August 11, 2012



OPENINGS:  The magic weekend number for THE BOURNE LEGACY (Universal) is probably $40M, now that Friday has come in a bit lower than preliminary estimates suggested at $14M.  Unless business collapses on Saturday, expect the Sunday estimate to begin with a “4,” although in fact the final weekend figure (released on Monday) could be below that.  A final US take of $100-120M is an acceptable number for the Damon-less reboot, but won’t guarantee that future installments will star Jeremy Renner.   (Tagline for the next one:  “There Were Never Just Two”?)  THE CAMPAIGN (Warners) is about 20% below opening day for The Other Guys, but more important to Warners is that it’s more than double The Watch‘s start, avoiding the list of comedy star vehicles that flat-out flopped this summer, and keeping Will Ferrell on the ever-shortening list of stars whose names actually bring value.  A $75-90M US total wouldn’t be one of Ferrell’s best, but it would look pretty good in that context.  HOPE SPRINGS (Sony), with a $14M weekend, would be below Meryl Streep’s other summer vehicles Julie & Julia and Mamma Mia (as well as last year’s The Help), but of all those pictures, it’s the one that skews most directly to older viewers, so expectations are lower and its full boxoffice picture won’t be clear for at least another week or two.

HOLDOVERS:  THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (Warners) lost its perch in 1st place, as expected, but a 4th weekend of $20M or so would put it in the Top 20 of those (The Dark Knight is #5) and on track for a total well over $400M.  TOTAL RECALL (Sony) went into free-fall, and will probably earn only about $60-65M in the US on Sony’s (and its co-financiers’) $250M investment.  DIARY OF A WIMPY KID:  DOG DAYS (20th), though, held pretty well and should only be down about 45% for the weekend.  Further showing the hunger for family movies as summer wanes, ICE AGE 4 (20th) may only fall 20% for the weekend.  Other than THE WATCH (20th), which was directly hit by the arrival of Campaign, long-running titles are dropping a standard 40-50%.

LIMITED RELEASE:  A slow weekend.  2 DAYS IN NY (Magnolia) should have about a $8K average in 4 theatres (it’s also available on VOD).  Spike Lee’s RED HOOK SUMMER, on 4 screens in NY only, should have about a $13K average.  RUBY SPARKS (20th) didn’t find the indie romance audience it was looking for, and after an expansion to 241 theatres, it won’t even have a $2K average.  MOONRISE KINGDOM (Focus/Universal) and TO ROME WITH LOVE (Sony Classics) are both losing theatres and starting to fade.  Moonrise should be at $42M by the end of the weekend, and will have to stretch to beat The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel at $45M to win the indie summer.  Rome will go over $15M, a very nice haul for a non-Midnight In Paris Woody Allen movie.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The studios will try to fight diminishing high-profile appeal with sheer bulk, as 4 wide releases arrive.  THE EXPENDABLES 2 (Lionsgate) will likely take the lead, measured against the $35M opening of its predecessor.  PARANORMAN (Focus/Universal) is from the makers of Coraline, which opened (on a February weekend) with $17M.  SPARKLE (Screen Gems/Sony) is a bit of a wild card, due to the final screen appearance of Whitney Houston.  And it’s anyone’s guess where the whimsical THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN (Disney) will end up.  The major limited release is David Cronenberg’s COSMOPOLIS (EOne), starring recent tabloid inhabitant Robert Pattinson.


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."