July 28, 2012


The 30th weekend of 2012 is looking like a weak $119 million for the Top 12 films Friday-Sunday, down 30% from the same weekend last year.  The Dark Knight Rises continues to fall significantly off the pace of 2008’s The Dark Knight, and the two films opening this weekend were stillborn.  Some will say people are afraid to return to movie theaters after the carnage by a crazy person last week.  That might explain some of the softness in the business for The Dark Knight Rises, but let’s get real.  The Watch and Step Up Revolution failed because they looked like they sucked from their first marketing efforts — and probably were doomed from the conceptual stage.  Also, don’t forget the significant competition from the Olympic Opening Ceremony last night.  (Olympic ratings will be posted later this morning.)          

The Dark Knight Rises from Warner Brothers pulled in $17.8 million Friday as it started its second weekend, on a pace for $57.3 million Friday-Sunday (down 64% from the opening weekend).  As it has since its second day in release, Rises is lagging 2008’s The Dark Knight in every respect this weekend.  (Dark Knight grossed $23.2 on its second Friday on its way to $75.2 million on weekend two, down only 57% from its opening).  Through this Sunday, Dark Knight Rises should stand at $282.3 million total, well below the 10-day $313.8 million total for The Dark Knight.  We have reduced our domestic total estimate for Dark Knight Rises all the way down to $420 million, way off the $533 million pace for The Dark Knight and in a completely different league than the $617 million domestic total for Marvel’s The Avengers.

And two films tried to open this weekend.  The Watch is on track for $11.8 million Friday-Sunday, well below the $22.5 million ShowbuzzDaily Forecast.  The comedic bomb should leave theaters with around $28 million domestic in a few short weeks.  Step Up Revolution is very close, on pace for a $11.6 million opening weekend, far closer to our more conservative $12.5 million forecast.  The fourth Step Up film should hit $31 million domestic, clearly the lowest of the franchise.

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

Weekend 30: July 27-29, 2012 ($ millions)
Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Actual Friday Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
Dark Knight Rises WB [69.0] 57.3 17.8 420
Ice Age: Continental Drift Fox [12.1] 13.6 4.0 151
The Watch Fox [22.5] 11.8 4.5 28
Step Up Revolution Sum [12.5] 11.6 4.8 31
Ted Uni [6.3] 7.0 2.2 218
Amazing Spider-Man Sony [6.4] 6.1 1.8 274
Brave Pix Dis [3.9] 4.2 1.2 232
Magic Mike WB [2.4] 2.3 0.9 115
Savages Uni [2.1] 1.6 0.5 50
TP’s Madea’s Witness Protection LG [—] 1.3 0.4 64
Moonrise Kingdom Foc Uni [1.3] 1.3 0.4 45
Madagascar 3 Par DW [—] 0.9 0.3 216

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.

BATMAN TRACKWarner Brothers ($ millions)
Critics Positive Opening Weekend  Domestic Total  Overseas Total Worldwide Total
The Dark Knight
7.18.2008 94% 158.4 533.3 468.6 1,001.9
Batman Begins 6.15.2005 85% 48.7 205.3 167.4 372.7
The Pre-Christopher Nolan Years
Batman and Robin 6.20.1997 13% 42.9 107.3 130.9 238.2
Batman Forever 6.16.1995 43% 52.8 184.0 152.5 336.5
Batman Returns 6.19.1992 78% 45.7 162.8 104.0 266.8
Batman 6.23.1989 71% 40.5 251.2 160.1 411.3


Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $119 million total Friday-Sunday, down 30% from the same calendar weekend last year and down 16% from the average for this weekend the past four years.

($ millions)
WEEKEND #30 Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend
2012 $119 The Watch $12, Step Up Revolution $12
2011 $171 The Smurfs $36, Cowboys & Aliens $36, Crazy Stupid Love $19
2010 $136 Dinner for Schmucks $23, Cats & Dogs Revenge $12, Charlie St Cloud $12
2009 $114 Funny People $23, Aliens in the Attic $8
2008 $145 The Mummy: Tomb Dragon Emperor $40
Avg 2008-11 $141

Check back tomorrow morning for updated weekend figures and revised estimates for domestic final grosses, as well as updated international figures later in the day Sunday.  On Monday, we will update the ShowbuzzDaily Summer Movie Fantasy Draft, as well.

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.