June 12, 2013


The 24th weekend of the year is looking like a very good $201 million for the top 12 films, well above the same weekend the last few years.  

Opening at over 4,200 theaters Friday (well into the top 10% of theater counts), Man of Steel from Warner Brothers should average $26,400 per theater for the weekend (for a $111 million opening).  [The average wide-release film the past two years has had an opening weekend of $5,300 per theater.]  The early reviews are slightly positive at RottenTomatoes: 65% positive overall (although top critics are more mixed at 53% positive).  The prior attempt at Superman (remember Brandon Routh in 2006’s Superman Returns) actually had somewhat more positive reviews (76% positive overall and 74% positive with top critics), but we feel more fans will turn out for Zack Snyder’s take this time than Bryan Singer’s 2006 effort.  Man of Steel should be on track for $297 million domestic, well ahead of the $200.1 million for Superman Returns.

Opening at around 3,055 theaters today (a theater count somewhat above the 2,886 average the last two years), This Is the End from Sony should average an okay $7,500 per theater for the weekend (for a $23 million opening Friday-Sunday and $35 million five-day opening).  Early reviews are supportive: 81% positive overall and among top critics.  This Is the End should be on course for $95 million domestic.  

Expanding to around 600 theaters Friday, Before Midnight from Sony Classics should average a mediocre $4,900 per theater for the weekend (for a $2.9 million opening semi-wide opening).  Early reviews are fawning: 98% positive overall and a similar 97% among top critics.  The trilogy’s first film, 1995’s Before Sunrise (with a rare 100% positive score at RottenTomatoes), grossed $5.5 million domestic, while the second film, 2004’s Before Sunset (95% positive), grossed $5.8 million.  Before Midnight should break out to a relatively robust $9 million domestic.



June 14-16, 2013

Critics Positive ($ millions)
Opening Weekend Forecast Domestic Total Projection
Man of Steel WB PG13 65% 111 297
This Is the End Sony R 81% 23 95
Before Midnight Sony R 98% 2.9 9
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.


The Purge should be the top holdover but also #1 in terms of the highest drop-off percentage.



June 14-16, 2013

 Change vs Last Weekend ($ millions)
Weekend Forecast Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
The Purge Uni -63% 12.6 97
Now You See Me Summit -44% 10.7 110
Fast & Furious 6 Uni -50% 9.9 243
The Internship Fox -50% 8.7 53
Epic Fox -39% 7.2 112
Star Trek Into Darkness Par -51% 5.6 235
After Earth Sony -58% 4.5 63


Box Office Volume

For the past four years, the top 12 films in this comparable weekend have averaged $152 million total, ranking 14th of 52 weeks.  Last year, this weekend’s total was $123 million (while 2011 was $147 million and 2010 was $191 million).  This Friday-Sunday is looking like a very good $201 million, up 33% from the multi-year average for the comparable weekend and up 63% from the same weekend last year.      


This Weekend Last Two Years

This weekend last year was complete schadenfreude as Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler stumbled badly on the same weekend.


Rock of Ages WB PG13 Tom Cruise Russell Brand
Opening Weekend — Forecast: $28 Actual: $14
Domestic Gross — Estimate: $47 Actual: $38
International — Estimate: n/a Actual: $18

That’s My Boy SONY R Adam Sandler Andy Samberg
Opening Weekend — Forecast: $24 Actual: $13
Domestic Gross — Estimate: $45 Actual: $37
International — Estimate: n/a Actual: $21


Green Lantern WB PG13 Ryan Reynolds Blake Lively
Opening Weekend — Forecast: $53 Actual: $53
Domestic Gross — Estimate: $126 Actual: $117
International — Estimate: n/a Actual: $103

Mr Popper’s Penguins FOX PG Jim Carrey Carla Gugino
Opening Weekend — Forecast: $18 Actual: $18
Domestic Gross — Estimate: $67 Actual: $68
International — Estimate: n/a Actual: $119


Check back throughout the weekend for box office updates as the actual numbers come in.

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.