January 7, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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2012 is off to a solid start with $135 million in business for the top 12 films — up 12% from a typical performance for the first weekend of the year but up sharply from the disaster that was 2011’s opening frame.  The Devil Inside exceeded our forecast and will be the #1 movie this weekend, but it won’t have much staying power because it (a) is a horror film and (b) is a really terrible horror film, according to critics and more important the audience.  Still, a domestic gross of $70 million would be amazing for a film that cost $2 million to acquire and probably $30 million to market.

Updated Numbers Throughout the Text and Charts.

The Devil Inside blew past its forecast, pulling in almost $17 million Friday and an estimated $39 million for the three-day opening weekend, compared to a $16.5 million ShowBuzzDaily forecast.  Critics reviews are coming in on RottenTomatoes at a terrible 7% positive clip, in addition to an “F” CinemaScore grade from opening night audiences.  With word of mouth like that, we expect Devil Inside will have a low multiple to a still very good (relatively) $73 million domestic total.  

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy expands to 809 theaters this weekend and should gross $5.7 million this weekend, bringing its total to date to over $10 million.  The spy thriller should end its domestic run with $31 million.  

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

January 6-8, 2012       Pre-Wknd    Wknd            Showbuzz
(millions)              Showbuzz    Early    FRI    Domestic
                        Forecast    Proj.   Actual   Final

The Devil Inside (Par)   [$16.5]    $39.9   $16.6     $ 73
Mission: Impossible 4 Par[$16.5]    $19.9   $ 6.2     $234
Sherlock Holmes 2 (WB)   [$11.5]    $14.0   $ 4.3     $190
Alvin & Chipmunks 3 (Fox)[$10.0]    $10.5   $ 2.3     $134
Girl Dragon Tattoo (Sony)[$ 9.0]    $11.3   $ 3.5     $109
War Horse (DW/Dis)       [$ 8.5]    $ 8.9   $ 2.6     $ 84
We Bought a Zoo (Fox)    [$ 8.5]    $ 8.7   $ 2.3     $ 80
Tinker Tailor Soldier Foc[$ 4.0]    $ 5.7   $ 1.7     $ 31
Adventures Tintin (Par)  [$ 7.0]    $ 7.2   $ 1.7     $ 83
New Year’s Eve (WB)      [$ —]    $ 3.2   $ 1.1     $ 59

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 $135 million total Friday-Sunday, up 37% from the same calendar weekend last year (which kicked off the disastrous winter and spring of 2011) and up a credible 12% from the typical volume for this weekend in other years.          

Top 12 Films: Weekend #1

     Volume    Movies Opening Each Weekend (millions)
2012  $135  Devil Inside $39, Tinker Tailor $5.7

2011  $ 99  Season of the Witch $10, Country Strong $7 
2010  $149  Daybreakers $15, Leap Year $9, Youth in Revolt $7
2009  $128  Gran Torino $29, Bride Wars $21, The Unborn $20

2008  $106  Bucket List $19, First Sunday $18

Avg   $120

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.