April 16, 2013

Box Office Year to Date

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Through 14 weeks of the year, 2013 totals $2.232 billion (for wide-release films that have played at more than 400 theaters).  This remains well behind the 2012 pace ($2.624 billion) and the very similar 2010 pace ($2.618 billion).  However, 2013 continues to pull away from the particularly slow performance in 2011 ($2.071 billion).

As a reminder, the higher-level years finished around $10 billion for the full year: $10.15 billion in 2012 and $9.81 billion in 2010.  In contrast, 2011 ended with $9.49 billion in 2011.

Another way to look at box office performance is to isolate six-week periods, enough to pick up seasonal trends without being overwhelmed by an atypical week or two.  The chart below looks at rolling six-periods to get a a sense of the momentum in a given year.  2013 (the blue line below) has definitely picked up steam, although it still has a long way to go.  At the beginning of the year, the six-week period from Jan 21-Mar 3 was actually the worst comparable period in the last four years.  But Mar 4-Apr 14 (the most recent six-week span) totaled over $1 billion, not quite the $1.1 billion pace in 2010 and 2012 but far better than the sub-$900 million pace in 2011.  

Note: the ShowbuzzDaily box office totals include wide release films (films that played at some point over 400 screens and usually represent about 85% of total box office).  Each year is defined as starting the first Monday after New Year’s Day, and each period in the first chart above is the first 98 days (14 weeks) after that starting date.  2010 is Jan 4-Apr 11.  2011 is Jan 3-Apr 10.  2012 is Jan 2-Apr 8.  2013 is Jan 7-Apr 14.

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.