April 4, 2011

WEEKEND ACTUALS: The Year Keeps Looking Worse

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Compared to the ShowbuzzDaily Forecasts, the weekend numbers for the three opening movies were in the right rank order, although Hop vastly exceeded its forecast.  Source Code and Insidious were much closer to their predictions.  At the end of the day, Hop should be considered a success for Universal, the ultra-low cost Insidious will be a success for newcomer FilmDistrict, and Source Code will be a moderate disappointment for Summit.  In their second week, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules and Sucker Punch both declined more than expected in their second week.  Weekend actuals were down a bit from Studio Estimates — for example, Universal’s numbers yesterday were roughly $500,000 higher than the actuals.  (The higher number on Sunday was just enough for Universal to claim Hop‘s opening was higher than Rango‘s.)  This is an example of studio “rounding up,” a topic discussed on Showbuzz Basics.

April 1-3, 2010      Showbuzz      Studio         Weekend
                     Forecast     Estimate         Actual
Hop (Uni)              $24.5        $38.2          $37.5
Source Code (Sum)      $15          $15.1          $14.8
Insidious (FilmDis)    $10.5        $13.5          $13.3

Diary Wimpy Kid 2(Fox) $11.5        $10.2          $10.0
Limitless (Rel)        $10          $ 9.4          $ 9.3
Lincoln Lawyer (LG)    $ 8          $ 7.1          $ 6.8
Sucker Punch (WB)      $ 7.5        $ 6.1          $ 6.0

Rango (Par)            n/a          $ 4.6          $ 4.5
Paul (Uni)             n/a          $ 4.3          $ 4.2
Battle: LA (Sony)      n/a          $ 3.5          $ 3.5
Adjustment Bureau(Uni) n/a          $ 2.2          $ 2.2
Red Riding Hood (WB)   n/a          $ 1.8          $ 1.8

Top 7 (Forecast) Total $87          $99.6          $97.7

Limited Release Openings

In limited release, In a Better World was the best of the bunch, opening with a decent but not great $8,2656 average at 4 theaters.  Queen to Play opened with $4,682 at 6 theaters, Super opened with $4,232 at 11 theaters, and Trust opened with an average $2,079 at 28 theaters.  Finally, The Last Godfather tanked with a $1,776 average at 58 theaters, and Cat Run bombed with an average $291 at 103 locations.

 The Past Week

Shifting our view from the weekend top 12 films to the past seven days, all films in wide release playing between March 28 and April 3 grossed $148 million, down 15% from the 2007-10 average for the comparable week and down an amazing 36% from the same week in 2010.  These tough to swallow weekly numbers had a negative impact on the yearly figures.  Year to date, all films now are down 8% from the comparable four-year average and now down a stunning 21% from 2010’s box office numbers (driven by Clash of the Titans, Alice in Wonderland and the final weeks of Avatar).  The pressure on the summer to perform just continues to increase.  Speaking of that, we will be handicapping the summer slate soon.  Stay tuned.

Mar 28-Apr 3       (millions)
                      4yr             vs      vs
            2010    Avg     2011    Avg     2010

Week #13      $232    $174    $148    -15%    -36%

Year to Date  $2872   $2467   $2272   – 8%    -21%

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

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.