November Movie Preview

After two months of throwing everything at theaters to see what sticks, Hollywood enters the holiday season by slowing down the number of releases (down to one a weekend, in some cases), heating up the advertising (which has been hitting since mid-summer), and expecting bigger returns (although even with a holiday bounce, High School Musical 3 could be a tough act to beat.)

November is a bit of an odd month. Opening weekends tend to be very large, almost on par with May releases, but the weekday numbers are, for the most part, pretty bad. It’s actually arguable that the weak weekdays are the reason for the strong weekends. In 2001, Monsters, Inc. beat Shrek on just about every comparable weekend, however it grossed less in the final tally, mostly because Shrek had the stronger weekday numbers. Following this, Pixar started to pressure Disney to give it the more profitable summer release dates.

So while November is big… it’s not summer big. The strength of the Thanksgiving holiday is overshadowed by the incredible weakness of the following weekend. It’s also not December big. Opening weekends are better, but the week following Christmas is the best movie viewing season of the year. But even so, November is big, and while we won’t see another Harry Potter this year, it should have fireworks enough.

Weekend of November 7

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

In between the pop cultural phenom of Shrek and the brilliant surprise of Kung Fu Panda, Dreamworks experimented a lot with other properties. They’ve seen success enough, between Over the Hedge, Shark Tale, and Bee Movie, but they didn’t find anything that really latched on. Except for the penguins.

What amounted to a series of cameos made the first Madagascar film a success. The penguins were a hoot and easy to market because of their brevity. Add an inspired performance by Sacha Baron Cohen and it’s not entirely surprising that audiences glossed over an otherwise completely mediocre film. Given the comedic talent of the cast (arguably better than Shrek), it’s surprisingly underwhelming. However, audiences supported it to the tune of $193m, so a sequel was inevitable.

The advertising has been very much a rest-on-their-laurels move, pretty much just re-introducing the important points: funny zoo animals, funnier lemurs, even more funny penguins. At a guess based on the title, the setting changes from Madagascar to Africa.

The weekend is roughly the same as that of Monsters, Inc., Bee Movie, and The Incredibles which has proven quite profitable over the course of the last decade for family films. While it’s not absent from competition, it does have a weekend buffer between it and High School Musical 3, so families aren’t likely to be spent on competing products.

The biggest question is whether Madagascar will remain a franchise for Dreamworks. Kung Fu Panda succeeded very well earlier this year, and provided a rough benchmark for Madagascar’s success. If Madagascar 2 is heavily under either the $60m opening or the $215m final gross, it might be best to put the zoo animals back on the shelf.

Opening: $55m, Final: $165m

Unfortunately, I was sidetracked from writing this post before the weekend began, so I won’t provide predictions for Role Models or Soul Men, since they’re already out in the wild. Despite already being released, I won’t be updating the above prediction on Madagascar 2, either.

Weekend of November 14

Quantum of Solace

Perhaps the most venerable franchise ever, James Bond is still making large returns many decades after his debut. The fact that the acting face has changed so much and he’s now on his sixth hasn’t really affected his box office acumen. During the Pierce Brosnan years, it seemed like Bond had established a fairly standard model of success: they would open strongly in November, play strongly as a counterpoint to the more family-friendly fare (while still keeping the PG-13 rating that would allow families to attend if they so chose), and then finish north of $100m. The box office tallies rose for each film, but so did ticket prices and budgets, so the difference between Goldeneye and Die Another Day isn’t so large.

Despite getting a reboot and a new lead in Daniel Craig, Casino Royale didn’t seem to deviate much. In fact, upon release, it looked like a disappointment, since it was down from the last Brosnan effort. The budget was also up, and for a moment it seemed like a misstep to take Bond in a new direction.

But then the business kept up, and despite lagging behind Die Another Day in the beginning, Casino Royale had a spectacular run and earned over four times the opening weekend. Internationally the news was even better, and it cruised pas half a billion in worldwide receipts. The reboot gambit had paid off. Bond is now more hip, edgy, and accessible than ever before. He’s not the suave playboy of Connery or Brosnan, but instead a superspy who walks with the likes of Jason Bourne and grabs the viewer in a more immediate manner.

In a way, you can look at Casino Royale as a proof of concept film. It’s taking a known product and using the familiar while still pushing the boundaries of expectation. Quantum of Solace is likely to step away from the familiar. They have already delivered the familair to the viewer and can now move on. The story this time is new (although the title is taken from a Bond short story) and from the advertising we’re promised to see further into the darkness of Bond’s soul.

In a sense, an apt comparison to these Bond films is the current Batman franchise. With Batman Begins, there were a number of familiar and expected elements, but also this boundry pushing and slightly skewed viewpoints on the character and universe. The Dark Knight followed up with an even more edgy view. It wasn’t a film that rested on the laurels of earlier success and it broke out in a very big way because of that.

That’s not to say that Quantum of Solace is going to see two-and-a-half times the box office of Casino Royale. The Dark Knight had a number of factors which accounted for its momentous box office haul. However, the anticipation for the film is high and it should see an increase.

Aiding it is the fact that competition is virtually non-existant. The biggest competitor in general that it might have faced was Harry Potter, which has been shuffled to next summer. The more direct competition is at least two weekends away, and not nearly at the same level. When looking at the action dollar, Jason Statham’s Transporter 3 and Punisher: War Zone aren’t going to compare to James Bond.

The biggest question here is whether or not it’ll be big enough to retake the title of biggest spy from Jason Bourne and Ethan Hunt. Given the international receipts that are already piling in (including the biggest opening weekend in British box office history), it seems quite likely that Bond will do so.

Opening: $75m, Final: $260m

Weekend of November 21

Bolt

Disney animation has come a long way since the heyday of the 90s. The once venerable summer institution has become something of an also-ran in the field of feature cartoons, regularly exceeded by studio-mate Pixar and Dreamworks. The last strong entry that Disney released was Lilo & Stitch in 2002, which took a quirky character and premise to incredible heights and spawned a brand of direct to video sequels and an enjoyable TV series (a realm where Disney still does quite strongly)

But on the silver screen, the studio hasn’t seen quite the same strong returns. Following Lilo & Stitch were three lackluster efforts in Treasure Planet, Brother Bear, and Home on the Range. The last was so unimpressive that it was released outside the traditional summer or holiday bracket. It earned just $50m, and Disney hasn’t had a traditional 2D animated release since.

In an effort to keep up with the times, the studio has transitioned to computer animated fare. Initially with Chicken Little in 2005, which earned a strong but not spectacular $135m, then Meet the Robinsons in the spring of ’07 which stopped just short of $100m. Compared to the grosses that Pixar and Dreamworks sees, this is a bit of a downer and really isn’t even impressive enough to compare to Fox’s Blue Sky Studios releases. The quality of the product has been good, but it’s not been able to deliver, and Disney’s once great marketing machine seems to be falling apart. Witness how WALL-E, despite absolutely spectacular reviews, failed to take off in a big way this summer. (Or how last year’s Ratatoille barely crossed the double century mark.)

Thus the stage is set for Bolt. The story here is servicably enjoyable: an acting dog doesn’t realize he’s not a superhero and believes his owner is really being abducted by bad guys, so he breaks loose to go save her. It’s high concept enough to grab a wide audience and has a good amount of visual humor potential for the kids. Even so, it’s not quite enough to break this open as sure-fire.

The interesting part is behind the scenes. Bolt was originally called American Dog, and was helmed by Chris Sanders as his follow-up to Lilo & Stitch. He eventually got the ax because his take was a bit too weird and out there for the studio execs, but you can still get a sense of his quirky style.

And beyond that are just two words: Hamster. Ball.

Potentially the breakout character of the year is Rhino the hamster, who is pitch-perfect in the advertising and may sell the film all on his own. He’s small, fat, and shows absolutely no fear in part due to his apparently impervious plastic ball.

Bolt is still an uneven possibility, but it’s got potential. It won’t likely match up to the Pixar efforts, or even Dreamworks, but it could be a step in the right direction. Ironically, next year will see Disney return to the traditional 2D roots with The Princess and the Frog.

Opening: $35m, Final: $140m

Twilight

The realm of young adult book adaptations has a fairly strong break between two groups. On one hand is Harry Potter. On the other is everything else. Some may argue that Narnia belongs in with Harry Potter, but at this point, it looks like a one-hit-wonder.

In most cases, this isn’t a problem. Studios realize that the likes of Holes, Nim’s Island, and Bridge to Terabithia are not in the Harry Potter league, and everything is scaled as appropriate. Budgets and expectations are smaller and a haul under $100m isn’t seen as an ideal opening weekend but rather a good total run.

Even so, there is an ongoing effort to find the next Harry Potter. It’s in this transition ground that we find the disappointments. Films that can cross the century threshold, but aren’t good enough to really break out. A Series of Unfortunate Events exists here, which despite the presence of Jim Carrey doing his creepy uncle best, shot just under $120m. Or Eragon, which was a phenomenal disappointment at $75m, but in retrospect we have to wonder what they were thinking. Of course we can’t ignore Prince Caspian, the second Narnia film which managed to halve the spectacular box office of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

All these films have tried to fit into the Potter shoes and failed.

Which brings us to Twilight, the latest book series to try and follow in those large footsteps. Sort of.

The Twilight series came out of nowhere in 2005 where its story of love between a human girl and vampire boy captured the hearts and minds of tween and teen girls everywhere. That’s where we see the first difference from the aforementioned films. This isn’t a strict fantasy, although it does have supernatural elements. The selling point here is the gothic, moody, teenage angst.

The second big difference is that Twilight has a very definite gender skew. While girls tend to be more likely to read than boys, movie audiences are more balanced. Twilight, though, doesn’t exhibit the properties that are likely to get boys out for a viewing. At first, this might be seen as a weakness, but it’s slowly become clear that girls and younger women can and are a box office force to be reckoned with. The recent successes of musicals Hairspray and Mamma Mia! are a testament. Also the large response for The Princess Diaries. Plus there’s Disney’s recent direct forays for the tween and teen set in Hannah Montana and High School Musical (although the latter may have left a large amount on the table due to a poor release date.) All of these films have done great business, and Twilight, despite not having quite the same bounciness or musical nature is tapping into the same audience, and it’s got name recognition and excitement to match.

(Also, lest anyone forget, Titanic’s box office run was built on the repeat business of girls and women.)

Shows are already selling out for the film, so there’s enough reason to believe the opening weekend could be large, if not huge. It’s entirely possible that distributor Summit Entertainment will see more in three days of Twilight than it earned in all of its other films combined. And even if it doesn’t, Twilight was a cheap film to produce, possibly as little as $30m. That’s another difference from the earlier films. Boys tend to need big budgets to satisfy their cinematic cravings. Girls don’t seem to require the same. What it means is that Twilight has a very fast road to profitability.

Opening: $45m, Final: $150m

Weekend of November 28 (Films open November 26)

Australia

Baz Luhrmann has made a bit of a name for himself in film. His efforts tend to have lurid sets and costume design and an air to the direction that belies his stage direction roots. His efforts are both otherworldly yet still accessible. Perhaps most important is that Luhrmann’s films seem to have a rather strong appeal for multiple demographics.

It’s somewhat surprising to think that he’s only done three films. Australia is his fourth effort and it marks a bit of a change. While his previous films were presented somewhat as stage plays, Australia has the sense of a more typical grand cinematic effort. It still looks lavish and engaging, but not quite in the slightly surreal way of his previous films.

The story is centered around the WW2 bombing of Darwin. Nicole Kidman is an english aristocrat who, with the help of Hugh Jackman as a cattle drover, must protect her cattle and possibly some aboriginal kids from the horrors of war. There’s probably some romance in there, too.

On the upside, Australia looks quite good. Despite the WW2 setting, it’s not a war film, and the advertising plays up the romance and adventure, as well as having a heightened sense that Australia is an otherworldly place. Kidman and Jackman are both popular stars, although as yet they aren’t quite top tier; Jackman especially hasn’t seen a large film outside of an effects vehicle. This could be their chance to see a large breakout.

The downside is, well, the setting. Australia might be a wonderful place, but it’s possibly too niche to appeal to American audiences. Despite the richness of Australia’s history and wonderful differences it has compared to the US (or, well, just about anywhere on Earth), this might be relegated to a high adventure romance film and the audience might be strongly leaning towards women.

Luhrmann’s two previous films earned between $40m and $60m in the US, but had much stronger overseas grosses above $100m. It’s possible Australia could see a similar discrepancy, although Fox has to hope it will do better stateside, considering the $130m budget. The long Thanksgiving weekend could help it along.

Opening: $20m (three day)/$30m (five day), Final: $75m

Four Christmases

It’s almost a tradition now that a film comes out almost every year that focuses on people who are against the spirit of the season in some fashion. Recent entries to this have included Bad Santa, Christmas with the Kranks, and Fred Clause.

The last is prescient, since Vince Vaughn is also the star here. He’s teamed up with Reese Witherspoon this time as they play a couple who has their tradition of avoiding their families for Christmas overturned by some inopportune weather and a poorly placed news crew force them to have Christmas with their families. All four of them. The comedy hijinks presumably ensue.

The pairing of Vaughn and Witherspoon is a bit of a coup from a comedy-with-romance (if not a strict romantic comedy) perspective. Vaughn’s comedic chops are quite strong. His biggest film is Wedding Crashers, but he’s also had The Break-Up, Dodgeball and a scene-stealing performance in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Beyond those, he’s had a number of solid performances running all the way back to Old School.

For Witherspoon, she’s been a bit quiet since her Oscar-winning performance in Walk The Line, but she had three straight years of big success from 2001-2003 with the two Legally Blonde films and Sweet Home Alabama.

Despite the romance angle, there’s no reason to think that this will skew heavily female. Vaughn should bring out the guys, as he tends to be big for the proto-typical frat-boy crowd. Even so, there seems to be a fairly set ceiling for these sorts of films. Competition is light, though, with Role Models entering its fourth weekend. Also, Australia may play stronger with the romance crowd.

Opening: $25m (three day)/$35m (five day), Final: $80m

Transporter 3

Jason Statham has established his career quite well. He is the late-summer action guy. If you want someone to lead the Labor Day weekend, he is your man, and he’ll do it faster and cheaper than anyone else. This niche is something he does quite well, but few people are under any illusions that he’s able to lead films to bigger and better things.

So it’s really odd that his latest film is opening over a much bigger holiday weekend. Thanksgiving isn’t normally the ground for a straight up actioner, but stranger things have happened.

In its favor, the Transporter franchise is definitely the most recognizable vehicle for Statham and it is relatively popular. Even his non-Transporter films tend to play up some similarity, be it the bang-up action (as in Crank), or having him behind the wheel (as in… just about everything else), so it’s clear that if they’re going to try an experiement in a new release date, this is probably the best choice.

Even so, Statham’s box office prowess is really predictable. For any film where he could be considered the primary lead, his biggest is the previous Transporter effort, which managed an amazing $43m total. It was also his biggest opening at $16m. In most cases, an opening and final around 2/3rds to 3/4ths those numbers is likely.

However, while this is an experiment, it’s unlikely it can go horribly wrong. Even with the odd release date, Statham should bring out his modest fan-base, and if action fans have tired a bit of James Bond, they may be looking for something new to whet their appetites.

Opening: $15m (three day)/$20m (five day), Final: $45m

August Movie Recap

With the amazing high of The Dark Knight in July pushing the yearly tally for 2008 beyond the heights of 2007, the big question for August was whether it would be able to keep up the pace. There weren’t any expectations for this August to beat last August (not after the exemplary performance from both The Bourne Ultimatum and Superbad), but staying within spitting distance would help keep the year on pace.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Prediction: $40m Open, $130m Final

Actual: $40m Open, $100m Current, ~$105m Final

If, at the beginning of the year, you had looked at the two Brendan Fraser films and tried to guess which would be considered a hit and the other a miss, you’d probably have guessed that if any, this would have been the hit. It’s not a flop, and given the overseas success it’s likely to turn a tidy profit when all is said and done, but the domestic tally is disappointing. In comparison, Journey to the Center of the Earth manages to switch itself up twice this summer as a success story, doing it here and with Prince Caspian.

The reason for the lack of success here can mostly be summed up in the loss of fun from the earlier films. Fraser is still game, but in light of what moviegoers can get in 2008, there wasn’t any life around him. The lesson to take from this is that if you want to revive a franchise, you don’t give it to Rob Cohen to direct.

Swing Vote

Prediction: $10m Open, $45m Final

Actual: $6m Open, $16m Current, ~$16m Final

For the most part, Americans don’t like politics in their movies. They don’t like films that focus on the failures abroad, and they don’t like films that focus on the troubles at home. When things are relatively bad, Americans don’t like to be reminded that they, as a country, are fallable and mortal.

So over the past couple of years, the extreme failure of any film to deliver a message about the state of the US in relation to the rest of the world isn’t too surprising. Swing Vote didn’t have any of that, but my comparison to Dave was way off the mark. In retrospect, this makes sense for two reasons. First, the state of the US in 1993 was perceived quite a bit better than it is today, so a lighthearted comedy about the presidency could work quite well. Instead we’ve got a situation where all Americans are focused on the election. Second, the election itself is providing far more entertainment than any movie could deliver.

Ten years ago, Swing Vote might have worked perfectly, but not today.

Pineapple Express

Prediction: $30m Open, $110m Final

Actual: $23m Open, $41m Five-Day, $85m Current, ~$95m Final

The first of many August movies to get a Wednesday release without any holidays, in this case it was done to try and offset the loss of business due to the Olympics. Intially, it seemed to work quite well, because it earned $12m on it’s opening day. By Saturday, it seemed it had failed, because the business wasn’t up on Friday at all. But on Sunday, things looked good again, because it had barely dropped. It was truly one of the weirdest five-day openings we’ve seen in quite some time.

Pineapple Express hasn’t displayed the legs of the stronger Apatow films like 40-Year-Old Virgin or Superbad, but it’s not done that poorly, either. For a film that cost $27m to make and had the prime of its run go up against Michael Phelps, this is quite rosey.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

Prediction: $10m Open, $45m Final

Actual: $11m Open, $43m Current, $46m Final

Much like Pineapple Express and the first Traveling Pants film, this got a Wednesday release. It’s not been a breakout, but neither has it been a disappointment. There’s a showing of quiet consistency with this film, which probably means we could see a third Pants film in the not too distant future (assuming the stars don’t get too old to play the parts.) The book series has two more volumes, so there is room.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Prediction: $45m Open, $140m Final

Actual: $15m Open, $33m Current, ~$35m Final

There really isn’t much of a market for Star Wars outside of the hardcore fans. And apparently this turned them off as well. What this means for the forthcoming TV series remains to be seen, but it’s a terrible result for the film. I believe Lucas saw $100m as the break even point for this one.

Tropic Thunder

Prediction: $30m Open, $110m Final

Actual: $25m Open, $37m Five-Day, $96m Current, ~$110m Final

Like Pineapple Express, this got a non-holiday Wednesday release. It wasn’t quite so spectacular from the start, earning half as much on the opening day, but it’s held up much better. It managed to grab the #1 spot from Batman and hold it for three weeks, only losing the position this past weekend to Nicholas Cage, and even there just barely.

The difference between this and Pineapple Express is the budget. While the Apatow comedy had a small $27m budget, this one apparently cost at least $90m to make. It’s still likely a success, since the home video market will certainly cover the costs, but the road is a bit longer. There’s a chance it might break even with the overseas totals, but that’s not guaranteed. This is a film that’s aimed rather strongly at American audiences.

Mirrors

Prediction: $5m Open, $15m Final

Actual: $11m Open, $27m Current, ~$33m Final

While the shine has certainly come off of Asian horror remakes, there’s still a bit of life left in the genre. The run for this one is eerily reminiscent of February’s The Eye. This is probably an okay result for distributor Fox, as horror tends to be a cheap genre.

The House Bunny

Prediction: $10m Open, $30m Final

Actual: $15m Open, $37m Current, ~$55m Final

Call this one a win for Anna Faris. She can probably do enjoyably dumb better than anyone else in Hollywood, and her success here probably means she’ll have more of a career than Scary Movie sequels. In six or seven years, she’ll probably be ready to do a daring dramatic turn that’ll get her an Oscar nomination.

Death Race

Prediction: $10m Open, $25m Final

Actual: $13m Open, $30m Current, $40m Final

Some people are calling this a failure, but I’m really not sure why. He makes films that end up in the $25-$45m range, and he does that consistently and usually enjoyably. The niche he’s found in providing low-brow, low-budget, high-thrills entertainment in the dregs of summer is something that Hollywood should celebrate, frankly. It’s not like they have to pay the guy a ton. Death Race is playing right in line with his films.

If anyone deserves the blame here, it’s probably Paul W.S. Anderson. Had this film cost $25m, everything would have been golden, but it cost $45m and it’s considered a failure. It’s not a failure, because it would be nearly impossible for this to lose money after the home video release, but there’s still some headline focus on the theatrical release as the profit-maker.

Next up for Statham is Transporter 3, where he gets a massive holiday upgrade from Labor Day to Thanksgiving.

Fly Me to the Moon

Prediction: $5m Open, $10m Final

Actual: $2m Open, $8m Current, ~$10m Final

There was a plan here, I think, to try and use this film to springboard a studio to getting more computer animation films in wider release. It didn’t work. Neither did the 3D release.

Babylon A.D.

Prediction: $20m Open, $45m Final

Actual: $9m Open, $17m Current, ~$25m Final

Vin Diesel apparently passed on the lead role in Hitman for this. Not that passing on Hitman is anything to be ashamed of, but with Diesel in that role instead of Timothy Olyphant, it might have even gotten to $50m. Instead we’ve got this film, which is a less-good Children of Men. In fact, it’s so bad that director Mathieu Kassovitz disowned it before the release. Not entirely, since this isn’t an Alan Smithee film, but he did contend that the studio had ruined it.

For Diesel, he’s got Fast & Furious coming out next June, which reconnects him with fast cars and Paul Walker, who has arguably had a better career than Diesel since they starred together in the first film. If it doesn’t fly, Diesel might end up taking the Wesley Snipes career route.

College

Prediction: $8m Open, $15m Final

Actual: $2m Open, $4m Current, ~$6m Final

With the success of Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, and The House Bunny there really hasn’t been room for other comedies. There are many reasons this film is a failure, but I think that one stands out: “Best. Weekend. Ever.” is a terrible tagline to try and sell a film. I bet they wish this film was as successful as Eurotrip ($17m final).

Traitor

Prediction: $2m Open, $5m Final

Actual: $8m Open, $17m Current, ~$30m Final

After an extremely soft Wednesday release of under $800,000, Traitor managed to surprise a bit over the long Labor Day weekend, with over $11m in six days. It hasn’t garnered strong critical praise, but this is going to be Don Cheadle’s biggest headlining film. It’s even bigger than some which have paired him with bigger stars, such as Reign Over Me with Adam Sandler.

Disaster Movie

Prediction: $5m Open, $10m Final

Actual: $6m Open, $11m Current, $17m Final

Slowly but surely, the [x] Movies are dying and may soon be but a bad memory. I’m not sure how long that will take, though, as they’re dirt cheap to produce.

The Rocker

Prediction: $15m Open, $55m Final

Actual: $3m Open, $6m Current, $6m Final

Well, it got bumped a few weeks, so instead of competing with Step Brothers and Pineapple Express for comedy dollars, it ended up competing with Tropic Thunder, The House Bunny, Disaster Movie, College, Hamlet 2, AND Pineapple Express. There’s really no good news here except that the film only cost $15m to produce. The opening (actually $2.6m) is the worst for any film to open in 2500 theaters or more.

Moreover, it’s second-to-third weekend drop of 84% is terrifically bad, in the territory of Uwe Boll films and Gigli. It also lost the second most theaters going into the third weekend, beaten only by Meet Dave. Rainn Wilson might have wanted to try his hand at movies in the TV offseason, but he really needs to get in on a film with some bigger stars to carry him along.

Overall

The Dark Knight’s total is up over $510m, and it’s almost certain to get to $530m. It’s entirely possible that it shoots past $550m, if only because of IMAX screenings. $55m of its total has come from the bigger than big screens and they’re apparently still selling out on weekend. Plus there’s a chance that WB will re-release it for the Oscar season. If they do, it’s possible that it would nudge past Titantic on the all-time list. Of course, the money is likely better if they just do a DVD release in time for the holidays, but there are a lot of bragging rights to being number one. And it’s not likely that the record would fall any time soon. The only real chance is if Star Wars gets another theatrical release which earns it $140m or more. After the reception of The Clone Wars, that’s not too likely.

Also, while there’s some good in August, it wasn’t enough to keep ahead of last year’s pace. 2007 managed to pass $7 billion by the end of the Labor Day weekend. 2008 isn’t quite there and is running about 1% behind right now.