Friday, June 29, 2012

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Jun 29 - Jul 1): Ted, Magic Mike, Madea's Witness Protection, People Like Us

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. Ted38.0$11,732 PTA
2. Magic Mike37.0$12,628 PTA
3. Brave35.0-47.2%
4. Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection24.0$11,106 PTA
5. Madagascar 311.0-44.2%
6. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter7.0-57.1%
7. Moonrise Kingdom4.7+38.5%
8. The Avengers4.6-35.9%
9. People Like Us4.3$2,092 PTA
10. Snow White and the Huntsman4.3-46.8%

1. I'm feeling bullish on Ted due to many positive signs. Its Flixster/RottenTomatoes user ratings had jumped from around 31,000 votes to over 47K by Thursday night, with a beautifully accelerating daily pattern. It is averaging over 10K tweets a day this week, and being able to enter the top 5 of Fandango's ticket sales list on Wednesday is excellent for a R-rated comedy. With the lack of success for the genre this year, especially when comparing to last summer, we are due for one to break out, and Ted fits the profile quite nicely. The word-of-mouth looks to be good as well, so we may be looking at a potential $150m+ success.

2. The advance sales for Magic Mike are indeed eye-popping, and it starts to remind me of Sex and the City, another film where older females were buying group tickets in droves ahead of time. On the other hand, like Sex and the City, Magic Mike should be super Friday-frontloaded, as it will similarly be all about ladies-night-out on Friday night. I expect it to win Friday with $16-17m, but have a much worse IM in the 2.1-2.3 range.

3. There is a small chance that for the first time ever, we could see 4 $30m+ films in one weekend, but the buzz for the latest Tyler Perry's Madea endeavor hasn't really picked up to the point where it is likely to happen. Still, if the top 2 openers perform well, we could be looking at a $180m combined for the top 12 films, quite healthy for this frame and making us forget G.I. Joe 2 was originally slated for this weekend until a month ago. With movies targeting different demos doing well at the same time, it would provide another concern for The Amazing Spider-Man, which prospect appears dimmer by the day with its tepid advance sales, low tweets count, and the general lack of buzz.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Early thoughts on The Amazing Spider-Man

To me, the three franchises - Spider-Man, Shrek, and Pirates of the Caribbean - are always closely linked to each other in term of box office analysis. It is not just because their third films all came out within a month of each other in 2007, but also that I have been able to predict a film's box office potential from one franchise based on the previous performance of one from another franchise with good success (the one I'm most fond of is the $135m opening weeknd prediction on Dead Man's Chest after an analysis using Shrek 2). So the main question for The Amazing Spider-Man, as the fourth installment of its franchise, is that if it could avoid the fate bestowed on Shrek Forever After and On Stranger Tides, where they saw a decline of 26% and 22% from their respective predecessor's totals. The Amazing Spider-Man is somewhat different in that the film is more of a reboot with a new set of cast, but the question remains valid, and my feeling is a similar decline is in store.

There are a lot of similarities between The Amazing Spider-Man, Shrek Forever After, and On Stranger Tides. All of them are 3D, while none of their previous films is. Their previous films, the third one of each franchise, all received lukewarm word-of-mouth. Spider-Man is more similar to Shrek in that their first two films both gathered excellent word-of-mouth, unlike Pirates of Caribbean where the general reviews fell off from the 2nd film on. On the other hand, Pirates' box office feels a little more resistent to mediocre reviews, as indicated by the good run Dead Man's Chest enjoyed and the smaller drop off On Stranger Tides experienced. Overall, I feel The Amazing Spider-Man will see a decline in total that is closer to what Shrek Forever After had, which would put it at $250m.

From $250m total, we could then try to deduct how much of it will come from the opening week. Two good comparisons would be Transformers and Spider-Man 2. The former was facing the same calendar 5 years with Independence Day falling on Wednesday and opened on the exact same day (Jul 3rd, although it ended up pushing the release up another 4 hours); it grossed $155.4m over its first 6 days, 48.7% of its eventual total. The latter also opened on the holiday frame and had a 6-day start of $180.1m, 48.2% of its total. Both of those films enjoyed good word-of-mouth, so even though the early reviews for The Amazing Spider-Man are quite positive, I do not expect the percentage for the first 6 days to be lower for it. If anything, it would likely be a good bit higher with The Dark Knight Rises staring right at its face in two weeks, something neither of the other two had to deal with. A 52% would translate to a $130m 6-day start.

If we would like to break down the opening week further, Transformers, a non-sequel, saw $70.5m of its $155.4m (45.4%) coming from the weekend. The Amazing Spider-Man should be slightly more frontloaded, especially with the midnight culture is a lot more intense now than 5 years ago. A 42% would put its weekend at around $55m.

So my current thought:

Opening Tues-to-Thurs - $75m
Opening Weekend - $55m
Opening 6-day - $130m
Domestic Total - $250m

Friday, June 22, 2012

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Jun 22 - 24): Brave, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. Brave58.5$14,049 PTA
2. Madagascar 320.5-39.8%
3. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter15.0$4,829 PTA
4. Prometheus8.9-57.0%
5. Snow White and the Huntsman8.0-39.7%
6. Rock of Ages7.5-48.1%
7. MIB 36.3-37.3%
8. The Avengers6.2-30.4%
9. That's My Boy6.0-55.4%
10. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World4.5$2,781 PTA

Friday, June 15, 2012

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Jun 15 - 17): Rock of Ages, That's My Boy

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. Madagascar 334.0-43.6%
2. Rock of Ages26.0$7,536 PTA
3. Prometheus22.0-56.9%
4. That's My Boy21.0$6,931 PTA
5. Snow White and the Huntsman11.5-50.1%
6. MIB 39.0-35.2%
7. The Avengers8.5-24.4%
8. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel2.6-20.4%
9. What to Expect When You're Expecting1.7-39.0%
10. Moonrise Kingdom1.7+9.0%

Friday, June 8, 2012

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Jun 8 - 10): Madagascar 3, Prometheus, Moonrise Kingdom

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. Madagascar 362.0$14,561 PTA
2. Prometheus50.0$14,732 PTA
3. Snow White and the Huntsman26.3-53.2%
4. MIB 315.0-46.6%
5. The Avengers12.2-40.4%
5. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel3.3-26.4%
7. What to Expect When You're Expecting2.6-41.0%
8. Battleship2.4-52.9%
9. The Dictator2.2-53.2%
10. Moonrise Kingdom2.0+128.1%

1. On the Twitter front, Prometheus has been receiving about 80% more tweets than Madagascar 3 so far this week, but the ratio for Madagascar 3 should be way lower given it is a family film while Prometheus is a R-rated sci-fi horror with built-in fanbase. Madagascar 3 is also experiencing a much better positive-to-negative ratio between the two (over 10:1 vs. around 5:1).

2. The number of user ratings at Flixster/Rottentomatoes for Prometheus was at about 34K last Saturday, way ahead of Madagascar 3's 14K. However, since then, the latter has seen its number soar to over 32,000, while Prometheus's figure has remained stagnant (there seems to be an issue updating the number today, but it still only increased 3-4K more in several days). This indicates that Prometheus is not getting much fresh interest outside its core fanbase as we move closer to the release.

3. The midnight performance by Prometheus will be strong, probably around $5m. However the midnight will account for a good chunk of its Friday gross. It will still likely win Friday over Madagascar 3, but not by much - something like $21m vs. $19m, then the much better internal multiplier will allow the animated film to easily win the next two days of the weekend.

4. This weekend more or less reminds me of the June weekend four years ago, when both family-oriented Wall-E and R-rated Wanted opened to over $50m. The holdovers could also mirror that weekend's result, albeit more top heavy with one film earning in the 20s, two in the 10s, and the rest low single digits.

5. Moonrise Kingdom is following similar expansion pattern as what The Darjeeling Limited had, but with a much healthier result so far. The Darjeeling Limited saw its per-theater-average dropped 61.4% on its third weekend when expanding from 19 to 95 locations. A similar hold for Moonrise Kingdom, which is expanding from 16 to 96 theaters, would put its weekend take at around $2m.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Jun 1 - 3): Snow White and the Huntsman, For Greater Glory

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. Snow White and the Huntsman41.5$11,002 PTA
2. MIB 325.0-54.2%
3. The Avengers21.0-42.8%
4. Battleship5.5-50.2%
5. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel5.0-21.7%
6. The Dictator4.9-47.2%
7. What to Expect When You're Expecting4.5-36.9%
8. Dark Shadows4.0-46.7%
9. Chernobyl Diaries2.9-63.5%
10. For Greater Glory1.5$1,982 PTA