November 10, 2012



Bond is Boxoffice.  Big boxoffice.

OPENINGS:  SKYFALL (Sony/MGM) and its $30.8M opening day (that doesn’t include $2.2M from Thursday’s IMAX-only “previews”) was about 12% ahead of the first day for Quantum of Solace in 2008.  But that spread should get wider over the weekend, as mediocre word-of-mouth gave Solace only a 2.5x multiplier for the weekend (it went down 4% from Friday to Saturday), while the far superior Skyfall has a good chance of faring better.  It will easily blow past the current Bond weekend record (Solace‘s $67.5M), and if it performs like 2006’s Casino Royale, could reach the high $80Ms by Sunday.  Similarly, Solace managed just a 2.5x multiplier of its opening weekend, while Casino Royale reached 4x its opening.  If Skyfall behaves more like Casino, this could be the first Bond to gross over $200M in the US–this, of course, on top of what is already a stunning overseas total of almost $350M.

Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN (Disney/DreamWorks/20th) is in only 11 theatres this weekend, trying to build word of mouth for its wide opening on Friday.  It’s doing what it needed to do, headed for around an $80-85K per-theatre average, excellent for a very sober, 2 1/2 hour historical drama.  Such numbers don’t necessarily have much meaning when wide release kicks in, as The Master can testify, with its phenomenal $147K per-theatre opening leading to just $15.6M in total boxoffice.  It does, however, establish the film’s credentials as a contender.

HOLDOVERS:  WRECK-IT RALPH (Disney), with no new family competition around, should fall only around 35-40% in its 2d weekend to about $30M.  It still has another clear weekend ahead until Rise of the Guardians arrives (and even then, there’s room for 2 family movies over Thanksgiving weekend), so it should be on its way to a very robust $175M or so.  The prospects for FLIGHT (Paramount) are somewhat harder to gauge, because although it’ll likely fall an OK 45% in its 2d weekend, it’s still in only 2047 theatres, with expansion planned for next weekend.  That should help juice up the numbers, but at the moment it seems to be headed to a solid but not remarkable $75M total.  ARGO (Warners) continues on its merry way, although its overlap with the Bond audience may give it its biggest drop yet, down a still-excellent 35-40% as it heads to $100M.  THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS (Universal), no surprise, fell like–well, like iron, probably down 70% in its 2d weekend and unlikely to get much beyond $15M in total.  TAKEN 2 (20th), PITCH PERFECT (Universal) and HERE COMES THE BOOM (Sony) should be down a very consistent 25-35%, while on the other end of the spectrum, CLOUD ATLAS (Warners) now seems unlikely even to reach $30M in the US, a disaster for a movie that cost over $100M, and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 (Paramount) will be down 45% from its last installment at around $55M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Apart from Lincoln, the major news was the still-stumbling expansion of THE SESSIONS (Fox Searchlight), now in 128 theatres and headed for only around a $3500 per-theatre average.  It’s hard to see how Searchlight can expand it much farther, and the film will need serious year-end award help to dig its way to success.  Sadly, the excellent STARLET (Music Box), despite stellar reviews in both NY and LA, isn’t finding any audience, and won’t have much more than a $3K average in only 6 theatres.

NEXT WEEKEND:  As this week belonged to Bond, next week is all Bella, Edward and Jacob, with the arrival of TWILIGHT:  BREAKING DAWN PART 2 (Summit/Lionsgate), the final chapter in the blockbuster saga.  Its only real competition will be its own franchise, as it aims for the $138.1M opening of Breaking Dawn Part 1.   Lincoln will try to counterprogram with a 1500-theatre expansion, and two awards hopefuls arrive in limited release:  SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (Weinstein) and ANNA KARENINA (Focus/Universal).

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."