March 24, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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The 12th weekend of 2012 is truly exceptional for a fourth weekend of March: $180 million for the Top 12 films, up 66% from the same weekend in 2011 and up 58% from the weekend’s multi-year average.  The Hunger Games was everything it promised to be — and more.  One of the greatest movie franchises is off and running.         

The Hunger Games from Lionsgate opened with $66.7 million Friday for an estimated $133 million for Friday-Sunday, beating the $124 million ShowBuzzDaily forecast.  The hotly anticipated adaptation from the popular series of books is averaging a huge $32,100 at 4,137 theaters.  This is similar to the last Twilight film (Breaking Dawn Part 1), which opened with $138 million, averaging $34,012 at 4.061 theaters last November.  However, Hunger Games has a much better chance of solid word of mouth and longer playability.  The film now has a very good 87% positive review score at RottenTomatoes.  ShowBuzzDaily’s Mitch Salem is also supportive in his reviewThe Hunger Games is headed for a preliminary $385 million total domestic (as opposed to the $281 million domestic for Breaking Dawn Part 1). 

Oh, yeah.  Some other films are playing this weekend.  Most notably, 21 Jump Street and The Lorax are performing as forecast (down 47% and 45%, respectively) and staying on their tracks toward $120 million and $209 million total domestic.  As always, we will look at the international picture for films in release tomorrow.

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

March 23-25, 2012       Pre-Wknd    Wknd            Showbuzz
(millions)              Showbuzz    Early    FRI    Domestic
                        Forecast    Proj.   Actual   Final

The Hunger Games (LG)    [$124 ]    $133    $66.7     $385
21 Jump Street (Sony)    [$20.0]    $19.3   $ 6.2     $120
The Lorax (Uni)          [$12.8]    $12.6   $ 3.2     $209-
John Carter (Dis)        [$ 6.6]    $ 5.0   $ 1.4     $ 76-
Project X (WB)           [$ 2.1]    $ 1.4   $ 0.6     $ 57
Act of Valor (Rel)       [$ 2.0]    $ 1.8   $ 0.6     $ 71
A Thousand Words (Par)   [$ 2.1]    $ 1.7   $ 0.5     $ 14
Safe House (Uni)         [$ 1.5]    $ 1.3   $ 0.4     $130  
Journey 2 (WB)           [$ 1.4]    $ 1.1   $ 0.3     $103

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 a phenomenal $180 million total Friday-Sunday, up 66% from the same calendar weekend last year and up 58% from the more typical volume for this weekend in other years.  Although only down slightly, this is the first down weekend versus 2011 in eight weeks and the first down weekend versus the multi-year average in five weeks.            

Top 12 Films: Weekend #12

     Volume    Movies Opening Each Weekend (millions)
2012  $180  The Hunger Games $133

2011  $109  Diary Wimpy Kid Roderick Rules $24, Sucker Punch $19
2010  $117  How Train Dragon $44, TP Why Get Married Too $29
2009  $139  Monsters vs Aliens $59, Haunting in CT $23

2008  $ 90  21 $24, Superhero Movie $10
Avg   $114

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.