February 4, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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The fifth weekend of 2012 is much better than the same weekend last year, but it’s still somewhat below an “average” weekend for this time of year, looking at the past four years.  Chronicle and The Woman in Black are battling for #1, with each trying to make it to a $20 million opening weekend (not easy to do with the Super Bowl on Sunday).     

Chronicle is coming in above forecast, pulling in $8.65 million Friday for an estimated $20.4 million for the three-day opening weekend, compared to a $15.5 million ShowBuzzDaily forecast.  Conventional wisdom is that the more male-skewing Chronicle will be passed by Woman in Black on Super Bowl Sunday, but we are projecting that both films will be hammered by the most-watched television event of the year and Chronicle will narrowly win the weekend with a superior Saturday.  Chronicle is headed for a preliminary $61 million total domestic. 

The Woman in Black is also beating our prediction: earning $8.3 million Friday for an estimated $19.7 million for Friday-Sunday, ahead of the $15 million prediction.  The horror thriller starring Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe is headed for a preliminary $55 million domestic. 

Big Miracle is hitting its very modest expectation: a small $2.3 million Friday for $7.9 million this weekend, equal to the $8 million forecast.  Big Miracle is on track for only $29 million total domestic.

The Grey is the best holdover film, on track to drop 53% to $9.3 million in its second weekend (shy of our $10+ million forecast). 

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

February 3-5, 2012      Pre-Wknd    Wknd            Showbuzz
(millions)              Showbuzz    Early    FRI    Domestic
                        Forecast    Proj.   Actual   Final

Chronicle (Fox)          [$15.5]    $20.4   $ 8.7     $ 61
The Woman in Black (CBS) [$15.0]    $19.7   $ 8.3     $ 55
The Grey (Open Road)     [$10.5]    $ 9.3   $ 3.1     $ 59
Big Miracle (Uni)        [$ 8.0]    $ 7.9   $ 2.3     $ 29
One for the Money (LG)   [$ 6.0]    $ 5.4   $ 1.7     $ 27  
Underworld Awakening (So)[$ 5.8]    $ 5.1   $ 1.7     $ 66
Red Tails (Fox)          [$ 5.4]    $ 4.8   $ 1.5     $ 52
The Descendants (Fox)    [$—-]    $ 4.7   $ 1.4     $ 78 
Man on a Ledge (Sum)     [$ 4.0]    $ 4.4   $ 1.5     $ 23
Extremely Loud & Inc (WB)[$ 4.3]    $ 4.0   $ 1.2     $ 37 

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 $92 million total Friday-Sunday, up 26% from the same calendar weekend last year but down 6% from the more typical volume for this weekend in other years.  The box office is certainly not as sick as it was last year, but remember these numbers are not anything to get excited about.  Just look again at the table above and glance at the right column (the estimated final domestic grosses for each film).  A lot of middling performers, with nothing close to $100 million movies (the highest being $78 million among recent wide releases).          

Top 12 Films: Weekend #5

     Volume    Movies Opening Each Weekend (millions)
2012  $ 92  Chronicle $20, Woman in Black $20, Big Miracle $8

2011  $ 73  The Roommate $15, Sanctum $9
2010  $100  Dear John $30, From Paris with Love $8
2009  $131  He’s Just Not That Into You $28, Coraline $17

2008  $ 90  Fool’s Gold $22, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins $16

Avg   $ 99

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.