May 19, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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The 20th weekend of 2012 is looking like a disturbing $132 million for the Top 12 films, down 17% from both this weekend last year and the four-year average for the same weekend.  Marvel’s The Avengers continues to do well, but the three films opening this weekend generated very little excitement, to say the least. 

Marvel’s The Avengers is on track to gross just over $54 million in its third weekend, right at our $55 million forecast.  This is the second-highest third weekend of all time (behind Avatar‘s $68.5 million from January 1-3, 2010, but comfortably ahead of Spider-Man‘s $45.0 million from May 17-19, 2002.)  We are holding our Domestic Final estimate for The Avengers at just over $600 million.         

Battleship from Universal opened with about $9.0 million Friday and is headed for an estimated $25.1 million opening weekend, falling well short of the $42.5 million ShowBuzzDaily  forecast.  The Peter Berg-directed action film should average $6,700 for the weekend at 3,690  theaters.  The film is getting very mediocre reviews (down to 36% positive at RottenTomatoes), and Mitch Salem is certainly not waiving the flag for the film.  Battleship is headed for a preliminary $62 million in North America, nowhere near the $215 million it has already grossed overseas, where special effects still generate revenue in many territories.  

The Dictator from Paramount grossed a lame $5.7 million Friday and is headed for an estimated $15.8 million opening weekend, missing the $18.2 million ShowBuzzDaily forecast.   The film should average $5,250 for the weekend at 3,008 theaters.  With the early Wednesday and Thursday grosses, The Dictator will total about $23.2 million through Sunday.  The film’s critical response has cooled a bit (down to 61% positive at RottenTomatoes — but still the best reviewed film of the weekend, if you can believe it).  Read Mitch Salem’s take here.  The Dictator is headed for a preliminary $55 million in North America.  Look for a complete international revenue update Sunday.    

Finally, What to Expect When You’re Expecting from Lionsgate grossed a lifeless $3.8 million Friday and is headed for an estimated $10.6 million opening weekend, far below the $18.0 million ShowBuzzDaily forecast.  The film should average a very low $3,500 for the weekend at 3,021 theaters.  Critics have really dumped on the comedy (now 22% positive at RottenTomatoes).  What to Expect is headed for a preliminary $20 million total domestic gross with no international potential.  

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


($ millions)
May 18-20, 2012 Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Actual Friday Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
The Avengers Dis [55.0] 54.1 15.5 604
Battleship Uni [42.5] 25.1 9.0 62
The Dictator Par [18.2] 15.8 5.7 55
What to Expect When You’re Expecting LG [18.0] 10.6 3.8 20
Dark Shadows WB [14.3] 13.4 3.8 79
Think Like a Man Sony [3.1] 2.5 0.8 93
The Hunger Games LG [3.0] 2.8 0.8 400
The Lucky One WB [2.4] 2.5 0.6 60


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 $132 million total Friday-Sunday, down 17% from both the same calendar weekend last year and the average for this weekend the past four years.  


WEEKEND #20 Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend
2012 $132 Battleship $25, The Dictator $16, What to Expect $11
2011 $159 Pirates: On Stranger Tides $90
2010 $143 Shrek Forever After $71, MacGruber $4
2009 $170 Night at Museum $54, Terminator Salvation $43
2008 $168 Indiana Jones Kingdom Crystal Skull $100
Avg 2008-11 $160

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.