December 22, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Based on Friday’s grosses, Weekend #51 is on pace for a horrifying $98 million.  This weekend of the year is tricky because sometimes it contains Christmas Day itself (such as 2009 when this weekend was December 25-27 and totaled a massive $260 million) and other times it is just a slow warm up to the big December 25-Jan 1 period.  The best comparison is 2007, the last time this weekend was December 21-23.  That weekend managed a respectable $152 million with the opening of National Treasure: Book of Secrets ($44.8 million) and the second weekends of I Am Legend ($33.5 million) and Alvin and the Chipmunks ($28.2 million).  

Nothing like that this weekend.  The openers are weak, and Jack Reacher is the only film to hit our very modest forecast.  The other openers are failing to hit our very low bars.  And The Hobbit, the only real engine of this weekend, is underwhelming in weekend two.

Weekend 51: December 21-23, 2012 ($ millions)
Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Actual Friday Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
The Hobbit WB [41.5] 34.0 10.2 255
Jack Reacher Par [15.0] 15.5 5.1 85
This Is 40 Uni [14.0] 11.5 3.7 70
Rise of the Guardians Par/DW [5.6] 6.8 1.6 102
Lincoln Dis [5.5] 5.1 1.4 139
Monsters, Inc. 3D Dis [9.5] 5.0 1.4 50
The Guilt Trip Par [6.8] 4.8 1.5 49
Skyfall Sony [4.2] 4.2 1.3 287
Life of Pi Fox [3.7] 3.8 1.0 92
Breaking Dawn Part 2 Sum [3.1] 2.7 .77 287
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away Par [3.0] 2.3 .80 38
Wreck-It Ralph Dis [—] 2.1 .48 178

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.


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


Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $98 million total Friday-Sunday, down 43% from the average comparable weekend the last four years and down 14% from the weak same weekend last year.

 WEEKEND #51 ($ millions)
Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend (Fri-Sun only)
2012 $98 Jack Reacher $15.5, This Is 40 $11.5, Monsters Inc 3D $5, Guilt Trip $5
2011 $114 Girl Dragon Tattoo $13, Adventures Tintin $10, We Bought Zoo $9
2010 $132 Little Fockers $31, True Grit $25, Gulliver’s Travels $6
2009 $260 Sherlock Holmes $62, Alvin Chipmunks 2 $49, It’s Complicated $22
2008 $180 Marley & Me $36, Curious Case Ben Button $27, Bedtime Stories $27
Avg 2008-11 $172

Check back tomorrow for more complete Weekend Studio Estimates based on Saturday’s actual box office, as well as the International Box Office report.

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.