April 25, 2011

FULL WEEK BOX OFFICE ACTUALS: Astounding Year-to-Year Increases

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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The past week is up an astounding 55% from last year, and the year-to-date tally is now down 17% from last year (improving from down 20% last week).  The audience is starting to return to movie theaters.

The Past Week: Total Box Office Volume
Looking at all films in wide release playing between April 18 and April 24 grossed $178 million, up an incredible 55% from the 2007-10 average for the comparable week and up the same percentage from the same week in 2010.  Year to date, all films are now down 4% from the comparable four-year average and now down 17% from 2010’s box office numbers (both year-to-date comparison percentages improved three percentage points from last week).  This is very positive momentum, about the best year-to-year comparisons possible.
All Films April 18-24

(millions)           4yr              vs      vs

             2010    Avg     2011    2010    Avg

Week #15     $115    $114    $178   
+55%    +55%

Year to Date $3315   $2864   $2739   -17%    – 4%

Updated Estimates of Final Grosses
The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Grosses (the estimated North American gross when the film ends its run) are now: Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family ($56 million, 62nd percentile of all wide release movies the past two years), Water for Elephants ($46 million, 55th percentile), and African Cats ($19 million, 22nd percentile).  

Among the holdovers: Rio ($152 million, 90th percentile of all wide release movies), Hop ($125 million, 86th percentile), Source Code ($58 million, 62nd percentile), Insidious ($57 million, 62nd percentile), Scre4m ($47 million, 56th percentile), Hanna ($46 million, 56th percentile), Soul Surfer ($43 million, 53rd percentile), Arthur ($38 million, 48th percentile), Your Highness ($22 million, 27th percentile), and The Conspirator ($13 million, 14th percentile).

Weekend Actuals vs Yesterday’s Studio Projections

Compared to the Sunday Studio Estimates (which combine actual numbers for Friday and Saturday with a studio-supplied estimate for Sunday numbers), the actual full weekend numbers were generally lower, as usual.  The top three films, for the second week in a row, were collectively $1.9 million lower than the Studio Estimates (meaning the studios generously forecast what the films would do on Sunday).  Every studio tends to round their top films up by similar amounts so the rankings do not change from Sunday to Monday.

The official weekend rankings follow in the table below.

      Weekend of                   Sunday    Monday   Showbuzz
      April 22-24, 2011            Studio    Weekend  Domestic
      (millions)                  Estimate   Actual    Total
  Rio                  (Fox)     $26.8     $26.3     $152 ++
  Madea’s Big Happy Fam.
(LG)     $25.8     $25.1     $ 56
  Water for Elephants 
(Fox)     $17.5     $16.8     $ 46
(Uni)     $12.5     $12.2     $125 ++
Scre4m             (Weins)     $ 7.2     $ 7.0     $ 47 — 
  African Cats         (Dis)     $ 6.4     $ 6.0     $ 19
  Soul Surfer          (Tri)     $ 5.6     $ 5.4     $ 43 
  Hanna                (Foc)     $ 5.3     $ 5.3     $ 46
  Insidious        (FilmDis)     $ 5.4     $ 5.2     $ 57 
  Source Code          (Sum)     $ 5.1     $ 5.1     $ 58
Arthur                (WB)     $ 4.1     $ 4.1     $ 38
  Limitless            (Rel)     $ 2.6     $ 2.7     $ 85
   Top 12 Total                  $124.3    $121.2
Note: The table above displays the weekend Studio Estimate (released Sunday), the Weekend Actual number (issued today), and the updated ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Total estimate.  For definitions of all terms visit Showbuzz Basics. 

Limited Release Openings

In limited release, Incendies opened at three theaters with a very good $16,893 per location.  POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (from Morgan Spurlock) opened at 18 theaters with a good $6,572 average per theater.  In its second week, Atlas Shrugged: Part I expanded to 465 theaters (166 more than last week), but it’s per-theater average plummeted to $1,895.  It’s over for the Ayn Rand-source material project.   Similarly, The Conspirator expanded to 849 theaters (up 142 from its opening last week) and the per-theater average declined to $2,580 — not as bad as Atlas Shrugged but not a number about which to be very hopeful.

The Calender: The Next Four Weeks

                              2011                                                2010

            April 29                                               April 30

            Fast Five                                           A Nightmare on Elm St.
            Hoodwinked Too!                            Furry Vengeance
            Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

            May 6                                                  May 7
            Thor                                                   Iron Man 2
            Something Borrowed                       Babies
            Jumping the Broom
            May 13                                                May 14
            Bridesmaids                                       Robin Hood
            Priest                                                 Letters to Juliet
                                                                       Just Wright

            May 20                                               May 21
            Pirates of the Caribbean:                 Shrek Forever After
               On Stranger Tides                          MacGruber

Check back tomorrow for updated international numbers for current movies in release, including a new graphic display of the domestic, international and home video revenues.

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.