Friday Box Office Analysis

Spider-Man 3 Shatters Single Day Record

By David Mumpower

May 5, 2007

I feel strong like bull!

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Don't immediately discount a number lower than 2.38 from the possibilities as well. A year ago this very month, X-Men: The Last Stand exploded into theaters with what was then the second largest single box office day of all time, $45.1 million. People were discussing the possibility of a new opening record; the idea was that the prior film, X2: X-Men United, had a weekend multiplier of 2.74. That multiplier against a $45.1 million opening would be an opening of $123.6 million. The movie made $102.8 million, an exceptional total. It was, however, $20.8 million off the mark from what had been hoped for. When we get to these heights of weekend box office, just slapping an internal multiplier estimate onto a Friday box office tally is sloppy bordering on dangerous.

If you want further comparisons, here is the rest of the data. Dead Man's Chest's internal multiplier was 2.43. Revenge of the Sith's $50.0 million day occurred on a Thursday, so it's not a useful data point in this discussion. The same may be said of Shrek 2 (biggest day was a Saturday), Revenge of the Sith's day three (also a Saturday), The Matrix Reloaded (biggest day was a Thursday) or Dead Man's Chest's second day (box office of $44.4 million was still a decline of 19.7%). In addition to X3, the only film that could qualify in this very small sample survey is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. That release earned $40.1 million on its first Friday with weekend box office of $102.3 million indicating a weekend multiplier of 2.55. And given that it is the lowest of the $40+ million single days, qualifying by only $100,000, I'm not sure how useful that is.


As you can see, there is a lot going on under the hood here. Here is what we do know. No matter what else happens from now until Sunday actuals are in, Spider-Man 3 has shattered two records. It has become the widest opener in box office history (by 89 venues), and it has claimed the throne as largest single day of box office in history. Odds are decent to good that it will overtake Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest to once again claim the title of biggest weekend opener for the Spider-Man franchise. A weekend multiplier of 2.31 is all that is needed. Given the model of X-Men: The Last Stand, we know that this is not a foregone conclusion. I do believe that it is going to happen, however. A 2.40 multiplier, a bit higher than what Spider-Man 2 managed in the theoretical scenario above, would indicate a $139.2 million weekend, breaking Dead Man's Chest's record by roughly 2.7%.

One other release was sacrificed to the box office gods in honor of Spider-Man 3. Lucky You, the latest outing from Curtis Hanson, was as soundly rejected by North American movie audiences as a movie can be. It earned $950,000 from 2,525 mostly empty venues. A weekend total of $2.6 million followed by a lot of jokes and a quick DVD release is the expected release pattern here. Hanson, Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore might have tried to go all-in, but their hands were all dominated by Peter Parker's.


The aptly titled The Invisible fell 61.7% from Friday-to-Friday. Its total of $1.1 million yesterday is sadly good enough for third place, but that $3.0 million second weekend total is hard to sell as a positive. Sadly, however, it looks great to Fracture. Sir Anthony Hopkins failed to convince anyone that this is a movie Hannibal Lecter would love. A $1.1 million total for indicates a drop of just under 70% from last Friday. Box office of $2.8 million is not going to stop the bleeding here.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Spider-Man 3 139.2
2 Disturbia 5.6
3 The Invisible 3.0
4 Fracture 2.8
5 Lucky You 2.6
6 Next 2.6
7 Blades of Glory 2.2
8 Hot Fuzz 1.9
9 Meet the Robinsons 1.8
10 Vacancy 1.5

Continued:       1       2



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