Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Prediction of the Week: Marmaduke will have a single digit opening

This represents the start of another weekly exercise I have thought of doing. Given the unpredictability of box office from week to week and the excitement people have toward the summer season in particular, I figure it would be fun to make one claim on an upcoming film each week that I personally feel strongly about the likelihood of happening. I hope to make it relatively bold and against the popular opinions at the time if possible. For example, if I had begun this exercise earlier, I would have gone with "Shrek Forever After will open below $90m" and "Prince of Persia will not make $40m on Memorial weekend" the last couple of weeks. This week's "winner" is Marmaduke, a film some are thinking a $20m+ opening could be possible, but the signs are in fact indicating the very opposite. I am predicting it will not even make $10m this weekend.

The first sign of weakness did not come from tracking this time. It's the Box Office Mojo poll numbers that gave me pause. It started out weak when the poll was first posted and has not recovered. Here is some comparison:

MovieOpening WeekendSometime in TheatersOn DVDOn TVNever# of UsersOpening
Marmaduke3.8%6.0%13.8%9.7%66.8%1,140?
Garfield 24.1%8.7%15.8%10.3%61.0%1,382$7.3m
Underdog4.5%8.3%20.7%11.8%54.6%1,058$11.6m
Furry Vengeance3.4%4.0%10.4%8.8%73.4%1,581$6.6m
Aliens in the Attic3.5%6.2%19.5%9.5%61.3%1,284$8.0m

The picture is not pretty, as Underdog had the best numbers of the bunch by far and could only muster a $11.6m start. In fact, $7-8m appears to be the logical range for the weekend if we go by the chart itself.

More weakness then showed up at Twitter watch, and I don't believe the film will have a ratio nearly as low as Diary of a Wimpy Kid got. The film is on track for around 1,600 total number of tweets from Monday to Thursday, and a ~600 ratio would put Friday at $2.5-2.8m, correlating with what BOM poll is suggesting.

Then the final nail on the coffin, one might say, came when Major Theater Chain released its tracking at $10m for Marmaduke, a gigantic 60% lower than what ReelSource has (mid-20s). Given the history, it now looks like the film may even have a better shot at sub-$2000m PTA than a double-digit opening.

3 comments:

  1. I've been thinking for a while now that it would disappoint. I'm predicting 6.8m if only due to the high theater count. This summer's Imagine That for sure.

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  2. I'm definitely agreeing with you, xiayun! I enjoy reading your blogs so much!

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  3. I love that you're writing about your radical prediction for the week and, as usual, I agree 100% on this one. I expect next week we can have a more optimistic outlook on the weekend with the arrival of "The Karate Kid." Hopefully!

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