August 7, 2011


>Based on Friday and Saturday box office (and estimated Sunday numbers), Rise of the Planet of the Apes will dominate with a $54 million opening weekend, even stronger than estimated yesterday.  In contrast, looking even weaker than it did yesterday, The Change-Up is only able to generate a $13.5 million.  The weekend overall is now looking like it will be up 29% from this weekend last year.    

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates now show that Rise of the Planet of the Apes is headed for $155 million, while The Change-Up will be lucky to hit $35 million.  The Smurfs has been upgraded to $128 million, while Cowboys & Aliens is on pace for $101 million and Crazy, Stupid, Love is on track for $76 million.  Captain America: The First Avenger is locking in on $179 million, while Friends with Benefits is still on pace for $64 million.            

Based on Friday and Saturday actual numbers and studio estimates for Sunday, Rise of the Planet of the Apes will average a very good $14,800 per theater at 3,648 theaters (for $54.0 million from Friday-Sunday).  The Change-Up opened with a below average $4,635 at 2,913 theaters (only $13.5 million for the R-rated comedy with the not-so-novel body switch premise).   

The second week decline for The Smurfs (-41%) and Cowboys & Aliens (-57%) are what we should expect from their respective genres.      

August 5-7, 2011                    Wknd     vs     Showbuzz
(millions)                         Studio   Last    Domestic
                                    Proj.   Wknd     Final* 

Rise of Planet of Apes    (Fox)     $54.0             $155
The Smurfs               (Sony)     $21.0   -41%      $128
Cowboys & Aliens         
$15.7   -57%      $101
The Change-Up             (Uni)     $13.5             $ 35

Captain America           (Par)     $13.0   -49%      $179
Crazy, Stupid, Love        (WB)     $12.1   -37%      $ 76
Harry Potter 8             (WB)     $12.2   -45%      $367
Friends with Benefits    (Sony)     $ 4.7   -49%      $ 64
Horrible Bosses            (WB)     $ 4.6   -36%      $122
Transformers 3         (Par/DW)     $ 3.0  
-50%      $359

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 $158 million total, up 29% from the same calendar weekend last year when The Other Guys and Step Up 3-D opened.  

 Top 12 Films: Weekend #31

     Volume     (millions)
2011  $158  (
+25% vs 2007-10 average; +29% vs 2010) 

Avg   $126  
            Movies Opening That Weekend
2010  $123  The Other Guys $35, Step Up 3-D $16    

2009  $132  GI Joe:Rise Cobra $55, Julie & Julia $20

2008  $111  Pineapple Express $23, Sisterhood Trav. Pants $11
2007  $140  Rush Hour 3 $49, Stardust $9

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.