Here’s a bit of good news that got buried in the Rotten Tomatoes quickstep today. A month ago the over/under index for Legend of Tarzan’s opening weekend box office was somewhere in the range of $24-26M, then last week it settled in around $30M with almost all the major prognosticators locking it in at that level. Today, however, Hollywood Reporter reports “more bullish box-office analysts believe it will instead open to $30 million-$35 million domestically and edge out Steven Spielberg’s family entry The BFG, which is aiming for $30 million.”
Warners and Village Roadshow are hopeful that the international box office will more than make up for a potentially muted showing in North America. Tarzan launches in 19 markets this weekend, including South Korea and Russia, and it will open in a number of other major markets next week before landing in China on July 19.
Although a quick glance a review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes does not produce a pleasant sensation for LOT stakeholders and enthusiasts, there have been a number of solidly favorable reviews and User Ratings on IMDB are holding at 7.8 average, which is high for a film with a 26% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. There is unlikely to be a major turnaround with critics when the rest of the reviews roll in, but positive word of mouth, strong international results, and a big dropoff for IDR may all play favorably into Legend of Tarzan’s opening.
The truth is — a $40M opening is all it would take for LOT to be on track for profitability under a scenario that would look like this:
$40M Opening Weekend US
$100M US Total
$300M Foreign Total
$400M Global Total
Is such an outcome realistically possible?
As far back as the 1960’s Sy Weintraub’s Tarzan movies were doing 3/4 of their business in foreign markets. John Carter earned $272M, of which 75% was foreign. Thus a 25-75 split between domestic and foreign for Tarzan is completely reasonable.
It all starts with the opening weekend.
There is most assuredly a path for Legend of Tarzan to achieve bo office sucess, and it starts with an opening weekend performance that is only $5M higher than the latest prediction of $35M.