Sunday, January 14, 2007
Friday Box Office: "Stomp!"
So I batted .500 this weekend in box office predictions. I hoped "Dreamgirls" would beat "Night At The Museum" thanks to finally expanding from 852 screens to 1900. Instead, "Dreamgirls" basically remained even with the week before while "Night" almost doubled it in grosses. But I also predicted that "Stomp The Yard" would do far better than its estimated $9 million, because movies like that ALWAYS seem to exceed expectations. In fact I should have realized that "Stomp The Yard" would cut into the expansioon of "Dreamgirls." "Stomp" in fact more than DOUBLED its estimate and was the Number One movie at the box office with $19.8 million. (These are all estimates based on Friday numbers and don't include the potential grosses from the holiday on Monday.) So "Dreamgirls" added 1000 screens but didn't add any bounce to its gross. Of course, it didn't drop at the box office either, which is always good. I'd love to know how much of the gross came from those extra 1000 screens. We've learned that everything about 1200 is often windown dressing, even for the biggest movies. Surely that's even truer for a movie like "Dreamgirls," which surely plays better in big cities than in small towns. And what sort of experience did audiences have? Maybe it would have been better to hold tight on 852 screens, knowing that the people who saw it would be surrounded by a bigger crowd and therefor had more fun. You can gross the same amount of money, but if the audience is spread out among a lot more half empty screens, that's bad for your movie's long-term business. "Dreamgirls" maybe should have increased to a more modest 1200 and waited for the Oscar nominations. Here are the weekend estimates, per Box Office Prophets.