Daily Box Office Analysis for July 30, 2007

By David Mumpower

July 31, 2007

74 million divided 36 ways is still a lot of dough.

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If we look at these performances in terms of percentages, here is what we have. Transformers earned 14.1% of its weekend total on its first Monday. For Order of the Phoenix, the percentage is 13.5%. The Simpsons Movie managed only 12.5%, easily the weakest weekend-to-Monday holdover of the three. All of the above sounds troubling for The Simpsons Movie.

The news grows more positive when you consider it in these terms, though. The first day for The Simpsons Movie is an outlier, a performance it won't match again. Transformers and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix were identical in this behavior save for one aspect. Their mega-massive-ultra-huge days of box office came prior to the weekend. Transformers earned $27,851,016 during its Tuesday debut, an amount it failed to duplicate on any day of its first weekend. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix earned $44,232,338 during its Wednesday debut, one of the largest single-day performances in box office history. Its best weekend day of revenue of $28,310,875 represents only 64.0% of the amount on its best day. Look at that number carefully and scroll back to the page 1's fourth paragraph, the one discussing the significant drop from Friday-to-Sunday. Doesn't that look familiar now? Suddenly, The Simpsons Movie's intra-weekend holdover doesn't seem so troublesome.

Given this new-found information, let's not unfairly punish The Simpsons Movie for having a disproportionately large first day simply because the timing of it was different from the other two models. What we need to do, then, is look at this in different terms. Transformers fell 55.2% on its first Monday relative to the previous day, a Sunday. Similarly, Order of the Phoenix fell 54.6%. Meanwhile, The Simpsons Movie fell only 52.4% from Sunday-to-Monday. Even if we allow for the fact that it had the "worst" Sunday with $19,479,149 relative to Transformers' $22,144,125 and Order of the Phoenix's $22,955,554, it's still effectively a draw in terms of Sunday/Monday holdover.


In an attempt to gain further information earlier in the release period, let's take this a step farther. The Simpsons Movie's $9,277,515 represents 21.4% of its Saturday/Sunday box office, the period of its weekend not affected by the out-of-whack Friday performance. The numbers for Transformers and Order of the Phoenix are 20.7% and 19.9%, respectively. The logical inference here is that The Simpsons Movie held up at least the same if not slightly better than the other two recent $70 million openers in terms of Monday holdover relative to Saturday/Sunday revenue. It's simply hidden by the fact the sizzling Friday debut is bunched into the sum total. Once you isolate it out of the equation, The Simpsons Movie goes from appearing wildly front-loaded to showing some early signs of legs.

Fox execs have stated that they expect this behavior from the movie going forward since it is at heart an animated movie that is fun for the whole family. The exemplary critical reviews and word-of-mouth certainly help. Even so, the suspicion of front-loading will be hard to shake until at least the upcoming weekend of box office is in the books. Until then, it's a fun exercise in the unknown we will continue to study during the week. Of course, there are also three other new openers from the previous weekend to track a bit, but I am fresh out of Lindsay Lohan jokes at the moment. So, we will save them until later in the week.

Overall top ten box office receipts attain combined revenue of $22,347,944. People who have been reading this column throughout the summer know this to be a solid number. It is a marginal increase of 1.1% from last weekend. This represents the third largest Monday of the summer period thus far.

Daily Box Office for Monday, July 30, 2007
Rank Film Distributor Daily Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 The Simpsons Movie Twentieth Century Fox $9,277,515 New $83,314,302
2 I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry Universal $2,643,255 - 52.7% $74,323,335
3 Hairspray New Line Cinema $2,505,000 - 44.2% $62,162,000
4 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Warner Bros. $2,438,374 - 49.4% $244,877,588
5 Transformers DreamWorks $1,526,592 - 46.0% $286,203,726
6 No Reservations Warner Bros. $1,463,982 New $13,168,339
7 Ratatouille Walt Disney Pictures $1,064,798 - 43.0% $180,969,194
8 Live Free or Die Hard Twentieth Century Fox $690,779 - 25.5% $126,087,168
9 I Know Who Killed Me Sony/Columbia $467,646 New $3,973,937
10 Who's Your Caddy? MGM $270,003 New $3,026,664
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations

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