April 14, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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The 15th weekend of 2012 is looking like $109 million for the Top 12 films, down 6% from this weekend last year but up 6% from the four-year average for the same weekend.  The Hunger Games is heading for $21 million this weekend, down a terrific 37% this weekend (the drops keep getting smaller: down 62% in the second, down 43% in the third), keeping the hit film at #1 again.  The Three Stooges is opening better than forecast and should be a solid #2 with $18 million.  The Cabin in the Woods should be in third place with $13-14 million.         

The Three Stooges from 20th Century Fox opened with $5.625 million Friday and is headed for an $18 million weekend, beating the $14 million ShowBuzzDaily forecast.  The Farrelly brothers’ comedy tribute to the stars of b-movie shorts should average about $5,200 per theater (just below the average for all films) in 3,477 theaters.  Critics are mixed to slightly negative (currently 42% positive at RottenTomatoes).  Mitch Salem feels its not good enough to see in the theater but is worth a home viewingThe Three Stooges is headed for a preliminary $62 million in North America.      

The Cabin in the Woods from Lionsgate opened with $5.500 million Friday is headed for an estimated $13.5 million opening weekend, close to the $14.5 million ShowBuzzDaily forecast.  The horror-comedy is currently standing at an excellent 93% positive reviews at RottenTomatoes and should average $4,800 this weekend at 2,811 theaters.  Mitch Salem also liked the film but not enough to recommend buying a ticket to the theaterThe Cabin in the Woods is headed for a preliminary $43 million total domestic. 

Lockout from FilmDistrict opened with $2.226 million Friday and should hit $6.5 million from Friday-Sunday, below the already DOA $7.5 million ShowBuzzDaily forecast.  The film should average a pitiful $2,800 per the theater this weekend at 2,308 theaters.  Lockout is headed for maybe $12 million total domestic.

The Hunger Games keeps getting it done, down only 37% in its fourth weekend to a projected $21 million weekend (even better than the $19 million ShowBuzzDaily forecast).  If the fourth weekend number holds, The Hunger Games will move past $336 million on Sunday.  Comparing it to movies with similar massive opening weekends, the 24-day total for The Hunger Games will still lag The Dark Knight ($441.6 million 24-day) but will be pacing ahead of Spider-Man 3 ($303.9 million 24-day), Twilight Saga: New Moon ($267.3 million 24-day) and Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 ($259.4 million 24-day).  Our estimated final domestic for The Hunger Games is now $382 million.    

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

April 13-15, 2012       Pre-Wknd    Wknd            Showbuzz
(millions)              Showbuzz    Early    FRI    Domestic
                        Forecast    Proj.   Actual   Final

The Hunger Games (LG)    [$19.0]    $21.0   $ 6.5     $382
Three Stooges (Fox)      [$14.0]    $18.0   $ 5.6     $ 62
Cabin in the Woods (LG)  [$14.5]    $13.5   $ 5.5     $ 43
Titanic 3D (Par)         [$10.0]    $11.5   $ 3.4     $ 78+
American Reunion (Uni)   [$11.5]    $10.7   $ 3.4     $ 65- 
Mirror Mirror (Rel)      [$ 6.0]    $ 7.0   $ 2.0     $ 69 
21 Jump Street (Sony)    [$ 6.2]    $ 6.7   $ 2.1     $140 
Wrath of the Titans (WB) [$ 7.2]    $ 6.6   $ 1.9     $ 87
Lockout (FilmDis)        [$ 7.5]    $ 6.5   $ 2.2     $ 12 
The Lorax (Uni)          [$ 3.5]    $ 3.3   $ 0.9     $217

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 an okay $109 million total Friday-Sunday, down 6% from the same calendar weekend last year (which was fueled by Rio) but up 6% from the more typical volume for this weekend in other years.  


Top 12 Films: Weekend #15

     Volume    Movies Opening Each Weekend (millions)
2012  $109  Three Stooges $18 Cabin in the Woods $13 Lockout $6

2011  $117  Rio $39, Scream 4 $19, The Conspirator $3.5
2010  $112  Kick-Ass $20, Death at a Funeral $16
2009  $100  17 Again $24, State of Play $14 Crank High Voltage $7

2008  $ 83  Forbidden Kingdom $21, Forgetting Sarah Marshall $18
Avg   $103

Check back tomorrow 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.