Black Swan Opens to Record Numbers

Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan had an impressive debut weekend grossing $1,394,265 from just 18 theaters. This $77,459 per-theater-average set a new record for Fox Searchlight. IndieWIRE breaks down the weekend’s box office here.

I, for one, misjudged Black Swan‘s appeal. When my friend Ally and I ventured to Union Square to catch an afternoon screening, this is what we discovered:

Standing and staring at this screen, we weighed our options. We could either see a later screening, see The King’s Speech, or do something else entirely.

After seeing Harry Potter three times, Ally is a little maxed out on Helena Bonham Carter so we nixed see The King’s Speech. (For now. As one man, also in a similar predicament, told us, “It’s going to get a lot of nominations.”) Neither of us had the time to go to a later show so we settled for something else. Something free.

Riding aimlessly on the Staten Island Ferry? Not a bad alternative.

Harry Potter Mania

I am one of the few people not seeing Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix this weekend. I always go to the Harry Potter movies with my sister and since she is not going to be in the States until mid-August, that’s when I will see it.

But I don’t think Warner Bros really needs to worry about me not seeing this movie until August. Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix has already broken box-office records and will probably break a few more by tomorrow.
In other Harry Potter news, the New York Times has a fantastic interactive feature about the five Harry Potter films, called Harry Potter, Dissected. You can check that out here.

Mission: Impossible‘s Box Office Blunder

Mission: Impossible III earned the top box office spot this weekend, grossing an estimated $48 million. So how is this a box office failure? Considering that M:I III was made for $135 million and was expected to earn over $60 million, the first summer blockbuster of the season was a box office miss.

This has caused critics and ordinary people like myself to ask the a very big question. Have the Adventures of TomKat caused the collapse of Hollywood’s biggest star?

Public persona has always played an important role in determining a movie’s success. In the late 1930’s Katharine Hepburn was labeled “box-office poison” which practically destroyed her career. For today’s Hollywood, public persona, often reflected through the lens of the paparazzi camera, has become many celebrities cushion or death sentence.  (Think Paris Hilton versus Tara Reid).

In Tom Cruise’s case it probably did not help that he shared his ridiculous theories about religion and psychiatry while throwing in carefully executed moments of PDA.

I think if his career has been affected by his behavior, then it’s his own fault. And maybe it just hasn’t occurred to critics and the media that their are some people who do not want to see a Tom Cruise movie, when all they have to do it open the latest issue of People.

That’s my opinion. Here’s an New York Times article discussing it. Feel free to weigh in.

Imax Has Its Best Year Ever

From IMDB:

Canadian-based IMAX saw ticket sales at its giant-screen theaters soar 35 percent in 2005, largely due to the success of blockbuster films that had been converted to the IMAX format, the company said Monday. IMAX’s success was all the more remarkable given an overall 6 percent drop at the domestic box office. Leading the field for IMAX was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which earned $16 million on 89 screens, just edging out Batman Begins: The IMAX Experience, which took in $15.9 million. Both films were produced by Warner Bros. Analysts observed that since moviegoers have thereby indicated that they are willing to pay a premium for IMAX screenings, studios will no doubt be releasing additional movies in the IMAX format.

Eric Wold, an analyst at Merriman Curhan Ford & Co. in San Francisco, told today’s (Tuesday) Toronto Globe & Mail: “Most theaters can’t really compete against each other. They all offer the same movies at the same times, the same theaters and the same popcorn. They have to offer something else.”

IMAX Theaters are the perfect place to see the typical big budget and special effect blockbusters. If ever had the opportunity to go see a Harry Potter movie or any of the Lord of the Rings movies in an IMAX theater, I’d be a pretty happy. Now that would be movie magic.

Harry’s Goblet Fires Up Box Office

As most of you may already know, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire opened at number one at this weekend’s box office.

And unlike the million+ people who went to see the fourth installment of Harry Potter, I did not go because of stupid sisterly bonding and traditions. It makes me bitter when all anyone could talk about at school today was Harry Potter and I, the undisputed Queen of movie knowledge at my school, did not go. Needless to say, people were shocked. But, enough about me, more about Harry Potter dominating the box office.
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Conjuring up a franchise-best $102.3 million from Friday through Sunday, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ended Hollywood’s long-running slump and recorded the fourth-best opening of all time, according to the ticket counters at Exhibitor Relations.

Despite a PG-13 rating for scary content, which includes the usual assortment of scary creatures along with a character’s death and the first cinematic appearance of Lord Voldemort (spookily essayed by a noseless barely recognizable Ralph Fiennes), the fourth installment in the Potter saga accounted for 60 percent of the weekend ticket sales. The film opened in 3,858 sites, where it averaged a magical $26,525 per screen.

Worldwide, Goblet gobbled up $181.4 million in 19 foreign countries, with England, not surprisingly, contributing the highest portion of the overseas money–$24.6 million.

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All I have to say is … go Harry Potter! I’m going Thursday night in case anyone was wondering. My sister and I are ditching our family on Thanksgiving for this movie. What can I say, I love my HP.