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High School is Box Office Valedictorian

October 27th, 2008

The weekend proved profitable, with the overall box office $133 million, which was more than 33% greater than last weekend. More importantly, it was more close to 33% greater than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date 2008 has increased its lead over 2007, but it is still up by less than 1% at $7.67 billion to $7.63 billion. However, next weekend could be tricky as Halloween lands on a Friday, and Halloween is one of the worst days at the box office.

I've been saying for a while that High School Musical 3 was a very unpredictable movie with regards to its box office potential. It turns out I was wrong. Over the weekend the film made $42.03 million, matching Thursday's prediction nearly perfectly. Looking to the future, the film earned the best reviews of the franchise so far at 67% positive, while its internal multiplier was not as bad as it could have been at 2.48. It could take on of two paths from now on. Either it will be hit by the Fanboy Effect, and hit hard, which will cause it to fail to reach $100 million. Or it will take its record-breaking opening for a musical and reach $200 million. The former is much more likely that the latter. But regardless of what happens from now on, the movie has already made more at the box office than it cost to make by a ratio of nearly 4 to 1. Even if it has a bigger than expected P&A budget, it should start earning a profit before its theatrical run is over.

Saw V managed to beat expectations, but not by a huge margin, as it earned $30.05 million during its opening weekend. This was about 10% more than Thursday's prediction, but still the lowest opening for the franchise since the original. Add in reviews that are the worst in the franchise and sequelitis, and this movie could end with a multiplier of less than two. That said, Saw VI is already in the works, while there's little doubt Saw VII will be far behind. The franchise has become an annual event and the quality of the individual chapters no longer matters.

Max Payne also matched expectations perfectly with $7.79 million over the past three days and $29.86 million after 10. By this time next week its running tally should surpass its production budget, while it will end its theatrical run close to original expectations.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua earned just under $7 million, exactly as predicted, and with $6.88 million over the weekend it has $78.11 million in total. It should end its run with just over $90 million at the box office, which is impressive, but not enough for the studio to try and push it over $100 million.

The biggest disappointment in the top five was Pride and Glory, which barely matched the low end of expectations with $6.26 million. Poor reviews and a weak per theater average will likely result in a short theatrical run, but at least the film didn't cost too much to make.

The Secret Life of Bees led the rest of the sophomore class, falling 42.5% to $6.05 million over the weekend for a total of $19.32 million after two. The film has already made more than it cost to make and it should show a profit early in its home market run. W. is a little behind that pace with $18.51 million after ten days, including $5.09 million during the past three. However, it will also show a profit during its home market run. Sex Drive fell out of the top ten, but it didn't collapse like it could have. It ended down just under 50% to $1.82 million over the weekend for a total of $6.85 million after two.


Filed under: Beverly Hills Chihuahua, High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Saw V, Max Payne, The Secret Life of Bees, W., Pride and Glory, Sex Drive