Cloverfield, easily the most anticipated film of early 2008, did not disappoint on Friday, January 18th, as it earned a whopping $16.7 million on Friday. Other Friday estimates have it at $18.25, and I have to figure the disparity between the figures relates to the Thursday-night midnight showings.
UPDATED: Here are the final box office weekend estimates for Cloverfield.
Either way, the Friday grosses put Cloverfield in a position to earn approximately $45-$52 million over the weekend, an astounding feat considering that January is usually a month reserved for expanding Oscar-worthy films and the dreck studios want to dump. I haven’t seen Cloverfield yet (UPDATED: read my Cloverfield movie review), but it’s actually receiving pretty decent reviews – decent enough for a monster movie, anyway. The handheld camera approach is getting a bit of criticism, but it sounds like the movie entertains nonetheless.
The $16-$18 million Friday gross for Cloverfield puts the J.J. Abrams movie in a nearly guaranteed position to set box office records for the most earned over a three-day weekend in January. On top of that, don’t forget that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is on Monday, which means that the movie is also poised to break records for the MLK holiday weekend. I have trouble considering it a holiday weekend since I have to work on Monday, but that’s another story.