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Vampires vs. Superhero Dogs

November 20th, 2008

So far November has been an amazing month, and it looks like it is about to get even better. With two films showing strength at the box office, there should be no problem for the overall box office to top the same weekend last year, and there's even a chance that this week's number one film will top Quantum of Solace's opening from last week.

The biggest surprise of the month might be Twilight, which has some analysts prediction $60 to $70 million, or more, for its opening weekend box office. It does have a lot going for it, including a ravenous fanbase for the novel it is based on. On the other hand, its reviews are only mixed with a lot of critics saying the film lacks appeal for those who have not read the novel. Back to the original hand, it is being marketed as almost a vampire action flick, which could help opening weekend sales. Or opening night sales. This film could have a run very much like Sex and the City with a huge opening night, including midnight showings, then a massive drop-off over the rest of the weekend, followed by an equally large drop-off next weekend. In fact, it could make more on its opening day than the rest of its opening weekend, and make more opening weekend than it does the rest of its run. That said, low-end expectations have it topping my original prediction over the weekend, while it could earn enough to top its combined budget, which should be no more than $70 million. I'm going with a prediction of $60 million over the weekend, which is a little less than most, but I think it won't be able to live up to the hype and its internal multiplier will be very low.

The second saturation level release of the week is Bolt, the latest non-Pixar Disney digitally animated movie. Disney started off with Chicken Little, which didn't do well with critics but became a midlevel hit. Meet the Robinsons performed better in terms of reviews, but missed the $100 million mark at the box office, although it did come close. Bolt's reviews are much better, in line with Tinker Bell's reviews. Add in a prime release date for a family friendly film (the weekend before Thanksgiving) and it should open well and hold on even better. I don't think it will beat Twilight over the weekend, but Bolt could come close with $50 million. However, it should show better legs and end its run ahead of the teenage vampire film with north of $150 million.

Next up should be Quantum of Solace, which smashed records for a Bond movie last weekend. However, this weekend it is expected to take quite a tumble. First of all, the midweek numbers have not been particularly strong, while it is expected the Fanboy Effect likely will be significant. A 50% drop-off is likely, which would result in a sophomore stint of $34 million. On the other hand, a 60% drop-off is not out of the question, which would reduce the film's box office haul to $27 million. Splitting the difference and we come up with $31 million over the weekend and $113 million after two. This would put it ahead of Goldeneye and closing in on Tomorrow Never Dies on the all time domestic Bond chart, with more than enough left to climb to number one. (Although if it does fail to reach the lower end of expectations, it could fail to match Casino Royale domestically.)

Direct competition will likely hurt Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa at the box office this weekend. Look for $18 million over the weekend, more or less, for a total of just shy of $140 million after three. This would be less than the first film made during its third weekend of release, but Escape 2 Africa still would have the lead in terms of its running tally.

Neither of the two new releases should siphon off much business from Role Models, which will give it a clear shot at fifth place with between $6 and $7 million over the weekend. The film will reach $50 million during its run, which is more than original expectations, while even if it fails to find an audience internationally, and that is likely, it will still show a sizable profit after its initial push into the home market.


Filed under: Twilight, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Quantum of Solace, Bolt, Role Models