November 3, 2012



OPENINGS:  WRECK IT FALPH (Disney) is proving itself to be a canny mix of kid-friendly action with a video game millieu that can appeal to adults.  It’s Walt Disney Animation’s most Pixar-ish production to date (although the divisions are separate within Disney, John Lasseter supervises both), and headed for a $50M+ opening.  What Ralph won’t have is the weekend’s highest per-theatre gross, despite its 3D ticket prices.  That distinction, impressively, goes to FLIGHT (Paramount), which is headed for an extremely solid $23M weekend despite playing in 40% fewer theatres than the usual Denzel Washington wide release.  It’s going to get punched by James Bond next weekend, but if its numbers can hold decently, its awards chances may be boosted.  THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS (Universal) didn’t get beyond its base, probably on its way to a $8M weekend and an appreciative midnight and homevideo audience.

HOLDOVERS:  ARGO (Warners) continues to thrive on its superb word of mouth, down 25% again as it heads for $90-100M, a terrific total for a movie not aimed at teens or families. CLOUD ATLAS (Warners) was unsuccessful at drawing that same audience, and will fall 50% or more this weekend.  A similar fate awaits FUN SIZE (Paramount) and CHASING MAVERICKS (20th), which failed to find a second wind after their terrible openings last week.  The horror-themed movies in the market all took a post-Halloween hit, as PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 (Paramount) fell 54% from last Friday, SILENT HILL REVELATION (Open Road) plunged 69%, and even HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (Sony)–the latter also hurt by the arrival of Ralph, of course–fell 57%.  TAKEN 2 (20th) and HERE COMES THE BOOM (Sony) continued to hold well, with week-to-week drops in the 30-35% range.

LIMITED RELEASE:  A LATE QUARTET (EOne) should have an OK $10K average in its opening concert at 9 theatres.  That was by far the most notable of the weekend’s openings.  THE SESSIONS (Fox Searchlight), widened to 69 theatres, with a likely so-so $6K average.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Bond.  James Bond.  That’s all you need to know, as SKYFALL (Sony) arrives for what could very well be an opening that beats the current Bond record of $67.5M for Quantum of Solace.  Steven Spielberg’s Oscar hopeful LINCOLN (Disney) also arrives in a one-week, 11-theatre prologue to its wide opening the following weekend.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."