2009 at the Box Office

Patrick Sun

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It's looking like Avatar's 2nd Monday take was more than its 1st Monday take at the box office (about $19 million yesterday, vs. $16.4 million last Monday). How crazy is that?
 

Robert Crawford

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Originally Posted by Patrick Sun

It's looking like Avatar's 2nd Monday take was more than its 1st Monday take at the box office (about $19 million yesterday, vs. $16.4 million last Monday). How crazy is that?
Young people on Christmas Break!
 

TerryRL

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That $19.4 million figure represents the second biggest non-holiday Monday gross in history, trailing only the $24.5 million first-Monday haul of "The Dark Knight". The film also earned the biggest second-Monday tally ever, besting the previous record of $12.0 million held by Peter Jackson's "King Kong" remake. "The Dark Knight" pulled in $10.5 million during its second Monday in theaters.

Next weekend "Avatar" will attempt to become the first film in history to earn more than $50 million in three weekends of business.
 

Michael Elliott

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Originally Posted by TravisR



I live in suburban Philadelphia and The Hurt Locker played at chain theaters here back in June or so. I'd be surprised if most (if not all) of the movies that get Oscar nods don't play here too. I can only speak to this area but it seems the same as every other year- I hear about the Oscar contenders in the fall and then they actually open up here in January or February.
I believe THE HURT LOCKER played one major theatre here and then it was out after two weeks. The others haven't come to any of the larger theatres here and it appears this is happening at a lot of places. All the experts keep saying all these records are being broke but looking at boxofficemojo it seems only the top films are making the money while these smaller films are falling apart.
 

Patrick Sun

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In my neck of the woods, grade schools through high schools were done on 12/18/09, so they had all of last week off.

Anyhow, still a very impressive feat to gain from its opening Monday to its second Monday.
 

Robert Crawford

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Originally Posted by Patrick Sun

In my neck of the woods, grade schools through high schools were done on 12/18/09, so they had all of last week off.

Anyhow, still a very impressive feat to gain from its opening Monday to its second Monday.

They gave them two full weeks off? Are you sure about that? I wish I had that when I went to school back in prehistoric times.
 

Patrick Sun

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Yes, but they also make them start school in mid-August (while school ends in early May), it's totally out of whack from my recollection of the school year too. I remember Labor Day being the end of summer and when school would start up again. Not anymore.
 

Robert Crawford

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Originally Posted by Patrick Sun

Yes, but they also make them start school in mid-August (while school ends in early May), it's totally out of whack from my recollection of the school year too. I remember Labor Day being the end of summer and when school would start up again. Not anymore.
The kids have it easy today. When I was in grade and high school, our first day of school was the day after Labor Day and out last day of school was around the 3rd or 4th week in June depending on how many snow days were called. Also, we didn't have any spring break either. We got a couple of days off for Easter and that was it.
 

Chuck Anstey

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Originally Posted by Adam_S

turning a profit is complicated the studio gets back slightly more than 50% of the gross, so at 600 million it has earned back about 300 million.
Where do you get the 50% number? I hear it on shows that talk about movie profits but here on HTF it is always being said that studios get 90-95% of the ticket admissions in the first few weeks when most of the ticket sales are made. The best I understand is the 50% number is a typical average for the entire run after taking into account all other expenses like marketing, duplication, distribution, etc. I know that Hollywood accounting puts Enron to shame but I am curious what are the real best estimates of studio takes. 50% doesn't seem correct in this context.
 

Chuck Anstey

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Originally Posted by Robert Crawford



The kids have it easy today. When I was in grade and high school, our first day of school was the day after Labor Day and out last day of school was around the 3rd or 4th week in June depending on how many snow days were called. Also, we didn't have any spring break either. We got a couple of days off for Easter and that was it.
I believe you are incorrect in that assessment. When I went to school back in the day, 170 to 175 school days a year were typical. Now nearly all states are around 180 days. While the start and stop times may have shifted to make it seem better, children probably go to school today 5 to 10 days more than you did. Plus the hours per day may be longer to boot.
 

Carlos_E

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It is crazy indeed Patrick. The last time I saw something like that was during 1997-1998 with Titanic.

I now believe Avatar will surpass The Dark Knight if not Titanic also. Monday's incredible numbers make this a definite possibility.

Speaking about the Dark Knight, that movie had a steep drop-off between its first Monday box office take on July 21, 2008 of 24.5 million to the second Monday take on July 28 of 10.5 million. That is more than 50 percent. Yet it went on to make a total of $533 million in North America. And the Dark knight got fantastic reviews like Avatar is getting.

Both of the second Mondays for both films occurred during school holidays and regular work days.

What Avatar is doing is Absolutely Incredible. Phenomenal staying power.

This movie is an event now. Whether you are a fan of Cameron or not and whether you are a science fiction fan or not, the movie must be seen. Like one movie critic commented, you now have to see this movie to be part of the conversation.

I have now seen this movie twice. It is not even my favorite Cameron film. I found the plot very simple and predictable and the movie as a whole very derivative. Cameron just relied on too many films here. Cameron borrowed ideas from Dances with Wolves and Aliens. Also, I saw influences from Return of the Jedi, Platoon, Apocalypse Now, and Last of the Mohicans.

Now if anyone can copy Aliens, it is Cameron. It is his own movie. He can do whatever he wants to. But it is too derivative I feel. Some similarities I saw include the following: The Human Loader from Aliens now multiplying in Avatar, the military/marine presence, the Burke character from Aliens now becoming the Parker character played by Giovanni Ribisi, and the Vazquez character from Aliens now becoming the Michelle Rodriguez character.

Having said that, the movie is still extremely entertaining. That is why I have seen it twice. And I plan to see it one more time.

Patrick, Cameron is dialed in to what America and the world wants to see unlike any other director working now. Titanic and Avatar alone show us this.

Cameron has again combined an action story with a love story just like he did with Titanic. And in the hands of a skilled director, like Cameron, this is a "very potent mix" (I am quoting Quaritch's character).

I believe what is happening now with Avatar is what happened with Titanic. Cameron is appealing to all demographics. Not just the male movie viewer who likes action and science fiction. But also the female demographic who is more into plot and love stories. And it is that female demographic combined with the male action picture demographic which drove Titanic to record numbers.

I have spoken to several women who have seen the movie. They are not usually Cameron fans or science fiction fans. But they loved Avatar.


Again, it is now my belief, after the Monday numbers, that Dark Knight is going down. Titanic also may be soon to follow. Dark Knight did not enjoy that female demographic support. As for Titanic, movie prices are more expensive now. And I am just talking about the regular movie tickets. For Imax 3D tickets, these seats are commanding 13 to 15 dollars a piece. Titanic was not shown in Imax during its initial run. This will make a big difference.

I have seen Imax 3D theaters sell out every single performance ( 4 per day) for the first two weeks of Avatar's run. I don’t remember Dark Knight doing that for the same period. And Dark Knight was specially filmed with Imax cameras.

Patrick and other forum members, let me know your thoughts.


Carlos



Originally Posted by Patrick Sun

It's looking like Avatar's 2nd Monday take was more than its 1st Monday take at the box office (about $19 million yesterday, vs. $16.4 million last Monday). How crazy is that?
 

Adam_S

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Originally Posted by Chuck Anstey



Where do you get the 50% number? I hear it on shows that talk about movie profits but here on HTF it is always being said that studios get 90-95% of the ticket admissions in the first few weeks when most of the ticket sales are made.
nope, that 90-95% and decreasing weekends hasn't been true since the mid-late nineties.

here's a decent article about how much studios expect to get back on this years slate:
http://www.mcnblogs.com/thehotblog/archives/2009/12/2009_the_major.html

Warners had the surprise cash cow of the year in The Hangover. But even though it is a “cheap” studio movie - $35m – they split it with Legendary, which is the kind of gift that keeps Legendary in business so they can take hits on bigger movies down the line. With over $460m worldwide in ticket sales, that’s about $260 million back to the studio in rentals. $140m in profit in theatrical. $46 million to Todd Phillips. $26 million to WB for distribution. And $34m each to WB and Legendary for making the thing. Post-theatrical is 100% profit, net minus Phillips’ cut. Massive success. Over $100 million into WB’s pocket by the end as profit.
 

Patrick Sun

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Originally Posted by Carlos_E


Patrick, Cameron is dialed in to what America and the world wants to see unlike any other director working now. Titanic and Avatar alone show us this.

(snip)

I have seen Imax 3D theaters sell out every single performance ( 4 per day) for the first two weeks of Avatar's run. I don’t remember Dark Knight doing that for the same period. And Dark Knight was specially filmed with Imax cameras.

Patrick and other forum members, let me know your thoughts.

Carlos
TDK had some segments filmed in IMAX, but not the entire film. Cameron knew from the start that his film would be in IMAX-3D, and he even compromised by releasing it on IMAX-3D in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 so it would play even bigger on a true IMAX film screen (not to be confused with the LieMax digital projection with the smaller screens), while also releasing the standard 2D and RealD (3D) in the wider 2.35:1 AR.

I think it's be interesting to see if Avatar can go the distance and at least pull ahead of TDK, which would give Cameron the top 2 all-time grossing films (in terms of gross domestic dollars not accounting for inflation and all that mess).

I think the reason why the film is getting solid word of mouth and applause at the end of the film is because Cameron has been able to craft solid cinematic entertainment with a film that moves with momentum and purpose, and just doesn't meander and overstay its welcome. Cameron knows how to not only how to pare down the "telling" of character motivations with dialogue, but he also uses the visual medium to show us subtle and consistent character motivations as well. But, you have to actually be alert and mindful of all the different ways he imbues such motivations, but it's tough to do on the first viewing because the film is a smorgasbord of an outstanding visual feast, and it seems like people simply get confused, or something just isn't getting through them, but for others, it's plain as day, and quite easy to piece together if you are paying attention. This film rewards mindful viewing. I think we viewers are getting a little lazier in our movie-watching, relying on being spoonfed through dialogue/exposition instead of being challenged by a director who uses spoken dialogue, visuals and audio to provide enough queues without bogging down the story flow, and while the story feels simple, it's rather denser than it appears on the surface.
 

Greg Layton

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As someone who loves movies, numbers, and history, I'm eating up the data on Avatar eagerly. I'd like nothing more than to see it make a run at Titanic. Another thing I'm tracking is how many days in a row it can sell out the IMAX theater here in Grand Rapids. It's already booked today and tomorrow. I wonder when the next big IMAX film is scheduled to come out... if Avatar is still selling out four shows a day, will the movie theater stick with that instead of switching to the next movie?
 

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Greg,

Alice in Wonderland is scheduled for March 5, but it'll be interesting should Avatar win a bunch of Oscars on March 7.
 

Chuck Anstey

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Originally Posted by Adam_S




nope, that 90-95% and decreasing weekends hasn't been true since the mid-late nineties.

here's a decent article about how much studios expect to get back on this years slate:
http://www.mcnblogs.com/thehotblog/archives/2009/12/2009_the_major.html
Okay but that article isn't the same thing as what I asked. That article is about end of the day profits for the studio after all the players have been payed off and get their share of the profits but doesn't talk about how much of the ticket take comes back to the studio to then pay off all the players, which includes the studio itself. In fact, the one number that is never taken away from gross ticket sales in the article is the actual movie theater portion of ticket sales. An implication of the 50% rule is that the movie theater gets the other 50% of the ticket sales because they have to double the cost just to see any profit. That clearly is not true. Isn't that why on some big budget flicks theaters put the "No passes" rule in effect; because the studio expects nearly 100% of the ticket take to go back to it so the theater cannot afford to lose money on the passes? The passes are sold at $8 an admission but the studio expects $10 an admission and the theater sells normal tickets at $10.50 an admission.

It seems to me that the 50% rule is more of a guideline that determines if it was worth the effort to make the movie for a reasonable RTOI (or basically defined as successful), not that it is the minimum to see any profit no matter how small.
 

TerryRL

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Yesterday saw "Avatar" earn $18.3 million to nab the second best non-opening day Tuesday gross in history behind the $20.9 million first-Tuesday haul of "The Dark Knight" (TDK earned $9.6 mil during its second-Tuesday in theaters). Overall, the $18.3 million tally ranks third best for a Tuesday trailing TDK and the opening day mark of the first 'Transformers' movie ($27.9 million). What's amazing is that the $18.3 million haul is stronger than the $16.1 million "Avatar" earned last Tuesday. The movie will pass the triple-century mark sometime during this weekend and its worldwide tally will have likely passed the $750 million mark during the weekend as well.

Many now believe that "Avatar" has a great shot at becoming only the third film in history to top the $500 million mark in domestic box office earnings (joining Cameron's "Titanic" and last year's "The Dark Knight"). Cameron will also become the first director in history to have helmed two films that each earned north of the $1 billion in global box office earnings.

Fox is now aggressively pushing "Avatar" for a Best Picture run at the Oscars. The movie will no doubt sweep the technical categories (as was the case with "Titanic") and at this point I'd be stunned if the movie wasn't at least nominated for the top prize. I believe the movie's only real competition for Best Picture are "The Hurt Locker", which could nab Cameron's ex-wife Kathryn Bigalow a Best Director prize (she'd be the first woman in history to earn that honor) and "Up in the Air" which will likely win a "consolation" Oscar for its screenplay if it doesn't win Best Picture.
 

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