I was going to break down the box office news on Legend of Tarzan but Scott Mendelson at Forbes has been up early and already done a good job of it. His bottom line is about what mine is at this point — that the surprisingly good Friday projects to a way better weekend than experts were expecting, but it still falls short of a clear “Win”. What it does, though, is put Legend of Tarzan into the range where a big overseas result really could push it over the top — and also, it’s only Saturday morning and word of mouth may cause the projection for US domestic to go up a bit more between now and Monday. Here is Mendelson.
Budgets matter. That’s one lesson for The Legend of Tarzanthis weekend. The good news is that the Warner Bros./Time Warner Inc./Village Roadshow production opened a bit better than I was expecting over this holiday weekend. The film earned $14.04 million on its first day, including $2.55m in Thursday previews and $1.4m in IMAX alone. That means we’re probably looking at a Fri-Sun total of around $36m and a Fri-Mon cume of around $43m.
Considering how little heat the film had going into the weekend, and how bad the reviews turned out to be, that’s a genuinely pleasant surprise and a marketing triumph. If this David Yates film had cost $120 million to produce instead of $180m, I might be calling for a minor celebration. But that insane $180m budget means that Warner and friends are still betting on massive overseas interest. They may get it, but that’s a “wait and see” proposition.
Read the full article.
I’m not sure why he calls it “marketing triumph” …. the marketing only got it to the point of tracking $30M coming into opening day. And the critics panned it (not all, but 33% Rotten is 33% Rotten, even if it did get fav reviews from New York Times, Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, Village Voice) ….. the only thing it had going for it was, duh, the film is actually quite good and fans recognize tht even if critics don’t. (More analysis of that to come.)
Anyway, that’s a quibble. Overall, I think Mendelson is spot on.