December 03, 2016

Not Good News for John Carter Midnight Box Office


By Scott Mendelson

HollywoodNews.com: It’s been awhile since we had a movie that justified running the ‘midnight math’, so let’s make this quick. John Carter grossed $500,000 worth of 12:01am shows last night. That’s quite a bit under the $3-5 million that most of last summer’s tent-pole films were pulling in. Moreover, it’s $3.1 million less than the midnight gross for Tron: Legacy just over a year ago. While one may argue that school is in session so it may not be fair to compare, any number of major summer releases that debut in May or early June have to worry about kids still in school, to say nothing of the boffo $3.7 million midnight debut for Fast Five last April. But, in the name of mercy, let’s give a bit of leeway. Generally speaking, unless the film has hugely positive word of mouth (not likely), the amped-up audience just doesn’t *need* to see it at midnight (probable), or is insanely front-loaded (let’s hope not…) a genre film like this usually pulls in between 4.5% and 6.5% of its money via midnight shows. So under those circumstances, we’d be looking at a probable opening weekend for John Carter of between $7.7 million and $11.1 million. I honestly don’t think that the opening weekend is going to be that bad, so let’s play absolute best case scenario and assume that only the absolute hard-cores went last night. If we presume that the midnight showings made up between 1.5% and 2.5% of the weekend total, then that leaves John Carter between $20 million and $33 million for its opening weekend (or, optimistically, about what Prince of Persia did with its $500,000 midnight opening and $30 million Fri-Sun weekend back in May 2010). Still, if the midnight figures mean anything at all in calculating the opening weekend, and if John Carter’s midnight scores are in any way ‘normal’ for a big-budget fantasy tentpole, then Disney is in deep trouble…

Photos by Walt Disney Studios

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About Scott Mendelson

Mendelson's Memos: The basics - 30 years old, married with one child, currently residing in Woodland Hills, CA. I am simply a longtime film critic and pundit of sorts, especially in the realm of box office. The main content will be film reviews, trailer reviews, essays, and box office analysis and comparison. I also syndicate myself at The Huffington Post and Open Salon. I will update as often as my schedule allows. Yes, I'm on Facebook/Twitter/LinkIn, so feel free to find me there. All comments are appreciated, just be civil and try to keep a level discourse, as I will make every effort to do the same. Read more at Mendelson's Memos:

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