November 19, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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>Twilight’s latest, Breaking Dawn Part 1, is opening close to what we expected, but Happy Feet Two was not as able to weather the storm as strongly as we projected.  Overall, the weekend is running 20% ahead of the same weekend last year, not a bad accomplishment given Harry Potter was in the mix last year.

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 will approach its forecast ($72.0 million Friday for an expected $140 million this weekend versus a forecast of $148.5 million). The latest Twilight is headed for $293 million in North America when it crosses the finish line, according to the ShowBuzzDaily Domestic Final estimate.  International numbers for all recent films will be in our overseas round-up late Sunday.  Critics have been not been particularly supportive (26% positive at RottenTomatoes).     

Happy Feet Two is falling far short of our aggressive forecast ($5.9 million Friday for an estimated $23.0 million opening weekend, compared to a $39.5 million prediction).  The animated sequel is headed for $88 million in North America.  Critics nationwide have been mixed (only 45% positive at RottenTomatoes).

Down an okay 42% from last weekend (not bad in the face of the Twilight tidal wave), Puss in Boots has been upgraded one more time, with a Domestic Final estimate now up to $165 million.  

In case you missed them, click to see this week’s Weekend Predictions
November 18-20, 2011    Pre-Wknd    Wknd            Showbuzz
(millions)              Showbuzz    Early   Friday  Domestic
                        Forecast    Proj.   Actual   Final

Twilight Breaking 1 (Sum)[$148.5]   $140.0  $72.0     $293
Happy Feet Two (WB)      [$39.5]    $23.0   $ 5.9     $ 88
Puss In Boots (DW/Par)   [$12.5]    $14.3   $ 3.4     $165+
Immortals (Rel)          [$14.0]    $12.3   $ 3.8     $ 78
Jack and Jill (Sony)     [$12.0]    $12.2   $ 3.5     $ 65-
Tower Heist (Uni)        [$ 6.5]    $ 7.2   $ —     $ 71-
J. Edgar (WB)            [$ 6.5]    $ 6.0   $ 1.8     $ 34
A Very Harold & Kumar WB [$ 3.0]    $ 2.8   $ 0.9     $ 36
In Time (Fox)            [$ 2.0]    $ 1.6   $ —     $ 37

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 very good $224 million total, up 20% from the same calendar weekend last year (when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 opened to $125 million).         

Top 12 Films: Weekend #46

     Volume    Movies Opening Each Weekend (millions)
2011  $224  Twilight Breaking Dawn 1 $140, Happy Feet Two $23
2010  $186  Harry Potter Deathly Hallows 1 $125     
2009  $250  Twilight New Moon $143, Blind Side $34

2008  $157  Twilight $70, Bolt $26
2007  $151  Enchanted $34, This Christmas $18, Hitman $13
Avg   $186 

Next Weekend
Opening next week are Arthur Christmas from Sony, The Muppets from Disney and Hugo from Paramount.  Those movies will be compared to Tangled ($49 million opening weekend), Burlesque ($12 million), Love and Other Drugs ($10 million) and Faster ($8.5 million). 

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

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.