Friday Box Office Analysis

By Tim Briody

November 7, 2009

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A Christmas Carol

The latest adaptation of the Dickens novel, this time given the 3-D computer animated treatment, opened Friday to $9 million. It's a pretty good start, considering this is likely to be a film that both does well on weekends and plans to be in it for the long haul. The Polar Express, the first film using this type of motion capture animation, started with a weekend of $23.3 million but had a weekend multiplier of 3.7 after simply exploding on Saturday. Barring a rejection of something Christmas themed in early November, something very similar is going to be in the works over the remainder of the weekend. A 3.7 multiplier for A Christmas Carol is a $33.3 million weekend, a decent enough beginning.

The Fourth Kind

Horror-thriller The Fourth Kind places second among the new releases on Friday with $5 million. Considering the deluge of films from these genres in the past month, (Paranormal Activity and Saw VI still hanging around means 40% of the top ten is represented by horror), this certainly could have been worse. There's nothing here that points to an extraordinary remainder of the weekend, so give The Fourth Kind a weekend of $12.7 million.


The Men Who Stare At Goats

One of the clunkiest titles of the year, The Men Who Stare At Goats probably turned off a bunch of folks despite the star power of George Clooney, as it earned $4.6 million on Friday. All is not lost, however, given that this will probably draw some older audiences. I expect it to leap above The Fourth Kind to take second place for the weekend, as much of a consolation as that is. The Men Who Stare At Goats should end up with $14.4 million for the weekend.

The Box

Our fourth opener is The Box and it places fifth on Friday with $2.8 million. Was anyone else hoping that this would bomb badly and only earn, like, $1 million on Friday? No? Anyway, holdover Paranormal Activity (which The Box is tied with on Friday) should end up ahead of it when the weekend estimates come in. Give The Box $7.2 million.

Notable Holdovers

Michael Jackson's This Is It doesn't fall off a cliff completely, down 48% from last Friday to. For a concert film, that's not bad. The rest of the weekend is tough to predict based off last weekend (Sunday beat Saturday by a little bit due to Halloween) but a weekend of $14.2 million is surprisingly solid for a second weekend.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 A Christmas Carol 33.3
2 The Men Who Stare At Goats 14.4
3 This Is It 14.2
4 The Fourth Kind 12.7
5 Paranormal Activity 7.8
6 The Box 7.2
7 Couples Retreat 5.8
8 Law Abiding Citizen 5.4
9 Where the Wild Things Are 3.8
10 Saw VI 1.9



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