December 11, 2011

BIJOU BOXOFFICE: Weekend Studio Scorecard – 12/11/11


NEW YEAR’S EVE (Warners):  Hardly any bump from Saturday night couples meant about as low an opening as anyone could have reasonably imagined.  Even with some play during Christmas week, the picture may struggle to earn more than its $56M production budget (which is separate from a likely $100M+ worldwide marketing budget).  After J. Edgar and this, Warners has to hope Sherlock Holmes 2 opens big next week, and then wait for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close to arrive.

THE SITTER (Fox):  That $10M estimate may lose a digit tomorrow, but it could have been a lot worse, considering how bad the movie is.
TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY (Focus):  A $75K average at 4 theatres is great news.  The question for Focus now is how quickly to expand.  They’re going to be hoping for some attention, especially for Gary Oldman, from the Golden Globe nominations this week.
YOUNG ADULT (Paramount):  $40K average in 8 theatres is good, it’s fine… but it’s not quite what it should have been, for a movie with this accessible a sell.  If reviews can’t drive audiences in the biggest cities, what’s going to happen when it goes wide?  We’ll find out soon enough, as next week’s planned expansion is to 1000 houses.
BREAKING DAWN PART 1 (Summit):  4th weekend of $7.9M was virtually even with New Moon‘s, and it’s on target to end up with a slightly lower total.  The difference:  because Summit had to renegotiate the actor deals on Breaking Dawn (because the original deals didn’t allow for a 2-part finale), the budget was way higher this time, meaning that a slightly lower gross means much less profit.  Still, don’t cry for Summit, they’re doing just fine.
THE MUPPETS (Disney):  With Alvin & Those Chipmunks crawling into town on Friday, the family movie train is moving on, and its $7.1M weekend suggests the Muppets probably won’t get near a $100M total.  The picture was made on a budget, but a franchise may not be in Disney’s long-term plans.
HUGO (Paramount):  A 19% drop, when you’ve increased your theatre count by 30%, isn’t encouraging.  And at 2600 theatres with a $2350 average, the release can’t go too much wider.  Also not good:  Scorsese is picking up some directing honors, but Hugo didn’t do too well in today’s tally from the LA, Boston and NY Online critics.  (Although it was named to AFI’s Top 10 list.)
THE DESCENDANTS (Fox Searchlight):  Although at 876 theatres, it still has plenty of room to grow, the $5500 per-theatre average could come steeply down as the film adds locations.  The movie increased its count by 50% this weekend, and basically could only hold even for its weekend total.
ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (Sony):  A really excellent drop of only 11% despite the loss of a few theatres, but with a $6.6M weekend, the movie is still going to struggle to get much past a total gross of $50M or so.
MY WEEK WITH MARILYN (Weinstein):  Held steady at 244 theatres, managing only a $3200 average.  Since it’s categorized as a “Comedy” for Golden Globe purposes, this should be a happy week for the film.
THE ARTIST (Weinstein):  An $18K average at 16 theatres just isn’t all that great.  However, it won both the Boston and NY Online awards today, with more love to come this week from the Globes, etc, so still very much at the start of its campaign.
SHAME (Fox Searchlight):  A $13K average at 21 also isn’t great, but Shame is a much more challenging film to market.  Fassbender won in LA and was runner-up at NY Online, which is the kind of attention the film crucially needs.
A DANGEROUS METHOD (Sony Classics): No real awards gold yet, and the picture is holding at 4 locations, still doing a good $20K in each.
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN (Oscilloscope):  Critical adoration of Tilda Swinton won this $24K in one NY theatre.

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."