Daily Box Office Analysis for July 31, 2007

August 1, 2007

One family night at the movies: $10,417.

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In yesterday's discussion, we jumped through all kinds of hoops in order to demonstrate that The Simpsons Movie's first Monday was better than a cursory evaluation might indicate. Sure, the actual dollars were not what they should be for a $70 million opener, but there were all sorts of elaborate calculations utilized in order to show it was a solid first weekday. Today, that's all out the window.

The Simpsons Movie is the number one film in America for the fifth straight day. Its Tuesday box office of $7,501,425, however, is not a good sign. This total represents depreciation of 19.1% from Monday, an alarming number. This is easily the largest drop within the top ten with the second largest one being "only" 13.9%. That honor goes to Lindsay Lohan (natch) with I Know Who Killed Me. So, The Simpsons Movie's decline is even worse than a Lohan movie. That's not good.

Since I am always preaching the avoidance of alarmist box office analysis, let's back this up with some facts. We used two comparison models yesterday, conveniently enough two other summer 2007 titles that opened north of $70 million. The movies in question are Transformers and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Yesterday's discussion focused upon the fact that their best days came well before the weekend, meaning that each title was already displaying ordinary box office behavior by the time its opening weekend began. The Simpsons Movie did not have this advantage; its $30 million debut came on a Friday. This created some difficulty in evaluating weekend-to-Monday holdover, so we evaluated how The Simpsons Movie did in terms of Sunday-to-Monday decline as well as percentage of Saturday/Sunday box office earned on Monday. In those two categories, it was the best performer.


Unfortunately, the bloom is off the rose with today's comparison. Transformers fell from $9,927,640 on its first Monday to $8,253,776 on its first Tuesday. Ignoring the gap in actual dollars between Transformers and The Simpsons Movie, there is still a problem. Transformers had a decline of 16.9%, quite a bit better than what Team Homer managed. Similarly, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix fell from $10,415,480 on its first Monday to $9,169,473 on its first Tuesday. This is a drop of only 12.0%, much better than The Simpsons Movie. Summing up, The Simpsons Movie showed some great signs of holdover on Monday, but it came back down to Earth in a hurry on Tuesday. It may yet prove to be heavily front-loaded. This is a disturbing turn of events.

The other three new releases last weekend are so deadly dull as to almost merit no further discussion. We have already incidentally mentioned I Know Who Killed Me's drop from Monday to Tuesday. The piddling $402,693 yesterday gives it a whopping $4,376,630 after five days. The upshot of this from my perspective is that we have now added new lexicon to the Movie Lovers' Dictionary. Any time the erratic behavior of a diva impacts a project's box office potential, we can say it's been Lohan'd. It's not quite as fun as Cruise Control or The Gigli Effect, but Ye Old Firecrotch's projects aren't quite as high profile as those others. Also, this is further reinforcement of my theory that if Mean Girls were filmed today, Rachel McAdams and Lohan would switch roles.

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