Conventional wisdom has long assumed that November's two biggest releases would be Sony Pictures' "2012" and Summit Entertainment's "The Twilight Saga: New Moon." In theory, both pictures seemingly should be successful as they have little audience cross over. As the second installment in the "Twilight" series, "New Moon" should dominate with women and younger women especially. "2012" is an old fashioned disaster movie that should be a four quadrant sell (i.e., movie for everyone) that drives older audiences, teens and regular moviegoers. Based on the latest pre-release polling, however, one of the films is in much better shape to dominate the box office than the other.
A little over three weeks before opening, "New Moon" came on industry tracking today with a vengeance showing interest in the Stephanie Meyer's vampire franchise hasn't cooled whatsoever. With huge awareness already, the film has a staggering 40% plus first choice with younger women and over 15% with older women. What's truly astounding is that older men (typically over 25) have almost as much interest as older women in seeing the sequel. For what is seen as a typically female subject matter, that's a remarkable level of interest. To say that "Twilight's" opening weekend number last year of $69.6 million will be surpassed by "New Moon" beginning on Nov. 20 is something of an understatement. And its domestic gross of $191 million? Don't be surprised if it quickly gets shattered.
As for "2012," opening a little over two weeks from now, the Roland Emmerich action flick is currently trending for an opening in the mid $40 million range. For early November, that's nothing to sneeze at. However, with a rumored budget in the $250 million plus range "2012" is going to have to have strong word of mouth and a lucrative Thanksgiving weekend to sail into profitability. Sony's biggest concern? Interest among older males is the same percentage as older males for "New Moon" and it opens a week earlier. That's got to be disconcerting for those at the Culver City studio. No one is expecting "2012" to flop, but the company may need to rely on its excellent international distribution arm to make up the difference overseas to get the film to a "blockbuster" level. Considering the division's stunning global success with the last two "Da Vinci" and 007 films, that's well within their skill set.
Sony still has two weeks to try and blow "2012" out of the park and there is no reason they can't spend through the nose to get a bigger opening than they are trending for now. Summit, on the other hand, wont rest on its laurels, but knows they have a self-sustaining publicity machine that has the core audience chomping at the bit for the next chapter. Recruiting young men and getting even more older men excited will be their job over the next few weeks (and no, we can't figure out why that demo is into it either, that's a lot of dads).
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Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
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1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
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Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
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