June 2, 2012



Vulture picked the wrong weekend to predict Universal’s demise.

OPENINGSSNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN (Universal) had a very good $20.3M Friday, and will do better than $50M for the weekend, successfully selling (male) audiences on the revisionist fairy tale as an epic action movie.  All that epic action and spectacular CG came at a price, though, and Snow White, which is having a slower overseas rollout than some of the more pre-sold summer blockbusters, isn’t yet out of the dark forest of red ink.  The $39M being predicted for its opening 45 territories is good but not outstanding.  

The faith-based (yet oddly R-rated) FOR GREATER GLORY (Arc) may scrape into the Top 10 with a 757 theatre opening, but its per-screen weekend average of around $2500 won’t get it very far.

HOLDOVERS:  We’ll see the all-important international numbers on MEN IN BLACK 3 (Sony) tomorrow, but its US hold is nothing special, down at least 50% from last week, and possibly more because Sunday comparisons will be ugly in relation to last week’s Memorial Day weekend.  THE AVENGERS (Disney) is officially the #3 movie of all time both in the US ($538M, beating The Dark Knight) and worldwide ($1.33B, beating the final Harry Potter), and it’s still pulling in plenty of cash.  THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (Fox Searchlight) had a very good 24% decline from last Friday, and now the question is whether it’ll be able to hang around in theatres all summer the way Midnight In Paris did last year.  CHERNOBYL DIARIES (Warners) plummeted as expected, and won’t get much beyond $20M total gross.  BATTLESHIP (Universal), DARK SHADOWS (Warners), THE DICTATOR (Paramount) and WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING (Lionsgate) continued on their unimpressive (in the case of Battleship, disastrous) routes.  THE HUNGER GAMES (Lionsgate) hung in there despite weekly theatre losses, and should be on the precipice of $400M a week from now.

LIMITED RELEASE:  MOONRISE KINGDOM (Focus/Universal) expanded from 4 to 16 theatres, and while its per-theatre number took a hit, it’s still headed for a superb $50K average this weekend.  BERNIE (Millenium) added about 50% more theatres to 302, and even so will likely only hold even for the weekend, with a $2500 per-theatre average that suggests it can’t go much wider.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Hopes are high for Ridley Scott’s PROMETHETUS (20th), which despite its R rating may hurt Snow White with the action crowd.  MADAGASCAR 3;  EUROPE’S MOST WANTED (DreamWorks), the first real family movie of the season, should do very well (until Brave arrives 2 weeks later).  In limited release, Fox Searchlight opens LOLA VERSUS with Greta Gerwig, and FilmDistrict has the Sundance hit SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED.

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."