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October 03 2005

Weekend Actuals: "Serenity" Makes $10.09 million. In a somewhat surprising move, Universal's weekend estimate was almost dead-on, as "Serenity" pulled in $10,086,680 million over the weekend frame.

I realize this question has been posed many times before, but I'm hoping someone may finally have the answer: does this figure include the pre-screenings?
Where is the information about Universal's estimates? Thanks for the link. I have mostly read predictions so far.
PennyArcade actually talked about the numbers for Serenity a little bit on their front page.
Right. Let's assume we have word of mouth, let's assume that the majority of fans will go see the movie again. What's the predictions for the second weekend?
Univeral's estimate for the weekend was $10,140,000. Generally, when a studio issues an estimate of "xx.1," it means they're simply rounding it past a number to look better on TV shows that report estimates. General consensus was Universal was probably doing the same thing with Serenity, and that its actual number would be closer to $9 million. Good to be proven wrong.

As for next weekend, it's a major victory if it falls less than 50%. If its cume is above $5 million for the three-day frame, consider ourselves lucky.

[ edited by The Dark Shape on 2005-10-03 23:30 ]
I'm optimistic about weekend two :) I know that I will be seeing it again with some folks who haven't yet seen it as well as some folks who have. I hesitate to put a number on it, but I expect good things (as in a less than 50% drop)... anyone have linkage to Uni's or someplace else's prediction?

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2005-10-03 23:34 ]
Yeah kinda not sure about the Universal prediction thing, you might need to clarify where you got that from The Dark Shape.
Warning: Long post. Here comes the science bit.

Simon - I can see where TDS got it from. Sorry, folks, here comes the science bit: the predicted drop off on Sunday for Serenity ( it was done BEFORE Sunday had begun, remember ) was pretty low - as in, much lower than other films.

What this basically means is that Serenity kept more of it's audience from Saturday than other films this weekend. This is good. Most people were presuming Universal had downed the drop off figure to round the estimate to $10m for marketing reasons.

I think the reality is they realised fans knew Serenity was in a spot of bother, and pleas from people like, erm, me yesterday here, probably made a bunch of fans go and see it again. Which helped keep the drop off down.

Or maybe people just wanted to see it.

Universal say around 40% of this weekends viewers were Firefly fans. That means $4m of the box office, logically. If every single of those fans goes and sees it again, with the same people with them, it will make $4m. If you factor in a 50% drop off from the remaining $6m non-fans, you get $3m from non fans. $4m+$3m = $7m.

So, if every single fan goes again the same amount of times, with the same people, with a standard Sci-Fi drop off, it would make $7m, or 30% drop off. That would actually be a very good figure, and would keep it in cinemas. People can keep it alive doing that, however if every fan is willing to do that, I don't know.

However. We need to hope the non-fan audience doesn't drop 50%. If it dropped, say, 30%, and the same fans went again, it would look very healthy.

There is still a lot of hope to keep this in the air right now, but it really relies on fans - that is, many of us - realising it needs us to vote with our wallets to keep it in cinemas.

This is a slow burn movie. I think. The only way to prove that theory is to survive long enough to find out.

Most importantly, though: have fun. Feel the love. And check out Sean Maher's body.
gossi, every second Sean Maher is shirtless, heck, it just gives me a happy. I'm searching for a screenshot of that fun little moment between Kaylee and Simon(I'm thinking future wallpaper). Rawr.
Any chance the BDM will be on a few additional screens next weekend? It seems to me that there's got to be some demand that's not being met. Here in Chicago, for example, Serenity's only showing at three theaters. It just seems if it were in more neighborhood theaters, it would get more of an (and a more varied) audience.

[ edited by dunl on 2005-10-03 23:56 ]
I very much doubt it, dunl. If anything, you'll see screens start to be reduced as the weeks go on - the only exception will be if it actually gains an audience week on week.
yeah doubt additional screens, but given that the per-screen is fairly impressive, you may see more willing to hold on to it than you might think.
Yuhu, zeitgeist speaks the truth. As long as the movie grosses a lot per screen, theatres will want to keep it. I think the big city screens will be doing well from this.
Well, it won't drop any screens this weekend. Most studios contract with theaters to keep their films for at least two weeks (though it may be put on smaller screens). I wouldn't be surprised to see a small increase to 2,200 theaters.
I agree, gossi. That was a good summing up of how it is. Makes sense. Back to the theater it is this weekend. By the way, I know it's almost impossible to compare, but the last time I remember a small movie not doing great business on the 1st weekend, but lingering for weeks afterwards and turning in a huge profit was 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding'. Yeah I know, cute comedy, easier sell, but it's possible word of mouth just makes a flic linger a decent time and quietly making some decent dough.

Here's hoping although I'm not delusional. Might be it will be considered a classic ten years from now, doing us no good today.
At least among my offline family and friends (a small, but not too trivial sample ;-), the response among Firefly virgins with all manner of personalities and backgrounds has been uniformly positive, with many of them ready to see it again. Needless to say, I'm encouraging them to do that sooner rather than later...
...the response among Firefly virgins with all manner of personalities and backgrounds has been uniformly positive...

And that's the thing. WHat was confirmed to me at the press screening here in Portland one week ago, which was the first mainly non-Browncoat crowd I'd seen the film with, is that it isn't a matter of whether people will enjoy the movie... it's getting them in the door in the first place.
On the site, Serenity is ranked #1 for "BOM Users' Grades," putting it above the original Star Wars and LOTR: Return of the King.

[ edited by Ronald_SF on 2005-10-04 01:13 ]
If Universal was saving money for a 2nd week push of advertising they need to get on the ball and put that "2 thumbs up!" and "#1 new movie in America!" in commercials already.
The 40% of the people who saw Serenity were Firefly fans, but not necessarily as devoted fans as we all are. I doubt that every single Firefly fan is going to see the movie again next weekend with the same amount of people. I'm not trying to sound pessimistic, but I think that for the movie to succeed, either a large number of non-Firefly fans will have to go see Serenity based on word of mouth, or us hardcore Firefly fans will have to see the movie multiple times during this week and the weekend.
The other side of that, vampire dan, is that not all fans are "hardcore" and won't see it until the second weekend anyway.
vampire dan - I agree. Many, in fact, a vast majority of fans won't be reading here. They will be reading livejournals, or not be online at all. Put simply, 100% of fans aren't going to go back and take their familes and friends again. Hopefully many do, though.
gossi - "Put simply, 100% of fans aren't going to go back and take their familes and friends again."

I will be seeing it twice next weekend (I saw it 4 times this weekend), but I will be bringing more people with me next weekend! :)
Well guys I'm not a die hard fan but I saw it this weekend and I am going to see it again next weekend. I'm bringing a person because she wants to see it again too and she's never seen Firefly.
What about the take for this week, Monday through Thursday? Does that get counted into next weekend? Surely it counts somehow - it's money!
zencat, it counts towards the overall take, but not the weekend take (it isn't, after all, the weekend). And while the overall take is important, movies do their bulk of business on weekends, so it's the weekends that get the most attention.
Prediction (hope?) - $7 million. If indeed there is a second-week advertising push by Universal.
This is good, right? We made projections for the weekend. I hear more worrying than celebrating. I know we have a long road to go, but let's cheer for this victory.

I've of course done my part. I've seen it 3 times this weekend, and I'll see it at least three times this week as well. Let's all enjoy ourselves with this fabulous film.
We made projections for the weekend.

Well, no, we didn't. This is about the actuals released Monday afternoon matching up with the estimates released Sunday morning. Neither the estimates nor the actuals met the projections which were floating around prior to opening.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2005-10-04 05:44 ]
Oh, I see. Thanks, theonetruebix. My bad.
FYI, I didn't mean that to sound "so we're doomed!" because we aren't, heh. I just wanted to clarify the projections/estimates/actuals issue, cos the jargon can get a little jumbled sometimes (sort of like how people keep using "per-screen" when the actual term and meaning is "per-theater").
Serenity made $1,049,530 (aussie dollars) in Australia

from Thursday to Sunday (inclusive)
I just tried to purchase tickets for a show this Friday and it says that it's no longer playing anywhere around me.....Arrrggghhhhhhh......

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