Cloverfield Grabs $18.25M Friday, $48 Million Expected

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Paramount’s 2008 is off to a spectacular start. The J.J. Abrams-produced Cloverfield has delivered a monster opening day of an estimated $18.25M, and it will easily coast to both the All-Time January 3-Day record and the All-Time 4-Day MLK weekend record. The Friday number is a tough call because there’s no clear answer about where Paramount will add Thursday post-midnight sneak preview business. That means that there’s a slightly larger margin of error in my Early Friday Estimate than usual.

There will almost certainly be a dip in business Friday-to-Saturday, maybe as much as 15%. Even with that sort of “front-loading,” this $25M-budgeted internet-driven phenomenon will likely reach a staggering 3-day of $48M, easily becoming the best January opening ever. By Monday night, fueled by the MLK school holiday, Cloverfield should set a new record for the long weekend with an estimated $52M.

Paramount isn’t the only studio celebrating this weekend. Fox’s 27 Dresses, starring Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy, Knocked Up), has far exceeded industry expectations by “walking down the aisle” with $8.65M on opening day, which should translate to a $26M 3-day and a 4-day long weekend of approximately $30.7M. That will make this tepidly-reviewed romantic comedy the all-time 7th-biggest January opening and the all-time #4 MLK weekend 4-day opening.

ALL-TIME TOP 10 MARTIN LUTHER KING 4-DAY WEEKENDS
1. Cloverfield – $52M (estimate)
2. Black Hawk Down – $33.6M
3. Along Came Polly – $32.4M
4. 27 Dresses – $30.7M (estimate)
5. Coach Carter – $29.1M
6. Save the Last Dance – $27.5M
7. Stomp the Yard – $25.8M
8. Snow Dogs – $23.7M
9. Kangaroo Jack – $21.8M
10. Racing Stripes – $18.8M

ALL-TIME TOP 10 JANUARY 3-DAY WEEKENDS
1. Cloverfield – $48M (estimate)
2. Star Wars – Special Edition – $35.9M
3. Black Hawk Down – $28.6M
4. Big Momma’s House 2 – $27.73M
5. Along Came Polly – $27.72M
6. Underworld: Evolution – $26.85M
7. 27 Dresses – $26M (estimate)
8. Coach Carter – $24.18M
9. White Noise – $24.11M
10. Save the Last Dance – $23.4M

After the 2 new major releases, The Bucket List (Warner Bros) is 3rd, both for the day, with $4.08M, and, for the 4-day, with an expected $16.96M. Juno (Fox Searchlight) continues to excel during awards season. The quirky little comedy added another $3.03M on Friday. And it appears to be headed for an $11.66M 4-day, putting the Oscar-worthy film’s cume at over $86M by Tuesday morning. Sony holdover First Sunday rounds out the Friday top 5 with $2.33M. The Ice Cube/Tracey Morgan comedy should reach $9.35M for the 4-day holiday weekend.

The new company Overture has disappointed with its first release Mad Money. With a cast that includes Oscar winner Diane Keaton, Oscar nominee Queen Latifah and the increasingly-creepy Katie Holmes, the caper/heist comedy managed only $2.25M on Friday, and it’ll stumble to a an estimated $8.2M 4-day, only #7 for the period.

There are a number of specialty films that have opened on Friday, including Woody Allen’s latest and a new comedy produced by and starring Pamela Anderson.

Allen’s Cassandra’s Dream (Weinstein/MGM), starring Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor, is a disappointment with a mere $1,035 Per Theatre Average on 107 screens on Friday. It’ll limp to just $422,000 for the 4-day or about $3,944 per location.

Meanwhile, Pamela Anderson’s Blonde and Blonder (Hanover House) debuted on 16 screens and has been met with complete indifference. In the movie, Anderson plays a dumb blonde named “Dee Twiddle” and she is joined by the equally talent-challenged Denise Richards as a dumb sidekick named “Dawn St. Dom.” At some point, this mess was set to be directed by Bob Clark (Porky’s,A Christmas Story), but he’s probably now relieved to not see this movie on his IMDb page. Blonde and Blonder sold an average of just $600 in tickets at each of its locations on Friday. That’s less than $10,000 on opening day. The movie, allegedly a comedy, will finish the 4-day with just over $29,000 total or about $1,800 in tickets at each location.

EXCLUSIVE FANTASY MOGULS EARLY FRIDAY ESTIMATES
1. NEW – Cloverfield (Paramount) – $18.25M, $5,350 PTA [$18.25M cume]
2. NEW – 27 Dresses (Fox) – $8.65M, $2,830 PTA [$8.65M cume]
3. The Bucket List (Warner Bros) – $4.08M, $1,402 PTA [$31.6M cume]
4. Juno (Fox Searchlight) – $3.03M, $1,196 PTA [$78.1M cume]
5. First Sunday (Sony) – $2.33M, $1,057 PTA [$23M cume]
6. NEW – Mad Money (Overture) – $2.25M, $650 PTA [$2.25M cume]
7. National Treasure: Book of Secrets (Disney) – $2.05M, $547 PTA [$191.9M cume]
8. Alvin & the Chipmunks (Fox) – $1.67M, $565 PTA [$191.0 cume]
9. I Am Legend (Warner Bros) – $1.5M, $597 PTA [$244M cume]
10. Atonement (Focus) – $1.24M, $968 PTA [$28.3M cume]
11. One Missed Call (Warner Bros) – $920,000, $478 PTA [$22.5M cume]
12. There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage) – $762,000, $1,959 PTA [$5.7M cume]
13. Sweeney Todd (Dreamworks/Paramount) – $714,000, $474 PTA [$46.1M cume]
14. P.S. I Love You (Warner Bros) – $605,000, $372 PTA [$49M cume]
15. Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything (Universal) -$560,000, $418 PTA [$5.4M cume]
16. Charlie Wilson’s War (Universal) – $542,000, $401 PTA [$61.3M cume]
17. The Great Debaters (Weinstein/MGM) – $392,000, $384 PTA [$26.8M cume]
18. The Orphanage (Picturehouse) – $332,000, $473 PTA [$4.1M cume]
19. No Country for Old Men (Miramax) – $325,000, $397 PTA [$47.7M cume]
20. The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (Sony) – $310,000 , $187 PTA [$36.1M cume]
*The Kite Runner (Paramount Vantage) – $270,000, $446 PTA [$11.8M cume]
*Enchanted (Disney) – $195,000, $254 PTA [$122.9M cume]
*NEW – Cassandra’s Dream (Weinstein/MGM) – $111,000, 1,035 PTA [$111,000 cume]
*The Savages (Fox Searchlight) – $95,000, $543 PTA [$3.2M cume]
*The Golden Compass (New Line) – $91,000, $268 PTA [$67.9M cume]
*The Diving Bell & the Butterfly (Miramax) – $86,000, $804 PTA [$2.1M cume]
*Persepolis (Sony Classics) – $63,000, $3,706 PTA [$687,000 cume]
*NEW – Little Chenier (Slowhand Releasing) – $27,468, $ 1,526 PTA [$27,468 cume]
*NEW – Blonde and Blonder (Hanover House) – $9,600, $600 PTA [$9,600 cume]
*NEW – Teeth (Roadside Attractions) – $9,156, $2,289 PTA [$9,156 cume]
*NEW – Taxi to the Dark Side (Thinkfilm) – $2,702, $1,351 PTA [$2,702 cume]
*NEW – Summer Palace (Palm) – $2,078, $2,078 PTA [$2,078 cume]
*NEW – Day Zero (Glass Key) – $1,827, $1,827 PTA [$1,827 cume]
*NEW – Bombay to Bankok (Eros Entertainment) – $1,350, $270 PTA [$1,350 cume]

EXCLUSIVE FANTASY MOGULS EARLY 4 DAY ESTIMATES
1. NEW – Cloverfield (Paramount) – $52M, $15,245 PTA [$52M cume]
2. NEW – 27 Dresses (Fox) – $30.7M, $10,045 PTA [$30.7M cume]
3. The Bucket List (Warner Bros) – $16.96M, $5,818 PTA [$44.5M cume]
4. Juno (Fox Searchlight) – $11.66M, $4,605 PTA [$86.7M cume]
5. First Sunday (Sony) – $9.35M, $4,229 PTA [$30M cume]
6. National Treasure: Book of Secrets (Disney) – $8.44M, $2,244 PTA [$198.3M cume]
7. NEW – Mad Money (Overture) – $8.21M, $3,325 PTA [$8.21M cume]
8. Alvin & the Chipmunks (Fox) – $7.28M, $2,460 PTA [$196.6M cume]
9. I Am Legend (Warner Bros) – $6.32M, $2,506 PTA [$248.9M cume]
10. Atonement (Focus) – $4.99M, $3,872 PTA [$32.1M cume]
11. There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage) – $3.31M, $8,521 PTA [$8.3M cume]
12. One Missed Call (Warner Bros) – $3.22M , $1,673 PTA [$24.8M cume]
13. Sweeney Todd (Dreamworks/Paramount) – $2.92M , $1,943 PTA [$48.3M cume]
14. P.S. I Love You (Warner Bros) – $2.48M , $1,526 PTA [$50.9M cume]
15. Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything (Universal) -$2.38M, $1,776 PTA [$7.2M cume]
16. Charlie Wilson’s War (Universal) – $2.14M, $1,584 PTA [$62.9M cume]
17. The Great Debaters (Weinstein/MGM) – $1.54M, $1,517 PTA [$27.9M cume]
18. No Country for Old Men (Miramax) – $1.33M, $1,637 PTA [$48.7M cume]
19. The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (Sony) – $1.317M , $793 PTA [$37.1M cume]
20. The Orphanage (Picturehouse) – $1.311M, $1,868 PTA [$5.1M cume]
*The Kite Runner (Paramount Vantage) – $1.1M , $1,827 PTA [$12.7M cume]
*Enchanted (Disney) – $840,000, $1,095 PTA [$123.6M cume]
*NEW – Cassandra’s Dream (Weinstein/MGM) – $421,800, $3,942 PTA [$421,800 cume]
*The Golden Compass (New Line) – $397,000 , $1,168 PTA [$68.2M cume]
*The Savages (Fox Searchlight) – $392,000, $2,240 PTA [$3.5M cume]
*The Diving Bell & the Butterfly (Miramax) – $355,000, $3,318 PTA [$2.3M cume]
*Persepolis (Sony Classics) – $252,000, $14,824 PTA [$875,392 cume]
*NEW – Little Chenier (Slowhand Releasing) – $104,378, $5,799PTA [$104,378 cume]
*NEW – Teeth (Roadside Attractions) – $35,708, $8,927 PTA [$35,708 cume]
*NEW – Blonde and Blonder (Hanover House) – $29,184, $1,824 PTA [$29,184 cume]
*NEW – Taxi to the Dark Side (Thinkfilm) – $10,673, $5,336 PTA [$10,673 cume]
*NEW – Summer Palace (Palm) – $8,104, $8,104 PTA [$8,104 cume]
*NEW – Day Zero (Glass Key) – $7,125, $7,125 PTA [$7,125 cume]
*NEW – Bombay to Bankok (Eros Entertainment) – $5,130, $1,026 PTA [$5,130 cume]

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