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film news

Thursty's Stinky Box Office: December 10 - 12

Posted by Thurston McQ on Friday, December 10, 2010

A Disney movie took the top spot last weekend, and a different Disney movie is likely to take the top spot next weekend, but what about this weekend?  This weekend's champ is almost sure to be The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third in the Narnia series.  This means Disney will be ceding the weekend crown for at least one weekend.

But Thursty!  Aren't those Narnia movies also Disney movies?  Well, you see, Ned Netizen, they were. Sort of.  Disney distributed them.  They were made by Walden Media, and Disney was kind enough to throw some money at them after the fact and let them use the Disney name.  (Good Ol' Disney.  Kind Disney!  Disney, that blinding beacon of largesse and magnanimity!)

The first Narnia movie (or, rather, the first made by Walden Media; live-action and animated Narnia movies have been made before) made a fair amount of money, and Disney was cautiously pleased.  The second did well enough in comparison to most non-blockbusters, but not well enough for Disney to want to continue distributing the series.  So Aslan packed his bags, left the Mouse House behind, and sought lodging with 20th Century Fox.  (After all, he's not a tame lion.) 

Whether or not the series will fare better with its new distributor is anybody's guess, but this installment has the makings of a modest hit.  The books still have their built-in fan base, the series still appeals to both the religious crowd and the youth fantasy crowd (though Harry Potter will be stealing some of the latter crowd's business), and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is considered by many to be the best book in the series.  It's also another one of those pesky 3D movies -- albeit one post-converted -- and will be reaping the same financial benefit most 3D movies have been reaping in the Post-Avatar Era.

The weekend's only other major release, The Tourist, probably won't be stealing too much of Dawn Treader's thunder.  Both movies should be making their own thunder, and will be finding their own audiences.  Neither movie has many critics crowing, but these aren't the sorts of movies that need critical approval for a decent first weekend.  I can't imagine many people are breaking down the theater doors to see them, but they're what's new, and they will both have decent weekends.  The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has more of an event movie feel to it, is more family friendly, will be showing in 2D and 3D, and will be on just under 800 more screens than The Tourist.  Having Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie as its leads can only help The Tourist so much, and it's almost certain not to be enough to take the weekend prize from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Next week Disney hopes to reclaim first place with Tron: Legacy, and probably will.  I'll have more to say about that in seven days.

This weekend's predictions:

1.  The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader  $37.25m
2.  The Tourist  $21.25m
3.  Tangled  $13.75m
4.  Harry Potter 7  $8.75m
5.  Burlesque  $3.55m
6.  Unstoppable  $3.50m
7.  Love and Other Drugs  $3.45m
8.  Megamind  $2.75m
9.  Due Date  $2.5m
10.  Faster  $2.0m

Jack S. Pharaoh
Location:
Posts: 2231
Posted: 10 years 41 weeks ago

1. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: $42.0m
2. The Tourist $15.0m
3. Tangled $13.0m
4. Harry Potter 7 $9.4m
5. Unstoppable $3.7m
6. Burlesque $3.6
7. Love and Other Drugs $3.11m
8. Megamind $2.96
9. Due Date $2.6m
10. Faster $1.97m

Jack S. Pharaoh
Location:
Posts: 2231
Posted: 10 years 41 weeks ago

^^All of these numbers are in millions; I forgot to put Ms after a couple of the number, but don't want to edit.

Thurston McQ
Location: Germany
Posts: 142
Posted: 10 years 41 weeks ago

These are good guesses, Jack. I work pretty hard on coming up with my numbers, believe it or not. Like you, I look at how similar movies fared this time last year, and I look at sequel trends, and I look at the rate at which movies' box office totals have been depreciating. I also check Reuters to see how things have been tracking. (Tron, it turns out, has been tracking particularly poorly--at least as of 30 November. Their tracking numbers put it at a particularly wan 36 million. If it doesn't make at least 50 million on its opening weekend, it will probably end up being a big loss for Disney.) Ultimately, though, I end up going with my gut, which isn't very scientific, and sometimes steers me in the wrong direction.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader has the potential to make as much as you're guessing it will make, but people haven't been all that abuzz about it, despite the heavy marketing campaign. I went to see it in 2D last night, and there weren't that many people there. Who knows, though? The 3D theaters may have been packed.