Friday Box Office Analysis

By Tim Briody

May 29, 2010

And so it was foretold that Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda came to our land. It was bad.

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After Iron Man 2 blasted off to $128 million, audiences have pretty much responded to everything else with a collective shrug. Seems that Memorial Day weekend did not break that streak.

Sex and the City 2

The return of Carrie Bradshaw and a bunch of other terrible people was pretty much a no-brainer after earning $150 million (with $56.8 million of that coming on the opening weekend). But a Thursday opening likely kneecapped the massive Friday that the sequel would have had. In fact, with a Friday take of $13.1 million, Sex and the City 2 has now earned $27.3 million in its first two days of release, which is pretty much in line with the $26.7 million the first movie made on its opening day. Sex and the City fabulously threw down a 2.12 weekend multiplier, one of the worst multipliers in the modern era. The Thursday opening plus Memorial Day weekend monkey things up a bit in the multiplier department, but suffice to say that a 2.12 just isn't possible over this weekend, even if your film is Sex and the City or a Twilight sequel.

Looking at last year's Memorial Day weekend, Terminator Salvation also had a Thursday debut headed into the long weekend. It had earned $28.1 million after two days and finished the five days with $65.3 million, which was a 3.5 multiplier over the four day weekend, adding Thursday's take back in at the end. There's a chance that Sex and the City 2 viewing parties were delayed to the long weekend, but seeing how similar the two-day take was to the first film's opening day, I'd say its fangirl wad was pretty much shot and the sequel's film will behave very similar to how Terminator did, where Thursday-Sunday are all pretty similar in earnings, with a dropoff on Monday which is essentially gravy. That would mean a four-day weekend of $45.9 million, with $60 million over five days when you put Thursday back in.


Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Uh-oh. The quest to make Jake Gyllenhaal an action star was met with a resounding shrug as Prince of Persia opened to $10.3 million. While it will essentially end up as one of the higher grossing video game adaptations, as a summer tentpole and franchise launcher it's a non-starter. It shouldn't suffer the same fate in the multiplier department that Sex and the City 2 is headed to, but it should still end up behind that film and Shrek Forever After on the weekend, and will quickly be forgotten. A four day take of $41.2 million will be in the works here.

Shrek Forever After

After a disappointing(?) $70 million opening, Shrek Forever After looks to redeem itself over the long weekend. It earned $11.4 million on Friday, down 45% from last week.

All of the Shrek releases have opened the weekend prior to Memorial Day, so we can use each film's second weekend to see where Shrek Forever After is going to end up this holiday weekend.

Shrek: $9.6 million second Friday, 5.66 four day multiplier (what a different world we lived in then)
Shrek 2: $21.5 million second Friday, 4.5 four day multiplier
Shrek the Third: $14.2 million second Friday, 4.71 four day multiplier

Okay, so we're throwing out the freakish multiplier that the first Shrek movie had, though I'm pretty certain that Shrek Forever After will land somewhere between the weekend multipliers of Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third. I would actually lean towards the higher end here, as notice that the lower the Friday gross, the higher the multiplier. It's obviously lagging behind the second and third movies, and can completely forget about being a $300 million film. Shrek's $267 million is probably safe as well, unless Shrek Forever After pulls out that four day multiplier that the first movie had. I'm going with a 4.7 for the weekend estimate, however.

When the estimates come in, Sex and the City 2 will garner the headlines as the top earner, but it cheated with the extra day of release. Although it's still going to be considered a disappointment, Shrek Forever After will win Memorial Day weekend with a four day total of $53.5 million.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Four-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Shrek Forever After 53.5
2 Sex and the City 2 45.9
3 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time 41.2
4 Iron Man 2 18.6
5 Robin Hood 11.7
6 Letters to Juliet 7.2
7 Just Wright 2.3
8 Date Night 2.1
9 Macgruber 1.6
10 How to Train Your Dragon 1.3



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