Saturday, December 03, 2011

The December Derby

As we wend our way to the Christmas holidays, the studios release no big new releases, and the list looks a lot like the previous one.

1. Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 1 (Summit) Week 3 [4,046 Theaters] Friday $5.5M, Estimated Weekend $16.8M, Estimated Cume $246.4M

2. The Muppets (Disney) Week 2 [3,440 Theaters] Friday $2.7M (-77%), Estimated Weekend $11M, Estimated Cume $56.3M

3. Hugo (Paramount) Week 2 [1,840 Theaters] Friday $2M (-56%), Estimated Weekend $7M, Estimated Cume $25M

4. Arthur Christmas (Sony) Week 2 [3,376 Theaters] Friday $1.6M (-64%), Estimated Weekend $7M, Estimated Cume $24.8M

5. Jack And Jill (Sony) Week 3 [3,049 Theaters] Friday $1.5M, Estimated Weekend $5.2M, Estimated Cume $64M

6. The Descendants (Fox Searchlight) Week 3 [574 Theaters] Friday $1.4M , Estimated Weekend $5M, Estimated Cume $17.9M

7. Happy Feet (Warner Bros) Week 4 [3,536 Theaters] Friday $1.4M, Estimated Weekend $5.7M, Estimated Cume $51.5M

8. Immortals (Relativity) Week 4 [2,627 Theaters] Friday $1.3M, Estimated Weekend $4.2M, Estimated Cume $75.4M

9. Tower Heist (Universal) Week 5 [2,404 Theaters] Friday $1.2M, Estimated Weekend $4M, Estimated Cume $70.6M

10. J Edgar (Warner Bros) Week 3 [1,985 Theaters] Friday $710K, Estimated Weekend $2.3M, Estimated Cume $32.5M

Arthur Christmas seems to be dying a rapid box office death, down 64% from its opening stanza.

Puss In Boots shows up in Box Office Mojo's Top Ten list, but not here on the Nikkster's. Mojo tracks Puss as earning only slightly less money on Friday thann J. Edgar ($700,000 vis $710,000), so I expect that the swashbuckling kitty will get within hailing distance of $140 million at the end of the weekend.

Foreign box office for PiB amounts to 31% of worldwide gross at this point in time.

Add On: And Puss ends up a smidge shy of $140 million, and ending the weekend in tenth place. (Or so says the Nikkster.)


Blispur said...

I would say this movie was OK its worth the watch at least but I cant sit here and gush about it. I wasnt found of the ending .... its like some where through out the movie they ran out of juice and just decided .... ok lets just do this Watch Tower Heist Online

Anonymous said...

Disney must be very upset the new Muppet Movie is doing not so well (and it's really fun). They've already booted M.T. Carney, the bogus "transmedia" marketing charlatan, over the failure of the film, along with Tron, Mars Needs Moms, Prom, and Winnie the Pooh. One wonders if Rich Ross is next.

Anonymous said...

The Muppet Movie is not only doing fairly well, but the great reviews should help revitalize the franchise. It was also a fairly cheap film to make (unlike John Carter, which will likely take down a few executive careers when it tanks).

When you compare the Muppet Movie to Arthur Christmas and Happy Feet 2, the Muppets are massive victors, which I don't think many people predicted. The real upset right now is at other studios, not Disney.

Anonymous said...

$56 Million in 2 weeks (including Thanksgiving weekend--with a 61% drop this weekend) ain't gonna cut it. Didn't cost much, true (reported $45 million), but they spent $100 million marketing it. It'll eventually make it's money back, but it's not the blockbuster Disney hoped for--and it's cost one big executive her job already.

Tron Legacy didn't make it's money back, either.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone at Disney REALLY expect a Muppet movie to be a blockbuster? Really? I think this is a straw man argument.

The original Muppet movie, way back in 1979, made an excellent $65 million. The next five, released from 1981 to 1999, grossed between $16 million (the last, in 1999) and $34 million.

Except for the first, they were all modest performers at the box office, and the last one was considered a flop. In inflation adjusted dollars, the first would be worth around $193 million today. The last would be worth about $21 million. Using inflation-adjusted numbers, the latest Muppet movie is already the second most successful of the seven films.

So either someone at the Mouse House was delusional in expecting a Muppet blockbuster, or they knew the performance history of the franchise, and they're turning cartwheels that their film is trouncing several big-budget animated films.

Anonymous said...

Seems to be true. Here are the actual domestic grosses and release dates:

The Muppets $54.1 and counting 11/23/2011
Muppets from Space $16.6 7/14/1999
Muppet Treasure Island $34.3 2/16/1996
Muppet Christmas Carol $27.3 12/11/1992
Muppets Take Manhattan $25.5 7/13/1984
The Great Muppet Caper $31.2 6/26/1981
The Muppet Movie $65.2 6/22/1979

Anonymous said...

The Muppets is a big disappointment for Disney. Also, the figures in the chart above don't take into account inflation. The new Muppet movie is in no way doing better than the original Muppet movie. Taking the aforementioned inflation into account, the original Muppet Movie made 205 million. This new one won't even make 100 million.

The "fact" that it's the second-most successful in the series means squat. Disney doesn't care about that, nor should it. It's under-performing, and will have a very hard time earning back its budget and its advertising costs. IF it even manages to do that.

Anonymous said...

First make make a statement without any basis for us to believe you (and my real life connections on the Disney lot contradict what seems to be your personal opinion).

Second, I addressed inflation in the post above. Correct for inflation, and the latest Muppet film ranks number two out of the seven, after less than two weeks. It's already the second most successful Muppet film ever (by a wide margin), and the most successful since 1979.

Third, I never said it was 'doing better than the original Muppet movie. You really like straw-man arguments, and you apparently struggle with reading comprehension. When the current film has finished its run, and when the foreign grosses are rolled in, its worldwide theatrical grosses may well equal or exceed the inflation-adjusted returns of the original film. Or they may not. But in any event, it is doing well during a holiday season with a lot of expensive competition, and it's crushing that competition.

What you don't seem to understand is that Disney didn't buy the Muppet rights to make blockbuster movies. The Muppet characters have traditionally generated the vast majority of their revenue stream from merchandising and television. The movie is a successful and highly publicized way to further connect the Muppet brand with the Disney brand, and to introduce a new generation of children to the Muppets. Read that last part again - it's important. The advertising for the movie is also advertising for those piles of Disney merchandise, and for future TV shows.

Anonymous said...

You're certainly an accomplished spinner. But you're full of it. Disney (or rather Michael Eisner) bought the Muppets believing they would generate loads of cash in merchandising alone. That turned out to be completely false, even though the Muppets continued to star in specials on TV (so they were certainly visible). An under-performing movie isn't going to help in the merchandising department either. And of COURSE Disney bought the Muppets hoping they would score big at the box office. Disney absolutely expected this movie to kill over Thanksgiving weekend. That's why it chose Jason Segel over Frank Oz. Disney believed that Segel would help overcome the Muppet's weaknesses and appeal to a broader base - because, you see, Disney thought it already HAD the kids. Turns out the only base that's really responded to the film are older adults drunk with nostalgia. Kids have little use for the movie, and THAT'S the demo Disney values most (in case you didn't know).

It's kind of funny to read someone trying to use the "Cars 2" argument to defend a movie that's underperforming - that box office doesn't matter because the characters will sell a ton of toys. That may be true of Cars 2, but it's total BS in the case of the Muppets.

Anonymous said...

I find that, on the internet, the less someone knows about a subject, the more willing they are to speculate, and the more certain they are that their nonsense is somehow fact. You're a great example.

So now you know what Michael Eisner was thinking. And you know what current Disney exec discussed in private company meetings. And you've seen their internal memos with their predictions and expectations for The Muppet Movie. And you already know that the movie can't possibly turn a profit. And you know what the merchandising plans of Disney are.

Of course you don't know any of that, but you act as if you do, and by doing so you make a fool of yourself.

The fact is, The Muppet Movie has generated great reviews, it's recharged the franchise, and it's doing just fine at the box office. Time will tell how it does on dvd and other post-theatrical platforms, and what effect it will have on merchandise sales, but your eagerness to lump it in with clinkers like Mars Needs Moms, Tron, and Prom shows you got some kind of weird anti-Disney ax to grind.

Anonymous said...

I know what Michael Eisner was thinking because he was on talk shows like Larry King talking about it. He said that Kermit was like Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse when it came to merchandising. He was (duh) wrong.

And I know that Disney expected the Muppets to perform better than it did in its second week because I read about it on several movie websites online. Here's a tidbit from

"While box-office watchers had expected Disney's "The Muppets" to challenge Summit's werewolves-and-vampires sequel for box-office supremacy, the PG-rated puppet film took in only $11.2 million.

Disney expected it would gross about $15 million for its second weekend, and box-office watchers outside the studio estimated it would take in as much as $20 million."

Which means the movie's under-performing.

Now why don't you run along to that website and tell the people who wrote that article that THEY'RE wrong?

Anonymous said...

He said that Kermit was like Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse when it came to merchandising.

Ah, so it was Michael Eisner who said it was about MERCHANDISING, not box office. You just completely destroyed your own silly argument, fool.

And I know that Disney expected the Muppets to perform better ...because I read about it on several movie websites online. Here's a tidbit from

"While box-office watchers had expected ..."

Now you confuse 'Disney' with 'box office watchers.' You really, truly are a fool. Try to get out of your Mom's basement more often.

Anonymous said...

^Oh dear, not taking defeat well, are you?

Try playing with hand puppets less often.

Anonymous said...

Not only do you not know what you're talking about, but you can't even heckle with style. If you're going to continue to be a troll here, you need to step up your game.

Anonymous said...

I'm not here to heckle. I backed up my statements with fact, while you just flailed around with wishful thinking and conjecture. (I won't lower myself by calling you a troll. That's for losers who can't win arguments).

Anonymous said...

Your threshold for what passes for a 'fact' might work well at one of the Republican debates, but not here. Back to your mother's basement, troll. Now!

Anonymous said...

^Don't you feel just a bit silly resorting to name-calling just because your beloved puppets have fallen short? Tsk. Grow up already.

Anonymous said...

I'm warning you for the last time. Don't make me call your mother again!

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