September 15, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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The 37th weekend of 2012 is looking like $71 million for the Top 12 films Friday-Sunday, a rebound from last week’s near record low but still around 17% below comparable weekends in the past.  Resident Evil: Retribution opened about how we forecast Wednesday, but Finding Nemo 3D is opening well below our forecast in second place.  The holdovers are generally doing slightly better than forecast this week, again reflecting the theme of bit of a rebound this week at the box office.     

Resident Evil: Retribution from Sony opened with $8.4 million Friday and is on pace for $21.0 million Friday-Sunday (quite close to the $22.0 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast issued Wednesday).  A weekend mutliplier of 2.5 times Friday’s gross is normal for a genre film’s first weekend, as hardcore fans rush to the first showings.  The opening weekend for the fifth Resident Evil film translates to a $6,970 average at 3,012 theaters (comfortably above the $5,333 average for all wide-release films the last two years).  This opening is slightly off the pace from the most recent Resident Evil films but not a disaster (Afterlife opened 9/2010 with $26.6 million, Extinction opened 9/2007 with $23.7 million, Apocalypse opened 9/2004 with $23.0 million).   Resident Evil: Retribution should leave theaters with a $50 million total domestic gross, closer to Apocalypse ($51.2 million) and Extinction ($51.2 million) than Afterlife ($60.1 million).  However, the real cash will be collected overseas — we’ll see more on that tomorrow.

Finding Nemo 3D from Disney opened with $5.1 million Friday and is on track for $17.5 million Friday-Sunday (the 3.4 weekend multiple is typical for a family film with a heavy reliance on Saturday and Sunday matinee business).  But this opening ($6,030 average at 2,904 theaters) is well below the $25.0 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast.  The 3D golden goose is not the surest of things, after all.  That’s OK with me:  I hate the damn glasses, the low light, the headaches.  Nonetheless, Finding Nemo 3D should still have relatively robust playability and finish with about $70 million total in North America.  Keep in mind, this is well off the pace for the similar 3D re-release one year ago for Lion King: $30.1 million opening weekend and $94.2 million domestic total.

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

Weekend 37: Sep 14-16, 2012 ($ millions)
Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Actual Friday Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
Resident Evil: Retribution Sony [22.0] 21.0 8.4 50
Finding Nemo 3D Dis [25.0] 17.5 5.1 70
The Possession LG [4.8] 5.9 1.8 53
Lawless Weins [3.6] 4.5 1.4 41
Expendables 2 LG [2.7] 3.2 .88 88
ParaNorman Foc/Uni [2.7] 3.1 .68 56
The Words CBS [2.4] 3.1 .93 13
Bourne Legacy Uni [2.2] 3.0 .85 116
Odd Life of Timothy Green Disney [2.1] 2.7 .66 51
The Campaign WB [2.0] 2.5 .75 90
2016 Obama’s America Rocky Mtn [2.0] 2.3 .74 36
Dark Knight Rises WB [1.7] 2.2 .61 444
Last Ounce of Courage Rocky Mtn [—] 2.0 .69 3

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 $71 million total Friday-Sunday, much better than last week’s miserable $52 million but down 18% from the same weekend last year and down 16% from the average comparable weekend the last four years.

($ millions)
WEEKEND #37 Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend
2012 $71 Resident Evil Retribution $21, Finding Nemo 3D $17.5
2011 $86 Lion King 3D $30, Drive $11, Straw Dogs $5
2010 $87 The Town $24, Easy A $18, Devil $12
2009 $87 Cloudy Chance Meatballs $30, The Informant! $10
2008 $76 Lakeview Terrace $15, My Best Friend’s Girl $8
Avg 2008-11 $84

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.