Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody
January 2, 2010
After last week's spectacular Christmas weekend performance, Avatar (and virtually everything else) benefits from having New Year's Day fall on Friday, as it's up 11% from Christmas Day to $25.7 million. New Year's Day is typically the last hurrah for films as people generally return to work and school afterwards but with it falling on a Friday, expect Saturday to be fairly decent while Sunday behaves normally as people brace themselves for a return to the grind on Monday.
Avatar has now crossed $300 million with ease and $400 million is a mortal lock at this point. Last weekend's multiplier was 3.27. Based on the strength of Friday, there's a good chance Avatar actually makes more this weekend than it did over the first two, unless Saturday is considerably weaker than expected. The extraordinary word-of-mouth this thing has seen has made this awfully difficult to predict, even with two weekends of data. Even using a 3.0 multiplier means a weekend of $77.1 million.
While all pre-Christmas releases are up, Christmas Day openers all suffer from last Friday. While some aren't down all that much ([tm:4664_]It's Complicated[/tm] is off 2%) Sherlock Holmes is by far the biggest offender of the bunch, falling 39% from last Friday to $14.9 million. That's a rather alarming amount considering the next biggest drop is now confirmed flop [tm:4336_]Nine[/tm] (down 29%) and then after that it's Alvin and the Chipmunks (down 6%). The moderate to negative word-of-mouth seems to be the biggest factor here as those undecided when they get to the theater appear to be choosing Avatar in large numbers. Give it $37 million for the second weekend.
The drops for the other openers last week have already been covered. [tm:4514_]Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel[/tm] will cross $150 million in two weekends and It's Complicated certainly holds its own as a choice of older audiences, while Nine is officially a disaster and even with ten nominees likely has seen its shot at a Best Picture nominee evaporate.
[tm:3704_]The Blind Side[/tm] has crossed $200 million and may not have enough steam to get to $250 million as we reach the end of the holiday box office money train, it's still by a decent margin the biggest hit of [bp:2194_]Sandra Bullock[/bp]'s career. Give it another $13.5 million.
The biggest winner due to how the calendar worked is [tm:4512_]The Princess and the Frog[/tm]. It's up 89% from last Friday to $3.7 million. It might not duplicate last weekend's 4.28 multiplier but $100 million is still in the realm of possibility, which is great for something traditionally animated. Look for $12.1 million for the weekend.