May 1, 2012


>Now 17 full weeks into 2012 (one-third of the year down already), year-to-date domestic box office is running 19% ahead of last year’s pace (down from the +22% pace last week), while the year-to-date total is now 13% ahead of the comparable period’s average for the last several years.   Updated final domestic gross estimates are available below for recent releases, with The Hunger Games now standing at an estimated $399 million in North America (another slight upward adjustment from last week) and Think Like a Man holding fairly steady at $104 million domestic. 

The Past Week: Total Box Office Volume

All films in wide release playing between April 23 and April 29 grossed $142 million, down 26% from the same week in 2011 (which was boosted by the $86.2 million opening for Fast Five) and down 16% from the four-year average for the comparable week.  Year to date, 2012 is now running 19% ahead of 2011 (down from +22% through last week) and 13% ahead of the average for the same period the last four years (down from +15% through last week).

All Wide-Release Films April 23-29
(millions)           4yr              vs      vs
             2011    Avg     2012    2011    Avg

Week #17     $191    $168    $142   
26%    16%Year to Date $2588   $2726   $3076  

+19%    +13%

Weekend Actuals versus Studio Estimates

Studio estimates were consistently high this weekend, within a normal range for studio over statement.  Think Like a Man came in at $17.604 million in its second weekend, 2.2% below the $18.0 million estimate Sunday morning.  The Pirates! Band if Misfits opened with $11.138 million, 2.3% below the $11.4 million studio estimate.  The Lucky One grossed $10.808 million in its second weekend, 4.6% below the $11.325 studio estimate.  The Hunger Games ended up grossing $10.814 million in weekend six, 3.9% below the $11.25 million studio estimate.  And The Five-Year Engagement opened with $10.610 million, 4.9% below the $11.157 million studio estimate.

Only Safe and The Raven performed as expected or better on Sunday.  Safe opened with $7.893 million, 2.2% above the $7.72 million studio estimate.  The Raven opened with $7.289 million, 0.5% above the $7.25 million studio estimate.                 

Updated Estimates of Final Grosses

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Grosses (the estimated North American gross when the film ends its run) are summarized below for films released the last six weeks.  Pay attention to the final domestic grosses, which are much more important than individual weekend grosses and especially weekend rankings. 
The Hunger Games $399 million (99 percentile) 
Think Like a Man $104 million (79 percentile) 
Wrath of the Titans $85 million (73 percentile) 
Titanic (3D) $66 million (66 percentile)  [Down again from last week’s estimate] 
Mirror Mirror $65 million (65 percentile) 
The Lucky One $62 million (62 percentile) 
American Reunion $60 million (62 percentile) 
The Cabin in the Woods $49 million (54 percentile) 
The Three Stooges $48 million (54 percentile) [Down from last week’s estimate] 
Pirates! Band of Misfits $41 million (48 percentile) 
Five-Year Engagement $35 million (42 percentile) 
Chimpanzee $33 million (40 percentile) 
Safe $26 million (29 percentile) 
The Raven $18 million (18 percentile) 
Lockout $14 million (11 percentile) 
Weekend Predictions for May 4-6 (featuring the opening of Marvel’s The Avengers) should be posted late Wednesday.

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.