SUNDAY AM: The bottom dropped out of Disney’s Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience to Hollywood’s immense surprise. What were weekend predictions of as much as $30 million and even $40 million had to be revised down, down, down as it opened to $4.8M Friday and then $4.7M Saturday for only a $12.7M weekend with Sunday’s estimate of $3M. “Concert pics usually look better on paper than they actually are because the fans drive tracking but it doesn’t go beyond fans,” one marketing guru told me. Of course, you have to remember that it’s playing in just 1,271 3-D theaters, and even so it was the 2nd highest grossing concert pic of all time with a big per screen average of $9,992. “Many had unrealistic expectations for this pic. But they forget the coup that Disney pulled off on Hannah Montana 3-D,” a rival studio exec told me. That’s because the latter was a “one week lock” engagement. (They held it over, of course). But Disney really created a sense of urgency among moviegoers to see that 3-D event which shocked Hollywood with a $32.1M opening. This time around, Disney’s marketing gimmick was to send out the Jonas Brothers on surprise personal appearances.
The weekend started out promisingly for the pic with MovieTickets reporting 700+ sold-out screenings hours before it opened at midnight Thursday. But advance ticket sales weren’t anywhere near the level of pre-sales for Hannah Montana 3-D. Then again, Miley Cyrus is the star of her own Disney show whereas the Jonas Brothers’ series won’t begin to air until summer. Still, they were nominated for a Grammy for New Artist, and Disney Records is simultaneously releasing a soundtrack of the film.
SATURDAY AM: Very early numbers coming in suggest that Disney’s Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience should open around $20 million this weekend from only 1,271 3-D theaters. “Honestly, I don’t think it’s disappointing at all,” one rival studio exec tells me.
FRIDAY AM UPDATE: The Jonas Brothers began their cross country, multi-city, Surprise Theater Invasion Tour last night when they surprised their fans at their first stop — the midnight show at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. I’m told it was a full house, all reserved seats, with filmgoers starting to line up early Thursday morning to see Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience at midnight. (Photos at the El Capitan by Eric Charbonneau)
Moviegoers were screaming from the minute the Jonas Brothers entered the theater. There were trivia slides shown on the big screen, and every time a picture of a Jonas came on the audience screamed some more. They did a game where people came on stage to say why they loved the Jonas Brothers. One girl gave an actual speech about how the brothers had changed her life. When the brothers surprised everyone and came out on stage, the Disney marketing people worried that a few girls in the front were going to faint.
The brothers performed 3 songs – and the audience knew every word and sang along. Big Rob came out as a final surprise and rapped. The place came unglued. As the movie was playing, the walls of the theatre were literally reverberating. And the audience could not stop screaming or dancing and clapping in their seats. The El Capitan had to run the movie at top volume, louder than even a big special effects action movie, because no one would have been able to hear the dialogue or the music otherwise. As a Disney insider told me: “It was a really wild evening.”
The brothers said onstage that there was nowhere they’d rather be to kick off their tour and the movie than the El Capitan — which just happens to be owned by Disney — because one of their first performances was there at the premiere of the anomated pic, Meet the Robinsons. Jonas merchandise available at the soda fountain was selling like crazy. Every single person in the theatre was wearing something Jonas.
THURSDAY AM: MovieTickets reports about Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience:
— 32% of all “Jonas Brothers” ticket buyers bought 4 or more tickets at MovieTickets.com.
— 15% of all “Jonas Brothers” ticket buyers bought 5 or more tickets at MovieTickets.com.
As for latest ticketing numbers, MovieTickets is reporting 744 sold out performances for the movie, which has now accounted for 61% of tickets sold at MovieTickets.com this week as of 12:30 PM ET today.
WEDNESDAY: Films like Disney’s Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience are a bonanza for online ticketsellers like MovieTickets and Fandango that cater to younger moviegoers. Here are some stats for you:
— Fandango says the movie is scooping up 63% of all online ticket sales today. MovieTickets says 52%.
— MovieTickets says the pic sold more tickets yesterday than Monday and Tuesday of last week combined.
— Fandango says dozens of show times are already sold out across the country, even though the movie doesn’t open until Thursday night at midnight. MovieTickets is now reporting 700+ sold out performances.
— MovieTickets says 41%/21% of females/males intend to see it opening weekend.
— The value proposition of the film – which offers a front-row view of the Jonas Brothers’ hugely popular “Burning Up” concert tour – may have something to do with this phenomenon. According to a recent MovieTickets poll, moviegoers see the 3-D pic as a more economically friendly alternative to concert tickets. And Fandango found that, for 83% of Jonas respondents, the 3D presentation is a “very important” factor motivating them to buy tickets to the film.
— MovieTickets Poll: “By seeing the Jonas Brothers in theaters, I’m most avoiding:
1. Expensive concert tickets (57%)
2. Nosebleed seats (18%)
3. Hours of standing (17%)
4. Lack of elbow room (8%)
— According to an ongoing Fandango survey of moviegoers planning to see the film:
96% plan to see Jonas 3D this weekend;
57% of those plan to attend a midnight screening on Thursday night;
45% plan to take off time from school or work on Friday because of the movie;
72% are planning a get-together before or after the movie;
58% have previously seen the Jonas Brothers live in concert;
65% have previously seen High School Musical 3 on the big screen
58% saw Hannah Montana 3D
53% saw Twilight on the big screen;
96% of respondents are female;
76% of respondents are 17 or younger;
54% said Nick Jonas was the brother they’d most like to date.
— Fandango is offering a bonus for moviegoers buying advance tickets to Jonas 3D : a free download of the Jonas music video “Tonight”.