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'Where The Wild Things Are' Overperforming For $12+M Friday & Probable $38+M Weekend

Category: Law Abiding Citizen News
Article Date: October 17, 2009 | Publication: Deadline Hollywood | Author: Nikki FInke
Source: Deadline Hollywood

Posted by: admin

FRIDAY PM/SATURDAY AM: Warner Bros didn't know what to expect on such a unique project as Spike Jonze's Where The Wild Things Are since it couldn't find a single comp. Finally, the studio settled on Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas since it had a famous director with an infamous imagination making a PG movie for adults. Then, the studio decided not to position Wild Things as a kids film. The marketing department brought it to Comicon, and then spent 70% of the media for it on broad based and adult driven buys. The P&A stressed Spike's pedigree, but not the fact that Jones took forever in post-production on his CGI + puppetry adaptation of Maurice Sendak's beloved little book. "He's a perfectionist and just kept working on it," a WB exec told me today. "But now we know that at the end of the day he nailed it. The numbers are shocking the hell out of me." That's because Wild Things is turning into a phenomenon. Midnight shows went way over the expected $150K grosses and came close to $660K. By Friday noon in Manhattan, the expected $12K take turned into $100K. Grosses looked to come in past $12M from 3,735 locations, including 145 Imax theaters. And now what even rival studios thought was at best a $30M weekend is "off and running" to go past $38M. That's still a conservative estimate because Warner Bros thinks Friday's revenues are unusually boosted by the "Spikers" as well as by adults attracted by the older focused marketing campaign. Execs think that will translate into Saturday grosses only 20% higher, not the usual 60% higher of most matinee driven kiddie films.

At a surprise #2, Overture's Law Abiding Citizen starring Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler did a better than expected $7.5M Friday and could open to as much as $20M from 2,889 venues.
Paramount's pre Halloween hyped Paranormal Activity made $6.25M Friday from a wider release onto 760 screens for #3 and a probable high teens weekend. Universal's holdover comedy Couples Retreat sank to #4 with $6M Friday (-50%) for an estimated $19M from 3,009 plays. That leaves Sony's low budget reboot Stepfather #5 on 2,734 dates to debut with only $4.3M Friday and maybe an $11M weekend. The rest are holdovers:

6. Zombieland (Sony) Week 3 [3,171 theaters] $2.5M Fri, Est $8M Wkd
7. Cloudy/Meatballs (Sony) Week 5 [3,037] $1.9M Fri, Est $8M Wkd
8. Toy Story 3-D (Disney) Week 3 [1,467] $900K Fri, Est $3.5M Wkd
9. Surrogates (Disney) Week 4 [2,326] $700K Fri, Est $2.3M Wkd
10. Invention Of Lying (WB) Week 3 [1,624] $675K Fri, Est $2.2M Wkd

It's turning into a huge weekend: $130+M, or +40% from last year.


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