June 4, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Snow White and the Huntsman opened solidly above expectations this past weekend, but the past week marks another down weekend overall for the Hollywood studios.  Too many other movies have failed to catch fire as The Avengers slowly winds down, and late June and early July will be critical if 2012 is going to get back on track.

The Past Week: Total Box Office Volume

All films in wide release playing between May 28 and June 3 grossed $212 million, down 16% from the same week in 2011 and down 8% from the four-year average for the comparable week.  While not an unmitigated disaster like last week (which was down 32% from the same week in 2011), this week marks the third down week in a row.  Year to date, 2012 moved past $4.2 billion and is now running 13% ahead of 2011 (down from +21% three weeks ago).  Similarly, 2012 is now 11% ahead of the more stable mutli-year average for the year-to-date period (down from a peak of +17% three weeks ago).

Domestic Box Office Volume: All Wide-Release Films through June 3, 2012 ($ millions)
2011 4-year Average 2012 vs 2011 vs 4yr Avg
Week #22 $252 $229 $212 -16% -8%
Year to Date $3,726 $3,770 $4,203 +13% +11%


Weekend Actuals versus Studio Estimates

The studio estimate for Snow White and the Huntsman was as good as it gets, within 0.1% of the actual weekend opening.   (Universal estimated the three-day weekend at $56.225 million Sunday morning based on Friday and Saturday results, and the actual weekend came in at $56.217 million, a difference of only $37,300 or about $10 per theater.)  In contrast, Men in Black 3 came in 4.2% below the $29.300 million estimate issued Sunday morning (an actual $28.075 million weekend).  Marvel’s The Avengers, ever the overachievers, came in 1.1% above the studio estimate ($20.486 million actual weekend versus $20.273 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.

Updated ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Finals Domestic Final Gross ($ millions) percentile
Marvel’s The Avengers 629 99
Men in Black 3 181 92
Snow White and the Huntsman
161 89
Dark Shadows 80 71
Battleship 69 67
The Dictator 66 65
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 40 47
What to Expect When You’re Expecting 42 48
Five-Year Engagement
28 31
Safe 17 16
Chernobyl Diaries 17 16


Weekend Predictions for June 8-10 should be posted late Wednesday.  This weekend features the debuts of Prometheus and Madagascar 3.


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.