Jumat, 24 Mei 2019

Box Office: Will Smith's 'Aladdin' Nabs Strong $7 Million Thursday - Forbes

Naomi Scott and Mena Massoud in Aladdin (2019)

Walt Disney

Walt Disney’s Aladdin began its box office magic carpet ride last night with previews starting as early as 6:00 pm in North America. Guy Ritchie’s $183 million live-action adaptation of the blockbuster ($504 million worldwide back in 1992) animated feature earned a very promising $7 million via Thursday previews. No, that’s nowhere near the $16.3 million preview gross of Beauty and the Beast, but we’re in a different scenario.

This is a holiday weekend and plenty of interested moviegoers will presumably wait until the proper weekend, perhaps even Saturday or Sunday afternoon, to take their kids to the kid-friendly musical romance. It’s not like anyone has to worry about spoilers for this one.

The reviews for the Mena Masoud/Naomi Scott/Will Smith flick were mixed-positive, and the movie generally delivers on its promises of a splashy, colorful and energetic big-budget musical fantasy with a deeply compelling cast. Masoud and Scott are lovely together, Smith is just fine as the Genie (another case of the Internet losing its mind pre-release over nothing) and the film delivers a mix of nostalgia and “new-to-you” story turns for those who grew up on the 1992 flick.

That said, it’s not must-see viewing and it’s certainly not the kind of thing that demands that folks line up on Thursday night. I’d be surprised if the overall weekend was heavily slanted toward Thursday. Walt Disney has been releasing big movies over Memorial Day weekend at least since 2007. The bad news is that most of those films have performed save for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and (arguably) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, have underperformed or outright bombed. The good news is that we have plenty of comparative math to work with.

Pirates 3 earned $13.24 million in Thursday previews in 2007 which accounted for 8.6% of its still-record $153 million Fri-Mon debut weekend. Pirates 5 earned $5.5 million in 2017 which was 7% of its $78.4 million Fri-Mon debut weekend. We can use those two, along with Universal’s Fast and Furious 6 ($10.4 million toward a $117 million Fri-Sun launch in 2013) and Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past (an $8.1 million Thursday, and a $110 million Fri-Mon frame in 2014). Under those parameters, Aladdin has already earned between 7% and 8.8% of its Fri-Mon weekend haul.

Presuming that’s accurate, we’re looking at an opening day of around $29.75 million, a Fri-Sun cume of between $65 million and $79 million and a holiday haul of between $79 million and $100 million. This spread is mostly in line with the pre-release projections heading into the weekend.

Now if it plays like Solo: A Star Wars Story (a $14.1 million Thursday for a $103 million Fri-Mon frame), it’s a ghastly $44 million Fri-Mon total for Aladdin, or about on par with Tomorrowland in 2015 (which, by the way, had much fewer Thursday screenings scheduled than most biggies that summer). But that’s a highly unlikely scenario.

A more plausible "worst-case-scenario" is X-Men: Apocalypse, which earned 10.4% of its $78.8 million Fri-Mon debut via Thursday previews in 2016. Such a figure would give Aladdin a $67 million Fri-Mon haul.  Conversely, while the overall numbers were low, Alice Through the Looking Glass earned $33.5 million over its Fri-Mon weekend from a mere $1.5 million preview figure.

Audiences obviously didn’t feel the need to race out for that one, but unless you think Aladdin is going to open with $156 million over the Fri-Mon weekend, that’s not a great comparison. Ditto Men in Black 3’s $1.6 million Thursday/midnight gross toward a $54.5 million/$69 million debut weekend.

I have to assume that Solo is an outlier, since Star Wars movies are always frontloaded in terms of previews versus the eventual opening weekend. I also have to presume that the long-ago likes of X-Men: The Last Stand ($5.9 million at midnight in 2006 for a $102 million Fri-Sun/$122 million Fri-Mon cume) and the aforementioned Alice Through the Looking Glass comparison don't apply.

As such, the hope is that the figure is closer to 6% than 9% by the time the whole weekend is over. Obviously, we’ll know more once we get hard Friday numbers this time tomorrow.

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2019-05-24 14:37:25Z

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