Daily Box Office Analysis for June 11, 2007

By David Mumpower

June 12, 2007

You're not going to be able to afford to pay us in the next movie, are you?

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After starting Friday morning with such optimism, the news has been anything but good for Danny Ocean's crew. Tracking for an opening between $45 and $50 million, Ocean's Thirteen was estimated as earning $37.1 million on Sunday. This made it the softest opener of the franchise thus far, a particularly troubling result given that the prior two releases opened in December. Holiday releases like these are notorious for seeing deflated opening weekends followed by stellar weekdays. With so many North Americans on vacation, there is not the onus to see a movie on the weekend as there is during the rest of the year. As such, no one was surprised that the latest Steven Soderbergh release was tracking to be the biggest yet.

When Sunday estimates came in, however, everyone from the people in charge of tracking to exhibitors to the kind people at Warner Bros. was surprised by the result. That feeling was magnified on Monday when weekend actuals were released, demonstrating that Ocean's Thirteen's opening was over-estimated by a full million dollars. A cast anchored by Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and George Clooney could only open the movie to $36.1 million. Weekday numbers will tell the tale regarding whether this sequel would escape the negativity of the ill-regarded Ocean's Twelve. With its fate hanging in the balance, Ocean's Thirteen discussion kicks off the second week of BOP's daily numbers analysis - and the news for Team Clooney is unfortunately grim.

Ocean's Thirteen earned $4,155,375 yesterday, a total $280,000 short of what Knocked Up made as the number one movie last Monday. What's so alarming about this? Knocked Up opened to $30.7 million, a full 15% behind what Ocean's Thirteen managed. So, seeing the bigger opener fall 6.3% short of the sex comedy on Monday is alarming. Is it the end of the world? Of course not. There is a significant concern in that Knocked Up has been skewing older demographically than had been expected, though. There are more teenage consumers during June, July and August than there are adults who have a lot of free time during the summer. As such, titles directed toward teen audiences see enhanced weekday performances. Knocked Up has not fit this description thus far, though. It has largely catered to exactly the same audience who should enjoy Ocean's Thirteen, giving me grave concern about the legs of that movie. It's still early, but Ocean's Thirteen needs some good news in the coming days.


Meanwhile, the news is glowing for Knocked Up. As I chronicled last week, no movie from the comparison group had matched the feat of Wedding Crashers in having consecutive $20 million weekends. After estimates on Sunday, Knocked Up appeared to have duplicated that feat. Universal claimed a $20.0 million performance, but actuals had it falling just short of that mark with $19.6 million. Even so, I mentioned on Friday that anything above $18.4 million would indicate a juggernaut in terms of word-of-mouth and that's exactly what we have seen occur.

This is demonstrated again on Monday as Knocked Up holds well in second place with $2,689,065. This represents a decline of only 39.4% from last Monday's $$4,435,695. Currently standing at $68,556,085, Knocked Up is a slam dunk to cross $100 million during its domestic run. If it behaves the same as last week with Monday comprising roughly 28.6% of the box office, we would be looking another $6.7 million from Tuesday-to-Thursday, meaning Knocked Up will be right at $75 million entering the weekend.

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