Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody
October 31, 2009

He was a guy who liked to get his way.

This Is It

The Michael Jackson concert film/documentary This Is It earned $7.9 million on Friday. What's good about this number is this is more than the $7.4 million reported for Wednesday (with midnight Tuesday sneaks thrown into that figure) so it wasn't a one day wonder even with a big drop to $3.7 million on Thursday.

What's bad here is that it will likely tank big time on Saturday. When Halloween falls on the traditional weekend, theaters suffer massively. Look back at last year when Halloween fell on a Friday. High School Musical 3 had a Friday-to-Friday decline of 90% and then pulled an 8.7 multiplier for the weekend as the target audience returned over the weekend after a night of parties and trick-or-treating. The only beneficiaries of Saturday should be [tm:4977_]Paranormal Activity[/tm] and [tm:4968_]Saw VI[/tm], but even they'll take a moderate hit. Viewers will return on Sunday but at the expense of a weekend multiplier for This Is It to be around the lower 2.0's. A weekend total of $17.3 will give This Is It a five day tally of $28.5 million.

Paranormal Activity

Losing box office for the first time all month, Paranormal Activity earned $5.8 million on Friday, down just 19.4% from last Friday. Here's where things get interesting: while Halloween is one of the greatest box office black holes, horror films, for obvious reasons, buck that trend somewhat. Last year's Saw V is a pretty lousy comparison as it was comparing Fridays and still tumbled 78%. But films in the last decade such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the original Saw, and The Grudge were considerably less affected by the calendar. Last weekend Paranormal Activity's weekend multiplier was 2.78 and I'm leaning towards something similar happening this weekend. There are a couple of different scenarios possible on how this plays out, and I don't think Paranormal Activity gets a second weekend at the top but it's entirely within the realm of possibility that it does. I'm predicting a weekend estimate of about $16 million.