May 9, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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>Thanks to strong weekday business, the past week is up 5% versus last year.  The year-to-date total is now down 14% from last year (after being off as much as 26% in February). 

The Past Week: Total Box Office Volume
All films in wide release playing between May 2 and May 8 grossed $206 million, up 5% from the same week in 2010.  Although the weekend was down somewhat year-to-year, weekday business was brisk enough (thanks to Fast Five) to push a full-week increase over last year.  Year to date, all films are now down 2% from the comparable four-year average and now down 14% from 2010’s box office numbers (both year-to-date comparison percentages improved one point from last week).  Little by little, the spring and early summer box office is digging out of the hole created this winter.
All Films May 2-8
(millions)           4yr              vs      vs
             2010    Avg     2011    2010    Avg

Week #18     $195    $170    $206   
+21%    + 5%

Year to Date $3632   $3205   $3136   -14%    – 2%

Updated Estimates of Final Grosses
The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Grosses (the estimated North American gross when the film ends its run) are now: Fast Five ($212 million, 94th percentile of all wide release movies the past two years), Thor ($190 million, 93rd percentile), Rio ($139 million, 88th percentile), and Hop ($109 million, 82nd percentile).  The other new releases this weekend look like: Jumping the Broom ($47 million, 56th percentile) and Something Borrowed ($35 million, 45th percentile).  

The complete list of Total Domestic estimates can be found below.

Weekend Actuals vs Yesterday’s Studio Projections

Studio estimates for the weekend were especially dead-on this week.  Paramount estimated a $66 million weekend for Thor on Sunday, and the actual number today came in at $65.7 million.  Universal estimated $32.5 million for Fast Five‘s second weekend, only $100,000 off the actual.  Not much fudging off the numbers with the movies so far apart (not bunched together).

      Weekend of                   Sunday    Monday   Showbuzz
      May 6-8, 2011                Studio    Weekend  Domestic
      (millions)                  Estimate   Actual    Total
Thor                      (Par)   $66      $65.7     $190 
Fast Five                 (Uni)   $32.5    $32.4     $212 
Jumping the Broom        (Sony)   $13.7    $15.2     $ 47 
Something Borrowed         (WB    $13.2    $13.9     $ 35 
Rio                       (Fox)   $ 8.2    $ 8.5     $139 
Water for Elephants       (Fox)   $ 5.6    $ 6.1     $ 57
Madea’s Big Happy Family   (LG)   $ 3.9    $ 4.2     $ 55  
Soul Surfer              (Sony  $ 2.1    $ 2.3     $ 42 
Prom                      (Dis)   $ 2.4    $ 2.2     $ 11 
Hoodwinked Too!         (Weins)   $ 1.9    $ 2.0     $  9

Note: The table above displays the weekend Studio Estimate (released Sunday), the Weekend Actual number (issued today and the number on which the table is sorted), and the updated ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Total estimate.  For definitions of all terms visit Showbuzz Basics. 

Limited Release Openings
In limited release, The Beaver opened at 22 theaters with a mediocre $4,890 per location, while There Be Dragons opened at 259 theaters with a very weak $2,724 per theater. The only limited release openers that opened above average (and just barely) were: Hobo with a Shotgun (best title of the year) at two theaters with $6,023 per location and Harvest at one theater with $5,870. 

The Calender: The Next Four Weeks

                              2011                                                2010
            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
            May 27                                               May 28

            Kung Fu Panda 2                              Sex and the City 2

            The Hangover Part II                         Prince of Persia

            Jun 3                                                   Jun 4

            X-Men: First Class                              Get Him to the Greek


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.