July 27, 2013

FRIDAY JULY 26 Box Office Report

Based on Friday’s grosses, Weekend #30 of 2013 looks like a decent $159 million for the top 12 films, comfortably above the same weekend the last few years. The Wolverine is way off our projected opening but still but still the best opening in recent years for a weekend that often is filled with clunkers. (Remember The Watch and Step Up Revolution this time last year? See the complete track for the last weekend in July in the second table below.) 

Opening at 3,924 theaters late Thursday, The Wolverine from 20th Century Fox grossed $21 million Friday and is on track for a $54 million opening weekend (way under the $69.5 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast). We thought our forecast was somewhat conservative as most other estimates were well above $70 million for the weekend, but Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is just not the stuff of mega-commercial appeal. The film is pacing toward a three-day average of $13,800 per theater for the weekend (well above the $5,333 opening weekend average for all wide-release films the last two years, but nothing special for a big effects, summer comic book movie). Critical sentiment is decent overall (68% positive overall at RottenTomatoes), although top critics are less impressed at 61% positive. The Wolverine is headed for $131 million total domestic, well below the $179.9 million for X-Men Origins: Wolverine (released May 1, 2009).

Expanding to 1,064 theaters Friday, Fruitvale Station from Weinstein should average $4,200 per theater for a $4.5 million weekend. The film opened two weeks ago at 7 theaters, averaging $55,184 for a $386K weekend.  Last week, the film inched up to 34 theaters with a still-potent $21,750 theater average for a $739K weekend.

Expanding to 886 theaters Friday, The Way, Way Back from Fox Searchlight is on track for a $3.3 million opening weekend, averaging $3,700 per theater for the weekend.  Also, nothing special.

The real miss this weekend was The To Do List.  CBS Films once again gave it the old college try, and once again whiffed. The comedy starring Aubrey Plaza from NBC’s micro-rated comedy Parks and Recreation, is on track for $1.8 million in its opening weekend (a weak $3,050 average at 591 theaters).

The box office is being supported by some solid holdovers. For example, The Conjuring is on pace for a 43% decline in its second weekend, down to $24.0 million (hitting our forecast).  We have upgraded the domestic final gross outlook to $148 million.

Weekend 30: July 26-28, 2013 ($ millions)
Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Actual Friday Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
The Wolverine Fox [69.5] 54.0 21.0 131
The Conjuring WB [23.5] 24.0 7.4 148
Despicable Me 2 Uni [15.9] 16.3 4.8 363
Turbo Fox/DWA [13.0] 13.5 4.0 94
Grown Ups 2 Sony [11.4] 11.3 3.6 131
Red 2 Summit [9.1] 8.8 2.7 54
Pacific Rim WB [8.1] 7.4 2.2 106
The Heat Fox [6.5] 6.8 2.1 164
R.I.P.D. Uni [5.1] 5.7 1.8 34
Fruitvale Station Weins [5.4] 4.5 1.4 21
The Way, Way Back Fox [3.7] 3.3 .97 25
The To Do List CBS [3.4] 1.8 .59 5

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 $159 million total Friday-Sunday, up 16% from the four-year average for the comparable weekend and up 26% from the same disastrous weekend last year.

WEEKEND #30 ($ millions)
Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend (Fri-Sun only)
2013 $159 The Wolverine $54
2012 $126 The Watch $12.8, Step Up Revolution $11.7
2011 $171 Cowboys & Aliens $36.4, The Smurfs $35.6, Crazy, Stupid, Love. $19.1
2010 $136 Dinner for Schmucks $23.5, Cats & Dogs: Revenge $12.3, Charlie St Cloud $12.4
2009 $114 Funny People $22.7, Aliens in the Attic $8.0, The Collector $3.6
Avg 2009-12 $137

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.