Follow us on

Will Hannah be a Sweet Treat over Easter Weekend?

April 10th, 2009

Easter long weekend is not a major holiday at the box office; in fact, the best Easter opener is Scary Movie 4 at just over $40 million while number two is Panic Room at just over $30 million. There's little chance the record will be broken, but Hannah Montana the Movie could open in first place over the weekend and in second place all time, while it should do its part to keep 2009 ahead of last year's pace.

After crushing expectations last weekend, Fast and Furious should remain in top spot this weekend. Granted, a sharp decline is very likely, especially given its reviews. A 60% drop-off is probable, which would leave the film with $28 million over the weekend, more or less. It could perform better than expected thanks to the light competition. Only one movie is opening at saturation levels, but that movie is Hannah Montana the Movie, and I doubt there's any real crossover appeal there. This could help the movie earn just over $30 million, but I'm going with just under $30 million.

Hannah Montana the Movie is the first starring role for Miley Cyrus in a live action movie where she's actually playing a role and not just singing on stage. I would say this is an important test to see if she can make the leap from TV to movies; however, since this movie is based on her popular TV series, its predictive value is limited. As for this film's box office potential, we can look back to Lizzie McGuire, which opened with $17 million back in 2003 as a guide. This movie has six years of inflation, but a six years of development on this target audience. Before Lizzie McGuire, there were very few movies released aimed specifically at 'tween girls. Now the movies are common, but this is a notoriously fickle audience, and that makes it very, very hard to predict. Pie-in-the-sky predictions has this movie topping High School Musical 3 and setting records. Or it could fail to make that much in total. Reviews don't help settle the matter, as they are at just under 40% positive, which is exactly what I was expecting. (Also, the most common response to the movie appears to be, "It should entertain the target audience, but it feels like an over-long episode of the TV series." Again, this is exactly as expected.) I'm going with a final prediction of $25 million, which should make the studio happy, while even with no real prospects internationally, it will show a profit shortly after hitting the home market.

On the one hand, films tend to hold up better during their third weekend of release than they do during their second. On the other hand, Monsters vs. Aliens has to deal with two films that are more or less direct competition, as Hannah Montana will siphon away young girls while Dragonball Evolution will steal a few younger males. If it matches last week's decline, it should add another $18 million over the weekend, which would give it just over $135 million in total. Depending on how well Fast and Furious holds up, that might be enough for it to climb into top spot for the year before the Summer Blockbuster season begins.

I have mixed opinions on Observe and Report. On the one hand, it is opening in more theaters than I was expecting, and stars Seth Rogan and Anna Faris. On the other hand, it just doesn't look that good, and the ads making it seem much weaker than the reviews do, and the reviews are only mixed. Tracking has the movie earning fourth place in the mid- to high-teens level, but it could score third place with $20 million, or not crack $10 million. I'm going with $15 million.

Dragonball Evolution should open in fifth place by default. It has very little hope of opening with more than $10 million and fourth place is likely out of the question. Meanwhile, there is a huge drop-off between fourth and sixth, and even if this film struggles, fifth place is a safe bet. With reviews that are well below acceptable, this movie might appeal only to hardcore fans of the cartoon or the manga, but I don't think there's enough of those to make the movie a hit. Look for just over $6 million during its opening weekend, and just under $15 million in total.


Filed under: Monsters vs. Aliens, Fast & Furious, Hannah Montana the Movie, Observe and Report, Dragonball Evolution