May 11, 2013




OPENINGS:  THE GREAT GATSBY (Warners) opened about as well as Warners could have hoped with a $19.8M Friday (including Thursday night).  Mothers Day is traditionally a big ticketselling day, especially for female-skewing films, and that should cushion the weekend to perhaps $55M despite bad reviews and unimpressive exit poll results, although there’s still a long way to profit for the–depending on what version you believe–$225-275M (including marketing costs) extravaganza.

Scandal is the scripted hit of the TV season, but Kerry Washington isn’t yet a movie star, and “Tyler Perry Presents” doesn’t mean it’s a Tyler Perry movie.  The result was PEEPLES (Lionsgate), barely registering with a lousy $1.2M Friday that won’t bring it much more than a $3M weekend.

MUD (Lionsgate) expanded to a small 854-theatre wide release, and was only able to hold even with last Friday at $600K.  It’s headed for a $2M weekend with a very unimpressive per-theatre average.

HOLDOVERS:  The only one that matters is IRON MAN 3 (Disney), which at $19.8M (down 71% from opening day) is falling more rapidly than The Avengers (down 64%) but in line with Iron Man 2 (which matched the 71% decline).  The drop will stabilize over the weekend, helped again by Mother’s Day, and it should have as much as a $65M weekend.  With $582M already earned overseas, an entry into the worldwide $1B club is looking very likely.

The only other titles in the market to make as much as $1M on Friday were PAIN & GAIN (Paramount), 42 (Warners) and OBLIVION (Universal).  They declined 38-44% from last Friday, and are still on target to reach, respectively, $50M, $95M and $90M in the US.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Gatsby, with its classy veneer and literary credentials, is a more formidable foe to art-house releases than Iron Man 3, and no one wanted to do battle with it.  The only significant opening was STORIES WE TELL (Roadside Attractions), Sarah Polley’s documentary, which despite mostly rave reviews is probably headed for only around a $10K weekend average at 2 theatres.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The multiplexes will belong to STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (Paramount), with no big-budget competition.  On the indie side, Noah Baumbach’s jaunty FRANCES HA (IFC) will try to make an impression.


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."