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Records Will Fall!

May 18th, 2005

Summer finally begins tonight at midnight with the release of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, which should be the biggest movie of the year. The real question is how big will the movie be?

I am going to make a very bold prediction: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith will win the weekend box office race. OK, everyone knows that. But I'm going to make a bunch predictions about records that could fall, in chronological order:

  1. Largest midnight showing - Current Record: $8 million - held by Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
    Early indications show this record has a very strong chance to fall, 80% of the shows have already been sold out with more being added; 200 theatres have even added 3:30 shows to accommodate the demand, some have even added 6:30 shows. Odds of beating this record: 75%
  2. Largest Opening Day - Current Record: $42.5 million - held by The Matrix Reloaded
    Some $20 million in advanced ticket sales have already been sold, millions are expected to miss work tomorrow to see the show, and since the box office from the midnight shows are added into the mix the film will have a head start on the record. Odds of beating this record: 65%
  3. Largest Single Day - Current Record: $44.8 million - held by Shrek 2
    Opening with more than $45 million isn't out of the question, it depends on how much of the advanced ticket sales are for Thursday compared with the rest of the weekend. And even if the film misses by a small margin it could still beat the record on Saturday, but its chances are much lower. Odds of beating this record: 50%
  4. Fastest to $100 million - Current Record: 3 days - held by The Matrix Reloaded and Spider-Man
    This record is nearly impossible to beat for a Thursday release. Given the typical second day drop-off for midweek releases, a film would need to open with $55 million to have a reasonable shot at the record. On the other hand, the film could open with as little as $35 million and still have a shot at tying the record. Odds of beating this record: 5%; odds of beating or tying this record: 85%
  5. Largest Weekend - Current Record: $114.8 million - held by Spider-Man
    This record has lasted a lot longer than logic dictates. Ticket prices have gone up, the population has gone up, the importance of the opening weekend has gone up. All of that should have set the stage for this record to fall within a year, or shortly afterwards. Yet here it is, nearly three years later and the record stands, but will it last until the end of the weekend? Possibly, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did fall but its Thursday opening makes that a little harder to do. Odds of beating this record: 50%
  6. Largest 4-Day Opening - Current Record: $134.3 million - held by The Matrix Reloaded
    Like I said above, this record is actually much more likely to fall since the Thursday opening will hurt the film's 3-day weekend. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith should open better than The Matrix Reloaded and should be able to hold up better throughout the weekend, even with the intense Fanboy Effect. Odds of beating this record: 70%
  7. Fastest to $200 million - Current Record: 8 days - held by Spider-Man 2
    Ironically, while Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith has a much better chance at beating this record than it does of beating Fastest to $100 million, it also have a much better chance of missing the record altogether. If this record falls it's a lot better indicator for long term success than the others records above. Odds of beating this record: 25%; odds of beating or tying this record: 45%
  8. Fastest to $300 million - Current Record: 18 days - held by by Shrek 2
    It's this record that will determine if the movie is going to be a monster hit, or just your average blockbuster. If the film can open with anything more than $40 million and have the same legs as Attack of the Clones, then it should just beat the record. And since the film is earning much better reviews, it should have a bit better legs, even with the extreme Fanboy Effect we are likely to see. Odds of beating this record: 30%; odds of at least tying this record: 40%
  9. Fastest to $400 million - Current Record: 43 days - held by by Shrek 2
    Same as above, just more so. Odds of beating this record: 20%; odds of at least tying this record: 25%
  10. And finally the Grand Pooh-Bah, the Big Mac Daddy, the King of Kings, the greatest record of them all:

  11. All Time Highest Grossing Movies - Current Record: $600.8 million - held by Titanic
    It would be a minor miracle if this record were to fall, but if Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith doesn't break the record it won't be broken for a few more years at least. Odds of beating this record: 1%
To wrap up the predictions:

Low

  • Midnight Showings: $6 million
  • Thursday Total: $38 million
  • Weekend Box Office: $90 million
  • Four Day total: $128 million
Medium
  • Midnight Showings: $10 million
  • Thursday Total: $43 million
  • Weekend Box Office: $110 million
  • Four Day total: $153 million
High
  • Midnight Showings: $12 million
  • Thursday Total: $52.5 million
  • Weekend Box Office: $125 million
  • Four Day total: $177.5 million

As for the rest of the top five, most of the films should see a sizable drop-off that should be mitigated somewhat by Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith run-off.

After Monster-In-Law's surprise start it's second weekend will go a long way in determining whether the film is a flash in the pan or a genuine hit. It should finish somewhere between those two extremes with $13 million and change.

Kicking and Screaming will drop about the same amount to $12 million. That puts the film on pace to show a profit by the time its initial push into the home market is over, but not up to the level of Will Ferrell's previous hits.

As I've previously stated, Jet Li films tend to have short, short legs and Unleashed should be no exception. It could fall more than 60%, but a fall of merely 50% is more reasonable. That leaves the film with about $5 million and a struggle to earned back its production.

It will be a close race for fifth place between Kingdom of Heaven and Crash both with under $5 million.


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Filed under: Star Wars Ep. III: Revenge of the Sith, Monster-in-Law, Crash, Kicking and Screaming, Kingdom of Heaven, Danny the Dog