Friday Box Office Analysis

By Tim Briody

March 10, 2007

Moviegoers felt some pressure to go see 300.

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The first true blockbuster of the year delivered blockbuster numbers, with an impressive Friday total of $27.6 million. While the record opening for March, last year's Ice Age: The Meltdown's $68 million, is now in jeopardy, there are two things to consider here. First, there were a good deal of midnight showings which are included in this figure and probably account for a few million. Second, this movie was at the top of many must-see lists for so long, it's going to be quite front loaded, as this was the first real "gotta-see-it-ASAP" movie of the year and even going back into the second half of 2006.

That's not to say I'm dooming 300 at all. This is a big win for everyone involved and for Hollywood, which keeps a hot box office streak going after the successes of Wild Hogs and Ghost Rider. To not top Ice Age: The Meltdown's March record, a 2.46 multiplier or worse would be needed, which is entirely within the realm of possibility considering the front-loading. I expect some creative number crunching from the folks at Warner Bros. to just edge ahead of The Meltdown. Look for an overall weekend estimate of around $69 million, but the actuals on Monday should be interesting.


Wild Hogs

Getting a special mention because there weren't any other new releases in the top ten, Wild Hogs miraculously dips only 30% from last Friday, with $7.6 million. It's obviously striking a chord with adults who wanted a "comedy." It's trending similarly to the past successes of March - comedies aimed at adults, like Bringing Down the House and Analyze This. It's still going to be an excellent option for viewers whose stomachs might not be able to take 300, so a solid second weekend of $26.6 million should be in store.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 300 69.0
2 Wild Hogs 26.6
3 Bridge to Terabithia 7.5
4 Zodiac 7.1
5 Ghost Rider 7.2
6 The Number 23 4.2
7 Norbit 4.2
8 Music and Lyrics 3.9
9 Breach 2.6
10 Amazing Grace 2.5



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