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Daily Box Office Analysis for June 13, 2007

By David Mumpower

June 14, 2007

Sure, fella. If we leave out three other movies, you're totally number one.

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The first step is to determine comparison films. I will start with Monster House, an Amblin Entertainment release also distributed by Sony. The "Homes Eating Humans = $$$" movie opened 20.7% higher with $22.2 million. It's important to keep that in mind as we compare daily numbers. Since it opened 20% higher, its weekday numbers should mirror that lead. In fact, I have harped on the premise that it's bad for Ocean's Thirteen's first batch of weekdays to be trailing Knocked Up's first three weekdays for this reason. Keeping that in mind, let's take a look at how well they match up.

Monster House, a late July release last year, earned $2,661,352 on its first Monday then fell marginally (0.3%) to $2,654,121 on Tuesday. There was a steeper drop on Wednesday of 9.1% to $2,411,943. This gives Monster House a grand total of $7,727,416 over its first three weekdays. That's 25.9% better than the $5,726,952 Surf's Up has managed in the same time frame this week. So, Monster House opened 20.7% higher then added 25.9% more daily box office in the same time frame. The only good news for Surf's Up in this comparison is that Monster House fell quite a bit on its first Wednesday, a fate the penguin movie avoided.




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That's only one comparison, though. We saw last week with Wedding Crashers that there is always some title that blows the curve. Let's take a look at three other similar movies in terms of demographics. The first choice is Garfield. The Fox released opened the same week as Surf's Up in June of 2004. The lasagna-eating cat who sounds remarkably like Bill Murray had a first weekend of $21.7 million, 18.9% better than Surf's Up. Its first three weekdays were $2.43 million, $2.36 million, and $2.28 million. The good news for Surf's Up is that this film too declined on its weekdays rather than seeing steady holdover. The bad news is that Garfield's $7,069,389 from its first Monday through Wednesday is 19% better than Surf's Up. So, it performed ever so slightly better relative to opening weekend holdover albeit virtually being a draw.

If you are wondering why I don't adjust for inflation here as I did with Ocean's Eleven and Ocean's Twelve yesterday, the answer is simple. We are not looking to examine actual ticket sales in these models. Instead, we are simply examining box office behavior through percentage of audience held throughout the week. That's what matters. Even if we switch from an average ticket price of $6.21 to the current one of $6.79, the percentages would still hold (obviously). So, there is no point in doing so other than to further kick a surfing penguin while it's down. Since the poor guys already can't fly and I learned from a documentary that a lot of their babies freeze to death in cracked eggs, I think they have suffered enough. Sony, on the other hand, is always good for a taunting. So, let's focus our ire on them if we have to choose a bad guy.


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