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Weekend Forecast

By David Mumpower

November 20, 2008

The bad news is that bubbles can burst.

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What I can say with certainty is this. Friday's debut for Twilight is going to be a spectacular single day total. The demographics are perfect for this. Teens are the ones most likely to experience opening day rush. Giggling fans of the book have been staking out theaters for days now (right about now is when you're glad you don't work at a movie theater). There are planned parties and theme nights taking place all across the United States and Canada. Friday is going to be a massive night for Twilight. I don't doubt this for a second. In fact, I see $25 million as the likely outcome and won't even discount $30 million as a possibility. The question is what happens after that. I expect to see the same split as Sex and the City with perhaps an eerily similar $27 million start and $58 million finish in the cards. It's hard for me to go further beyond that, even with the spectacular presale stories.

The other major title released this weekend is one close to my heart, Bolt. After being a film journalist for a decade now, it's hard for any movie to really grab me the way that Bolt's trailer did. The genius of Rhino, the hamster-in-a-ball, was such that I went out and created a fan page for the lil dude on Facebook. Rare is a character who captivates me as completely as Rhino has done, but I have to say that what is impressive about Bolt is that he is not the only adorable character in the film. Loathe as I am to mention Lilo & Stitch due to the awkward connection to Chris Sanders, the original director of Bolt, that film is the comparison I keep making. It was the last animated work wherein the over-the-top character kids would love (Stitch then versus Rhino now) is matched every step of the way by an equally adorable lead (Lilo then versus Bolt now).




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Bolt is the third consecutive 3-D animated title from Disney (after Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons) to succeed in highlighting new technology without losing sight of character development. While I was blown away by Meet the Robinsons, an underrated masterpiece along the lines of The Emperor's New Groove, Bolt is an even better release. Given the $25-$40 million range between those two titles, it's fair to slot Bolt somewhere between them. Tracking has been a little more generous, saying even $45 million is possible. I think that's a bit too ambitious, as I am expecting a three-day result of about $36 million. The good news is that Bolt is wonderful. Disney itself verified this with a sneak last weekend that achieved some of the best scores in the studio's recent history. I fully expect this one to become a buzz film over Thanksgiving as people get together with loved ones and talk about the wonderful film Disney has made. Even without the Miley Cyrus connection, I think this one would have been a winner.


Forecast: Weekend of November 21-23, 2008
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Twilight 3,419 New 58.7
2 Bolt 3,651 New 36.3
3 Quantum of Solace 3,458 +7 32.8
4 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa 4,007 -58 21.0
5 Role Models 2,717 -81 7.2
6 High School Musical 3: Senior Year 2,361 -841 3.6
7 Changeling 1,728 -168 2.6
8 The Secret Life of Bees 1,095 -354 1.8
9 Zack and Miri Make a Porno 1,220 -990 1.6
10 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 788 -829 1.1

Continued:       1       2       3

     


 
 

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