June 23, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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This weekend will feature a Pixar sequel aimed at kids and their parents, while young adults and older teens are the bullseye for an R-rated comedy starring Cameron Diaz, the queen of movies released the last weekend of June.  The weekend overall is looking like it will be slightly above this weekend last year.

Opening at about 3,900 theaters, Cars 2 should average a strong $17,200 per theater (for $67 million this weekend).  Critical reception so far has been mediocre for the Disney-Pixar sequel, 50% positive at RottenTomatoes, suggesting the movie probably will not have strong second and third weekend holds.  For comparison, Cars opened in June 2006 with $60 million, while Wall-E opened in June 2008 with $63 million, Up opened in late May 2009 with $68 million and Toy Story 3 opened in June 2010 with $110 million. 
At about 3,000 theaters, Cameron Diaz’s Bad Teacher should average a somewhat above par $8,500 (for $25.5 million this weekend).  Critical reaction to the R-rated comedy has also been mixed (52% positive reviews at RottenTomatoes).


New Films                        Critics    Opening  Domestic
June 24-26                       Positive   Weekend   Total*
Cars 2                 Dis  G      50%        $67      $185
Bad Teacher           Sony  R      52%        $25.5    $ 85
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.
Green Lantern should take a hit in its second weekend and fall to third place behind the two openers.  Earlier this week it looked like relatively solid weekday business would propel Green Lantern to a more normal 45-50% decline, but the genre really will dictate the second weekend drop: most of the audience that was excited about this picture rushed out in the first few showings to see it.  The other declines are more moderate. Bridesmaids continues to decline at a slower than normal rate — after seven weekends it will still be hanging around in the top 10.  In this day and age, that is quite an achievement.    
Major Returning Films            Change     This    Domestic
June 24-26                      vs wknd 1  Weekend   Total*
Green Lantern           WB        -64%      $19       $148
Super 8                Par        -41%      $13       $129
Mr Popper’s Penguins   Fox        -46%      $10       $ 65

X-Men: First Class     Fox        -47%      $ 6.5     $155

Hangover Part II        WB        -46%      $ 5.5     $258

Bridesmaids            Uni        -32%      $ 5.0     $165
Kung Fu Panda 2     Par/DW        -51%      $ 4.5     $172
Midnight in Paris     Sony        -18%      $ 4.0     $ 39
Pirates 4              Dis        -47%      $ 3.5     $240
Box Office Volume

For the past four years, the top 12 films in the comparable weekend have averaged $169 million total, ranking 5th of 52 weeks.  Last year this weekend’s total was $157 million, and June 26-28, 2009 was $193 million.  This weekend is looking like a basically average $166 million.   

This Weekend Last Two Years

This weekend in 2010, a weekend to forget — big stars, forgettable films. 

 Grown Ups SONY PG13 Adam Sandler Kevin James  
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $38  Actual: $41
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $121  Actual: $162
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $109
 Knight & Day FOX PG13 Tom Cruise Cameron Diaz  
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $26  Actual: $20
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $73  Actual: $76
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $184
2009 featured a huge opening by the second Transformers film — not only $109 million for Friday-Sunday but also $91 million Wednesday-Thursday for a $200 million first five days.  Combined with a very good international gross, this film might not have been art, but it is the lone true commercial success this weekend the last few years.
 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen PAR/ DW PG13 Shia LaBeouf      
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $89  Actual: $109
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $402  Actual: $402
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $433
 My Sister’s Keeper WB PG13 Cameron Diaz Abigail Breslin   
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $12  Actual: $12
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $43  Actual: $49
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $30
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 (based on Friday’s actual numbers), on Sunday we will have studio estimates (based on Friday and Saturday), and Monday we will have the final numbers for the entire weekend.

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.