May 28, 2012




Beware of studio estimates and round numbers.

OPENINGS:  In order to get MEN IN BLACK 3 (Sony) to a round $70M for the 4-day weekend, the studio had to claim the lowest Monday drop of the market’s Top 9 films–even though MIB3 hasn’t shown any particular strength with the family matinee audience (its Sunday decline wasn’t better than anyone else’s).  We’ll find out tomorrow if they were overreaching.  CHERNOBYL DIARIES (Warners) isn’t even pretending to be anything but a flop, with a $9.3M 4-day total that will have it on VOD very quickly.

HOLDOVERS:  THE AVENGERS (Disney) is $10M away from The Dark Knight’s $533M US total.  BATTLESHIP, THE DICTATOR, DARK SHADOWS and WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING continue on their underperforming tracks.  THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (Fox Searchlight) should have a solid $6500 per-theatre average for the 4-day weekend, below only MIB3 and Avengers in the Top 10.  THE HUNGER GAMES (Lionsgate) had the smallest drop of any movie in wide release, an almost invisible 3% fall from last week that’s truly remarkable for a blockbuster that’s been in the market for over 2 months.

LIMITED RELEASEMOONRISE KINGDOM (Focus/Universal), at 4 NY/LA theatres, had a $131K per-theatre average over 3 days and $167K over 4 days that set the mark as the highest of all time, other than some Disney cartoons that mostly featured stage shows with premium ticket prices.  Focus will begin expanding it beyond NY/LA next weekend.  THE INTOUCHABLES (Weinstein) had a $34K average in 4–not in Moonrise‘s universe, but still good.  BERNIE (Millenium) had a strong $6K average in its expansion to 194 theatres.  The $5500 per theatre for HYSTERIA (Sony Classics) in its expansion to 32 theatres was less thrilling.

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."