May 24, 2015

Weekend Studio Estimates 5.22-24.2015

Based on Friday’s and Saturday’s grosses, weekend #21 of 2015 now looks like $143 million for the top 12 films Friday-Sunday, significantly below the norm for this weekend.  A definite clunker Memorial Day Weekend at the box office.

Opening at 3,972 theaters Friday, Tomorrowland from Disney is on track for a $32.2 million opening three-day weekend (better than it looked yesterday bit still below our $37.0 million ShowBuzzDaily forecast earlier this week). The film is pacing toward a somewhat more respectable $8,100 per theater for the weekend (compared to the $5,333 opening weekend average for all wide-release films the last two years). Critical sentiment at RottenTomatoes is perfectly mediocre (50% positive overall and 50% positive with top critics). Tomorrowland is headed for $88 million total domestic.

Opening at 3,240 theaters Friday, Poltergeist from Fox is headed for a $23.0 million opening weekend (a bit lower than yesterday and now slightly below our $25.0 million forecast).  The film is on track for a $7,100 per theater average for the weekend.  Critical sentiment has shifted negative: 33% positive overall although 47% positive with top critics).  Poltergeist is headed for $61 million total domestic.

Weekend 21: May 22-24, 2015 ($ millions)
Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Weekend Studio Estimate Actual Friday Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
Tomorrowland Dis [37.0] 30.9 32.2 9.74 88
Pitch Perfect 2 Uni [35.8] 32.9 30.3 9.70 190
Mad Max: Fury Road WB [26.2] 24.0 23.9 6.75 152
Poltergeist Fox [25.0] 23.8 23.0 9.35 61
Avengers: Age of Ultron Dis [23.9] 20.1 20.9 5.36 452
Hot Pursuit WB [3.3] 3.2 3.5 .94 32
Far From the Madding Crowd FoxS [—] 2.2 2.3 .87 n/a
Furious 7 Uni [2.3] 2.1 2.1 .54 353
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Sony [2.5] 1.7 1.8 .43 72
Home Fox/DWA [2.1] 1.5 1.7 .38 162
Age of Adaline LG [1.9] 1.4 1.5 .43 43
Ex Machina A24 [—] 1.1 n/a .35 25

Note: The table above summarizes an early look at the weekend. The first column is a reminder of each film’s ShowBuzzDaily Forecast for the weekend (in brackets). The second column, on which the films are sorted, displays the new weekend projection for each film, based on the Friday numbers (the third column). The final column is a preliminary estimate of the ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Total number for the film’s total run in North America. A “++” indicates the Domestic number has been upgraded; a “–” indicates a downgrade.

Top Holdovers

Pitch Perfect 2 is now headed for $30.3 million this weekend (down -56% from last weekend and below our $35.8 million forecast). Revised total domestic outlook: $190 million.

Mad Max: Fury Road is headed for $23.9 million this weekend (down -47% from last weekend and still slightly below our $26.2 million forecast). Revised total domestic outlook: $152 million.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is headed for $20.9 million this weekend (down -46% from last weekend and still somewhat below our $23.9 million forecast). Revised total domestic outlook: $452 million.


Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $143 million total Friday-Sunday, a touch below yesterday’s estimate ($145 million) and now down -28% from the four-year average for the comparable weekend and down -20% from the same weekend last year.

WEEKEND 21 ($ millions)
Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend (Fri-Sun only)
2015 $143 Tomorrowland $32.2, Poltergeist $23.0
2014 $179 X-Men: Days of Future Past $90.8, Blended $14.3
2013 $249 Fast & Furious 6 $97.4, The Hangover Part III $41.7, Epic $33.5
2012 $146 Men in Black 3 $54.6, Chernobyl Diaries $8.0
2011 $216 The Hangover Part II $85.9, Kung Fu Panda 2 $47.7
Avg 2011-14 $198

Check back later for the Worldwide Studio Scorecard and the International Box Office report.

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.