This weekend was supposed to turn all that bad box office news around for Hollywood, but both saviors that went into wide release yesterday are not only trailing their predecessors (as you’ll see below), they are falling well below expectations. “Entertainment Weekly” predicted “Sherlock 2” and “Chipwrecked” would open to $54 million and $30 million respectively, which is low compared to some others. If these numbers hold, the silver bullet Hollywood assumed would solve all their problems suddenly won’t look all that silver.
If these two franchises, these two titles, these two pieces of product can’t put butts in seats — what can?
And how do you blame Redbox and piracy on this one?
Sources are starting to send me more numbers for today. Both Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Warner Bros) as well as Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (Fox) are badly trailing their previous installments. (Sherlock 1/$62.3M vs Sherlock 2/$42.4M and Alvin 2/$48.8M vs Alvin 3/$25.8M.) The Robert Downey Jr-starring and Guy Ritchie-directed Sherlock 2 includes $1.25M from 1,650 midnight shows. It’s early yet but audiences seem to be rejecting sequels and threequels. Of course, the movie studios point out that both the last Sherlock and Alvin opened either on Christmas or after kids were already out of school. Execs are hoping to make up the difference before year’s end. But more pics will open, too, creating clutter. So if this weekend’s low grosses continue, then the domestic box office slump may very well ruin Christmas for Hollywood.