If You Build It, They Will Come.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Serenity Now.

Okay, it's monday, and after my post last week about Serenity, I said I'd come back and admit if I was wrong about their $6.1 million dollar opening weekend. And I was.

Estimates are in for this weekend, and the film finished in 2nd place at a $10.1 million opening weekend. However, this does include all the prescreenings that have been done all year. Their box office money goes to opening day.

The problem is that this was a $50 million dollar picture. Meaning after theater costs, prints and advertising costs, and distro costs, this movie needs to make at least $80-90 million to make a profit. With a meager 10 million on opening weekend, that's bad news bears for browncoats.

This weekend however, the rating for Serenity went from 8.4 to 8.7, making it apparently a better movie than Citizen Kane which has a measly 8.6 rating. In fact, there are only seven movies on IMDb with a higher user rating than Serenity right now. The Godfather, The Godfather II, The Shawshank Redemption, Return of the King, Shichinin no samurai (The Seven Samurai), Schindler's List and Casablanca. You Whedon fans need to calm down.



  • It included the pre-screenings? Are you sure? Boxofficemojo.com posts pretty good day by day stats, and every day is accounted for. And, BTW, the budget was $39 million, not $50 million. The crew said at Dragoncon that worldwide they needed to make $80million to cement a sequel. That's pretty likely. You watch the staying success of this movie, it will be around for a while.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Oct 03, 06:43:00 AM EDT  

  • Sorry, you're right, the budget is listed as $40 mil, not $50 mil., and yes, they need $80 mil to cement a sequel, because at $80 mil the film becomes profitable.

    It is likely that the movie will get to $80 mil, but not during it's theatrical run. It'll take a lot of DVD sales, which I'm sure all you guys will jump on.

    The issue is that in just about every case, opening weekend is your biggest weekend. Regardless if prescreenings are included or not (which I'm sure don't account for a lot, if 2000 people paid $10 for prescreening, that only counts for $20,000 of $10,000,000.) a $10.1 million opening weekend means next week the film makes $6mil, then $3mil, then $750k, then maybe it has one more week in theaters at $250k, which would end it's theatrical run at under $20 million.

    The problem with a film like this is that it's unappealing to a general audience. Without the "browncoats" going to see it this weekend, I doubt the movie would've gotten $3 million. How many Firefly fans in that $10.1 million dollar opening weekend saw it twice? Maybe they saw it Friday, Saturday and Sunday?

    The big number to watch for next monday will be the percent gross loss. If it's above 40%, you guys may have lost your sequel.


    By Blogger Joseph, at Mon Oct 03, 02:11:00 PM EDT  

  • I'm sorry, math error. It would end it's theatrical run at just OVER $20 million, $20.1 million actually. Meaning it needs to make three times it's box office gross in foreign sales, DVD, and ancilliary markets to become profitable. It's likely, but not for 2-3 years at least. After the DVD release, after PPV, after HBO, and after it's network television premiere on the Sci-Fi Channel.

    I know that it's an entirely different weight class of sci-fi film, but Star Wars III on opening weekend made over $108 million US. That's only opening weekend. It ended it's theatrical run at just under $400 million US.

    Serenity took the #2 spot this weekend to a $15 million dollar Flightplan, which is in it's 2nd week, and had an opening of $31mil. It narrowly beat Corpse Bride in it's 3rd week.

    A big difference in these films is the amount of screens it's playing on. Flightplan: 3,424; Corpse Bride: 3,204; Serenity: 2,188.

    Why? Flightplan has Jodie Foster, Corpse Bride has Johnny Depp, Serenity has no one. If they bump up the amount of theaters that screen Serenity, to match (about 1,300 more screens) that figures deeply into their P&A costs, and makes it so the movie now has to hit $95 mil to be profitable.

    The problem is, here's what Universal is seeing. A failed Fox TV show called Firefly gets 11 episodes in and is axed. Then due to popular demand on DVD and internet petitions, people want a Firefly movie. The people cheat on these petitions, getting Enterprise fans to sign their name to it, in exchange for Firefly fans signing their name to a petition get Enterprise renewed for 4th season. Universal hears the cry, and eventually takes a BIG chance on Joss Whedon, and turning a failed TV show into a now failed movie.

    Here is unfortuantely what this means: The internet petition is not something that is going to be listened to as closely anymore, and Joss Whedon's film career may have just had a major bump in the road before it even got out of the gate. I heard someone else say it, and I agree. The guy wrote the Buffy movie, which wasn't good, he wrote Alien Ressurection, which wasn't good, and now he's got HIS film that he's directed, which is tanking. I wouldn't be surprised if we see Whedon leave the Wonder Woman project due to "creative differences with the studio."

    By Blogger Joseph, at Mon Oct 03, 03:36:00 PM EDT  

  • napoleon dynamite voice*
    psssht like YOU would know anything about how movies work...
    god... idiot...

    By Blogger M R C, at Mon Oct 03, 09:04:00 PM EDT  

  • I just saw this. This guy agrees with me 100%.

    I've been dancing around on the Serenity boards on IMDb today. If you look around, my name is PreciousRoy. I'm not necessarily "trolling" but I am having a good time. :)


    By Blogger Joseph, at Wed Oct 05, 04:04:00 AM EDT  

  • the "this" i refered to and forgot to link to was this.

    By Blogger Joseph, at Wed Oct 05, 04:05:00 AM EDT  

  • Well, the second weekend's numbers are in. I said last week that this weekend's numbers are important, but that my guess was that it'd only hit $6,000,000 which would be a 40% weekend drop, which would be enough to doom the film. Again I was wrong.

    The film only made $4,900,000, which is a 51% drop in it's second weekend.

    So whoever the anonymous poster was that said this movie would likely make $80M and had staying power, I'm pretty sure this proves you wrong.

    My guess is that this movie will be out of theaters by the 21st. That's when the next sci-fi fanboy film comes in to replace it. Sadly that film is Doom, starring The Rock.

    So if you're planning on seeing Serenity, see it soon. It'll be on DVD in 2-3 months. And it will hit the $80M mark in 2-3 years, which by then, it'll need more.

    You need to figure in the interest owed after that long of time, the cost of DVD authoring, replication, printing, advertising (again), distrubution, the store's cut, etc. etc. If you add all that in, you're dropping another $20M.

    By Blogger Joseph, at Mon Oct 10, 04:45:00 AM EDT  

  • In its third weekend, Serenity has dropped out of the top ten box office grossing movies. This weekend it came away with a smidge over 2 million dollars. It's already been dropped by almost 25% of the theaters that carried it.

    Can I call 'em, or what?


    By Blogger Joseph, at Sun Oct 16, 10:05:00 PM EDT  

  • Actually looking back, I was a bit off. I said 6M weekend #2, and 3M weekend #3. I was over by a million dollars every weekend. It grossed under 5M weekend #2, and just over 2M weekend #3. Bringing it's total gross to this point to a measly $22,000,000. A film that again needs $80,000,000 to be a profitable endeavour.

    DVD sales aren't going to reflect that number either. This movie may never make it's money back.

    By Blogger Joseph, at Sun Oct 16, 10:10:00 PM EDT  

  • It's dropped over 50% in box office totals every weekend. So whoever it was that was talking about the "staying success" of this movie, allow me to point out that you were dead wrong.

    By Blogger Joseph, at Mon Oct 17, 02:13:00 PM EDT  

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