April 11, 2011

WEEKEND ACTUALS: Hanna Sneaks Into Second Place at the Wire

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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 Compared to the Sunday Studio Estimates, the actual weekend numbers were actually a touch higher for Hanna, while lower (which is more typical as studios often “round up” on Sundays) for Soul Surfer, Arthur, and Your Highness.  The most interesting swing occurred between Hanna and Arthur.  On Sunday, Warner Brothers optimistically estimated Arthur would edge Hanna for second place by about $200,000, but the conservative estimate for Hanna by Focus/ Universal ended up being closer to the truth and Hanna wins the crown among the openers.  But keep in mind that Hanna still only did $4,880 per theater (almost exactly the two-year average for opening weekends).  Soul Surfer did a similar number per theater ($4,789), while Arthur ($3,731) and Your Highness ($3,380) were quite weak.


      Weekend of         Thursday     Sunday      Monday

   April 8-10, 2011   Showbuzz     Studio      Weekend
                      Forecast    Estimate     Actual

   Hop (Uni)          [$23.5]      $21.7       $21.3
   Hanna (Foc)        [$ 8.5]      $12.3       $12.4
   Arthur (WB)        [$15  ]      $12.5       $12.2
   Soul Surfer (Tri)  [$10  ]      $11.1       $10.6
   Insidious (FilmD)  [$ 7  ]      $ 9.7       $ 9.4
   Your Highness(Uni) [$13.5]      $ 9.5       $ 9.4
   Source Code (Sum)  [$ 9  ]      $ 9.1       $ 8.7
   Limitless (Rel)    [$ 6  ]      $ 5.7       $ 5.5
   Diary Wimpy 2(Fox) [$ 5.5]      $ 4.9       $ 4.8
   Lincoln Lawyer(LG) [$ 4.5]      $ 4.6       $ 4.3
   Rango (Par)        [ n/a ]      $ 2.3       $ 2.3
   Sucker Punch (WB)  [ n/a ]      $ 2.1       $ 2.1
   Top 10 Total       $102.5       $101.1      $98.6
Note: The table above displays the ShowbuzzDaily Forecast for each film this past weekend (published Thursday), followed by the weekend Studio Estimate (released Sunday), and the Weekend Actual number (issued today).  For definitions of all terms visit Showbuzz Basics. 

Limited Release Openings

In limited release, Blank City was the best of the bunch, opening with a solid $13,989 at 1 theater.  Meek’s Cutoff opened with an average $10,012 at 2 theaters.  In the more mediocre range, American: The Bill Hicks Story opened with $5,872 at 1 theater, and Born to Be Wild opened with an average $4,156 at 206 theaters.  No Eres Tu, Soy Yo was weak with an average $2,606 at 226 theaters. 

 The Past Week

Shifting our view from the weekend top 12 films to the past seven days, all films in wide release playing between April 4 and April 10 grossed $142 million, down 10% from the 2007-10 average for the comparable week and down a tough 25% from the same week in 2010.  Year to date, all films remain down 8% from the comparable four-year average and down 21% from 2010’s box office numbers. 

All Films April 4-10
(millions)           4yr              vs      vs
             2010    Avg     2011    2010    Avg

Week #14     $188    $157    $142   
-25%    -10%

Year to Date $3060   $2624   $2414   -21%    – 8%

The Next Four Weeks

As we discussed yesterday, the next few weeks could show some year to year gains instead of the 10-25% declines we have gotten used to since January.  The table below compares this year’s releases versus last year’s for the next four weekends.  Generally speaking, there is more commercial potential in 2011 for the next three weekends.  However, the first weekend in May is Thor vs Iron Man 2 in the yearly comparison, and the advantage should shift back to the 2010 side of the ledger.  We’ll have a complete look at the rest of the important summer season (which begins in May) coming soon.

                              2011                                                2010
            April 15                                               April 16
            Rio                                                      Kick-Ass
            Scream 4                                          Death at a Funeral
            The Conspirator
            April 22                                               April 23
            Madea’s Big Happy Family          The Back-Up Plan
            Water for Elephants                       The Losers
            African Cats                                     Just Wright
            April 29                                               April 30
            Fast Five                                           A Nightmare on Elm St.
            Hoodwinked Too!                          Furry Vengeance
            Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
            May 6                                                  May 7
            Thor                                                   Iron Man 2
            Something Borrowed                   Babies
            Jumping the Broom

Check back tomorrow for updated international numbers for current movies in release.

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."