June 30, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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This weekend will be dominated not surprisingly by the third Transformers film, while two romantic comedies will try to get off the ground.  Overall, the weekend is looking like it will be up over last year.

Opening at 4,011 theaters, Transformers: Dark of the Moon should average a strong $20,800 per theater (for $83.5 million for the traditional Friday-Sunday weekend).  The third Transformers has already grossed $5.5 million in Tuesday previews and $13.5 million in Wednesday midnight showings.  The film should do $75 million Wednesday through Thursday, the $83+ million Friday-Sunday, and about $18 million on Monday, July 4.  Add all that up and it should reach $195 million through Monday.  Critical reception so far has been soft for the Transformers sequel, 39% positive at RottenTomatoes, although this film should be fairly critic-proof because of the spectacle. Be sure to check out Mitch Salem’s review of the film.

At about 2,750 theaters, Tom Hanks’ Larry Crowne should average a mediocre $5,200 (for $14.5 million the traditional Friday-Sunday weekend).  Critical reaction to the R-rated comedy has been mixed (47% positive reviews at RottenTomatoes).  The film should gross about $19 million Friday-Monday.

In the afterthought department, Monte Carlo with Selena Gomez should average a way below par $2,500 per theater at about 2,400 theaters.  The film, which has not been released for reviews, should total $6 million Friday-Sunday and $8 million Friday-Monday.


New Films                        Critics    Opening  Domestic
July 1-3                         Positive   Weekend   Total*
Transformers Dark   Par/DW  PG13   39%        $83.5    $360
Larry Crowne           Uni  PG13   47%        $14.5    $ 55
Monte Carlo            Fox  PG     n/a        $ 6.0    $ 14
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.
For comparison, Transformers opened July 3, 2007 and went on the gross $319 million, while Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was released June 24, 2009 and grossed $402 million.  The initial ShowBuzzDaily Domestic Estimate for Dark of the Moon is $360 million, somewhere in between the first two films in the series.
Cars 2 and Bad Teacher should take moderate hits in their second weekend (when looking at our standard Friday-Sunday comparison period).      
Major Returning Films            Change     This    Domestic
July 1-3                        vs wknd 1  Weekend   Total*
Cars 2                 Dis        -45%      $37       $178

Bad Teacher           Sony        -49%      $16       $101
Green Lantern           WB        -55%      $ 8       $125

Super 8                Par        -44%      $ 6.5     $135
Mr Popper’s Penguins   Fox        -35%      $ 6.5     $ 65

X-Men: First Class     Fox        -47%      $ 3.5     $153

Hangover Part II        WB        -42%      $ 3       $259

Box Office Volume

For the past four years, the top 12 films in the comparable weekend have averaged $164 million total, ranking 6th of 52 weeks.  Last year this weekend’s total was $181 million, and the year before was $156 million.  This weekend is looking like a solid up weekend at $190 million.   

This Weekend Last Two Years

 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse SUMMIT PG13 Kristen Stewart Robert Pattinson  
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $92  Actual: $65
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $334  Actual: $300
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $393
 The Last Airbender PAR PG Cliff Curtis Dev Patel  
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $40  Actual: $40
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $142  Actual: $132
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $187
 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs FOX PG    
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $52  Actual: $42
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $199  Actual: $197
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $688
 Public Enemies UNI R Johnny Depp   
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $28  Actual: $25
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $105  Actual: $97
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $117
Come back throughout the long weekend to see how the movies actually perform.  The next few days we will take a look at Transformers first few days, and Saturday morning we will have an early look at how the weekend is shaping up as a whole (based on Friday’s actual numbers), on Sunday we will have initial studio estimates (based on Friday and Saturday), and Tuesday we will have the final numbers for the entire weekend, including the July 4 holiday.

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.