October 28, 2008

Box Office Update 10/24-10/26: High School Musical 3 Sings its Way to the Top

Well, it finally happened. For the first time since 2003 a Saw film opened in a position other than number one. Now, it was not for any lack of trying. If nothing else, the Saw franchise has been terribly consistent with each of the sequels topping the $30 million mark for their respective opening weekends. People ask when they plan on stopping, the answer is obviously when those strong opening numbers go away. It is hard to argue when your opening weekend nearly triples the films budget, that is the quickest way to a sequel.

When you look at the movie that did take the top spot it is hard to argue against it. The High School Musical franchise may have been birthed on television, but it has become a marketing department's dream. The two television films have spawned countless merchandising avenues, all building up to the series' jump to the big screen. High School Musical 3: Senior Year easily climbed to the top spot with a take north of $42 million. I can attest to the fervor with which these kids latch onto the series by the number of teens that crowded the lobby of the local theater.

One other new film reached the top ten, Pride and Glory. This opened in a disappointing fifth place with $6.2 million. This is a film I thought would have opened higher. It is a really good cop drama that has all of the cliches but is told in a fast paced manner that you have no choice but to get taken along for the ride. Plus, it does feature Edward Norton and Colin Farrell in the leads, with both turning in strong performances.

Among the remaining films both Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Eagle Eye continued to draw strong crowds and suffer minimal drops. The same cannot be said for last week's number one film, Max Payne, which dropped nearly 57% from last week.

This weekend will see new competition from The Haunting of Molly Hartley and Kevin Smith's Zach and Miri Make a Porno. Let's not forget that both Changeling and RocknRolla are both expanding as well. On the flip side Friday is Halloween, which could cut into box office takes. Could be interesting.

Three movies dropped off the top ten this week: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (12), Sex Drive (13), and Nights in Rodanthe (14).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1NHigh School Musical 3: Senior Year$42,030,184$42,030,1841
2NSaw V$30,053,954$30,053,9543
31Max Payne$7,600,000$29,855,6201
42Beverly Hills Chihuahua$6,884,387$78,110,7821
5NPride and Glory$6,262,396$6,262,3964
63The Secret Life of Bees$6,051,630$19,324,8212
85Eagle Eye$5,051,952$87,903,3543
96Body of Lies$4,064,488$30,889,4521

Box Office Predictions Recap
Interesting week. I got a few films in the right place, with only one that was way off. On the right side of the board, with two notable exceptions, I got the majority of the gross amounts right in the ballpark, successfully navigating the turbulent waters of public opinion. My two biggest differentials are Pride and Glory and The Nightmare Before Christmas. The former I figured to open stronger, but I guess the disappointment of Righteous Kill and the over-familiarity of the cop drama in general did not help. As for Nightmare I have to admit thinking it was going to open on more screens, hence my higher guesstimate.

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11High School Musical 3: Senior Year$42,030,184$43 million
22Saw V$30,053,954$32 million


3Pride and Glory$6,262,396$16 million
34Max Payne$7,600,000$9 million
45Beverly Hills Chihuahua$6,884,387$7 million
66The Secret Life of Bees$6,051,630$6 million
247The Nightmare Before Christmas$398,411$5.5 million
78W.$5,088,249$5 million
99Body of Lies$4,064,488$4 million
810Eagle Eye$5,051,952$3.5 million


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