November 17, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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>This weekend is all about Twilight Breaking Dawn, which will be huge.  But Happy Feet Two should manage an opening that would look stellar on any other recent weekend.  Overall box office this weekend should be up 33% from the same weekend last year.        

Opening at more than 4,100 theaters in North America by Summit, Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 should average an enormous $36,200 per theater (for $148.5 million for Friday-Sunday).  (All films the last two years have averaged $5,525 per theater in their opening weekend.)  Early reviews suck: 11% positive at RottenTomatoes.  The film should finish domestically with about $310 million.   

Twilight Saga Film Track            Opening   Domestic  Overseas
                                    Weekend    Total     Total

Twilight                11.21.2008   $ 69.6    $192.8    $199.8

Twilight New Moon       11.20.2009   $142.8    $296.6    $413.2

Twilight Eclipse         6.30.2010   $ 64.8    $300.5    $397.9


Also opening, at about 2,800 theaters, Happy Feet Two from Warner Brothers should average a very good $10,400 per theater (for $39.5 million this weekend).  The animated family sequel is only 33% positive at RottenTomatoes .  Happy Feet Two is probably headed for around $135 million domestically.     

New Films                        Critics    Opening  Domestic
November 18-20                   Positive   Weekend   Total*

Twilight Breaking Dawn 1Sum  PG    11%      $148.5    $310
Happy Feet Two          Rel  R     33%      $39.5     $135

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.

Weekend declines should be in the normal 45-55% range.   

Major Returning Films            Change     This    Domestic
November 18-20                  vs wknd 1  Weekend   Total*

Immortals              Rel        -57%      $14.0     $ 91
Puss in Boots       DW/Par        -50%      $12.5     $177
Jack and Jill         Sony        -53%      $12.0     $ 75

Tower Heist            Uni        -48%      $ 6.5     $ 76
J. Edgar                WB        -44%      $ 6.5     $ 33
A Very Harold & Kumar   WB        -49%      $ 3.0     $ 39

In Time                Fox        -51%      $ 2.0     $ 40
Footloose              Par        -45%      $ 1.5     $ 56

Box Office Volume

For the past four years, the top 12 films in the comparable weekend have averaged $186 million total, ranking 1st of 52 weeks.  Last year this weekend’s total was $186 million, and the same weekend in 2009 was $250 million.  This Friday-Sunday is looking like $249 million, up 33% from this weekend last year and up 34% from the four-year average for this weekend.       

This Weekend Last Two Years

 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
 Twilight Saga: New Moon SUMMIT PG13 Kristen Stewart Robert Pattinson 
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $105  Actual: $143
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $318  Actual: $297
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $413
 The Blind Side WB PG13 Sandra Bullock Kathy Bates 
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $16  Actual: $34
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $221  Actual: $256
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $53
 Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire LG R   
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: n/a  Actual: $11
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $56  Actual: $48
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $15
 Planet 51 SONY PG   
 Opening Weekend — Forecast: $12  Actual: $12
 Domestic Gross — Estimate: $53  Actual: $42
 International — Estimate: n/a  Actual: $63

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 as a whole (based on Friday’s early numbers), on Sunday we will have initial studio estimates (based on Friday and Saturday actuals), and Monday we will have the final 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.