Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

May 26, 2009

The third trophy is the cuddliest.

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The Smithsonian beat the future. Take that, future!

Kim Hollis: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian finished in first place over the holiday weekend with a four-day total of $70 million. Should Fox be pleased with this result?

Pete Kilmer: Heck yeah. A $70 million opening is the new $20 million opening from ten years ago.


David Mumpower: We oftentimes pull the win, lose or draw stunt with our post-opening weekend evaluations of titles. The reality is that this one is still up for debate for any of those three eventualities. A lot of people will be quick to point out that Night at the Museum only earned $30.4 million during its first three days, which is true. The problem with such a direct comparison is that while it needed a full week to earn $70 million, the total Battle of the Smithsonian has managed in three days, its 21-day total was $168.7 million. If we use Shrek the Third and The Longest Yard as recent comparisons for post-Memorial Day box office legs, each of them wound up with right at $100 million from this point on. It's a reasonable conclusion, at least for the moment, which would indicate a final domestic take of $170 million. If that happens, I would paint this sequel as a draw bordering on a win for a $150 million production with respectable overseas earning potential. If it flames out more quickly than that, then it becomes closer to a loss for Fox. It is imperative for Battle of the Smithsonian to survive its direct demographic competition showdown with Up next weekend in order for it to be declared a success.

Scott Lumley: It all depends on the drops, or the legs, depending on which slang you prefer when describing it. Personally, I think Reagen analyzed it best when he pointed out that there really hasn't been any big market family friendly fare since Monsters vs. Aliens and that alone should give this better legs than it deserves. So until Pixar's Up comes along to control the family friendly market, this isn't going to drop much, and that probably makes it a winner... Oh, wait. Up opens next weekend, doesn't it? Yeah, looks like the Battle of the Smithsonian just got cut awfully short.

Max Braden: Well it won the weekend against Terminator Salvation, which up until a few weeks ago everyone (right? not just me?) thought was going to be the big Memorial Day weekend winner. And if we decided that Wolverine's $85 million was a success, can't this be considered good? They were bound to face a different box office dynamic by shifting the sequel from the first's Christmas frame to a summer release. Sure, Up will cut the Smithsonian's legs, but it also means Up faces established competition. I wouldn't be surprised if Up struggles to beat Smithsonian's ten-day take, which could put Battle of the Smithsonian at the top of the family film genre this year. That's something to be pleased with.

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