May 5, 2012

SHOWBUZZDAILY EARLY BOXOFFICE: “The Avengers” Begins – 5/4/12


The summer movie season is starting with a bang:  according to preliminary numbers at Deadline, THE AVENGERS (Disney) is off to a $70M opening day.  If that number holds, it’ll be the #4 opening day of all time, behind only the final Harry Potter and 2 Twilights, and slightly ahead of, among others, The Hunger Games and The Dark Knight (those latter movies, though, didn’t have the benefit of 3D premium ticket prices).  Being ahead of those 2 is important for Disney, Hunger because it’s so recent and–while hardly under the radar–not nearly as hyped as Avengers, and Dark Knight because it allows Disney to claim the highest-ever superhero opening.

The next question, of course, is how front-loaded Avengers will be.  Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Twilights:  New Moon and Breaking Dawn Part 1 (Eclipse opened on a Wednesday, so not really comparable) made 51-54% of their opening weekend grosses on their first days, while for The Hunger Games, opening day was only 44% of its first weekend, and The Dark Knight only 42%.  That could mean a weekend for Avengers between $130M and $160M.  The high end would be the 2d-highest opening ever, behind only Deathly Hallows Part 2‘s $169.1M, while the low end would put it around #8 on the all-time list. We’ll know much more after Saturday:  Deathly Hallows Part 2 and the Twilights were down 43-52% on their 2d days, while Hunger Games fell only 25% and Dark Knight dropped 29%.  In any case, Avengers should be the highest Marvel opening ever, beating Iron Man 2‘s $128.1M.
No other movie did much more than 10% of Avengers‘ business on Friday.  THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT (Universal) and THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS (Sony) should both hold decently, down around 45% from last week, while THE RAVEN (Relativity) and SAFE (Lionsgate/Summit), which didn’t have far to fall, will be 60% or more lower.
Last month’s blockbuster THE HUNGER GAMES (Lionsgate/Summit), despite the arrival of Avengers, and with its first big drop in theatre count, continues to perform superbly, with a Friday that appears to be down only around 33% from last week.  If those numbers hold for the weekend, Hunger should beat Deathly Hallows Part 2‘s $381M total by Sunday, remarkably putting it ahead of every Harry Potter and Twilight movie with only its first installment (and no 3D ticket premiums).   The news that Michael Arndt, writer of Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3, is taking over rewrite chores on the screenplay for Hunger‘s sequel Catching Fire is promising too.


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."