April 29, 2012


>The weekend studio estimates (based on Friday and Saturday actuals and projections for Sunday) are coming in slightly above the weekend numbers posted yesterday (based on Friday actuals only).  The box office volume for the top 12 films is now looking like $100 million for the weekend, down 31% from last year’s weekend and down 26% from the weekend’s average for the past four years.  Think Like a Man is still like a $100+ million domestic final, while The Hunger Games has been adjusted up again, to just under $400 million.  The four films opening this weekend are destined for domestic final grosses of between $17 and $42 million at best.   

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates now show that the films opening wide this weekend are headed for:  The Pirates! Band of Misfits ($42 million), The Five-Year Engagement ($36 million), Safe ($25 million) and The Raven ($17 million).

Second week films:  Think Like a Man ($105 million, steady with last week’s estimate), The Lucky One ($64 million, adjusted up slightly) and Chimpanzee ($34 million, adjusted up slightly). 

Third week films:  Three Stooges ($49 million, adjusted down slightly for the second week in a row) and Cabin in the Woods ($48 million, steady).  
Fourth week films:  American Reunion ($61 million, even with last week) and Titanic 3D ($66 million, adjusted down again from last week). 
Fifth week films: Wrath of the Titans ($85 million, steady versus last week) and Mirror Mirror ($65 million, even with last week). 
Sixth week:  The Hunger Games ($399 million, adjusted up again).

April 27-29                         Wknd     vs     Showbuzz
(millions)                         Studio   Last    Domestic
                                    Proj.   Wknd     Final* 

Think Like a Man           (LG)     $18.0   -46%      $105 
Pirates! Band of Misfits (Sony)     $11.4             $ 42
The Lucky One              (WB)     $11.3   -50%      $ 64 
The Hunger Games           (LG)     $11.2   -23%      $399+ 
Five-Year Engagement      (Uni)     $11.2             $ 36
Safe                       (LG)     $ 7.7             $ 25 
The Raven                 (Rel)     $ 7.3             $ 17 
Chimpanzee                (Dis)     $ 5.5   -49%      $ 34 
The Three Stooges         (Fox)     $ 5.4   -45%      $ 49
The Cabin in the Woods     (LG)     $ 4.5   -44%      $ 48 
21 Jump Street           (Sony)     $ 3.1   -35%      $141
American Reunion          (Uni)     $ 3.0   -45%      $ 61

The Hunger Games declined only 23% this weekend to a very good sixth weekend of $11.25 million.  The last film to gross over $10 million in its sixth weekend of wide release was The King’s Speech back in late 2010/ early 2011 with $11.1 million, and before that How to Train Your Dragon did it ($10.6 million in its sixth weekend the first quarter of 2010), The Blind Side pulled it off ($11.5 million in weekend six in late 2009), and a little film called Avatar (an amazing $34.9 million in weekend six in early 2010).  That’s it in the last few years.  Remember that the average film grosses only $600,000 in its sixth weekend (if it is still playing at all), and a really good showing in weekend six (top 10%) is $4.1 million.  This kind of rare long-term playability is pushing The Hunger Games and its final domestic estimate to just under $400 million.      

Recent Top Openers and Box Office Track

                           Opening     First      Final
                           Weekend    38 Days    Domestic
The Dark Knight             $158.4    $489.4     $533.3

THE HUNGER GAMES            $155.0    $372.5     $399  ESTIMATED

Harry Potter and Deathly    $169.2    $366.0     $381.0
 Hallows Part 2
Spider-Man 3                $151.1    $325.6     $336.5
Twilight Saga: New Moon     $142.8    $280.9     $296.6
Twilight Saga: Breaking     $138.1    $270.3     $281.3
 Dawn Part 1

Total Box Office Volume 

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $100 million total Friday-Sunday, down 31% from the same calendar weekend last year (which was powered by the very strong Fast Five opening) and down 26% from the average for this weekend the past four years.  (However, view this four-year average for the weekend with caution as the 17th weekend sometimes falls in April as in the last few years and sometimes is the more potent first weekend in May.) 

Top 12 Films: Weekend #17

     Volume    Movies Opening Each Weekend (millions)
2012  $100  Pirates! $11, Five-Year Engage $11, Safe $8

2011  $145  Fast Five $86, Prom $5
2010  $ 92  Nightmare on Elm Street $33, Furry Vengeance $6
2009  $150  Wolverine $85, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past $15
2008  $151  Iron Man $99, Made of Honor $15
Avg   $134

Next Weekend            
Opening wide next weekend is The Avengers from Disney and Marvel (written and directed by Joss Whedon of TV’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Angel” and “Dollhouse” and starring Robert Downey, Jr and Scarlett Johansson).  This film will be compared to the following openers from the same weekend last year:  Thor ($65.7 million opening weekend), Jumping the Broom ($15.2 million) and Something Borrowed ($13.9 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.