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Golden Compass Crashes Hard

John on December 16, 2007 at 11:20 pm

I wasn’t planning on writing more about this film, but this obnoxious comment convinced me that one more tap dance on Pullman’s cinematic grave was warranted. (By the way, don’t you just love the line of reasoning: We demand you bring your kids to this atheist indoctrination because we’re concerned about religious indoctrination of kids!)

As I noted here, Compass cost $180 million to produce plus an additional $30-35 million to promote. It was expected to make $40-60 million its opening weekend in the US, which would have put it on course for a $150-200 million domestic run.

Instead it made $26 million opening weekend. I predicted a drop off of 30% the following weekend based on the poor reviews. Apparently I underestimated just how bad the film is because the drop off this weekend was about 65%! This $200 million epic made about $7 million all weekend.

Starting tomorrow the film, which is still in 3,500 theaters, will be making less than a million a day. That works out to a per theater average of just over $300. Let me paint a picture for you of what that looks like…

At $10 a ticket, we’re talking about 30 people per theater. But that’s per day, not per showing. So divide those thrity people between the 4-10 shows and what you get is a whole lot of empty seats my friends.

With this gone in about three more weeks, New Line has no chance of breaking $100 million. In fact, they’ll be lucky to break $65 at this point. And somewhere between a third and a half of that money goes to the exhibitors (aka the theaters showing this turkey).

New line put $210 million or more into this and they’re going to net about $45 million domestically. The film is doing better overseas (as I predicted it would) but even if they make $200 million overseas (unlikely), this is going to be a write off at the box office, probably in the neighborhood of $40-50 million dollars.

They could break even on DVD sales and so forth, but you don’t risk the future of the entire company on a chance to break even. Or maybe you do if sending a message means more than the bottom line.

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Category: Atheism, Movies |

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