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Knight and Day Starts a Night and a Day Early

June 23rd, 2010

Knight and Day gets the jump on the competition by opening in more than 3,000 theaters tonight, but will this turn out to be a wise choice? It has a lot of history going against it.

The current record for best Wednesday opening is $62.02 million earned by Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen last year. That's a massive number, but there's not a lot of depth in this record. For instance, a film could open with barely more than a third of that during its opening day and it would still be in the top ten for Wednesday openings. On the other hand, the record for opening weekend is held by The Dark Knight at $158.41 million. A third of that and you are barely in the top 100. Even taking into account the relative number of Wednesday openings, it is clear Wednesday openings generally only work when the film is a massive blockbuster that people have been eagerly awaiting for months, or there is a holiday coming up and most people will get a day off. For Knight and Day, neither of these is true.

Don't get me wrong, Knight and Day does have a lot going for it, including two leads who are hardly strangers to box office success. Also, my biggest concern at the beginning of the month was with the quality of the film. The number of writers involved plus the very late re-shoots suggests the film was a mess. However, its reviews suggest otherwise. Granted, it's not a masterpiece, but the biggest complaint seems to be its formulaic nature. For a popcorn flick, this shouldn't be an issue.

Early tracking, on the other hand, does seem to be an issue and a lot of people think it will have to settle for a distant third place this weekend. The consensus seems to be just over $7 million tonight, $5 million tomorrow, and $25 million over the weekend. This would leave $100 million in total almost entirely out of reach. If it can beat expectations with $9 million / $7 million / $30 million, then it will have a much easier task to reach the century mark, but that appears to be the high end of expectations.

We will get to the other wide release, Grown Ups, as well as Toy Story 3 and the rest of the holdovers tomorrow.


Filed under: Knight and Day