October 6, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Another strong weekend at the box office: this weekend is looking like it will be over 50% higher than comparable weekends in recent years (improving from the +18% weekend last week).     

Taken 2 from 20th Century Fox opened with a very good $18.6 million Friday and is on pace for $50.0 million Friday-Sunday.   This opening weekend is much stronger than the $41.8 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast issued Wednesday and translates to a very good $13,600 average at 3,661 theaters (well ahead of the $5,333 average for all wide-release films the last two years).  Taken 2 should leave theaters with a $138 million total domestic gross.  For comparison, the original Taken opened with $24.7 million Jan 30-Feb 1, 2009 and went on to gross $145.0 million domestic.  Because it is a sequel, business for Taken 2 should be much more front-loaded, and the awful reviews (now 19% positive at RottenTomatoes) offer no hope for strong word of mouth.

Frankenweenie from Disney and the mind of Tim Burton opened with $3.3 million Friday and is on track for $12.3 million Friday-Sunday, somewhat below the $15.5 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast.  The black and white, stop-motion animation film should average a narrow $4,100 per theater this weekend at 3,005 theaters.  However, reviews are currently a very good 86% positive (see Mitch Salem’s take here), suggesting some relatively long playability.  Frankenweenie should leave North American theaters with about $44 million.

Weekend 40: Oct 5-7, 2012 ($ millions)
Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Actual Friday Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
Taken 2 Fox [41.8] 50.0 18.6 138
Hotel Transylvania Sony [25.5] 27.0 6.5 145
Pitch Perfect Universal [13.0] 14.4 4.9 68
Frankenweenie Disney [15.5] 12.3 3.3 44
Looper Sony/Tri [12.1] 11.7 3.5 70
End of Watch Open Road [4.2] 3.9 1.2 45
Trouble with the Curve WB [4.3] 3.7 1.1 39
House at the End of the Street Relativity [3.7] 3.5 1.1 33
The Master Weinstein [1.6] 1.7 .50 19
Perks of Being a Wallflower Summit [—] 1.5 n/a n/a
Finding Nemo 3D Disney [—] 1.5 .38 45

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.


Pitch Perfect from Universal expanded to 2,770 theaters and should average $5,200 this weekend for $14.4 million weekend, a touch ahead of the $13.0 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast.  Pitch Perfect has been upgraded to an eventual $68 million total in North America.

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


Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like a very strong $132 million total Friday-Sunday, up 56% from the same weekend last year and up a similar 52% from the average comparable weekend the last four years.

($ millions)
WEEKEND #39 Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend
2012 $132 Taken 2 $50, Pitch Perfect $14, Frankenweenie $12
2011 $85 Real Steel $27, Ides of March $10.5
2010 $81 Life As We Know It $14.5, Secretariat $13, My Soul to Take $7
2009 $96 Couples Retreat $34
2008 $87 Quarantine $14, Body of Lies $13, The Express $4.6
Avg 2008-11 $87

Check back tomorrow morning for updated weekend figures and revised estimates for domestic final 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.