May 16, 2011

FULL WEEK BOX OFFICE ACTUALS MAY 9-15: A Flat Week Overall Compared to Last Year

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf

>Again this week, strong weekday business allowed for a flat week year to year (despite the weekend portion being off 5% versus last year).  The year-to-date total is now down 13% 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 9 and May 15 grossed $178 million, flat versus the same week in 2010.  Although the weekend was down somewhat year-to-year, weekday business was strong enough again this week (thanks to Thor and Fast Five) to move the full-week out of the red.  Year to date, all films are down 2% from the comparable four-year average and now down 13% from 2010’s box office numbers (the year-to-year comparison is one percentage point better this week). 
All Films May 9-15
(millions)           4yr              vs      vs
             2010    Avg     2011    2010    Avg

Week #19     $178    $179    $178   
+ 0%    + 0%

Year to Date $3810   $3385   $3314   -13%    – 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 ($214 million, 95th percentile of all wide release movies the past two years), Thor ($206 million, 94th percentile), Rio ($148 million, 89th percentile).  The new releases this weekend look like: Bridesmaids ($95 million, 79th percentile) and Priest ($33 million, 43rd percentile).  

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

Weekend Actuals vs Yesterday’s Studio Projections

Bridesmaids came in a few million dollars higher than Universal estimated Sunday.  The word of mouth on this very well-reviewed movie appears to be quite strong.  Priest came in a touch higher than Sony estimated Sunday, but it looks like a mediocre player in contrast.  

      Weekend of                   Sunday    Monday   Showbuzz
      May 13-15, 2011              Studio    Weekend  Domestic
      (millions)                  Estimate   Actual    Total
Thor                      (Par)   $34.5    $34.7     $206
Bridesmaids               (Uni)   $24.4    $26.2     $ 95 
Fast Five                 (Uni)   $19.5    $20.4     $214
Priest                   (Sony)   $14.5    $15.0     $ 33
Rio                       (Fox)   $ 8.0    $ 8.3     $148
Jumping the Broom        (Sony)   $ 7.3    $ 7.1     $ 42
Something Borrowed         (WB)   $ 7.0    $ 6.9     $ 38
Water for Elephants       (Fox)   $ 4.1    $ 4.2     $ 59
Madea’s Big Happy Family   (LG)   $ 2.2    $ 2.2     $ 53
Soul Surfer              (Sony  $ 1.8    $ 1.8     $ 44

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
No limited release opener this weekend had a performance above the so-so level.  Nothing of note here. 

The Calender: The Next Four Weeks

The next four weeks look particularly strong when compared to the same weekends a year ago.  It looks like late May and early June can make up some ground in this year’s box office deficit. 

                              2011                                                2010

            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


            Jun 10                                                Jun 11

            Super 8                                             The Karate Kid

            Judy Moody and the NOT                  The A-Team
                 Bummer Summer

Check back tomorrow for updated international numbers for current movies in release.

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.