May 21, 2011

FRIDAY MAY 20 BOX OFFICE RESULTS: Pirates Solid; Bridemaids Rocks

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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>The fourth Pirates of the Caribbean opens just below forecast, although not quite at the higher end of expectations that Disney was rooting for.  Bridesmaids has a very good second weekend

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides should open with $92 million this weekend and is on a pace to finish with $260 million in North America when it crosses the finish line, according to the ShowBuzzDaily Domestic Final estimate.  The fourth Pirates should earn that much or much more overseas.

Bridesmaids should decline only 12% in its second weekend (a truly remarkable feat) to $23 million and has been upgraded substantially to a $129 million final domestic tally.  Time for Last Rites for Priest, which should decline 69% to $4.6 million.  The film is now headed for $29 million domestically. 

On a per theater basis, Pirates will average a very good $22,100 at a very high 4,155 theaters, about half of which feature higher-priced 3D ticket prices.  Bridesmaids should average an excellent $7,800 at 2,937 theaters (the typical film averages $2,600 in its second weekend).   

May 20-22, 2011         Pre-Wknd    Wknd            Showbuzz
(millions)              Showbuzz    Early   Friday  Domestic
                        Forecast    Proj.   Actual   Final*
Pirates Stranger TidesDis[$94  ]    $92     $35.0     $260
Bridesmaids (Uni)        [$18  ]    $23     $ 6.4     $129++
Thor (Par)               [$18  ]    $16.5   $ 4.4     $198
Fast Five (Uni)          [$11.5]    $10.7   $ 3.2     $207
Priest (Sony)            [$ 6  ]    $ 4.6   $ 1.5     $ 29
Rio (Fox)                [$ 4.5]    $ 5.2   $ 1.1     $147
Jumping the Broom (Sony) [$ 4  ]    $ 3.8   $ 1.1     $ 40
Something Borrowed (WB)  [$ 3.5]    $ 3.7   $ 1.2     $ 38
Water for Elephants (Fox)[$ 2.5]    $ 2.3   $ 0.7     $ 59

Note: The table above summarizes an early look at the weekend.  The first column is 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. 

Limited Releases

Opening at six locations in New York and Los Angeles, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris averaged over $28,000 on Friday alone.  The weekend should average around a superior $80,000.  See Mitch Salem’s review of the film here

Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $165 million total, up 16% from the same weekend last year. 

Top 12 Films: Weekend #20
2011  $165  (
-2% vs 2007-10 average; +16% vs 2010) 

Avg   $170 
            Movies Opening That Weekend
2010  $143  Shrek Forever After $71, MacGruber $4

2009  $170  Night Museum 2 $54, Terminator Salvation $43
2008  $168  Indiana Jones Crystal Skull $100
2007  $199  Pirates At World’s End $115

Next Weekend

Opening next week are two sequels aimed at different audiences: the adult comedy The Hangover Part II from Warner Brothers and the family animated Kung Fu Panda 2 from Paramount/ DreamWorks.  This dynamic duo will be compared against the dud duo of Sex and the City 2 and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (each around $30 million).  Next weekend is another good opportunity for 2011 to make up some lost ground.

Look for updates of the weekend box office on Sunday, based on the Saturday actual numbers. 

ALSO…from the TV side of ShowBuzzDaily, look for complete ratings estimates for this fall starting Monday.  This web exclusive will look at every time period and every show, new and returning.  Who will win each night?  Whose schedule will win the typical week?  And how will each new show fare?  Find out first on ShowBuzzDaily next week.

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.