May 12, 2011

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS MAY 13-15: Bridesmaids and Priest to Duke It Out at Levels Below Thor’s Second Weekend

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Bridesmaids and Priest to open at decent levels, but Thor will continue to lead the box office this weekend.  Fast Five will continue to hang around the Top 3.

Opening at over 2,700 theaters, Bridesmaids should average a decent $7,300 per theater (for almost $20 million total).  Priest should average $6,100 at around 2,800 theaters (between $17 and $18 million).  Bridesmaids is receiving very good critical notices and has the potential for strong word of mouth.  This could turn a $75 million estimated final domestic number into closer to $100 million.  Priest looks like it will finish with $40 million or less.



New Films                        Critics    Opening  Domestic

May 13-15                        Positive   Weekend   Total*


Bridesmaids             Uni  R      90%      $19.5     $ 75

Priest                 Sony  PG13   21%      $17.5     $ 40

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.


Thor is looking like it will stay in a comfortable #1 position, while Fast Five will challenge Priest for third place or possibly second place if Bridesmaids stumble out of the gate.



Major Returning Films            Change     This    Domestic

                                vs wknd 1  Weekend   Total*

Thor                   Par        -51%      $33.5     $185

Fast Five              Uni        -49%      $16.5     $185

Jumping the Broom     Sony        -43%      $ 9       $ 57

Something Borrowed      WB        -43%      $ 8       $ 57

Rio                    Fox        -35%      $ 5.5     $150

Water for Elephants    Fox        -38%      $ 4       $ 57

Box Office Volume

For the past four years, the top 12 films in the comparable weekend have averaged $140 million total, ranking 17th of 52 weeks.  Last year this weekend’s total was $131 million, and May 15-17, 2009 was also $131 million.  This weekend is looking like $120 million: another moderately down weekend (unless Priest or more likely Bridesmaids exceeds expectations and catches fire).   


This Weekend Last Two Years


This weekend has a tradition of featuring one decent opening but certainly not a blockbuster level.  Those big openers will come as we get closer to Memorial Day.

 Robin Hood UNI PG13 Russell Crowe Cate Blachett  
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $37  Actual: $36
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $112  Actual: $105
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $206
 Letters to Juliet SUMMIT PG Amanda Seyfried Vanessa Redgrave  
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $17  Actual: $14
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $50  Actual: $53
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $26
 Just Wright FOX PG Common Queen Latifah  
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $9  Actual: $8
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $24  Actual: $21
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $0
 Angels & Demons SONY PG13 Tom Hanks Ewan McGregor  
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $53  Actual: $46
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $132  Actual: $133
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $353

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 a complete wrap-up based on the actual full-weekend numbers. 

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.