Daily Box Office Analysis for December 27, 2007

By David Mumpower

December 28, 2007

Ah, the good ol' days. When women were women and cell phones were ridiculous.

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Now consider its Christmas weekdays. Monday, Christmas Eve, was negatively impacted by the holiday as were all the other titles. The Golden Compass earned only $1.00 million on that day. On Tuesday, it increased 38% to $1.38 million, a total slightly above its performance on the previous Friday. The day after Christmas, the movie increased another 28% to $1.76 million. This amount is equal to what the film managed last Saturday and surpassed any performance during its first set of weekdays. This number is a $500,000 increase from the title's first Thursday on December 13th. Stating the obvious, that should not happen.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is a similar situation. The title bungled its way to $1.50 million on Friday, $1.38 million on Saturday and $1.30 million on Sunday. Yes, there was something of a rush factor last weekend to watch the comedy, as much as that concept boggles the mind. On Christmas Eve, it was particularly crushed, falling to $0.56 million. This 57% drop was the second largest of any title within the top ten. Christmas Day saw a 175% spike to $1.53 million. Yes, that is the largest single day total the movie has made to date. On Wednesday, the title held up very well with $1.3 million, a number matching its prior Sunday's performance. Yesterday, the title declined to $1.06 million. So, even this title with very little appeal to consumers had its best day on a weekday and matched a weekend day's performance on a Wednesday. Yesterday's slippage notwithstanding, it has demonstrated exactly the behavior we would expect.


While the point has been made, I do want to offer one more example for your consumption. Charlie Wilson's War, the movie that claims arguably the strongest star power out of current titles in release, got off to a mediocre start. It earned $2.79 million on its first Friday, $3.70 million on its first Saturday, and $3.17 million on its first Sunday. Christmas Eve saw the Tom Hanks film decline 38% to $1.96 million. What's noteworthy is what has happened since. Like Walk Hard, Charlie Wilson's War had its best day come on its fifth day in release. Christmas Day receipts totaled roughly $4.34 million, a number 17% higher than its Saturday. Wednesday saw receipts of $3.72 million, also a number that exceeded its prior Saturday. The $3.07 million it earned yesterday also surpasses its Friday debut.

Charlie Wilson's War is a textbook example of the power of Christmas weekdays. The movie opened to only $9.66 million in its first three days. Over its last three days, it has earned $11.13 million, a total 15% stronger than how it started. In this day and age of heavy frontloading, such box office behavior simply does not exist. Movies are not supposed to outperform their opening weekends unless they are titles such as My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Blair Witch Project, There's Something About Mary and The Sixth Sense...and you will notice none of these films was released in the last five years. As exhibitors and distributors embrace the "first in, first out" philosophy more and more, the days of long box office legs are a thing of the past. Charlie Wilson's War is not demonstrating such behavior, either. All it is doing is capitalizing upon an odd calendar-predicated scenario that causes the proverbial high tide to raise all boats.

Daily Box Office for Thursday, December 27, 2007
Rank Film Distributor Daily Gross Daily Change Weekly Change Running Total
1 National Treasure: Book of Secrets Walt Disney Pictures $10,517,241 - 15.5% N/A $88,402,703
2 Alvin and the Chipmunks 20th Century Fox $9,520,466 + 13.6% N/A $112,374,569
3 I Am Legend Warner Bros. $7,403,217 - 15.1% N/A $167,075,237
4 Charlie Wilson's War Universal $3,065,125 - 17.6% N/A $22,738,430
5 Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem 20th Century Fox $2,941,455 - 32.7% N/A $16,830,017
6 Juno Fox Searchlight $2,701,196 - 6.1% N/A $15,381,218
7 The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep Columbia Pictures/Sony $2,685,000 + 4.7% N/A $7,620,644
8 P.S. I Love You Warner Bros. $2,472,112 - 2.7% N/A $14,297,556
9 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Paramount Pictures $2,336,162 - 15.0% N/A $18,719,236
10 Enchanted Walt Disney Pictures $1,990,648 N/A N/A $104,148,770
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations

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