August 6, 2011


>Rise of the Planet of the Apes will finish the weekend at #1 with an estimated $51 million at this point, significantly above the ShowBuzzDaily forecast.  In contrast, Universal’s The Change-Up is struggling, missing a much lower estimate.  The holdovers are showing mostly acceptable declines except for Cowboys & Aliens.  Overall, the weekend is up 24% versus the same weekend last year.   

Rise of the Planet of the Apes should open well above forecast ($19.8 million Friday for an estimated $51 million opening weekend, compared to a $43.5 million prediction).  Rise is on track for $147 million in North America when it crosses the finish line, according to the ShowBuzzDaily Domestic Final estimate.  International numbers will be in our overseas round-up late Sunday.Critics nationwide have been quite positive about the film (80% positive at RottenTomatoes), suggesting there is a real chance this movie will not suffer the steep declines in coming weeks normally seen with sci-fi films.  Read Mitch Salem’s review here

The Change-Up is opening below forecast ($4.7 million Friday for an expected $14 million this weekend versus a $18.5 million forecast).  In case you missed them, click here to see this week’s Weekend Predictions.  The Change-Up is headed for $47 million in North America.    

The Smurfs should drop an acceptable 48% from its first weekend, while Cowboys & Aliens should fall an expected 58% (because of its genre and weak buzz).  Captain America should drop 51% (an improvement over last week’s fall-off).  Also in its third weekend, Friends with Benefits is looking like it will fall another 51% (similar to last week).       

August 5-7, 2011        Pre-Wknd    Wknd            Showbuzz
(millions)              Showbuzz    Early   Friday  Domestic
                        Forecast    Proj.   Actual   Final*

Rise of Planet Apes (Fox)[$43.5]    $51.0   $19.8     $147
The Smurfs (Sony)        [$21  ]    $18.5   $ 5.9     $118
Cowboys & Aliens (Uni)   [$16.5]    $15.2   $ 4.7     $ 99
The Change-Up (Uni)      [$18.5]    $14.0   $ 4.7     $ 47

Captain America (Par)    [$13  ]    $12.5   $ 3.7     $177
Crazy, Stupid, Love (WB) [$11.5]    $11.8   $ 3.7     $ 75
Harry Potter 8  (WB)     [$11.5]    $11.7   $ 3.4     $366
Friends w/ Benefits Sony [$ 5  ]    $ 4.5   $ 1.5     $ 63 
Horrible Bosses (WB)     [$ 4.5]    $ 4.4   $ 1.3     $121
Transformers 3  (Par/DW) [$ 3.5]    $ 2.9   $ 0.8     $358

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. 

Limited Releases 

Art house highlights to come later this morning.

Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $152 million total, up 24% from the same calendar weekend last year when The Other Guys and Step Up 3-D opened.  

 Top 12 Films: Weekend #31

     Volume     (millions)
2011  $152  (
+20% vs 2007-10 average; +24% vs 2010) 


Avg   $126  
            Movies Opening That Weekend
2010  $123  The Other Guys $35, Step Up 3-D $16    

2009  $132  GI Joe:Rise Cobra $55, Julie & Julia $20

2008  $111  Pineapple Express $23, Sisterhood Trav. Pants $11
2007  $140  Rush Hour 3 $49, Stardust $9

Next Weekend

Opening next week are Final Destination 5 from Warner Brothers, 30 Minutes or Less from Sony, The Help from Disney (opening Wednesday), and horrifically Glee the 3D Concert Movie from Fox.  Those movies will be compared to The Expendables ($35 million opening weekend), Eat Pray Love ($23 million) and Scott Pilgrim vs the World ($11 million), making next weekend a possible up weekend versus 2010. 

Look for updates of the weekend box office on Sunday, based on the Saturday actual numbers. 

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.