March 29, 2012


>The 13th weekend of the year should be very strong: about $169 million for the top 12 films up 49% from last year’s comparable weekend and up 32% from the four-year average for this weekend.  Wrath of the Titans should open just below $40 million, far behind the pace of Clash of the Titans from two years ago.  And Mirror Mirror will struggle to get to $25 million.  Those wouldn’t be bad openings most weekends, but they will pale in comparison to The Hunger Games.  Even if it’s down more than 50% in weekend two, The Hunger Games will just be too big a force in the marketplace to take down.           

Opening at over 3,500 theaters, Wrath of the Titans from Warner Brothers should average a solid $11,200 per theater (for $39.5 million Friday-Sunday).  [The average wide-release film the past two years has had an opening three-day weekend of $5,525 per theater.]  But Wrath is not Hunger Games and not even in the same league as its father, Clash of the Titans, which opened this same weekend in 2010 with $61.2 million against the second weekend of How to Train Your Dragon.  Reviews at RottenTomatoes are currently running at a soft 42% positive.  Wrath of the Titans is on track for a preliminary $106 million domestic, compared to $163.1 million for Clash of the Titans.            

Opening at around 3,200 theaters, Mirror Mirror from Relativity should average a just okay $7,500 per theater (for $24.0 million Friday-Sunday).  Reviews at RottenTomatoes are currently running at a very good 86% positive, but the television commercials for this Julia Roberts fairy tale really do not make the film look special.  Mirror Mirror is on track for a preliminary $71 million domestic.            

New Films                        Critics    Opening  Domestic
March 30-April 1                 Positive   Weekend   Total*

Wrath of the Titans      WB  PG13   42%      $39.5    $106
Mirror Mirror           Rel  PG     86%      $24.0    $ 71

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 Hunger Games should comfortably hold on to the #1 spot in its second weekend, down 54% to a sturdy $70+ million.  If that fall-off is closer to -50% or even -49%, even bigger things are ahead for the franchise.  After 21 Jump Street and The Lorax, a whole lot of films round out the top 12 with paltry $1 million weekends.

Major Returning Films            Change     This    Domestic
March 30-April 1                vs wknd 1  Weekend   Total*
The Hunger Games         LG       -54%      $70.5     $395

21 Jump Street           Sony     -41%      $12.0     $125
The Lorax                Uni      -40%      $ 8.0     $210
John Carter              Dis      -57%      $ 2.2     $ 76

Project X                WB       -48%      $ 1.0     $ 57

A Thousand Words         Par      -46%      $ 1.1     $ 15

Act of Valor             Rel      -44%      $ 1.2     $ 71 

Salmon Fishing in Yemen  CBS      +99%      $ 1.4     $ —

October Baby             5&2      —-      $ 1.0     $ —

Box Office Volume

For the past four years, the top 12 films in this comparable weekend have averaged $128 million total, ranking 22nd of 52 weeks.  Last year this weekend’s total was $114 million, and the same weekend in 2010 was $169 million.  This Friday-Sunday is looking like a very good $169 million, up a big 49% from this weekend last year and up 32% from an “average” comparable weekend over the past four years.             

This Weekend Last Two Years

 Hop UNI PG James Marsden Kaley Cuoco 
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $24  Actual: $38
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $115  Actual: $108
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $76
 Source Code SUMMIT PG13 Jake Gyllenhaal Vera Farmiga 
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $16  Actual: $15
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $54  Actual: $55
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $69
 Insidious FILMDISPG13 Patrick Wilson Rose Byrne 
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $11  Actual: $13
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $52  Actual: $54
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $38
 Clash of the Titans WB PG13 Sam Worthington Liam Neeson 
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $65  Actual: $61
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $170  Actual: $163
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $330
 Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too LG PG13 Michael Jai White Tyler Perry 
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $25  Actual: $29
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $72  Actual: $60
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $1
 The Last Song DIS PG Miley Cyrus  
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $19  Actual: $16
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $64  Actual: $63
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $26

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.