Weekend Preview: 'Fockers' may finish a 'Little' ahead of 'True Grit' and 'TRON'

on Friday, December 31, 2010   1 comments

During the period from Christmas to New Year's, every day at the box office is like a weekend day, so don't expect any major shifts at at the movies this weekend. Little Fockers will most likely stay on top, with True Grit and TRON: Legacy finishing close behind. True Grit has a very solid  shot at taking the top spot. Most movies will experience some customarily small gains (family films tend to get a nice bump) or drops, but with no new wide releases, we're essentially looking at the same rankings as last week.

Box Office Predictions for Dec 31, 2010 – Jan 2, 2011
1. Little Fockers – $24M
2. True Grit – $24M
3. TRON: Legacy – $18M
4. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – $10M
5. Yogi Bear – $9M
6. Tangled – $8M
7. Black Swan – $7M
8. The Fighter – $6.8M
9. Gulliver's Travels – $6.6M
10. The King's Speech – $4.8

What are you planning on seeing this weekend? Do you think True Grit could pull off a weekend win?

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Holiday Box Office: Winners/Losers

on Thursday, December 30, 2010   5 comments

Hey, everyone, I hope you had wonderful holiday! Christmastime is over, and after a whole lot of free time, I'm ready to get back on the reindeer horse when it comes to blogging. I know I've missed the last week of box office news, but if ever there was a week of stats to ignore, it was this one. The holiday box office has been nothing short of miserable, with movies disappointing left and right, and it's providing an appropriately dismal ending to a rough year at the box office. 2010's attendance is down by about 5%. Still, not everything is all gloom and doom. Though we don't have an Avatar, or a Sherlock Holmes, or even an It's Complicated this year, a few well-reviewed movies are managing to shine. Which ones have hit and which ones are missing? Let's recap what's been going on this holiday at the box office with a game of winners and losers! (but mostly losers)


True Grit – Paramount – 3,047 theaters
Weekend $24.9M, Monday $7.1M, Tuesday $6.1M, Wednesday $6.2M, Cume $55.3M
The Coen Brothers' latest critical darling is quickly establishing itself as their biggest hit to date. With True Grit's hugely strong box office,  appears that the consistent praise for the Coens' work over the years has finally helped them break into the mainstream consciousness. That, or the fact that America has fallen in love with Jeff Bridges (who is a winner in his own right, between this and TRON) once again. Either way, True Grit may welcome the western back into theaters after a long dry spell. With $55.3M after eight days (against a $38M budget), it had already outgrossed the last popular western film, 2007's 3:10 to Yuma, which earned $53.6M.

Tangled – Disney – 2,582 Theaters
Weekend $6.4M, Monday $3.2M, Tuesday $3.6M, Wednesday $3.7M, Cume $154.2M
A few weeks after a huge debut, Disney's 3D Rapunzel film is finally starting to show some legs at the box office. Tangled's second weekend at the box office didn't look promising, but word-of-mouth has kicked in during the family friendly holiday season. It won't break $200 million domestically, but strong international grosses and huge merchandising revenue will more thank make up for it.

Black Swan – Fox Searchlight – 1,466 Theaters
Weekend $6.3M, Monday $2.4M, Tuesday $2.4M, Wednesday $2.5M, Cume $36.2M
Who'd have thought that a psychosexual ballet movie from Darren Aronofsky would be the sleeper hit of the decidedly vanilla holiday season? Fox Searchlight is better than any other studio at platforming their engaging limited releases, and Black Swan is steadily raking in money and Oscar appeal each day. With $36.2M thus far, the buzzy Natalie Portman feature still has a lot of life left in it.

The Fighter – Relativity/Paramount – 2,511 Theaters
Weekend $7.6M, Monday $2.4M, Tuesday $2.2M, Wednesday $2.4M, Cume $33.8M
Though it lacks an edgy storyline like Black Swan, The Fighter is by far the more broadly appealing film of the two, and general audiences are turning out to see the well-reviewed, star-studded film. Against a budget of $25M, The Fighter should continue to post solid grosses, though it doesn't seem to have the awards momentum it would need to become a real box(ing) office champ. I think a Cinderella Man-ish $60M finish is more likely, and that's more than enough to keep Paramount happy.


Little Fockers – Universal – 3,536 Theaters
Weekend $30.8M, Monday $8.4M, Tuesday $7.7M, Wednesday $7.8M, Cume $69M
It's tough to root for a blatant cash-grab like Little Fockers. With $69M after eight days, it isn't exactly failing in theaters, but it comforts me to know that 2005's Meet The Fockers had already earned $108.6M at the same point in its run. Is the Era of Easy Entertainment over? Do audiences suddenly care about quality?!

TRON: Legacy – Disney – 3,451 Theaters
Weekend $19.2M, Monday $6.3M, Tuesday $6.3M, Wednesday $6.1M, Cume $106.1M
We all know that Disney has a lot riding on TRON: Legacy being a hit—namely, money and credibility—but its $44M opening weekend made it immediately clear that the effects-driven spectacle wouldn't be the blockbuster it had once appeared to be. Still, it looks like TRON is, in fact, catching on with audiences. The video game movie is zapping up money steadily, and while it still has a very long way to go before it's in the black, TRON's young target audience is still out of school for a few weeks, and it could surpass its $170M budget in a month's time if it's lucky. I don't want to sound too optimistic, though. As it stands right now, TRON is still a major disappointment for the studio.


Yogi Bear – Warner Bros – 3,515 Theaters
Weekend $7.8M, Monday $3.5M, Tuesday $4.5M, Wednesday $4.5M, Cume $48.4M
After a $7.8M weekend, this piece of cinematic trash earned $12.5 million from Monday to Wednesday. If you need proof that family movies thrive during the holidays, there you go. It's unfortunate that Yogi Bear has earned $48.8M so far, and it's even more unfortunate that it has at least $25M worth of business left in it, but at least this isn't a $200M hit like Alvin and the Chipmunks.

The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – Fox – 3,350 Theaters
Weekend $9.5M, Monday $3.5M, Tuesday $3.7M, Wednesday $3.3M, Cume $73.1M
It hasn't been smooth sailing for the Dawn Treader in the last few weeks, but the third Narnia picture is benefiting from the holiday perhaps better than any other film. Unfortunately, the boost is too little too late, and with a $150M price tag, even its likely $325M worldwide total probably isn't enough to justify a sequel.

Gulliver's Travels – Fox – 2,546 Theaters
Weekend $6.3M, Monday $2.6M,Tuesday $2.9M, Wednesday $3.1M, Cume $15M
Wow, this flopped HARD. The Fox production was marketed to the kiddies, and though it once looked like a potential box office contender along the lines of Night at the Museum, no one seemed to be all that interested in the film once it was released. Fox has had an awful year, and they can't live off Avatar grosses forever...

The Tourist – GK Films/Sony – 2,756 Theaters
Weekend $5.4M, Monday $1.8M, Tuesday $1.7M, Wednesday $1.7M, Cume $46.1M
Ugh. This movie is even boring to talk about. It's just a dud in every sense of the word. Just sell the TV rights to USA already, and we'll call it a day.

How Do You Know – Sony – 2,483 theaters
Weekend $3.6M, Cume $15M
The fact that Sony hasn't even released daily numbers for this romcom flop is indicative of the public's lack of interest in the insanely expensive $120M film. A major blow to Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, and Owen Wilson's drawing power.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to conclude that the box office is in trouble. Just look at how much better things were looking a year ago! Audiences are fed up with high ticket prices and the pervasiveness of 3D, and they are rejecting going to the movies as a leisurely pastime this year. Sure, some indie releases are doing well for themselves, but Oscar bait films make up a very small piece of the box office pie—mainstream movies need to thrive financially for the film industry to sustain itself. Personally, I'm feeling pretty annoyed with Hollywood right now, and I think they are only harming themselves with their exorbitant pricing, which masks the dire straits of the holiday box office. Bah humbug!

Are you feeling as Scrooge-like as I am right now? Which movies have impressed/disappointed you at the box office this holiday?

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IMAX box office doubles in 2010

on Wednesday, December 29, 2010   0 comments

According to Deadline, IMAX's theatrical box office doubled in 2010, earning approximately $544 million versus 2009's $270 million cume. Personally, I've never felt the urge to see a film in IMAX—it's just too expensive for me—but thanks to movies Alice in Wonderland, Iron Man 2, Toy Story 3, Inception, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, audiences embraced the format more than ever before this year. It looks like 3D provided the most substantial boost to the theater chain.

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Hot Video: 2010 at the box office

on Friday, December 24, 2010   0 comments

Check out this great montage of 2010's most notable movies that's been floating around the film blogosphere. It's a well-edited piece, and a nice retrospective of the year's buzziest films. Lately, I've been a little bit down about the quality of 2010's releases, but this was a good reminder that things haven't been that bad at the movies!

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MTC Tracking: 'Little Fockers' looking big, 'True Grit' strong, 'Gulliver's Travels' weak

on Tuesday, December 21, 2010   3 comments

Box office tracking reports have hit the web for Little Fockers, True Grit, and Gulliver's Travels, and it's a mixed bag of projections. Little Fockers looks like it may be set to become the go-to comedy of the holiday season, but Gulliver's Travels seems like way less of a sure thing. True Grit is somewhere in the middle. Check out where these films might be headed after the jump:

Little Fockers – $63M (over five days)
In 2004, Meet the Fockers earned $70M in its first five days of release. Given the slapped-together feeling around this film, a $63M five day opening sounds pretty great.

True Grit – $28M (over five days)
This would be a strong start for a major awards contender budgeted at $50-70M.

Gulliver's Travels – $12M (over two days)
Yikes! First Narnia, then Yogi, now Gulliver? How many family films can Americans reject during the holidays? This one didn't come cheap for Fox (it's budget is estimated around $100-125M, and it's had tons of promotion), so it needs a strong opening and strong legs to be considered a success.

[via secretstalker]
MTC Tracking stands for "Major Theater Chain" tracking. These numbers are taken from box office tracking reports that are sent out to theater owners and posted anonymously on HSX.

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Weekend Fix: 'TRON' leaves a mixed 'Legacy' in first place, 'Yogi Bear' steals second, 'How Do You Know' D.O.A.

on Monday, December 20, 2010   9 comments

If you're a theater owner, I'd say that it's about time to start feeling concerned. Why? Because the holiday box office isn't taking shape the way it should. Major potential vehicles, like all three of this week's releases—TRON: Legacy, Yogi Bear, and How Do You Know—haven't been taking off, and if Little Fockers and Gulliver's Travels don't click with audiences this week, 2010 will finish with a whisper, rather than a bang. Now, things aren't totally disastrous (the 2010 box office already passed $10 billion, after all), but it doesn't look like there's an Avatar or a Blind Side in the mix right now. But let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet; here's how this weekend went down:

TRON: Legacy earned $43.6 million this weekend, easily riding to the top spot on the chart. The very expensive Disney film, which has a negative cost of about $300 million between production and promotion, has a lot to prove: Disney's been promoting this thing for two years! That's why expectations were so high (it appears unattainable), and in all reality, this needs to earn about $200 million in the US and a lot more overseas to be considered a success. TRON benefited from a huge number of 3D screens and the consequently increased ticket prices, but also from its major fanboy/ movie geek appeal. It's already apparent that this fanboy factor could lead to major frontloadedness, as this niche tends to rush out to the theater on opening weekend, and this would not be good for the film. With an $18 million Friday, a $15.1 million Saturday, and a $10.5 million Sunday, TRON earned a weak internal multiplier of 2.4 (the standard is 3.0), and if it's total box office ends up following the same trend, TRON: Legacy would only finish with $105 million. To be clear, I think we are far from that grim prospect, but with weaker reviews and 3D-backlash setting in across America, TRON isn't likely to be the next Avatar, which earned a 2.9 internal multiplier and had a very leggy run post opening, multiplying it's opening weekend by 9.9. Where TRON finishes only time will tell, but it's hard to get too excited that's been so heavily buzzed about for so long. The film's saving grace will be its special effects, which definitely look impressive/groundbreaking enough to garner solid word-of-mouth over the holiday season. Starting now, the box office should kick into high gear, so let's see where TRON goes.

Yogi Bear. (sigh) The Warner Bros cinematic travesty did what so many cinematic travesties do at the box office: succeed, if by a little less than others. The CG animated/live action film earned $16.7 million, which is a rather underwhelming figure, but it should thrive over the next few weeks thanks to its broad family appeal. An $80-100 million finish isn't out of the questions. Still, (sigh).

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Longest Title In The History of Life dropped 48% into third place, pulling in $12.4 million in the process. The Dawn Treader has sailed very slowly thus far, grossing just $42.7 million after ten days. For those keeping track, that's about $12 million less than Prince Caspian earned on opening weekend. Fox is certainly going to have to rely on international grosses to save this one, but with family/church appeal, the fantasy film may push $90-100 million by the end of its run.

The Fighter punched up a fourth place finish with $12.2 million. After one very buzzy week in limited release, the Mark Wahlberg/Christian Bale/Amy Adams Oscar-bait launched into a very wide release in 2,513 theaters, and the gamble paid off for Paramount. The bullish move certainly diluted the pictures per theater average to $4,874, but that's alright—the resulting word-of-mouth will help The Fighter tremendously. Plus, this wasn't the kind of movie that had to be platformed gradually, like the complex Black Swan. The Fighter is an accessible boxing drama with an A-list cast, and audiences weren't afraid to step into the theater to see it.

In fifth place was the fizzling Angelina Jolie/Johnny Depp spy flick, The Tourist, which fell 47$ to $8.7 million. Not too much to say about this one, other than the fact that its $30.8 million gross is still pretty disappointing. Things are much nicer for Tangled, which was right behind in sixth place with $8.7 million as well. The Rapunzel film has brought in a very solid $127.8 million, but considering this opened with $68 million four weeks ago, I thought it would be further along by now. Is Tangled a frontloaded fangirl flick? Are all princess movies fangirl flicks? Not sure. All I know is that $200 million isn't going to happen for this one.

Ballet-themed psycho-thriller Black Swan landed its expansion this week successfully. Fox Searchlight is sticking to its typical awards season script and platforming the edgy film slowly, so nervous audiences can warm up to it. Playing in 959 theaters, Black Swan pulled in $8.3 million for a still-great $8,655 per theater average. With $15.7 million in the till so far, I'd look for further expansions in the coming weeks.

But now things get depressing—and, frankly, a little confusing. How Do You Know absolutely bombed in eighth place with a terrible $7.6 million. Despite starring reliable leads like Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, and Reese Witherspoon, audiences simply weren't interested in this romantic comedy, which looked like the It's Complicated of this year a few weeks ago. It's tough to say what went wrong here. Perhaps the promotional push didn't give a clear enough sense of the story, as audiences tend to prefer being telegraphed a happy ending in this kind of story. How Do You Know's ads made it look like Witherspoon was genuinely stuck between Rudd and Wilson. Perhaps Witherspoon isn't a box office draw anymore. Her last major film was Four Christmases in 2008. Or perhaps it's not an answerable question. Perhaps, like The Tourist, How Do You Know was just a victim of an unexplainable lack of hype. For whatever reason, the media and the public didn't latch onto this story, and disinterest killed it. I don't think legs can save How Do You Know, as Sony already spent $120 million just producing it. It's just a sad story all around.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Unstoppable, Burlesque, and Due Date rounded out the Top 12, but there's nothing out of the ordinary to report there. Check out the Top 12 below:

Top 12 Box Office for December 17-19, 2010
Rank Movie Studio Theaters Weekend Gross   Chg     AVG.   Total
TRON: Legacy Disney 3451 $43,600,000 $12,634 $43,600,000
Yogi Bear Warner Bros 3515 $16,705,000 $4,752 $16,705,000
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Fox 3555 $12,400,000 -48%$3,488 $42,763,575
The Fighter Paramount 2503 $12,200,000 3967%$4,874 $12,634,000
The Tourist Sony 2756 $8,700,000 -47%$3,157 $30,791,000
Tangled Disney 3201 $8,676,000 -39%$2,710 $127,819,000
Black Swan Fox Search 959 $8,300,000 151%$8,655 $15,708,274
How Do You Know Sony 2483 $7,600,000 $3,061 $7,600,000
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Warner Bros 2860 $4,845,000 -43%$1,694 $265,546,000
Unstoppable Fox 1874 $1,800,000 -51%$961 $77,342,608
Burlesque Sony 1510 $1,400,000 -56%$927 $35,500,000
Due Date Warner Bros 1157 $1,310,000 -49%$1,132 $97,375,000
All Numbers Provided By Exhibitor Relations Co.

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2010 crosses $10 billion at the box office

on Sunday, December 19, 2010   3 comments

Thanks mostly to blockbusters like Toy Story 3, Alice in Wonderland, and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, 2010's total domestic box office cume crossed the $10 billion mark this weekend. Headed into the three-day frame, the year's box office total sat at $9.93 billion, so the estimated $135 million earned this weekend easily pushed that total over $10 billion.

2009 is the only other year in which the box office has surpassed $10 billion, but don't go giving 2010 too much credit just yet—annual attendance is down by a hefty 3.4% from 2009, thanks to jacked up 3D prices which can help draw in more revenue, but can also keep many audiences away from the theater.
(I'm so ready for the 3D fad to die...)

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Friday Box Office: 'TRON: Legacy' not quite lightspeed at #1, while 'How Do You Know' outright bombs

on Saturday, December 18, 2010   8 comments

It was a mixed bag of box office results yesterday, as TRON: Legacy easily topped the chart. The general trend was underperformance, as TRON, Yogi Bear, and How Do You Know all came in slightly below expectations. Thankfully for these titles, the holidays are kind to pretty much all movies. With kids out of school and parents off of work, the next two weeks are pretty much thought of as constant weekends, and there is a lot of time for these films to redeem themselves in the future. But not all was grim! The Fighter and Black Swan both rode the wave of positive buzz to strong Friday grosses in their expanded runs. I'll break everything down a little bit more after the jump.

TRON: Legacy, the 28-years-later sequel from Disney, earned $18 million yesterday at the box office. With a budget estimated at/above $150 million, and a global marketing budget of $120 million, this isn't a great result. At all. That being said, it is slightly above the very lowered expectations that I, along with many other analysts, had. It could pull out a $50 million weekend, though I think $46 million is more likely, but the real rest will be how far TRON can ride in the coming weeks. If it can find solid word-of-mouth,it could become the hit Disney needs it to be. Otherwise, the studio just looks foolhardy for all the work they've put into promoting it.

Yogi Bear came in second place with $4.7 million, and I pity every person who actually spent money to watch this dreck. That Friday figure is rather low, but family films have strong Saturday and Sunday grosses, and I'd expect a 3.7 weekend multiplier and a $17 million gross. After that, the holidays should carry this to a gross in the $75 million range, but honestly, $100 million wouldn't surprise me. Yeesh.

The Fighter, now in wide release, grossed a solid $3.8 million yesterday, good for third place. The Christian Bale/Mark Wahlberg picture has gotten major awards attention, and the positive buzz, along with a solid multiplier thanks to the review-reading older folks, should lift it to a $12 million weekend and many more strong weekends after that.

Last weekend's number one picture, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader pulled in $3.7 million on Friday. Though still massively underperforming, this is a better hold than many expected, and a $14 million weekend could result. I do think that Narnia will benefit mre than any other film in this family-focused time of the year, but will it break $100 million? Most voters seem to think so right now, but I'm not convinced yet. Vote in the poll on the sidebar.

And then there is the the sad case of How Do You Know, which earned $2.9 million on Friday and immediately proved itself a disaster for Sony. How do I know? Because it cost the studio $120 million to produce it—and it's just a romantic comedy! I understand that Sony thought they had a sure thing with these leads—so did I, a few weeks ago—but buzz just never built effectively, and it was foolish to spend so much money in the first place. Perhaps Reese Witherspoon's cinematic absence over the past few years hurt the film's appeal? I'm not sure. All I'm sure of is that an $8.8 million weekend gross will have Sony execs crying on Monday.

Black Swan pulled in $2.7 million on Friday, and it is probably headed for a $9 million gross. The psychosexual ballet thriller has been clicking with audiences at every level of it's expansion, and with terrific word-of-mouth and continually strong per theater averages, it's got a lot of flight left in it. Check out the full top ten below:

Friday Estimates for December 17, 2010
RankMovie Friday Gross Estimated Weekend
1TRON: Legacy $18 million $46 million
2Yogi Bear $4.7 million $17 million
3The Fighter $3.8 million $12 million
4The Chronicles of Narnia: The
Voyage of the Dawn Treader
$3.7 million $14 million
5How Do You Know $2.9 million $8.8 million
6Black Swan $2.7 million $9 million
7The Tourist $2.6 million $8 million
8Tangled $2.5 million $10 million
9Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Part I
$1.5 million $5.8 million
10Unstoppable $0.7 million $2 million

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'TRON: Legacy' earns $3.6M at midnight

on Friday, December 17, 2010   3 comments

According to Deadline, TRON: Legacy earned a relatively strong $3.6 million at midnight showings last night. That's a pretty strong number, and puts the film on target for a $40-50 million debut. For reference, here are some other recent midnight openings at for non-sequels at the box office:
  • Inception – $3M ($62M opening weekend)
  • The Last Airbender – $3M ($40M opening weekend)
  • X-Men Orgins: Wolverine – $5M ($85M opening weekend)
Keep in mind that TRON has massive fanboy appeal, and its target audience is likely to excitedly rush out to the theater. That's why, even though this opened better than Inception at midnight, I don't think it will eclipse Inception's opening weekend. TRON: Legacy has the geekier-fanboy appeal. I can't wait to see how this weekend plays out.

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Weekend Preview: 'TRON: Legacy' should top 'How Do You Know' and 'Yogi Bear,' and 'The Fighter' may come out swinging

on Friday, December 17, 2010   0 comments

It's going to be a crowded weekend at the movies! TRON: Legacy, Yogi Bear, and How Do You Know are all entering theaters, while Black Swan and The Fighter are both undergoing major expansions. Add in holdovers like Tangled and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and it should lead to a weekend with a lot of depth at the box office, as a lot of films will finish in the $8-14 million range, though TRON will top the chart easily. Let's quickly break down what might happen over the next three days at the box office:

TRON: Legacy
The Disney special-effects film has been advertised for a full two years, and I think that may have actually hurt it a bit at the box office. Baiting the fanboys builds online buzz, but it can also lead to ridiculously high expectations and over-saturation with general audiences. Disney has a lot of money wrapped up in this one, but tracking has been disappointing. I'm expecting a $39 million opening, and it will need Avatar-style legs (that special effects film opened on this weekend last year) to be considered a success. That may be difficult with middling reviews, but the technical 3D spectacle-factor will certainly help its

Yogi Bear
Ugh. This is even worse that Alvin and the Chipmunks. I just don't even want to talk about the fact that it has a great shot at breaking $20 million this weekend and enduring throughout the next few months. Still, it's not my job to decide what America should and shouldn't like. I'll just be depressed about my country's taste level instead.

How Do You Know
I thought this movie was an absolutely sure thing when I first saw the ads. The cast, which includes Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, and Jack Nicholson, is one of the best rom-com ensembles I've seen in a long time, but there's been surprisingly little buzz around the film.  I'll give it a sad $13 million this weekend, but I'm expecting very solid legs over the holidays.

The Fighter
After a very buzzy, very successful limited run, this is punching its way into 2,513 theaters. With Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg starring, males should flock to the theaters in droves. All the awards attention will help the film as well. Expect a strong $12 million weekend, and then a lot more on the way.

Black Swan
Expanding into 959 theaters, Black Swan should continue its graceful box office run. Considering it earned $3.3 million in just 90 theaters last weekend, good for an amazing $36,726 per theater average, I'm expecting big things from the Oscar bait this weekend. Look for a terrific $9 million, but perhaps way more.

Box Office Predictions for December 17-19, 2010
RankMovie Theaters Predicted Gross
1TRON: Legacy 3,451 $39 million
2Yogi Bear 3,515 $21 million
3The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 3,555 $14 million
4How Do You Know 2,483 $13.5 million
5The Fighter 2,503 $12 million
6Tangled 3,201 $9.5 million
7Black Swan 959 $9 million
8The Tourist 2,756 $8.7 million
9Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I 2,860 $5 million
10Unstoppable 1,874 $2 million

What do you think, junkies? Leave your thoughts and predictions in the comments!

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International Box Office: Will overseas grosses save the sinking 'Dawn Treader'?

on Thursday, December 16, 2010   2 comments

At this point, we all know that The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader had a rough opening in America, earning just $24 million against a huge $155M production budget and tons of promotion from new franchise-owner Fox. There's no way of getting around it—that's pretty awful. Luckily, it looks like international grosses may save the latest Narnia from being a complete disaster. This week, it earned a solid $65.8M for an early international total of $79.8M and a worldwide gross of $112.3M. Granted, this has a long way to go if it's ever to match Prince Caspian's $419M worldwide total, and it has no chance of matching The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe's $745M gross. We'll have to wait and see how far the Dawn Treader can sail, but at this point, a $300-350M gross seems likely. I'm not sure if that's enough to justify another sequel, but with all the promotion costs involved, I wouldn't bet on it. What do you all think? Sound off in the comments and vote in the poll on the sidebar!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came in second place with a $30.9M take, which pushed the wizard flick past the $500M mark easily. Disney's Tangled came in third, with another solid $21M. It stands just a few days shy of $200M worldwide, and it's currently performing much better than Megamind, which has disappointed overseas with just $67.6M after six weeks. Check out the whole top ten after the jump.

Weekly International Box Office (in millions)
    Film Weekly Gross  Int'l Total  Worldwide
1 The Chronicles of Narnia:
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
$65.8 $79.8  $112.3
2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 $30.9 $521.9  $781.8
3 Tangled $21  $76.5 $194.6
4 Megamind $11.9  $67.6  $208.4
5 The Tourist $7.4  $7.4  $28.2
6 Space Battleship Yamato (Japan) $4.7  $20.9  $20.9
7 Due Date $4.4  $89.8  $185.6
8 Av Mevsivi (Turkey) $2.4  $6.6  $6.6
9 Jackass 3D $2.2  $51.4  $168.3
10 Saw 3D $2.2  $76.8  $122.5

[Read more at BoxOfficeMojo]

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'Knight and Day' tops a bad year for Fox

on Thursday, December 16, 2010   4 comments

If you need proof that Fox really struggled at the domestic box office this year, look no further: Knight and Day, the disappointing $76.4M Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz picture, was the studio's most successful release of the year at the worldwide box office. Though Date Night ended up performing pretty well domestically with a $98 million gross, too many other Fox productions finished with mediocre grosses—Tooth Fairy with $60 million , Diary of a Wimpy Kid with $64 million. On top of that, the studio simply spent far too much money producing their films. Unstoppable's $75 million gross would be okay if it didn't carry a $95M budget, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief cost the same amount but only earned $88 million. The disappointing runs for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader didn't help things, either. It should be said, that Fox's holdovers from 2009 gave the studio a very necessary boost. Avatar pulled in $400 million, and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel earned $100 million in 2010, though both were released in December last year.  Here's wishing Fox a happier 2011!

[via Deadline]

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2010's most-tweeted movies: How does their buzz compare to their box office?

on Thursday, December 16, 2010   0 comments

Twitter recently released it's top trends of 2010, a list of the most-tweeted items on the popular social-networking site. In the movie category, Inception topped the list, followed by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I. The most interesting item on the list is Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which came in third place. Clearly, the movie geek/fanboy audience that loved the film is also a very tech-savvy, Twitter-using one, as the film earned a disappointing $31.5 million in theaters, yet still managed to generate so much online buzz. Who else is tweeting? Apparently kids, as Despicable Me, The Karate Kid, and The Last Airbender all made the list. I'm also sensing a sort of boy-skewed perspective based on these Twitter results. Very interesting stuff. After the jump, check out the full list, as well as the box office grosses for each of the films. Were you tweeting about movies this year?

Top 10 Most Tweeted Movies in 2010
Rank MovieActual Gross
1Inception$292.5 million
2Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I$259.2 million
3Scott Pilgrim vs. the World$31.5 million
4Despicable Me$250.3 million
5The Karate Kid$176.6 million
6The Last Airbender$131.6 million
7The Twilight Saga: Eclipse$300.5 million
8The Expendables$103.1 million
9The Chronicles of Narnia$27.4 million
10Paranormal Activity 2$84.3 million

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Finals are finally done...

on Monday, December 13, 2010   1 comments

Wow, this has been a miserable few days.

Yeah, that was me in the library at about 4:00 in the morning last night feeling depressed about my life.

Well, I'm finally done with all the tests and my research paper (15 pages about disaster movies at the box office through history), and I'll get back to blogging tomorrow. For now, just let me zzzzzzzz

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Friday Box Office: 'The Tourist' flops, and 'Narnia' isn't doing that much better...

on Saturday, December 11, 2010   3 comments

Deadline has early Friday numbers posted. I don't have time to say anything except, "OUCH!" Disappointing numbers for both openers:

1. Chronicles Of Narnia/Voyage Of Dawn Teader 3D (Fox) NEW [3,555 Theaters]
Estimated Friday $8M, Estimated Weekend $28M
2. The Tourist (GK Films/Sony) NEW [2,756 Theaters]
Estimated Friday $6.2M, Estimated Weekend $18.5M
3. Tangled (Disney) Week 3 [3,565 Theaters]
Estimated Friday $3.2M, Estimated Weekend $13.2M
4. Harry Potter/Deathly Hallows, Pt 1 (Warner Bros) Week 4 [3,577 Theaters]
Estimated Friday $2.2M, Estimated Weekend $7.7M
5. Unstoppable (Fox) Week 5 [2,967 Theaters]
Estimated Friday $1M, Estimated Weekend $3.2M

What do you think about these Friday numbers?

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Hot Trailer: 'The Rite' looks terrifying!

on Friday, December 10, 2010   2 comments

Right now, I'm supposed to be studying, so naturally, I'm watching movie trailers—like the one for The Rite, which looks like the scariest movie to come along in a quite a while. Yikes... I'm creeped out.

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About this weekend...

on Friday, December 10, 2010   0 comments

If only I could travel to Narnia, study for a few days, and write my 15 page research paper—then, I could pop out of the wardrobe and have time to do cool things like blog! Basically, I'm swamped until Monday, when my break will start, and I won't be blogging. SORRY! I at least have predictions!

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – $41M

The Tourist – $18M

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DVD Sales: Black Friday puts 'Toy Story 3' back on top, 'Expendables' blasts off!

on Wednesday, December 08, 2010   0 comments

This week's DVD Sales chart (compiled by The-Numbers, as always) includes the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, which officially kicked off the holiday shopping season. Not surprisingly, a number of older high-profile releases soared back up the chart, thanks to major discounts at retailers across the country. Toy Story 3 was the strongest of the bunch, selling about 1.3 million copies in its fourth week of release for a strong total of 6.8 million units sold. That makes the Pixar film the third best-selling DVD of the year, just behind Avatar and The Hangover. If Toy Story 3's strong sales continue for the next few weeks, it could be pushing the 10 million mark by year's end.

I don't have time for too much analysis (It's finals week here at school), but you can check out the full chart, which features the debuts of The Expendables (great sales!) and Eat Pray Love (not such great sales...) below:

DVD Sales for Week Ending November 28, 2010
RankTitleUnits this Week% ChangeTotal UnitsSales this WeekTotal SalesWeeks in Release
1 Toy Story 3 1,272,745 78.5% 6,779,263 $21,188,404 $124,595,052 4
2 The Expendables 1,214,198 -.-% 1,214,198 $20,829,931 $20,829,931 1
3 The Search for Santa Paws 1,066,814 -.-% 1,066,814 $18,125,170 $18,125,170 1
4 The Blind Side 856,175 648.8% 6,532,509 $3,904,158 $94,212,266 36
5 Eat Pray Love 744,301 -.-% 744,301 $12,645,674 $12,645,674 1
6 The Hangover 647,572 -.-% 10,062,135 $3,315,569 $172,518,134 50
7 Marley and Me 480,588 -.-% 4,363,418 $3,950,433 $69,165,595 87
8 Grown Ups 429,551 9.0% 1,595,698 $5,584,163 $28,895,442 3
9 Elf 409,951 -.-% - $3,714,156 - 315
10 Disney's A Christmas Carol 370,241 -62.6% 1,359,385 $6,608,802 $23,414,358 2
11 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 369,478 166.4% 8,294,373 $3,499,843 $110,166,703 51
12 Beauty and the Beast 359,296 -.-% - $6,599,082 - 425
13 The Dark Knight 354,873 -.-% 14,927,825 $1,827,596 $236,258,080 103
14 Happy Feet 339,314 -.-% 13,118,352 $2,900,388 $206,200,552 192
15 It's Complicated 335,114 -.-% 2,166,713 $2,295,531 $33,005,378 31
16 Casino Royale 329,997 -.-% 5,395,674 $1,181,389 $80,869,002 194
17 The Last Airbender 329,004 -56.2% 1,079,863 $5,589,778 $18,346,872 2
18 Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby 320,732 -.-% 5,610,464 $1,610,075 $86,463,302 207
19 Sex and the City 2 312,077 462.4% 1,411,211 $3,320,499 $21,742,858 5
20 Mamma Mia! 307,159 -.-% 6,722,180 $2,896,509 $134,531,525 102
21 Dear John 304,440 -.-% 1,433,962 $2,852,603 $22,857,286 27
22 Diary of a Wimpy Kid 295,297 381.4% 1,921,334 $2,970,688 $31,042,829 17
23 Avatar 290,313 -55.2% 9,335,378 $6,317,211 $167,965,585 32
24 How to Train Your Dragon 276,567 68.5% 4,609,248 $3,454,322 $93,822,836 7
25 The Polar Express 264,985 250.2% - $2,415,391 - 257
26 Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale 261,593 337.9% 1,078,529 $2,613,314 $13,674,376 11
27 Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue 217,603 332.2% 2,236,755 $3,171,999 $40,475,056 10
28 Get Him to the Greek 203,835 -.-% 1,141,425 $2,224,044 $19,536,645 9
29 My Sister's Keeper 200,243 -.-% 1,552,173 $798,970 $22,503,368 54
30 Letters to Juliet 200,196 -.-% 1,213,720 $2,986,924 $20,202,198 11

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No List Wednesday today...

on Wednesday, December 08, 2010   0 comments

Blame my finals (which I will be all done with on Monday)

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MTC Tracking: 'Narnia' is looking solid, while 'The Tourist' is in big trouble

on Tuesday, December 07, 2010   2 comments

Apparently, I Love You, Phillip Morris isn't getting a wide release until January now, which leaves The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Tourist as the week's only wide releases. Check out how they are tracking below.

Narnia: $40M
Not a huge figure, to be clear, but the holidays should be very kind to this family-friendly release. Fox is hoping to strike gold with the Christian audience over the course of the next few weeks

Tourist: $18M
The amateur-looking picture seems entirely unremarkable, and the sad truth for Spyglass is that no one seems to be excited about this flick.

[via notfabio]
MTC Tracking stands for "Major Theater Chain" tracking. These numbers are taken from box office tracking reports that are sent out to theater owners and posted anonymously on HSX.

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November hits a 15-year low in attendance: What's keeping you out of the theater?

on Monday, December 06, 2010   2 comments

Box Office Mojo has posted a fascinating article about attendance which reports that November 2010 was the least-attended November in 15 years with approximately 106 million tickets sold. The article also states: "November was the fourth month in a row of 2010 that was down in attendance compared to 2009. As a whole, 2010's gross was still running ahead of 2009 through Nov. 30, $9.68 billion to $9.53 billion, but 2010's the least-attended year since 1997 thus far."

Yikes! What's to blame for this decline in attendance? Well, there's no way to be sure, but I would guess it's the massive hike in ticket prices—partially from ticket inflation, but mostly from crazy-high 3D prices. Still, others would argue that there hasn't been a big "event film" this Fall to get people into the theaters. Why do you think people are avoiding the movies? Vote in the poll below:

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New This Week: 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,' 'The Tourist,' and 'I Love You, Phillip Morris'

on Monday, December 06, 2010   2 comments

Two new films are hitting theaters this Friday, while one is (potentially) expanding into a wide release. After this weekend's sad box office results, they can't some soon enough. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has the best shot at success, while The Tourist is seeming less like a hit every day. I Love You, Phillip Morris is a toss-up, but I wouldn't bet on it breaking out. You can check out a preview of each film below. 

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Fox) – 3,500 theaters – Reviews
Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their cousin Eustace, are swallowed into a painting and transported back to Narnia and the magnificent ship The Dawn Treader. They join King Caspian and a warrior mouse named Reepicheep for a mission which holds the fate of Narnia itself. The courageous voyagers overcome their own greatest temptations, as they travel to mysterious islands; have fateful confrontations with magical creatures and sinister enemies; and reunite with their friend and protector, the "Great Lion" Aslan.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe was a worldwide smash in 2005, grossing $745 million. Disney assumed they had birthed a major franchise, and got lazy with Prince Caspian. With a poorer script, less awareness, weak promotion, and a huge budget, the sequel floundered at the box office ($419M), and Disney promptly dropped the franchise. Luckily, Fox picked it back up, and it seems as if they're going for a return-to-form with Voyage of the Dawn Treader. They've been promoting the film to churchgoing audiences and promising a "Return to Hope" in the ads. I think this has a good shot at outperforming Caspian, but I doubt it can reach as high as the first film. Still, if this breaks out, it could become the event film of the holidays.

The Tourist (Sony/Columbia) – 2,600 theaters – Reviews
During an impromptu trip to Europe to mend a broken heart, Frank unexpectedly finds himself in a flirtatious encounter with Elise , an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path. Against the breathtaking backdrop of Paris and Venice, their whirlwind romance quickly evolves as they find themselves unwittingly thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse.
Considering the two leads of this movie (Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp) are pretty much as A-list as you can get, this sure does look like a rather bland film. The trailer is remarkably bland, and it has some of the most derivative music I've ever heard. Tracking isn't particularly strong, and I wouldn't be surprised if this under performs much like Knight and Day did last summer.

I Love You, Phillip Morris (Roadside Attractions) – Wide Expansion – Reviews
Steven Russell leads a seemingly average life -- an organ player in the local church, happily married to Debbie, and a member of the local police force. That is until he has a severe car accident that leads him to the ultimate epiphany: he's gay and he's going to live life to the fullest --even if he has to break the law to do it. Taking on an extravagant lifestyle, Steven turns to cons and fraud to make ends meet and is eventually sent to the State Penitentiary where he meets the love of his life, a sensitive, soft-spoken man named Phillip Morris. His devotion to freeing Phillip from jail and building the perfect life together prompts him to attempt (and often succeed at) one impossible con after another.
This movie has had quite a journey to the theater. Endless delays, controversy, red-band trailers, and lots of press about the gay storyline don't seem to be mounting into much tangible excitement. It debuted in six theaters last weekend, earning a pretty good $18,333 at each, but I'm not sure I believe that Roadside is going to give this a wide release just yet. There just isn't enough excitement. We'll have to wait and see as the week goes on.

What's your top choice to see this weekend?

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Weekend Fix: 'Tangled' drops by a bit more than a hair, while limited releases shine

on Sunday, December 05, 2010   12 comments

The post-Thanksgiving frame at the box office performed pretty much as expected this weekend: that is, poorly. With no high-profile releases in sight (Sorry The Warrior's Way—you don't cut it), holdovers slipped into their proverbial turkey-comas and saw some characteristically depressing numbers. Tangled was the best of the sorry bunch, sliding into first place despite a large 56% drop. Don't worry too much, though. This is just the calm before the holiday box office storm that will arrive later in December. Overall, the Top 12 releases grossed an estimated $81.3 million, down 52% from last weekend's inflated grosses and down 11% from the same weekend last year.

Tangled fell a bit harder than expected in its second weekend, down a large 56% to $21.5M. The 3D fairy tale earned a per theater average of $5,967 and its total now stands at $96.5M after 12 days. Most were expecting it to break the $100M plateau this frame, but it's second weekend decline is strange considering it's strong word-of-mouth and family appeal. Initially, I had typed out this line about Tangled: "Rapunzel let down her hair this weekend, but I wonder if she might have let down the suits at Disney just a bit as well" But I don't really think that's the case. Tangled's internal weekend multiplier (That's the weekend gross divided by the Friday gross) was a very high 4.2, which is a sign of strong legs and enduring family interest, and as we all know, over the holiday season, family films thrive. Thus, I'm still expecting Tangled to get a big boost over the next few weeks and keep bringing in money for Disney.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 wound up in second place after a 66% drop to $16.7M. The Warner Bros blockbuster has earned $244.2M after three weekends, and with its gargantuan theater count of 4,125 theaters and that extra special secret ingredient of holiday success—Can you guess it? FAMILY APPEAL!—Deathly Hallows should pass Prisoner of Azkaban ($249M) and Chamber of Secrets ($261M) very soon as kids start to get out of school. Still, over at BoxOfficeMojo, Brandon Gray notes that this is probably the least-attended Harry Potter film at this point in its run.

And then the grosses get much less exciting. Burlesque fell a surprisingly small 49% to $6.1M for the weekend, and the campy dance flick has now grossed $27M. Still, it's weak $2,009 per theater average will result in a rapid drop of locations in the coming weeks. Burlesque should top out around $38-40M, which is better than the Thanksgiving-released musical Rent ($29M) did in 2005. Unstoppable also pulled in $6.1M this weekend, boosting the action movie's total to $68.9M. Normally, I'd say that that's great, but normally, studios don't shell out $95M on generic-looking action movies.

Love and Other Drugs also held surprisingly well, falling just 41% to $5.7M. Perhaps all Anne Hathaway's press about being named a co-host of this year's Oscars helped the film? I don't know. What I do know is that Love and Other Drugs' $22.6M total still ain't all that great. Speaking of things that aren't great, martial-arts/western film The Warrior's Way debuted this weekend in ninth place with $3.1M. Judging by this box office result, you don't care, and I know I sure don't care, so let's just move on.

The real story this weekend was the films in limited release. As awards season heats up, a number of critically acclaimed films are starting their box office runs, and just so you know, box office success absolutely matters when it comes to winning awards. If people see these movies, they make money. If they make money, they get expansions. If they get expansions, more people see them. If more people see them, they make more money... The cycle goes on and on, generating a huge amount of buzz about particular films, which then excites awards voters, who have to be persuaded to actually watch these movies, themselves.

127 Hours had the highest ranking of the bunch, moving into 12th place with a $1.6M gross and a $6.6M total. As I mentioned before, all James Franco's press about his casting as an Oscar host probably helped the film just as much as its expansion. I will say, however, that 127 Hours' $3,695 per theater average doesn't merit much further expansion unless it can start holding very well in future weeks. Other limited releases included:

––Fair Game, the Sean Penn/Naomi Watts picture, which pulled in another $1M, lifting its total to $7.4M.
––I Love You, Phillip Morris, the Jim Carrey/Ewan McGregor romantic comedy, which earned $110,000 out of six theaters. Its $18,333 average is strong, but it had a tiny theater count and lots of buzz, so it's not quite indicative of a mainstream hit.
––The King's Speech was also playing in six theaters, but it brought in a much stronger $325,874—and that's in its second weekend. The Colin Firth showcase earned a terrific $54,312 average, and expansions are inevitable.

But Black Swan stood high above the others. The psychological drama opened in 18 theaters to an unbelievable $1.4M, giving the ballet-themed film a ridiculous $77,459 at each location. Expect some major expansions in the next few weeks. Check out the full Top 12 below:

Top 12 Box Office for December 3-5, 2010
Rank Movie Studio Theaters Weekend Gross   Chg     AVG.   Total
Tangled Disney 3603 $21,500,000 -56%$5,967 $96,461,000
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Warner Bros 4125 $16,735,000 -66%$4,057 $244,236,000
Burlesque ScreenGems 3037 $6,100,000 -49%$2,009 $26,957,000
Unstoppable Fox 3152 $6,100,000 -47%$1,935 $68,892,670
Love and Other Drugs Fox 2458 $5,700,000 -41%$2,319 $22,622,077
Megamind Paramoung 3173 $5,030,000 -60%$1,585 $136,704,000
Due Date Warner Bros 2450 $4,215,000 -41%$1,720 $90,964,000
Faster CBS Films 2470 $3,828,900 -55%$1,550 $18,112,030
The Warrior's Way Relativity 1622 $3,051,000 $1,881 $3,051,000
The Next Three Days Lionsgate 2236 $2,650,000 -43%$1,185 $18,381,009
Morning Glory Paramount 2263 $1,780,000 -54%$787 $29,110,000
127 Hours Fox Search. 433 $1,600,000 -6%$3,695 $6,592,624
All Numbers Provided By Exhibitor Relations Co.

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