Serenity Opens at Number 2

Apparently Firefly’s fanbase wasn’t enough to beat Jodie Foster’s star power this weekend. Remaining at #1, was “Flighplan” at $15 million. Coming up with $10.1 million was “Serenity.” That number was within the range predicted by Universal. Tim Burton’s stop-motion flick, “The Corpse Bride” came in just behind Joss’ labor of love with $9.8 million.

And for those of you who post on Slashdot, take note the the dollar sign goes BEFORE the number. Oy, didn’t we learn this in like second grade?

19 replies on “Serenity Opens at Number 2”

  1. AceCaseOR says:

    Not completely accurate…
    From the sources I’ve read, the $10 million figure was estimated for ticket revenues for Friday. Not the whole weekend, just Friday.

    • mbourgon says:

      Re: Not completely accurate…

      From the sources I’ve read, the $10 million figure was estimated for ticket revenues for Friday. Not the whole weekend, just Friday.

      We all wish. Unfortunately…
      Friday: $3,917,000
      Saturday: $3,676,000
      Sunday: $2,548,000
      Granted, this is all “estimated”. I’m hoping they’re wrong. :)

      • lost says:

        Re: Not completely accurate…

        From the sources I’ve read, the $10 million figure was estimated for ticket revenues for Friday. Not the whole weekend, just Friday.

        We all wish. Unfortunately…
        Friday: $3,917,000
        Saturday: $3,676,000
        Sunday: $2,548,000
        Granted, this is all “estimated”. I’m hoping they’re wrong. :)

        I wonder how much of this was due to theatres underestimating potential crowds for Serenity. Suppose Flightplan is playing on 2 screens at a megaplex, and thus has twice as many show times as Serenity which is playing on 1 screen. Which one is likely to draw more revenue if the popularity figures are about even?

        I think we need a new metric for popularity: number of seats sold out of total to be sold. Obviously, if a movie is playing on 100 screens and another on 2000 screens, the one on 2000 screens has the odds stacked majorly in its favour for being #1.

        • hossman says:

          Re: Not completely accurate…

          I think we need a new metric for popularity: number of seats sold out of total to be sold. Obviously, if a movie is playing on 100 screens and another on 2000 screens, the one on 2000 screens has the odds stacked majorly in its favour for being #1.

          Per-screen-average is in fact a metric that is used, but it tends to only be considered for art films and movies that open in limited markets. A movie that gets wide-distriution like Serentiy won’t usually be considered in that light. For all the small theatres that put Flight-Plan on 2 screens and Serentiy on one, there are a bunch of Big theatres that put flight plan on 5 screens and serenity on 4 — unless Serenity was selling out all of those screens for all of those shows and theatres were turning people away at the door, they aren’t going to look at the per-screen-average.

        • majick says:

          Re: Not completely accurate…

          From the sources I’ve read, the $10 million figure was estimated for ticket revenues for Friday. Not the whole weekend, just Friday.

          We all wish. Unfortunately…
          Friday: $3,917,000
          Saturday: $3,676,000
          Sunday: $2,548,000
          Granted, this is all “estimated”. I’m hoping they’re wrong. :)

          I wonder how much of this was due to theatres underestimating potential crowds for Serenity. Suppose Flightplan is playing on 2 screens at a megaplex, and thus has twice as many show times as Serenity which is playing on 1 screen. Which one is likely to draw more revenue if the popularity figures are about even?

          I think we need a new metric for popularity: number of seats sold out of total to be sold. Obviously, if a movie is playing on 100 screens and another on 2000 screens, the one on 2000 screens has the odds stacked majorly in its favour for being #1.

          I went on Saturday night with a cousin. The theatre where I live had it showing on two screens, same as Flightplan. We specifically went to the showing on the larger of the two screens available, because no matter what anyone says, bigger is better, and so that there would be more seating in case of a crowd. Well, we got the seats we like, and there was no one else in the whole row we sat in. In total, there was maybe 20 people in the whole theatre. Mind you, we did go to the 10:40 showing, and the 10:00 show had a 20 person line up at 9:20. Why is this relevant? I don’t know. I guess I’m just hoping that the earlier showings fared better than the latter.

          • nkuzmik says:

            Re: Not completely accurate…

            From the sources I’ve read, the $10 million figure was estimated for ticket revenues for Friday. Not the whole weekend, just Friday.

            We all wish. Unfortunately…
            Friday: $3,917,000
            Saturday: $3,676,000
            Sunday: $2,548,000
            Granted, this is all “estimated”. I’m hoping they’re wrong. :)

            I wonder how much of this was due to theatres underestimating potential crowds for Serenity. Suppose Flightplan is playing on 2 screens at a megaplex, and thus has twice as many show times as Serenity which is playing on 1 screen. Which one is likely to draw more revenue if the popularity figures are about even?

            I think we need a new metric for popularity: number of seats sold out of total to be sold. Obviously, if a movie is playing on 100 screens and another on 2000 screens, the one on 2000 screens has the odds stacked majorly in its favour for being #1.

            I went on Saturday night with a cousin. The theatre where I live had it showing on two screens, same as Flightplan. We specifically went to the showing on the larger of the two screens available, because no matter what anyone says, bigger is better, and so that there would be more seating in case of a crowd. Well, we got the seats we like, and there was no one else in the whole row we sat in. In total, there was maybe 20 people in the whole theatre. Mind you, we did go to the 10:40 showing, and the 10:00 show had a 20 person line up at 9:20. Why is this relevant? I don’t know. I guess I’m just hoping that the earlier showings fared better than the latter.

            Do multiplexes like Lowes publish which screen(s) a given movie would be on? I could probably figure it out, but is this information readily available online?

  2. Boglin says:

    Eternal Optimist
    The reviews I’ve read of Flight Plan have totally panned it. I expected it to have a better turn out, since it had better publicity and a big name star, but I think word of mouth should pretty well keep hacking away at the ticket sales each week. My big hope is that Serenity will have enough positive buzz behind it to stay in that number two position for a couple of weeks.

    In other words, they don’t need to be on top. They just need to keep flying.

    • Abednigo says:

      Re: Eternal Optimist

      The reviews I’ve read of Flight Plan have totally panned it. I expected it to have a better turn out, since it had better publicity and a big name star, but I think word of mouth should pretty well keep hacking away at the ticket sales each week. My big hope is that Serenity will have enough positive buzz behind it to stay in that number two position for a couple of weeks.

      In other words, they don’t need to be on top. They just need to keep flying.

      I have heard many people going back for repeated viewings of Serenity. That, and word of mouth, should hopefully help it to at the very least make what it cost to film it ($40 million from what I’ve read).

      • Beo says:

        Re: Eternal Optimist

        I have heard many people going back for repeated viewings of Serenity. That, and word of mouth, should hopefully help it to at the very least make what it cost to film it ($40 million from what I’ve read).

        Yes, but $80 million total in the box office is the “magic number” for a sequal. I wouldn’t put money on it getting there.

        • KILNA says:

          Re: Eternal Optimist

          Yes, but $80 million total in the box office is the “magic number” for a sequal. I wouldn’t put money on it getting there.

          Not exactly. If I recall correctly, the original Austin Powers was a relative flop in the cinema. It wasn’t until DVD sales figures came back (mostly from word of mouth) that they realized the goldmine they had on their hands. Austin Powers has had 2 sequels now.

        • nkuzmik says:

          Re: Eternal Optimist

          I have heard many people going back for repeated viewings of Serenity. That, and word of mouth, should hopefully help it to at the very least make what it cost to film it ($40 million from what I’ve read).

          Yes, but $80 million total in the box office is the “magic number” for a sequal. I wouldn’t put money on it getting there.

          That’s the problem right there!!!!!! You’re throwing away your hard earned money on gambling, not Serenity tickets!

          Sorry, 4 hours of studying for a Discrete Structures test can have that effect on my brain.

    • AceCaseOR says:

      Re: Eternal Optimist

      In other words, they don’t need to be on top. They just need to keep flying.

      Well, think about it this we, we have gotten a major motion picture, with a $40 Million budget, based on a TV series, which was, by most people’s standards, a miserable failure.

      We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty.

      • octa says:

        Re: Eternal Optimist
        You’re absolutely right, it’s something we should be proud of.

        I was trying to think of similar circumstances with other shows and could only come up with the original Star Trek movie.

  3. joe__gee says:

    Per screen revenues
    Can be found here. A detailed critique of Serenity’s box office numbers, including audience ages, etc., can be found here.

    “We are satisfied,” Rocco said. “The opening is where we thought it would be. The fan base turned out. We’re hoping more will turn out in the future. I think over $10 million is a lot of business for a niche appeal picture, and I think the ancillary [DVD, etc.] will be spectacular. I’d say over 40 percent [of moviegoers] were the fans. And there was probably another 30 percent that had not watched the show but had heard of it.” Rocco highlighted San Francisco and Seattle among the cities that had strong turn outs, although she would not speculate on whether Serenity was successful enough to merit a sequel.

    According to this site , which will also be a great place to track Serenity’s worldwide gross, Serenity had the highest per screen average of any movie in release this week … Too bad Universal didn’t trust it enough to open it on as many screens as Foster’s movie. I would still say it’s on target for $80 million worldwide.

    -Joe

    • Timeshredder says:

      re: Eternal Optimist
      Serenity stands to do reasonable repeat business and have strong video sales. This has always been a long-term success, and studios occasionally see the value in movies that still draw an audience a few years down the road.

    • TwistyHat says:

      Re: Per screen revenues
      Good links there joe. Its also interesting if you look at “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” it took it something like 20 weeks of slow simmering and word of mouth to spread before it suddenly exploded into a monster hit.

  4. TwistyHat says:

    Speaking of money
    Here is a *very* interesting article from slate:

    Not about Serenity, but about how Hollywood makes money these days.

    Highlights: Most movies do not earn their cost back at the cinema. “Gone in 60 Seconds” made $242 million at the box office, of that the studio go $11 million! And if you include the cost to make the movie they ended up at something like -$92 million.

    Choice quote:

    “Ticket sales from theaters provided 100 percent of the studios’ revenues in 1948; in 2003, they accounted for less than 20 percent. ”

    Read on to see how they make their killing: http://slate.msn.com/id/2118819

    In other words, good reviews may be all that Serenity needs.

  5. ferreth says:

    go for staying power
    I went and saw Serenity on opening Friday 10:40 show. The theatre was 1/2 full. Not exactly a huge success. But I hope for word of mouth and long term staying power too. How many of you intend to see it again? I myself find that pretty much all my friends want to see it (having loaned out the DVD’s to several to convert them) and now find I’ll have to see it two more times just to fit them in. I don’t have a problem seeing Serenity again either; I’d find someone to go see it again with at anyrate. Buy the DVD? Yes! DVD’s will drive profits higher too and hopefully get the 2nd, 3rd movie and more TV that I crave!

    • nkuzmik says:

      Re: go for staying power

      I went and saw Serenity on opening Friday 10:40 show. The theatre was 1/2 full. Not exactly a huge success. But I hope for word of mouth and long term staying power too. How many of you intend to see it again? I myself find that pretty much all my friends want to see it (having loaned out the DVD’s to several to convert them) and now find I’ll have to see it two more times just to fit them in. I don’t have a problem seeing Serenity again either; I’d find someone to go see it again with at anyrate. Buy the DVD? Yes! DVD’s will drive profits higher too and hopefully get the 2nd, 3rd movie and more TV that I crave!

      Given my druthers, I would rather not see another movie. I would rather have a weekly helping, thank you very much. Another format I could get to like was what Action Pack did with Hercules and Tek War. The put out a movie every 6 months or so.

      This would provide us with our regular fix, but it would also give them time, both in between and on-screen to really kick some butt

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