Based on my top-secret, patented box office estimation formula, I hereby state that Twilight Saga: New Moon will gross $81 million over its first three days. No... wait, it will actually gross $91 million! It will definitely gross $81 million and/or $91 million! How do I know this? Simple. To paraphrase everyone's favorite fictional Spanish teacher, played by Dr. Ken Jeong, I am a box office genius! If you recall, I did a comparison chart of every single franchise launched in the last ten years. I listed every single one unless I'm forgetting a franchise or two and how their sequels did over opening weekend compared to the initial entries. Go there. Checked it out yet?
Ok, welcome back. You'll notice that the biggest percentage jump for pure Fri-Sun stand-alone opening weekends for the first and second film in a franchise is the Harold and Kumar series. Harold and Kumar Goes To White Castle (the best comedy of the decade and one of the finest films made about race relations, but more on that next month) opened with just $5.4 million in its three-day opening weekend. It's terrible sequel, Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay opened to $14.9 million. That's a jump of 276% between films. On the other hand, the biggest decline in sequel opening weekends over the last ten years was suffered by Hostel 2. Hostel 2 opened to only $8.2 million, or just 42% of what the original Hostel opened with 18 months earlier ($19.5 million).
Ok, so using the awesome power of math (this is the part on Numbers where my floating head starts pointing at random variables and data points on a black screen), I took 2.76 and multiplied it by 0.42. That gives me approximately 1.16. So, it stands that the opening weekend for New Moon will surpass the opening weekend of Twilight by about 16%. Ok, so 1.16 x $69.6 million = $81 million. Or, you can add up all the percentages of the pure Fri-Sun stand-alone weekend increases, which gets you 32.61. Divide that by the 25 films. That gets you 1.3044. Multiply that figure by 69.6 and you get a probable opening weekend gross of $91 million. So there you have it... Twilight Saga: New Moon will officially gross either $81 million and/or $91 million over its opening weekend. Read it and weep, Nielsen, CinemaScore, and/or Nikki Finke!
For day-to-day numbers of the actual box office as they come in, check out Mendelson's Memos.