November 20, 2011



BREAKING DAWN PART 1:  Although BD1 had greater declines on Friday (as opposed to Thursday midnight) and Saturday than New Moon did in 2009, Summit’s weekend estimate assumes exactly the same 34% drop for Sunday.  So it’s possible their $139.5M figure could come down a bit in the actuals tomorrow (which could move the film behind Pirates of the Caribbean 2‘s $138.6 and make it the 6th rather than 5th biggest opener ever).  BD2 also launched worldwide and made $144M overseas–that’s huge of course, but while New Moon‘s international opening weekend was “only” $132.5M, that was in just 25 territories rather than BD1‘s 54.

HAPPY FEET TWO:  $22M is just this side of wretched, and even that number assumes a very low 28% drop for Sunday.
THE DESCENDANTS:  Off to a good start with a very strong $42K per theatre average, but the test will come when it expands semi-widely on Wednesday.
HOLDOVERS:  Despite its big opening, IMMORTALS won’t do much more than break even in the US (and that’s accepting Relativity’s claim that after foreign presales it only carried $25M of the production cost), and like many an action movie before it, will have to do big business overseas to hit profit.  JACK AND JILL is likely to be the first Adam Sandler comedy vehicle to actually lose money in a very long time.  J. EDGAR‘s 47% drop is quite bad for a picture that’s hoping to linger in theatres and play a part in the Oscar race, and it’s going to need some support from the early awards at the end of this month if it’s to have any chance.  The smartest scheduling decision of the entire year may have been DreamWorks Animation’s one-week move of PUSS IN BOOTS, which has turned out to be the difference between a moderate success (probably around the level of Megamind‘s $148M) and what would have been a serious disappointment.  It’s looking like PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 won’t manage to outgross the original’s $108M to become the franchise’s highest grosser, but Paramount will be quite fine with $105M or so, thanks very much.  
INDIESLIKE CRAZY expanded nicely to 108 theatres with what should be about a $5K average in each.  MARGIN CALL continues to hold extremely well, with a $2500 average at 173, and now seems like it should get to $5M in theatrical revenues alone (not counting the simultaneous VOD release).  THE SKIN I LIVE IN expanded to 111 theatres and had an OK $2500 average.  MELANCHOLIA expanded to 56 theatres with a pretty good $5500 average.   MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE isn’t finding much traction with a $2100 average in 180.  TAKE SHELTER will need some awards support for Michael Shannon, as it fell to a $1400 average in 74.  In smaller openings, ANOTHER HAPPY DAY, boosted by Q&As with Ellen Barkin (a producer as well as star), made it to an average of about $4500 in 2 theatres, which was a lot better than TYRANNOSAUR‘s $1500 average in 5.

Next week:  an odd mix of big-budget family movies and some of the year’s most serious Oscar hopefuls.

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."