Friday Box Office Analysis
By Kim Hollis
October 9, 2010

Yay. Our movie was #1 on Friday.

Working at the movie theater must be a little boring at the moment. We have three new films this weekend, but none are making any kind of huge splash, and we seem to just be marking time for big Oscar season and the holiday blockbusters.

Life As We Know It

People might be getting at least a little tired of Katherine Heigl. After seeing several films open in the $27 million range, her most recent ones, Killers and now Life As We Know It, have shown us signs that the actress's appeal may be fading. Maybe she shouldn't have said all those horrible things about, well, all of the people she has ever worked with.

Life As We Know It was the number one film on Friday, but it probably isn't going to hold that spot once three-day totals come in since The Social Network is not far behind it at all. The Heigl/Josh Duhamel rom-com about being thrust into sudden parenthood by proxy earned $5.2 million on Friday, enough to put it $300,000 above the critically acclaimed The Social Network for a day. Since both Killers and The Ugly Truth had a Friday-to-Sunday multiplier of about 2.8, that number seems to plug in nicely here, which means Life As We Know It should finish with $14.6 million.


Some folks were thinking that Secretariat could break out, Seabiscuit style, but I just never saw the wave of support for the Diane Lane film that seemed to surround the earlier horse movie. Seabiscuit isn't a disaster or anything, and because it is PG-rated, it does have a nice shot at a really fine weekend and longer-term performance. Nonetheless, it opened with only $4.1 million, which puts it below where some forecasters were estimating but probably is right about where it ought to be - a little lower than the July 2003 release Seabiscuit.

With that said, these inspirational sports movies do quite well in the multiplier department. Seabiscuit had a 3.3 multiplier for its Friday-to-Sunday, and that seems like as good a place to start as any. Let's give it a 3.2 to be safe, which should take the family-friendly horse film to $13.1 million, closer to Life As We Know It than Warner Bros. would like.

My Soul To Keep

Frankly, I'm a little surprised anyone knew this new 3D horror film was in theaters, but apparently there are enough Wes Craven fans out there to give it a Friday total of $2.7 million. If you've been reading this site for any amount of time at all, you know that horror holds up terribly at the box office, and I would expect My Soul to Keep to be no exception. It's even possible there was a sort of fanboy rush for this one, though it might be more fair to say that the audience was comprised of people who recognized the horror master's name more than they are dedicated followers. Look for about $6.6 million for the weekend.

Notable Holdovers

The main movie that matters here is Oscar hopeful The Social Network, which earned $4.8 million on Friday, not far behind Life As We Know It at all. It's possible that Warner Bros. will estimate Life As We Know It high enough to give it the "win," but the theoretical numbers should bring The Social Network in on top with right at $15 million.

There were two horror films that opened last weekend (Case 39 and Let Me In), but neither one of them made more than $1 million yesterday, so you can see where they're headed.