April 28, 2012



The 17th weekend of 2012 is looking like a poor $97 million for the Top 12 films, down 33% from this weekend last year and down 28% from the four-year average for the same weekend.  Think Like a Man should retain the top spot in its second weekend with $18 million, declining about 46% from its opening weekend.  Think Like a Man’s hold at #1 says much more about the quality of the new films this weekend, however.  The Five-Year Engagement and Pirates! Band of Misfits are looking like $10 million opening weekends, while Safe and The Raven are opening very quietly around $7 million each.  The Friday and estimated weekend numbers below have been revised and fully updated.

The Five-Year Engagement from Universal opened with $3.5 million Friday and is headed for an estimated $10.4 million opening weekend, missing the $19.5 million ShowBuzzDaily forecast badly.  The romantic comedy starring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt should average a tepid $3,500 per theater at 2,936 theaters.  Five-Year Engagement is headed for a preliminary $34 million in North America.   NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke told a CAA retreat that “the movie business in in steady decline,” according to The Wrap.  It’s movies like this (from his and other studios) that keep audiences uninspired and unmotivated to go to a theater, get a DVD, or even spring a few bucks for a video on demand impulse buy.  Read Mitch Salem’s review of this formulaic movie here.     

Pirates! Band of Misfits from Sony opened with $2.8 million Friday and is headed for a similar $10.9 million opening weekend (thanks to a nice bump from kid-heavy Saturday matinees and early evening showings), right at the $10.5 million ShowBuzzDaily forecast.  The well-reviewed animated film should average only $3,100 this weekend at 3,358 theaters.  Pirates! is headed for a preliminary $39 million total domestic. 

The Raven acquired by Relativity opened with around $2.5 million Friday and should be about $7.0 million from Friday-Sunday, well below $11.0 million ShowBuzzDaily forecast.  The film should average $3,200 per the theater this weekend at 2,203 theaters.  The Raven is headed for maybe $17 million total domestic.

Safe from Lionsgate opened with a similar $2.6 million Friday and is headed for $7.3 million Friday-Sunday, near the $7.9 million ShowBuzzDaily forecast.  The action film starring Jason Statham should average $3,200 per theater over the weekend at 2,266 locations.  Safe is headed for a preliminary $24 million domestic. 

Think Like a Man is holding fairly steady at $105 million in our ShowBuzzDaily Domestic Final estimate.  The Hunger Games is now down to third through fifth place in the widely-reported but mostly irrelevant rankings (depending on how the actual numbers come in).  Nevertheless, we have upgraded The Hunger Games yet again to just under $400 million domestic.  Its sixth weekend gross of $11 million is actually incredibly rare.  The last film to gross over $10 million in its sixth weekend of wide release was The King’s Speech back in late 2010/ early 2011 with $11.1 million, and before that How to Train Your Dragon did it ($10.6 million in its sixth weekend the first quarter of 2010), The Blind Side pulled it off ($11.5 million in weekend six in late 2009), and a little film called Avatar (an amazing $34.9 million in weekend six in early 2010).  That’s it in the last few years.  Remember that the average film grosses only $600,000 in its sixth weekend (if it is still playing at all), and a really good showing in weekend six (top 10%) is $4.1 million.        

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

April 27-29, 2012       Pre-Wknd    Wknd            Showbuzz
(millions)              Showbuzz    Early    FRI    Domestic
                        Forecast    Proj.   Actual   Final

Think Like a Man (Sony)  [$17.5]    $18.0   $ 5.5     $105
The Lucky One (WB)       [$12.0]    $11.7   $ 3.9     $ 66
The Hunger Games (LG)    [$10.5]    $11.0   $ 3.0     $395+
Pirates! Band of (Sony)  [$10.5]    $10.9   $ 2.8     $ 39
Five-Year Engagement Uni [$19.5]    $10.4   $ 3.5     $ 34
Safe (LG)                [$ 7.9]    $ 7.3   $ 2.6     $ 24
The Raven (Rel)          [$11.0]    $ 7.0   $ 2.5     $ 17
Three Stooges (Fox)      [$ 5.7]    $ 5.3   $ 1.3     $ 49-
Chimpanzee (Dis)         [$ 5.5]    $ 5.2   $ 1.6     $ 33 
Cabin in the Woods (LG)  [$ 4.5]    $ 4.6   $ 1.4     $ 49

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 $97 million total Friday-Sunday, down 33% from the same calendar weekend last year (which was powered by the very strong Fast Five opening) and down 28% from the average for this weekend the past four years.  (However, view this four-year average for the weekend with caution as the 17th weekend sometimes falls in April as in the last few years and sometimes is the more potent first weekend in May.) 


Top 12 Films: Weekend #17

     Volume    Movies Opening Each Weekend (millions)
2012  $ 97  Five-Year Engage $10, Pirates! $10, Safe $7

2011  $145  Fast Five $86, Prom $5
2010  $ 92  Nightmare on Elm Street $33, Furry Vengeance $6
2009  $150  Wolverine $85, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past $15
2008  $151  Iron Man $99, Made of Honor $15
Avg   $134

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.