Thursday Box Office Report

Thursday's box office numbers are in, courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Once again, no real change in the weather. Ponyo has retained its current place, at 9th overall and tied for 4th on the per-screen average. We're now heading into the next weekend, and at this point in the game, anything is possible. Friday and Saturday will be make-or-break time for this movie.

Looking at the other films, District 9 is the runaway success, and it's still riding high. It's always great to see an original movie succeed at the box office. My money's been tight but I might just go see it. I'm also really looking forward to the new Quentin Tarantino movie, Inglorious Basterds. He's my favorite kind of movie director: the kind who's really a film nerd at heart. There's a classic hip-hop quality to his endless sampling and riffing of classic b-movies, and I'm still buzzing about how good Kill Bill was.

Then there is the documentary, Soul Power, a cousin to the Muhammed Ali doc When We Were Kings. And I think The Hurt Locker is still playing in Minneapolis. Hmm..there are a lot of really smart movies playing now. You have no excuse for wasting your time on mindless blockbusters. Garbage in, garbage out, kids.

Anyway, let's see how Ponyo finished its first week:

Daily 8/10: $477,728
Screens: 927
Per-Screen: $515
Total: $5,710,871

A solid finish to a very consistent week. The buzz is definitely lower than this time last week, but there's still a notable interest brewing out there. I do hope this is born out this weekend. I'll most likely go back to Edina on Saturday for my third showing. Most likely that will be enough for me, but who knows? If Ponyo is still around come September, I might just take the plunge one last time. Studio Ghibli on the big screen is so rare, I feel like I have to take advantage of the opportunity while it's there.

Prediction Time: How successful is Ponyo this weekend? What's our "magic number" for Friday and Saturday?


Sean L. said...

I saw it again today =D. I want to keep Ponyo in the top ten. I'll be happy if it at least remains so.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

That's terrific! How'd it go? Were there any people in the theater with you? Who were they and what were they like? How did your impression of the movie change on this second viewing?

Oy vey, always with the questions!

Sean L. said...

Actually, it was my third viewing :). Miyazaki movies are indeed great to re-watch over and over because they're so rich in nuance. I appreciate new details with each viewing.

I was amazed to see so many people there again today. Fewer than last weekend, but still a pretty full theater. If theaters everywhere were filling up as much as they are here, Ponyo's b.o. numbers would be faring a lot better. Maybe it's just because New York is such a densely populated place, so the theaters fill up easier...? Anyways, I find it interesting to see what kind of people come, and again there was a great range of ages. Some adults with kids, some adults without kids, some college-age people like me. I can't help but wonder who among us are Miyazaki fans, or who just saw the movie listed/advertised and thought "That looks cute--Why not?"
But it has been clear at all my viewings that the audience enjoyed it. I especially love to hear the kids (and grown-ups, actually) go "Ooo, aah!" at the part when Sosuke and Ponyo have just woken up, the sea is at their doorstep, and they dip their heads under the water to see the fantastic creatures that are swimming around the house on the cliff, now almost drowning in the beauty of the ocean.

For this viewing, I focused a lot of my attention on the artwork itself, particularly the pastel-like scenery. I have some background in art myself, and I keep thinking "How did they achieve that gorgeous effect? I want to paint something like that!" I love catching new details in the scenery and getting swept away by the unique storybook feel of Ponyo. The artwork is so different from any of Miyazaki's previous films.

By the way, if you know anything about the mediums and techniques they used in the art, I'd love to hear about it. It looks like they mixed mediums--like colored pencils with acrylic or watercolor. Did they? Hmm, how awesome would it be to be able to see the artist at work on one of the paintings?

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

@sean L: Oh, yeah! On my second viewing, the part that got the biggest response from the kiddies was when Ponyo and Sosuke look under the water and see the dinosaur fish. That one shot got ahh's and ooh's from everyone, and that was remarkable to me. I would expect the spectacular tsunami sequence to get all the attention, but it was this quiet moment.

I was going to write about this tonight, in fact, heh heh :P I just needed to take some screenshots for the post.

If your interested in the art design and approach to creating Ponyo, the Art of Ponyo book should help you. I haven't read through it yet, but I'm sure there will be many answers.

I really do believe that these movies require a number of viewings to absorb everything. My only reservation against doing so is the possibility of losing the freshness of the experience, the sense of discovery. It's best to have some time to reflect and absorb between viewings.

Great report!

Chris Sobieniak said...

I would like to go again to see if it has changed in my parts, but my money is rather tight right now and I have a major debt to pay off soon (and my birthday is coming up in a couple days, though I already celebrated a bit of it today at a buffet at Golden Corral).

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