Weekend Wrap-Up

Hannah Montana Rises Over Easter Weekend

By John Hamann

April 12, 2009

Dad, I want a nicer plane than this one and I want it now!

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One weekend ago, box office analysts expected Fast & Furious to open in the $30 to $40 million range. It blew out expectations, pulling down $71 million over three days. This weekend, Hannah Montana: The Movie was tracking to show up in third, grossing in the high teen millions. Instead of giving it away in the first paragraph, I'll just say this weekend is more like Groundhog Day than Easter.

I read numerous news stories this week that the shine was coming off of the franchise that is Miley Cyrus, after those damned Jonas boys flopped with their concert movie over opening weekend. Group Think said the Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana Best of Both Worlds concert movie was just a flash in the pan, constructed by Disney, who told kids Miley would only be in theaters for one weekend (yes, they lied). I was told to belieive that Hannah Montana: The Movie would open low, and that this movie release was a setup for home video sales. What have I learned this weekend? That Kanye West has a big ego, and that it isn't time for Miley Cyrus to give up on her movie career.


So our number one movie isn't Fast & Furious or Monsters vs. Aliens. It is Hannah Montana: The Movie, as Miley doubles up on expectatations, just like Fast & Furious did last weekend. Hannah Montana earned $34 million for Disney from 3,118 venues, and had a venue average of $10,904. This one earned as much on Friday ($17.4 million) as it was supposed to all weekend, and must have tracking firms running for cover. Hannah Montana outgrossed Hilary Duff (remember her?) on Friday night alone, as The Lizzie McGuire Movie earned $17.3 million over its entire opening weekend. The Friday was the big number for Hannah Montana, as tween girls used a day away from school on Friday to see the movie. Hannah Montana: The Movie finished with an internal multiplier of 2.0 (weekend gross divided by Friday gross) and it was decidedly low due to the frontloaded Friday and the Easter Bunny on Sunday.

Hannah Montana outdueled some serious competittion from the past. The Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour opened to $31 million in February of last year, and would have been bigger if it had played in more than 683 venues. That film cost Disney less than $7 million to make, and it earned $65 million at the North American box office, $6 million from overseas grosses, and another $18 million from DVD sales. High School Musical 3 opened to a higher $42 million, but due to some idiotic scheduling moves from Disney, it finished with only $90 million domestically, and a shocking $151 million overseas ($240 million combined). HSM3 made another $50 million from DVD sales, and cost the studio only $11 million to make (I still maintain that they left a large amount of money on the table, due to opening the film the weekend prior to Halloween, and two weekends before Madagascar 2). Hannah Montana also opened the same as Enchanted, which debuted to $34 million in November 2007. Hannah will never find the legs of Enchanted, though, as the Amy Adams film finished with $127 million domestic.

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