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Tens of Millions on its Way to 10,000 B.C.

March 7th, 2008

February ended on a disappointing note, and there are signs March could start off the same way. This time last year, 300 opened with an outstanding $70.89 million, a feat no film is likely to match this month. In fact, it is very, very unlikely that the three wide releases this week will earn that much combined.

Roland Emmerich's last movie broke records when it became the biggest opening for a non-number one film. His latest film, 10,000 B.C. won't break records, but many think it will be the clear winner at the box office this weekend. Interestingly, he hasn't had a film fail to reach $100 million in nearly a decade, and most analysts are predicting this one won't break that streak. However, I will be predicting that. I have not been happy with the ad campaign so far, as it hasn't been effective or aggressive enough. It's unlikely that the film will earn strong word-of-mouth especially with its reviews, so it will need a major opening to hit $100 million. $30 million won't be enough, even $35 million probably won't do it, and I have this gut feeling that it won't break $20 million. However, anything under $30 million would be under-performing compared to most prediction and I'm unwilling to go lower than $25 million given the film's tracking.

Next up is College Road Trip, which is a G-rated film from Disney. On the one hand, the last such film earned more than $31 million during its opening. On the other, Raven is not Miley and College Road Trip is not earning as good reviews as Best of Both Worlds earned. These things, as well as the schizophrenic target audience I mentioned in the monthly preview, make it very unlikely that College Road Trip will open with the same amount as Best of Both Worlds. Then again, it is also unlikely to suffer from the intense Fanboy/girl Effect either. Look for just over $15 million over the weekend and $45 million in total, which should be enough to make the studio happy, especially once it hits the home market.

Last weekend, Semi-Pro missed expectations by half. To compound matters, it earned weak reviews, hasn't performed well during the week and it is unlikely to bounce back this weekend. A 50% drop-off would lead to a $7.5 million weekend, which is the most likely result. Even if it holds up a little better, it won't be enough to recover from its weak opening.

On the other hand, Vantage Point has done well enough during the week that it could place third over the weekend also with $7.5 million, but just over $7 million and fourth place is more likely, but would still give it $50 million during its run so far.

The final wide release of the week is The Bank Job, the latest film starring Jason Statham. This heist film has earned a lot more praise than I thought it would. I'm also seeing a lot more ads on TV than I thought I would, especially for a film opening in only 1,600 theaters. Then again, it is still only opening in 1,600 theaters and there are not a lot of bullish predictions here. Most think it will pull in $5 million, which may or may not be enough for fifth place. I'm hoping for a little more, just under $7 million, while it could surprise over the next three days and crack $10 million. On the other extreme, it could miss the Mendoza line, which would give it $3 million or less during its opening .


Filed under: Vantage Point, College Road Trip, Semi-Pro, The Bank Job, 10,000 B.C.