May 1, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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>Fast Five is even stronger after a strong Saturday.  Biggest April opening ever pushes the weekend to 55% above last year’s comparable weekend.

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates now show that Fast Five should finish its run with $183 million, ahead of Rio, which is headed for $149 million.  The other openers are DOA, with Prom headed for $13 million, Hoodwinked Too! for $6-7 million, and Dylan Dog: Dead of Night for about $2 million domestically.

Based on Friday and Saturday actual numbers and studio estimates for Sunday, Fast Five opened with $83.6 million, averaging an outstanding $22,942 per theater at 3,644 theaters.  Prom opened with $5.0 million, playing on 2,730 theaters and averaging a paltry $1,832 — an extremely below average performance.  Hoodwinked Too! opened with $4.1 million, averaging a woeful $1,653 per theater at 2,505 theaters.  Finally, Dylan Dog averaged a depressing $1,011 at 875 theaters.  

April 29-May 1, 2011                Wknd     vs     Showbuzz
(millions)                         Studio   Last    Domestic
                                    Proj.   Wknd     Final*
Fast Five                 (Uni)     $83.6             $183
Rio                       (Fox)     $14.4   -45%      $149
Madea’s Big Happy Family   (LG)     $10.1   -60%      $ 62
Water for Elephants      
(Fox)     $ 9.1   -46%      $ 56
Prom                      (Dis)     $ 5.0             $ 13
Hoodwinked Too!         (Weins)     $ 4.1             $  7
African Cats              (Dis)     $ 2.3   -61%      $ 18
Hop                       (Uni)     $ 2.6   -79%      $113
Dylan Dog                (Free    $ 0.9             $  2

Note: The table above summarizes the weekend as of Sunday.  The first column (on which the table is sorted) displays the “studio projection” for each film, based on the Friday and Saturday actual numbers (and a studio-supplied estimate of Sunday).  The second column is the percent decline from the prior weekend.  The final column is a preliminary estimate of the ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Total Gross for the film’s complete run in North America.  A “++” indicates the Domestic number has been upgraded; a “–” indicates a downgrade. 

Total Weekend Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $142 million total, up a stunning 55% from the same weekend last year and about the same as the 2007-10 average for the comparable weekend.  The year-to-date numbers will be updated tomorrow when the official weekend numbers are in. 

Top 12 Films: Late April/ First Weekend of May

2011  $142  (-1% vs 2007-10 average; +55% vs 2010 

Avg   $144  
            Movies Opening That Weekend
2010  $ 92  Nightmare on Elm Street 3 $33, Furry Vengeance $6

2009  $150  X-Men Wolverine $85, Ghosts Girlfriends Past $15
2008  $151  Iron Man $99, Made of Honor $15
2007  $181  Spider-Man 3 $151, Lucky You $3

The Week Ahead

Opening next week are Thor from Paramount, romantic comedy Something Borrowed from Warner Bros, and African-American comedy Jumping the Broom from TriStar.  Thor will clearly dominate the weekend but not at the same level as Iron Man 2, which opened with $128 million the same weekend last year.  (The documentary Babies also opened, whimpering with a little more than $2 million this weekend last year.) 

On Monday we will have the final, official numbers for the weekend (actual numbers for all three days, no estimated Saturday or Sunday numbers), and on Tuesday look for the updated international numbers for films currently in release. 

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.