days and $51.4M over five, which is a big drop from the $57M the original SATC earned in its three-day opening weekend two years ago. I think audiences could tell how slapped together this film appeared, and they didn't want to waste their hard eared money on a bad experience. I don't see this crossing $100M. Prince Of Persia, meanwhile, saw an increase of 1% on Saturday, and then drops of 6% on Sunday and 20% on Monday for a four-day figure of $37.8M. I'm sure Disney was hoping for more, but early international grosses are strong, and the weekend performance is indicative of some pretty strong legs. (If I sound too hopeful, I probably am. For some reason, I just root for this movie's success!) I'm sure this will make it past $100M, but we'll have to see if word-of-mouth catches on with audiences.

Iron Man 2 picked up another $20.3M for a total of $278M, and at this point, I think the super-hyped sequel is going to outperform the original by just a few million dollars. Universal's latest expensive mistake, Robin Hood, stole another $13.6M for an $86M total. While this looks like it will cross the $100M plateau after all, we have to keep in mind that it cost $200M to produce, at least $80M to promote, and it's falling fast overseas.  Yikes. 

In the bottom half of the chart, nothing was too surprising. Letters To Juliet performed well in the face of Sex And The City 2, grossing a nice $7.3M for a $38M total. Let the Amanda Seyfried debates continue! Just Wright continued its unremarkable performance. Date Night continued to prove the power of good word-of-mouth. How To Train Your Dragon continued its quest to take down Kung Fu Panda as the top grossing Non-Shrek film for Dreamworks. MacGruber continued to barely register with moviegoers with an embarassing $610 per theater average.

As many of you have pointed out in the comments, this Summer's crop of new releases just aren't all that exciting. I feel like studios aren't giving any of their non-sequels big advertising pushes, and as a result, people aren't pumped about getting out of the house and seeing them. Shrek and Iron Man have proven to not be the box office saviors that execs were hoping for, and (with the exception of Inception) there aren't any new hits lined up. Where are the The Devil Wears Pradas or The Hangovers? Sigh. Maybe the box office really could use another Twilight...

Top 12 Box Office Hits For May 28-31, 2010
Rank Movie Studio Theaters 4-Day Gross
3-Day
Chg
3-Day
AVG.
Total
1
Shrek Forever After Paramount 4367 $55,600,000 -39%$9,926 $145,350,000
2
Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time Disney 3646 $37,779,000 New$8,248 $37,779,000
3
Sex And The City 2 Warner Bros 3455 $37,145,000 New$9,041 $51,353,000
4
Iron Man 2 Paramount 3804 $20,250,000 -39%$4,215 $278,827,000
5
Robin Hood Universal 3373 $13,576,325 -44%$3,090 $86,296,190
6
Letters To Juliet Summit 2825 $7,250,000 -34%$2,093 $37,953,418
7
Just Wright Fox Search 1195 $2,700,000 -50%$1,799 $18,697,518
8
Date Night Fox 1126 $2,250,000 -38%$1,599 $93,947,708
9
MacGruber Universal 2546 $1,947,690 -62%$610 $7,598,025
10
How To Train Your Dragon Paramount 825 $1,425,000 -46%$1,242 $213,029,000
11
A Nightmare On Elm Street Warner Bros 891 $1,145,000 -61%$1,021 $61,924,000
12
Alice In Wonderland Disney 341 $673,000 +10%$1,560 $333,104,000
All Numbers Provided By Exhibitor Relations Co.

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