April 13, 2011

WEEKDAY UPDATE MON-TUE APR 11-12: The Weak Get Weaker

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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The magic number for mid-week box office (Monday-Tuesday combined) is 20% of the opening weekend.  None of the films opening this past weekend hit that mark this week, indicating soft long-term playability for what was already a weak slate of films.
Over the combined Monday through Tuesday period (April 11-12), Hanna is #1 with $2.0 million, which translates to 16% of its opening weekend.  As discussed in last week’s mid-week column, when the percentage meets or exceeds 20%, there is a very good chance the film will have a better than average decline in its second weekend and will play longer than most films.  All the films opening this past weekend failed to hit the 20% mark.  The slate was already pretty forgettable — this just confirms it.


Looking at other spring films with similar opening weekends, Hanna, Arthur, and Your Highness are performing more like last year’s The Back-Up Plan (CBS Films, Jennifer Lopez) than the more durable Lincoln Lawyer from this year on this important metric.  Look for weak second weekends from all three films (50% or more declines in weekend two) unless they have amazing Wednesday and Thursday numbers.  Soul Surfer is performing even worse mid-week than did The Back-Up Plan.  Consequently, Soul Surfer is in danger of a total collapse this weekend.
Apr 11-12, 2011         Mon-Tue  % of Opening
Hanna (Foc)              $2.0        16%
Hop (Dis)                $1.9        n/a
Arthur (WB)              $1.8        15%
Your Highness (Uni)      $1.5        16%
Soul Surfer (Tri)        $1.0        10%
Mar 21-22, 2011
Lincoln Lawyer (LG)      $2.6        20%
Apr 26-27, 2010
The Back-Up Plan (CBS)   $1.9        15%
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."