By Todd Allen
If you didn’t hear about it, the Ghost Rider sequel film, “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” debuted this weekend. It also didn’t finish where the experts thought it would. Initial estimates have it in the #3 slot behind Safe House and The Vow.
The list from Box Office Mojo:
Safe House $24,000,000
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
This Means War
These are estimates and everything’s close enough, things could switch around a little when the real numbers come out Monday, but it’s much more likely if there’s any change in order, it would be Safe House and The Vow swapping places. This is going to be disappointing for Sony/Marvel, since the studios love to say they were the #1 film opening week when getting ready for overseas releases. This disappointment will be compounded when you figure there were supposed to be some more expensive 3D tickets in that total. And you have CNN/EW with a $29.5M forecast that didn’t happen. (They were pretty close for This Means War, forecasting $17M vs. the $17.55M estimate.)
The trade press is putting the Ghost Rider budget at around $75M. With a $22M debut, it’s going to take a strong overseas showing to recoup costs before the DVD and broadcast rights kick in. According to Box Office Mojo, the first Ghost Rider did 50.6% domestic vs. 49.4% foreign, so this one will probably take a little while turn a profit. That said, if you look at the long tail, it’s an unusual movie that doesn’t turn a profit if you give it a few years.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.