June 11, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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A solid week ending Sunday (featuring openings for Madagascar 3 and Prometheus above $60 million and $50 million, respectively) ended a three-week rough patch for domestic box office, the first significant disappointing period in 2012.

The Past Week: Total Box Office Volume

All films in wide release playing between June 4 and June 10 grossed $225 million, up 11% from the same week in 2011 and up 5% from the four-year average for the comparable week.  While the weekend was up dramatically from the comparable prior weekends (up 15-25%), the Monday-Thursday portion of this past week was quite soft.  But with two strong openers over the weekend, the week as a whole was a net positive and the box office is poised to keep building with a critical mass of hit movies in release to create solid returning business in the coming weeks.  Year to date, 2012 moved past $4.4 billion for wide-release films and is still running 13% ahead of 2011 and 11% ahead of the more stable multi-year average for the year-to-date period.

Domestic Box Office Volume: All Wide-Release Films through June 10, 2012 ($ millions)
2011 4-year Average 2012 vs 2011 vs 4yr Avg
Week #23 $202 $214 $225 +11% +5%
Year to Date $3,928 $3,983 $4,428 +13% +11%


Weekend Actuals versus Studio Estimates

The studio estimate for Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted was extremely accurate, within 0.1% of the actual weekend opening.   (Paramount estimated the three-day weekend at $60.350 million Sunday morning based on Friday and Saturday results, and the actual weekend came in at $60.317 million.)  In contrast, Prometheus came in 2.1% above the $50.000 million estimate issued Sunday morning (an actual $51.050 million weekend).   We thought Prometheus might have difficulty making the $50.0 million figure for the weekend based on the drop from Friday to Saturday ($21.466 million Friday and $16.021 million Saturday), but Sunday rallied to a decent $13.563 million (without the benefit of significant night time business like Friday and Saturday offers).  The next few days will be very telling for Prometheus as it sets up for a very important second weekend.


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.

Updated ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Finals Domestic Final Gross ($ millions) percentile
Marvel’s The Avengers 609 99
Madagascar 3 201 93
Men in Black 3 177 92
Snow White and the Huntsman
151 89
Prometheus 145 87
Dark Shadows 77 70
Battleship 65 65
The Dictator 63 63
What to Expect When You’re Expecting 42 49
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 41 48


Weekend Predictions for June 15-17 should be posted late Wednesday.  This weekend features the debuts of Rock of Ages and That’s My Boy.


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.