Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody
December 18, 2010
Tron: Legacy nerdgasmed its way into theaters on Friday with $18 million. This is a very good, if likely inflated start. It's all your fault, nerds. It's going to win the weekend with style but I have doubts about its longevity as we head into the best two weeks of box office of the year. I'm going with a 2.5 multiplier due to opening night nerd appeal, which would mean a weekend of $45 million.
The entirely unnecessary adaptation of Yogi Bear into a live action film was met with a meh even from its target audience, as it earned $4.7 million on Friday. Alvin and the Chipmunks (opening day gross of $13.3 million three years ago) this is not. It's going to have an above-average (or is that smarter than the average?) weekend multiplier, but it's not going to be a runaway juggernaut over the holidays, and that's something I think we can all be thankful for. Give Yogi Bear a weekend of $15.8 million.
Leaping to wide release, The Fighter is third on Friday with $3.9 million. The Oscar contender with the widest release right now, that will play in its favor over the weekend and the next few days. Give it an $12 million weekend.
How Do You Know
The James L. Brooks comedy How Do You Know underwhelms with $2.5 million on Friday. This is actually worse than Spanglish, which opened to $3 million six years ago (though really on the back of Adam Sandler in his "serious actor" phase). Give How Do You Know a weekend of $7.3 million and watch it get totally lost in the shuffle during the holiday box office money train.
Expanding to 959 theaters, Black Swan earned $2.7 million. Obviously, the insane per screen average it had in 90 theaters last weekend wouldn't hold, but this is still very decent and remains something to watch as it adds more and more theaters. It might just be too damn weird for some but the awards attention it's going to get are going to carry it pretty far. Black Swan should earn $8 million this weekend.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader predictably falls hard on Friday, off 56% from a week ago to $3.7 million. The next two weeks will help it slightly, but it's in danger of halving Prince Caspian's box office (which in turn, halved The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe's box office). Call it a second weekend of $10.8 million.
The Tourist actually fares slightly worse than Narnia, falling 59% from last Friday to $2.5 million, despite (or maybe because of) some Golden Globe nominations. Call it $7.3 million and be done with it.