Daily Box Office Analysis

By David Mumpower

June 17, 2015

He's in a tight spot.

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Since the two biggest releases of the summer are already in theaters, the 2015 Daily Box Office campaign is effectively starting during the playoffs.

During the most initial batch of Daily Box Office columns last summer, the number one film in the country was The Fault in Our Stars. During its first Monday in release, it earned $5.1 million, which represented 29 percent of the entire top ten for that day. Yes, the entire top ten accumulated just under $17.6 million on that fateful day of June 9, 2014. The next day’s total enjoyed a slight uptick to $19.3 million, which was fairly solid relative to the average weekday totals last June.

I think you see where I’m going with this.

A little film called Jurassic World debuted last Friday, and it narrowly defeated the competition to become the most popular movie in North America. And China. And basically anywhere else that either speaks English or has access to subtitle technology. The most Spielberg-ian movie ever made by someone not named Steven Spielberg became the largest opener of all-time both domestically and globally. As longtime BOP contributor Dan Krovich is wont to say, “Animals Eating Humans Equals $$$$$.”


Before we get to the analysis, let’s perform a bit of clean-up for our new readers. First of all, hi! My name’s David and I’ll be your Sherpa for daily numbers analysis a couple of times each week during the most important period on the calendar for movie distributors.

For those of you who have been reading the site since its inception in 2001, accept BOP’s gratitude for your loyalty. Feel free to skip ahead two paragraphs, blanketed with the knowledge that we love you dearly. For everyone else, the rules of the summer box office campaign are fairly simple. Despite the box office boost from the season, bombs are still going to bomb. Yes, they will be boosted a bit by the consumer’s ability to see films more easily, but a rejected movie generally remains rejected.

Meanwhile, the movies that usually receive the largest spike in daily box office revenue are family films due to the influx of youths at matinee exhibitions. For this reason, family films that may not do well on opening weekend can still wind up being quite profitable. If you were wondering why there have been three movies in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise, you now have your explanation.

There is also an established pattern of behavior for all titles in release. Monday will be a solid day of box office, particularly for titles that experienced weekend sellouts. Tuesday box office generally exceeds Monday for all but the heavily front-loaded releases. The explanation is that there are discount deals performed across North America to entice consumers to catch a movie on what was historically the worst day of the week for the industry. Wednesday will see a slight drop from Tuesday, while Thursday is almost always the worst weekday for everything in release. These are the basics of summer box office behavior. Every week and every day within those weeks will experience a bit of fluctuation, though. Rules are made to be broken, as recent events have demonstrated quite emphatically.

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