Monday Morning Quarterback

By BOP Staff

November 3, 2008

You can't catch me. No, really.

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The scariest thing on Halloween is how empty the movie theaters were

Kim Hollis: High School Musical 3 somehow survived the first 90% drop in Friday box office history to repeat as champion with $15 million. Which part of this do you find the most amazing, and why?

Pete Kilmer: Well, considering its audience and the fact that Halloween was on Friday, I'm not really surprised that it rebounded on Saturday and Sunday. I am surprised it beat Saw V for the weekend.

Brandon Scott: Pete actually kind of said it. I WOULD HAVE been surprised at a 90% drop, an unprecedented figure. Even so, $15 million from $42 million is damned steep. Nevertheless, the long-term view is always the key here. The film reportedly cost $11 million to make and we are looking at $57 million after ten days. That's nothing to shake a stick at, regardless of the varied expectations we and the industry might have thought would come from this pic.

Sean Collier: In a weird way, I think this speaks to long legs for the film. See if you can follow this logic: the huge drop on Halloween day indicates that HSM3's audience, if we didn't know it already, is very young - young enough to be distracted by family Halloween activities. Yet, these kids managed to convince their exhausted parents to schlep them to the movie theater on Saturday night. The idea I'm getting at: there are still plenty of kids insisting that they see HSM3 for the first, second, or third time. A long run may be ahead.

Tim Briody: Just when I thought I'd seen everything, High School Musical 3 drops 90% Friday to Friday and then has a 8.7 Friday to Friday multiplier. You cannot make this stuff up anymore.

Kim Hollis: You said it, Tim. I'm just blown away by everything pertaining to High School Musical 3 this weekend. I knew Halloween would have an effect - but *that much* of an effect? I honestly have no idea what any of this even means for its future. This movie is a total wild card.

David Mumpower: I agree completely with Sean. I was ready to hold last rites for High School Musical 3 after Friday's numbers came in. I expected some recovery on Saturday but a spike from $1.7 million to $8.2 million? It was historically unprecedented both ways. In the end, its weekend drop was about what was to be expected for a film negatively impacted by Halloween but how it got there is something box office wonks are going to be discussing for years.


Zack and Miri were not happy with their tricks or treats

Kim Hollis: Zack and Miri Make a Porno overcame a disastrous Friday (stop me if you've heard that one before) to earn $10.7 million over the weekend. What do you take from this result?

Pete Kilmer: Opening a movie on Halloween is not a move to make at all. There are too many parties and functions to go to.

Brandon Scott: Again, I would echo what Pete said. The target demographic is the same group that should be out living life rather than being locked in a theater on a Friday night Halloween. I saw this film a few weeks ago and while I admit that I thought it would be bigger than this, I am silently (okay, maybe not so silently), hoping that this is Seth Rogen fatigue. The guy is not a lead actor, not interesting enough to carry a film. While I know he has had great results to this point and I appreciate his talents, he is a supporting player and should be used as such. When you have him carrying the majority of frames in a film, the results are not pretty or interesting. He has been in the news and has been increasingly featured in films of late, and I suspect that he should not follow the Nic Cage route, and instead step back and keep out of the limelight for a few months at least. I do feel sorry for Elizabeth Banks, though. She gave a great performance here and she deserved more people to witness it. So that is too bad.

Sean Collier: Kevin Smith films do not have big theatrical hauls. They make about $60 million, then sell eleventy billion DVDs. This is the natural order of things.

Kim Hollis: While I do think it was foolhardy to open Zack and Miri on Halloween, I do wonder if there isn't just a typical Kevin Smith box office total as long as he stays within his sex/gross-out comedy world. Will his "horror" film Red State attract a different group? I'm not even sure that's going to be the case since he's still working safely within his target demographic.

David Mumpower: I fall somewhere between Kilmer and Kim on the subject. I do feel that Kevin Smith has a core audience that is going to follow him in anything and that group seems to be the body of his theatrical support. I am, however, certain that had this film not been released on Halloween, it would have been his most successful debut. What everyone has witnessed this weekend is just how much of a negative impact this calendar configuration of Halloween has on box office. Zack and Miri Make a Porno was one of the principal victims of it.

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