Sunday, August 2, 2009

Weekend Analysis (Jul 31 - Aug 2): Funny People disappoints

1. Funny People - 23.4m (predicted: 31m)
One of the biggest negative surprises of the summer. Its Sunday is also greatly overprojected, and the final number should be around $22m instead. I thought an opening under $30m was possible, but definitely not something this low given the track record of both Sandler and Apatow. Universal gave it a good marketing push, with the trailer attached to a lot of movies, but it didn't stop their disappointing summer from continuing. The key problems appear to be many in retrospect: 1) It's a R-rated dramedy, and such films simply do not perform well regardless who is in the lead (maybe except for Will Smith); 2) the trailer gave almost everything away and wasn't funny enough for Sandler's regular fans or intriguing enough to attract more serious moviegoers; 3) it's 2.5 hours long. With a Cinemascore of B-, the long term prospect looks iffy as well. A $60m total may even be difficult to reach.

2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - 17.7m (predicted: 19.0m)
The Thursday drop of 16% blindsided me, as I was expecting 10% better. That being said, it is a very good weekend for HP6, as it pretty much mirrors Order of the Phoenix in daily now, putting it on pace for a $305m total.

3. G-Force - 17.1m (predicted: 20.6m)
Big Thursday drop and another weak IM resulted in an unimpressive hold of -46.2%. However, due to strong Monday-to-Wednesday numbers, it now only needs a 3.0 multiplier to reach $100m, comparing to the 3.16 the week before. Should pass the mark with some to spare.

4. The Ugly Truth - 13.0m (predicted: 14.5m)
It got hit hard by Funny People and the mediocre WOM, but ironically, with Funny People's own
soft opening and an even worse WOM, The Ugly Truth is very likely to win the race between the two in the end.

5. Aliens in the Attic - 7.8m (predicted: 8.0m)
No surprise here, except for perhaps the Fri-to-Sat change of -3.4%, rare for a non-Pixar summer animated film. Looking at a $25m total.

6. Orphan - 7.3m (predicted: 6.6m)
Who would've thought a R-rated horror film would have the best second weekend hold over an animated film and a romantic comedy? Strong midweek dailies translated to a strong weekend this time. The good WOM is spreading, and it's becoming a fun film to track for August. Could it reach $50m?

7. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - 5.3m (predicted: 5.5m)
Recovered from last week as expected. Could still make a run at $200m.

8. The Hangover - 5.0m (predicted: 4.6m)
We are just about to run out of superlatives, if we have not already, with this film. Funny People provided the most direct competition to date, and it barely budged. Still in over 2,000 theaters at its 9th week, still earning a healthy $2.5K PTA, and just passed Star Trek to become the 3rd biggest film of the year. The Matrix Reloaded has to be sweating now.

9. The Proposal - 4.8m (predicted: 4.7m)
Kind of a sibling of The Hangover, as it had its 4th straight weekend of sub-25% drop. And like its brother, it may just survive its biggest direct competition in Julie and Julia fine next week too.

10. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - 4.6m (predicted: 4.7m)
Needs a 3.6 multiplier from this weekend to reach $400m. On paper G.I. Joe should definitely hurt it next weekend, but the trick here is that both are from Paramount, and as we have seen from the past, films of the same studio tend to hold quite well when a new blockbuster is released, e.g. Star Trek dropped only 32.6% when Revenge of the Fallen opened. So I don't expect Transformers to deviate from the current pace, and it will hit the milestone eventually.

11. The Collector - 3.6m (predicted: 1.3m)
Well well well, it earned what I predicted for the weekend on Friday alone. Certainly didn't imagine this to happen, nor there appeared to be any indication of a $3m+ weekend. However, it was only a surprise because of the low expectation as well as the alarmingly weak frame. I would not overstate the degree of the surprise, considering its PTA was still below $3K. The next goal will be making to double-digit.

12. (500) Days of Summer - 2.8m (predicted: 2.4m)
$40m total? $45m? $50m? We should have a much better sense next weekend when it will attack a bunch of new markets. So far, so very good.

Rate the weekend: * out of *****; the weakest weekend of the summer by 15% and could end up being the weakest July frame in 7 years.
Rate my predictions: * out of *****; even worse than the previous week.