April 15, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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>The weekend studio estimates (based on Friday and Saturday actuals and projections for Sunday) are coming in about the same as the weekend numbers posted yesterday (based on Friday actuals only).  The box office volume for the top 12 films is now looking like $110 million for the weekend, down 6% from last year’s weekend but up 7% from the weekend’s average for the past four years.  The first Hunger Games has a good shot at sneaking past the final Harry Potter in terms of final domestic gross, while The Three Stooges is on track for a domestic final of around $60 million and Cabin in the Woods is headed for under $50 million.   

The Hunger Games looks like a very small 35% decline in its fourth weekend to $21.5 million, now totaling an estimated $337 million through today (its first 28 days).  The 35% decline is especially impressive as Hunger Games lost 221 theaters this weekend (now playing in a still very wide 3,916 theaters).      

Recent Top Openers and Box Office Track

                           Opening     First      Final
                           Weekend    28 Days    Domestic
The Dark Knight             $158.4    $441.6     $533.3

THE HUNGER GAMES            $155.0    $337.1     $383  ESTIMATED

Harry Potter and Deathly    $169.2    $343.1     $381.0
 Hallows Part 2
Spider-Man 3                $151.1    $303.9     $336.5
Twilight Saga: New Moon     $142.8    $267.3     $296.6
Twilight Saga: Breaking     $138.1    $259.4     $281.3
 Dawn Part 1

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates now show that the films opening wide this weekend are headed for:  Three Stooges ($60 million), Cabin in the Woods ($47 million) and Lockout ($11 million).  

Second week films:  American Reunion ($65 million, adjusted down from last week) and Titanic 3D ($79 million, adjusted up from last week). 

Third week films: Wrath of the Titans ($87 million, steady versus last week) and Mirror Mirror ($69 million, adjusted up again slightly). 

Fourth week:  The Hunger Games ($383 million, adjusted up slightly).

Fifth week: 21 Jump Street ($141 million, adjusted up slightly moderately for the fourth week in a row).

April 13-15                         Wknd     vs     Showbuzz
(millions)                         Studio   Last    Domestic
                                    Proj.   Wknd     Final* 

The Hunger Games           (LG)     $21.5   -35%      $383
The Three Stooges         (Fox)     $17.1             $ 60
The Cabin in the Woods     (LG)     $14.8             $ 47
Titanic 3D                (Par)     $11.6   -33%      $ 79+
American Reunion          (Uni)     $10.6   -50%      $ 65-
Mirror Mirror             (Rel)     $ 7.0   -37%      $ 69+
21 Jump Street           (Sony)     $ 6.8   -32%      $141
Wrath of the Titans        (WB)     $ 6.9   -53%      $ 87
Lockout               (FilmDis)     $ 6.3             $ 11
The Lorax                 (Uni)     $ 3.0   -40%      $214

Total Box Office Volume 

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like an okay $110 million total Friday-Sunday, down 6% from the same calendar weekend last year (which was fueled by Rio) but up 7% from the more typical volume for this weekend in other years.  

Top 12 Films: Weekend #15

     Volume    Movies Opening Each Weekend (millions)
2012  $110  Three Stooges $17 Cabin in the Woods $15 Lockout $6

2011  $117  Rio $39, Scream 4 $19, The Conspirator $3.5
2010  $112  Kick-Ass $20, Death at a Funeral $16
2009  $100  17 Again $24, State of Play $14 Crank High Voltage $7

2008  $ 83  Forbidden Kingdom $21, Forgetting Sarah Marshall $18
Avg   $103

Next Weekend            
Opening wide next weekend are The Lucky One from Warner Brothers, Think Like a Man from Sony and Chimpanzee from Disney.  These films will be compared to the following openers from the same weekend last year:  Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family ($25.1 million opening weekend), Water for Elephants ($16.8 million) and African Cats ($6.0 million).

Check back later today for our update on international grosses.


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.