Box Office Preview: 'Twilight' to suck up buckets of blood...and big bucks

Twilight, the
much-anticipated movie version of Stephenie Meyer‘s smash vampire-romance
novel, hits theaters this weekend, at long last. And it’ll be huge, right?
Totally! But competition from fellow newcomer Bolt and strong holdover Quantum
of Solace
could take a bite out of Twilight‘s
grosses. Here — for the first time in blog form, woot! — is how I see the
weekend’s box office top five shaping up.

1. Twilight — $69

There’s no doubt that the long-awaited adaptation arrives in
theaters with great expectations. For good reason: This film (starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, pictured) is sure to attract
the same kind of young-woman audience that made movies like High School Musical 3 and the Hannah Montana concert film big hits
earlier this year. But just how huge will it be? Certainly, Bolt and Quantum of Solace will be fierce rivals, and there’s some doubt
that fledgling studio Summit has the marketing chops to open a blockbuster. But let’s get real. Any fair
assessment of Twilight‘s demographic
reach (it’s hard to imagine many young women would rather see Bolt or Bond), ticket presales (it has already sold out hundreds of shows
nationwide), and general zeitgeist penetration points to big, big box office.
Bigger, indeed, than HSM3‘s debut
($42 mil) or Hannah Montana‘s ($31.1
mil). Maybe even — dare I say it? — Harry
big. This’ll be a fun race to watch.

2. Bolt — $41

To me, all these animated movies are indistinguishable, but
to little kids everywhere they’re…well, they’re like crack. Chances are, the
lack of a Pixar label on this CG Disney release will keep grosses well under
the $70.5 mil that The Incredibles
banked in its November opening four years ago. But hefty returns on the order
of Happy Feet‘s $41.5 mil November
premiere two years ago seem do-able, especially with this movie opening in a
record 982 digital 3-D theaters.

3. Quantum of Solace
$27 million

The latest James Bond adventure is likely to take a hit this
weekend, and its drop could be pretty steep, like 60 percent or more. Why?
Remember that it got a poor B- CinemaScore grade, meaning that its
word-of-mouth probably isn’t very good. Remember that it attracted mostly older
men, folks who can’t always be counted on to keep coming back for more.
Remember that its switch to a more Bond-as-Bourne setup may have alienated some
fans. Remember all those things (which I’ve mentioned before). And now consider
this new piece of info: After I reported that the film scored an estimated $70.4
mil on Sunday, its final figures were remarkably lower. Quantum of Solace, it turns out, only earned $67.5 last weekend. That’s still a
lot of dough, and it’s still a record bow for a 007 flick, but it also
indicates that, starting just three days after opening, the film was already starting
to slow.

4. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa — $18 million

The animated hit (14-day domestic box office take: $120
mil-plus) managed to hold on well opposite James Bond last weekend, dropping
just 45 percent. But it’ll have a tougher fight against two youth-baiting flicks
this time around.

5. Role Models — $6

Blockbuster, schmockbuster. The Paul Rudd comedy has earned
a nice $40 mil in three weeks, making it a profitable success. In this day and
age, mere profitability is enough.

More Box Office News:

Quantum of Solace Stirs up a Win

Holiday Films to Receive Season’s Greetings, Beatings

Madagascar 2: Box Office No. 1

Paul Rudd’s Cult Following Equals Big Money

High School Musical 3 Scares up Another Win

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Comments (109 total) Add your comment
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  • darrin

    making a comment about “crack” in the same paragraph about a kids movie (bolt)? really? and since when is a B- a bad thing?

  • Katie

    I’m a Twilight fan and I’m excited to see the movie tomorrow, but I think you’re (way) overblowing its gross. I honestly think it’ll finish behind Bolt but probably ahead of James Bond. I wish the expectations for it weren’t so high, because I don’t see how they can possibly be met. I’m afraid everyone’s setting it up for huge numbers, and then will say it failed to meet expectations. That’s not really fair! I’m not sure midnight sellouts are indicative, either; they’re just seeing it sooner rather than later. A Thursday night ticket at midnight counts the same as a ticket Sunday. Will it still be selling out in three days?
    And I wish people would STOP the Potter comparisons. It’s almost always critics and rarely the fans. It will NEVER be as big as HP, and we KNOW that. When people constantly mention HP and Twilight’s numbers don’t compare, it turns into some contest. Do I think Twilight will gross as much as HP? Good lord no. Am I still excited? YES!

  • lynne

    #1 weekend box office? Maybe. $70 million? I don’t think so. You almost have to have multiple and various demographics (old and young, men and women) to get that.
    Never, EVER underestimate the power of an animated kids’ movie, especially one done by Disney and starring Hannah Montana. Parents will drop off their teen girls to see Twilight, but they’ll go WITH their kids to see Bolt.
    Gotta agree with Katie on this, even though she’s apparently a Twi-hard and I’m not…it’s not going to post Potter or maybe even HSM3 numbers. Quick making comparisons. Love it or hate it for what it is.
    And it’s funny to be told how “hyped” and “anticipated” this film is when it’s the media that’s hyping it and egging on a bunch of crazy teenage girls (the kind who are pretty much stalking Robert Pattinson as we speak). I’ll be glad to have the film out for no other reason than to have this site back!

  • isabel

    I love Twilight Movie!! Tomorrow I will see it again!!

  • Mary

    Just saw Twilight….and it was the best time I’ve ever had at the movies! There are some flaws, it’s definitely not perfect…but it was thoroughly enjoyable. Actually, it went by so fast I want (and need) more. I’m not sure if it’s as satifying if you haven’t read the books but if you have, it’s great.
    Rob and Kristen are perfectly cast, the rest of the Cullens, too. Mike Newton (Michael Welch) and Charlie (Billy Burke) were fantastic!
    As for the audience, I’d say it was probably 60% female 40% male…definitely a good mix.
    Oh, and I cannot wait to see it again on Saturday (and probably Sunday, too!)

  • Ha Ha

    This will be a crime if this movie grosses more than 10 million dollars.
    It looks like it was made with 5.

  • KC

    I was thinking the same thing! It won’t happen, though. This crap should’ve been either a Lifetime movie channel flick or a horrible CW teen-angst series, but what can you do when you have millions of teenage girls dictating what should be popular these days (such as that horrible Hannah Montana and other Disney drek)!
    You have to blame the cougars as well, running to the record stores to buy those two American Idol idiots’ new records.
    No wonder there’s no hope for our economy!

  • Crystal

    I went into the theater with mixed view points on what the movie would be like. It turned out to be the most incredible experience! As a huge Twilight fan this movie lived up to every expectation and then some!!! The movie is completely, mindblowingly, fantastic!!! Better than I could have possibly imagined; I was not expecting it to be so amazing. I actually went with about 14 friends, some had not even read the books and they loved it as well. Some of the elderly critics said that the effects were not that great so I was expecting them to be corny…they weren’t at all. They also said the meadow scene was lacking, but I thought it was absolutely amazing! I watched in astonishment as my favorite book was brought to life on the big screen and the only thing I want is more!! The acting was incredible, you could actually feel Edwards torment in Rob’s emotions. Kristen was a fantastic Bella, perfect in every way. I feel so lucky to have been able to see this movie and I will over & OVER!!

  • Get A Life, People…

    I’m crossing my fingers that Bolt or QoS out grosses this mediocre crap so they can make any potential sequels direct to video.

  • JenB

    I love how some people come on here just to criticize, and they obviously have no idea what they’re talking about.
    The audience will not be primarily teen girls. I know males, even 20 something/early 30 something males who find the book somewhat appealing and want to see the film just because. And the book appeals to 30 something women for a reason, it’s called romanticism. The book isn’t all flowers and sunshine folks.
    Sure the movie may not be perfect, but like I’ve said before nowadays no one wants anything serious, people want an escape from reality. This movie will probably do what they predict up top-why because there will be a lot of people who will see it repeatedly this weekend.
    And others like myself, who wish to avoid the crowds this weekend will see it next weekend.
    It will probably do pretty big numbers the next two weeks with nothing else of major interest coming out next weekend(don’t count Australia, Nicole Kidman can be a buzzkill to any age group).

  • Cygnus

    I caught Bolt last weekend in a special viewing, and it’s great family viewing. I also caught Madagascar 2, and it was very entertaining and amusing as well. I have no doubt that Twilight will be #1, but $69 million is a huge stretch for a nitch story. I’m saying it makes $40mil tops this weekend with a huge drop-off for next weekend. Sorry Twilight fans, no sequal for this disaster.

  • Amanda

    I’m doing my part to get New Moon on the big screen by bringing two guy friends to see the movie with me tonight. It looks awesome, maybe I can even get one of them to read the books after they see this.

  • Jen

    See the trailer in HD here so awesome!

  • TexFan

    You know, I am really glad to be going to see this tonight, and I’m over 45. I taking my son, (17 yr old who has no idea with Twilight is, yes, he keeps his head in 4 wheeler mags!) and a couple of other ladies, 19, and 35. We all enjoyed the books, and are looking forward to THIS

  • TexFan

    movie. Quit with the comparisons. I think it might end up with the $150 needed for New Moon to be made, at least I hope so. I’m really looking forward to seeing Breaking Dawn in movie form. They will have to have some amazing effects for that to come to life!

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