FRIDAY FORECAST: Bad ‘Moon’ rising

Posted by · 8:40 am · November 20th, 2009

Taylor Lautner in The Twilight Saga: New Moon*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars.

It’s Edward and Bella’s world and we’re just living in it. The film to beat for the Holiday season is “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” and fans finally got their chance to lay eyes on it tonight at midnight. Twi-hards have been lining up and breaking advance ticket sales records on Fandango so there’s no question that the film will be big. But how big?

The original film opened just 52 weeks ago and earned a surprisingly huge $69.6 million. Prognosticators knew that the book had fans but there was little evidence to suggest a figure that size, particularly because new distribution outfit Summit Entertainment was the studio putting it out. The $36 million it took in on opening day was the 17th biggest Friday ever and represented more than half of the weekend take. If the fanboy rush was that big for the original, you can imagine how frontloaded the sequel is going to be.

Some sort of record will probably be broken this weekend as the film unloads on a massive 4,024 screens nationwide with round-the-clock showtimes. “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” is the current November opening weekend champ at $115 million and that isn’t totally out of the question. Neither is the $67.2 million opening day record by “The Dark Knight” completely safe, although I’m not quite bold enough to predict that big a Friday for Chriz Weitz’s film.

Summit is trying to level expectations by announcing an $85 million weekend target but I think we are looking at $108 million and close to $250 million total by the time the year comes to a close. Not too shabby for a feature length adaptation of that pro-abstinence pamphlet I got in 7th grade with some vampires thrown in.

Warner Bros. tries to get Sandra Bullock an Oscar nomination with “The Blind Side,” which will launch in 3,110 theaters. Middle aged white women have to be the target audience here and they love them some Bullock. I’m getting a real “We Are Marshall” vibe from this thing, but the box office comparison is unfair since the latter film opened over Christmas week. “Gridiron Gang” managed $15 million from a September 2006 start and that would be a decent result here, given the huge slice of the movie-going pie being gobbled up by the vamps.  I think it’ll fall somewhere around $13 million and, God help us, ride good word of mouth to a $50 million total.

“Planet 51” is the only other new release, landing in 3,035 theaters. Sony Animation is coming off its biggest hit ever in “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” but this reverse “Independence Day” looks like one of the more generic computer animated toons to see a release in the last few years. “A Christmas Carol” still has a lot of money to make so families have options and I don’t see this one getting past $17 million this weekend.

Lionsgate continues the expansion of “Precious” and the film hit 629 screens this week so expect another $7 million weekend or so, as the film finds new markets to conquer.

What are you guys seeing this weekend? Anyone dare to think “New Moon” will make less than “Twilight”’s $69 million?

→ 18 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Friday Forecast

18 responses so far

  • 1 11-20-2009 at 8:56 am

    Davidraider88 said...

    My feelings are that New Moon will blow its wad by the 2nd-3rd week. As its audience is mostly teenage girls, and they are obsessed with the book, they will mostly see the movie its first week out.

  • 2 11-20-2009 at 9:37 am

    red_wine said...

    The movie has predictably been slaughtered by critics but that hardly matters. I think the world gross is gonna be much bigger, something like 600 million. In the one year since the first movie released(I honestly thought twilight was a 2007 release. I don’t remember hearing about it at all last year), the world over audience has nearly doubled.

  • 3 11-20-2009 at 9:38 am

    Liz said...

    Hmm, I might be willing to bet that “The Blind Side” will be a little higher than $13 million. Maybe more like $19 or even $20 million. Even though “All About Steve” was a flop, Sandra Bullock clearly has a lot of goodwill stored up with audiences (“The Proposal”). And, even though plenty of grown women love “Twilight,” this might work as counter-programming and pull in the adults who don’t feel the need to see “New Moon” the first weekend.

    Plus, I bet a higher-than-usual number of men would be willing to see this, considering that the real-life subject of the movie is, from what I’ve heard, a high-profile successful football player.

    I know jack about box office, but I think “The Blind Side” will be more popular than expected.

  • 4 11-20-2009 at 9:49 am

    "Julianstark" said...

    Davidraider88 – New Moon is a film will be out for awhile, mainly because people obsessed with the books (aka females of all ages) will watch the film multiple times

  • 5 11-20-2009 at 9:59 am

    Ross said...

    I’m pegging New Moon at about the same – somewhere around the $100mil mark for the weekend. I do think The Dark Knight is safe… but I wouldn’t be overly surprised if I’m wrong. A significant number of males and females ranging right up to about 30yrs were talking about their desperation to see it. I don’t understand it…

  • 6 11-20-2009 at 10:07 am

    Rob said...

    For a movie that looks so dreadful, I think “The Blind Side” is going to do rather well, and play for a while. I know a shocking amount of men who want to see it — based on the true story and football element. I think it’s going to be the consensus choice among family for Thanksgiving weekend, and stick around for a few weeks.

  • 7 11-20-2009 at 10:13 am

    Cameron said...

    If it does make more than “Twilight”, it won’t be by a lot. A lot of the people who liked the book and saw the movie (at least that I know) hated it, so that’s a big no right there.

  • 8 11-20-2009 at 10:24 am

    Hero said...

    A lot of Tolkien geeks hated elves at Helms Deep, but that didn’t stop ROTK from making a billion dollars. Girls and women will go, repeatedly.

  • 9 11-20-2009 at 10:26 am

    Chris138 said...

    It’s appalling that this movie has already outnumbered The Dark Knight in pre-sale tickets. I can’t wait for this whole vampire romance fad to be over.

  • 10 11-20-2009 at 11:43 am

    Ziyad Abul Hawa said...

    It already broke the record for best midnight in history, 26.3$M.

    The world has some explaining to do.

  • 11 11-20-2009 at 12:10 pm

    voland said...

    It will make a lot of money, it may even break several records over the opening weekend, but in the end there’s no chance that it will match the numbers of Dark Knight, ROTK, Pirates etc.

  • 12 11-20-2009 at 2:01 pm

    Adam Smith said...

    Something I’m curious about (because I frequent another website with a strong gay readership) is just how much of a following Twilight has amongst gay males, and how much of an impact that’s going to have on ticket sales.

    Either way, I don’t see it doing TDK numbers, since it doesn’t have the broad appeal (TDK isn’t just for guys, whereas New Moon is going to cater probably 95% to women and girls; plus, Batman is a decades-old franchise, whereas Twilight is only a few years old). Hell, it won’t even do Transformers 2 numbers. But it’ll be a nice big $100 million+ opening, and front-loaded as fuck.

  • 13 11-20-2009 at 6:21 pm

    Justin said...

    I think its going to end up at about $115 million. It’s already made $27 million from midnight sales alone. I looked at my local theaters and they are all playing it pretty much every hour on the hour. I also wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up somewhere around POTC: Dead Man’s Chest’s $135 million. I think the Dark Knight is safe.

  • 14 11-20-2009 at 6:34 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    For the record, I was only talking about The Dark Knight’s $67 mil Friday record, not its $150+ weekend.

  • 15 11-20-2009 at 11:08 pm

    James D. said...

    When at the theater today (Coco Before Chanel), I was struck at how diverse the New Moon audience was. All of the sudden, ruffians who I would worry about stealing my wallet were going to watch a movie about shirtless men. Hmm indeed.

  • 16 11-20-2009 at 11:35 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Early news has the film grossing $70 mil+ on Friday and breaking The Dark Knight’s record. We’ll see if that turns out to be true…

  • 17 11-22-2009 at 10:23 am

    James D. said...

    172 million. Wow.

  • 18 11-22-2009 at 4:13 pm

    Hero said...

    According to Box Office Mojo, TDK is still safe–NM only made $140.