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October 10 2005

"Serenity's" 2nd Weekend Actual: $5.35 million. In its second weekend, "Serenity" manages a 47% drop to $5.35 million.

That's good right? Right?
Yep :) Was expected to drop at least 50, probably 60 by a lot of folks.
Sounds good to me!!
Yes, this is good. This is probably the best "sci-fi" drop since Attack of the Clones in 2002, which fell 40%. It's a very, very rare thing when sci-fi pictures, especially those with a built-in audience, fall less than 50%.
I guess this means that Saturday and Sunday really *did* defy industry expectations. Maybe word-of-mouth means something after all ... Hopefully, this is a trend that will continue. Serenity isn't going to be a huge hit, not in theaters anyway, but perhaps it won't fade away as quickly as some had feared.
That would put Sunday at about 1.6 million, wouldn't it? Friday was supposed to be ~1.5 and Saturday was ~2.25.

I truly hope this reported 5.35 million weekend is right.
I knew those estimates were skewing negative! (Well, I hoped they were--and they are!)

This is a spot of bright news indeed.
Woo, and might I even venture a hoo?! Good news.
*grinning* Some good news. Anyone have a guesstimate for the world-wide take at this point?
WooHoo! Especially since the highest estimate I saw for this weekend was just shy of 5 million with 4.9. I really feel like laughing in the face of the guy who predicted no more that 4 million. We are a might unpredictable :)
Well, its domestic total is right around $18m. Add $2m for Australia and about $1.5m for the UK, and I'd say it's right around $21 million worldwide. I'm really interested in how well it'll do in Japan.

[ edited by The Dark Shape on 2005-10-10 22:57 ]
20 Million is alright for a second week then? Gossi?
Assuming Serenity doesn't get utterly gutted for screens this week (which might happen, with The Fog, Elizabethtown, and Domino hitting), I wouldn't be surprised if the falls started to soften and it comes away with $3-$3.5 million over the weekend.
Hmmm... BOM still hasn't updated to the actuals.
Thanks for the totals, Dark Shape.

So, when do we find out about how many theaters will keep the movie for next weekend? I swear, I have never shown any interest in this sort of stuff before, but now I am living and breathing it. In a non-obsessive, non-scary way, of course. :)
Hmmm... BOM still hasn't updated to the actuals.

I don't recall the answer to this, so I'll ask: Anyone remember whether or not the site linked in this item had correct information last time? I have a vague recollection -- and correct me, if I'm actually just pulling this out of my behind -- that the previous weekend item linking to this source might have been removed, or at least someone might have posted a caution about it, but I don't remember why.
I know what you mean Dizzy!! I feel the same way. I was never interested in how the movie industry worked until the last few weeks and I'm now living and breathing it as well!
One, WOKJ was right with the estimates before. These are actuals -- much less to "interpret." So while some of the details might turn out differently once BoxOfficeMojo updates ($5.35m might become $5,345,000, for instance), you can pretty much guarantee these are accurate.
I'm interested in seeing the numbers for today (Monday). With it being Columbus Day and school's being closed here in the States, I'd think Serenity could pull in a decent take. I know I went to see it again today, and the theater ended up being just under half full. I think there might have actually been more people in the theater this time than when I saw it the Sunday of its opening weekend.
One, WOKJ was right with the estimates before. These are actuals -- much less to "interpret."

I wasn't raising the question of interpretation, but the question of whether or not these were in fact the real actuals (which you answered in the first art of the above quote).
Very positive news! It would also be really interesting to see the percentages if all Browncoats were removed from the equation.
With it being Columbus Day and school's being closed here in the States

Seventeen states do not recognize or celebrate Columbus Day. They include Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

[ edited by killinj on 2005-10-10 23:34 ]
Could this be the positive second weekend Universal was looking for?
A might unpredictable, indeed. Go BDM! Happiness consumes me. An opportunity to celebrate...hey, I got an idea. Let's go see that new John Weldon movie about a girl named Serenity. (***trying really hard to be clever amongst the most cleverest***).
I think the single best marketing tool is the first nine minutes of the movie. I posted the link to a (non-Whedon) message board last week, and among the responses were "Watched the streamer. I now have plans for the weekend. Thank you." and "Wow. Is the rest of the movie this frikkin great?" I assume everybody here is sending the link to friends, posting it to message boards, and otherwise getting this out to the public.
For contrast with actuals, as posted at top by The Dark Shape, here are quotes from other BO web sites that were all estimates and forecasts:

Box office guru summary, scroll down about 10 'graphs:
"The sci-fi adventure Serenity fell 51% in its second mission to an estimated $4.9M giving Universal just $17.6M in ten days. The $39M production looks to finish with a not-so-impressive $26-28M."

Box office prophets forecast, and scroll down to bottom:

"A big test comes this weekend for Serenity, the film adaptation of the TV series Firefly. After coming out of the gate with a respectable-but-disappointing-to-fans $10 million, legs for the following weekends could have a big effect on whether sequels are made. Given its modest $40 million budget, that's not a huge task, but every little bit helps. The extreme fanboy nature of the film works against it here; however, reviews from even non-series watchers have been enthusiastic. It shouldn't fall as fast as other films of its type, but it is probably looking at just $6 million for this weekend."

IGN Filmforce report: "Widespread fan enthusiasm wasn't enough to keep Serenity in contention at the box office. The Joss Whedon sci-fi flick fell from second place, all the way down to ninth in its second week, bringing in about $5 million."
"Well, these Box Office reports are a might unpredictable. Moodswings of a sorts."

"It's worse than you know."

"It usually is."

However, the real money should come in when the DVD comes out. That's when the money making ball will really start spinning.
blast! double post, my apologies!

[ edited by Harmalicious on 2005-10-10 23:31 ]
BOM finally put the actuals up as well, FWIW. Comparing to their estimates, it made about $400,000 more on Sunday than they had estimate.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2005-10-10 23:39 ]
Smashing. I've changed the link to BOM's URL. I suggest we meet back on Saturday to discuss this Friday's US box office take.
Smashing, indeed. It pulled ahead of History of Violence, too.

In terms of whether this is good enough for Universal in terms of a sequel, it'd be nice to hear from an actual, connected expert/insider. Speculation is fun, but until I hear from Joss and/or Chris Buchanan and/or someone from Universal, I'll continue to hold my breath.

I saw it twice this weekend. Both times the theater was 2/3 full and people seemed to "get" it. People who were not Browncoats.
Numfar! Do the dance of joy! :-D

Very happy with this news. It seems our BDM has some legs yet! With it doing better than expected in the US and the #1 opening weekend in the UK, I'm starting to feel optimistic about the whole operation again.

What makes me most glad, however, is not even the BO. It is that these numbers mean that more people than expected have seen the movie. And that's what's it all about anyway, people seeing and enjoying Serenity. That's what it's there for, after all.

And who knows, if this keeps up, we might even get those sequels. *knocks on wood*
Ah, good news! I love good news. Always nice to exceed expectations, right?
Well it's still a hell of a drop off, let's not forget that.
47%? Woo! Serenity!

(Yes, that's as articulate as I can be right now.)
BOM still doesn't have the UK totals yet, just Australia. Hmph. I want to see the bigger number, please.
Does anyone know if the $80 million needed for a sequel includes DVD sales?
Combining all of the money that Serenity has made in North America to date, and all of the movie it has made internationally, does anyone know how much money in total Serenity has raked in to date?
BOM has worldwide at $19,123,929. Only thing missing is the the weekend's overseas and if I'm reading other threads correctly that's an additional $1.8 million. Current worldwide at about $20.9.

[ edited by IMMORTAL on 2005-10-11 00:25 ]
I assume it would Gypsy.
Do international BO numbers make any kind of impact on whether studios decide to make another movie?

And any chance that if the BO numbers are not quite high enough for a sequel, that they'll decide to make it back into a series because they'll sell more DVDs (and make more money) that way instead of in movies?
US - $18,020,875

Converted to US Dollar Currency according to current exchange rate.

UK - $1,684,112
AU - $1,598,824

Estimated total Gross in US Dollars = $21,303,811 (10 day total)

[ edited by RavenU on 2005-10-11 00:39 ]
My god this is a rollercoaster ride! It's only a 47% drop - yay! We've dropped to 9th - boo. No 1 in the UK - yay! We've only made $21 - boo.
moodswings? hell yeah.

[ edited by lone fashionable wolf on 2005-10-11 00:39 ]
Does anyone know if the $80 million needed for a sequel includes DVD sales?

I'm pretty sure that number was referring to just Worldwide Box Office.
I think while movies like In Her Shoes made a lot this weekend, in the end it has no heart and it won't stay in it's position forever.
We've dropped to 9th

8th, according to the link.
There will be only 1 type of good news: The announcement of a greenlight on sequels. We have no idea as to the truth of what the studio needs to see to get a second Serenity off the ground. If you want to believe anything you hear, you're not listening to the tales of the past. In the end, it comes down to a very complex analysis by the people in charge, which they often disregard to follow their gut. However, I think the relevant information they need for determining whether to make a sequel or not is months away. The DVD sales will likely play a big part in the equation ...
Interesting that Canada numbers are down 46 per cent between the first and second weekends, just a point off the NorthAm performance. Canada's contribution to the "domestic" BO is right on par with our population being one-tenth of the U.S. To save you the math, just under $1 million US the first weekend and 0.54M the second, a media source told me. Which is $648,000 CDN and that means about 650,000 Canadians (at about $10 a ticket) saw the film. Not half bad, my friends.
I've just spoken to somebody about these results..

They are actually much better than I thought. It's still one hell of a drop, but it's not nearly as bad as it could (or should) have been.

The opening week was down a lot in terms of expectations. Fan numbers were overestimated, and it didn't instantly find a non-fan audience. However, these figures suggest non-fans turned up.

It now comes down to the 3rd week. It *will* drop 3rd week - the question is, how much. Theatres will start to drop it soon, but if the drop off isn't much next week, it might be kept a bit.

Basically, short version: It's still not done great, but overall the month is still coming in at a decent rate now. No sequels will be announced with these results, but the money is still coming, and that is a good good news. If more international locations open at number 1, it ain't over yet.
I second gossi's cautious optimism (or is it optimistic caution?). I think we should be happy to hear some better news (Sunday's take stands out, and the UK opening of course), but before we get too excited, remember the opening weekend was underwhelming and it'll still be hard to beat $30M (US), while $50M was hoped for. I'm glad any time good news comes from the box office, but this is still a big uphill battle (would we want it any other way?).
Well, unlike a lot of movies, I'd say the audience for Serenity would actually go and see a sequel. Whereas you normally predict a large drop off in audience for a sequel, the potential for Serenity is for it to *grow*. You have the already rabid fanbase and hopefully you pick up new fans over the next 2-3 years who get into it via Firefly and the Serenity DVD.

That said, Joss has Wonder Woman and Goner on his slate, so Serenity 2/3 are unlikely to happen for a few more years. Unless Joss hands the reigns to someone else (Tim Minear?). Which wouldn't be a bad idea, but I always thought Joss was the better director of the two...
Today was supposed to be a day of celebration, with the news that 'Wallace and Gromit' had gone in at No. 1 at the U.S. box office, but instead our whole history has been wiped out... CNN is reporting that the Aardman Animations building in Bristol, home of Wallace and Gromit, has been destroyed by fire

I know this is OT, but since it's mentions Boxoffice results, I thought I mention it. sad... :(
However, these figures suggest non-fans turned up.

That's what I'm figuring. I would tend to imagine that if it was mainly/only fans turning up second weekend, the drop-off would have been vastly larger.
Could it have something to do with me seeing it twice this weekend, but buying 3 extra tickets? :) I know a lot of the fanbase was doing that type of thing, but are there enough of us doing that to make *that* big of a difference in the numbers? I'm thinking probably not, and that non-flans *are* starting to get out and see it. My gut instinct about yesterday (packed 4:20pm showing) was correct to the tune of around $400,000 above projections for Sunday - I think the word of mouth is happening, folks.

Of course, Sunday could have just been a great day for the theaters for some reason. Anyone done a comparison of Sunday projected vs. actual for the other movies in the top 10? Did others besides Serenity exceed estimates?
Did anyone else notice that the Cameron Diaz vehicle "In Her Shoes" made less in its opening weekend (or about the same) as "Serenity" did in its opening weekend? And in more theaters? And the Matthew McConaughey/Al Pacino movie "Two for the Money" (which I had never heard of) made even less in *its* opening weekend, also with more theaters? They probably won't drop off as much, but I kind of assumed movies with "big stars" would have a better opening weekend turnout than our little no-big-names sci fi movie?

Of course, I have no idea what the budget of those two movies are.
Actually, I'm willing to bet those two movies drop off more, teenes. However, they likely had smaller budgets.

For a 'no name sci-fi movie', Serenity has made around $21m worldwide so far in 10 days. That's not actually bad - it will turn a profit eventually, it's just not quite as fast as some would hope by the looks of it.

Basically, if nobody was expecting sequels, these would be fine results so far.

ETA: 32.69% drop on Sunday, which is below the average for the day slightly.

[ edited by gossi on 2005-10-11 02:03 ]
I cannot find a budget for "In Her Shoes" but I did for "2 for the Money" which is released by Universal as well.

2 For The Money
Production Budget: $35 million
Domestic: $8,703,240 (Opening Weekend)
Screens Release: 2,391
This site: Lee's Movie Info lists the budget of "In Her Shoes" at $28 million. So I guess that one did come out ahead of Serenity in terms of what it took in vs what it cost in its opening weekend, assuming that website is accurate.
Basically, if nobody was expecting sequels, these would be fine results so far.

Yeah that's probably true. It's just that we fans are so damn greedy;-)

I noticed BOM finally added new countries to the overseas section, including England's 1.68m. Kinda wondering what Germany will do. It's one of the bigger european countries and I believe Joss' other shows were fairly big there.

I'm still fairly surprised at the new Pacino movie doing so badly. And that's with a couple of names. It did look fairly uninteresting though...
On a semi-good note, take a look at the long-term box office of "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow." The movie was considered a flop, but it was much more expensive than our BDM: it cost about $100 million to make and promote this movie.

Oh, and pardon my obsession with numbers, but I like this kind of stuff. =)

Sky Captain was also released in September, and after 2 weekends Sky Captain and Serenity had roughly comparable numbers: their 2nd weekend returns were comparable, but Serenity is about $7.5 million behind where this movie was after two weekends. (Sky Captain had a bigger opening weekend, but it nosedived 2nd week.) Sky Captain's returns had started to fall QUICKLY, about 50% week-to-week (presumably there was bad word of mouth). It seems like Serenity would have more legs than this movie. (Serenity's Saturday-to-Saturday and Sunday-to-Sunday dropoffs are 39.2% and 36% respectively.)

Considering the large number of weeks even a movie like Sky Captain lasted in the theaters, it grossed a total of about $37.8 million. One could guess that Serenity will make significantly more than $30 million domestically... how much more is hard to calculate.

This is not the "$50 million domestic + $30 international" goal for a sequel that has been noted before, unless there is truly fantastic longevity for this movie. But it should definitely make a profit after international returns, and preserve the possibility of a sequel pending DVD sales or a positive assessment of the growing fanbase that this movie is surely creating. =)
I've just been discussing Serenity's chances in the UK long term... We think it'll come in 2nd or 3rd next weekend. If it comes in 2nd, we think it'll stay in UK top 3 for the entire of this month, which is excellent.

Basically, there are a few releases this month, but nothing major. Most are family films, or films which have already flopped in the US. In UK terms, I'm continuing to sleep peacefully - I think this baby can fly here.
Well I'm doing my best to keep it up there. I just had lunch with a friend and convinced him to go tonight and I'm planning going tomorrow and then multiple times next weekend to try get that 2nd place. Will put off seeing W&G until later in it's run.
I wonder if the gorgeious weather in the NE USA the first weekend and the very wet weather this past weekend for more than the NE had anything to do with the numbers. In theater we used to pray for rainy Saturdays to bring in the audience and pay our expeneses for the week. Sunny days used to kill business.

Though this is is a big region.
The Box Office updated it's total gross (including international) to be $21,387,369
Hey, I think we're seeing a clear trend that says it should not be made into a sequel ... but should return to TV as a series. ;-)

[ edited by jgsugden on 2005-10-11 19:23 ]

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