February 9, 2013


Based on Friday’s grosses, Weekend #6 of 2013 is another weak one: only $84 million for the top 12 films (about 50% behind the pace for the same weekend the last few years, an even steeper drop than last weekend).  The lone bright spot: Identity Thief.  Our big lesson: never underestimate Melissa McCarthy.  Our outlook for Identity Thief was tempered by the presence of co-star Jason Bateman, extremely likeable but more often than not associated with mediocre to slightly above average box office and television ratings.  McCarthy’s is clearly the real deal.      

Opening at 3,141 theaters Friday, Identity Thief from Universal grossed over $11 million Friday (despite a snowy Northeast) and is on track for a $35 million opening weekend (far exceeding the $24.2 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast earlier this week).   The Melissa McCarthy comedy is averaging $11,100 per theater for the weekend (double the $5,333 average first weekend for all wide-release films the last two years).  Critics are not amused: 25% positive reviews at RottenTomatoes, but edgy R-rated comedy does not live or die on the opinions of critics.  Identity Thief should finish with $107 million total domestic.

Opening at 2,605 theaters, Side Effects from Open Road Films grossed $3.3 million Friday and is on track for an $8.5 million weekend (below the $12.2 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast).   The film is averaging $3,300 per theater for the weekend, while critical sentiment is a very good 85% positive.  Side Effects is headed for $33 million total domestic.

Weekend 6: February 8-10, 2013 ($ millions)
Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Actual Friday Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
Identity Thief Uni [24.2] 35.0  11.2 107
Warm Bodies Summit [11.6] 10.5  3.3 63
Side Effects OpenRoad [12.2] 8.5  2.8 33
Silver Linings Playbook Weins [6.7] 6.5  1.6 106
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters Par [5.3] 5.2 1.4 53
Mama Uni [3.9] 4.0 1.2 72
Zero Dark Thirty Sony [3.5] 3.9 .98 96
Django Unchained Weins [2.1] 2.3 .56 163
Bullet to the Head WB [2.3] 2.0 .52 12
Parker FilmDis [1.8] 1.8 .47 18

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 $84 million total Friday-Sunday, down a dizzying 49% from the average comparable weekend the last four years and down 51% from the same weekend last year.

 WEEKEND #6 ($ millions)
Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend (Fri-Sun only)
2013 $84 Identity Thief $35, Side Effects $8.5
2012 $173 The Vow $41, Safe House $40, Journey 2: Mysterious Island $27, Star Wars Ep 1 (3D) $22
2011 $135 Just Go With It $30, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never $29, Gnomeo and Juliet $25
2010 $189 Valentine’s Day $56, Percy Jackson & Olympians $31, The Wolfman $31
2009 $163 Friday the 13th $41, Confessions of a Shopaholic $15, The International $9
Avg 2009-12 $165

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.