Follow us on

Experiencing It

November 2nd, 2009

It was a tough weekend at the box office, then again, that's always the case when Halloween lands on a weekend. Halloween in one of the worst days at the box office; it's almost as bad as Christmas Eve. And at least with Christmas Eve, you have Christmas Day to look forward to. The overall box office was down 21.8% from last weekend to just $91 million; however, that was 3.5% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2009 remains well head of 2008 at $8.56 billion to $7.95 billion.

On the one hand, This Is It took top spot at the box office with $23.23 million over the three-day weekend and $34.44 since its debut on Tuesday. On the other hand, this was well below some expectations. Granted, these expectations might have been over-inflated by the reports of record-breaking ticket presales, and with great reviews the film might even show good legs over the coming weeks. Or it could be crushed by the Fanboy Effect. Fortunately for the studio, the film is earning a lot more internationally, and it should have little trouble showing a profit at some point in its run, even if it does collapse next weekend.

Paranormal Activity again beat expectations adding $16.39 million over the weekend for a total of $84.63 million. Normally this would put the film on pace to reach $100 million by this time next weekend; however, this is a horror film and it will likely collapse at the box office post-Halloween. (In fact, we saw evidence of this as the film had the worst Saturday to Sunday decline in the top ten.) That said, even with a 60% drop-off next weekend, which is likely, the film will still be on pace to reach $100 million in another week or two.

Law Abiding Citizen matched expectations (nearly) perfectly with $7.40 million over the weekend for a total of $51.49 million after three. It is one of the few films from October to surpass expectations, which is a little surprising given its reviews.

Couples Retreat also matched expectations (nearly) perfectly with $6.46 million over the weekend for a total of $87.03 million after four. At this pace the film should reach $100 million, but it might take a few weeks to get there. And it might be beaten to the punch by a couple November releases.

Where the Wild Things Are continues to sink faster than expected losing 58% since last weekend giving it $5.93 million over the weekend and $62.65 million in total. It's a kids movie that is being crushed by the Fanboy Effect. Strange. On the other hand, this plus its reviews suggest that it could do very well on the home market, and if it scores internationally, it could still show a profit.

Looking in on the sophomore class, we find a big group to check up with, as no wide release from last week placed in the top five this week. Saw VI came the closest, but it fell nearly 63% to $5.27 million over the weekend for a total of $22.53 million after two. Percentwise, this is not as bad of a fall as Saw V had to deal with, but that's small comfort. Astro Boy was right behind in seventh place with $3.46 million over the weekend for a total of $11.32 million. At this point the only comfort the studio can take is with its potentially profitable international run, while it could spur sales of the various TV shows that have been previously released on DVD. On the other hand, The Vampire's Assistant earned just $3.01 million lifting its total to $10.81 million, and it will likely be forgotten by the time it hits the home market. The lone bright spot was Amelia, which climbed into tenth place with $3.03 million; however, with just $8.34 million in total, it's too little, too late.


Filed under: Where the Wild Things Are, Couples Retreat, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, Saw VI, Paranormal Activity, Michael Jackson's This Is It, Law Abiding Citizen, Astro Boy, Amelia