March 28, 2011

WEEKEND ACTUALS: In Line with Studio Estimates; Week Better than Forecast

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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>Compared to the ShowbuzzDaily Forecasts (which called for a tie between the movies opening this weekend), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules slightly exceeded the forecast and Sucker Punch slightly missed the forecast (turning the tie into a $5 million victory for Diary).  In their second week, Limitless and Lincoln Lawyer both exceeded their forecasts, declining 20% or less from their opening weekend numbers.  Weekend actuals were generally in line with Studio Estimates, with most movies within a few hundred thousand dollars of the estimate.   

March 25-27, 2010    Showbuzz      Studio         Weekend
                     Forecast     Estimate         Actual
Diary Wimpy Kid 2(Fox) $21.5        $24.4          $23.8
Sucker Punch (WB)      $22          $19.0          $19.1
Limitless (Rel)        $11          $15.2          $15.1
Lincoln Lawyer (LG)    $8.5         $11.0          $10.8
Rango (Par)            $10          $ 9.8          $ 9.8
Battle: LA (Sony)      $7           $ 7.6          $ 7.6
Paul (Uni)             $7           $ 7.5          $ 7.9

Top 7 Total            $87          $94.5          $94.1

In limited release, Miral opened with an average $16,561 at 4 theaters, Potiche opened with $12,143 at 7 theaters, My Perestroika opened with $17,680 at 1 theater, and Mia and the Migoo opened with $16,975 at 1 theater.  All solid but not extraordinary numbers.

So where are we versus previous years?  All films playing between March 21 and 27 grossed $148 million, down 4% from the 2007-10 average for the comparable week and down only 2% from the same week in 2010.  Year to date, all films are down 7% from the comparable four-year average but still down a jaw-dropping 20% from 2010’s box office numbers (propelled of course by Avatar and Alice in Wonderland).

March 21-27           4yr             vs      vs
 (millions)   2010    Avg     2011    Avg     2010

Week #12      $151    $154    $148    – 4%    – 2%

Year to Date  $2639   $2293   $2124   – 7%    -20%

–Mitch Metcalf

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."