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$100 Million Weekend for Revenge?

June 26th, 2009

It looks like the high end of expectations might not have been high enough as Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen opened with more than $60 million on Wednesday, including midnight showings. This bodes very week for its weekend haul, which should help the overall box office from last year. To put this into perspective, last year's number one film, WALL-E earned $63 million over the weekend, or barely more than Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen earned in one day.

Not only did Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen open with $16 million in midnight showings, and $60 million over the full day, reports have it pulling in an additional $27 million on Thursday. This is a drop-off of 55%, which is expected, and better than the worst case scenario discussed on Wednesday. This despite reviews that are barely above the embarrassing level. On Friday, the film could see growth of 40% to 50% giving the film between $38 and $40 million. And thanks to its Wednesday opening, its internal multiplier should be strong. Best cast scenario has the film earning $125 million over the weekend, and even the worst case scenario at this point has it coming close to $100 million. I'm going with $110 million, which would give it the record for a weekend box office for a Wednesday opening (previously held by Shrek 2). It would also give it the record for a five-day Wednesday opening, and put it on pace for $350 million to $400 million. Any talk of 2009 being in a slump, which was never really true to begin with, should end right now.

There are other films playing in theaters besides Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen, not that you could notice by the amount of publicity that film is garnering. This includes The Proposal, which paradoxically could benefit from the presence of the megahit in multiplexes. Overflow, that is to say people who go to the theaters to buy tickets to Transformers only to find out the showings are sold out, will likely want to chose a different movie, instead of just turning around and going home. Granted, there's not a lot of crossover appeal between this romantic comedy and the new number one film, but we could see a drop-off of less than 40% giving the film just over $20 million over the weekend. Just under $20 million is more likely, but that still gives the film a 10-day total of $70 million, putting it on pace for $125 million in total. More or less.

The Hangover is more or less in direct competition with Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen, so will drop to $15 million over the weekend for a total of $180 million after four. (I think some in the 'Under 18' crowd might actually buy tickets to Transformers and sneak into this R-rated film. Not that I'm suggesting that as a way to avoid the MPAA rating restriction. I'm merely saying it could happen.) $200 million is the film's next milestone, while it is working its way up the chart of all time R-rated comedies.

Up is the only family film with a saturation level theater count, at least till Wednesday when Ice Age 3 - Dawn of the Dinosaurs debuts. Look for the movie to add $14 million over the weekend giving it $250 million in total. This would make it the fourth Pixar film to reach that milestone, ant put it about a week away from overtaking The Incredibles for second place on the company chart. It also keeps $300 million a possibility, but the study might need to give it an added push to get there.

The final new release of the week is My Sister's Keeper, which is playing the role of counter-programming. On the one hand, there's very little crossover appeal between this movie and the obvious number one film. On the other hand, this movie is going after a decidedly more mature audience, one that will demand more quality than 41% positive. Back to the original hand, there's a lack of competition for the final spot in the top five, and as long as it can earn more than $8 million, it should get there. This is not guaranteed. I'm going with an $11 million prediction, but there's a chance it could struggle and miss the top five letting Year One take its place, but that's shouldn't happen.


Filed under: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Up, The Hangover, The Proposal, My Sister's Keeper