January 12, 2012


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

>The second weekend of 2012 looks to be fairly anemic: $103 million for the top 12 films for the traditional three-day Friday-Sunday period.  This would be down 11% from the same weekend in 2011 and down 28% from the same weekend average for the past several years.  Basically, there is just not enough heat or buzz for the crop of movies this weekend.  Not that the movies look bad or bomb-like — just positively mediocre.           

Opening at over 2,750 theaters, Contraband from Universal should average a so-so $5,900 per theater (for $16.5 million Friday-Sunday).  [The average wide-release film the past two years has had an opening three-day weekend of $5,525 per theater.]  Very few reviews are posted for this film on RottenTomatoes, not nearly enough to summarize critical sentiment.  Contraband is on track for a preliminary $51 million domestically.     

Re-released in about 2,500 theaters, Beauty and the Beast 3D from Disney should average around $5,600 per theater (for $14.0 million Friday-Sunday).  The film should be on track for about $50 million domestic final for this re-issue, about half of what Lion King in 3D did.  We might be low-balling this — but, hey, we will know soon enough late Friday night/ Saturday morning.

Joyful Noise from Warner Brothers should average a below par $4,500 per theater at around 2,700 theaters ($12.0 million from Friday-Sunday).  This mashup of Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton should be on track for a final tally of $37 million domestic. 

New Films                        Critics    Opening  Domestic
January 13-15                    Positive   Weekend   Total*

Contraband               Uni  R     n/a      $16.5     $ 51
Beauty & Beast 3D        Dis  G     91%      $14.0     $ 50
Joyful Noise             WB   PG13  n/a      $12.0     $ 37
Iron Lady                Wein PG13  55%      $ 3.5     $ 15

Note: Although critic reviews are not related to the size of the opening weekend, they are significantly correlated with the size of the declines in the opening weeks of a movie.

* The Domestic Total is a very early ShowBuzzDaily projection of the total North American gross, based on the Weekend Forecasts.

A horrific drop is in store for The Devil Inside in its second weekend, moving its weekend tally below that for Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, which is still pretty impressive at almost $12 million in its fourth weekend.   

Major Returning Films            Change     This    Domestic
January 13-15                   vs wknd 1  Weekend   Total*

Mission: Impossible 4   Par       -41%      $11.5     $234
The Devil Inside        Par       -73%      $ 9.0     $ 63 
Sherlock Holmes 2        WB       -40%      $ 8.0     $190
Girl Dragon Tattoo     Sony       -36%      $ 7.5     $109
Alvin & Chipmunks 3     Fox       -36%      $ 6.0     $132
War Horse            DW/Dis       -40%      $ 5.0     $ 84
We Bought a Zoo         Fox       -41%      $ 5.0     $ 79
Adventures of Tintin    Par       -34%      $ 4.5     $ 82


Box Office Volume

For the past four years, the top 12 films in the comparable weekend have averaged $142 million total, ranking 17th of 52 weeks.  Last year this weekend’s total was $115 million, and the same weekend in 2010 was $157 million.  This Friday-Sunday is looking like a soft $103 million, down 11% from this weekend last year but down 28% from an “average” comparable weekend.          

This Weekend Last Two Years

 Green Hornet SONY PG13 Seth Rogen Cameron Diaz 
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $38  Actual: $34
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $106  Actual: $99
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $129
 The Dilemma UNI PG13 Vince Vaughn Kevin James 
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $23  Actual: $18
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $52  Actual: $48
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $20
 The Book of Eli WB R Denzel Washington  
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $32  Actual: $33
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $99  Actual: $95
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $62
 The Spy Next Door LG PG Jackie Chan George Lopez 
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $15  Actual: $10
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $25  Actual: $24
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $19
 The Lovely Bones PAR PG13 Mark Wahlberg Rachel Weisz 
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $10  Actual: $17
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $50  Actual: $44
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $50

Come back throughout the weekend to see how the movies actually perform.  Saturday morning we will have an early look at how the weekend is shaping up, on Sunday we will have initial studio estimates (based on Friday and Saturday actuals), and Monday we will have the final weekend numbers.

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.