Daily Box Office Analysis for June 7, 2007
By David Mumpower
June 8, 2007

The cast of American Wedding fakes smiles about Knocked Up's performance.

Thursday's box office sees Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End make a strong step toward regaining the number one spot, but it falls just short. With a blockbuster new opener today in the form of Ocean's Thirteen, the pirate booty will not include any further appearances at the top of the charts until the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Johnny Depp Buys an Island.

In the interim, here's how Thursday played out. At World's End earned $3,327,937 while Knocked Up barely edges that mark with $3,345,555. The third Jack Sparrow outing has crossed the $230 million threshold with a running total of $232,297,818. Meanwhile, Knocked Up finished its first week of box office with an impressive total of $46,223,940. Pirates fell only 4.3% on Thursday, while Knocked Up declined 7.9%.

Continuing the pattern of comparing Knocked Up to similar summer comedies, here is how it stands for its first Thursday. Wedding Crashers fell 4.7% to $4.68 million. The 40 Year-Old Virgin fell 9.9% to $2.35 million. American Wedding fell 10.5% to $3.24 million. The Break-Up fell 6.8% to $3.15 million. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy fell 13.8% to $3.07 million. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story fell 5.0% to $3.81 million. So, Knocked Up's Thursday was third out of these seven titles in terms of actual box office dollars with its $3.34 million. The depreciation, on the other hand, was only good for fourth best behind Dodgeball, Wedding Crashers and The Break-Up. So, Knocked Up's Thursday decline is the median percentage of the batch.

With a full set of weekday numbers in the books, we may now compare it to the other six titles in terms of weekend to weekday holdover. We are going to coin a new phrase here, and that term is "weekday ratio". What I mean when I use this terminology is what percentage of a movie's opening weekend of box office it is able to maintain on the following four weekdays. Obviously, a bigger number is preferred with regards to weekday ratio. Here is the data:

The Break-Up's first four weekdays of box office were $14,427,465 after an opening weekend of $39,172,785. That's a weekday ratio of 36.8%, easily the poorest daily holdover performance of the group.

American Wedding's first four weekdays of box office were $16,381,560 after an opening weekend of $33,369,440. That's a weekday ratio of 49.1%.

The 40 Year-Old Virgin's first four weekdays of box office were $10,869,265 after an opening weekend of $21,422,815. That's a weekday ratio of 50.7%.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy's first four weekdays of box office were $14,680,635 after an opening weekend of $28,416,365. That's a weekday ratio of 51.7%.

Wedding Crashers' first four weekdays of box office were $20,800,719 after an opening weekend of $33,900,720. That's a weekday ratio of 61.4%.

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story's first four weekdays of box office were $18,600,804 after an opening weekend of $30,070,196. That's a weekday ratio of 61.9%.

Knocked Up's first four weekdays of box office stand at $15,532,950 after an opening weekend of $30,690,990. That's a weekday ratio of 50.6%. This is third worst out of the group, albeit in a virtual dead heat with The 40 Year-Old Virgin in terms of percentage decline. So, its box office performance continues to behave exactly as expected by the model of these other six titles. A 40% drop is my expectation for the weekend, which would give it box office of $18.4 million. Anything well above this number would indicate a juggernaut in terms of word-of-mouth appeal. Anything well below this would lower it to Anchorman's territory of the $80 million range instead of the still-magical $100 million barrier.

The other aspect of the week that should have come into perspective for you by now is the overall top ten box office's continued decline throughout the week. After starting off at $13,782,558 on Monday, the Thursday revenue has fallen all the way down to $11,495,727. This is a decline of 4.3% from Wednesday, but (more importantly) it also represents a fall of 16.6% from Monday. I had hinted earlier in the week that we would slowly examine daily box office behavior over the course of the summer, and that will be the case. The brighter pupils have already reached the appropriate conclusion, however; domestic box office is a never-ending cycle of Saturday summits through Thursday valleys. On Friday, box office spikes again and the process is ready to start all over again the following day.

One other aspect of summer box office we will be tracking is weekday-to-weekday comparisons from 2006 to 2007. Much has been made of the improvement in box office this year as opposed to last. In fact, there is a chance that 2007 sees domestic totals in excess of $10 billion for the first time ever. All that is required is a modest 6.4% increase from last year. Box office is currently up more than that in 2007, but don't get too excited. Part of it is certainly indicative of the quality of releases in the first half of this year.

The other part is that in addition to ticket price inflation increasing revenues this year, it's also being measured against the second lowest year for overall ticket sales in the 2000s. In fact, if someone is trying to tell you that the box office slump is a myth, all you need to do is point out to them the following. 2005 and 2006 saw the lowest single year ticket sales since 1997 and the lowest two-year combined totals since 1996 and 1997. Box office ticket sales are not what they had been for the previous ten years and don't let anyone try to tell you otherwise.

Keeping this in mind, weekday ticket revenue for Monday through Thursday of the first week of June 2006 was $65,696,998. The top four anchor films were The Break Up, X-Men: The Last Stand, Over the Hedge and The Da Vinci Code. There was one anomaly involved, though. The Omen re-make created a 666 marketing campaign last year including a release date of June 6, 2006 aka 6/6/6. So, its Tuesday total of $12,633,666 (those last three numbers being so obviously tweaked) blows the curve. The Omen promptly fell of the table after this stellar Tuesday debut, making it a blue-print example of a one-day wonder release. Even so, it will skew the results for this week and this will not be the only time over the summer such an event occurs. A single mid-week opener will always dramatically impact a comparison between weekdays of two given years.

Keeping that in mind, this week's Monday through Thursday total is $50,373,352, combined revenues falling well short of the first week of June last year. In fact, it's a full 23.3% behind the same time frame in 2006. With the following June weekend in 2006 earning $144.55 million, Ocean's Thirteen better be explosive if 2007 is to keep up the needed pace.