The Golden Compass

New Line’s The Golden Compass, which has a reported budget of $200M+, has staggered out of the starting gate with an opening day of $9M or so, and it will likely muster only an estimated $27M for the weekend. In the realm of big budget, family-oriented family films, The Golden Compass opening is absolutely anemic.

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire – $102.6M opening
Harry Potter & the Prioner of Azkaban – $93.6M opening
Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone – $90.2M opening
Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets – $88.3M opening
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – $72.6M opening
The Chronicles of Narnia – $65.5M opening
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – $62M opening
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring – $47.2M opening
The Golden Compass – $27M opening (estimate)
Eragon – $23.2M opening
Bridge to Terabithia – $22.5M opening
Stardust – $9.1M opening

It’s been an awful year for New Line, and the this turkey will cinch Nicole Kidman’s reputation as box office poison.

Hairspray ($27.4M opening – $118.8M cume) and Rush Hour 3 ($49.1M opening – $140.1M cume) have been the only real 2007 hits for New Line, but nothing else has topped $40M domestic.
Fracture – $11M opening – $39M cume
The Number 23 – $14.6M opening – $35.1M cume
Mr. Woodcock – $8.7M opening – $25.8M cume
The Last Mimzy – $10M opening – $21.4M cume
Shoot ‘Em Up – $5.7M opening – $12.8M cume
Rendition – $4M opening – $9.7M cume
Code Name: The Cleaner – $4.2M opening – $8.1M cume
Martian Child – $3.3M opening – $7.4M cume
Love in the Time of Cholera – $1.9M opening – $4.3M cume

Although Kidman’s current specialty film, Noah Baunbach’s Margot at the Wedding (Paramount Vantage) is playing decently in limited release with an anticipated $3,043 weekend PTA at 82 locations, her last 5 live action releases have ranged from disappointing to disastrous.

2007 – Invasion – $5.9M opening – $15M cume
2006 – Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus – $29,000 opening – $223,000 cume
2005 – Bewitched – $20.1M opening – $63.3M cume
2005 – The Interpreter – $22.8M opening – $72.7M cume
2004 – Birth – $1.7M opening – $5M cume

New Line will have a huge problem “playing through” the holidays based on the soft opening. With 3 movies including I Am Legend (Warner Bros) set for release next week, 5 more major films due the Friday before Christmas, and 2 new pics opening wide on Christmas day, The Golden Compass will have a hard time holding screens through the holidays. $100M domestic is now a longshot, and the movie will probably finish only in the $80M-$90M range.

Disney’s Enchanted continues to hold well with an estimated $2.9M Friday and a strong $10.5M projection for the weekend. By Monday morning, the Amy Adams vehicle will have banked $83M+. Dreamworks’ Beowulf ($1.46M Friday) may have edged This Christmas ($1.44M) on Friday, but the 2 movies will change places by Sunday night. The Sony ensemble surprise hit should finish the weekend with a slightly stronger 3-day number, but both movies will be in the $5.2M range. Fred Claus (Warner Bros) should round out the top 5 with approximately $3.67M for the weekend.

On the specialty front, Juno (Fox Searchlight) is an arthouse sensation. Written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman, the film is riding spectacular reviews and deafening Oscar buzz to an expected weekend PTA of nearly $58,000 at 7 locations. If the number holds that would be one of the top 35 PTA performances in modern box office history. Commercial success here may ensure Oscar nominations for Ellen Page for Best Actress, Jennifer Garner for Best Supporting Actress and Diablo Cody for Best Original Screenplay. Fox Searchlight may even be able to convert another surprise Best Picture nomination, as they did last year with Little Miss Sunshine.

The picture is not so bright for Joe Wright’s Atonement (Focus), based on Ian McEwen’s acclaimed novel. Focus opened wider with 32 locations, and, although it managed a $7,000 PTA on Friday, the dark period romance may be out-of-step with the mood of moviegoers. Enchanted, This Christmas and now Juno have demonstrated that people are looking for something a bit lighter after the fall offering of dark, disturbing movie fare. It will be interesting to see how Atonement holds up on Saturday, but at the moment, I’m anticipating a weekend PTA of about $23,000.

Other new specialty releases met with mixed results. Dirty Laundry (Code Black Entertainment) with a predominantly African American cast, should deliver a PTA of just over $10,000 at 2 locations, Guy Ritchie’s Revolver (IDP Films) starring Jason Statham and Ray Liotta is headed for a weekend PTA of only $2,500 at 18 locations, and the long-shelved The Amateurs (First Look) will finish with an even softer $1,599 PTA while playing on just 3 screens.

Finally, another Iraq War-themed movie has crashed and burned. Grace is Gone (MGM/Weinstein) starring John Cusack, with an original score by Clint Eastwood, mustered only a $1,089 PTA on Friday at 4 locations with a projected weekend PTA of $3,594. It will be very difficult for the Weinsteins to pick this film up from the mat, and that will make an Eastwood Oscar nomination for Best Original Score an uphill climb.

EXCLUSIVE FANTASY MOGULS EARLY FRIDAY ESTIMATES

1. The Golden Compass (New Line) – $9,000,000 – $2,551 PTA – $9,000,000 cume
2. Enchanted (Disney) – $2,900,938 – $824 PTA – $76,059,844 cume
3. Beowulf (Dreamworks/Paramount) – $1,461,613 – $491 PTA – $73,044,768 cume
4. This Christmas (Sony) – $1,443,876 – $768 PTA – $39,204,057 cume
5. Fred Claus (Warner Bros) – $1,282,865 – $403 PTA – $62,211,473 cume
6. August Rush (Warner Bros) – $1,130,643 – $489 PTA – $22,753,769 cume
7. Awake (MGM) – $1,115,444 – $551 PTA – $8,531,282 cume
8. Hitman (Fox) – $1,069,950 – $442 PTA – $33,404,536 cume
9. No Country for Old Men (Miramax) – $1,041,920 – $787 PTA – $25,669,624 cume
10. American Gangster (Universal)       – $814,609 – $382 PTA – $123,829,794 cume
11. The Mist (MGM/Weinstein) – $801,886 – $343 PTA      – $21,649,771 cume
12. Bee Movie (Dreamworks/Paramount) – $663,197 -$245 PTA – $119,078,590 cume
*Atonement (Focus) – $224,992 – $7,031 PTA – $224,992 cume
*Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (Thinkfilm) – $173,530 – $541 – $4,885,778 cume
*Juno (Fox Searchlight) – $134,981 – $19,283 – $134,981 cume
*I’m Not There (MGM/Weinstein) – $86,085 – $582 PTA – $1,968,035 cume
*Margot at the Wedding (Paramount Vantage) – $73,390 – $895 – $984,802 cume
*Noelle (Gener8Xion Entertainment) – $60,494 – $298 PTA – $60,494 cume
*The Savages (Fox Searchlight) – $22,366 – $2,485 PTA – $263,064 cume
*The Diving Bell & the Butterfly (Miramax) – $15,631 – $5,210 PTA – $128,353 cume
*Revolver (IDP Films) – $13,752 – $764 PTA – $13,752 cume
* Dirty Laundry (Code Black Entertainment) – $7,174 – $3,587 PTA – $7,174 cume
*The Walker (Thinkfilm) – $4,962 – $1,654 PTA – $4,962 cume
*The Amateurs (First Look) – $4,797 – $1,599 PTA – $4,797 cume
*Grace is Gone (MGM/Weinstein)  – $4,356 – $1,089 PTA – $4,356 cume

EXCLUSIVE FANTASY MOGULS EARLY 3-DAY ESTIMATES

1. The Golden Compass (New Line) – $27,000,000 – $7,653 PTA – $27,000,000 cume
2. Enchanted (Disney) – $10,588,422 – $3,008 PTA – $83,747,328 cume
3. This Christmas (Sony) – $5,270,147 – $2,805 PTA – $43,030,328 cume
4. Beowulf (Dreamworks/Paramount) – $5,261,806 – $1,768 PTA – $76,844,961 cume
5. Fred Claus (Warner Bros) – $4,169,311 – $1,309 PTA – $65,097,919 cume
6. Awake (MGM) – $3,792,508 – $1,875 PTA – $11,208,346 cume
7. Hitman (Fox) – $3,744,826 – $1,549 PTA – $36,079,412 cume
8. August Rush (Warner Bros) – $3,674,588 – $1,591 PTA – $25,297,714 cume
9. No Country for Old Men (Miramax) – $3,646,720 – $2,754 PTA – $28,274,424 cume
10. The Mist (MGM/Weinstein) – $2,846,696 – $1,219 PTA – $23,694,581 cume
11. American Gangster (Universal) – $2,810,402 – $1,318 PTA – $125,825,587 cume
12. Bee Movie (Dreamworks/Paramount) – $2,387,510 – $882 PTA – $120,802,903 cume
*Atonement (Focus) – $742,474 – $23,202 PTA – $742,474 cume
*Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (Thinkfilm) – $572,649 – $1,784 PTA – $5,284,897 cume
*Juno (Fox Searchlight) – $309,904 – $57,849 – $404,943 cume
*Margot at the Wedding (Paramount Vantage) – $249,526 – $3,043 – $984,802 cume
*I’m Not There (MGM/Weinstein) – $86,085 – $2,094 PTA – $2,191,854 cume
*Noelle (Gener8Xion Entertainment) – $196,606 – $969 PTA – $196,606 cume
*The Savages (Fox Searchlight) – $71,571 – $7,952 PTA – $312,269 cume
*The Diving Bell & the Butterfly (Miramax) – $55,490 – $18,497 PTA – $168,212 cume
*Revolver (IDP Films) – $45,382 – $2,521 PTA – $45,382 cume
*Dirty Laundry (Code Black Entertainment) – $21,522 – $10,761 PTA – $21,522 cume
*The Amateurs (First Look) – $17,989 – $5,996 PTA – $17,989 cume
*The Walker (Thinkfilm) – $16,623 – $5,541 PTA – $16,623 cume
*Grace is Gone (MGM/Weinstein)  – $14,375 – $3,594 PTA – $14,375 cume

EXCLUSIVE FANTASY MOGULS EARLY FRIDAY PTA ESTIMATES

1. Juno (Fox Searchlight) – 7 locations – $19,283 PTA
2. Atonement (Focus) – 32 locations – $7,031 PTA
3. The Diving Bell & the Butterfly (Miramax) – 3 locations – $5,210 PTA
4. Dirty Laundry (Code Black Entertainment) – 2 locations – $3,587 PTA
5. The Golden Compass (New Line) – 3,528        locations – $2,551 PTA
6. The Savages (Fox Searchlight)        – 9 locations – $2,485 PTA
7. The Walker (Thinkfilm) – 3 locations – $1,654 PTA
8. The Amateurs (First Look) – 3 locations – $1,599 PTA
9. Grace is Gone (MGM/Weinstein) – 4    locations – $1,089 PTA
10. Margot at the Wedding (Paramount Vantage) – 82 locations – $895 PTA

EXCLUSIVE FANTASY MOGULS EARLY 3-DAY PTA ESTIMATES

1. Juno (Fox Searchlight) – 7 locations – $57,849 PTA
2. Atonement (Focus) – 32 locations – $23,202 PTA
3. The Diving Bell & the Butterfly (Miramax) – 3 locations – $18,497 PTA
4. Dirty Laundry (Code Black Entertainment) – 2 locations – $10,761 PTA
5. The Savages (Fox Searchlight)        – 9 locations – $7,952 PTA
6. The Golden Compass (New Line) – 3,528        locations – $7,653 PTA
7. The Amateurs (First Look) – 3 locations – $5,996 PTA
8. The Walker (Thinkfilm) – 3 locations – $5,541 PTA
9. Grace is Gone (MGM/Weinstein) – 4    locations – $3,594 PTA
10. Margot at the Wedding (Paramount Vantage) – 82 locations – $3,043 PTA

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