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Cloverfield Box Office: Will It Be A Record Breaker?

[UPDATE: It looks like the final for the 4 day weekend puts Cloverfield box office at $46MM. That's an all time high for January dollar-wise, but inflation adjusted and by attendance it doesn't topple the Star Wars Special Edition re-release or Titanic.]

It's looking like Cloverfield may either come close to, or may actually break the 4 day box office record for January. It's a 4 day weekend due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday (I refuse to abbreviate that to "MLK").

Dollar for dollar it looks like it's going to be a no-brainer and will surpass the current record holder Titanic. Back in January 1998 the big T brought in $36MM over the 4 day weekend and right now Cloverfield is tracking to come in somewhere between $40 and $50MM (I'm betting closer to 40).

So why do I say "may" break the record? Because I believe that to do a true "apples to apples" comparison when it comes to a recent movie breaking the box office record of a movie that came out 10 years ago, you have to factor ticket price inflation into the number. If the average price of a ticket for a movie in 1998 was $4.69 and today it is $6.82 (those estimates come from Box Office Mojo), a movie today could break a record set by a movie back then even if 30% fewer people show up to see the movie.

So how much does Cloverfield have to bring in this weekend to really break that record?

$52.4 million.

Now considering the way it's tracking, that's not out of the question, but it's not a "lock" either. According to the Cloverfield discussion following my review, while most people who've taken the time to leave their thoughts on the film loved it, those who didn't, really hated it.

I have read about many instances of people leaving the theater during the movie due to feeling queasy due to the camera work plus it seems that a lot of folks just don't seem to "get it" and wanted something more conventional including more screen time for the monster and an explanation of what was going on.

Unfortunately I didn't put this in print at the time, but after seeing the movie I did predict that audiences were going to be split on this movie.

The film is being rated pretty high over at Rotten Tomatoes, with a 77% positive overall rating and a 69% positive for their "cream of the crop" reviewers. And over at IMDB.com, where the ratings represent more of the "average joe" it's sitting at 8.3 out of 10 (although I often disagree with the consensus over there).

When the final numbers are posted Tuesday I'll let you know what they are.

Oh, and I can't help but point out that in its opening weekend, here in the U.S. Cloverfield will earn probably as much as the God-awful Aliens vs Predator: Requiem has since its opening almost 4 weeks ago. So for those of you that slammed my review and have been defending that POS as "an awesome movie" - put that in your pipe and smoke it.

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