Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Bloomberg News reports that one analyst cut DreamWorks profit estimates because "Over the Hedge" posted "lower-than-expected" weekend sales in U.S./Canadian theatres... Apparently, "some analysts" were expecting box office in the $40-50 million range. But wait. Didn't box office mojo predict $35.5 million? And didn't "Hedge" actually deliver $38.5 million? (Sure it did. See below.) But we're to believe that a $1.5 million shortfall is a disappointment, and that Paramount's strategy of counter-programming "The Da Vinci Code" didn't pan out, more's the pity. Let's face it. The media is always looking for a story to wrap a theme-line around, and this is the song-and-dance of the moment. "Hedge" has a solid first weekend, will no doubt have a solid second weekend -- which has yet to happen -- but somehow it doesn't measure up to expectations. I'm always intrigued to know what those expectations are, and how the collective body of wisdom arrived at them. When a film that debuts at #2 against a live-action juggernaut that was ALWAYS going to open #1, and when it earns just over a million shy of $40 mill during its first two and a half days in general gets dubbed an under-performer...well, the expectations must have been sky-high to start with, no? And pretty well-hidden, yes?
Posted by Steve Hulett at 9:47 AM