By Walid Habboub
December 30, 2001
All's well that ends well. With estimates in, it seems that much of the
numbers fell in line historically and there were some really encouraging
numbers for one big people movie and all little people movies. The estimate
projects an overall increase in box office of 20% from last weekend. Rings
continued to be a juggernaut but not as big as New Line would have hoped and
Ocean's 11 did indeed take the second place spot away from Jimmy Neutron:
Boy Genius, while The Greatest made a solid second round comeback to take over
Lord Of The Rings' weekend estimate has come in at $37.35 million, a drop of
21% from last weekend. While this is a solid number during any other weekend
of the year, it's only decent for this time of the year. The only other film
to drop more than Rings was How High, which dropped 27%. The third biggest
dropper was Not Another Teen Movie at 16%. Considering that there were only
four major movies to lose revenue, Rings' performance is satisfactory at best.
This is no cause for panic, however. Rings is still on its way to being one
of the three biggest movies of the year.
The reason Rings is relegated to a top three movie and not a contender for top
movie is because Harry Potter experienced a tremendous upturn at the box
office as it increased its weekend earning by 61% and grossed an estimated
$11.45 million. This tremendous increase was bested by Potter's direct
competition, Monsters, Inc., which rose 71% on its way to grossing an
estimated $6.5 million. The other kids film, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, only
rose 8% and as discussed previously, its rise wasn't as dramatic due to it
being the new kid on the block.
A huge winner this weekend is Ocean's 11 which rose an estimated 18% and is
showing surprisingly strong staying power despite lukewarm reviews and
seemingly very slight fanfare. The film has now eclipsed the $125 million mark
and is well on its way to a minimum $170 million. The film wraps up an
excellent year for Julia Roberts who again shows that she is the biggest
movie star in the world as she will have three releases this year that have
grossed over a total of $300 million domestically.
Ali slowed down even more. Yesterday's forecast of $16 million seems a
little bullish now as the film's estimated weekend gross is $15.3 million.
The discouraging thing about Ali's numbers is that, if we go back to the
very first columns written in this series, that Ali's forecast started at
$20-25 and worked its way down to $16, which is still a bit high with respect
to this weekend's estimates. With the holiday season coming to an end and
the inflated weekdays ending, Ali will have a hard time in the last few
rounds of this fight. The good news for Ali? It had an internal multiplier of
3.15, one of the higher multipliers of the weekend (compare it, for example,
to O11's 3.06). So not all is lost for Ali.
A Beautiful Mind came in as expected in yesterday's forecast as it grossed
an estimated $7.3 million. It had a weekend per screen average of $13,785,
which was bested only by the skyrocketing numbers of The Royal Tenenbaums (other than films in extremely limited release on ten or fewer screens).
Though it is a bit early to make such forecasts accurately it seems quite
reasonable to say that it will should be a $100 million grosser by the end
of its run which should include a big push during Oscar time.
The numbers are very encouraging and the very strong 2001 year is ending
with a blast as this weekend's total weekend take was up over 20% from last
year. Keeping in mind that we are using estimates, there will be some
changes to the numbers and most large variance should decrease towards zero
in their respective directions.