November 28, 2012


This weekend is normally dead.  On average, last weekend (the three days after Thanksgiving) is the 7th busiest of the year, while this weekend (the first in December) is normally ranked 50th in terms of volume.  Last year, there were no wide releases on the comparable weekend, and two years ago only one film was released wide.  This year, two films are opening, Killing Them Softly and The Collection, neither of which will do much business.  However, the high number of holdovers doing solid business should push the top 12 films this weekend to over$100 million, up over 30% from the average first December weekend the past several years. 

Opening at over 2,000 theaters Friday, Killing Them Softly from Weinstein Company should average a lame $3,900 per theater (for a $7.9 million opening weekend).  [The average wide-release film the past two years has had an opening three-day weekend of $5,300 per theater.]  Critics are very positive so far (88% positive at RottenTomatoes).  We are projecting the violent crime film will gross $32 million domestic.

Opening at somewhere around 2,000 theaters, The Collection from LD Entertainment should average a ghastly $1,300 per theater (for a $2.7 million opening weekend).  Critics are enthusiastic (73% positive so far at RottenTomatoes — not bad for a horror film).  We are projecting The Collection will struggle to make it to $9 million domestic.


November 30-December 2, 2012

Critics Positive ($ millions)
Opening Weekend Forecast Domestic Total Projection
Killing Them Softly Weins R 88% 7.9 32
The Collection LD Ent R 73% 2.8 9

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.


Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 and Skyfall will battle for the top spot this weekend.


November 30-December 2, 2012

 Change vs Last Weekend ($ millions)
Weekend Forecast Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Sum -60% 17.3 308
Skyfall Sony -52% 16.9 305
Lincoln Dis -44% 14.5 135
Life of Pi Fox -45% 12.4 80
Rise of the Guardians Par/DW -50% 11.9 108
Wreck-It Ralph Dis -56% 7.3 189
Red Dawn FilmD -61% 5.5 35
Flight Par -47% 4.5 91


Box Office Volume

For the past four years, the top 12 films in this comparable weekend have averaged $80 million total, ranking 50th of 52 weeks.  Last year, this weekend’s total was $74 million (while 2010’s comparable weekend was $78 million).  This Friday-Sunday is looking like a surprisingly good $106 million, up 33% from the average comparable weekend over the past four years and up 44% from the same weekend last year.   


This Weekend Last Two Years


No releases


The Warrior’s Way REL R Kate Bosworth Danny Huston
Opening Weekend — Forecast: $5 Actual: $3
Domestic Gross — Estimate: $7 Actual: $6
International — Estimate: n/a Actual: $5

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.