Daily Box Office Analysis for August 9, 2007
By David Mumpower
August 10, 2007

The next person who says Good night, and good luck to me gets a beating.

Okay, box office numbers were late today, which means that I don't have much time to write this column before I have to leave for the theater. With the release of my beloved Neil Gaiman's cinematic adaptation of Stardust, this is three consecutive weekends wherein a movie I have heavily anticipated has been released. As I told my wife earlier, there have been multiple years in the 2000s that saw this many titles I counted down the days to watch on the entire calendar's release schedule. As a box office fan, I can't recall ever being happier with the state of movie quality in the theaters at the moment. Sure, Stardust may yet break my heart in terms of quality, but the simple fact that it's getting a release is a huge positive in my book. Next step for Hollywood: Death: The High Cost of Living!

The film that had me so excited a week ago at this time, The Bourne Ultimatum, finished up its first week in theaters yesterday with another $6,057,300. This gives it a running total of $98,673,300 for its first seven days, falling just short of the magical $100 million barrier as predicted. We already showed the numbers yesterday for how it was doing relative to the other recent $70 million openers, so let's take a look forward rather than a look back. Transformers dropped 47.5% in its second weekend to $37,027,901. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix fell 57.8% to $32,511,350 in weekend two. Meanwhile, The Simpsons Movie utilized a trajectory normally reserved for people jumping out of planes when it fell 66.1% to $25,110,873, enough evidence to suggest that its parachute failed to deploy.

The Bourne Ultimatum's weekday numbers have been on a par with if not slightly better than The Simpsons Movie's; even better, it does not have a uniquely large weekend day to overcome like was the case with the first day for The Simpsons Movie. Ultimatum increased from Friday to Saturday and had a perfectly respectable Sunday holdover. It seems likely to follow the pattern of Harry Potter if not Transformers. What helps the title is that with some kids already back in school (if you can question this, I can assure you that Knoxville's public schools started this past week), its weekday exhibitions were not as easy to attend. It's also more of a weekend performer anyway due to the way it skews so adult relative to the other titles in question.

I project The Bourne Ultimatum to have a 54% drop in its second weekend, which would be a three-day total in the neighborhood of $31.9 million. Anything better than that would be pretty impressive. Anything over $28 million would be acceptable behavior. Reagen Sulewski is forecasting $40.2 million, which I think is several steps behind ambitious. Universal must have recently purchased that screenplay he's been shopping.

The top ten for Thursday continued its pattern of decline throughout the week. The combined total of $17,341,041 is down 10.6% from Wednesday's total. It also represents a decline of 27.2% from the start of the week, which is pretty steep. The Bourne Ultimatum's actual dollars drop of $3,074,400 does account for almost half of that, though. What's particularly troubling about the combined top ten yesterday is that it is lower than last Thursday's $17,632,776 by 1.7%. Given that we started off the week 6.5% better than last week, this is an odd turn of events.