December 24, 2011

HOLIDAY BOXOFFICE: Early Friday Numbers – 12/23/11

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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Well, now it’s all up to WAR HORSE.
Cameron Crowe’s WE BOUGHT A ZOO (20th) joined the market on Friday, and it appears to be back to movie jail for Crowe, because according to the Hollywood Reporter, it only made around $3M, even on a day when almost everything else saw 40+% increases.  Although it will probably have higher days in the course of the holiday season, it’s unlikely to be a major performer.  Since no one expects Summit’s THE DEADLIEST HOUR to be more than quickie counterprogramming, the only remaining chance for a holiday smash is War Horse, which arrives on Sunday.

Day-for-day comparisons between this year’s Friday and last year’s are of little use, since last year’s Friday was December 24, the lowest grossing day of the season (not only do many people have non-movie Christmas Eve plans, but some theatres close early for the holiday).  A look at the holiday pattern in 2005, the last time Christmas fell on a Sunday, suggests that grosses will decline around 40% on Saturday, then double on Christmas Day.  December 26 should be the highest day of the entire holiday period, but with increases that could be all over the place, ranging from 10-90%.  After that, business declines modestly through the course of the inter-holiday week before rising again for New Year’s weekend.  
Elsewhere on Friday, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL (Paramount) held its lead, with $9.5-10M, around 50% higher than Thursday.  Right now MI4 seems to be the only holiday picture with the potential velocity to get beyond $200M in total US gross.  Second place was SHERLOCK HOLMES:  A GAME OF SHADOWS (Warners) with $6.5-7M, a 40-50% bump from Thursday, but still more than 50% off from last Friday.  Fellow holdover ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS:  CHIPWRECKED (20th) followed with $5.3M, a more modest 30-35% increase for the day but down only 20% from last week.
Next up were the 2 Wednesday openings.  THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (Sony) did $4.5-5M, a 40-50% spike.  Steven Spielberg’s other holiday picture THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN (Paramount) perked up a bit with $3.5-4M, up 50+% from Thursday.
Friday also marked significant expansions for 2 major awards hopefuls, THE ARTIST and MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, as well as a smaller expansion for TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPYStay with SHOWBUZZDAILY all through the holidays for updated boxoffice and analysis on these and all the other new openings!


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."