July 7, 2012



A great start for the weekend, if you overlook the fact that 2 of the 3 new arrivals flopped.

OPENINGS:  THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (Sony) has successfully rebooted the franchise, no question about it.  (Unless it tanks overseas, which is hugely unlikely.)  But Spidey hasn’t come back quite at full strength:  even with a 6-day opening, Amazing will be behind the 5-day and 3-day starts for Spider-Man 2 and 3.  With Dark Knight Rises just over the horizon, the question will be how much profit is in the web for Sony.  Meanwhile, with Spidey rebooted just 5 years after the demise of the previous version, what’s the over/under for Warners introducing a non-Christopher Nolan, non-Christian Bale Batman?

SAVAGES (Universal) is an example of a studio outsmarting itself.  Universal did an unusual amount of playing around with its release schedule this summer, shifting Ted to June, Savages to July and moving The Bourne Legacy away from Total Recall in August.  So far they’re 1 for 2:  Ted gobbled up its earlier opening, but Savages in turn is getting eaten alive, unlikely to get beyond $15M for the weekend.  The film is problematic in many ways and probably wasn’t destined to be a breakout hit, but burying it in heavy competition (including from Ted) did it no favors.  As for KATY PERRY – PART OF ME (Paramount), it confirms the shocking fact that tween girls don’t care very much what A. O. Scott in the NY Times thinks about a film.  The concert doc was very low-budget, and even with marketing costs figured in, won’t lose much for the studio despite what will be a wan $10-11M 4-day opening.

HOLDOVERS:  TED (Universal) will go over $100M today, giving the studio, and Seth MacFarlane, a solid (and for now, at least, moderately-budgeted) new R-rated franchise.  MAGIC MIKE (Warners) may have trouble getting to $100M during its full run, but it’s even lower-budgeted than the Katy Perry movie, and there should be plenty of profit if it does any business at all overseas.  MADEA’S WITNESS PROTECTION (Lionsgate) should end up with around $55M, comfortably in the Tyler Perry niche.  PEOPLE LIKE US (DreamWorks/Disney) will have a normal 50% Weekend 2 drop, but its numbers were so low to start with that it’ll continue on the road to oblivion.

BRAVE (Pixar/Disney) continues to follow fairly closely in  WALL-E‘s footsteps (tracks?), and that picture ended up with $224M.  MADAGASCAR 3 (DreamWorks Animation/Paramount) should be in the same neighborhood, which is impressive considering that it’s already the biggest hit of the Madagascar series (neither of the others even reached $200M in the US).  Both of these animations, however, will face fresh competition next weekend.  Other, more elderly summer openings are just about done.

LIMITED RELEASES:  MOONRISE KINGDOM (Focus/Universal) expanded just a bit this weekend, and should hold with around a $5500 per screen average at 884.  Tomorrow it will become Wes Anderson’s 2d highest grosser ever, although with little chance of reaching The Royal Tenenbaum‘s $52M at #1.  TO ROME WITH LOVE (Sony Classics) tried to outrun its word of mouth by expanding quickly to 806 theatres, but without tremendous success, as Woody Allen’s latest will only have around a $3500 average.  Further wide expansion is unlikely, so while Rome will probably do better than some of Allen’s other recent pictures, it’ll be nowhere close to Midnight In Paris.  BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WORLD (Fox Searchlight) expanded to 19 theatres, and should have around a $20K average, considerably below the $31K average The Tree Of Life had last year in 20 theatres.  Tree, despite Brad Pitt and some wildly rhapsodic reviews, reached $13M at the boxoffice, and Beasts probably won’t get there–on the other hand, it probably cost about as much as Pitt’s entourage was on that film, so Searchlight might still guide it to art-house success.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Nothing with any action movie or adult appeal wanted any part of the hammock week between Amazing Spider-Man and Dark Knight Rises.  That left ICE AGE:  CONTINENTAL DRIFT (20th) as the sole big studio release on July 13.



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."