January 19, 2013


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Based on Friday’s grosses, Weekend #3 of 2013 is on pace for $113 million, basically on pace with the same weekend the last few years.  It is a weekend of Jessica Chastain: starring in the top two films of the weekend, an over-performing horror film opening at #1 and carrying the #2 film on her back (possibly to a Best Actress Oscar).  Expanding to 2,523 theaters (up from 810 last week), Silver Linings Playbook will be up 95% from last weekend to almost $10 million.  Other than that, it really looks like a sleepy January weekend at the box office, with the other films well below $10 million for the weekend.  

Opening at 2,647 theaters Friday, Mama grossed a very good $10 million Friday and is on track for an impressive $26 million three-day weekend (much stronger than the $15.2 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast earlier this week).   The horror film starring Chastain is averaging a robust $9,800 per theater for the weekend (well above the $5,333 average first weekend for all wide-release films the last two years).  With 65% positive reviews at RottenTomatoes (actually pretty good for the horror genre), Mama should play fairly well and is headed for $75 million total domestic.

While we really underestimated Mama, we definitely overestimated the latest from Mark Wahlberg and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Opening at 2,620 theaters, Broken City starring Wahlberg and Russell Crowe grossed $3 million Friday and is on track for a $8.7 million weekend (significantly under the $12.0 million forecast).   The film is averaging a sad $3,300 per theater for the weekend, while critical sentiment is a bad 24% positive at RottenTomatoes (usually an indicator of weak playability to come).  Broken City is on track for a $22 million total domestic gross.

Opening at 2,913 theaters, The Last Stand starring Arnold grossed only $2 million Friday and is on track for a very low $5.7 million weekend (also way under the $9.2 million forecast).   The film is averaging a downright pathetic $1,950 per theater for the weekend, while critical sentiment is a mixed 56% positive.  The Last Stand is headed for maybe $15 million total domestic.  After a week filled with the bobbing and weaving from Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o, the audience probably just couldn’t stomach the sight of another lying former hero.

Weekend 3: January 18-20, 2013 ($ millions)
Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Actual Friday Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
Mama Uni [15.2] 26.0  10.0 75
Zero Dark Thirty Sony [14.3] 15.2  4.55 100
Silver Linings Playbook Weins [9.4] 9.8  2.95 70
Gangster Squad WB [8.9] 8.8 2.66 52
Broken City Fox [12.0] 8.7 3.00 22
Django Unchained Weins [7.0] 7.8 2.19 165
A Haunted House OpenRoad [8.5] 7.7 45
Les Miserables Uni [6.1] 7.3 2.00 150
The Hobbit WB [5.6] 6.1 1.45 300
The Last Stand LG [9.2] 5.7 2.00 15
Lincoln DW/Fox/Dis [5.0] 5.3 1.42 175

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 $113 million total Friday-Sunday, down a scant 1% from the average comparable weekend the last four years and up 3% from the same weekend last year.

 WEEKEND #3 ($ millions)
Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend (Fri-Sun only)
2013 $113 Mama $26, Broken City $8.7, The Last Stand $5.7
2012 $110 Underworld Awakening $25, Red Tails $19, Extremely Loud $10
2011 $89 No Strings Attached $20
2010 $128 Legion $17, The Tooth Fairy $14, Extraordinary Measures $6
2009 $130 Underworld Rise of the Lycans $21, Inkheart $7
Avg 2009-12 $114

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.