April 27, 2011


More articles by »
Written by: Mitch Salem
Tags: , , ,

>The magic number for mid-week box office (Monday-Tuesday combined) is 20% of the opening weekend, an indicator of better than average long-term playability.  Based on Monday-Tuesday’s numbers, Madea’s Big Happy Family fell short of this benchmark, while Water for Elephants and African Cats hit the mark.

During its first Monday-Tuesday in release (April 25-26), Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family averaged $3.76 million, or 15% of the film’s opening weekend tally.  This percentage falls between the 17.5% for Why Did I Get Married Too? and the 11% for Madea Goes to Jail.  Tyler Perry films are generally front-loaded in the first weekend, so these relatively low percentages are not surprising.  The film should work quietly to about $60 million total domestically. 

Read on after the jump.

First Monday-Tuesday of Release
Apr 25-26, 2011        Mon-Tue    % of Opening

Madea’s Big Happy (LG)   $3.76       15%
Water for Elephants (Fox)$3.50       21%
African Cats (Dis)       $1.21       20%
Films Comparable to 
  Madea’s Big Happy Family

Apr 5-6, 2010

Why Did I Get Married    $5.1        17.5%
  Too?  (LG)

Feb 23-24, 2009
Madea Goes to Jail (LG)  $4.4        11%

Although working with smaller opening weekend bases, Water for Elephants and African Cats both hit the 20% mark, indicating they could have decent to good second weekend declines and might play well in the coming weeks.  

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."