I don’t want to be a killjoy about the Wall Street 2 boxoffice performance this weekend, but I’m not entirely sure about the use of the words “solid” and “bullish” to describe the $19 million take. It reps the best opening for an Oliver Stone film ever, but the fact is that the boxoffice.com crunchers (i.e., Phil Contrino and the gang) were projecting $21 million yesterday. They presumably didn’t just pull that $21 million figure out of their collective posterior, so what happened?
On Friday Wall Street 2, playing on 3565 situations, did $6,900,000 for a per-situation average of $1935. The perceived complication is that on Saturday WS2 only upticked about 10%, earning $7,600,000. The thinking, I gather, is that a movie like this is skewing somewhat older so you have to figure a bigger Saturday increase because over-30s tend to wait until Saturday or Sunday to see the hot film. This persuaded Contrino & friends to project today’s earnings to come to $4,500,000, hence the $19 million figure and a three-day per-screen average of $5329. It might end up with $19.5 million. That’s good but tit’s not gangbusters — let’s face it.
“The hold was not tremendously healthy,” Contrino says. “Indications are that Wall Street 2‘s word-of-mouth is okay but not glowing. Plus, it won’t help that The Social Network is going to scoop up a lot of its audience next weekend.”
Contrino is forecasting a give-or-take Social Network haul of about $26 million next weekend — maybe $27 million — with a modest initial opening on only about 2700 situations. They’re also forecasting a $90 million cume at the end of the run. It’ll be plenty big — almost at Salt -level business, but not quite matching it. The Social Network will play better and bigger in better-educated metropolitan areas, of course.
I’m constantly amused that the old cliches about folks in rural areas being less educated and less hip and less interested in whipsmart scenarios are always disputed by HE talkbackers, but the hard-number box-office handicappers are always repeating this — super-smart movies play better in the urban areas than among the overweight Croc-wearing Walmart crowd in Bumblefuck. “No, no…not true!” the responses always say. “That’s an elitist cliche. Rural areas are teeming with well-educated, book-reading, enlightened types. Stop perpetuating an inaccurate stereotype.”
Okay, I say, but then each weekend the box-office figures show that uncomplicated, slightly more primitive, emotionally-driven movies always do better in rural areas than films that exude a slight aura of sophistication in one way or another. Please explain how I’ve got this wrong.