Daily Box Office for December 26, 2007
By David Mumpower
December 27, 2007
Due to the unusual calendar configuration of the holidays coming on Monday and Tuesday of this week, the ordinary pattern of evaluating the 12 Days of Holiday Box Office has been disrupted. I apologize for this, but it has been largely out of my hands. Even now, a couple of key distributors are not reporting their numbers on a daily basis, creating the need for estimation based on key theater data updates. The fallout from all of this is a truncated series of columns this year, the first of which will be comprised largely of an all-in-one update. There is a lot to go over, so let's jump right in.
Friday, the 21st of December, is the day that "officially" began the 12 days of box office for our purposes. This date through New Year's Day is the period where so many people are on holiday vacation that the entirety of movie releases sees a vast increase in box office performances. This is perhaps best demonstrated by a movie example combined with an examination with the entirety of the top ten. So, let's start with the number one movie for the past six days, National Treasure: Book of Secrets. On Friday, it debuted with $16.7 million. On Saturday, it fell 8% to $15.3 million. That decline continued on Sunday as it dropped another 17% to $12.7 million. Monday was Christmas Eve, a day we will talk about a bit more lower in this column. On this date, the Nicolas Cage sequel dropped 45% to $7.0 million. All of the classic signs are in place for heavy frontloading, right? Not so fast.
Tuesday, more popularly recognized in this country as Christmas Day, saw an increase of 95% (!) to $13.7 million for Book of Secrets. This total represents its third best day thus far. The obvious conclusion would be to write this off as a fluke, a primary example of holiday inflation that has saved an otherwise dying title. I am not saying this supposition is incorrect, but let me give you one other data point before you decide. Yesterday, the day after Christmas, the Da Vinci Code wannabe sequel earned $12.4 million, a number on a par with its Sunday performance. Obviously, titles are not supposed to match their Sunday totals on Wednesday. So, those of you who are new to this annual column are correctly wondering what in the world is going on. Before I offer an explanation, let me demonstrate that what has happened with Book of Secrets is not a fluke.
The composite top ten box office for Friday, the 21st of December, was an impressive $50,213,157. That number rose to $53,330,862, an increase of 6%. On Sunday, box office was "down" to $44,734,073, a modest Sunday decline of 16%. The head-scratcher if you are new to the process is what happened on Monday when receipts totaled a dreadful $22,639,732. That's a precipitous drop of roughly 50% from Sunday-to-Monday. Now, that's ordinary behavior for a regular weekday, so why am I describing it as dreadful? The answer is on display when Tuesday and Wednesday are factored in. One of them matching a weekend day's total is one thing. If it happens twice, it's a pattern, not an isolated phenomenon.