Again, opening on top of the box-office didn't seem that bad to me. Of course I wanted it to open around double that so it could break-even on the first weekend, but that didn't happen. But I had a feeling that the 15.3 million opening wasn't as bad as the media was saying.
The production budget for SoaP has been set at anywhere from 30-36 million, depending on what source you go by. The marketing budget is another 2-10 million, again depending on what source you go by. That gets us to a cost of 32-46 million, with an opening gate of 15.3 million.
So that means that SoaP covered 33-48% of its cost on opening weekend.
I decided to pit that against what the MSM considers the blockbuster hit of the summer, Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest. The numbers for Pirates floated as well, with production being anywhere from 225-250 million, and promotional being anywhere from 100-150 million. This site quoted the total production and promotional budget for the film at 400 million.
So that means that Pirates production and marketing budget was anywhere from 325-400 million. With an opening weekend take of $135, 634,554, Pirates covered 34-42% of its cost on opening weekend.
Those numbers look pretty similar to me, in fact it looks as if SoaP did slightly better.
As Joe said, in defining how much 'success' SoaP has, the questions to ask are:
* How much did it cost to make?
* How much did it cost to market?
* How much did it earn?
Did SoaP knock the cover off the ball on opening weekend? No. Was it a dud? As the above numbers suggest, it not only wasn't, on a percentage basis it was on par with, or above, the movie that's considered the 'summer blockbuster'.
BONUS: Jackie's '5 Lessons for Marketers' from SoaP.
UPDATE: Thanks to Ken at Ad Age for picking up on this post.