May 14, 2012


Now 19 full weeks into 2012, year-to-date domestic box office is now running 21% ahead of last year’s pace and now 17% ahead of the comparable period’s average for the last several years.   Marvel’s The Avengers turned in $103.052 million in its second weekend, a mere 0.1% below what Disney estimated Sunday morning and only $1 million away from the ShowBuzzDaily Weekend Prediction issued Wednesday.  The second-weekend and first-ten-day records are now officially in the hands of The Avengers.  The summer is off to a terrific start, and somehow domestic box office revenue continues to grow sharply despite many premature obituaries written in down years like 2011.        


The Past Week: Total Box Office Volume

All films in wide release playing between May 7 and May 13 grossed $239 million, up 34% from the same week in 2011 and up 38% from the four-year average for the comparable week.  Year to date, 2012 is now running 21% ahead of 2011 (up from +20% through last week) and 17% ahead of the average for the same period the last four years (up from +15% through last week).

Domestic Box Office Volume: All Wide-Release Films through May 13, 2012 ($ millions)
2011 4-year Average 2012 vs 2011 vs 4yr Avg
Week #19 $178 $173 $239 +34% +38%
Year to Date $2,972 $3,085 $3,598 +21% +17%

Weekend Actuals versus Studio Estimates

The studio estimate for Marvel’s The Avengers was dead on this weekend.  The record-setting second weekend of Avengers came in at $103.052 million, 0.1% below the $103.163 million estimate issued Sunday morning (based on Friday and Saturday’s actual numbers).  The opening weekend of Dark Shadows came in better than estimated Sunday:  the actual $29.685 million opening weekend was 3.1% above the $28.805 million studio estimate from Warner Brothers Sunday.  Think Like a Man actually grossed $5.816 million, 7.7% below the $6.3 million studio estimate.  Most of the rest of the top films were within one or two percentage points of the Sunday numbers.                   


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 610 99
Think Like a Man 95 77
Dark Shadows 80 72
The Lucky One 60 62
Titanic (3D) 59 60
American Reunion 57 59
The Cabin in the Woods 43 50
The Three Stooges 43 50
Five-Year Engagement 32 37
Pirates! Band of Misfits 31 35
Chimpanzee 29 33
Safe 17 16
The Raven 14 11
Lockout 13 10

Weekend Predictions for May 18-20 should be posted late Wednesday.  This weekend features the debuts of Battleship and What to Expect When You’re Expecting, as well as the first weekend of The Dictator, which opens early 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.