Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Three

Friday Box Office Analysis

By David Mumpower

December 23, 2006

Many, many things can go wrong with toy set-up on Christmas morning.

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What this means is obvious. Internal multipliers are terrible when they involve Christmas Eve. 2005's average internal multiplier was 2.69 while 2000's was 2.62. Factoring in the trending that internal multipliers have only gotten smaller over the past six years, we know that a lot of films are going to see lousy weekend holdovers. Studios won't worry about it any, of course, since once we hit Christmas Day, box office for the week afterward will behave like a series of eight or nine straight Fridays. They are about to ride on the money train, but Sunday's numbers will be the sole troublesome blip on the radar until New Year's Eve...but I'm getting ahead of myself. You have to tune back in next weekend to read those details. For now, all that matters is how this weekend will play out.

This brings us back to...A Night at the Museum. The largest opener for this weekend has started off well and it should have a strong Saturday. It will fall apart on Sunday but then recover marvelously on Monday. What this means is a 2.55 multiplier will lead to a $31.3 million weekend with Stiller's movie crossing $50 million on Tuesday.

The other three openers this weekend were less fortunate. We already have discussed Rocky Balboa in the first two installments of the column. Yesterday's recovery of just under $5 million isn't phenomenal, but it does address the fears of heavy frontloading. A $12.5 million weekend would take the Stallone project up to $22 million over five days. I would describe that as a success.


The Good Shepherd does not get the same positivity. Matt Damon's latest film debuts with $3.6 million, a respectable but unsexy performance. Total weekend business should fall just under $10 million at $9.9 million, but some moderate studio enhancement of the numbers wouldn't be surprising to get it out of single digits on the weekend.

Meanwhile, We Are Marshall looks to be a financial disappointment. $2.6 million on Friday puts it in line for a $7 million opening weekend. McG has spent more on birthday parties than this film will make over the holiday. And the Oscar buzz feels like forever ago now as well. This is a great story, but when critics say the Wikipedia entry about the real life events is more engaging than the movie, that's a tell-tale sign.

Remember to keep checking back this week as we continue the Twelve Days of Holiday Box Office here at BOP.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Night At the Museum 31.3
2 The Pursuit of Happyness 14.5
3 Rocky Balboa 12.5
4 The Good Shepherd 9.9
5 Charlotte's Web 7.4
6 We Are Marshall 7.0
7 Eragon 6.9
8 The Holiday 4.8
9 Happy Feet 4.1
10 The Nativity Story 4.0

Continued:       1       2



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