January 1, 2012



With one startling exception and a couple of smaller ones, the holiday crop of movies declined on Saturday and are expected to recover on New Year’s Day.
PARAMOUNT:  MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL went down 18% and is expected to rise 33% today.  It should hit $142M by the end of the 4-day holiday weekend.   THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN is up and down a more orderly 23%, and should be at about $52M with the extra day.  HUGO was a little more stable, down only 7% but also up only 15%.  It should be just a touch below $50M by the end of Monday.  YOUNG ADULT went down 24% Saturday but is looking for a very large 48% increase on Sunday–even if that happens, it won’t hit $13M by the end of the holidays.

WARNERSSHERLOCK HOLMES:  A GAME OF SHADOWS was down 16% and up 23%, and should be just under $140M coming out of the holidays.  NEW YEAR’S EVE had its last burst of audience interest on Dec. 31, and is one of the only movies expected to decline on Sunday.  It still won’t be at $50M after Monday, and its shelf-life is now done.  EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE went down 22% and may only rise 10% on Sunday, giving it an unimpressive $17K average in 6 theatres for the 3-day weekend that should rise a bit to $20K with Monday included.  
DISNEY:  What got into WAR HORSE‘s hay on Saturday?  With almost every other picture falling as per seasonal pattern, and after an unexciting week at the boxoffice, Steven Spielberg’s epic weirdly went up 20%, and expects to rise another 19% on Sunday.  It’s hard to know what happened, but no doubt Disney and DreamWorks are hoping it’s a harbinger of things to come.  The studio’s only other picture in the market is THE MUPPETS, nearing the end of its run with perhaps $85M in total.
FOX:  ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS:  CHIPWRECKED lost 32% on Saturday and should make up most of it on Sunday.  It should just get to $100M with Monday included.  WE BOUGHT A ZOO had a less bumpy ride, down only 7% on Saturday but also expecting a much smaller increase today, on its way to perhaps $47M after Monday.  
SONY:  THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO went down a standard 21% on Saturday, but is anticipating, for no clear reason, a whopping 59% increase on Sunday.  If that actually happens, it could be at $62M after Monday, although an ultimate gross of $100M may still be a stretch without some awards attention.
FOX SEARCHLIGHT:  THE DESCENDANTS had a good Saturday with a 15% increase, and is expecting to simply hold steady on Sunday–it should hit $40M with Monday included, but its $6K average for the long weekend is still only so-so.  In limited release, SHAME fell a heavy 38% on Saturday but is projecting a huge 65% Sunday increase–even if it achieves that, a $5K average over the 4-day weekend in only 55 theatres is, well, flaccid.
WEINSTEIN COMPANY:  All its films are in limited release.  THE ARTIST, in 167 theatres, is still very mild, reporting a 13% increase on Saturday and 20% more Sunday, which makes for a 4-day average around $10K.  THE IRON LADY is off to a great start but in only 4 theatres–down 15% then up 20%, it could hit a per-theatre average of $70K over 4 days.  MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, the company’s widest release at 630 theatres, is still a picture no one wants to see.  Even with a small 6% drop on Saturday and a 20% Sunday increase, its 4-day average will probably be around $2K.
FOCUS:  The likely $28K 4-day average for TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY in 55 theatres is very impressive for a 4th weekend–now the question is when and how far the studio will expand it.  PARIAH‘s likely $15K average in 4 days and 4 theatres doesn’t show much promise.
SONY CLASSICS:  A SEPARATION is off to a good start, with what should be a $25+K average in 3 theatres.  

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."