Box-Office Wrap-Up: Jan. 16 – Jan. 18, 2009

Nailed it. Light on the dollars but correct on the top slot. Let’s break this thing down.
#1 movie predicted correctly: 1 Week In A Row
Blart definitely cashed in this weekend as people again chose mindless laughs over real movies. I unofficially asked the CEO of a major theater chain yesterday how the split between studios and theaters works and he wouldn’t tell me. I remarked how odd it is that publicly traded companies (studios mostly) don’t have disclosure on movie budgets and he remarked it had been that way since the beginning. This is a very roundabout way of saying that Blart‘s $40m holiday weekend probably means victory against that reported $26m budget.
Result: 33.8 million (My rank: #1, $14.3m off)
Torino is staying strong, which has got to be helping its Oscar chances. Plus, once they introduce Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino Pasta line the merchandising dollars are going to pour in.
Result: 22.2 million (My rank: #3, $5.8m off)
Steve Mason had this finishing 5th after Friday night. What happened? With less than a million dollars separating slots two through four those were pretty much interchangeable. But fifth place is another $4m away, meaning it should have been an easier read on Saturday morning.
Result: 21.9 million (My rank: #4, $7.6m off)
Mason also noted that no one had Notorious doing this well. Umm, I did. Do I win something?
Result: 21.5 million (My rank: #2, $3.1m off)
I’m pleased that it didn’t crack the top four, if only because it reaffirmed my theory that Blart was the family choice.
Result: 17.7 million (My rank: #5, $6.3m off)
The reason I’m low on all these projections is that the $170m top twelve is the highest January weekend ever. It may be time to consider relaunching the Superman franchise in January.
Result: 11.7 million (My rank: #6, $5.5m off)
Here is where the dollars start lining up again. The poor bottom feeders were still poor bottom feeders.
Result: 9.8 million (My rank: #7, $.7m off)
Whoops, I spoke too soon. Defiance got a little bump from the wider opening. But on a budget of $50m this production seems pretty screwed.
Result: 9.2 million (My rank: #8, $3.5m off)
Five in a row. I’m heating up, like Glen Rice in NBA Jam circa 1994.
Result: 6.3 million (My rank: #9, $.8m off)
Slumdog Millionaire got a boost all week long from the Globe winning. Who says the Globes don’t matter? Here’s the last bit of trivia that CEO mentioned. He said that theater counts don’t matter, as only 1000 theaters in America really generate revenue. So with something like Notorious you could open it in 3,000 theaters (as opposed to the 1600 theaters it opened in) and not make double the money. He said all aspiring distributors should try to figure out the sweet spot with theater counts instead of going for big numbers. Sounds logical to me.
Result: 5.9 million (My rank: #10, $.8m off)

Who you got next weekend? Underworld 3? Or Inkheart? I gotta think it’s gonna be Underworld but we’ll look at the math together on Thursday.

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