November 6, 2007

Box Office Update 11/2-11/4: American Gangster Holds Off Seinfeld's Bees

Surprising me, but not many other analysts (not that I would term myself an analyst, exactly), Amerian Gangster took the top spot as it did its part to reinvigorate the box office. The long storied production opened with an estimated $46.3 million tally, easily taking the top spot this week. The film did this despite a runtime that was north of two and a half hours, an R rating, and strong competition from a new family film. It will be interesting to see how well this holds up in the weeks to come, and how the Oscar voters react to it.

Coming in a strong second place was Jerry Seinfeld's return vehicle. Bee Movie proved to be a strong second with an estimated $39 million. The amount of entertainment that you derive will be based on just how much you enjoy Seinfeld's comedy as the first half is filled with a lot of his brand of humor (he was one of the writer's afterall). I would have to say that the one downfall of the film would be the conformist "lesson" that it espouses. Still, there were many laughs to be had and the animation was reallyquite good.

One other new film arrived ont he top ten this weekend. The John Cusack starring family drama, Martian Child, opened to a lukewarm reaction from cinema-goers. It finished in seventh place with a tepid $3.4 million. I expected a bit more out of this, but after seeing it I am not surprised by the response. It pours on the melodrama but never really takes flight. The script just wasn't there despite the best efforts of John Cusack.

Among the returning films, both Dan in Real Life and The Game Plan both displayed good holds the drops in the low 30%. Both of them are worth seeing on the big screen, and it seems that while neither is burning up the charts they have both found an audience and they keep coming to see it. I have seen them both and they are good.

On the other side of the coin there is last week's top film, Saw IV, drop over 67% from its opening frame. It is a huge drop, but honestly, who didn't see that coming? Movies like this are completely front loaded and will always do most of their business in that opening weekend.

The rest of the returning films all suffered respectable drops. They all did their part to break the series of down weekends (compared to last year), which I believe stood at six in a row. This weekend was a strong start for Novemeber and could prove to carry through the holiday season.

Next week will see new competition from the new holiday themed film Fred Claus, as well as the war-themed Tom Cruise flick Lions for Lambs, and a creepy looking new horror movie called P2. In a much smaller release there is also the second edition of the After Dark Horror Fest.

Three movies dropped off the top ten this week: The Nightmare Before Christmas (11), The Comebacks (12), and We Own the Night (13).

At the time of this writing final numbers were not available, these are the estimates.
This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1NAmerican Gangster$46,344,000$46,344,0001
2NBee Movie$39,100,000$39,100,0001
31Saw IV$11,010,000$51,060,0002
42Dan in Real Life$8,125,000$22,950,0002
5330 Days of Night$4,000,000$34,229,0003
64The Game Plan$3,853,000$81,957,0006
7NMartian Child$3,650,000$3,650,0001
86Michael Clayton$2,900,000$33,198,0005
95Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?$2,730,000$51,185,0004
107Gone Baby Gone$2,400,000$14,948,0003

Box Office Predictions Recap
Once again I do a great job of getting everything wrong! The top ten once again proved elusive as the top two both came up over my guesstimations and in reversed order. I thought for sure the colorful and family friendly Bee Movie would take the top spot, and that American Gangster would do well but be held back by its lengthy runtime. If that wasn't enough, I also overestimated the draw of John Cusack's new family drama, something that I probably should have figured. The rest of list found my guesses to be pretty close. Maybe next week will be my week?

Anyway, here is how I picked the field:
ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
21Bee Movie$39,100,000$32 million
12American Gangster$46,344,000$25 million
33Saw IV$11,010,000$17 million
74Martian Child$3,650,000$15 million

Dan in Real Life

$8,125,000$6.5 million
66The Game Plan$3,853,000$4 million
573o Days of Night$4,000,000$3.5 million
98Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?$2,730,000$3 million
89Michael Clayton$2,900,000$3 million
1010Gone Baby Gone$2,400,000$2.5 million


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