Daily Box Office Analysis for December 10, 2007

By David Mumpower

December 11, 2007

I'm feeling singled out.

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Box office for Monday, December 10th, is not considered one of the Twelve Days of box office. That period generally considered to start around December 21st. We have never studied what happens in the period before the most glorious time of the year for movie exhibitors and distributors. So, we are going to throw that in over the next ten days while we await the golden days of box office that will hopefully save the last quarter of the year from disaster. Seriously, the last three months of receipts have placed us on the fast track to box office oblivion. With I Am Legend and National Treasure: Book of Secrets in queue and a dozen other respectable to strong titles joining them, there is much cause for optimism for the rest of the month. This week, not so much...

The number one film for Monday is The Golden Compass, a title whose production budget is as *little* as $180 million, but whose negative cost may exceed $250 million, depending on which studio suit you trust (and this is a trick question, the correct answer being to never trust any of them). Given weekend box office of $25.8 million, this one is already on life support. Solid daily numbers could make it respectable enough to limp along to $100 million, but I want to be honest going in here. The Golden Compass has already absorbed a death blow. We're just playing out the string from here on out.

This particular string is Monday box office of an estimated $1.7 million. New Line as a studio rarely reports exact box office numbers, so we won't have the precise numbers for it that the rest of the top ten will possess. What we do know is that this gives the movie a running total of $27.483 million. For those of you paying attention to BOP's other analytical discussions, yes, this does mean that a film the studio expected to earn at least $30 million over opening weekend is unlikely to get there until after six days of box office. The word we are looking for here is "Oof".


We don't want to let the previous failure of The Golden Compass blur our vision in seeing weekday box office for Monday as well as the rest of the month. Despite the weekend horror, this could still be a great weekday start, right? Unfortunately, it is not. Those of you who have read prior daily box office analysis at BOP know that our staff firmly believes in learning from historical research and precedents. Taking a look back at 2006's second Monday in December should be instructive in showing how well The Golden Compass has held up.

Apocalypto, another disappointing December title, opened to only $15.0 million in its first weekend. This total represents only 58% of what the much bigger budgeted The Golden Compass managed. So, its Monday performance should be 58% of the Nicole Kidman/Daniel Craig title's first Monday, give or take a tad bit of wiggle room. It's not. Apocalypto earned $1.51 million on its first weekday, a total that almost matched what the Philip Pullman adaptation managed. So, Apocalypto earned 58% of The Golden Compass' weekend total, but it spiked up to 89% in terms of Monday performance.

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