September 22, 2012


The 38th weekend of 2012 is looking like $73 million for the Top 12 films Friday-Sunday, down 31% from the same weekend last year and now the third weekend in a row down significant double-digit percentages.  The past three weekends have averaged a 24% decline from the same weekend in 2011 and averaged a similar 23% decline from the weekend’s four-year average.  The audience did not seem particularly interested in any of the new films this weekend, a problem we have seen for the past month or so.  End of Watch and Trouble with the Curve will fight for the top spot this weekend, with about $13 million each.     

End of Watch from Open Road Films opened with $4.6 million Friday and is on pace for $13.0 million Friday-Sunday (a touch better than the $11.0 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast issued Wednesday).  The opening weekend for the Jake Gyllenhaal police drama translates to a $4,800 average at 2,730 theaters (just below the $5,333 average for all wide-release films the last two years).  End of Watch should leave theaters with a $46 million total domestic gross.

Trouble with the Curve from Warner Brothers opened with $4.1 million Friday and is on track for $12.6 million Friday-Sunday, well below the $18.0 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast.  The Clint Eastwood father-daughter baseball drama should average a soft $3,900 at 3,212 theaters.  But Eastwood’s fans are often slow to get to the theater, so the film should play out relatively well and finish with about $49 million total in North America.

House at the End of the Street from Relativity opened with $4.6 million Friday and is on track for $11.7 million Friday-Sunday, also well below the $16.5 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast.  The Jennifer Lawrence thriller should average a similarly weak $3,800 at 3,083 theaters.  The thriller/horror genre is usually very front-loaded in the first week, and House should end up with only $24 million total in North America.

Dredd 3D from Lionsgate opened with a listless $2.2 million Friday and is on pace for just $5.7 million Friday-Sunday (well below what turned out to be a bullish $9.5 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast).  The opening weekend for the sci-fi action film translates to a pitiful $2,300 average at 2,506 theaters.  Dredd should leave theaters with its tail between its legs and a $15 million total domestic gross.

The Master from Weinstein expanded to 788 theaters and should average $5,600 per location for a $4.4 million weekend, bringing its total up to about $5.5 million through Sunday.  Like most every other movie this weekend (except End of Watch), we were too optimistic for The Master, but it should still play out relatively well in the coming weeks and build to about $23 million in North America.  That number could increase significantly if it wins Oscars.

In case you missed them, click to see this week’s Weekend Predictions.

Weekend 38: Sep 21-23, 2012 ($ millions)
Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Actual Friday Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
End of Watch Open Road [11.0] 13.0 4.6 46
Trouble with the Curve WB [18.0] 12.6 4.1 49
House at the End of the Street Relativity [16.5] 11.7 4.6 24
Finding Nemo 3D Disney [11.0] 8.5 2.4 53
Resident Evil: Retribution Sony [8.3] 6.4 1.9 40
Dredd 3D Lionsgate [9.5] 5.7 2.2 15
The Master Weinstein [6.0] 4.4 1.4 23
The Possession Lionsgate [3.0] 2.6 .82 51
Lawless Weinstein [2.4] 2.3 .71 41

Note: The table above summarizes an early look at the weekend.  The first column is a reminder of each film’s ShowBuzzDaily Forecast for the weekend (in brackets).  The second column, on which the films are sorted, displays the new weekend projection for each film, based on the Friday numbers (the third column).  The final column is a preliminary estimate of the ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Total number for the film’s total run in North America.  A “++” indicates the Domestic number has been upgraded; a “–” indicates a downgrade.


Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $73 million total Friday-Sunday, down a very large 31% from the same weekend last year and down 21% from the average comparable weekend the last four years.

($ millions)
WEEKEND #38 Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend
2012 $73 End of Watch $13, Trouble Curve $12.6, House End Street $11.7
2011 $106 Moneyball $20, Dolphin Tale $19, Abduction $11
2010 $91 Wall Street 2 $19, Legend of Guardians $16
2009 $83 Surrogates $15, Fame $10, Pandorum $4
2008 $88 Eagle Eye $29, Nights in Rodanthe $13
Avg 2008-11 $92

Check back tomorrow morning for updated weekend figures and revised estimates for domestic final grosses.

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.