Friday, June 11, 2010

Prediction of the Week: The Karate Kid will make over $160m total

After a depressing start to the summer where most films underperformed, it's time to make a couple of positive predictions, the first one being on The Karate Kid. I believe it will not only have a strong opening, but also go on to achieve excellent legs and become the first breakout success of the summer. Initially I was thinking more along the line of $35m start and $150m finish; however, as it buzz continued to grow leading up to today, an opening north of $40m has become not just possible, but likely. That makes a $180m total within reach because I firmly believe in its endurance. For the prediction purpose, I'll put my line at $160m.

There are certainly obstacles to the film's long term prospect. One is the worry on the quality of the film since the reviews from critics have not been super strong: it's currently sitting at 66% with a 6.2 average on Rottentomatoes (and was below 60% until late Thursday) and a score of 60 on Metacritic. However, as The Blind Side (67%/6.1 RT, 53 MC) and The Pursuit of Happyness (66/6.4 RT, 64 MC) demonstrated, uplifting movies tend to score much better with general public than the more jaded and cynical critics. In fact, I see some striking similarities between The Karate Kid and The Blind Side. By all account, this is a crowd pleaser and will have splendid word-of-mouth. I expect a CinemaScore of A for it.

The more legitimate concern is its competition, as it has to face Toy Story 3 the next weekend and The Last Airbender the week after, but having a PG rating will help its cause. Both those films will earn the majority of their gross in 3D, so The Karate Kid should be able to keep its screens longer. It could also benefit from all the soldouts the other two, especially Toy Story 3, will have. In the end, the word-of-mouth will carry it through, and being right in the heart of summer provides stronger midweek dailies and means it doesn't need to have otherworldly weekend drops to achieve a 4.0+ multiplier. Look for the one-two punch of it and Toy Story 3 to help right the summer ship in a big way.


  1. As a future investor in the Cantor Exchange, I play the HSX exchange pretty seriously until we can invest in movie futures for real cash. I’ve been crowing about KARATE KID’s potential for months now. Nikki Finke reports a $19 mil Friday and a $52 mil weekend for TKK. But even a $52 mil open is beyond my wildest dreams of my predicted $45 mil open. Having an average stock position of long at $101, my investment fund JCM Cinema Capital predicted a $121.5 million 24 day gross target. If that $52 holds, guess we should aim a little higher (i.e. $140.4 target).

    BTW, everyone should relax on THE A-TEAM. Although I saw THE KARATE KID first and was quite satisfied (@@@ (3 REELS), although the first one is better mostly because it's shorter and has a better tourney fight montage song (really, what can top "You're the Best"??)), THE A-TEAM is @@@@ (4 REEL) and made my day. It’s a cult classic in the making and damn near the perfect 21st century big bang action movie. For continuous, nonstop, gratuitous violence, adrenaline, humor, and excitement, THE A-TEAM brought it. I was very, very surprised. “Overkill is underrated.” – Col. Hannibal Smith. I wholeheartedly agree - and pity the fool.

  2. JCM Cinema Capital - you are aware that Cantor Exchange hit regulatory difficulties abuot 2 months ago and is now unlikely to ever launch?