March 19, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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>Now 11 full weeks into 2012, year-to-date domestic box office is running 23% ahead of last year’s horrible pace (down from +26% last week), and the year-to-date total is now pacing 11% ahead of the comparable period’s average for the last several years (down from +12% last week).  Despite a very good opening for 21 Jump Street and continuing strength for The Lorax, this past weekend and the mid-week period leading up to it did not have much else to offer movie fans.  The past week was not a bad one, just very average and a bit of a letdown after a very hot start during the first ten weeks of 2012.  But the torrid pace for 2012 will be back on track this Friday with the opening of The Hunger Games.         

The Past Week: Total Box Office Volume

All films in wide release playing between March 12 and March 18 grossed an okay $150 million, down 1% from the same week in 2011 and up 3% from the four-year average for the comparable week.  Year to date, 2012 is now running 23% ahead of 2011 and 11% ahead of the average for the same period the last four years.        

All Wide-Release Films March 12-18
(millions)           4yr              vs      vs
             2011    Avg     2012    2011    Avg

Week #11     $151    $146    $150    – 1%
    + 3%

Year to Date $1634   $1815   $2016   +23%    +11%

Weekend Actuals versus Studio Estimates

The opening weekend for 21 Jump Street came in at $36.303 million, a robust 3.7% ahead of the studio estimate issued by Sony on Sunday morning.  The comedy starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum grossed $13.2 million Friday, declined to $12.9 million Saturday, then rallied to a very solid $10.1 million Sunday.  The strong finish to the first weekend has resulted in an upgrade of our Domestic Final gross to $123 million.       

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. 

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax $223 million (94 percentile)
Safe House $130 million (85 percentile) 
The Vow $130 million (85 percentile) 
21 Jump Street $123 million (84 percentile)
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island $103 million (79 percentile)
John Carter $82 million (72 percentile)  
Act of Valor $72 million (68 percentile) 
Project X $60 million (61 percentile) 

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance $50 million (55 percentile) 

Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace 3D $42 million (48 percentile) 
Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds $34 million (41 percentile) 

Secret World of Arrietty $19 million (19 percentile)  

Wanderlust $18 million (18 percentile) 

A Thousand Words $16 million (15 percentile) 
Gone $12 million (8 percentile)

Silent House $11 million (8 percentile)

Weekend Predictions for March 23-25, including the highly anticipated opening of The Hunger Games, 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.