November 14, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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This weekend is looking incredibly strong: over $250 million for the top 12 films Friday-Sunday, up 27% from a typical third weekend in November.  The final Twilight (12-34 females), Lincoln (35+ adults), and the second weekend of the strongest Bond yet (young adults) make for a powerful combination.  

Opening at over 4,000 theaters Friday (with late night shows Thursday night/early Friday), Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 from Summit should average an exceptional $36,900 per theater (for an $147.5 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 surprisingly receptive so far (81% positive at RottenTomatoes).  Even if that positive review rate settles down, this will be the most warmly received in a series that has not been given much respect critically (see second table below).  We are projecting the final Twilight film will gross $310 million domestic and $725 million worldwide.  Update on Thursday 11.15.2012: Reviews for Breaking Dawn Part 2 did settle down — all the way down to 55% positive as of late Thursday.  Still the best reviewed of the Twilight series, but just barely.

Expanding to around 1,500 theaters Friday, Lincoln from Disney should average a very good $11,400 per theater (for a $17.5 million opening weekend after about $1.4 million in a preview week at 11 theaters).  Critics are enthusiastic (91% positive at RottenTomatoes).  We are projecting Lincoln will hit $75 million domestic.

November 16-18, 2012 Critics Positive Opening Weekend Forecast Domestic Total Projection
Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Summit PG13 81% 55% 147.5 310
Lincoln Disney PG13 91% 17.5 75

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 Films TrackSummit Entertainment  Critics Positive ($ millions)
Opening Weekend Domestic Total Overseas Total Worldwide Total
Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 11.16.2012 81% 55% TBD TBD TBD TBD
Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1  11.18.2011 25% 138.1 281.3 423.8 705.1
Twilight Saga: Eclipse 6.30.2010 49% 64.8 (157.6 Wed-Sun) 300.5 398.0 698.5
Twilight Saga: New Moon 11.20.2009 28% 142.8 296.6 413.2 709.8
Twilight 11.21.2008 49% 69.6 192.8 199.8 392.6

A lot of holdover business from SkyfallWreck-It Ralph and Flight, to a lesser extent.

RETURNING FILMSNovember 16-18, 2012  Change vs Last Weekend ($ millions)
Weekend Forecast Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
Skyfall Sony -46% 47.4 208
Wreck-It Ralph Dis -39% 20.3 183
Flight Par -36% 9.5 87
Argo WB -33% 4.5 105
Taken 2 Fox -40% 2.4 142


Box Office Volume

For the past four years, the top 12 films in this comparable weekend have averaged $202 million total, ranking 2nd of 52 weeks.  Last year, this weekend’s total was $215 million (while 2010’s comparable weekend was $186 million).  This Friday-Sunday is looking like a stellar $256 million, up 27% from the average comparable weekend over the past four years and up 19% from the same weekend last year.   


This Weekend Last Two Years


Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 SUMMIT PG13 Robert Pattinson Kristen Stewart
Opening Weekend — Forecast: $148 Actual: $138
Domestic Gross — Estimate: $303 Actual: $281
International — Estimate: n/a Actual: $424

Happy Feet Two WB PG
Opening Weekend — Forecast: $39 Actual: $21
Domestic Gross — Estimate: $78 Actual: $64
International — Estimate: n/a Actual: $86


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 WB PG13 Daniel Radcliffe Emma Watson
Opening Weekend — Forecast: $126 Actual: $125
Domestic Gross — Estimate: $338 Actual: $295
International — Estimate: n/a Actual: $660

The Next Three Days LG PG13 Russell Crowe Liam Neeson
Opening Weekend — Forecast: $10 Actual: $6
Domestic Gross — Estimate: $26 Actual: $21
International — Estimate: n/a Actual: $42

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.