November 24, 2012


Based on Friday’s grosses, Weekend #47 is now on pace to exceed the multi-year average for this weekend by over 20% — a much stronger pace than the Wednesday-Thursday pre-weekend box office suggested.  

Rise of the Guardians from Paramount/ DreamWorks opened with $8.6 million Wednesday-Thursday and added $9.3 million Friday, putting it on pace for $22.9 million Friday-Sunday, falling below the ShowbuzzDaily forecast issued early this week.  The opening weekend translates to a just barely okay $6,300 average at 3,653 theaters (compared to the $5,333 average for all wide-release films the last two years).  With 73% positive reviews at RottenTomatoes there might be some potential for good word of mouth, but this this is not a very good base for an animated film.  Rise of the Guardians should finish with around $114 million domestic.

Life of Pi from 20th Century Fox and director Ang Lee opened wide with $8.2 million on Wednesday and Thursday combined before adding $8.8 million Friday, putting the film on pace for $22.0 million Friday-Sunday, well ahead of our $14.5 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast.  The opening weekend translates to a respectable $7,500 average at 2,927 theaters.  With 87% positive reviews at RottenTomatoes, the film should play for a while and finish with around $82 million domestic.

Red Dawn from FilmDistrict opened with $7.4 million Wednesday-Thursday and then fell to $6.0 million Friday, putting it on pace for $14.7 million Friday-Sunday, actually a touch higher than our very bearish $12.0 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast.  The opening weekend translates to a perfectly mediocre $5,400 average at 2,725 theaters.  With 12% positive reviews at RottenTomatoes, this remake should burn out quickly and end with around $39 million domestic.

Despite falling a projected 69% in its second weekend, Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 will be a clear #1 this weekend with $43.5 million Friday-Sunday and $65.1 million Wednesday-Sunday.  The final Twilight film has been adjusted up to $312 million domestic.  Dropping only 16% in its third weekend, Skyfall has been adjusted up again to $310 million domestic.  Expanding 243 theaters (to 2,018), Lincoln is actually up 20% in its second weekend and now on track for $140 million domestic.

Silver Linings Playbook is averaging a terrific $11,600 per theater for the three-day weekend at 367 theaters (enough to land the film in the top 10).  At far fewer theaters (66) Anna Karenina is averaging $12,200 per location.  And in very limited release, Hitchcock is averaging $18,800 per theater at 17 locations, while Rust and Bone is averaging $12,000 at 2 theaters.

Weekend 47: Nov 23-25, 2012 ($ millions)
Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Actual Friday Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
Breaking Dawn Part 2 Sum [44.8] 43.5 17.8 312
Skyfall Sony [28.3] 34.5 14.7 310
Lincoln Dis [17.5] 25.2 9.9 140
Rise of the Guardians Par/DW [29.5] 22.9 9.3 114
Life of Pi Fox [14.5] 22.0 8.8 82
Wreck-It Ralph Dis [15.0] 16.5 6.7 195
Red Dawn FilmDis [12.0] 14.7 6.0 39
Flight Par [6.6] 8.5 3.4 95
Silver Linings Playbook Weins [—] 4.3 1.6 n/a
Argo WB [3.5] 4.0 1.6 110

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.


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


Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are now looking like an excellent $198 million total Friday-Sunday (much stronger than it appeared yesterday), which would be up 21% from the average comparable weekend the last four years and up 27% from the same weekend last year.

 WEEKEND #47 ($ millions)
Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend (Fri-Sun only)
2012 $198 Rise of the Guardians $23, Life of Pi $22, Red Dawn $15
2011 $155 Muppets $29, Arthur Christmas $12, Hugo $11
2010 $171 Tangled $49, Burlesque $12, Love Other Drugs $10
2009 $175 Old Dogs $17, Ninja Assassin $13
2008 $155 Four Christmases $31, Australia $15, Transporter 3 $12
Avg 2008-11 $164

Check back tomorrow morning for updated weekend figures and revised estimates for domestic final grosses based on actual Saturday grosses.

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.