Daily Box Office Analysis for August 6, 2007
By David Mumpower
August 7, 2007

I will kill you, Jimmy Kimmel!

Okay, we know the drill by now. Another summer 2007 weekend meant another $70 million opener. Well, sort of. The Bourne Ultimatum was estimated to have surpassed $70 million in its first three days, but the actual numbers indicated box office revenue of exactly $69,283,690. If you are one of the 110,000 customers who wanted to go but didn't quite make it last weekend, this is specifically your fault. But I digress.

The point for today's discussion is that we know how to evaluate this level of performance by now. This is our fourth iteration of it in five weeks. Try to wrap your head around that for a moment. Just since the July 4th period, we have had Transformers, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Simpsons Movie and The Bourne Ultimatum achieve this level of success. The end result is that this is a conversation that will feel familiar to those of you who have been reading BOP's Daily Box Office Analysis columns for a while now. There is a distinct feeling of déjà vu to the process.

Here is how Matt Damon's movie stacks up against the previous three iterations of the $70 million club. After its franchise record opening weekend, The Bourne Ultimatum earned $9.1317 million yesterday. This represents 13.2% of its opening weekend total and is a decline of 52.7% from its Sunday total of $19.3248 million. Those of you with photographic memories already know how this stacks up against the other three titles mentioned above, but let's humor those who don't for a moment by regurgitating the now-familiar information.

Transformers, the film that started the trend of everything opening to $69 million or more, earned $70,502,384 over its first weekend. Its Monday box office of $9,927,640 is 14.1% of its weekend total as well as depreciation of 55.2% from its Sunday box office of $22,144,125. So, Bourne didn't hold up as well on its first Monday relative to its total weekend compared to Transformers, but it did do better in terms of Sunday-Monday decline.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix had a first weekend of $77,108,414 with $22,955,554 coming on in its first Sunday. So, the following Monday performance of $10,415,480 represents a 54.6% decline from Sunday as well as 13.5% of its total first weekend. Once again, Bourne does not have the same share of first weekend box office, but it does have a smaller Sunday-Monday decline. Is this a pattern? We've got one more comparison to find out for certain.

The Simpsons Movie shocked almost everyone by earning $74,036,787 in its first weekend including $19,479,149 on that Sunday. Its Monday box office was $9,277,515. Those of you who read the column last Tuesday (i.e. those of you whom I don't despise with the fire of 1,000 exploding supernovas) will recall that this was not a bad performance. The total represents only 12.5% of its weekend performance, but the massive Friday was factored into that equation, a problem not faced by the Transformers or Harry Potter. Its Sunday-Monday decline of 52.4% was the best of the three prior to Bourne, and remains so now by a slight margin.

So, where does that leave us in terms of The Bourne Ultimatum's Monday box office overview? The first piece of the puzzle is murky. Bourne's 13.2% retention from the weekend to Monday beats only The Simpsons Movie while its Sunday-Monday decline beats everything but The Simpsons Movie. Given that the other three titles had larger Sundays than Bourne, however, that's not the best indicator in the world. Right now, The Bourne Ultimatum has had what I would describe as the expected type of Monday for a title such as this. Since Tuesday and Wednesday are when the bottom started to fall out for The Simpsons Movie, we should know more about the hold-over appeal of Bourne through the next two days of discussion.

There were three other openers this past weekend. Out of the mixed bag trio, Bratz failed to make the top ten yesterday, preventing me from using any number of prostitution jokes I had prepared for just this occasion. If only I Know Who Killed Me had shown some staying power... Hot Rod, the instantly forgettable Jackass clone featuring some Saturday Night Live nobody whose name I couldn't be bothered to learn finished in eighth place. Monday box office of $1,013,947 does little on the whole save for exemplifying the overall strength of the top ten. Readers of this column from earlier in the summer will recall that only three films in the top ten had earned over $1,000,000 when we started the summer box office daily analysis. We have now reached a point in the schedule where even the dregs like Hot Rod can have that type of Monday.

This point can be made even clearer with this piece of data. The summer box office for the first day of our discussions, June 4th, saw combined top ten box office receipts of $13,782,558. Compare that with yesterday's total of $23,808,685. That's a 72.7% improvement or, in more important terminology for our discussions, a box office expansion based upon two key facets of the movie business. The first is a larger number of quality titles in release while the second (and only logical explanation for Hot Rod's million dollar Monday) is excess free time for the people in the sweet spot for movie attendance, teens. This is the nature of the industry, and an aspect so obvious that it makes the fact that studio bosses had ignored the summer period prior to the release of Jaws all the more puzzling. Conventional wisdom can be a dangerous thing, my friends.

The $23,808,685 tally for the top ten represents a solid increase of 7.7% from last Monday's total of $22,096,871. In fact, this is the second biggest Monday of the summer to date, trailing only the $28,879,748 from July 2, the unofficial debut of Transformers. Suffice it to say that yesterday was a very good day to be in the movie business.