Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody
January 16, 2010

So that's what happened with Ethan Hawke.

[tm:4678_]The Book of Eli[/tm]

[bp:2065_]Denzel Washington[/bp]'s The Book of Eli is off to a solid start with $11.7 million on Friday, good enough to (temporarily) knock [tm:4510_]Avatar[/tm] out of the top spot. This being Martin Luther King weekend, Sunday will end up higher than normal and thus it's good multipliers for most films. This weekend last year, Paul Blart: Mall Cop had a three day multiplier of 3.25 and a 4.0 over four days. The Book of Eli might not do that well, but it's still going to have a pretty solid opening for January. Give it $34 million for the weekend proper and $41 million over four days.


Another day, another $10.5 million for Avatar (down 21% from last Friday). The remarkable thing here has not necessarily been the drops, it's the multipliers it's been turning in. Last weekend, the first "traditional" weekend the film has had in its run, it pulled in 3.78. It's having the mutlipliers of a children's film while pulling in three times the box office. This shouldn't be possible. Also, the last two weekends, Avatar has been under reported when the actuals come in.

If this film's box office performance hasn't stunned you already (and really, it's happened too fast to really wrap your head around things. It took Titanic 86 days to earn what Avatar is at as of Friday, which is its 29th day in release). This weekend gives it another chance to shock you, as it will move past The Book of Eli with $40.9 million over three days and $47 million over the long weekend.

[tm:2218_]The Lovely Bones[/tm]

One time Oscar contender The Lovely Bones jumps to wide release with $5.6 million. The [bp:598_]Peter Jackson[/bp] adaptation of the best seller is a very tough sell and reviews have not been the kindest. This weekend will salvage something but it's still going to go down as a disappointment. Give it $15.6 million over three days and $17.5 million over four.

[tm:4648_]The Spy Next Door[/tm]

The [bp:50_]Jackie Chan[/bp] family film earned a mere $2.4 million on Friday. All is not completely lost (last year, Hotel For Dogs had a 3.9 multiplier over the three-day weekend), and it theoretically should acquit itself nicely over the weekend. Call it $8.8 million over three day and $11.5 million in four days.