Weekend Recap: “Blind Side” pushes “New Moon”


I would say about 10 percent of my box office projections are based on what I overhear/word-of-mouth, but when people I never expected started talking about how they saw or were going to see The Blind Side and that it was really good, I up that number. That being the case this Thanksgiving, New Moon was almost completely blind-sided this weekend.

Most projection artists such as myself are breathing a sigh of relief at the moment. I nailed my estimate that New Moon would fall to $40 million, but to expect “Blind Side” to climb upward after last week and nearly overtake it was not in my plans. I called for $18 million, a modest drop-off considering its strong opening weekend. What I didn’t account for was that if positive word of mouth builds at the holidays where nothing new is an obvious choice, then word will become a more powerful factor at the box office. “Blind Side” has more than $100 million total now in just two weeks. By comparison, 4-week old A Christmas Carol just eclipsed the $100 M mark.

Leftovers would best describe the taste of moviegoers this weekend. Only Disney’s Old Dogs managed to make the Top 5 of all the Thanksgiving new releases and unimpressively so. In fact, it was enough to earn this week’s biggest flop crown.

  1. The Twilight Saga: New Moon – $42.9 M (weekend) … $230.9 M (gross)
  2. The Blind Side – $40.1 M … $100.2 M
  3. 2012 – $17.6 M … $138.4 M
  4. Old Dogs – $16.9 M … $24.2 M
  5. A Christmas Carol – $15.8 M … $104.9 M
  6. Ninja Assassin – $13.1 M … $21.2 M
  7. Planet 51 – $10.2 M … $28.5 M
  8. Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire – $7 M … $32.4 M
  9. The Fantastic Mr. Fox – $6.9 M … $10 M
  10. The Road – $1.5 M … $1.9 M

Now is when I do a little venting. I’d been predicting all month that A Christmas Carol would start to do better the closer we came to the Holiday season and nothing ever happened so I gave up on that idea. Then boom, a near-30 percent surge keeps it at No. 5. I don’t expect any more increases, but it should decline at a slower rate than most films at this time of year.

My other failure was that I slightly underestimated the fan base for Ninja Assassin (even though “Carol” kept it out of the Top 5 for me) and overestimated the wide release of Fantastic Mr. Fox, which did well, but only half of $15 M well and even then I thought I was underestimating.

I’m happy, however, because of my moral victory over Old Dogs. I flagged the shit out of this movie and enough other people did for it to pull just $16.9 M. Suddenly nobody’s slobbering all over creator Walt Becker’s over-the-hill movies anymore. He can forget about his plans for a future Christmas movie likely entitled “Yule Logs.”

The Road also impressed making the top ten in 111 theaters only.


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