SUNDAY AM: The bottom dropped out of Disney’s Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience to Hollywood’s immense surprise. What were weekend predictions of as much as $30 million and even $40 million had to be revised down, down, down as it opened to $4.8M Friday and then $4.7M Saturday for only a $12.7M weekend with Sunday’s estimate of $3M. “Concert pics usually look better on paper than they actually are because the fans drive tracking but it doesn’t go beyond fans,” one marketing guru told me. Of course, you have to remember that it’s playing in just 1,271 3-D theaters, and even so it was the 2nd highest grossing concert pic of all time with a big per screen average of $9,992. ”Many had unrealistic expectations for this pic. But they forget the coup that Disney pulled off on Hannah Montana 3-D,” a rival studio exec told me. That’s because the latter was a “one week lock” engagement. (They held it over, of course). But Disney really created a sense of urgency among moviegoers to see that 3-D event which shocked Hollywood with a $32.1M opening. This time around, Disney’s marketing gimmick was to send out the Jonas Brothers on surprise personal appearances.
The weekend started out promisingly for the pic with MovieTickets reporting 700+ sold-out screenings hours before it opened at midnight Thursday. But advance ticket sales weren’t anywhere near the level of pre-sales for Hannah Montana. Then again, Miley Cyrus is the star of her own Disney show whereas the Jonas Brothers’ series won’t begin to air until summer. Still, they were nominated for a Grammy for New Artist, and Disney Records is simultaneously releasing a soundtrack of the film.
So Tyler Perry’s controversial (for its racial stereotyping) Madea Goes To Jail grabbed the No. 1 slot with a solid per screen average of $8,041. Twentieth Century Fox’s Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li debuted stillborn in 1,136 venues, and The Weinstein Co’s specialty film Crossing Over starring Harrison Ford opened with a heft pe screen average in 9 dates. Meanwhile, Fox Searchlight’s Slumdog Millionaire got an Oscars bump after adding 700 runs. And 20th Century Fox’s thriller Taken is now the 2nd January opening to cross the magic $100M mark because of its tremendous hold.
It’s looking like an $80+M weekend, about equal to last year.
Weekend Top 10
1. Madea Goes To Jail (Lionsgate) [2,052 Thtrs] $16.5M Wkd (-60%), Cume $64.8M
2. Jonas Brothers: 3-D Concert Experience (Disney) [1,271] OPENER $12.7 Wkd
3. Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight) [2,943] $12.1M Wkd, Cume $115.1M
4. Taken (20th Century Fox) [3,089] $9.9 Wkd, Cume $107.8M
5. He’s Just Not That Into You (NL/Warner Bros) [2,858] $5.8M Wkd, Cume $78.5M
6. Paul Blart: Mall Cop (Columbia/Sony) [2,698] $5.6M Wkd, Cume $128.1M
7. Coraline 3-D (Focus Features) [2,063] $5.2M Wkd, Cume $61.1M
8. Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun Li (Fox) [1,136] OPENER $4.6M Wkd
9. Confessions Of A Shopaholic (Disney) [2,534] $4.4M Wkd, Cume $33.6M
10. Fired Up (Sony) [1,811] $3.8M (-31%) Wkd, Cume $10.1M