Daily Box Office Analysis for August 11, 2008

By David Mumpower

August 12, 2008

Marketing suggestion: don't make it look so much like a douche commercial.

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Anyone who knows one will verify that there is nobody more erratic than a stoner. As such, Pineapple Express' box office performance to date has been rather fitting. After debuting in first place last Wednesday with a record-shattering $12,085,679, the film then offered some of the strangest box office behavior in recent memory. Clearly frontloaded, the title fell 50.5% on Thursday to $5,988,032, which is not unheard of. What was odd is that the Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy then demonstrated additional frontloading on Friday. Then, it completely counteracted that by Sunday. All of that is…rare.

Friday's revenue of $7,913,360 represented 34% of its weekend total. I know what you are thinking right now. No, that number does not reflect frontloading on its own. What happened with Pineapple Express is that after Friday's performance, it fell 3.1% on Saturday to $7,670,967. So, the 4:20 comedy should have been in trouble. At least that is what box office analysts thought prior to Sunday actuals wherein we realized the film had fallen only $10,000 from Saturday to $7,660,698. A 0.1% decline on Sunday is all sorts of spectacular. For comparison, nothing else in the top ten fell less than 14.3%. In fact, the first Sunday performance of The Dark Knight that was so impressive was an 8.5% decline. Reviewing, Pineapple Express opened to a shocking amount then appeared frontloaded on Thursday, recovered a bit on Friday, again appeared frontloaded on Saturday and finally demonstrated signs of massive legs on Sunday. What a mess.

Coming into yesterday, the honest evaluation is that anyone who told you they knew what Pineapple Express was going to do during the rest of its run was lying. It has been a complete wild card to date. That trend continued on Monday as the film once again overtook The Dark Knight for first place with $3,848,972 as opposed to Batman's $3,742,198. The cannabis experience has now beaten the comic book action flick on four out of the last six days. Since Pineapple Express entered theaters, it has a grand total of $45,167,708. In that same time frame, the number one film of the year has earned $39,670,961. Pineapple Express may not have been the best performer of the weekend but it will wind up being the best performer of its first week. Given the competition, that's a striking accomplishment.


With regards to the legs of Pineapple Express, we only know a bit more today than we did yesterday. Monday's total of $3,848,972 is a 49.8% drop from Sunday's $7,660,698. Those of you who have been reading the column all summer know by now that anything under 55% for a Sunday/Monday decline is solid. Under 50% like Pineapple Express has done is pretty damned good. Even more impressively, the film is only off the same 49.8% from Saturday's number, which is a strong indication that word of mouth is boosting the film's box office. At least I think it is. There is every chance in the world that given how inscrutable this title has been thus far, it may very well experience the stiffest drop in the top ten the next couple of days. Nothing can be ruled out with this one.

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