erik lundegaard

Hollywood B.O.: Crunching Numbers for HUGO

At first glance, it looks like Martin Scorsese's “Hugo” had a so-so opening weekend. That's what Jeff Wells over at Hollywood Elsewhere thought:

Paramount's decision to open Hugo on 1277 screens last Wednesday indicated (to me at least) that they were hedging their bets and hoping that critical raves and a word-of-mouth groundswell might materialize. As of last night Hugo had pulled in $8,545,000 after three days (having opened on 11.23) in 1277 theatres. That works out to a $6691 per-screen average...not bad, could be better. But it was fifth-placed after Breaking Dawn, The Muppets, Happy Feet 2 and Arthur Xmas (none of which I give a damn about).

The estimated numbers for the weekend are now in and it doesn't look much better:

No. Movie Studio Weekend Gross Thtrs Average Wks
1 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Sum. $42,000,000 4,066 $10,330 2
2 The Muppets BV $29,500,000 3,440 $8,576 1
3 Happy Feet Two WB $13,400,000 3,606 $3,716 2
4 Arthur Christmas Sony $12,700,000 3,376 $3,762 1
5 Hugo Par. $11,350,000 1,277 $8,888 1

True, every other film in the top five played in more than 3,000 theaters, versus “Hugo”'s measley 1,277; but “Hugo”'s per-theater-average is still second best to “Twilight.”

But Box Office Mojo now offers more options to break down the numbers: not just theaters, but screens; and not just screens but showings. In this regard “Hugo” goes from a three-to-one disadvantage with “The Muppets” and a four-to-one disadvantage with “Twilight” to a six-to-one and 10-to-one disadvantage:

No. Movie Studio Weekend Gross Screens Showings Avg/Show Wk
1 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Sum. $42,000,000 7,200 104,500 $402 2
2 Happy Feet Two WB $13,400,000 6,500 71,000 $189 2
3 The Muppets BV $29,500,000 4,600 62,900 $469 1
4 Arthur Christmas Sony $12,700,000 5,600 60,400 $210 1
5 Jack and Jill Sony $10,300,000 3,100 43,100 $239 3
6 Puss in Boots P/DW $7,450,000 4,100 40,100 $186 5
7 Immortals Rela. $8,800,000 3,600 36,800 $239 3
8 J. Edgar WB $4,950,000 2,000 22,700 $218 3
9 Hugo Par. $11,350,000 1,300 11,400 $996 1

And if you sort these nine movies by average-per-show, you get a prettier picture:

No. Movie Studio Weekend Gross Screens Showings Avg/Show Wk
1 Hugo Par. $11,350,000 1,300 11,400 $996 1
2 The Muppets BV $29,500,000 4,600 62,900 $469 1
3 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Sum. $42,000,000 7,200 104,500 $402 2
4 Jack and Jill Sony $10,300,000 3,100 43,100 $239 3
5 Immortals Rela. $8,800,000 3,600 36,800 $239 3
6 J. Edgar WB $4,950,000 2,000 22,700 $218 3
7 Arthur Christmas Sony $12,700,000 5,600 60,400 $210 1
8 Happy Feet Two WB $13,400,000 6,500 71,000 $189 2
9 Puss in Boots P/DW $7,450,000 4,100 40,100 $186 5

Folks are obviously seeing it—at a two-to-one advantage over “The Muppets” and “Twilight.” The other movies don't even come into play. “Arthur Christmas,” another opener, is abyssmal in comparison.

Some of “Hugo”'s advantage is obviously 3-D money rather than kids in the seats. But one wonders, as always, how well it might have done if Paramount had just had the confidence to play it in more theaters, and on more screens, for more showings.

Still, I'm hoping for positive word-of-mouth. I love the movie, most people I know love the movie—our friend Laura kept thinking the word “enchanting” as she watched—and it's a movie that SHOULD BE SEEN IN THE THEATER. In 3-D. So go already. Please.

Meanwhile, last week, I said “Twilight” would drop like a rock. Did it? A bit: 69.6%, or about the same as Ang Lee's “Hulk,” “Jonah Hex” and “Eragon,” but not as bad as “New Moon” (70%). For movies opening in more than 3,000 theaters, it's the 12th-worst drop ever.

Find the enchanting numbers here. And go see “Hugo.”

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Posted at 01:29 PM on Sun. Nov 27, 2011 in category Movies - Box Office  

COMMENTS

AR wrote:

Nice work. With the actuals, Hugo made $997 per show. The Descendants made $1001, only $4 dollars more per show yet its opening is considered stellar compared to Hugo's so-so. If you add the per-show-average of Hugo and The Descendants, it comes pretty close to the eight other films in the top ten combined.

Comment posted on Tue. Nov 29, 2011 at 03:08 AM
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