June 13, 2012

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS June 15-17 — Adam Sandler & Tom Cruise’s Weekend of the Banal

Weekend #24 of 2012 looks like it will total a just okay $146 million for the top 12 films, down 1% from last year’s comparable weekend and down 6% from the four-year average for the weekend.  Two films with once-big stars should open with just under $30 million each.  Not an embarrassment to be sure, but not the makings of big hits.  Madagascar 3 in its second weekend should beat the two openers.    

Opening at an estimated 3,350 theaters, Rock of Ages from Warner Brothers starring Tom Cruise (among others including the annoying Russell Brand) should average $8,500 per theater (for $28.5 million Friday-Sunday).  [The average wide-release film the past two years has had an opening three-day weekend of $5,525 per theater.]  The reviews at RottenTomatoes are currently running at a soft 42% positive, suggesting a short life in theaters.  Rock of Ages currently stands at a preliminary $81 million domestic estimate.

Opening at about 3,000 theaters, That’s My Boy from Sony should average $9,300 per theater (for $28.0 million Friday-Sunday).  No reviews at RottenTomatoes, as Sony will not make the film available before Friday’s release — to delay the inevitable drubbing that an Adam Sandler film takes.  That’s My Boy currently stands at a preliminary $86 million domestic estimate.  Even with horrible reviews and and word of mouth, That’s My Boy should play a little longer than Rock of Ages (despite a very similar opening weekend) simply because of its comedy genre.  The estimated $86 million domestic gross would exceed the cultural disaster that was Jack and Jill ($74 million) but would fall below February 2011’s Just Go With It ($103 million) and June 2010’s Grown Ups ($162 million).  

June 15-17, 2012 Critics Positive Opening Weekend Forecast Domestic Total Projection
That’s My Boy Sony R n/a 28.0 86
Rock of Ages WB PG13 42% 28.5 81

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.


Among the holdovers, Madagascar 3 should hold fairly well with decent word of mouth and a broader kid and family audience.  It should decline about 44% in its second weekend, with enough to hold on the top spot in the weekend rankings.  As a science fiction film, Prometheus is much more vulnerable to a softer second weekend.  It should decline well over 50% and fall to fourth place.  

RETURNING FILMS ($ millions)
June 15-17, 2012 Change vs Last Weekend Weekend Forecast Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
Madagascar 3 Par DW -44%  34.0  202 
Prometheus Fox -54%  23.7  145 
Snow White and the Hunstman Uni -48% 12.0 151
Men in Black 3 Sony -40% 8.3 177
The Avengers Dis -31% 7.8 609
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel LG -28% 2.4 41
What to Expect When You’re Expecting LG -37% 1.8 42
Moonrise Kingdom Foc Uni +9% 1.7 n/a


Box Office Volume

For the past four years, the top 12 films in this comparable weekend have averaged $155 million total, ranking 11th of 52 weeks.  Last year this weekend’s total was $147 million (while this weekend in 2010 was an exceptional $191 million thanks to Toy Story 3).  This Friday-Sunday is looking like a mediocre $146 million, down 1% from this weekend last year and down 6% from an “average” comparable weekend over the past four years.  


This Weekend Last Two Years


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


Toy Story 3 DIS G
Opening Weekend — Forecast: $105 Actual: $110
Domestic Gross — Estimate: $393 Actual: $415
International — Estimate: n/a Actual: $648

Jonah Hex WB PG13 Josh Brolin Megan Fox
Opening Weekend — Forecast: $11 Actual: $5
Domestic Gross — Estimate: $8 Actual: $10
International — Estimate: n/a Actual: $0


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.