Friday Box Office Analysis

By Daron Aldridge

September 17, 2011

3D really brings out the robustness of Pumba's physique

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The Lion King 3D
Those sneaky folks at the House of Mouse have added a couple of dimensions to this classic, which is their highest grossing non-Pixar film (not adjusted for inflation). Would the parents of eager kids be willing to drop significant money to watch a movie likely sitting on a book shelf at home? Based upon the $8.8 million it took in on Friday, the answer appears to be on the affirmative side. Thanks to that showing, Simba is in line to reclaim his spot atop Pride Rock. While it likely won’t pull in the huge 3.8 multiplier of the 3D versions of Toy Story and Toy Story 2, it could achieve a 3.5 multiplier for just over $30 million for the weekend. If this proves true, then watch for additional cash grab conversions of vaulted Disney classics very soon.

If the critics had their way about it, Drive would be number one this week. Despite near unanimous 94 percent positive reviews, Ryan Gosling’s latest film has performed within expectations and earned $4 million on Friday. The highbrow action film (don’t see a ton of films being touted as such) is looking to bring in an estimated $11.5 million by Monday morning for a third place finish.

Straw Dogs
If you were clamoring for the remake of a notoriously violent 40-year old Peckinpah film, then you likely contributed to the $2 million Straw Dogs earned on Friday. If not, then you are on the same side as most of America. It doesn’t matter whether they were thumbing their collective noses at the notion that James Marsden could fill Dustin Hoffman’s pacifist loafers here or just listening to critics, the Straw Dogs remake is poised to only bring in $5 million for the weekend and either the fourth or fifth place spot. Because the ladies of The Help took home just $100,000 less than Straw Dogs on Friday, they could bump the R-rated film down a peg.

I Don’t Know How She Does It
If the “It” in the title is “make underperforming movies,” then the answer is that Sarah Jessica Parker does it VERY easily. With a pathetic $1.6 million on Friday, her woman power homage is hitting below even already low predictions. To compare it to other generically titled films geared toward the fairer sex, last September’s You Again and last December’s How Do You Know both accomplished a multiplier around 3.0. So it only makes sense that Parker’s effort this weekend will have to settle for an estimated gross of $4.8 million and sixth place on the chart. Clearly, people chose to believe the horrific Rotten Tomatoes score of 19 percent.


Other notables in the top ten
With its slip of about 42 percent on Friday to $4.6 million, it looks like that a 17-year-old cartoon appears to be the cure for Contagion. Soderbergh’s latest will likely be bumped to second with a projected $13 million. Unfortunately, Tom Hardy will have to wait for The Dark Knight Rises to have some box office news to cheer about. Warrior looked soft with last weekend’s debut and based upon the meager $900,000 it made Friday, said softness is now a fact but it will stay in the top ten with an estimated $2.5 million.



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