Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

March 30, 2010

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The dragon or the Kraken? Decisions, decisions...

Kim Hollis: Do you expect the glowing reviews for How to Train Your Dragon (currently 97% fresh at RottenTomatoes) to lead it to strong legs, or do you believe the brutal competition for 3-D/IMAX screens starting with Clash of the Titans next week will prevent it from an extended run?

Josh Spiegel: I think that the reviews are going to help, but only if the movie is in enough 2D theatres; even if Clash of the Titans doesn't dominate the marketplace in the same way that Alice in Wonderland did in its opening weekend, having three movies in 3D theatres just screws things up for everyone. I know that, in my area, one of the major chains is either showing Dragon in 3D or not at all, so that may damage the film's legs.

Michael Lynderey: Next weekend is going to be massive, with what I believe to be three $20 million+, or potentially $30 million+, openers (needless to say, one of those three releases is going to outrank the other two by a bit). That general atmosphere won't help How/Train/Dragon, especially since two of the new films possibly snatch away both the female (Last Song) and male (Titans) portions of its tween demographic. I think we're looking at maybe a 40% drop; yes, the movie has been well received, but so was Monsters vs. Aliens, and that one decreased by 45% over the same weekend last year. There have just been way too many children's films lately, and so they've started having drops more typical of non-kids fare (Diary of a Wimpy Kid's 54% downturn is a good example).

Shalimar Sahota: Only if audiences have it in their mind that they've got to see it in 3D or not at all. There isn't going to be another animated film till May, with DreamWorks' own cash ogre, Shrek. So I can see How to Train Your Dragon hanging around the top ten for a long while, largely from good old 2D screenings.


Jason Lee: I agree with Shalimar. Quality is quality, and there isn't another family-targeted movie until arguably the end of April. How to Train Your Dragon should show some good legs.
Reagen Sulewski: Losing some 3D screens won't help, exactly, but then again it sure doesn't seem like it got a huge boost from them either. If it's the case that audiences aren't really buying 3D animation, then it leaves a lot more room for it to have a lasting run.

David Mumpower: A lot of this depends on how we're defining good legs these days, which is a debate that is still in flux at the moment. Up had a final multiplier (final domestic box office divided by opening weekend domestic box office) of 4.30 while Monsters vs. Aliens had a 3.34. I'm inclined to believe that How to Train Your Dragon winds up splitting the difference between the two since it has a lower opening weekend number to match but doesn't have anywhere near the longstanding overall appeal of Up. The math on that would give How to Train Your Dragon a final tally of about $160 million and my gut instinct is that even that is a bit high. There isn't a lot of good news here for DreamWorks, which must be frustrating given what a great job they did in saving this project from abject disaster 18 months ago.

Continued:       1       2



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