Entertainment behind the scenes
Jonas Brothers vs. Hannah Montana in 3-D showdown
Last year, then 15-year-old Miley Cyrus was the runaway hit at 3-D theaters when her “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour” made $31.1 million its opening weekend at U.S. and Canada box offices in only 683 theaters.
Cyrus’ old friends the Jonas Brothers, who gained fame on her Disney television show “Hannah Montana,” are looking to eclipse that number when their 3-D concert movie opens in 1,271 theaters on Friday, and hundreds of theaters have been sold out.
Movie industry watchers expect the Jonas Brothers at No. 1 on the box office this weekend, giving Walt Disney Pictures another trophy 3-D success on top of its “Best of Both Worlds” smash hit the weekend of Feb. 1, 2008.
“I’m thinking it can at least do as well as the Hannah Montana movie,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracking firm Media by Numbers. “It would totally surprise me if it somehow did less.”
But given how few theaters ”Best of Both Worlds” opened in, the question is how “Jonas Brothers: the 3D Concert Experience” will match up against it on a per-theater basis. Going into the opening weekend of Cyrus’ movie, Fandango.com and MovieTickets.com, the top online ticket sellers, said “Best of Both Worlds” accounted for more than 75 percent of their ticket sales a couple days before the opening. As of Thursday, the two companies reported that advance ticket sales for “Jonas Brothers” were below 64 percent of all sales, which is still strong but not quite as stellar as “Best of Both Worlds.”
Disney needs a big success from “Jonas Brothers” more than it did from “Best of Both Worlds,” after reporting on Feb. 3 that quarterly profits fell 32 percent to $845 million compared to a year ago. One factor working in “Best of Both Worlds” favor was that it was originally planned to run in theaters for only one weekend, which had parents and their kids rushing to theaters before it was extended, experts said.
But regardless, Dergarabedian still expects ”Jonas Brothers” could make $40 million its opening weekend, which is not a bad take for any film. The box office numbers will be driven by girls, in line with the female-oriented success of 2008 films “Twilight,” “Sex in the City” and ”Mamma Mia!,” he said. Hollywood has often geared its movies toward teen boys, so the fact that girls can make a movie a hit has many in the movie industry taking note.