August 12, 2012



OPENINGS:  THE BOURNE LEGACY (Universal) is holding on to its $40M opening by its fingernails, with just $265K to spare.  (We’ll find out tomorrow if that holds up.)   Bourne is an unusual action franchise that historically hasn’t overperformed internationally, and if that’s the case with Legacy as well, the picture is likely looking at $200-250M worldwide, not enough to hit profit for a movie that cost that much for production and marketing–however, there’s a reason Legacy‘s 3d act takes place in the Phillipines, and Universal will be hoping for increased Asian revenue this time around.  If that doesn’t happen, the studio will likely try to back a money truck up in front of Matt Damon and Paul Greenglass’s houses before proceeding again without them. THE CAMPAIGN (Warners) had a solid opening, its $27.4M about 10-20% behind The Other Guys and Step Brothers.  Will Ferrell’s movies, like a lot of US comedies, don’t travel well overseas, so it’s probably headed for a $100-150M worldwide total, just enough to keep Ferrell on the shrinking A-list of comedy stars.  HOPE SPRINGS (Sony) has made $20.1M since Wednesday, which is the same as Julie & Julia made in its first 3 days.  It’s below the level of Meryl Streep’s recent hits, but also the smallest-scale and least high-concept of them, so if it can generate good word of mouth until the “serious” Fall movies start pouring in (which doesn’t happen for another 6 weeks or so), it should be fine.

HOLDOVERS:  THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (Warners) fell 45% to $19.4M in its 4th weekend (Dark Knight had fallen 40% to $26.1M in its Weekend 4).  At least as important, though, is that with some major territories (including China) still to come, Rises has already made $445.3M overseas, just $23.7M behind Dark Knight‘s international total.  Rises will make over $500M outside the US, and still has a fair chance to top Dark Knight‘s glotal $1B.  TOTAL RECALL (Sony) fell a godawful 68% in its 2d weekend, and isn’t causing any excitement overseas, either, with a total of $27.5M in 38 territories.  It seems unlikely to get anywhere near breakeven.  With no new familiy movies in the market, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID:  DOG DAYS (20th) held well, down only 44%.  And thinking of family films, ICE AGE:  CONTINENTAL DRIFT (20th) is headed for one of the most lopsided worldwide results in screen history, with 80% of its boxoffice coming overseas (roughly $160M in the US vs $650M overseas), for a staggering total that will probably top $800M, making it the #3 worldwide hit of the summer.  THE WATCH (20th) continued to plummet by another 66%, with STEP UP REVOLUTION (Summit) and THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (Sony) down around 50%, and BRAVE (Pixar/Disney) and TED (Universal) down roughly 40%.

LIMITED RELEASE:  RUBY SPARKS (Fox Searchlight) quadrupled its screen count to 261, but only rose 14% for the weekend, with an indifferent $1700 per-theatre average.  BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (Fox Searchlight) has started its downward slide, but still has a chance to reach $10M, excellent for such a non-narrative “art film.”  MOONRISE KINGDOM (Focus/Universal) and TO ROME WITH LOVE (Sony Classics) were down 45-50% as they head for $44-45M and $16-17M respectively.  KILLER JOE (LD) more than doubled its theatres to 36 but fell a bit, with a $4K average.  CELESTE & JESSE FOREVER (Sony Classics) expanded to 18 theatres with a not-bad $7400 average.  2 fine documentaries expanded with OK results:  SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN (Sony Classics) with a $4200 average at 18, and THE IMPOSTER (IM) with a $3400 average at 15.  Julie Delpy’s 2 DAYS IN NY (Magnolia) started with a $13.5K average at 2, and Spike Lee’s RED HOOK SUMMER (Variance) had a $10.4K average at 4, both only in New York for now.

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."