Follow us on

Wild Ones Overrun Box Office

October 19th, 2009

It was an excellent weekend at the box office even though the number one film didn't live up to me admittedly bullish expectations. It came close enough to be considered a hit, while the other two new releases topped expectations by substantial margins. Overall, $138 million was spent on movie tickets over the weekend, which was 26% higher than last weekend and more importantly 38% higher than the same weekend last year. So far this year, 2009 has earned $8.28 billion, which is 7.9% higher than 2008's pace.

Where the Wild Things Are started out earning $12.08 million on Friday, which is almost exactly what I thought it would make. However, its internal multiplier was a rather lackluster 2.72, giving the film $32.63 million over the weekend, which is low for a kids film. The reviews don't explain this, as they were better than most kids films. But the demographics came in to play. Only 27% of audience members were families and 43% were 18 or older. The film wasn't attracting kids, but adults who read the book when they were a kid. We will see what effect this has over the coming weeks and whether it will have the long legs normally associated with family films, or whether it will suffer a sharper drop-off. If it has good legs, then $100 million isn't out of the question.

In a stunning result, Law Abiding Citizen overcame terrible reviews to score second place and $21.04 million during its opening weekend. It even had a strong internal multiplier at 2.72, which is amazing for this type of movie. Its price-tag is $53 million, which is average for a thriller, so assuming it does average business internationally, it will have no trouble earning a profit before it hits the home market. It could also be revival of the revenge flick and there are undoubtedly similar films being seriously considered by several studios as I write this.

Paranormal Activity continued its climb, hitting third place with $19.62 million over the weekend for a total of $33.17 million, and it still hasn't expanded into more than 1,000 theaters. At this point, there's little doubt the film will continue to expand, especially with Halloween just a couple of weeks away. By the time Halloween arrives, the film will have made $70 million, and it could reach $100 million. All on a budget of $15,000.

On the other hand, Couples Retreat fell a little faster than expected for $17.23 million over the weekend for a total of $62.62 million after two. However, this was still within a rounding error of Thursday's prediction and $100 million isn't out of the question, but it will be hard.

Rounding out the top five was The Stepfather with a surprisingly robust $11.58 million. It's another case of terrible reviews but a rather strong internal multiplier. This one earned 2.65, which is not as strong as the other two new releases, but much better than most films in the same genre. It does have direct competition coming next week, but Halloween is the weekend after, so those could balance out. With a reported production budget of $20 million, this is a fantastic start and regardless of where it goes from here, it will make a profit sometime during its home market run.

One further note, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs reached $100 million just before the weekend and became the 21st film of the year to reach the milestone. 2009 needs to produce eight more such hits to tie the record and nine to break it. There are three films currently in theaters that have chance at reaching that milestone, although they are each 50/50 at best, but even if just one of them makes it, it's one step closer to the record. Additionally, practically every week from now until New Year's has at least one film with the potential to reach $100 million. To miss the mark, it would either take a box office slump, or one film dominating the box office and killing off the rest of the competition.


Filed under: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Where the Wild Things Are, The Stepfather, Couples Retreat, Paranormal Activity, Law Abiding Citizen