Friday Numbers Analysis

By Kim Hollis

January 17, 2004

Ben Stiller sacrificed a lot of live chickens going into the weekend.

In the proud tradition of Snow Dogs and Kangaroo Jack, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend will once again be dominated by a dreadful-looking movie that has been panned critically.

Along Came Polly

Ferrets rejoice! The There’s Something About Mary wannabe saturated movie theater cash registers with an incredible $9.6 million on Friday. That’s nothing but good news for Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston, director/screenwriter John Hamburg and Universal Pictures. Since it’s the MLK Jr. holiday weekend, movies always tend to do very well on Sunday, which means excellent Friday-to-Sunday multipliers. Along Came Polly should follow the same trajectory. Give it a 3.3 multiplier for the weekend and a total of $31.8 for the three-day portion of the weekend (if those Friday estimates hold strong).

Torque

Since it was aimed solidly at the fickle young audience that made both The Fast and the Furious and its sequel hits, it was always going to be very difficult to get a read on Torque. The ads and trailers were full of ludicrous bad acting but counteracted that with some decent special effects. It worked for Paul Walker, but not so much for Ice Cube and his biker brethren. Torque took in an estimated $3.5 million on Friday, and should be heavily frontloaded due to the nature of its demographic. Look for a 3.1 multiplier for Friday-to-Sunday and a three-day total of $10.7 million.

Disney's Teacher's Pet

Based on a little-known television series, Disney’s Teacher’s Pet was always going to struggle to find a theatrical audience. Not a big enough TV hit to register among the adults who make the ultimate movie-going decisions for their children, this one would have been much better off going straight-to-video, where it is going to make the bulk of its profit anyway. Teacher’s Pet started the weekend with a mere $480,000, and won’t even make enough over the three-day portion of the holiday to register in the top ten. Its multiplier will be huge, though, as a 4.2 should give the film a Friday-to-Sunday total of $2 million.

Notable Holdovers

The studio may have overestimated the numbers for Big Fish last weekend, but its Friday numbers show it ahead of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King by a decent margin. Big Fish should be the beneficiary of a very strong multiplier, which indicates that it will parlay its $3.0 million Friday number to a $11.9 million total for the three days. Meanwhile, RoTK will see its first weekend out of first place as it drew $2.4 million on Friday, a number that should help it along to a $9.2 million weekend.

Last weekend’s openers, My Baby’s Daddy and Chasing Liberty are in Friday’s top ten, but are both in danger of being overtaken during the course of the weekend by stuff like The Last Samurai and Paycheck. Both My Baby’s Daddy and Chasing Liberty finished with less than a million dollars total yesterday, and they’ll be forgotten before month’s end.

Extrapolated Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Projected
Rank
Film
Estimated Gross (M$)
1
Along Came Polly
31.8
2
Big Fish
11.9
3
Torque
10.7
4
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
9.2
5
Cheaper By the Dozen
8.9
6
Cold Mountain
7.3
7
Something's Gotta Give
6.3
8
Calendar Girls
3.4
9
The Last Samurai
3.3
10
My Baby's Daddy
2.8

     


 
 

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