So how is the film of Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth doing on its release in the US? Before we look at the money data, here is an interesting thing! If you look at the ratings to films given by readers of www.boxofficemojo.com, more people give the Eagle an A or B than any other of the new releases; and fewer lowest grade Fs! So fewer people are going to The Eagle than the other films, but more like it a good deal and fewer hate it than any other movie! What may this mean? Of course it depends on sample size, it is a self selecting set of voters, there are ‘lies, damned lies, and statistics’, but I choose to be encouraged! I imagine marketing gurus have algorithims they use to predict future sales from a combination of early takings and how much people like the film , and over time they may be more interested in the number of visitors and what they pay than their satisfaction, but I suspect there is a correlation … and I would be intrigued to know what the forecasts are.
It is fascinating the data that is available about films (e.g. see www.boxofficemojo.com). Indeed I am becoming obsessed! There are already estimates for the takings in dollars throughout the first three days of the new releases, and films that are out. The Eagle is estimated to have taken $8.6m which puts it fourth this weekend. Box Office Mojo comments rather soberingly:
The fourth new nationwide release, The Eagle
, landed in fourth with a meager estimated $8.6 million at 2,296 single-screen locations. While that was much better than The Last Legion and Pathfinder among comparable titles, it was less than Season of the Witch‘s $10.6 million earlier this year. Eagle’s marketing consisted of grungy action, and its television ads didn’t take time to explain the title. According to distributor Focus Features,Eagle’s demographic breakdown was 64 percent male and 62 percent under 35 years old.
I cannot resist saying that maybe if they had stuck with the book title or called it, as in Russia, The Eagle of the Ninth Legion, they might immediately have done better ‘explaining’ the title …And of course I actually have no idea of the store that is to be set by Box Office Mojo. Nor do I in fact know how to interpret the totals takings. It is ‘meagre’ alongside the $31m dollars estimated to have been taken by Just Go With It. But as important is how it relates to the targets that Focus Features had set themselves. Thus the Los Angeles Times commented:
Despite the relatively soft debut for The Eagle distributor Focus Features said it was pleased with the start for the $23-million production.
Here are the financial estimated numbers as listed by the Los Angeles Times:
Here are the top 10 movies at the domestic box office… according to studio estimates and Hollywood.com:
1. “Just Go With It” (Sony): Opened to $31 million.2. “Never Say Never” (Paramount Insurge): Opened to $30.3 million on its first weekend; $31 million including Wednesday previews.
3. “Gnomeo & Juliet” (Disney): Opened to $25.5 million.
4. “The Eagle” (Focus Features): Opened to $8.6 million.
5. “The Roommate” (Sony Screen Gems): $8.4 million on its second weekend, down 44%. Domestic total: $26 million.
6. “The King’s Speech” (Weinstein Co.): $7.4 million on its 12th weekend, down 4%. Domestic total: $93.9 million.
7. “No Strings Attached” (Paramount/Spyglass/Cold Spring): $5.6 million on its fourth weekend, down 29%. Domestic total: $59.9 million.
8. “Sanctum” (Universal/Relativity): $5.1 million on its second weekend, down 46%. Domestic total: $17.5 million.
9. “True Grit” (Paramount/Skydance): $3.8 million on its eighth weekend, down 19%. Domestic total: $160.3 million.
10. “The Green Hornet” (Sony): $3.6 million on its fifth weekend, down 40%. Domestic total: $92.3 million.