April 20, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Salem
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UPDATE: The magic number for mid-week box office (Monday-Tuesday combined) is 20% of the opening weekend.  Based on Monday-Tuesday’s numbers, Rio came very close to hitting this number and is poised to see an upgrade of its ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Gross estimate this weekend.

During its first Monday-Tuesday in release (April 18-19), Rio was in first place with $7.45 million, or 19% of the film’s opening weekend tally.  This percentage excceds Hop‘s 13% figure over the same period and Rango‘s 11% number, and it is near the gold standard set by How to Train Your Dragon (22%).  Dragon‘s weekday performance put the DreamWorks film firmly on track to have strong legs throughout its run.  The 11%-13% range for Rango and Hop did not mean those films were failures — it just indicated they were headed for “mere mortal” status and were in danger for second week downgrades of their ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Gross estimate.  Rio appears to be on a pace similar to How to Train Your Dragaon, a very good sign for Fox (along with Rio‘s boffo international box office numbers).

Read on after the jump.

First Monday-Tuesday of Release
Apr 18-19, 2011        Mon-Tue    % of Opening

Rio (Fox)                $7.4        19%
Scre4m (Weins)           $2.6        15%
Films Comparable to Rio

Mar 7-8, 2011

Rango (Par)              $4.1        11%

Apr 4-5, 2011
Hop (Uni)                $4.9        13%

Mar 29-30, 2010

How Train Dragon (DW)    $9.6        22%

Scre4m grossed $2.8 million Monday-Tuesday or 15% of its much lower opening weekend.  This suggests a probably downgrade in the ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Gross estimate for the film next week. 

Long-term playability (very low second weekend decline, strong weekday numbers, the first full week beating the first weekend) are indications of the exceptional word of mouth that can translate to strong revenue on post-theater “windows”.  (For a discussion of movie windows such as pay-per-view, DVD, online, pay cable, cable television and broadcast television, see ShowbuzzDaily Basics.)

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."