May 12, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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The 19th weekend of 2012 is looking like a solid $155 million for the Top 12 films, up 20% from both this weekend last year and the four-year average for the same weekend.  Marvel’s The Avengers will definitely smash the second weekend record — the only question is by how much.  Dark Shadows opened below our forecast and will soon be forgotten.  

Marvel’s The Avengers is on track to gross just over $100 million in its second weekend, just  below our $104 million forecast.  If it can hold at the century mark, Avengers will beat the second weekend record by a whopping 32%.  (Avatar grossed $75.6 million its second weekend in December 2009.)  We have adjusted our Domestic Final estimate for The Avengers to over $600 million.          

Dark Shadows from Warner Brothers opened with a $9.5 million Friday and is headed for an estimated $26.2 million opening weekend, falling short of the $34.5 million ShowBuzzDaily forecast.  The latest Tim Burton-Johnny Depp project should average $6,900 for the weekend at 3,755 theaters.  The film is getting very mediocre reviews (currently 43% positive at RottenTomatoes), and Mitch Salem was not impressed in his review.  Last year on this same weekend, Bridesmaids opened with almost exactly the same number as Dark Shadows, but given differences in genre and movie quality, Dark Shadows will take a very different trajectory than the hit comedy.  Dark Shadows is headed for a preliminary $71 million in North America (while Bridesmaids played and played and multiplied out to an impressive $169.1 million domestically).  

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


($ millions)
May 11-13, 2012 Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Actual Friday Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
The Avengers Dis [104.0] 100.1 29.9 610
Dark Shadows WB [34.5] 26.2 9.5 71
Think Like a Man Sony [4.6] 5.9 1.6 95
The Hunger Games LG [3.6] 4.5 1.2 405
The Lucky One WB [3.2] 4.0 1.3 60
Pirates! Band of Misfits Sony [3.4] 3.5 0.8 32
Five-Year Engagement Uni [3.0] 2.9 1.0 31
Chimpanzee Dis [1.6] 1.5 0.4 29
The Raven Rel [1.3] 1.3 0.4 14
Safe LG [1.2] 1.2 0.4 16

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 $155 million total Friday-Sunday, up 20% from both the same calendar weekend last year and the average for this weekend the past four years.  

WEEKEND #19 Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend
2012 $155 Dark Shadows $26
2011 $129 Bridesmaids $26, Priest $15
2010 $131 Robin Hood $36, Letters to Juliet $13, Just Wright $8
2009 $131 Angels & Demons $46
2008 $126 Chronicles of Narnia $55
Avg 2008-11 $129

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.



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.