This just in: a great interview with Ryuichi Sakamoto, read it here
With this weekend, that Tangled and Potter went neck and neck for the three day is the biggest positive story (the grosses of all the other new pictures is the biggest negative). Tangled is the latest from the mouse house’s struggling animation department, and their early marketing suggested that they didn’t know what they were doing, that the film was retooled, and that it had all the warning signs of a stinker. But I look at these weekend numbers, and I see a picture that was reasonably well received by the viewing public, or if nothing else a film in a perfect window of a release date. Either/or. But Tangled didn’t go into this weekend looking at taking down Harry Potter 7.1, which it almost did, so there’s got to be some accounting that it worked. Tangled did nearly $50 Million for the weekend, but it’s almost at a $70 total at this point, so $200 Million is not out of the question. It’s all about legs. Next weekend is snoresville in terms of new titles, so it’s got a second weekend to do what it wants, and odds are it’ll be number one seven days from now.
Potter 7.1 didn’t hold that well, but when you open as strongly as it did, you’re going to have fall off. You would think that a holiday weekend would provide a slightly better buffer (though – interestingly enough – it might have). As such, it’s hard to say how front loaded this title was. Part 1 is at $220 domestically, and it’s doing as much business internationally, so it’s almost at half a billion worldwide, and will be over that next weekend. Around $300 domestic is where these end up, and 7.1 is no different. It’s possible it could get to a little more, but I would bet on a little less because post-holiday it’s going to drop hard (less than $20 Million next weekend likely). But by then the picture will be over the lowest grossing Potter.
12/10’s Narnia launch should be the bigger fall off, perhaps sending Potter out of the top five, but the lowest it goes is $270’s domestic. Megamind is still out, and the holiday weekend kept it buoyant. It’s at $130, it should be able to get around $150, but I don’t see it limping long after this weekend.
Burlesque was one of those pictures that should have been done on a better budget. Pay your money to your stars, but know the movie you’re making. How this picture cost over $55 Million is the film’s undoing. Maybe soundtrack sales will get it into the black, unknown. But we could see the film fall under $40 Million in total. At least it outperformed Love and Other Drugs and Faster, which were DOA. Drugs might hold slightly better, but it’s a non-starter. Perhaps this will end the reign of Edward Zwick; that’d be the good news. But it also suggests that a film sold on nudity isn’t easy to launch on a family holiday, which would seem self evident. Then also, it suggests that doing a film that is explicitly sexual is a no go career wise. Which is a lesson that shouldn’t be learned. This looks like it could get to $30 on a good day, and less if it really dies. I guess it was just too fucked up to be a good date movie, too commercial to be a good Oscar picture, and with too many talents not to come out in the fall season, but not strong enough to come out around Christmas. As the soundtrack goes: “wha-wha.”
Faster is also zzzzz. Perhaps the makers underestimated the appeal of slow justice, which is also justice. The Rock hasn’t been a great launcher of films, and this continues his misfire pile. Too bad. It couldn’t top The Train That Wouldn’t Stop, which managed a minor drop, and is (at least) a sure shot to outperform Tony Scott’s last train movie The Taking of the Pelham 1 2 3. Still, it cost too much. Where Faster – if the reported $24 Million budget is on point – might at least get to a $30-$40 end game. Faster can pick up word of mouth, but it always helps to open.
Due Date is on the limp to $100, and I would bet it gets there. The Next Three Days may yet hang out in the top ten for one more weekend, but it’s not going to do better than $20 Million all in, and Morning Glory will be lucky when it crosses over $30 Million.
Out of the ten, The King’s Speech is doing great limited release business, and 127 Hours is doing solid numbers, but that becomes all about the expansion, and the mushrooming of interest. Danny Boyle’s too close to Slumdog to take it home again for a non-zeitgeist film, but James Franco is in a good place to get an Oscar nomination, and in this case, the nomination is the win.