Monday, May 31, 2010

The most disappointing opening of this May: Sex and the City 2

As I pointed out in my prediction article, although Iron Man 2 and Shrek 4 underperformed even the low-end of the expectations, the first three weekends of May still grossed roughly 5% higher than the same period last year, meaning the number of admissions had been similar between the two since 3D hasn't been a big portion of the box office in May. Instead, this holiday frame represents the first terrible performer of the summer, as it is on track to be the worst Memorial weekend gross wise since 2001 and have the smallest admissions since 1994, a whopping 16 years ago.

Between the two new openers, many did see the failure of Prince of Persia coming once realizing Disney's marketing campaign wasn't working, and the early returns from Europe echoed its trouble. By last Sunday, I personally was convinced it would not open above $40m for the 4 day period. However, few had predicted Sex and the City 2 would see its 5-day total to come 10% short of what the first film grossed in 3 days. We know the first film didn't expand the fanbase in any way, but it did not really alienate its demographics either, and women, especially older women, haven't had an event type of film since Valentine's Day. The advance sales were strong, the weekend numbers from Germany and other European countries in the end did not correlate with the weakness demonstrated in the U.S. So in a sense, I would argue Sex and the City 2 has had the most disappointing domestic opening of any summer films so far, even though it will end up more profitable than Prince of Persia and Robin Hood. It is one film expected to not be affected by what happened elsewhere and may even pick up the slack this weekend. Instead, it could see 7 consecutive days of decline to start its run and will certainly fall short of $100m total. Unlike Shrek Forever After and Prince of Persia, the possibility of it experiencing better-than-expected legs is close to nil given the daily patterns so far, the nature of the film, and the negative reviews it is receiving. In fact, it could finish below $90m if the midweek business turns out to be not as strong as last time either. That would represent a loss of more than 45% in admissions from the previous film, a figure possibly even worse than what Shrek Forever After will perform comparing to Shrek the Third after its fine recovery and low 3D/2D split.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there. Nice piece of writing.
    (just trying to post a comment, which they say is impossible on Blogger-blogs, when you're not a 'follower'. But as you can see, I found my wat around it. comment as Name and a fake/url, and it's possible. ;-)