November 5, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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>Puss in Boots managed to bounce back from a soft opening last week, declining only 18% and holding on to the #1 position.  Tower Heist stumbled out of the gate and is on track for #2 and an underwhelming $25 million.  A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas was impressive only by the low standards of the franchise, and 3D remains high on the list of over-rated cinema features.  The weekend is lagging almost 30% behind the same weekend last year.  The box office ennui continues.

Tower Heist missed its forecast badly ($8.1 million Friday for an expected $25.1 million this weekend versus a forecast of $29.5 million). The Brett Ratner comedy starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy is headed for $76 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 surprisingly supportive (69% positive at RottenTomatoes), but the film nonetheless failed to beat the second weekend of Puss in Boots.  Universal is pretty much done for the year in terms of releases.  Yikes.     

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas also missed its forecast ($5.4 million Friday for an estimated $14.4 million opening weekend, compared to a $16.5 million prediction).  The Kal Penn and John Cho acquired-taste comedy is headed for $46 million in North America.  Critics nationwide have been positive (only 72% positive at RottenTomatoes), suggesting second- and third-weekend declines should be moderate. 

Down a preliminary 18% from last weekend (a very good hold), Puss in Boots should hold on to the #1 spot and bounce back from the soft opening last week which was limited by Halloween activities and a severe early-season snowstorm in the northeast.  

In case you missed them, click to see this week’s Weekend Predictions
November 4-6, 2011      Pre-Wknd    Wknd            Showbuzz
(millions)              Showbuzz    Early   Friday  Domestic
                        Forecast    Proj.   Actual   Final*

Puss In Boots (DW/Par)   [$24.0]    $28.0   $ 7.8     $149+

Tower Heist (Uni)        [$29.5]    $25.1   $ 8.1     $ 76
A Very Harold & Kumar WB [$16.5]    $14.4   $ 5.4     $ 46 
Paranormal Activity 3 Par[$ 8.5]    $ 8.3   $ 2.9     $113-
In Time (Fox)            [$ 7.0]    $ 7.5   $ 2.4     $ 39+
Footloose (Par)          [$ 3.7]    $ 4.5   $ 1.5     $ 55
Real Steel (DW/DIS)      [$ 3.5]    $ 3.3   $ 0.9     $ 88
The Rum Diary (FilmDis)  [$ 3.0]    $ 3.2   $ 1.0     $ 18
Ides of March (Sony)     [$ 2.0]    $ 2.1   $ 0.6     $ 43 
Three Musketeers (Summit)[$ 1.9]    $ 1.7   $ 0.5     $ 19

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 weak $102 million total, down 29% from the same calendar weekend last year (when Megamind opened to almost $50 million and two others opened to a combined $52 million).         

Top 12 Films: Weekend #44

     Volume    Movies Opening Each Weekend (millions)
2011  $102  Tower Heist $25, A Very Harold & Kumar Chmas $14
2010  $143  Megamind $46, Due Date $33, For Colored Girls $19    
2009  $107  Christmas Carol $30 Men Stare Goats $13 4th Kind $12

2008  $128  Madagascar Escape Africa $63, Role Models $19
2007  $ 98  Fred Claus $18.5, Lions for Lambs $7
Avg   $119 

Next Weekend
Opening next week are Jack & Jill from Sony, Immortals from Relativity and J. Edgar from Warner Brothers.  Those movies will be compared to Unstoppable ($22.7 million opening weekend), Skyline ($11.7 million) and Morning Glory ($9.2 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.