The biggest story at the box office yesterday involved a movie that only finished third. Yesterday was the debut of The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Expectations have been modest for this project. Disney is following the same release pattern Sony utilized last week with Hope Springs.
Daily Box Office Analysis
By David Mumpower
August 16, 2012
The strategy for a low profile Wednesday opener is to create positive word-of-mouth. The difference between Hope Springs and The Odd Life of Timothy Green is that critics love the Tommy Lee Jones/Meryl Streep sex comedy. Hope Springs is currently 75% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. The Odd Life of Timothy Green is less fortunate. Only 39% of Rotten Tomatoes reviewers give the Disney release a passing grade. Generally speaking, there seems to be less studio support for this project than Hope Springs as well.
Keeping the above in mind, the Wednesday debuts of the two titles are shockingly similar. Hope Springs debuted to $2,265,292 on its way to a five-day total of $19,103,178. The first day for The Odd Life of Timothy Green netted $2,303,636. Yes, there is only a 1.7% difference or roughly $38,334 between the movies. We are talking about a difference of roughly 4,800 tickets sold across North America. That’s as razor thin a margin as we ever see in the marketplace these days.
My current expectation is that this situation becomes a blueprint example in demonstrating how different movies can behave after the same opening day. Hope Springs has earned $24,394,686 after eight days in theaters. On Wednesday, this feature grossed $1,627,164. If Disney matches this feat with Timothy Green, I will be deeply impressed. The first step in tracking their similarity/dissimilarity will occur with Thursday revenue. Hope Springs fell only 3% to $2,187,765.
I do not expect that same level of staying power from The Odd Life of Timothy Green, but if it behaves similarly, I will be forced quickly to reconsider my perspective. After all, Hope Springs already has surprised me with its staying power. There is no reason why Timothy Green could not do the same. My instinct as an analyst is that there isn’t enough ardent support for it to do as well but this statement could look silly in four days.
The number one film yesterday was once again The Bourne Legacy. There is cause for concern with its Wednesday total, though. $3,164,525 reflects a 27% decline from Tuesday’s $4,344,200. Not only is this one of the largest percentage declines for the day but also the largest one in terms of actual dollars. This is not unusual for the top film in North America. When I run calculations for The Bourne Legacy, however, the trend is unmistakably downward toward oblivion. I maintain uncertainty about whether the film reaches the $100 million mark despite its current box office of $49,508,905 after six days in release.
The Campaign is also in the downward spiral although not quite as alarmingly in terms of trajectory. It dropped 22% from Tuesday’s $3,436,196 to Wednesday’s $2,679,409. With a current box office tally of $35,845,147, the $56 million production is probably not going to be in the black when it exits North American theaters. I am not saying The Campaign will earn less than $56 million but instead that once we remove the exhibitors' portion of the revenue split, it will fall short of its stated budget.
The Dark Knight Rises experiences an acceptable 20% drop from Tuesday to Wednesday, earning $2,137,123 yesterday. Despite this, the entry of The Odd Life of Timothy Green into the marketplace causes Batman 7 to drop to its lowest point in the top ten thus far, fourth place. I stated on Tuesday that the movie would cross the $400 million barrier on its 29th day in theaters. Its current take of $396,743,702 confirms that it will not sneak across that mark a day earlier than projected.
The Dark Knight had earned $451,888,386 after 27 days in theaters, but the news is not all bad for its successor. I mentioned during the first set of weekdays that there existed the possibility that The Dark Knight Rises would not surpass the domestic total of The Hunger Games. The Jennifer Lawrence movie that debuts on home video this Saturday has earned $407.4 million domestically. The Dark Knight Rises should overtake The Hunger Games by Sunday to become the second largest domestic performer of 2012. Batman 7 has thereby avoided the worst case scenario fate I referenced during its discussion.
Combined revenue for the top ten at the box office yesterday was $15.4 million. This is a 14% decline from Tuesday. The overall depreciation was mitigated by the release of a new title in the marketplace. The weekend ahead should be fabulous as three more quality titles debut. They are The Expendables 2, Sparkle and ParaNorman.