The Transformers started storming theaters yesterday, but it was a little rat who left the world wowed.
Daily Box Office Analysis for July 2, 2007
By Kim Hollis
July 3, 2007
When looking at the first day of performance of Transformers, it's a film that is completely unique with regard to calendar configuration. In fact, I would hazard a guess that we have never seen a movie debut the Monday before July 4th and it seems an odd decision on the part of Paramount to do so. Nonetheless, the robots in disguise were magnificent, opening to $8.8 million with a full six days of holiday office in front of it. What does this mean for its prospects from Tuesday-to-Sunday? Good question. We have virtually no historical data to which Transformers can be compared. What we'll do this week is track it as it goes along. Tuesday's numbers should give us a more solid indication of where the Michael Bay film is headed, though Wednesday will be the biggie.
As for Ratatouille, the little Pixar flick about a rat who loves fine cuisine was simply awe-inspiring with regard to Monday performance. Let's take a look at previous Pixar movies and their first Monday percentage decline from Sunday (with Toy Story excluded as we don't have daily data for that one):
A Bug's Life - 80%
Toy Story 2: -81%
Monsters, Inc.: -79%
Finding Nemo: -68%
The Incredibles: -81%
Those 79% and 80% drops came in the month of November, while Finding Nemo and Cars did both have the benefit of summer audiences who would be more likely to attend on weekdays. Now let's look at Ratatouille's drop from Sunday-to-Monday:
That's right. Ratatouille declined only 45% from Sunday-to-Monday, bringing in a remarkable $7,550,960. It has blown away every Pixar film that came before it in that regard. Want to compare to other big CGI animated successes? Shrek fell 69%. Shrek 2 dropped 67%. Ice Age depreciated 78%. And its sequel, Ice Age: The Meltdown, also saw a Monday decline of 78%.
To say that Ratatouille's Monday performance is dazzling is an understatement. Yes, we have a calendar configuration that is very friendly to family films. The last time we had July 4th on a Wednesday was 2001. New films from the weekend before July 4th included Artificial Intelligence: AI, crazy/beautiful and Pootie Tang. There's not exactly anything that works as a direct comparison. AI and Pootie Tang both fell 56%, while crazy/beautiful was extremely solid with a 32% drop. Of course, its debut was significantly smaller than that of Ratatouille. Even if we compare more family-friendly films that were playing in the same time frame, Ratatouille outperforms Shrek (48%,), Doctor Doolittle 2 (53%) and Atlantis: The Lost Empire (49%). And those are again films with a longer release frame and smaller numbers.
If we look at the week-long performance of AI (which doesn't work perfectly since it was a long movie that skewed older), after that 56% decline on Monday, it then saw an increase of 17% on Tuesday, climbed another 17% on Wednesday, dropped 45% on Thursday, and rose 55% on Friday. Its second weekend drop was a gaudy 52%. Obviously, Ratatouille is going to blow that away. We'll keep our eyes on the film over the next couple of days, but Monday's numbers are a very, very good sign for long-term legs on an absolutely delightful film.
Tomorrow, we'll look further into both Transformers and Ratatouille in addition to spending some time on Live Free or Die Hard. We can go ahead and tell you that the fourth installment in the Bruce Willis franchise dropped 58% from Sunday-to-Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday numbers will tell the full story as the week goes on.