May 8, 2013


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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As Dark Shadows followed The Avengers last year in the second weekend of May, The Great Gatsby will try to follow Iron Man 3’s huge opening last weekend.  Let’s face it, the TV spots for Gatsby make the film look like a lame costume party or some kind of high school production, and the racing roadsters do not scream “You must see this in 3D!”  The film should ultimately flirt with something over $100 million domestic thanks to star power, but a limited international upside and all that money spent to air inferior TV spots will make for a loss.

Opening at over 3,350 theaters Friday (a slightly above average theater count), The Great Gatsby from Warner Brothers should average just over $11,000 per theater for the weekend (for a $38 million opening weekend).  [The average wide-release film the past two years has had an opening weekend of $5,300 per theater.]  Early reviews at RottenTomatoes are mediocre: 47% positive reviews.  Gatsby should be on course for $110 million domestic.

Opening at over 2,000 theaters Friday (below average), Peeples from Lionsgate should average a perfectly mediocre $5,500 per theater for the weekend (for an $11 million opening weekend).  Early reviews at RottenTomatoes are trending negative: 38% positive reviews (although that is a virtual rave for something with Tyler Perry’s name on it).  Peeples should be on course for $31 million domestic.


May 10-12, 2013

Critics Positive ($ millions)
Opening Weekend Forecast Domestic Total Projection
Great Gatsby WB PG13 47% 38 110
Peeples LG PG13 38% 11 31

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.

In its second weekend, Iron Man 3 will retain the #1 spot this weekend and will be the only holdover doing any significant business.


May 10-12, 2013

 Change vs Last Weekend ($ millions)
Weekend Forecast Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
Iron Man 3 Dis -58% 73.9 375
Pain and Gain Par -45% 4.1 49
42 WB -39% 3.7 96
Oblivion Uni -48% 3.0 94
The Croods Fox -55% 3.0 178
The Big Wedding LG -39% 2.4 19
Mud OpenRoad +4% 2.3 22


Box Office Volume

For the past four years, the top 12 films in this comparable weekend have averaged $138 million total, ranking 20th of 52 weeks.  Last year, this weekend’s total was $162 million (while 2011 was $129 million and 2010 was $131 million).  This Friday-Sunday is looking like $147 million, up 6% from the multi-year average for the comparable weekend but down 9% from the same weekend last year.   


This Weekend Last Two Years


Dark Shadows WB PG13 Johnny Depp Michelle Pfeiffer
Opening Weekend — Forecast: $34 Actual: $30
Domestic Gross — Estimate: $78 Actual: $80
International — Estimate: n/a Actual: $159


Bridesmaids UNI R Rose Byrne Kristen Wiig
Opening Weekend — Forecast: $20 Actual: $26
Domestic Gross — Estimate: $121 Actual: $169
International — Estimate: n/a Actual: $119

Priest SONY PG13 Paul Bettany Cam Gigandet
Opening Weekend — Forecast: $17 Actual: $15
Domestic Gross — Estimate: $30 Actual: $29
International — Estimate: n/a Actual: $49


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.