August 14, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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>Based on Friday and Saturday box office (and estimated Sunday numbers), Rise of the Planet of the Apes will continue to hold the #1 spot, although The Help performed better than expected with $25.5 million Friday-Sunday and $35 million Wednesday-Sunday.  Final Destination opened fairly respectably in third place but should disappear quickly.  30 Minutes or Less and especially Glee: The 3D Concert Movie will make little impact.  The weekend overall is now looking like it will be up 8% from this weekend last year.    

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates now show that the openers are headed for:  The Help ($95 million), Final Destination 5 ($50 million), 30 Minutes or Less ($38 million) and Glee: The 3D Concert Movie ($17 million).  Rise of the Planet of the Apes has been upgraded to $174 million, while The Change-Up is on track for $37 million domestically.  The Smurfs has been upgraded again to $140 million, while Cowboys & Aliens is still on pace for $100 million and Crazy, Stupid, Love is on track for $78 million.              

Based on Friday and Saturday actual numbers and studio estimates for Sunday, The Help will average a very solid $10,100 per theater at only 2,511 theaters (for $25.5 million from Friday-Sunday and $35 for its first five days since Wednesday).  Final Destination 5 opened with a very average $5,800 at 3,155 theaters ($18.4 million for the R-rated horror sequel).  The idiot buddy comedy 30 Minutes or Less will average $4,500 at 2,888 theaters ($13 million for the weekend, and the gimmick-filled Glee: The 3D Concert Movie (a TV show you see for free, in 3D!) will average a sub-par $2,800 at 2,040 theaters ($5.7 million for the weekend).   

The second week decline for Rise of the Planet of the Apes (-50%) and The Change-Up (-54%) are about the same number, but the decline for Rise is good for sci-fi and the drop for Change-Up is poor for a comedy.      

August 12-14, 2011                  Wknd     vs     Showbuzz
(millions)                         Studio   Last    Domestic
                                    Proj.   Wknd     Final* 

Rise of Planet of Apes    (Fox)     $27.5   -50%      $174++
The Help               (Dis/DW)     $25.5             $ 95
Final Destination 5        (WB)     $18.4             $ 50
30 Minutes or Less       (Sony)     $13.0             $ 38 
The Smurfs               (Sony)     $13.5   -35%      $140++
Cowboys & Aliens         
$ 7.6   -52%      $100
Captain America           (Par)     $ 7.1   -45%      $178

Harry Potter 8             (WB)     $ 6.9   -45%      $370
Crazy, Stupid, Love        (WB)     $ 6.9   -42%      $ 78

The Change-Up             (Uni)     $ 6.2   -54%      $ 37
Glee: 3D Concert Movie    (Fox)     $ 5.7             $ 17

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 Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $142 million total, up 8% from the same calendar weekend last year when The Expendables and Eat Pray Love opened.  

 Top 12 Films: Weekend #32

     Volume     (millions)
2011  $142  (
+18% vs 2007-10 average; +8% vs 2010) 

Avg   $121  
            Movies Opening That Weekend
2010  $132  Expendables $35, Eat Pray Love $23    

2009  $125  District 9 $37, Time Traveler’s Wife $19

2008  $112  Tropic Thunder $26, Star Wars Clone Wars $15
2007  $114  Superbad $33, The Invasion $6

Next Weekend

Opening next week are Spy Kids: All the Time in the World from Weinstein, Conan the Barbarian from Lionsgate, Fright Night from Disney, and One Day from Focus.  Those movies will be compared to Vampires Suck ($12 million opening weekend), Lottery Ticket ($11 million) and Piranha 3D ($10 million), making next weekend a possible up weekend versus 2010. 

To see the original Weekend Predictions click here.  International numbers will be posted as soon as possible, and Monday we will have official numbers for the Friday-Sunday domestic 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.