September 1, 2013

Weekend Studio Estimates AUGUST 30-SEPTEMBER 1

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Here is the Weekend Studio Estimates summary (posted much later than usual but for the record).

Based on Friday’s and Saturday’s grosses, Weekend #35 of 2013 now looks like $93 million for the top 12 films, down a bit from yesterday’s $95 million estimate and up a still significant 13% from the average Friday-Sunday portion of recent Labor Day weekends. One Direction: All of Us and the out-of-nowhere Instructions Not Included opened well, and continued strength from The Butler and We’re the Millers make this Labor Day weekend better than its normal sluggish pace.

Opening at 2,735 theaters Friday, One Direction: This Is Us from Sony grossed $8.9 million Friday and fell sharply to $4.0 million Saturday, now on track for a very front-loaded $17.0 million opening three-day weekend (now very close to the $16.5 million ShowbuzzDaily forecast). The film is pacing toward a three-day average of $6,200 per theater for the weekend (a bit above the $5,333 opening weekend average for all wide-release films the last two years). Critical sentiment is actually decent for a pop music concert film (69% positive overall at RottenTomatoes and a slightly lower 62% with top critics). One Direction is now headed for $43 million total domestic.

Opening at 2,130 theaters Friday, Getaway from Warner Brothers grossed $1.4 million Friday and $1.6 million Saturday, now headed for a $4.5 million opening weekend (below our $6.3 million forecast). The film is pacing toward a pitiful three-day average of $2,100 per theater for the weekend. Critical sentiment is horrible: 2% positive overall (Lawrence Toppman of the Charlotte Observer and Norman Wilner of NOW Toronto are the lone supporters) and a unanimous 0% positive with top critics. Getaway is headed for $6 million total domestic.

Opening at 870 theaters Wednesday, Closed Circuit from Universal/Focus is now on track for a $2.5 million opening weekend (near our $2.7 million forecast). The film is pacing toward a weak three-day average of $2,900 per theater for the weekend. The film should $4.1 million through Monday for its first six days. Critical sentiment is mediocre: 44% positive overall and with top critics. Closed Circuit is headed for $8 million total domestic.

Opening at 347 theaters Friday, Instructions Not Included from Lionsgate/Summit and Mexican director Eugenio Derbez grossed $1.9 million Friday and a very good increase to $2.8 million Saturday, putting the film on pace for a $6.2 million opening weekend (not forecast by us). The film is headed toward an excellent three-day average of $21,600 per theater for the opening weekend. Critical sentiment is unclear: only 4 reviews so far at RottenTomatoes (2 of which are positive), but the audience has definitely found it.

The final domestic gross estimates for both Lee Daniels’ The Butler and We’re the Millers have been upgraded yet again (to $112 million and $138 million, respectively).

Weekend 35: Aug 30-Sep 1, 2013 ($ millions)
Pre-Wknd Showbuzz Forecast Early Weekend Estimate Weekend Studio Estimate Actual Fri–Sat Gross Showbuzz Domestic Final Proj.
One Direction: This Is Us Sony [16.5] 21.4 17.0 8.9–4.0 43
Lee Daniels’ The Butler Weins [13.8] 14.7 14.7 3.6–5.6 112+
We’re the Millers WB [10.6] 11.9 12.6 3.1–4.5 138+
Planes Dis [6.9] 7.6 7.8 1.7–3.0 87
Instructions Not Included LG/Sum [—] 6.2 7.5 1.9–2.8 20
Elysium Sony [4.6] 6.3 6.3 1.6–2.3 93
Mortal Instruments Sony [4.8] 5.5 5.2 1.4–2.1 29+
The World’s End Uni/Foc [5.2] 5.1 4.8 1.3–n/a 31
Getaway WB [6.3] 4.4 4.5 1.4–1.6 6
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Fox [4.3] 4.2 4.4 .98–1.7 65
Blue Jasmine Sony [3.2] 4.0 4.0 .98–n/a 36
You’re Next LG/Sum [3.5] 4.1 4.0 1.1–1.5 22
Closed Circuit Uni/Foc [2.7] 2.8 2.5 .75–n/a 8

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.


In case you missed them, click to see this week’s Weekend Predictions.


Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $93 million total Friday-Sunday, up 13% from the four-year average for the comparable weekend but up 9% from the same weekend last year.

WEEKEND 35 ($ millions)
Weekend Volume: Top 12 Films Top Movies Opening Each Weekend (Fri-Sun only)
2013 $93 One Direction: This Is Us $17.0, Instructions Not Included $7.5, Getaway $4.5, Closed Circuit $2.5
2012 $86 The Possession $17.7, Lawless $10.0, Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure $0.4
2011 $82 The Debt $9.9, Apollo 18 $8.7, Shark Night 3D $8.4
2010 $81 The American $13.2, Machete $11.4, Going the Distance $6.9
2009 $81 All About Steve $11.2, Gamer $9.2, Extract $4.3
Avg 2009-12 $82


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.