Will New Moon Be the Biggest Film of the Year?

by Melissa Silverstein on November 12, 2009

in Box Office

new-moon-posters-3I spend a lot (too much) time in the twittersphere and the blogopshere and from the people I follow and read (lots of movie, TV and pop culture people and feminists) you’d never think that New Moon is opening next week.  Granted all the movie folks have turned attention to all things awards and Oscar, but just looming on the horizon, a little over a week away, is a huge juggernaut New Moon. This is a franchise like Transformers and Harry Potter yet it does not get the proper respect in movieland.  I’m not talking about the content of the film, I’m talking pure numbers.  Why is New Moon not as respected? Maybe it’s not respected because it is targeted at girls and women?  I’m not surprised at the disdain for all things Twilight.  Think about how Mamma Mia was treated.  The movie has grossed over 600 million worldwide, yet that movie gets no respect.

Let’s think about the potential of New Moon.  According to Paul Dergarabedian who tracks the box office at Hollywood.com, the opening weekend of New Moon will hands down beat the Twilight numbers of $69 million.  What we also might witness is the biggest opening weekend of the year.  According to Dergerabedian, this movie has the potential to beat the Transformers sequel opening weekend numbers.  That movie made $108 million.  That movie also opened when school was out of session in most places at the end of June, and on a Wednesday, and this movie is opening the weekend of the 20th of November when school is still in session and yet it still might beat it out.  Degarabedian says the opening weekend will be “girls kicking the crap out of the boys.”  He says that this is the “holy grail” and that this is to the female audience was “Star Wars was to the guys.”

Let’s just think about that. A franchise fueled by girls and women has the potential of beating the machines for the box office record.   This movie could potentially be “guy proof” meaning they won’t need guys to see it for it to kick some box office butt.  Whereas the other franchises NEED women to make their numbers.

Here are just some other facts that are helping to propel the film to huge heights:

  • According to movietickets.com (h/t Thompson on Hollywood) tickets to New Moon are selling at 4 times the rate than Twilight.  There will be several thousand screenings at midnight around the country on November 19.  Many will be sold out.
  • According to Fandango.com New Moon has already sold more advance tickets than Twilight and it is the company’s 4th biggest seller, and is tracking to be the #1 best seller ever.
  • The trailer for New Moon broke records for viewing and was watched over 18 million times the week ending November 5.  The two previous weeks had 25 million and 21 million.
  • 18 million fans voted Twilight into one of the top movie slots (and also Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson for best actress and actor) for the People’s Choice Awards.
  • The New Moon soundtrack debuted at number 1 and has been a top 10 seller for 4 weeks.

So folks, the question is are you going to see New Moon and do you love all things Twilight?

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Scott Mendelson November 12, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Don’t put too much stock in online ticket sales. Huge pre-sales can get you The Dark Knight ($159 million) or This Is It ($23 million). Point being, let’s not let the media predict/expect/demand a record-breaking opening weekend. You’ll be hearing lots from ‘rival studio execs’ and the likes of Nikki Finke about how New Moon WILL open to $100 million or more, which very well may happen (it wouldn’t surprise me). But the reason they are shooting out these figures is in the hopes that it will allow them to call the movie a ‘failure’ when it ‘only’ opens to $75 million or less. Considering the hype of the first film and the fact that not everyone who saw it liked it (ie – they won’t be there for opening weekend for part II), Summit should be hoping for something just a little higher than Twilight’s $69 million opening. Anything bigger than that is gravy.

Thomai in L.A. (it rhymes) November 12, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Because it was directed by a woman, I rented Twilight.
It was so bad. I laughed myself out of seat and onto the floor at one point (the sparkle reveal was toooooo much!). It was as bad as “Showgirls”, and that is as bad as it gets.
I’m not a fan of the Mormon, anti-choice, homophobe book writer, not a fan of the canines being well…
I don’t even have to get that deep.
It looks embarrassingly stupid. I’m not thrilled that crap like this, and Transoformers, lowest denominator crap,
gets as much money and attention as it does.

If I had a daughter, I would dissect the phenomena with her and point out misogyny in the story before I allowed her to even consider buying into crap like that franchise.
But, then again, I have a son who thinks the Transformers franchise was made for idiots.

Anemone November 12, 2009 at 12:42 PM

It’s interesting how this franchise makes me squirm. Personally I’m not into vampires, but Mamma Mia made me squirm, too. (Though I’m glad it did well, and I wish New Moon the best.) Perhaps we are not embarrassed enough by male silliness, rather than too embarrassed by female silliness?

Elizabeth November 12, 2009 at 1:20 PM

“But the reason they are shooting out these figures is in the hopes that it will allow them to call the movie a ‘failure’ when it ‘only’ opens to $75 million or less.”

If I remember correctly from last year, this exact thing happened when the first film came out and followed with lots of articles about how obviously girls are not going out to see films in the droves that the studios expected, etc.

I thought the first movie was pretty bland and the content incredibly appalling, but my friends and I have developed a love for trashy vampire movies and TV shows so we’ll see this eventually. Just not on opening weekend — I don’t think I could cope with the Twihards’ first experience of the new film. I’ll deal with them when they come back for seconds.

It’s in obsessive repeat viewings that this movie will make its money, so the opening weekend box office will depend on people going to see it multiple times in one weekend. I remember reading a quote about “Titanic”‘s box office success where someone said “Never underestimate the power of teenage girls seeing a Leonardo DiCaprio film twelve times in theatres” (or something to that effect), and they even went on to say that this is the reason no other film will ever touch “Titanic”‘s record unless the actively court the teenage female fanbase.

grrljock November 12, 2009 at 1:20 PM

No and no. I’m with Anemone; I squirmed throughout “Mamma Mia” as well, though I’m really glad that it did well. And though I have not read any of the “Twilight” books, other people’s comments about them make me leery of supporting the series (I’m very reluctant to actually spend time to read a “Twilight” book–I still want the time and brain cells I wasted slogging through “The Da Vinci Code” just to give it a fair chance back).

So maybe it all comes back to male silliness being expected and well-tolerated (“Transformers”), and female silliness being, well, too silly.

Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist November 12, 2009 at 1:35 PM

Too bad Twilight is CRAP!!!

Nikaara November 12, 2009 at 3:36 PM

I really don’t want to support this franchise because I don’t agree with the message it is sending to young girls. I’ve only read Twilight and I’ve never seen the movie because the book was so bad. I was appalled by how lightly the book treated Edward’s stalking of Bella…I don’t want young girls thinking it is romantic when the guy you like breaks into your house and watches you sleep.

But on the other hand…if this series doesn’t do well, then Hollywood execs might blame the female lead and not the movie’s content…and then it will be ages before they try another female-led franchise.

HelenofPeel November 13, 2009 at 2:43 AM

I think Twilight is a wonderful set of books, but it is NO Harry Potter. Sorry, I must disagree with you on your premise. Harry Potter was written by a woman. While the movies may have been directed by men, I do not hold that as a valid reason for their success, no more so than I would a movie directed by a woman.

Twilight is aimed at teenage girls and young women. While I am sure the demographics are larger than that, the target audience really is not girls and boys; whereas in Harry Potter that was exactly the case. The Potter books were aimed at both young men and young women, and a larger demographic resulted as well, incluiding myself! (age 53)

Twilight will do very well. But please don’t think its box office and “lack of respect” is because it is a woman-helmed film. That’s just not justified at this point, and I don’t think it is justified at all. When I see a film, it’s not about the director until the credits come up. It’s about the story.

Something to keep in mind.

Jen November 13, 2009 at 6:03 AM

I’m going to have see it (unwillingly), because there’s no way that I’m going to let my 14 year old daughter see it without me. I think that the books send a horrible message to young girls, and rather than barring her from reading them and seeing the movies, I’d prefer to be able to talk them through with her. I’d much prefer that Hollywood and the publishing industry did ignore the entire franchise- I wouldn’t count it much of a victory if Hollywood jumped all over it and then decided that this was the type of thing that they should be making for girls and women.

Valerie Meachum November 13, 2009 at 11:27 AM

I’m not a fan of the franchise (unless you count Cleolinda’s snarky recaps on LiveJournal), but I’ll probably be seeing it as a mini-reunion of castmates from a recent play. One of whom is fifteen, and a huge fan despite being fully aware of just how problematic it is to see Edward’s behavior as romantic.

I know that for every smart and confident girl like her in the fandom, there no doubt several swallowing the fantasy whole, and I won’t pretend not to be uneasy about that. But I respect it as the franchise that is forcing an unwilling culture to acknowledge that there can be a female-driven juggernaut franchise.

I look forward to a future where there are enough of those to choose from that we can reject one we think is silly or problematic. In the meantime, I’m holding out hope for this one as step to making that future possible.

Thomai in L.A. (it rhymes) November 13, 2009 at 1:08 PM

“…there can be a female-driven juggernaut franchise.”

is this the first?

Karen November 13, 2009 at 8:29 PM

I’m a fan of vampire/werewolf stories in general. I saw Twilight opening weekend and if I’m able to get tickets I’ll see New Moon when it hits theaters opening weekend as well. I’ve only heard good things about the soundtrack and can’t wait to check that out too. I’d say that people “like” a Transformers and Twilight type franchise while people “respect” Lord of the Rings. There’s a difference. And it depends on what “people” you’re talking about critics or the general public.

Melissa Silverstein November 15, 2009 at 9:24 PM

I think so aside from sex and the city. maybe the sisterhood of the traveling pants but I would hardly call that a juggernaut.

Melissa Silverstein November 15, 2009 at 9:26 PM

New Moon is directed by a guy. Chris Weitz.

Allyson Joesph December 19, 2009 at 10:24 PM

I went to the link you give to get the free gift card for toys from Kmart but it says I am not in USA and do not qualify, do you know if Kmart is doing this in canada too?

William Mumpower April 16, 2010 at 5:54 AM

I like to read your blog a couple times a week for new readings. I was wondering if you have any other niches you write about? You’re a very talented writer!

Oralia Morisky April 17, 2010 at 5:56 PM

She is such a outstanding singer. I love all of her songs.

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