Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Transformers 3: Another Shrek Forever After?

Just came back from watching Transformers 3 on XD 3D, and do want to get my opening week predictions on it out before any real numbers trickle in, so not much time to write detailed thoughts. However, I can't highly recommend enough on reading what Shawn wrote on the topic, as I happen to agree with many aspects of his outstanding analysis. My Shrek Forever After reference in the title may surprise some, as the two franchises have number of notable differences such as the genre and the fact that Shrek had an extra film in the middle and thus was not coming off its peak when Shrek 4 rolled around, but they also share some significant similarities, e.g. the mediocre word-of-mouth the previous film received, as well as the one area I would like to highlight: rhetoric from the pre-release chatters. On the week of Shrek 4's release, many refused to acknowledge the weak advance sales and Internet signs were reasons to worry about its potential performance, pointing out that the "same" scenario occurred for the previous two films. The infamous overreactions to Shrek 2's opening day made people believe the franchise was immune from any comparison. I am noticing the same line of defense is being used now with Transformers, as it is argued that Transformers 2 attracted many walk-in business and didn't see screens selling out until late, so it will happen again to 3, and there is nothing to be concerned about. However, the fact remains the advance sales for this one are slow even comparing to the second film, the buzz is not nearly as big due to the previous WOM, and we could easily observe a good percentage of loss in admissions. By all accounts, this one will be better received, so like Shrek Forever After, it could improve the overall multiplier and finish a bit closer to the expected result.

Here is my daily breakdown:

Tues previews - $5m (don't think it has been promoted enough to generate the awareness needed to challenge double digits; being almost exclusively on 3D and IMAX screens also limit the screen counts for the previews)
Wednesday - $40m
Thursday - $20m (-50%)
Friday - $25m (+25%)
Saturday - $26m (+4%)
Sunday - $24m (-8%)
Monday - $15m (-37%, July 4th is not the best holiday for movies, as family and friends will gather for barbeque and see the fireworks)

3-day (7/1 - 7/3) - $75m
4-day - $90m
6-day + Tues - $155m

1 comment:

  1. Great analysis Xia, and thanks for the mention!

    I love the comparison to Shrek's pre-release rhetoric. Great call on the previews, too!

    It'll be interesting to see how far this leg out and whether or not it convince people to see it in 3D as time goes by.