July 29, 2012



THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (Warners) did indeed have a big Saturday, as the preliminary numbers estimated–up 40% from Friday and fueling what should be a $63-65M 2d weekend, down about 60% from the opening.  It continues to run behind The Dark Knight, which had a $75.2M  Weekend 2 that was down only 53%, but as of Saturday, at least, Rises is declining more slowly than Dark Knight did, and if Rises can run strongly through the summer, as Dark Knight did, the gap could begin to close.   Meanwhile, Rises has the 3rd highest 10-day US gross in history ($289.1M), behind only The Avengers and The Dark Knight.  Overseas, the picture is in 57 territories thus far, and this weekend made $122.1M, for an international total of $248.2M.

OPENINGS:  So much for the good news.  THE WATCH (20th) is a terrible movie no one wanted to see–not a good combination–and had only a token Saturday bump, on its way to a dreadful $13M weekend that didn’t even manage to take 2d place, falling behind the 3d weekend of Ice Age 4.  Among the people not to envy in this mess:  the agents for Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill, whose job it is to try and get their clients top dollar next time around.  STEP UP REVOLUTION (Summit) had the lowest opening of the franchise with $11.8M, taking the expected big hit on Saturday after the teen audience had gone on Friday night.  The bulk of that movie’s boxoffice was expected overseas, however, so it’s too soon to tell how well it will actually do.

HOLDOVERS:  Saturday was a good day for most pictures in the market, and the result was a weekend of mostly solid holds, as the effect of the Aurora horrors seems to have passed.  Most of the Top 10 fell less than 40% from last weekend, with TED  (Universal) and BRAVE (Pixar/Disney) holding best, down less than 30%, as Ted approaches $200M and Brave prepares to pass WALL-E‘s $223.8M total.  ICE AGE 4 (20th) and THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (Sony) will, however, be by a considerable amount the lowest-grossing (in the US, anyway) of their franchises.  The only sour note of the weekend:  SAVAGES (Universal), with a 48% drop–it wasn’t a hit anyway, but its violence probably wasn’t to audience taste at the current moment.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Not a lot of excitement.  RUBY SPARKS (Fox Searchlight), even with hyped Q&A screenings, will open with a per-theatre average of $11-12K at 13.  (By comparison, (500) Days of Summer debuted with a $31K average at 27 theatres.)  At only 3 NY theatres, KILLER JOE (LD) is slightly higher with a $12-13K average.  2 acclaimed documentaries, AI WEIWEI:  NEVER SORRY (IFC) and SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN (Sony Classics) are headed for averages under $10K in 5 and 3 theatres respectively.  BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (Fox Searchlight) had only modest success with an expansion to 208 theatres, with a $4-5K average.  THE INTOUCHABLES (Weinstein) more than doubled its theatres to 194 and had an OK $2600 average.   MOONRISE KINGDOM (Focus/Universal), with a total to date of $38.4M, is getting closer to THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (Fox Searchlight) and its $44.5M for bragging rights as indie hit of the summer.  Woody Allen’s TO ROME WITH LOVE (Sony Classics) should get above $15M before it’s done, an excellent result for one of his pictures that doesn’t have “Midnight” and “Paris” in the title.

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."