May 7, 2011

FRIDAY MAY 6 BOX OFFICE NUMBERS: Thor Slightly Below Expectations

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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Thor will be #1 as expected this weekend, as expected, but a few million dollars below forecast, while the two female-skewing comedies are a few million dollars above forecast.  The weekend looks to be around 11% below the same weekend last year.

Thor should open with $62 million this weekend and is on a pace to finish with $180 million in North America when it crosses the finish line.  Fast Five will decline 61% to $34 million and is now headed for $210 domestically. 
As for the other openers, both Something Borrowed and Jumping the Broom will open with $13 million each in North America, both a touch better than expected.  Something Borrwed is headed for about $32 million domestically, while Jumping the Broom should be slightly more front-loaded and finish with around $30 million.  In limited release, The Beaver will leave Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster talking to themselves — the film will average a surprisingly soft $4,700 per theater this weekend at 22 locations.  Hello, pay per view and DVD, where it shouldn’t fair much better.

On a per theater basis for the wide release openers, Thor will average a very good $15,700 at 3,955 theaters.  Jumping the Broom should average a good $6,400 at only 2,035 theaters, and Something Borrowed should be a very average $4,500 at 2,904 theaters.  

May 6-8, 2011           Pre-Wknd    Wknd            Showbuzz
(millions)              Showbuzz    Early   Friday  Domestic
                        Forecast    Proj.   Actual   Final*
Thor (Par)               [$67  ]    $62     $25.7     $180
Fast Five (Uni)          [$38  ]    $34     $10.5     $210
Something Borrowed (WB)  [$11  ]    $13     $ 4.8     $32
Jumping the Broom (Sony) [$10  ]    $13     $ 4.2     $30
Rio (Fox)                [$ 9  ]    $ 9.5   $ 2.0     $141
Water for Elephants (Fox)[$ 6  ]    $ 6     $ 1.6     $ 57
Madea’s Big Happy Family [$ 4.5]    $ 3.5   $ 1.0     $ 53
Prom (Dis)               [$ 2.5]    $ 2.5   $ 0.8     $ 12
Hoodwinked Too (Weins)   [$ 2.5]    $ 2     $ 0.4     $  9 


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 Ultimate 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 $152 million total, down 11% from the same weekend last year (which featured the big opening of Iron Man 2).  This ends the string of three up weekends  in row versus last year. 

Top 12 Films: First Full Weekend of May
2011  $152  (
+15% vs 2007-10 average; -11% vs 2010) 

Avg   $132 
            Movies Opening That Weekend
2010  $171  Iron Man 2 $128, Babies $2

2009  $143  Star Trek $75, Next Day Air $4
2008  $118  What Happens in Vegas $20, Speed Racer $18
2007  $ 96  28 Weeks Later $10, Georgia Rule $7, Delta Farce $3

Next Weekend

Opening next week are the comedy Bridesmaids from Universal and action horror Priest from Sony.  These movies will be compared against Robin Hood‘s $36 million opening on 5.14.2010, Letters to Juliet with $13.5 million, and Just Wright with $8 million.  Next weekend will be a good opportunity for 2011 to get back on track with another up weekend.

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

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."